Are you intrigued by data, statistics and analysis? Does the thought of solving complex problems and delivering impactful insights, recommendations and analysis excite you? A career in Data Science could be the perfect option for you! Dubbed as the new oil, the amount of data in the world is growing at an unprecedented rate, and will only escalate more over time. Data Science professionals are becoming one of the most sought after talents, making it a solid career choice. We look at what roles will be available after studying this programme, why the UK is a good choice for Data Science students and the top 8 Data Science Masters you can study in the UK.
Is a Masters in Data Science hard?
A Masters in Data Science is certainly not a qualification for the faint-hearted. There are a wealth of technical skills to master and you’ll be developing an understanding of programming languages, mathematical models and machine learning.
There are also a number of soft skills you’ll be honing, as many related roles will include stakeholder management, leadership and training. Therefore refined communication and business skills are essential for most graduate roles.
However, if you are good with numbers and you enjoy problem-solving then this programme could be a good option for you.
What job roles will it open up for me?
The great thing about studying a Masters in Data Science is that related jobs are very much in demand. The most common career path that comes to mind is as a Data Scientist itself, which typically involves analysing data for organisations and businesses to deliver meaningful insights. Data Scientists play a pivotal role in shaping the strategy and approach for companies around the world.
You can also consider working in the field of machine learning. This involves shaping the technology used by both businesses and consumers to provide beneficial solutions. This can involve things like developing algorithms or building software and platforms that adapt to peoples behaviours.
Another common choice is to work as a statistician. These roles are common within governments and consultancies, where big data sets are analysed and interpreted to provide critical information on everything from health, education, economics and more.
Aside from these roles, data science has a place in many different areas, such as marketing, programming and engineering. The possibilities are endless.
Is the UK a good place to study data science?
The UK is a great choice for any students looking to launch their career in data science. Not only is it home to many of the big players in data science technology, but it’s also a great place to land a related role after graduation.
Data science jobs in the UK have an average salary of around GBP 53,000 (EUR 58,000). The number of data science jobs in the UK also rose by 35% between 2013 and 2019.
Where to Study a Masters in Data Science in the UK?
We look at 6 of the top programmes and the UK, and detail their unique benefits:
University of Essex
MSc Finance and Data Analytics
For students who are looking towards a career in finance, the University of Essex’s MSc in Finance and Data Analytics offers an extremely specialised course. Perfect for students who are looking to combine a specialism in data with a career in the finance and investment industry.
During the one-year course, students learn how they can harness data to do everything from analysing investment decisions to financial modelling. And it’s not just all about financial data, professionals in this area analyse everything from statistics to social network data. With a virtual trading floor, students also get the opportunity to put their skills into a real-world simulation, giving them a unique and pivotal experience.
Nottingham Trent University
MSc Data Science
Nottingham Trent University offers a few different study options in their MSc Data Science programme. Students can choose to study full time for one year, full time for two years including a one-year work placement or part-time for two years. The course is taught across 6 modules with an additional individual research project. Modules include software engineering, data analytics, AI and data mining and research methods.
The university has secured funding from the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support the creation of the course and help develop data scientists to meet the modern needs of the business. The course equips students with the needs to deliver strategic and efficient data processes, underpinned by profitability.
University of Plymouth
MSc Data Science and Business Analytics
This one-year conversion course from the University of Plymouth takes graduates from any discipline and equips them with the skills and technical know-how to pursue a career in data science. Taught skills include R, C#, Python and tidyverse.
Students take four core modules in topics including software development, non-relational databases, modelling and analytics and social network visualisation. This is then supported with two optional modules which students can select based on their interests and aspirations. These tend to be more specialised and include finance, marketing communications, social media, supply chain, strategic management or project management.
King’s College London
MSc Data Science
It’s no surprise that London is home to the largest number of data science-related jobs in the UK. Therefore students choosing to study in the capital have the advantage of being in a prime location for post-graduate opportunities.
The MSc in Data Science at Kings College London is designed for graduates from electrical engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics or information and research related backgrounds.
Students study four required modules in topics ranging from databases, programming and data mining. They also complete an individual project which takes the form of a dissertation. Students then select a few specialised modules based on their interests. These modules include unique topics such as nature-inspired learning algorithms, telling stories with data and pattern recognition.
University of Gloucestershire
MSc in Data Science
On this exciting and dynamic course at the University of Gloucestershire, you’ll learn the necessary programming and mathematics skills to solve the real-world problems relevant to your existing knowledge and expertise. As you learn you will be working with industry-standard software and hardware in specialist labs. The course, taught by active researchers in the area of data science, has been developed as part of a consortium of universities, funded by the Office for Students. As part of this, they have a small number of £10,000 scholarships available (for students from under-represented demographics, including black, disabled and female) and they have been involved in developing a futurelearn course for all consortium students to attend. The vibrant Creative Computing community includes social events and trips to industry events, as well as social gaming events, run in the evenings and attended by staff and students.
University of Loughborough
MSc in Data Science
Loughborough University’s MSc in Data Science is aimed at students from STEM and non-STEM backgrounds who do not have a first degree in computer science. It enables you to up-skill for rewarding careers in AI and Data Science, growing skills in machine learning, data analytics and the business applications of AI and big data. Taught by leading experts in the field, the programme provides a thorough grounding in the subject, as well as specialist modules on storytelling approaches with data, and ethics. As part of the #JoinYourAIFuture national recruitment campaign programme funded by the OfS (Office for Students), scholarships are available for students from traditionally underrepresented groups.
University of York
100% Online MSc Computer Science with Data Analytics
If you are looking for a really flexible programme then look no further than the University of York’s online MSc in Computer Science with Data Analytics. It offers 6 intakes each year so you can decide when is most convenient for you to start. The programme is also designed specifically for working professionals who want to enter the world of data science. This allows students to continue to work while studying and also balance other commitments in their schedule.
The programme covers a multitude of topics including data mining, software development, programming and text analysis. Furthermore, the University of York ranked in the top 20 universities in the Guardian’s University Rankings 2020. Therefore you can be assured that your qualification is coming from a highly reputable and leading institution.
University of Sunderland
MSc Data Science
If you’re interested in business along with digital media then the University of Sunderland’s MSc in Data Science could be a great choice for you. The course includes employer-led modules, really helping students to gear up for the world of work.
Students cover a range of topics including data security, mining, data visualisation and more. The university also ensures that the courses are developed with real-world business in mind by developing close links with UK businesses.
Still unsure what or where to study? You might also be interested in reading about all you need to know about a Masters in Data Science. Or this post about the Best UK Universities for International Students.