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Unit 3: Foundations for Conducting Research

R16: An Introduction to Statistics

Facilitator: Dr. Paul Wilson, Lecturer in Statistics, School of Mathematics and Computer Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Friday 2nd February 2018 10-4pm (with a lunch break) MD165

(Please note that whilst a lunch break is scheduled, lunch is not provided.)

The course is designed to be a very brief introduction to statistics. The emphasis will be on developing a basic understanding of what is statistics, why it is necessary and how to go about it.

Among topics explored will be:

  • Descriptive statistics
  • Data types
  • Effective use of diagrams
  • An extremely brief introduction to hypothesis testing
  • An extremely brief introduction to statistical modelling

Especially with regard to the last two topics mentioned above, it is not an objective that the participants will walk away as experts in the topics, but rather that they will have some idea of the nature of the topics which they may then explore further in the future if necessary.

Whilst output from statistical software packages will be used extensively, the participants will not be taught the use of statistical software, there will be little, if any, mathematical calculations made during the course.

Learning Outcomes
After the workshop you should be able to:

  • Recognise the various types of data that exist and know how to best summarise them
  • Interpret and use diagrams effectively
  • Have an appreciation of the ideas behind hypothesis testing and how it might be usefully employed in your own work
  • Have an appreciation of the ideas behind statistical modelling, and how it might be usefully employed in your own work

Who Should Attend
Any students whose research requires statistics

Before You Attend
Think about how and where you might need or use statistics during your research


Vitae RDF descriptors addressed in this session are:

Knowledge and intellectual abilities (A)
This domain contains the knowledge and intellectual abilities needed to be able to carry out excellent research.

  • Knowledge base (A1)
  • Cognitive abilities (A2)

Personal effectiveness (B)
This domain contains the personal qualities, career and self-management skills required to take ownership for and control of professional development.

  • Professional and career development (B3)