The Department of Statistical Sciences at the University of Cape Town is responsible within the University for the development of the Statistical Sciences which are, inter alia, the disciplines variously known as Statistics (and all subdisciplines such as Biostatistics, Biometrics, Econometrics, Technometrics), Operations Research, Management Science, Quantitative Methods, Decision Science and Quality Management, and for the application of the Statistical Sciences in all areas of human endeavour. The department is located in both the Faculty of Commerce and the Faculty of Science. In the Faculty of Science it forms part of the School of Mathematical Sciences, along with the mathematics and applied mathematics department and the computer science department.

In its teaching, the department recognises that there are needs both to train professionals in the statistical sciences and to provide quantitative and decision-making skills to students in other disciplines. In its research, the department seeks to maintain a balance between the development of theory and applications of that theory, and a balance between research of a general nature (such as outliers in regression analysis) and research with a specifically African context (such as national water-resources planning and the study of migratory patterns of the African penguin).

In broad terms, the research within the department covers mathematical statistics, operations research and management science, biostatistics, finance and econometrics. The research conducted by the department is a blend of both theory and applications, and about 30 papers per year are published in a broad spectrum of statistical journals, as well as the journals of a wide range of disciplines.