Business Analytics MSc 2021

In a data-rich society, every organisation needs analytical planning and big data analysis. This course has been designed to meet the growing demand from employers and will equip you with the skills to extract meaningful information from data to inform strategic decision-making.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

 

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Duration

1 year

UCAS code(s)

N/A

Start date

Amica Woo

"Aston has been the greatest experience of my life. The cultural diversity has given me the best learning environment for my future success."

Amica Woo

General Manager, Sino Apartment

Course outline and modules

From data mining and web analytics to business analytics in practise, our MSc Business Analytics will give you a comprehensive understanding of key areas of business analytics and develop your skills to meet the high demand from employers.

Attracting students from all over the world, this course is a great opportunity to mix with people from different cultures and with diverse backgrounds.  You’ll enhance your communication, teamwork and management skills, whilst building a network of international contacts. It will also help you to appreciate the various approaches to people management in a multicultural context.

How will my skills develop?

We’ll develop your quantitative skills to identify trends and gain insights from complex data. You’ll also develop a clear understanding of the three types of data analytics – descriptive, predictive and prescriptive, and how to accurately analyse and visualise information as well as work with analytical tools.

All of this means you will become highly skilled at providing information to business leaders, improving commercial decision-making and business performance.

You’ll also study The Aston Global Advantage module which focuses on professional development and employability, helping you to apply the key skills that you will gain throughout the year.

You’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.

Practical experience

We focus on the practical application of analytics in a business context, so you’ll discover what method, technique and tools can be used to solve specific commercial problems in the most effective way.

Many roles in business analytics are based in consultancies, so we will develop skills to help you excel in a consultancy environment, from working in a consultative role to understanding what good and bad consulting practice looks like.

As well as lectures and seminars, there are lab sessions where you’ll work with advanced software packages to develop your abilities to analyse data and practice using a range of analytical tools. You’ll also learn from leading academics who have carried out detailed research in this field and can give you a deeper understanding of data analytics concepts, what it’s like to be a business analytics practitioner and learn about their industry experience.

The business analytics staff teach and research in the field of quantitative analysis for better decision-making.  One of the key areas for which the team has a world-wide reputation is that of efficiency through Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA).  The team are also well known for their work in data mining, big data and forecasting.

How will this course help my career?

This course is designed to enhance your employability prospects. As well as being developed with industry experts through our advisory board, we also ensure you gain exposure to opportunities throughout your studies. In your third term you will have the choice of studying abroad or pursuing an internship.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience, such as through consultancy projects or entrepreneurial opportunities. Find out more here.

The programme concludes with a Business Project or Dissertation, giving you the opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course to outline your recommendations. This will also help to show prospective employers how you are able to impact their business.

This course offers an opportunity to study a second degree at one of our international partner institutions once you have completed your year at Aston. Find out more here.

Modules

Core modules

Descriptive Analytics

We will introduce you to visualisation techniques used to display and summarise information. You will look at descriptive statistics that can be used to extract meaningful information from data. This module will give you the skills and practise in using appropriate statistical techniques when completing business reports and communicating data analysis to the organisation management team.

Effective Management Consultancy

This module will help you to understand different approaches to consulting projects. You’ll explore what is good and what is bad consulting practise. It will also prepare to you to carry out successful consulting projects within organisations either as an external consultant or as a line manager given a one-off problem-solving task.

Decision Models

This module will focus on turning real-world problems into mathematical and spreadsheet models and examine how you can use models to help rational decision making in organisations. You’ll develop a deep knowledge and understanding of the main modelling concepts and you will be able to quickly identify problems and situations in business where the use of those models can be beneficial.

Performance Analytics

You will understand how mathematical and econometric methods can be used to model diverse transformation processes to establish benchmarks of efficiency and productivity for organisations, and how to carry out a benchmarking exercise using such methods. You will gain valuable hands-on experience of implementing an efficiency and productivity assessment using specialised software.

Data Mining and Web Analytics

We will explore data mining techniques and their use in business decision making. You will also learn how to uncover patterns and trends hidden in data.

Software Analytics

This module aims to teach you the programming skills required to carry out advanced data analysis on large datasets such as those found in many Big Data applications. These skills are now commonly expected by organisations seeking to employ data analysts, and the module aims to address this demand.

Ethics in Academic Practice

This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments. These principles can then be applied to the rest of the modules studied at the university.

The Aston Global Advantage

The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year. 

Business Project or Dissertation

The Business Project/Dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.

Optional modules

Note: Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Business Analytics in Practice

You will be introduced to predictive business analytics techniques. We will explore advanced statistical methods, marketing models and financial analytics. This will help you carry out advanced data analysis and enhance your overall understanding of business analytics techniques as well as how they can improve the decision-making process.

Digital Marketing

You will gain a strategic understanding of the opportunities provided by digital marketing and the challenges of preparing and formulating successful digital strategies. The module evaluates the role of digital media in marketing strategy and how new technologies can be embraced for marketing purposes. You will evaluate the impact of web based innovations on marketing and consumer behaviour.

Financial Econometrics

Big Data for Decision Making

This module will equip you with the skills needed to successfully handle and analyse big data with the aim of supporting the organisation decision making process.

Advanced Spreadsheets and Databases

This module will equip you with knowledge skills and techniques that will enable you to make efficient and effective use of spreadsheets and databases in your daily work. If you are want to undertake further academic work the module will also enable you to use spreadsheets and databases to support your research.

