Study Design and Data Analysis for Scientists (STA2007/STA5014)

In this course we cover some of the most common statistical methods used in modern research. The concepts that you will learn are the basis for much of the more advanced statistical methods.

The principles you will learn form the basis on which scientific discovery rests, like setting up scientific hypotheses, designing experiments to test these hypotheses, and to interpret the response, that is the data you get back from these experiments. We expect a basic background in statistics: some probability theory, statistical distributions, and the basic ideas of hypothesis testing.

The course is divided into 3 sections:

  1. Linear Regression: this is a technique for modelling the relationship between a continuous response and several explanatory variables.
  2. Design and Analysis of Experiments
  3. Generalized Linear Models: this is an extension of the linear regression model in which we model a binary or count response.

The course is delivered in an online format, with online lectures and quizzes.

For more information on this course, please read the course information handout. For registration information, see below.


The course is fully online and you don’t need to be based in Cape Town to take it.

STA2007 or STA5014Z? If you are an undergraduate student, you register for the former. If you are a postgraduate student (you have at least an Honours degree), you register for the latter. The former gives you more guidance and counts towards your degree. For the latter, you need to be more independent but it gives you more freedom to work through the course at your own pace. 

Either way, the prerequisites are an entry-level maths course and stats course. See the Science Faculty handbook for more information:

How do I register?

I’m a UCT undergraduate student: add STA2007 to your registration at the beginning of the year (speak to your student advisor for help). There are four versions of the course: STA2007F if you want to do it in first semester. STA2007S is you want to do it in second semester. STA2007H if you want to spread out the course during the full year. And STA2007P if you want to take it during the summer term.

I’m an MSc or PhD student, or a postdoc registered at UCT: add STA5014Z to your registration when you first register. If you are already registered, fill in the ACA09 – Application for change of curriculum. On the form, you’ll need the signature of a student advisor (e.g. Birgit Erni in Stats) or course convener (Res Altwegg).

I’m currently not registered at UCT: You need to register as an occasional student for STA2007 (if you are an undergraduate student registered at another university) or STA5014Z (if you have at least an honours degree). Ask or if you have questions regarding this process:
- A letter/ statement from the course convenor/student advisor that you meet the requirements, and have the pre-requisites to register for the intended course/s. (You can get these from
- A letter or statement granting permission to register for the course. (You can get this from
- Certified copies of your degree certificates and transcripts (UCT graduates do not need to submit this)
- A formal application for occasional study, made online to the Admissions Office (codes: SZ001 Occasional study undergraduate; SZ002 Occasional study postgraduate)
International applicants for occasional study might find this info helpful:

If you have any further queries regarding registration or administration please contact Celene Jansen-Fielies. If you have queries regarding the course content please contact the course convenor, A/Prof. Res Altwegg.