The Mission of the Department is to educate students and professionals,
provide service to others, and conduct Research in Statistics. Our primary
focus is to support and enhance the academic missions and programmes of
the School, the Faculty and the University of Venda. We are committed to
delivering a quality educational experience to our undergraduates and postgraduate
The Department of Statistics provides instructions, conducts research and
performs professional service in one of the most important quantitative
areas essential for modern decision-making. This Department must be responsive
and sensitive to the instructional, research and professional service needs
of students and staff from all Departments within the University, and to
the needs of communities outside the University. In general we see ourselves
as a resource for providing assistance in Statistics through our Teaching,
Research and Service.
In teaching, our philosophy is not only to develop the ability to use statistics
intelligently, to communicate results clearly and concisely, and to approach
problems with creativity and common sense. Furthermore, we will try to orient
our courses to the needs of the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences,
the Faculty of science and the University of Venda, whenever appropriate.
Statistics at the B.Sc. level requires the use of Mathematics to develop concepts and the theoretical basis for most of the procedures. Modern Applications of Statistics in problem solving also require the use of computers running specialized programmes packages such as EXCEL, SPSS, SAS, STATSTICA and STATGRAPHICS. Students meet Statistics as a subject for the first time at the University. Hence there is a need to cover a lot of the basic skills at the first year level.
Currently, the curriculum is a combination of theory (lectures and readings from recommended books), projects and problem solving. Projects are exercises in which students are required to plan, collect and analyze data whereas problem solving involves analysis of case studies and of data sets provided by the staff concerned. However, these data sets are not always realistic since students perform most of the analysis by hand held calculators. Now that the University has acquired a University wide license for SPSS and with the progress so far achieved with the establishment of a Computer Science Department. We believe that the Statistics Department can now confidently step into the future by adapting our curriculum to take advantage of the new developments. At the postgraduate level, in addition to the research project which carries the same weight as any of the other modules, analysis of case studies are an integral part of all modules that deal with applications of Statistics. Postgraduate students have access to good computer facilities with limited Internet access to facilitate their class work, problem solving sessions and research.
From our experience with other Researchers – staff (academic and non-academic) and postgraduate students – there is a need for continuing Statistical Education here at the University of Venda. Postgraduate students have the opportunity to attend the service courses offered by the Department. However, members of staff do not currently have any such avenue, except perhaps trying to consult members of the Department of Statistics on an ad-hoc basis. In order to redress difficulty, the Department of Statistics plans to run short courses in various aspects of Statistical methods and in the use of Computer Packages for data capture and analysis.
Members of the staff in the Department have provided services to the community and colleagues in questionnaire design, data capturing and data analysis. This has been done on individual basis, and no records were kept of such services. It is proposed that such services be provided in the future via the Statistical Services Unit so that their contributions can be put on record and recognized.
Technokon Type Programmes
The Department recognizes the decision by the Minister of Education that the University of Venda must provide, in addition to the normal University programmes, Technikon type programmes. Since this is a new area of endeavor, it is imperative that we investigate the nature of Technikon-type programmes in Statistics by widely consulting with Technikon Institutions and the professional body of South African Statistical Association (SASA) in order to come up with programmes that properly meet the standards required of such progammes.
Possible Technikon Type Programmes are as follows:
- Certificate in Applied Statistics and Data Management
- Diploma courses in Applied Statistics and Data Management
In addition, Basic Statistics Service courses can be offered in support of other Technikon programmmes form other university departments.
One component of Technikon type Education is that of industrial attachment , described elsewhere in this document. Implementation of an Industrial Attachment component raises its own peculiar problems such as funding concerns, supervision and availability of willing partners in Industry, Commerce, Finance and Government. These problems need to be thoroughly investigated and worked out prior to inception of such programmes. Not withstanding these concerns, the Department of Statistics believes very strongly that with adequate institutional support, the Industrial Attachment concept can well both with the normal University programme and the Technikon type programmmes.
First Year Modules
- STA 1541: Introduction to Statistics
- STA 1542: Introduction to Research Methods and Official Statistics
- STA 164: Introduction to Probability
- STA 1642: Statistical Inference I
Second Year Modules
- STA 2161: Probability Theory I
- STA 2261: Probability Theory II
- STA 2641: Statistical Inference II
- STA 2642: Non-Parametric and Categorical Statistics
Third Year Modules
- STA 3541: Statistical Inference III: Regression Analysis
- STA 3542: Sampling Survey and Sampling Methods
- STA 3641: Time Series
- STA 3642: Experimental Design and ANOVA
Higher Degrees (Honours, Masters and Doctoral)
B.Sc. Honours (Statistics)
The post-graduate programmes offered by the Department of Statistics are designed to provide the student with a sound theoretical basis and practical experience in various aspects of Statistics. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for professional careers in academic institutions, industry and government.
In order to be admitted into the Honours programme, a candidate must have completed the Bachelor's degree in Statistics with at least 60% for the third year level and a pass in Mathematics second year level, or their equivalent gained elsewhere. Candidates who obtain lower mark for statistics (or equivalent) will be required to write an entrance examination.
The Honours Programme extends over a minimum of one year full-time study, which may extend to one and half years depending on the capability of the student, and a minimum of two years for part-time which may extend to 3 years depending on the capability of the student. A minimum of 3 modules per semester must be chosen from the following list in consultation with the head of Department of Statistics.
- STA 5541: Advanced Probability Theory
- STA5542: Multivariate Statistical Analysis
- STA5543: Statistical Quality Control
- STA 5544: Sampling Survey and Research Methods
- STA 5545: Generalised Linear Models
- STA 5641: Demographic Methods
- STA 5642: Time Series Analysis
- STA 5643: Multivariate Categorical Data Analysis
- STA5644: Stochastic Processes
- STA 5645: Project
Masters Programme Modules
STA 6000: Research Project
Prerequisites: Appropriate B.Sc. Honours degree
MSc by Course Work and Mini Dissertation in the Department of Statistics
|STA6541Advanced Probability Theory
|STA6542 Multivariate Statistical Analysis
STA6642 Time Series Analysis
|STA6543 Statistical Quality Control
||STA6643 Categorical Data Analysis
STA6544 Sampling Surveys and Research Methods II
|STA6644 Advanced Topics in Statistics II
|STA6545 Generalized Linear Models
STA6645 Mini Dissertation
|STA6546 Advanced Statistical Inference
|STA6547 Advanced Topics in Statistics I
A student cannot register for a module already taken at the honours level.
Doctoral Programme Modules
STA 7000: Research Project
Prerequisites: Appropriate MSc degree
There is no information at present.
The following is a list of staff members in the Department of Statistics: