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Data Science (MSc)

Course Description

Programme description

Data science is the study of the computational principles, methods, and systems for extracting and structuring knowledge from data; and the application and use of those principles. Large data sets are now generated by almost every activity in science, society, and commerce - ranging from molecular biology to social media, from sustainable energy to health care.

Data science asks: how can we efficiently find patterns in these vast streams of data? Many research areas have tackled parts of this problem: machine learning focuses on finding patterns and making predictions from data; ideas from algorithms and databases are required to build systems that scale to big data streams; and separate research areas have grown around different types of unstructured data such as text, images, sensor data, video, and speech. Recently, these distinct disciplines have begun to converge into a single field called data science.

Programme structure

You follow two taught semesters of lectures, tutorials, project work and written assignments, after which you will learn research methods before individual supervision for your project and dissertation.

Compulsory courses

Informatics Research Review
Informatics Research Proposal

You are also required to take a breadth of courses in data science, with at least one in each of the following areas:

Machine Learning, Statistics and Optimization
Databases and Data Management

You can take up to two courses from other schools.

Learning outcomes

The School of Informatics' MSc in Data Science is designed to attract students who want to establish a career as a data scientist in industry or the public sector, as well as students who want to explore the area prior to further training such as in our CDT in Data Science.

The learning objectives of the degree are to foster:

A breadth of knowledge across the data science areas
An advanced technical background in at least one of the data science areas
An appreciation for real-world problems involving the use of data in industry, science, and the public sector
Research experience in one of the data science areas.

Career opportunities

Through this programme you will develop specialist, advanced skills in the development, construction and management of advanced computer systems.

You will gain practical experience and a thorough theoretical understanding of the field making you attractive to a wide range of employers or preparing you for further academic study.

Visit the Data Science (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in informatics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, electrical engineering, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, physics or psychology. Experience of computer programming equivalent to an introductory programming course and specific training in mathematics: basic calculus (differentiation and integration) and linear algebra (vectors and multi-dimensional matrices).

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