Data Analytics (including Professional Practice) MSc

Develop your skills in the various methods used to analyse big data sets and build a career in this exciting area where your knowledge and experience will be in high demand. This course also features the opportunity to undertake a professional placement in its second year. 

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Course format

Integrated placements


22 months full-time

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Explore Data Analytics at Aston University

Teaching staff from the Mathematics department discuss what makes Maths a fascinating subject.

Why study a postgraduate degree at Aston University?

A postgraduate degree is a great way to improve your career prospects. As well as opening doors, it builds on your experience, develops your skills, and gives you a competitive edge in a crowded job market.

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“My time at Aston University has been absolutely wonderful! I believe I have gained so much out of my degree in terms of knowledge and the applications to various fields. Moreover, I have met some amazing friends and members of staff that have constantly supported me in my learning and general well-being.”

Shivani Jang
Mathematics student

Shivani jang photo

“My time at Aston University has been absolutely wonderful! I believe I have gained so much out of my degree in terms of knowledge and the applications to various fields. Moreover, I have met some amazing friends and members of staff that have constantly supported me in my learning and general well-being.”

Shivani Jang
Mathematics student

Course outline and modules

Data plays an increasingly important role in modern life, yet the talent to extract information and value from complex data is scarce.  
This course is for you if you want to use your mathematical and numerical skills to build your career. During the course you will develop an informed and critical appreciation of scientific and industrial developments in data science and analytics.  

What you’ll learn 

You’ll gain a thorough grounding in the fundamental concepts to understand the data lifecycle, including problem formulation, data collection and cleaning, exploratory data analysis and visualisation, statistical inference and decision making. A range of methods will be covered including algorithmic and computational modelling and statistical machine learning. 
You’ll also undertake a research project on a subject of your choice, where you’ll apply the knowledge you’ve gained to produce high quality independent work. 


•    Statistical Machine Learning
•    Specialist Research Skills and Techniques
•    Algorithmic and Computational Mathematics
•    Understanding Data
•    Probabilistic Modelling
•    Data Science Programming
•    Artificial Neural Networks
•    Network Science

60 credit module:

•    Research Project
•    Professional Practice

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

We expect applications from graduates of Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Engineering, Physics or Data Science or related disciplines, with a qualification equivalent to a UK BSc with Honours at 2:2 or higher. Evidence of knowledge of Mathematics and Programming should also be provided when the degree is not in Mathematics (i.e. transcript of degree programme or work experience). When a transcript is provided, the Mathematics and Programming grades should be equivalent to UK 60% or higher. Candidates may be interviewed prior to the offer decision.

As well as:  

Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee
A completed application form.

International students 
  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements
  • Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage. Information on visas for international students
  • For International Students intending to do a foundation year. Click here to find out more.
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

Our Data Analytics masters course combines tutorial-based teaching with self-directed study, so you’ll be equipped with the relevant learning materials and then given regular tutorials where you have the opportunity to discuss and demonstrate what you’ve learned alongside potential applications. 
The learning hours include one hour of face-to-face tutorial time per week, per module, along with online activities, reading, independent study, and opportunities to reflect on assignment feedback.  

The taught modules will be assessed via coursework, and the project via a combination of dissertation and viva examination. 

You will complete all of these modules apart from your Research Project across 2 terms (September until Easter). You will work on your Research Project until the following September. This course also contains a Professional Practice placement which will take place after you've completed the dissertation, and will last for 9 months. International students undertaking this course will be offered a visa for the full duration of the course lasting 22 months.

Professional Practice

The difference between this course and the MSc Data Analytics course is that this one features a professional placement.

Taking the Professional Practice route allows you to extend the duration of your Masters to 22 months and gain valuable working experience to support your career aspirations. The placement commences after completion of your MSc dissertation and can be paid work. study abroad exchanges or unpaid research projects or even a mix of these options. You will return to Aston the following May for an intensive period on campus to draw all your learning together and finalise the assessments.

Although you are responsible for finding your placement, you will have access to the support of our award-winning Careers and Placements Team, who have helped so many of our students to secure placement and work opportunities, including by providing CV and application preparation, and practice interviews. In addition, you will participate in a programme of activities within the School designed to develop your personal and professional skills such as industry seminars and networking activities. Opportunities for one-to-one coaching and mentoring will also support your learning journey and help you become more work-ready.

Take a look at our specific placement information and support.

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2023/24)

Annual tuition fees: £12,250

International/EU students (2023/24)

Annual tuition fees: £23,200

UK postgraduate loans are now open

If you’re starting a masters course on or after 1 August 2022, you can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with course fees and living costs.

UK postgraduate loans are now open


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.

20 per cent postgraduate alumni scholarship

You can find out more about our Postgraduate scholarships for international students here. If you are a UK or EU student, please email for information on funding. 

Career prospects

Our graduates leave with the in-depth knowledge and skills they need to develop careers across the field of data science.  
Students on similar programmes have gone on to roles including: finance and investment analysts and advisers; IT business analysts, architects and systems designers; management consultants and business analysts; as well as programmers and software development professionals at some of the world’s most prestigious companies. 
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. More information on post-work visas.

Languages for All

Learn a language for free with Aston University's Languages for All programme...

First year students at Aston have the opportunity to learn one of the following languages for free at beginners, improvers or intermediate level:

  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Spanish

Fancy learning French?

Hear from one of the Languages for All tutors, Dr Nathalie Mrgudovic...

Click here to find out more

Give German a go!

Hear from one of the Languages for All tutors, Dr Stefanie Kreibich...

Click here to find out more

Make the most with Mandarin!

Hear from one of the Languages for All tutors, Dr Qiaochao Zhang...

Click here to find out more

Strengthen your prospects with Spanish!

Hear from one of the Languages for All tutors, Elena Cancelas-Rodriguez...

Click here to find out more

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study Data Analytics at Aston? 

In the information age we live in, understanding data and how to use it is increasingly important. The skills and knowledge you gain are in high demand across many sectors, which will offer you many potential opportunities.  

What will I be doing on the Data Analytics course at Aston? 

You’ll develop an informed and critical appreciation of scientific and industrial developments in data science and analytics through a combination of modelling, computation and hands-on project experience. 

How does this course differ from the MSc Data Analytics course?

This version of this course with professional practice features the opportunity to undertake a work placement during your time studying at Aston, however the MSc Data Analytics course that doesn’t include a professional practice does not include a work placement opportunity as part of the course.

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