Why I know a Statistics degree is right for me now
Choosing courses and degrees in Year 13 can feel really overwhelming. I certainly found the breadth of courses and Universities difficult to comprehend, but I’m lucky to say, I stumbled upon the right course for me. I had a round about way of doing it however. After missing my firm and insurance pure maths courses, I was very lucky to be offered Maths and Statistics at Warwick. I still get to have lectures with the Warwick Maths cohort for some modules, so I see it as the best of both worlds. I want to tell you why I know a Stats degree is right for me now, not why I thought it was in Year 13.
At the time of writing, Warwick offers 3 courses in the Statistics Department: Maths and Statistics, MORSE (Maths, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics) and Data Science. The Statistics Department is separate from the Maths Department although both offer modules for the other department’s undergrads. As a Year 13 student, all I knew was that I liked “Maths”, at that time Maths meant it all: pure maths, statistics, mechanics. All three Statistics courses in first year have compulsory Maths and Statistics modules taught independently of the Maths department. As a first year I enjoyed the rigorous compulsory modules which set me up for the years to come. If you know pure maths is definitely for you, I would not necessarily recommend any of the Stats degrees offered. But for me, an 18 year old who wanted to keep as many options open as possible, it was perfect. Currently MORSE also have compulsory Economics and Warwick Business School modules, whilst Data Science have compulsory Computer Science modules for first years.
I started off first year on the MORSE course, it turned out that Economics wasn’t for me and I changed to Maths and Statistics hastily at the start of 2nd year. Changing from a BSc to an integrated Masters (a 4 year Undergrad course) at the start of 3rd year was just as easy. I would in fact say that the majority of people I know have changed their course in some form during their time at Warwick. You should aim to make the right decision early on as there are deadlines to be aware of and module choices can be difficult if you don’t take it seriously (talking from experience) but it’s reassuring to have that flexibility.
As I went through the years I could specialise more and more into areas I wanted to look at further. What would have felt overwhelming in first year actually became much more exciting as I got more modules under my belt. Throughout my years I was allowed to take optional modules from the Computer Science, Philosophy, Physics, Teacher Education Departments to name a few. Over the years I was able to stumble across what I liked which did in fact lie mainly within Statistics. That vast range of module opportunities offered by Warwick means some of my Statistics friends are not doing any Maths or Stats modules in 3rd year while some are doing at least 8 – you can decide over time.
Community and Societies
There is good support for modules from the Maths and Statistics Department as well as other academic societies on campus. In the past I have enrolled in courses from both the Statistics Society and Data Science Society on the programming language R. I know Warwick Maths Society also currently offer support and revision sessions if you’re finding a particular maths module tough.
I know that at 18 I had a focus on pure mathematics courses and when I was offered a leaflet on Statistics degrees on a Warwick Open Day I didn’t even consider this kind of degree as a viable option for me. Looking back now I certainly was too young to close that door and decide pure maths was the course for me when I liked all my A-Level Maths modules. If you’re choosing between Maths or a Statistics course actively think about what you enjoy. I imagine the majority of you are taking some form of Stats “S” module at A-Level, have you ever considered taking it further? When you attend open days (virtual or in the future) ask about the differences in course – I sure wish I did.