Simulation for Managerial Decision Making

This module aims to combine the challenge of learning the theory of simulation modelling, with collecting data in an external organisation using simulation modelling software and group work to meet a deadline for the presentation of results. This skillset is useful as simulation is used in many organisations and consultancy units to provide descriptive predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Industrial Services Innovation

Crises Technology and Analytics

 

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class)
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University

Applicants must have studied quantitative modules at undergraduate level to demonstrate quantitative and analytical skills.

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.

 

International students
  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.
  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling to Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.
  • For students who do not meet our minimum academic and English language requirements for this course, we offer an alternative pathway to an Aston Master’s with Kaplan International College, London.
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.
Extensive work experience

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

 

 

Learning, teaching and assessment

We are recognised for the quality of our teaching and research with 100% of our business research achieving the highest rankings in the latest Research Excellence Framework.

Our Business Analytics MSc is taught through a mix of lectures and various applied learning sessions, including lab workshops, where you’ll get to work with specialist business analytics software, and tutorials, where you might look at case studies from businesses and apply your knowledge to various scenarios.

Learning and teaching

As well as learning key theories and concepts, you’ll benefit by learning from industry professionals delivering guest lectures on their areas of expertise, providing valuable insight into business analytics in practise and how organisations benefit from these skills.

You’ll be supported by our virtual learning environment at Aston which has a wealth of resources to help you, such as lecture slides, access to e-books and online journals, as well as video recordings of your teaching sessions. Your lecturers will also be on hand to offer one-to-one support throughout the course.

Descriptive analytics poster

Using publicly available data on a real company, you’ll be asked to create a business case for a specific commercial scenario, such as where to locate a new retail store. You’re asked to visualise the data in the form of a poster, which should accurately and effectively tell the story that’s expressed by the data you’ve found. You’ll need to interpret the information correctly and present it with suitable graphs and charts. This will simulate a common task of a business analyst in a commercial role and will help you to familiarise yourself with data that is publicly available in the UK.

Assessment

There are a variety of assessment methods, including exams, coursework, poster design, presentations and group work. For our assessments, we use real or fictitious business scenarios. The practical assessments help you to develop the skills and competencies required for future job roles.

 

Student experience and employability

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as Kedge Business School in France. Your options are not just limited within Europe, we also have partnerships with universities worldwide, from Australia to China and USA to Singapore.

You’ll be pleased to know that all of our overseas study programmes are all tuition-free and you’ll study and be assessed in English.

Placements

We believe that a work placement taken as part of your masters programme can be hugely beneficial to your career prospects. It will enhance your CV and can give you a competitive advantage when applying for graduate roles.

As part of this course you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement. Choose a company of your choice, in the UK or overseas, and spend from one month to 12 months gaining valuable work experience. You’ll apply what you’ve learnt on a daily basis and develop a deeper understanding of your subject area.

Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in a wide variety of business sectors, both in the UK and internationally. You’ll also have the unique opportunity to support start-up businesses and a local SMEs with real-life business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. You can work to solve strategic problems and make a real positive impact to growing businesses.

Our award-winning careers team will be on hand to help you find work placements and graduate positions. The team are also available to assist you with your CV and interview technique.

Trips and visits

Your lecturers will arrange for a number of guest speakers to visit and deliver the course content. This will give you the chance to learn from experienced business analytics professionals. You’ll gain an insight into how different companies operate and the challenges faced in this area of business.

A large number of graduate employers visit campus during the year. There’s careers fairs, networking events and much more. You’ll have the chance to discover a wide range of graduate opportunities and speak with companies to see where is the best place for you to start your career. 

Fees and scholarships

Fees

UK students (2021/22): £10,900 

International/EU students:  £19,250

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

With insights from data often providing the basis for competitive advantage in the market place, it’s not surprising that business analytics graduates are becoming increasingly sought-after.

We have a track record for providing companies with highly skilled staff. Our recent graduates have gone on to secure roles with prestigious international companies. Our strong links with industry have enabled us to tailor the course to meet the needs of employers looking for highly skilled graduates. Thanks to their input, we can help you gain a competitive advantage over other graduates and ensure that you hit the ground running when you secure your ideal role.

 

Frequently asked questions

Why study Business Analytics at Aston University?

You’ll develop your knowledge across different areas of business analytics and practical skills, from analytical software tools in the lab to being able to interpret data of meaningful information to business leaders. We also provide you with a breadth of exposure to employers, such as an internship or a study abroad opportunity in your third term during the Business Project at the end. Not only does this bring your learning to life, it will really help you to secure a job once you complete the course.

What kind of career will I develop with a masters in Business Analytics?

Business analytics is fast becoming one of the most influential and in demand areas of expertise not least due to the breadth of data available in almost all areas of business and indeed wider society.

To inform strategic business decisions, skills across the breadth of business analytics are needed as well as the ability to interpret and communicate what this means to business leaders in an effective way.

The majority of roles in business analytics are within consultancies and we will help you develop the skills and experiences required to equip you for this.

Why choose to study with Aston Business School?

Aston Business School is part of an elite group of business schools thanks to our triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. We can help to enhance your career prospects, boost your earning potential and set you on the path to a successful, and rewarding career. 

Aston University is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research and the employability of our graduates. At Aston Business School we are committed to innovative approaches to teaching and education. We are dedicated to providing the students with a competitive advantage in the jobs market by delivering the knowledge students need to pursue the many career tracks available to them with a background in international business. Teaching on the course is informed by our world-class scholars and provides you with a deep understanding and skills for conducting business on a global scale. At Aston University, we aim to prepare students for the real world challenges. There are plenty of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and apply their knowledge in real-life situations by engaging in live projects and internships. 

 

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