John Hope McColl,

MA, MSc, CStat, FHEA




+44(0)141 330 4749
+44(0)141 330 4814

Room 233, 15 University Gardens
Professor of Learning and Teaching in Statistics

School of Mathematics and Statistics


Teaching for Session 2013-14

Level 2

S2R - Probability 

Level 4

Financial Statistics 4

Level M

Probability (Level M)

Materials for the above courses are available to current students from the School′s Moodle site.

In 2008, Karina Paterson, an MSc student, produced a briefing paper for markers that lays out principles for effective feedback on students′ assessed work in Statistics courses.



I am the author of a popular first/second year University textbook, Probability (Modular Mathematics Series), which is now published by Butterworth-Heinemann (Elsevier).

A more advanced textbook, Multivariate Probability, is now published by Wiley.

I was also the joint editor (along with Professor Adrian Bowman) of the following book of support materials for lecturers responsible for teaching First Year Statistics courses to non-specialists, which was published by Hodder Arnold in 1999: Statistics and Problem Solving - computer based case studies from the STEPS project.

Through the Statistics in Scottish Schools Project, which was hosted by the Department of Statistics from 1994 until 2003, I arranged and led workshops on statistical topics for Secondary School teachers of Mathematics.  Along with Ralph Riddiough (formerly a teacher at Kyle Academy, Ayr), I have written two textbooks to accompany the Advanced Higher Statistics units: Maths in Action - Advanced Higher Statistics 1 & Maths in Action - Advanced Higher Statistics 2.


Research Interests

I work closely with health professionals in order to apply Statistics to research in the bio-medical sciences.  I have particular interests in human nutrition and paediatrics.  Please see this list of recent publications.


Current research students:


Serdar Neslihanoglu, PhD (since March 2011): Validating and extending the two-moment capital asset pricing model for financial time series.


Sami Saud Alrawily, PhD (since November 2011): Methods for detecting local independence of multidimensional items at different ability levels, jointly supervised with Dr Rebecca Mancy, School of Education.


Abdullah Al Omir, PhD (since March 2012): The experience of teaching statistics to non-specialist students in Saudi universities, jointly supervised with Dr Catherine Bovill, Learning and Teaching Centre.


Khuneswari Gopal Pillay, PhD (since May 2012): Model selection and averaging in the presence of missing values.


Fraser Tough, PhD (since October 2012): The role of weight gain in the identification of under and over nutrition: compiling a longitudinal growth dataset, jointly supervised with Professor Charlotte Wright, School of Medicine.


Recent research students:


Collette Letham (2013): Documenting and imputing missing values in a longitudinal survey of students′ personal attributes, MSc(R).


Caroline E. Haig (2013): A critique of models for body composition and energy-balance components in childhood and adolescence, PhD.


Neil Murphy (2012): Combining information from cross-sectional HIV recency testing and longitudinal observations of HIV status to improve estimates of HIV incidence, MSc(R).


Gillian Boyle (2011): Predicting the demand for the National Qualifications offered by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, MSc(R).


Claire A. Gordon (2010): Investigating statistical approaches to handling missing data in the context of the Gateshead Millennium Study, MSc(R).


Jude Eze (2009): Modelling the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Nigeria, PhD.


Maria Franco Villoria (2009): Statistical modelling of body composition in children and their parents, MSc(R).


Karina Paterson (2009): Good practice for formative assessment and feedback in Statistics courses, MSc(R).