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We are surrounded by data. The variety and amount we collect and store grows every day, from the simplest of retail transactions to the complex and intimate medical records of millions.
Why do we store data? Where do we store it? How do we retrieve it? What do we use it for?
There is an increasing demand for people who can manage and control the way data is used. These individuals require an understanding of computer science and mathematics, as well as a familiarity with the data needs and processes of a number of different areas, including healthcare, business, government and the environment.
The Data Science and Analytics MSc is a highly flexible course which offers you the opportunity to develop a range of skills through a combination of compulsory and optional modules,
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a subject containing a substantial mathematical and statistical component.
Successful applicants will have strong grades in relevant mathematical modules. We may ask for further detailed module information if these are not clear on your transcript. We do not normally accept degrees in Accountancy or Finance.
I did my undergraduate degree (in Maths) at Leeds almost 15 years ago now and have been living and working in Leeds ever since, so it was the natural choice when I wanted to undertake a Master’s as part of a change of career direction.
More importantly though, the Data Science programme covered the material I was most interested in and seemed to be well-structured. The University also has links to places like LIDA and the Turing Institute as well as good connections with local government and the NHS and great expertise in fields like Transport and Medicine – it’s a good place to be a Data Scientist.
The diversity of people involved in the course is great – I was worried I’d be the only mature student surrounded by 21-year-olds, and while I think I am the oldest person in the programme this year, there are a number of other people who’ve been working in analytics or other fields before coming back to uni. We’ve also got people from all over the world enrolled in the programme with a wide range of perspectives.
So far my coursework has involved working with data about astronomy, serial killers, parking fines and Brexit; spell-checking Dracula, solving a hypothetical murder mystery and balancing toys on vegetables. I’ve also been to seminars at LIDA (open to the public and worth attending if you’re in Leeds and interested in what they do) which have touched on financial regulations, biomedical statistics and agent-based modelling where the agent was Godzilla.
I’ve chosen modules which will help me specialise in interpreting free-format text and other tasks which are simple for humans but challenging for computers; there is lots of scope for these aspects of Data Science to help us extract meaning from the vast quantities of data which we capture these days and put it to good use.