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Statistical Science for the Life and Behavioural Sciences (MSc)


The two-year master’s programme Statistical Science for the Life and Behavioural Sciences provides you with a thorough introduction to the general philosophy and methodology of statistical modelling, data analysis and data science.

Maarten Kampert

MSc Student

Maarten Kampert

“I have always been interested in a wide range of subjects, so I found even the broadest programmes too limited. Once I heard about this master’s specialisation, the decision was easy. This is the only department in the Netherlands that offers a complete programme including statistical research methods for almost every subject. I am not restricted to only the methods and techniques used in psychological research .”

“Using statistics you learn to handle data from all these different disciplines. You do a lot of research in this programme. What I like most is discovering how far your expectations agree with the results you obtain from the data you have amassed. And that’s relevant in every field.

It’s also good that you visit companies and research institutes as part of the programme. What’s more, they often come here and join in our lectures! I get to attend conferences and symposia on a regular basis, too. The advantage of all these contacts is that you get a good idea of what you might want to do after your master’s.

I don’t have any worries about my future: statisticians are scarce, and wherever data are collected, an applied statistician is more than welcome.”

What does this master’s programme entail?

The two-year master’s programme in Statistical Science provides you with a thorough introduction to the general philosophy and methodology of statistical modelling and data analysis. The programme consists of a core programme shared by all students, and specialisation specific courses, electives, an internship or research project and master’s thesis. You can specialise in either life and behavioural sciences, where the emphasis is on the application in multidisciplinary environments, or in data sciences where you focus more on data mining, pattern recognition and deep learning.

Read more about the Statistical Science for the Life and Behavioural Sciences programme.

Why study Statistical Sciences for the Life and Behavioural Sciences at Leiden University?

  • Each specialisation offers you a unique combination of knowledge and expertise. These allow for a thorough preparation for a career as a data scientist, researcher or statistician anywhere.
  • Job perspectives after graduation are great: statisticians and data scientists are highly sought after in various industries such as academia, marketing, banking, government, official statistics, healthcare, bioinformatics and more.
  • The Statistical Science programme is a collaborative effort. Four Leiden University Institutes closely collaborate with top research institutes such as Wageningen UR and VUMC, which means that your education is provided by experts in their respective fields.

Find more reasons to choose Statistical Science for the Life and Behavioural Sciencese at Leiden University.

Statistical Sciences for the Life and Behavioural Sciences: the right master’s programme for you?

The field of statistics, like other areas of applied mathematics, often attracts students who are interested in the analysis of patterns in data: developing, understanding, abstracting, and packaging analytical methods for general use in other subject areas. Statistics is also, by definition, an information science. Imaginative use of both computing power and new computing environments drives much current research - so an interest in computation and/or computer science can also be a start for a statistician. With the growing importance of data within our society, you’ll be highly in demand with a degree in Statistical Sciences.

Read more about the entry requirements for the Statistical Science programme.