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Course content

Our MSc in Data Science and Analytics aims to provide you with a comprehensive set of skills needed to handle, collect, store and analyse large and complex sets of data. You will be taught by subject experts from both the School of Mathematics and the School of Computer Science and Informatics, which will allow you to see the topic from different perspectives and provides access to a wide range of modules across both Schools.

Throughout the course you will develop data handling and extraction skills, programming skills, machine learning and informatics skills, and problem solving and modelling skills. You will undertake case studies and project work which will give you the opportunity to put your skills into practice and provides valuable experience of working in the field. The dissertation project, typically undertaken with an industrial partner, will allow you to work with complex data in a creative manner and a problem-solving environment, as well as to communicate your ideas and findings effectively.

This programme is available on a one year full-time basis or a three-year part-time basis.

Distinctive features:

• A three-stage degree with exit points at PG Certificate, PG Diploma and Master’s level, allowing you to go into as much depth as you like.

• Acquire transferable data science and analytics skills that are highly sought after in a broad range of sectors.

• Learn from experts across the Schools of Mathematics and Computer Science and Informatics, and related University research groups specialising in various applications of data science and analytics, for example the Data Innovation Research Institute, Social Data Science Lab, and Health Modelling Centre Cymru.

• Gain valuable work experience; we have some placement opportunities available with industrial partners in the UK and abroad.

Structure

There are three stages to this programme. During the first stage, you will study a number of core modules covering fundamental subjects such as statistics, pattern recognition, data mining and optimisation. You may choose to exit after this first stage, at which point you may be able to obtain a PG Certificate qualification.

The second stage consists of a range of optional modules where you can explore subjects of interest to you and relevant your potential career path, for example web and social computing, time series and forecasting, supply chain modelling and visual communication and information design. You may choose to exit after the second stage, at which point you may be able to obtain a PG Diploma qualification.

The third and final stage consists of a three-month dissertation project, which will typically involve working with a company on a real problem of importance. Following successful completion of all modules and the dissertation, you may be able to obtain a Master’s qualification.

As a full-time student, you will complete all modules and your dissertation project in year one.

Part-time students will typically only need to be in the University for lectures and workshops for the equivalent of one day per week over 24 weeks for years 1 and 2. The dissertation project is undertaken during year 3.

Core modules:

Pattern Recognition and Data Mining
Statistical Methods
Optimisation Methods
Dissertation

Optional modules:

Information Processing in Python
Computer Science Topic 1: Web and Social Computing
Web Application Development
Distributed and Cloud Computing
Informatics
Visual Communication and Information Design
Time Series and Forecasting
Supply Chain Modelling
Statistics and Operational Research in Government
Credit Risk Scoring

Teaching

The methods of teaching we employ will vary from module to module, as appropriate depending on the subject matter and the method of assessment. We teach using a mixture of lectures, seminars, computer workshops and tutorials.

Programming skills and the use of relevant software packages will be taught in our dedicated computer suites. We often invite industry experts to give presentations, which our students are welcome to attend.

We will allocate three supervisors to you for your dissertation project. Usually your supervisors will be two members of academic staff with an interest or specialism in your field of research and a sponsor supervisor from the organisation you will work with during your project. You should meet regularly with your supervisor throughout your project.

Support

All of our students are allocated a personal tutor when they enrol on the course. A personal tutor is there to support you during your studies, and can advise you on academic and personal matters that may be affecting you. You should have regular meetings with your personal tutor to ensure that you are fully supported.

You will have access to the Trevithick Library, which holds our collection of mathematical and computer science-related resources, as well as to the other Cardiff University Libraries.

We will provide you with a copy of the Student Handbook, which contains details of each School’s policies and procedures. We also support students through the University’s virtual learning environment, Learning Central, where you can ask questions in a forum or find course-related documents.

Cardiff University also offers a wide range of support services which are open to our students, such as the Graduate Centre, counselling and wellbeing, financial and careers advisors, the international office and the Student Union.

Feedback:

We offer written and oral feedback, depending on the coursework or assessment you have undertaken. You will usually receive your feedback from the module leader. If you have questions regarding your feedback, module leaders are usually happy to give advice and guidance on your progress. We aim to provide you with feedback in a timely manner after you have submitted an assessment.

Assessment

We will assess your progress throughout the course. These assessments may take the form of written exam papers, in-module assignments, and the project dissertation, where knowledge and technical competence will be appraised. We may also use group work, oral presentations and poster displays to test communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Career prospects

Data is increasingly cheap and ubiquitous, and is being collected on a massive scale. There is a significant and growing demand for professionals who can work efficiently and effectively with handling such complex and sizeable data and to extract insights to help inform decision-making. The skills you gain during the programme will equip you for graduate roles in this field. This new MSc programme enhances the already well-established related postgraduate taught programmes that the School of Mathematics offers, and is expected to be as successful in the recruiting of our graduates. Previous postgraduates have gone on to work with a variety of companies and Government organisations including the Office for National Statistics, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, British Airways, Network Rail, UK Government, The Financial Times, Virgin Media, Welsh Water and Admiral Insurance.

If you prefer to continue on a more academic career pathway, you may choose to continue your studies with a PhD.

Placement

You will undertake a three-month placement for your dissertation project, based with one of our industrial partners in the UK or abroad.

We employ a dedicated Knowledge Exchange Officer who will work with you to obtain a placement and support you throughout your project.

Past placements achieved by our students have been with companies such as Admiral, British Airways, Lloyds Banking Group, Welsh Water, Office for National Statistics, Sainsbury’s, Virgin Media, Transport for London, and Deloitte.

Visit the Data Science and Analytics MSc page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

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