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Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (development)

Forecasting Methods and Models

Date: 4 December 2015 (please note this date has been changed from 1 December)
Duration: 1 day (9.30am to 5.00pm)
Instructor: Dr Will Cook
Level: Intermediate
Fee: £195 (£140 for those from educational and charitable institutions). 
The Cathie Marsh Institute (CMIST) offers five free places to research staff and students within the Faculty of Humanities at The University of Manchester and the North West Doctoral Training Centre. 
Postgraduate students requesting a free place will be required to provide a letter of support from their supervisor.


The course aims to cover the commonly used techniques to forecast demand in public services and in business. The emphasis of this course is on the practical application of forecasting techniques rather than on theoretical content. Alongside quantitative techniques we will also cover the more qualitative and judgement based aspects of forecasting.


By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • Build a model that forecasts demand based on demographic drivers.
  • Construct a time series model that decomposes the forecast into cyclical, seasonal and short term factors.
  • Develop a predictive regression model that allows for the identification of influential factors that drive demand.
  • Understand the quantitative and qualitative techniques to develop future scenarios and assumptions 
  • Report forecast findings, recognising the strengths and weaknesses of different forecasting approaches, the sensitivity of forecasts to assumptions and the metrics that indicate the accuracy of a forecast.


Basic knowledge of statistics (including simple regression) is preferable. Experience of using MS Excel at a basic level is essential.

About the instructor

  • Dr Will Cook