Medical Statistics: student opportunities

Summer internships

Each year we offer a paid summer internship. The aim of the internship programme is to encourage students to pursue a career or postgraduate study in statistics. These places are available to second year undergraduate students or recently qualified graduates in statistics or mathematics with statistics.

Students work with our group for four to six weeks. They are assigned specific tasks, which can form an ideal basis for their final year projects.

Previous interns have found their work experience in the Medical Statistics group extremely rewarding.

Andy Bailey (2009)

“My internship gave me an opportunity to use and develop my stats, R-programming and research skills, while undertaking two real projects. It provided me with a valuable insight into the real world of statistical work and I would highly recommend this kind of placement to any mathematics or statistics student.”

David Gould and Ian Ratcliffe (2010)

“We were working on a project relating to multiple sclerosis, as well as taking part in statistics clinics, providing statistical support to local NHS groups conducting research. Our computer programming skills have increased greatly and this will put us in good stead for our final year.”


David Jenkins (2011) 

"I've really enjoyed my time working at the group. The work I have been doing looking at multiple sclerosis patient feedback has been really interesting, and given me a real opportunity to improve my R skills. I hope that the report I have produced will provide useful interim feedback on how the project is progressing so far."

Max Hitchings (2012) 

"During my internship at the group I analysed a database of patients who had undergone liver surgery. Using a range of pre- and post-operative variables I created models and established links and/or patterns between them. My placement was invaluable as I met some great people, and not only did this experience help me gain insight into the real world of statistics, but it also expanded my programming knowledge of R. This enabled me to grow in confidence seeing how I've been able to apply my course learnings to date working with real data and was very satisfying to play a part in this worthwhile research."


Training posts

As part of their professional development, graduates employed in the Medical Statistics group as training grade Research Assistants are encouraged and funded to undertake an MSc in statistics. This is completed by distance learning, over two or three years, usually through the University of Sheffield.

Paul Newell 

"I studied mathematics with some statistics for my first degree. This prepared me for my current job but I am continually learning new things, developing my statistical knowledge and programming skills. This is helped by studying for an MSc in statistics by distance learning. I get time off work to study and I will be able to write a dissertation related to my work. There’s so much more to the job than number-crunching!”

Mayam Gomez Cano 

“I joined the Medical Statistics group at Plymouth University in 2010 as a Research Assistant. From the beginning, I was provided with the opportunity to participate in a wide range of medical statistic projects. With a background in pure theoretical mathematics, I needed further training in statistics in order to be fully engaged in projects within the group. I am very grateful as my post gave me the opportunity to study an MSc part-time, while continuing to work and contribute to the Medical Statistics group, applying my increasing statistical knowledge. I believe this was a very effective, enjoyable and fast way of becoming a very active statistician.”

Sue Ball 

“My first degree was in mathematics from the University of Plymouth. My work in the Medical Statistics group is very interesting and varied, covering statistical research across a range of areas of medicine. At the same time, I am studying for a masters degree in statistics through the University of Sheffield, which really helps me with my day-to-day work.”

Jade Chynoweth 

“I studied my first degree in mathematics & statistics at Plymouth University before starting at the Medical Statistics group. In addition to my work on Down’s syndrome screening, I have had the opportunity to work on a range of engaging research projects whilst greatly improving my programming skills in R. I am also studying part-time for a masters degree in statistics with medical applications, enabling me to put my new skills into practice.”


PhD opportunities

As part of the Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PSMD), we offer MPhil/PhD degree opportunities, to train you to conduct research of a high academic standard and to make original contributions to medical statistics. As well as having a supervisor within the Medical Statistics group, supervisory teams often include a senior academic from the statistics group within the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics and/or a senior clinical academic in PSMD.