Data Science MSc

  • For Entry: January
  • UCAS Code: P050673
  • Duration: 1 year
  • College: Art, Science & Engineering
  • School: Computing

There has been a recent upsurge in commercial interest in the new role of "data scientist". A data scientist is a person who excels at manipulating and analysing data, particularly large data sets that don't fit easily into tabular structures (so-called "Big Data").

Why study Data Science at Dundee?

The School of Computing has been working on 'big data' and data analysis for at least five years; not only working with data but also developing new algorithms and techniques for data scientists. The School already runs the most successful Business Intelligence Masters course in the UK.

This course will be led by Professor Mark Whitehorn and Andy Cobley. Mark is an emeritus professor at the University of Dundee and also runs a successful consultancy company that specialises in BI, Data Sciences and analytics. Andy is the course organiser for both the existing BI course and the new Data Science course.

This course will enhance your employability by providing you with knowledge, skills and understanding of data science research and implementation. You will also acquire skills in the professional procedures necessary to ensure that data science research and implementation is both valid and actionable and engage with contemporary debate about the role, ethics and utility of data science in commercial and other settings.

What is the difference between Data Science and Business Intelligence?

There is clearly a huge overlap with Business Intelligence. A BI specialist will need to understand data and data analytics.  However there is a bias towards understanding how data is stored in the current operational systems within an enterprise the design and the implementation of an analytical system such as a data warehouse.  A data scientist will be less concerned with the construction of a data warehouse and  more interested in the message the specific sets of data can deliver.

However, without some understanding of data warehouses the data scientist will find it difficult to interrogate the data for its secrets. For this reason there is overlap between the two courses.

If you already have a strong grounding in Business Intelligence and would like to upgrade your knowledge to include topics from the Data Science MSc, we offer the relevant Data Science modules either on a stand alone basis or as a PGCert.

What's so good about Data Science at Dundee?

Our facilities

You will have 24-hour access to our award winning and purpose-built Queen Mother Building. It has an unusual mixture of lab space and breakout areas, with a range of conventional and special equipment for you to use. It's also easy to work on your own laptop as there is wireless access throughout the building. Our close ties to industry allows us access to facilities such as Windows Azure and Teradata, and university and industry standard software such as Tableau for you to evaluate and use.

Postgraduate culture

The School of Computing maintains a friendly, intimate and supportive atmosphere, and we take pride in the fact that we know all of our students - you're far more than just a matriculation number to us. We have a thriving postgraduate department with regular seminars and guest speakers.

Who should study this course?

We are looking for students with:

  • Insatiable curiosity
  • Interdisciplinary interests
  • Excellent communication skills

Degree Combinations

  • Data Science (part time) MSc
  • Data Science PGCert
  • Data Science Individual Module

The programme will be delivered  by Prof. Mark Whitehorn with input from Andy Cobley, Yasmeen Ahmad, Chris Hillman and other specialists from within the School of Computing in an innovative blend of live co-presented master-classes, video seminars and recorded materials. A series of guest speakers from industry will provide case studies across both semesters.

The programme will be provided predominantly on-campus, with two intensive study weeks in each of the semesters. Other classes may be taken off-campus using the university’s VLE, remote desktop, Adobe Connect and video conferencing systems along with telephone conferencing.


Semester 1
  • Big Data - 20 Credits
  • Business Intelligent Systems - 20 Credits
  • Data Analysis and Visualisation - 20 Credits
Semester 2
  • Analytical Database Models and Design - 20 Credits
  • Advanced statistics and data mining - 20 credits
  • MDX - 20 Credits
Semester 3
  • Data Science Mini Project - 20 credits (for Certificate)
  • Data Science Research Project - 60 credits


The PGCert is intended for students who have a strong grounding in Business Intelligence and would like to upgrade their knowledge to include topics from the Data Science MSc. The modules are available stand alone for those who want to take their time studying the material and perhaps build up to a PGCert.

The three modules that make up the PGCert are:

  • Big Data
  • Advanced Anlaysis
  • Mini Project

For more information about the content of the course, please visit the course webpage on the School of Computing website.

Assessment will be by examination, practical coursework and research project.

Various job sites now report an increase in jobs carrying the title of data scientist. Other career opportunities are in intelligence analysis, data management/database maintenance, data processing manager, database development and research, business intelligence consultant and more.

Year of Entry: 2015

Entry Requirements: You should have, or expect to have, an honours degree at 2.1 or above, in Computing (or equivalent qualifications).

However, if you don't meet this requirement you may still apply in which case you will need to prove that you have equivalent experience in the field in order to be accepted onto the course.

All applicants will need to undergo a technical interview to ensure they have the necessary background to undertake the course.

English Language Requirement

IELTS of 6.0 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English.

Please check our English language requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English language courses.

EU and International students visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes throughout the year and Foundation Programme(s) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students which start at the beginning of the academic year.  These programmes are all designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.  Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

The 24 week Pre-Sessional programme (March – August) provides additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and the 10 week Pre-Sessional programme  (June – August) (October – December) provides specialist English Language tuition for students who are 0.5 IELTS below the requirement for their degree programme.

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee categoryFees for students starting January 2015
Scottish students £6,900
Rest of UK students £6,900
EU students £6,900
Overseas students (non-EU) £15,750

Please read the Postgraduate "How to Apply" section for information on how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.

Apply online via UKPASS