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MSc Data Science

Course Description

Have you ever wanted to ‘Mung’ data? Apply Machine Learning techniques? Search for hidden patterns? Be part of Big Data?

This course is your opportunity to specialize as a Data Scientist, one of the most in demand roles across all sectors including health, retail, and energy. Companies such as Google and Microsoft, and also public organisations such as the NHS are struggling to fill their vacancies in this field due to a lack of suitably qualified people. This course is unique in the UK in that it has been developed as a MSc conversion course – if you have a good honours degree in any discipline with a demonstrable mathematical aptitude, an enquiring mind, a practical and analytical approach to problem solving, and an ambition for a career in data science; then this course is for you.

Key benefits

• We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

• The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

• Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

Visit the website: http://www.salford.ac.uk/pgt-courses/msc-data-science

Course detail

During your time with us, you will develop an awareness of the latest developments in the fields of Data Science and Big Data including advanced databases, data mining and big data tools such as Hadoop. You will also gain substantial knowledge and skills with the SAS business intelligence software suite due to the partnership of the University with the SAS Student Academy.

This course covers a very comprehensive range of topics split in to four large modules worth 30 credits each plus the MSc Project. External speakers from blue-chip and local companies will give seminars to complement your learning, that will be real-world case studies related to the subjects you are studying in your modules. These are designed to improve the breadth of your learning and could lead to ideas that you can develop for your MSc Project.

Suitable For

Students who want to become trained professionals in:

• Data Science and Analysis Consultancy
• Implementing and designing Big Data platforms ie Data Warehouses, Hadoop, NoSQL databases
• Modelling and Visualisation of data


The course is focused around the underpinning knowledge and practical skills needed for employment within the data sciences industry. There will be 22 hours of lectures; 11 hours of tutorials and 22 hours workshops; 2 hours of examination-based assessment; and 245 hours of independent study, assessed coursework and preparation for examination. This makes a total of 300 hours total learning experience.

• Lectures will be used to introduce ideas, and to stimulate group discussions.
• Tutorials will be used to develop problem solving strategies and to provide practice and feedback with scenarios to help with exam preparation.
• Workshops will be used to develop expertise in SAS tools, by analysing example datasets of increasing complexity.


• Principles of Data Science
• Advanced Databases
• Applied Statistics and Data Mining
• Big Data Tools and Techniques


• 50% of the assessment will comprise a practical project where students will be given some data, will devise and carry out an analysis strategy and will present their interpretations and explain their strategy.
• 50% will comprise an examination, which will assess more theoretical aspects of the course and will explore students’ immediate response to unseen scenarios or data.

Career Prospects

A recent report by e-Skills and SAS (Big Data Analytics: An assessment of the demand for labour and skills, 2012-1017) indicates the demand forecast for staff with big data skills is predicted to ”rise by 92% between 2012 and 2017, and by 2017 there will be at least 28,000 job openings for big data staff in the UK each year…”

With this qualification, you’ll be equipped with the skill set and technical knowledge relevant for the data science and big data job market.

How to apply: http://www.salford.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/applying

Visit the MSc Data Science page on the University of Salford website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Minimum of a 2:2 (undergraduate degree) in any discipline with demonstrable mathematical aptitude.A Level in Mathematics. International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English, an IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

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