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Course content

Data science brings together computational and statistical skills for data-driven problem solving, which is in increasing demand in fields such as marketing, pharmaceutics, finance and management. This MSc will equip students with the analytical tools to design sophisticated technical solutions using modern computational methods and with an emphasis on rigorous statistical thinking.

Degree information

The programme combines training in core statistical and machine learning methodology, beginning at an introductory level, with a range of optional modules covering more specialised knowledge in statistical computing and modelling. Students choosing the statistics specialisation will take one compulsory module and up to two additional modules from computer science, with the remaining modules (including the research project) taken mainly from within UCL Statistical Science.

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 dissertation/report (60 credits).

Core modules
-Introduction to Statistical Data Science
-Introduction to Supervised Learning
-Statistical Design of Investigations
-Statistical Computing

Optional modules - st least two from a choice of Statistical Science modules including:
-Applied Bayesian Methods
-Decision & Risk
-Factorial Experimentation
-Forecasting
-Quantitative Modelling of Operational Risk and Insurance Analytics
-Selected Topics in Statistics
-Stochastic Methods in Finance I
-Stochastic Methods in Finance II
-Stochastic Systems

Up to two from a choice of Computer Science modules including:
-Affective Computing and Human-Robot Interaction
-Graphical Models
-Statistical Natural Language Processing
-Information Retrieval & Data Mining

Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent research project, culminating in a dissertation usually comprising 10,000-12,000 words. Workshops running during the teaching terms provide preparation for this project and cover the communication of statistics.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and classes, some of which are dedicated to practical work. Assessment is through written examination and coursework. The research project is assessed through the dissertation and a 15-minute presentation.

Careers

Graduates from UCL Statistical Science typically enter professional employment across a broad range of industry sectors or pursue further academic study.

The Data Science MSc is a new programme with the first cohort of students due to graduate in 2017. Recent career destinations for graduates of the related Statistics MSc include:
-Towers Watson, Actuary Analyst
-Proctor & Gamble, Statistician
-Ernst & Young, Audit Associate
-Collinson Group, Insurance Analyst
-UCL, PhD Statistical Science

Employability
Data science professionals will be highly sought after as the integration of statistical and computational analytical tools becomes increasingly essential in all kinds of organisations and enterprises. A solid understanding of the fundamentals is to be expected from the best practitioners. For instance, in applications in marketing, the healthcare industry and banking, computational skills should go along with statistical expertise as graduate level. Data scientists should have a broad background so that they will be able to adapt themselves to rapidly evolving challenges. Recent graduates from the related Statistics MSc have been offered positions as research analysts or consultants, and job opportunities in these areas are increasing.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Statistical Science has a broad range of research interests, but has particular strengths in the area of computational statistics and in the interface between statistics and computer science.

UCL's Centre for Computational Statistics and Machine Learning, in which many members of the department are active, has a programme of seminars, masterclasses and other events. UCL's Centre for Data Science and Big Data Institute are newer developments, again with strong involvement of the department, where emphasis is on research into big data problems.

UCL is one of the founding members of the Alan Turing Institute, and both UCL Statistical Science and UCL Computer Science will be playing major roles in this exciting new development which will make London a major focus for big data research.

Visit the Data Science (with specialisation in Statistics) - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

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