Frequently Asked Questions

Postgraduate Programmes in Statistics and Data Science (Online)

How long do the courses take? 

There are 3 courses in sequence: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Science. These take 1, 2 and 3 years respectively. 

When during the year do the courses take place? 

For the 1 year Certificate and 2-year Diploma, the course is delivered across 2 12-week teaching semesters, with exams or project deadlines extending a few weeks after that. The teaching semesters run from mid-September to early December, and then mid-January to early April. If you fail a module then there are repeat assessments in August. If you do the Master of Science then in the 3rd year you work with a supervisor on a dissertation and the timetable is arranged between you and your supervisor. The exact teaching calendar is given here. 

How much time do the courses take each week? 

Our experience is that this varies from student to student but that the average is somewhere around 10 hours per week during the teaching semesters and examination period. Even though part-time, the course is a substantial time commitment, and we strongly advise that you are sure that you can devote this amount of time or more per week to the programme. The leading reason for withdrawal from programmes like these is that students underestimate the amount of time that they need to devote to it. The amount of time that it takes a particular student depends on lots of individual factors: their own rate of working through and assimilating the work, experience with mathematics, programming and, of course, statistics, etc. 

What qualifications do I need? 

You need a primary degree in any subject and some knowledge of mathematics. If English is not your first language, then you will need to meet the language requirement for postgraduate students. 

Is there much maths involved? 

For the Certificate, the course focuses on ideas and applications rather than mathematical detail. However, participants need to be comfortable with the use of mathematical notation. The material in the Diploma is more technical. Having studied mathematics to the end of high school (for example, the Irish leaving certificate or UK A-level) is more than adequate level for the Certificate, Diploma and Master of Science. Having taken an introductory mathematics class as part of your primary degree should also be more than sufficient for these programmes. We strongly advise that you are comfortable with such a level because struggling with mathematics is another significant reason for withdrawing from the course. 

How do I apply? 

Applications are made through the online application system. You can apply for the Certificate, Diploma or Master of Science. 

I have completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Statistics (Online) in 2021/22 or 2022/23. Am I eligible to continue on to Year 2 for the Diploma? 

You may be eligible, depending on the academic year in which you completed the Postgraduate Certificate. For more information, please contact Academic Registry at

If I complete the Certificate, can I return later to progress to the Diploma? 

Yes. If you were awarded the Certificate 5 years ago or fewer then you can return to study the second year for the Diploma without repeating the first year. This includes progressing to the second year immediately after e.g. completing the Certificate in May and then applying immediately to go on to the second year for the Diploma in September. Note that in these cases, if you pass the second year, your Certificate is rescinded when you are awarded the Diploma. 

If I completed the Diploma, can I return later to progress to the Master of Science? 

Yes, under the same rules as progressing from the Certificate to the Diploma. 

When is the closing date for applications? 

The closing date for receipt of applications is 31st July 2024. 

For fees for 24/25, visit the TCD Fees page here.

Current TCD student applicants to this course must provide details of their current TCD student number in the box provided on the Application Form (Page 1).