Aviva Petrie obtained a BSc (1st Class Hons) in Statistics from University College London in 1969 and an MSc in Medical Statistics from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in 1970. She was appointed Lecturer in Medical Statistics at the LSHTM and Honorary Lecturer at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in 1970. These roles were reversed in 1975. In 1976 she took a sabbatical and was a visiting Professor in the Statistics Department at Stanford University in California. She left full-time employment in 1979 to start a family, but retained the honorary lectureship at the LSHTM and became a self-employed statistical consultant. She has continued in these capacities to this day. She worked as a part-time Senior Lecturer at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School in 1990-91, and became a Chartered Statistician in 1993, the first year that chartered status was awarded to individuals in the statistical profession. She was elected a Member of the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education in 2001 and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2004.