A Guide to Statistics First Year for Incoming Students: Common Modules – OurWarwick

A Guide to Statistics First Year for Incoming Students: Common Modules

This is part 2 of my guide to statistics first year, the first covered modules that are compulsory in all 3 of the statistics degrees’ first years. This entry will cover the rest of the core modules for Morse students. As I’m not a Data Science student, I can’t particularly comment on the computer science modules, but as these are shared with the computer science degrees there’s plenty of information about them on their platform.


IB104 – Mathematical Programming I:

  • Worth 12 CATS, taught in term 3

  • Core for Morse and Data Science, optional for MathStat

  • This module will be an introduction to the business school’s (aka WBS) style of teaching, and how they arrange their modules. It’s important to learn how their website my.wbs.ac.uk works because this is where you submit all assignments, submit feedback, apply for modules, and receive WBS module grades.

  • For anyone who has done decision maths at A-levels this module will be a breeze, for those who haven’t it’s not much harder. The module focuses much on the use of excel to solve linear systems of equations as well as the theory behind it. There’s not much content but it’s easy to get confused nonetheless.

  • The assignment counts for a large percentage of the overall grade so it’s worth starting it early and coming back to it so you don’t end up getting stuck trying to do it the night before and having it actually matter.


EC106 – Introduction to Quantitative Economics:

  • 24 CATS, taught in terms 1 + 2

  • Core for Morse, optional for Mathstat

  • Serves to teach students about how to think like an economist. Kinda cliché, I know, but roll with me. In life, there will be many people who can go: “This graph says sales are going down”, but there are not so many that will be able to answer the question “Why?”. This is what economics is there to do. I see economics as a mathematical attempt to mathematically model human behavior and the behaviour of their structures such as their governments and businesses. That all sounds pretty grandiose, but I honestly needed to tell myself that to get me through all the revision I was doing for this module because:

  • There’s so much content. Seriously, good luck.

  • As with many content heavy modules, try your best to understand it from the start, because if you get lost you won’t have much time to dwell on it and consolidate your knowledge before all the new stuff is going way over your head.

  • The module is split into term 1 and term 2 to cover microeconomics and macroeconomics respectively. Microeconomics definitely feels more at home for mathematicians because most of it is just doing some equation manipulation and then differentiating to find an optimal point. The hard part is knowing what to do before you get to this “easy” maths part. (The meme goes that undergraduate microeconomics is just calculus in disguise)


Bonus module: for those doing Morse who want to go into quantitative finance:

MA113 – Differential Equations A:

  • 6 CATS, term 2

  • Important if you plan on taking any differential equations modules in the future (which if you’re planning on doing quantitative finance you will need to).

  • Worth taking even if you’re not sure, it’s only 6 CATS worth of content

  • The textbook you follow is written by someone at Warwick so if you want to you can go and complain about the course to them (he’s a lovely helpful guy though so maybe just go with questions instead)


For MathStat students who don’t know which modules to choose in the first year:

If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with just following the Morse course in first year, the exposure to many different areas is fantastic to have, especially the economics one. It is also the case that EC106 is a required prerequisite for all economics modules in 2nd and 3rd year, this is important to bear in mind if you have any inclination that studying economics could interest you. That said, some others to strongly consider taking are:


MA133 – Differential Equations:

  • 12 CATS version of MA133 explained above

  • Not much to say about it because I didn’t take it (which I am still salty about) but I do know that it would have been very useful for me now.


PH136 – Logic I: Introduction to Symbolic Logic

  • 15 CATS,

  • I won’t beat around the bush, most people take this module because it’s easy.

  • There’s actually a legitimate strategy for those who want a better number on their degree classification to take this module in 2nd year where it counts more but before it doesn’t count anymore in 3rd year (but you didn’t hear about this from me).

  • It’s really fun if you’re a robot or a human who likes logical thinking.


Honourable mention:


  • Language modules, they’re really fun and hard to do badly in (the grade distributions are almost all in the 60-70 range especially for the higher level ones) but they don’t contribute to your necessary total so just do them to bump up your average (or if you’re into learning languages like me).

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