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Foundations in Applied Statistics | FiAS

Foundations in Applied Statistics (FiAS)

This is an introductory course for students who have little or no prior training in statistics.

The module is divided between pre-recorded mini-lectures, in which you'll learn the relevant theory, and hands-on live practical sessions in Zoom, in which you will learn how to analyse real data using the statistical package, Stata. 

You will learn:

  • The key features of quantitative analysis, and how it differs from other types of empirical analysis
  • The basics of formal hypothesis testing
  • Basic concepts: what is a variable? what is the distribution of a variable? and how can we best represent a distribution graphically?
  • Features of statistical distributions: measures of central tendency and dispersion
  • The normal distribution
  • Why statistical testing works
  • Statistical methods used to test simple hypotheses
  • How to use Stata


Absolutely no prior knowledge is needed, but you must take the SSRMP Skill Check before booking, to ensure that this module is at the correct level for you.

Module structure

This module is very popular, so we repeat it several times (as five "series"). Each series covers exactly the same material, and is at the same level.

Each series runs over two sessions.

A pre-recorded series of mini-lectures will be available for all students on Wednesday 21st October for Session 1 (totalling 2 hours), and on Wednesday 28th October for Session 2 (totalling 2 hours).

The live two-hour Zoom lab sessions take place in the afternoon a week apart, whereas the intensive series runs over a single day.

  • FiAS 1: 2-4pm on Mons 26th October (Session 1) and 2nd November 2020 (Session 2)
  • FiAS 2: 4-6pm on Mons 26th October (Session 1) and 2nd November 2020 (Session 2)
  • FiAS 3: 2-4pm on Weds 28th October (Session 1) and 4th November 2020 (Session 2)
  • FiAS 4: 4-6pm on Weds 28th October (Session 1) and 4th November 2020 (Session 2)
  • FiAS Int: 10-12am (Session 1) and 2-4pm (Session 2); date to be confirmed


The statistical package Stata.


    An end-of-module assessment (open-book online test). Weekly online quizzes are available to help you prepare.

    Reading List

    There is no set text for this module; although recommended readings and all necessary information on the module's Moodle page which will go live on Friday 16th October.


    Bookings for this module (and all other Basic Statistics Stream modules) should be requested via our dedicated BSS booking page. The page contains a booking request form which goes live each year after you have watched the SSRMP Induction Video at the start of Michaelmas Term.