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Course content

Recent technological advances decreasing hardware costs and the ‘Internet of things’ has led to a rapid explosion in the amount of data generated in a variety of domains, including data-driven science, telecommunications, social media, large-scale e-commerce, medical records and e-health. Big data refers to the ability of exploiting these massive amounts of extremely heterogeneous in structure and content data that are routinely generated at an unprecedented scale from an ever-expanding variety of data sources. Business and industry used their big data to extract a better understanding of customers’ needs and behaviour, to develop targeted new products and to cut operational costs. The competitive advantages and productivity gains that big data brought led to a great number of a big data projects and a shortage of people with the required skills.

This course is aimed at people who want to move into this rapidly expanding and exciting area; it has a strong vocational flavour as it has been designed to build your knowledge and understanding of big data systems architectures and to equip you with the range of highly marketable, hands-on skills employed by the core technologies utilised in big data projects.

The course is suitable for recent graduates who wish to study for a higher qualification and/or gain technical and professional skills related to the use of big data technologies and/or data management. It's also suitable for practitioners looking to update their knowledge and technical skills in this highly prominent discipline.

The course addresses technologies, advanced theories and techniques, along with their application, implementation and integration with legacy systems. You will analyse new demands and the application of technologies in the management of data and information resources, and examine big data technologies shaping the way data is now stored and utilised including the use of cloud stored massive datasets, distributed systems of an enterprise and how data utilisation can change and improve business processes.

Teaching approaches include lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical/hands on sessions. You will also learn through extensive course work, class presentations, group work, and the use of a range of industry standard software such as R, Python, Hadoop, MySQL, and Oracle. Assessment usually involves a combination of exams and coursework, leading to a product such as a presentation, group investigation, technical solution, a piece of software or a research review.

Professional accreditation

This programme is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, for fully meeting the further learning educational requirement for Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status and for partially satisfying the underpinning knowledge requirements set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) and the Science Council for Chartered or Incorporated Engineer (CEng or IEng) status. Note that there are additional requirements, including work experience, to achieve full CITP, CEng, or IEng status. Graduates of this accredited degree will also be eligible for professional membership of BCS (MBCS).

The BCS accreditation is an indicator of the programme’s quality to students and employers; it is also an important benchmark of the programme’s standard in providing high quality computing education, and commitment to developing future IT professionals that have the potential to achieve Chartered status. The programme is also likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

Associated careers

The course equips you with the technology knowledge and the highly sought hands on/practical skills for a successful career in big data application domains. Graduates of the programme are expected to find employment as developers, analysts, architects of big data systems, database/web application developers, data compliance officers, data quality officers, data governance officers, data governance analysts, OLAP programmers, ETL programmers and application developers, specialists in data acquisition, knowledge/information extraction, data analysis, data aggregation, data representation.


Visit the Big Data Technologies (MSc) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

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