Data Analytics 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. 

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

No placements

Duration

12 months full-time

UCAS code(s)

n/a

Start date

Overview
Why explore Data Analytics at Aston University

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

UK postgraduate loans are nowopen

UK postgraduate loans have now opened. If you’re starting a masters course on or after 1 August 2021, you can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with course fees and living costs.

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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

There has never been a time where so much data has been available in conjunction with the tools to make the most of it. These tools constitute the field of data science. There has also never been a time with so many global challenges to tackle, from the shortage of resource and the impact we have on the environment to the strive to automate and optimise a variety of systems such as transport, energy, health and communication. There are almost limitless opportunities to use these tools in the various domains and applications for making real impact on industry, society and policy making.

This course is for you if you want to use your mathematical and numerical skills to embark on a career in data science and its application. During the course you will develop the necessary analytical and computational skills alongside an informed and critical appreciation of scientific and industrial developments in data.

What you’ll learn

You will gain a thorough grounding in the fundamental concepts of data analytics to understand the data lifecycle, including problem formulation, data collection and cleaning, exploratory data analysis and visualisation, statistical inference and decision making. Additionally, you will have the chance to apply your knowledge in a research project on a subject of your choice.

You will be trained in a wide range of modern data science and analytics methods in the MSc in Data Analytics programme including the following modules:

Statistical Machine Learning, where you will be able to develop simple, but practical, statistical models for complex real-world data. The models can be used to automate decision making and predictions, such as detecting diseases or deciphering signals.

Algorithmic and Computational Mathematics that focuses on the in-depth study of key general algorithms, with their numerical implementation, which are the heart of data processing and modelling. This includes approximation techniques, interpolation, sampling, etc. that are practiced with hands-on coding.

Data Science Programming will teach you the use of Python and R for data analysis in scientific computing. You will learn how to use Python libraries such as: (i) NumPy and Pandas, for performing complex numerical analysis tasks; (ii) Scikit Learn, to build machine learning models; (iii) Matplotlib and R for 2D data visualisations and (iv) PyTorch, to develop deep learning applications.

The Understanding Data module delivers the central stages of Data processing pipelines in the industry. You will be taught common practices for scaling of data from various sources such as: images, text, smart sensors, and audio. You will learn the main machine learning tasks and how to train supervised and unsupervised systems both using statistical features or end-to-end deep learning systems.

Probability Modelling will provide you with the principled probabilistic tools required for modelling and inferring data. Incorporating theoretical and practical approaches with numerical exercises, you will be trained to carry out classification, regression, forecasting, inference and optimisation tasks on data, that are essential for many application domains.

Neural Networks will teach the foundations of algorithms that can recognize hidden patterns and correlations in raw data, for clustering and classification tasks. You will study systems for continuously learning over time to improve these tasks.  You will be introduced to the robust basis upon which applications can be developed.

Network Science will provide you with the means to recognise and solve practical problems related to networks in nature and society. You will be introduced to advanced techniques for modelling real-world problems in the forefront research of the field.

An important objective of our MSc in Data Analytics is for students to apply the skills and knowledge they learn to real-world problems. In addition to the technical modules outlined above, you will be trained in Specialist Research Skills and Techniques to support you on your path into research through interdisciplinary seminars. You will learn how to design feasible research projects and formulate relevant research questions and hypotheses. The module will explore types of research methodologies and teach important writing and presentation skills for analysing academic literature and in drawing conclusions from research results. This leads onto a research project on a subject of your choice, where you will apply the knowledge you have gained to produce high quality independent work.

As part of your Research Project you will work under the supervision of an academic, you will be able to carry out high-level research work on a suitable problem developing and critically assessing a usable solution. This will include a thorough literature survey on the background of the research project subject domain, interact with other researchers, and write and defend a dissertation on it.
 

Modules

  • Statistical Machine Learning,
  • Algorithmic and Computational Mathematics,
  • Understanding Data,
  • Probabilistic Modelling,
  • Data Science Programming,
  • Artificial Neural Networks,
  • Network Science
  • Specialist Research Skills and Techniques,
  • Research Project (60 credit module)

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 Computer Science (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.


For International Students:


Applicants with 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. 

 

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2022/23)

Annual tuition fees: £9,550

EU/International students (2022/23)

Annual tuition fees: £17,400

Tuition fees 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. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

UK postgraduate loans are now open

If you’re starting a masters course on or after 1 August 2021, 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

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.

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 seaspgtaught@aston.ac.uk for information on funding.

Career prospects

The global data science platform market size is anticipated to reach over $178 billion by 2025. Data science has applications in all areas of industry, science, government and services, from retailing to streaming. 

Our graduates leave with the in-depth knowledge and skills they need to develop careers across a variety of fields. Their data science expertise makes them employable in industry, in commercial and finance sectors as well as in applied and scientific research. Students who graduated from our programmes have secured positions in a broad range of companies, from start-ups to well-established corporations.

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

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? 

Aston has a tradition of expertise in data science, starting in 1993, and has been providing data science courses of various types to both industry and academics since 1996. Many of our graduates has secured high-profile employment in academia and industry. We have kept updating the provision over the years to train our students in state-of-the-art techniques, making the course relevant and exciting. The course is delivered by a team of experienced and active researchers in the fields of machine learning, statistical physics and computer science; yet, we are friendly and approachable, aiming to help students make the most of their course.

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

The main skill you will acquire is looking at the world through the eyes of a data scientist, with a deeper understanding of the mathematical and statistical processes that govern it. You will be equipped with the knowledge to identify the analytical tools most suitable for the job at hand and be able to apply them computationally. For that you will be trained in understanding data, machine learning (AI) probabilistic techniques, network representation of data and in using common computing languages (Python, C++, Matlab).

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