Masters students are required to complete a substantial dissertation in the summer period (mid-June to mid-September), involving the application of statistical methodology to a substantive problem.

Students write their dissertation under the direction of a supervisor. Many projects are collaborative: recent collaborations include GlaxoSmithKline; AstraZeneca, Wrightington Hospital; Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Leahurst Veterinary Centre, The Department of the Environment, Miami University and the Christie Hospital.

The dissertation is a written report, in the style of a report to a partner company or collaborating department. This needs to show understanding of the application area and the purpose of the analysis. It will include exploratory data analysis and the underlying modelling assumptions are addressed. The student will select and apply appropriate statistical methods and report on non-elementary methods as well as referencing of sources.

This component of the course carries a weighting of one-third of the total credit.  The deadline for submission of the dissertation is mid-September. Each student is also required to give a 15-minute oral presentation of the work in their dissertation, at a meeting of all MSc students and staff.