• Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • Jacobs University Featured Masters Courses
  • Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
  • FindA University Ltd Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Cambridge Featured Masters Courses
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
King’s College London Featured Masters Courses
Coventry University Featured Masters Courses
Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
Swansea University Featured Masters Courses

Msc/PGDip in Big Data

Course Description


We offer a suite of Masters programmes at Stirling.
This is a one year, full time taught MSc. designed to lead to a job in data science or analytics.
Big Data skills are in high demand and they attract high salaries. The MSc Big Data at the University of Stirling is a taught advanced Master's degree covering the technology of Big Data and the science of data analytics.
The course is taught in the beautiful Stirling campus in the heart of Scotland with support from companies who recruit data scientists.
The course covers Big Data technology, advanced analytics and industrial and scientific applications. The syllabus includes:
- Mathematics for Big Data
- Python scripting
- Big Data theory and computing foundations
- Big databases and NoSQL
- Analytics, machine learning and data visualisation
- Optimisation and heuristics for big problems
- Hadoop and MapReduce
- Scientific and commercial applications
- Student projects

Key information

- Degree type: MSc
- Duration: One year
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Kevin Swingler

Course objectives

- An understanding of the issues of scalability of databases, data analysis, search and optimisation
- The ability to choose the right solution for a commercial task involving big data, including databases, architectures and cloud services
- An understanding of the analysis of big data including methods to visualise and automatically learn from vast quantities of data
- An appreciation of the size of search spaces in large problems and the ability to choose an appropriate heuristic to find a near optimal solution
- The programming skills to build simple solutions using big data technologies such as MapReduce and scripting for NoSQL, and the ability to write parallel algorithms for multi processor execution.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

Our Big Data MSc is a mix of practical technology such as Hadoop, NoSQL, and Map-Reduce, important maths and computing theory, and advanced computational techniques. The course will teach you what you need to know to collect, manage and analyse big, fast moving data for science or commerce


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


Stirling is a member of The Data Lab, which is an Innovation Centre with the aim of developing the data science talent and skills required by industry in Scotland. The data lab with facilitate industry involvement and collaboration and provide funding and resources for students.
The Stirling MSc in Big Data has been developed in partnership with global and local companies who employ data scientists. HSBC have a development centre in Stirling and have provided some very interesting Big Data projects to our students. Amazon’s development centre in Scotland is close by in Edinburgh. The course features a long summer project, generally in partnership with a company or technology provider, that provides students with a showcase of their skills to take to employers or launch online.
We also have a programme of invited speakers from industry who give the students a chance to ask questions of people who are doing data science every day. Recent companies have included MongoDB, SkyScanner and HSBC.

Career opportunities

Demand for people with big data skills is projected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Average salaries are higher in Big Data jobs than the IT average and the skills shortage will make that gap bigger.
The Stirling Big Data MSc is run in partnership with industry and is designed to produce graduates with the skills that companies need.
e-Skills UK estimate that:
- The number of Big Data jobs in the UK rose by 41% from 2012 - 2013
- By 2020 there will be 56,000 Big Data jobs in the UK alone
- Big Data professionals earn on average 31% more than other IT professionals
- 77% of companies say it is difficult to recruit people with the Big Data skill they need

Visit the Msc/PGDip in Big Data page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree or equivalent in a numerate subject such as maths, computing, engineering or an analytic science. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate work experience are encouraged to apply.

Course Fees

2015/16: Home/EU £4,500; Overseas £13,500

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of Stirling
Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.
Email Sent

Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X