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Computational Statistics and Machine Learning - MSc

Course Description

This MSc teaches advanced analytical and computational skills for success in a data rich world. Designed to be both mathematically rigorous and relevant, the programme covers fundamental aspects of machine learning and statistics, with potential options in information retrieval, bioinformatics, quantitative finance, artificial intelligence and machine vision.

Degree information

The programme aims to provide graduates with the foundational principles and the practical experience needed by employers in the area of machine learning and statistics. Graduates of this programme will have had the opportunity to develop their skills by tackling problems related to industrial needs or to leading-edge research.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research project (60 credits). Please note that not all combinations of optional modules will be available due to timetabling restrictions.

Core modules
-Supervised Learning
-Statistical Modelling and Data Analysis
-Graphical Models or Probabilistic and Unsupervised Learning
Plus one of:
-Applied Bayesian Methods
-Statistical Design of Investigations
-Statistical Computing
-Statistical Inference

Optional modules - students select 60 credits from the following list:
-Advanced Topics in Machine Learning
-Affective Computing and Human-Robot Interaction
-Applied Bayesian Methods
-Approximate Inference and Learning in Probabilistic Models
-Computational Modelling for Biomedical Imaging
-Information Retrieval and Data Mining
-Machine Vision
-Selected Topics in Statistics
-Statistical Design of Investigations
-Statistical Inference
-Statistical Natural Language Programming
-Stochastic Methods in Finance
-Stochastic Methods in Finance 2
-Advanced Topics in Statistics
-Mathematical Programming and Research Methods
-Intelligent Systems in Business

All MSc students undertake an independent research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, discussions, practical sessions and project work. Student performance is assessed through unseen written examinations, coursework, practical application and the project assessment process.


There is a strong national and international demand for graduates with skills at the interface of traditional statistics and machine learning. Substantial sectors of UK industry, including leading, large companies already make extensive use of computational statistics and machine learning techniques in the course of their business activities. Globally there are a large number of very successful users of this technology, many located in the UK. Areas in which expertise in statistics and machine learning is in particular demand include; finance, banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, and computer security. Graduates have gone on to further study at, for example, the Universities of Cambridge, Helsinki, Chicago, as well as at UCL. The MSc is also ideal preparation for a PhD, in statistics, machine learning or a related area.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Statistical and Algorithm Analyst, Telemetry
-Decision Scientist, Everline
-Computer Vision Researcher, Slyce
-Data Scientist, YouGov
-Research Engineer, DeepMind

Scientific experiments and companies now routinely generate vast databases and machine learning and statistical methodologies are core to their analysis. There is a considerable shortfall in the number of qualified graduates in this area internationally. CSML graduates have been in high demand for PhD positions across the sciences. In London there are many companies looking to understand their customers better who have hired our CSML graduates. Similarly graduates now work in companies in, amongst others, Germany, Iceland, France and the US in large-scale data analysis. The finance sector has also hired several graduates recently.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Centre for Computational Statistics and Machine Learning (CSML) is a major European Centre for machine learning having coordinated the PASCAL European Network of Excellence.

Coupled with the internationally renowned Gatsby Computational Neuroscience and Machine Learning Unit, and UCL Statistical Science, this MSc programme draws on world-class research and teaching talents. The centre has excellent links with world-leading companies in internet technology, finance and related information areas.

The programme is designed to train students in both the practical and theoretical sides of machine learning. A significant grounding in computational statistics is also provided.

Visit the Computational Statistics and Machine Learning - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Brown Family Bursary - No. of awards TBC

Selection criteria:
The bursary will be awarded based on financial need only as determined by the Student Funding Office.Value, Benefits and Duration:
- The value of the bursary is £15,000. The payment is to be applied to tuition fees in the first instance, with any remainder being paid to the successful applicant towards maintenance in termly instalments.
- The bursary is tenable for one year only.
- The bursary may not be held alongside other tuition fee only awards.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Applicants must be:
- prospective full-time UK Master's students who are undertaking a one-year programme of study in the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences or Mathematical & Physical Sciences (BEAMS) in 2015/16
- currently holding a first-class Bachelor's degree; and
- in financial need.

Application Procedure

See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate/UK-EU-Master/uclalumniandfriends

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a highly quantitative subject such as computer science, statistics, mathematics, electrical engineering or the physical sciences, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant work experience may also be taken into account. Students must be comfortable with undergraduate-level mathematics; in particular it is essential that the candidate will have knowledge of statistics at an intermediate undergraduate level. The candidate should also be proficient in linear algebra and multivariable calculus.

Last Updated

10 October 2016

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