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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 lectures, in which you'll learn the relevant theory, and hands-on practical sessions, in which you will learn how to analyze 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
  • 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
  • The basics of formal hypothesis testing
  • Why statistical testing works
  • Statistical methods used to test simple hypotheses
  • How to use Stata

As well as attending lectures and lab sessions, students are expected to do a few hours of independent study, including some time in the computer labs, each week.


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 days a week apart, with a two-hour lecture in the morning and a two-hour lab session in the afternoon. The intensive series runs over a single day.

  • FiAS 1: 10am-12 noon AND 2-4pm on Mons 26th October and 2nd November 2020
  • FiAS 2: 10am-12 noon AND 4-6pm on Mons 26th October and 2nd November 2020
  • FiAS 3: 10am-12 noon AND 2-4pm on Weds 28th October and 4th November 2020
  • FiAS 4: 10am-12 noon AND 4-6pm on Weds 28th October and 4th November 2020
  • FiAS Int: 9am-6pm tbc


The statistical package Stata


    • Weekly online quizzes to check progress
    • An end-of-module assessment (open-book online test)

    Reading List

    There is no set text for this module; all necessary information is given in lectures and lab sessions, but a list of relevant sources can be found on the module's Moodle page.


    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 the SSRMP Induction at the start of Michaelmas Term.