Data science combines computer science and statistics to solve exciting data-intensive problems in industry and in many fields of science. Data scientists help organisations make sense of their data. As data is collected and analysed in all areas of society, demand for professional data scientists is high and will grow higher. The emerging Internet of Things, for instance, will produce a whole new range of problems and opportunities in data analysis.
In the Data Science master’s programme, you will gain a solid understanding of the methods used in data science. You will learn not only to apply data science: you will acquire insight into how and why methods work so you will be able to construct solutions to new challenges in data science. In the Data Science master’s programme, you will also be able to work on problems specific to a scientific discipline and to combine domain knowledge with the latest data analysis methods and tools. The teachers of the programme are themselves active data science researchers, and the programme is heavily based on first-hand research experience.
Upon graduating from the Data Science MSc programme, you will have solid knowledge of the central concepts, theories, and research methods of data science as well as applied skills. In particular, you will be able to
The MSc programme is offered jointly by the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and the Department of Physics, with support from the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) and the Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP), all located on the Kumpula Science campus. In your applied data science studies you can also include multidisciplinary studies from other master's programmes, such as digital humanities, and natural and medical sciences.
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The Data Science MSc programme combines elements from computer science and mathematical sciences to provide you with skills in topics such as machine learning, distributed systems and statistical methods. You might also find that knowledge in a particular scientific field is useful for your future career. You can obtain this through elective studies in the MSc programme, or it might already be part of your bachelor-level degree.
Studies in the Data Science MSc programme include both theoretical and practical components, including a variety of study methods (lectures, exercises, projects, seminars; done both individually and in groups). Especially in applied data science, we also use problem-based learning methods, so that you can address real-world issues. You will also practise academic skills such as scientific writing and oral presentation throughout your studies. You are encouraged to include an internship in your degree in order to obtain practical experience in the field.
Elective studies give you a wider perspective of Data Science. Your elective studies can be an application area of Data Science (such as physics or the humanities), a discipline that supports application of Data Science (such as language technology), or a methodological subject needed for the development of new Data Science methods and models (such as computer science, statistics, or mathematics).
Many of the most pressing issues facing New Zealand and the world today—climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and how to respond to new technologies—can't be solved using traditional scientific approaches.
In the age of social media, clickbait headlines and 'fake news', new means of communicating science and engaging different groups and communities are required.
The 180-point Master of Science in Society is a cross-disciplinary programme that combines taught courses, research projects and your choice of final project to give you a practical understanding of the role of science in society.
You'll learn how to engage New Zealanders in conversations about the science that impacts their lives so they can make informed decisions. Find out how you can influence policy change and research priorities.
Develop your understanding of contemporary scientific issues, and draw from a range of diverse fields such as philosophy, history and the creative arts to gain a broader and more nuanced perspective on science.
Gain an insight into the range of perspectives different communities have on scientific and environmental issues, and explore the important role of mātauranga Māori and other indigenous knowledge in science decision-making.
The Master of Science in Society is suited to students who are interested in science but don't want to pursue a traditional postgraduate science research programme. If you're interested in more effective public engagement around key scientific issues like conservation and pest eradication, or you're keen to pursue a career in science policy or advocacy, this degree is a good choice for you.
Learn from award-winning academics and professionals who are leaders in the field of science communication, public engagement with science, natural and social science, the humanities and the arts. You'll also be exposed to a wide range of expertise from across the university and from visiting experts.
The Master of Science in Society has two parts. The first part takes place in Trimester One, is based on-campus and is compulsory for all students.
In Part 1, you'll focus on developing your critical thinking and communication skills in four taught courses. Look at the theory and practice of science communication, and gain a grounding in contemporary scientific issues and theories. Explore perspectives on science from different cultures and from across the humanities and social sciences.
You'll choose from three of four core 400-level courses, and complete an additional approved course worth 15 points.
The field component of SCIS 589, the Science Communication Project, also takes place during Trimester One.
You'll go on to put your learning into practice in Part 2 by completing your science communication project and a research essay. You'll also choose to do a work placement or a research project, or choose other relevant courses from another discipline of your choice, such as Māori Studies, Public Policy or Conservation Biology.
While working on your final projects you'll be supervised by subject experts from within and outside of the university, and will continue to meet regularly with your fellow students in tutorials or seminar sessions.
You can complete Part 2 of your Master's remotely if your placement or research project takes place outside Wellington. You'll need to have sufficient internet access to take part in online seminars, lectures and workshops.
The Master of Science in Society will take you three trimesters (one year) of full-time study, or up to three years if you are studying part time.
If you are studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year.
If you're a part-time student, you can estimate your workload by adding up the number of points you'll be doing. One point is roughly equal to 10–12 hours work.