MSc Data Science
Our Data Science masters teaches the theory and skills for managing and analysing large, complex data sets – sometimes called Big Data. You’ll learn how to model, store and process these data sets using the latest algorithms and techniques. Modern methods and tools for visually exploring the data will also be covered. The MSc course offers the key skill set of a data scientist. Optional courses provide an opportunity to explore closely-related areas based on the internationally leading research work of our academics. Computer Science at Heriot-Watt is ranked 6th in Scotland by The Complete University league tables (2021).
The skills you learn through the Data Science masters will be applicable to industrial applications, as well as to scientific data exploration. In some cases, the MSc project can also be carried out in collaboration with an outside industrial or academic organisation
- MSc: 12 months (full-time), 24 months (part-time)
- PG Diploma: 9 months
The full-time Masters in Data Science course starts in September.
January 2022 entry
The deadline for applications from Scottish and RUK students is 18 December 2021. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by 1 December 2021. Applications from EU and overseas applicants received after this date will be considered, where possible, for September 2022 entry.
September 2022 entry
The deadline for applications from Scottish and RUK students is 31 August 2022. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by 8 August 2022.
The MSc is accredited by the British Computer Society.
Full-time students take 4 courses each semester and must normally take all core courses.
- Big Data Management
- Data Mining and Machine Learning
- Research Methods and Project Planning
- Statistical Modelling and Analysis
- Data Visualisation and Analytics
- Masters project and dissertation
- Advanced Software Engineering
- Biologically Inspired Computation
- Computer Network Security
- Digital and Knowledge Economy
- Distributed and Parallel Technologies
- Industrial Programming
- Software Engineering Foundations
After semester 2 students continue full-time on the MSc project.
In the third semester (May-August) students undertake a specialist MSc project which is written up as a 15000 word dissertation. This project enables further development and consolidation of skills introduced in the taught courses, applying them to a challenging practical problem in this subject area.
Admission requires a good honours degree with a substantial academic component of Computing or IT that includes study of databases and programming.
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)
- Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
- Fee per course (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.
- Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.
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.