The course

Full-time, Part-time
Course type
Entry date



Today’s sporting industry is heavily dependent on access to sporting analytics and reliable validated data. In order to compete in this industry, teams and individuals must be able to utilise this data to evaluate their weaknesses and develop their strengths, in an effort to excel in one of the world’s most competitive industries.

This brand new MSc has been developed in response to this marked growth in the demand for individuals with performance analysis knowledge and data skills within the sporting industry. On this programme students will be taught how to analyse very large and complex data sets (‘Big Data’) that are now being generated by athletes across all sports, they will learn how to apply data science techniques in the area of sports performance, to provide a data-driven approach to unique and improved sports training pathways. Students will also learn how to model, store and process data sets using the latest algorithms and techniques, as well as how to interpret sports performance data and develop performance pathways to enhance the overall performance of individuals and teams.

This is the first programme to be taught at Heriot-Watt that has been developed alongside The Oriam Centre;

Oriam, Scotland's Sports Performance Centre, is hosted on the Heriot-Watt Edinburgh campus. This programme offers expert level data instruction whilst utilising the facilities, and elite sport organisations provided by this sports centre. This association with Oriam will offer students a visible and clear pathway to learn from and work within the industry. Oriam hosts elite sports organisations in professional football, rugby, national governing bodies for sport and the SportScotland Institute of Sport.

Students on this programme will be able to explore topics such as:

  • Movement characteristics of professional athletes during training and competition.
  • Injury data and training exposure
  • Exploring the dose-response of training in high performance environments.
  • Using performance analysis data to investigate tactical patterns within a variety of sports.
  • Explore advancements in Artificial intelligence and machine learning in sport.
Detailed course information

Course content

Mandatory Courses

  • Interpreting Performance Data
  • Databases and Information Systems
  • Data Mining and Machine Learning
  • Software Eng Foundations
  • Sports Data Eng and Analysis
  • Research Methods and Project Plan
  • Masters Project and Dissertation

Optional Courses

  • Advanced Interaction Design
  • Big Data Management
  • Software Eng Master Class

Entry requirements

Admission requires a good honours degree at UK 2:2 level in Sports Science, Sports Management, Sports Psychology, Exercise Science and Health, or related discipline. Applicants are also required to have numeracy, familiarity with statistics, and basic skills in some programming language.

English language requirements

Important: If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 (with no component under 5.5), we also accept TOEFL (scores of 90 and higher).

We also offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your master’s programme:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)


Tuition fees for 2019 entry (by residency status)
Status* Full-time Part-time
Scotland / Non-UK EU £7168 £3584
England / Northern Ireland / Wales £7168 £3584
Overseas £18680 £9340

* If you are unsure which category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your fees.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.