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    Key information

    Delivery type
    Graduate Apprenticeship
    4 years
    BSc (Hons)


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    Data Science, as a discipline, sits at the intersection between Computer Science (including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning), Mathematics (including Advanced Statistical methods) and selected areas of Engineering.

    The graduate apprenticeship programme is open to new or existing employees in Scotland of all ages and consists of 20% academic learning and 80% work-based learning.

    This graduate apprenticeship programme aims to combine core elements of all these areas. Successful completion of this programme will allow the graduate to become a graduate data science engineer, enabling their company or employer to benefit from up to date knowledge in this area.

    Graduates' skillset

    The Data Science graduate apprenticeship programme aims to produce BSc (Hons) graduates who:

    • have an understanding of their organisations data strategy and why it's important
    • are able to source, collect and integrate data;
    • have an awareness of techniques such as machine learning, data mining, prescriptive and predictive analytics (trends and patterns), and forecasting;
    • have an understanding of the different types of quantitative research methods and statistical techniques for analysing data such as hypothesis testing, standard deviation, regression and correlation;
    • have an understanding of the principles and advantages of machine learning and applying learning algorithms to data;
    • have an understanding of the different specialist data analytical tools and how they can be used to support decision making;
    • are able to demonstrate how data science can be applied to improve their organisation's processes, operations and outputs;
    • are able to demonstrate the different ways of communicating meaning from data;
    • have an understanding of how data science operates within the context of data governance and data security;
    • have an understanding of a range of contemporary project management methods and their differences;
    • are able to operate in team and multidisciplinary contexts.

    Key areas of the programme

    The primary focus of the Data Science graduate apprenticeship programme is on developing the knowledge, understanding and skills outcomes sought by employers.


    • Business functions, behaviours, ethics, and courtesies
    • Business strategy and management


    • Software development essentials
    • Data and algorithms
    • Database systems
    • Data Security
    • Engineering management
    • Machine Learning
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Probability and Statistics
    • Software modelling and analysis
    • Software design
    • Software development process
    • Data modelling, database development, and data analysis
    • Protection and Ethics

    Personal and interpersonal

    • Communications
    • Personal attributes
    • Professional attributes
    • Team working

    Data project and delivery management

    • Project management methodologies
    • Project planning
    • Project execution
    • Agile project delivery
    • Risk assessment and management

    Course content

    Year 1

    Semester one

    • Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists 1

    Semester two

    Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists 2

    All semesters

    • Intoduction to Data Science
    • Industrial Praxis in Data Science
    • Introduction to Software Development
    • Introduction to Database Systems
    • Introduction to Computer Systems

    Year 2

    Semester one

    • Introduction to Data Structures and Algorithms

    Semester two

    • Multivariate Calculus and Linear Algebra
    • Operations Management

    All semesters

    • Data Structures and Algorithms Praxis
    • Industry-based Project in Data Science
    • Database Management Systems
    • Database Management Systems
    • Data Security, Protection and Ethics

    Year 3

    Semester one

    • Probability and Statistics for Data Sciece and Engineering

    Semester two

    • Machine Learning
    • Project Management

    All semesters

    • Statistics and Machine Learning Project
    • Introuction to Aritificial Intelligence
    • Business Awareness and Sustainability
    • Advanced Industrial Project in Data Science

    Year 5

    Semester one

    • Fundamentals of Optimisation

    Semester two

    • Big data and linked data management

    All semesters

    • Data visualisation and Analytics
    • Data science Dissertation A
    • Data Science Dissertation B
    • Introduction to Deep Learning

    Entry requirements

    Year 1

    • SQA Highers at BBBB including Mathematics, plus Computing or similar​
    • A-Levels at BBC including Mathematics, plus Computing or similar​
    • Int. Baccalaureate 28 points​
    • SQA HNC in a computing/engineering discipline (or a relevant Modern Apprenticeship) with Engineering Mathematics 1 & 2 (or equivalent)​
    • A relevant Foundation Apprenticeship in conjunction with SQA Highers at BBB* including Mathematics​
    • A combination of qualifications totalling 96 SCQF credits at level 6 or Minimum 106 UCAS points

    Year 2

    • SQA Advanced Highers at BBB including Mathematics, plus Computing or similar and excellent SQA Highers or Scottish Baccalaureate​
    • A-Levels at ABB including Mathematics, plus Computing or similar​
    • SQA HND in a computing/engineering discipline (or a relevant Modern Apprenticeship) with Engineering Mathematics 1, 2 & 3 (or equivalent)​
    • A combination of qualifications totalling 96 SCQF credits at level 7

    Why Heriot-Watt?

    Ranking (Computer Science, The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023)

    Ranked 5th in Scotland and Top 30 in the UK for Computer Science by The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

    Ranking (Computer Science and Information Systems, Guardian Good University Guide 2023)

    Ranked 3rd in Scotland and 9th in the UK for Computer Science and Information Systems by the Guardian Good University Guide 2023.

    Graduate apprenticeship success stories

    Read our graduate apprenticeship partners' success stories who are already seeing the benefits.

    Clubs and activities

    At Heriot-Watt we have an extensive programme of over 90 sports clubs and societies to get involved in. You can try as many as you like or start one of your own!

    Edinburgh Campus facilities

    At Heriot-Watt University, we offer a wide range of services to help you deal with all aspects of your life with us, whether these be academic, personal, technical, financial or just plain fun!

    Health and wellbeing

    Student Wellbeing Services aim to provide a range of support, guidance, activities and advice to help students to be their best, and get the most from their university experience. From counselling to coaching we'll sure you are fully supported.

    Heriot-Watt Student Union

    There's more to university life than simply getting your degree, and Heriot-Watt University Student Union is all about helping you to have the best possible experience while you study here.

    Living in Edinburgh

    Historic and beautiful, a cultural capital that fuels the senses whether you love the arts or nature, nightlife or study life, Edinburgh is stimulating and inspirational and never, ever boring.

    Sport facilities

    Oriam, Scotland Sports Performance Centre offers state-of-the-art sports facilities, for all levels of sport and ability

    Your career

    Employers around the world actively seek out our graduates because they are work-ready. All our degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of industry. Around 95% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

    Register your interest in Graduate Apprenticeships

    Places are in high demand, and offered on a first come, first served basis to qualified employees – so please register your interest right away.

    If you are an employer, please complete the contact form to our GA team and we will contact you to discuss a detailed plan for your company.

    If you are already working, ask your manager to get in touch with us by completing this web form.

    If you are looking for an employer who could employ you and put you forward for the GA programme, you can find vacancies with current partner companies.

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