Data Science

MSc

Develop your skills on 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
Entry requirements
Duration

One year

Start date

JANUARY 2025 START

Course overview

There has never been a time when 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 are almost limitless opportunities to use these tools in the various domains and applications for making a real impact on industry, society, and policymaking.

The MSc Data Science programme has been meticulously designed to offer a comprehensive understanding of the latest advancements in this field. Covering everything from machine learning and artificial intelligence to data visualisation and predictive modelling, the programme equips you with a versatile skill set that aligns with the dynamic needs of the industry.

Upon completion of this course, you will enter a highly sought-after job sector, positioning you at the forefront of the data-driven revolution.

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"I chose Aston University because of its renowned curriculum and strong emphasis on practical, real-world applications of data analysis, along with its industry connections - this really stood out for me. Additionally, the vibrant range of societies and clubs available provided me with an excellent opportunity for personal and professional growth".

Anagha Satish
Data Science MSc
Current student

Why Data Science at Aston University?

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Industry Links
Close connections to industry
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Research active staff
Full support of internationally-recognised academics working in fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence
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Global employability
A high level of expertise in an high-demand area will enhance your global employability prospects

Course description

You'll engage with a dynamic curriculum that integrates the latest advancements in machine learning and data science practices with practical and applied real-world scenarios.

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What we will provide
First-class teaching, in the UK's second-largest city, delivered by academics and researchers, who are internationally recognised for their research work. You will connect with a network of industry leaders, practitioners, and alumni in the field of data science and collaborate with peers from around the world, gaining insights into different cultures and approaches that enrich your learning experience and broaden your professional horizons.

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What you will provide
We are looking for students with Mathematical aptitude, that have a willingness to learn how to apply their mathematical knowledge to problems involving big data. Excellent communication skills are also key in data science, so you can effectively convey insights to non-technical stakeholders through clear and compelling narratives.

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What skills we teach
You will be trained in a wide range of modern data science and analytics methods. Mastering skills in programming, mathematical foundations, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Beyond theoretical knowledge, this programme places a strong emphasis on hands-on, practical experience to enhance your professional soft skills. Engage in real-world projects, case studies, and internships that mirror the challenges faced by data scientists in the field.

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Professional Practice Year
If you meet satisfactory academic performance and have secured a suitable professional experience, you will have the option to be transferred onto our MSc Data Science including Professional Practice programme. 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 the 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.

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Career prospects
The demand for skilled data scientists continues to surge across industries, from finance and healthcare to technology and e-commerce. This programme positions you at the forefront of this data-driven revolution, making you a sought-after professional in fields where data analytics and insights are paramount for success.

How you will learn

Teaching and learning will be delivered through a variety of methods. You will engage in traditional lectures and seminars, alongside PC laboratory sessions. Your knowledge will be applied to real-world scenarios during the research skills modules, where you will explore what it is like to become a researcher.

Here at Aston University, we are passionate about supporting our students. You will have a personal tutor throughout your studies to provide support and guidance. The Learning Development Centre is there to provide maths support, and academic writing development, advice, and strategies for managing your studies. 

What you will learn

Throughout this degree you will gain a thorough grounding in the fundamental concepts of data science and analytics to understand the data lifecycle, including problem formulation, data collection and cleaning, exploratory data analysis and visualisation, statistical inference, and decision-making. The course is structured so you will have a block delivery of math programming at the start, which will be used as the building blocks for the rest of the course content.

Additionally, you will have the chance to apply your knowledge in case studies, internships, and a research project on a subject of your choice. This approach ensures that you're not just learning theory but can apply it to industry, preparing you to become a trailblazer in the dynamic world of data.

Facilities

Immerse yourself in a learning environment that leverages cutting-edge technology and resources. Aston University invests in state-of-the-art facilities, ensuring that you have access to the tools and infrastructure necessary for hands-on exploration and experimentation. From computer labs to student study spaces for individual and collaborative work, you'll have access to the resources necessary to push the boundaries of data science.

