Career Stages

This section is mostly relevant to statisticians, where in general a postgraduate degree in statistics is needed for a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Here is a link to a section What Qualifications are Required for a Pharmacutical Statistician or Medical Statistician on the RSS website. For statistical programmers an undergraduate degree is normally required, typically in a numerate field, although many programmers also have a background in life sciences or other disciplines.


The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) website contains advice for those of school age (11-16) who are considering a career in statistics. This includes answers to the questions “What is statistics?”, “What do statisticians do?”, “How do I develop my statistics knowledge at school?” and “What are the next steps?”. Click here for the link.

In addition, there are a number of booklets, leaflets, posters and workshop materials available in the Resources section.


The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) website contains advice on what types of undergraduate degree course are available, how to find a course, what to expect from a course, and other topics such as funding. Click here for the link.

You can search for university courses in Mathematics and Statistics, via the UCAS website.

Many undergraduate courses include a 12 month placement at a pharmaceutical company or CRO. This can be a great way for you to decide whether or not this is the right career for you. Ask your lecturer or careers adviser for more information. The PSI holds an annual competition for students to write an account of their placement year, and the most recent winners are shown below:

Rachel's profile
Jonathon's profile


The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) website provides general advice on finding a Masters or PhD course, plus additional topics such as funding. Click here for link.

In addition, links to some relevant courses are given below.



Institution Course Title Link
University of Cardiff MSc Operational Research and Applied Statistics link 
University of Edinburgh MSc Statistics and Operational Research        link
University of Glasgow MSc Biostatistics     link
University of Kent MSc Statistics link 
University of Lancaster MSc Statistics link 
University of Leeds MSc Medical Statistics link
University of Leicester MSc Medical Statistics link
University of London - Birkbeck College MSc Applied Statistics link 
University of London - London School
of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
MSc Medical Statistics link 
University of London - University
College London (UCL)
MSc Statistics link 
University of Manchester MSc Statistics link
University of Nottingham MSc Statistics link
University of Sheffield MSc Clinical Research link 
University of Sheffield MSc Statistics with Medical Applications link 
University of Southampton MSc Statistics with Applications in Medicine link 
University of Warwick MSc Statistics link



For those already working in another career field, or returning to employment, an option is to study as a “mature student”. The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) website provides general advice including options for full time and part time working, and other topics such as funding. Click here for link.

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EventsFuture Events

  • Statistics Fundamentals for Clinical Trials for Non-Statisticians (or ‘How to speak stats in a day!’) - Dates: 14 – 14 Nov, 2017

    This is a 1-day course, aimed to introduce statistics to people who work on Clinical Trials, but who are not Statisticians. No previous knowledge of Statistics is assumed as we start right at the beginning with the basics. Many practical examples are given and the emphasis is on application and understanding rather than the equations and the technical background.
  • PSI One Day Meeting: Estimands – Examples for Statisticians! - Dates: 27 – 27 Sep, 2017

    The PSI Scientific Committee have put together this one day meeting to provide Statisticians with real world examples of how Estimands have been defined. Presenters will give their insight into discussions with colleagues, working groups and regulators and there will be plenty of opportunity to ask your questions on defining an Estimand.
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Biostatistician / Senior Biostatistician


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Senior/Principal Biostatistician