Course objectives

  1. Provides you with a programme of advanced study that meets the needs of modern industry and other commercial organizations, enabling you to learn by formal academic study at the Masters level.
  2. Provides you with an in-depth and high level of scientific knowledge and understanding of data science that is applicable to industry, with the option to focus on specific areas of interest through your choice of a research project module.
  3. Enables you to develop an informed and critical appreciation of recent scientific and industrial developments in data science.
  4. Enables you to gain additional specialist knowledge and practical expertise through a research project.
  5. Our graduates will be able to benefit from a broad spectrum of career opportunities spanning academic, commercial and industrial contexts

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Statistical Machine Learning 15
Specialist Research Skills and Techniques 15
Understanding Data15
Probabilistic Modelling 15
Data Science Programming 15
Artificial Neural Networks 15
Network Science 15
Fundamentals of Data Analytics15
Total120

Dissertation stage modules

In the dissertation stage, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Research Project60
Total60

Programme outcomes

On successful completion of both the taught and dissertation stage, you will be able to:

  • Review and interpret the theories, principles and underlying concepts of data 
    analytics, and relate their knowledge to real-world applications of data analytics 
  • Create and implement data analytics algorithms using advanced computational skills and be able to appraise the likelihood of successful implementation of these algorithms. 
  • Undertake the critical analysis and evaluation of the methodology and techniques related to data analytics and to employ this knowledge to solving relevant data analytics problems. 
  • Independently create scholarly academic communications using the necessary presentation style and tools, to successfully demonstrate their comprehension of Data Analytics.
  • Critically review academic research using the appropriate analytical tools.
  • Devise a research project based on a chosen area and then apply their knowledge of data analytics to produce a high quality independent research project. 
  • Successfully complete the work placement and communicate how the work 
    placement has enhanced the student’s employability skills and awareness of  professional practice, related to their chosen career pathway,

Entry requirements

We expect applications from graduates of Mathematics, Statistics or Data Science and we encourage applications from candidates with degrees in Computer Science, Engineering, Physics and related disciplines where the candidate has experience of mathematics and programming as part of their degree, with a qualification equivalent to a UK BSc with Honours at 2:2 or higher. 

Applicants should have had prior learning in probability theory, statistics, linear algebra, multivariable calculus, and optimisation. 

The mathematics and programming grades should all be equivalent to UK 60% or higher in the case where the applicant’s background is not in mathematics, statistics, or data science. All candidates should supply a degree transcript with their application evidencing their knowledge as above, alongside a professional reference. You may also be interviewed before the offer decision.

 

International students

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

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

How to apply

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway Programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

Masters Foundation programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

 

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Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:

Email: pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09.30am-4.30pm)

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£11,150

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£20,700

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

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.

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.

Assessment

The course is assessed by a diverse range of methods, including coursework, report writing, module presentations, research proposals, on-campus or online exams, and a final written dissertation. The assessment methods will reflect the most effective and relevant way to review your performance for each module. 

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 will be equipped 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.

Previous graduates have secured positions in a broad range of companies, from start-ups to well-established corporations.

Beyond the classroom, our Careers and Placement team are committed to your career success. Benefit from career development services, workshops, and placement opportunities that empower you to navigate the competitive job market and secure positions in top-tier companies. 

Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study Data Science MSc at Aston University?

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 facilities will be available?

You will have access to cutting-edge technology and resources. Aston University invests in state-of-the-art facilities, ensuring that you have access to the tools and infrastructure necessary for hands-on exploration and experimentation.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Study at Aston University and you will be part of a multi-cultural community located at the heart of the dynamic city of Birmingham. Our courses are practical, inspired by industry and many have internationally recognised accreditations. Renowned for our employability prospects and connections to business and industry, we provide outstanding career support, advice and placement opportunities.

For those interested in working in the UK after they have graduated, the UK Government has created a new post-study work visa.

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

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