The course

UCAS code
4 years
Delivery type

Introducing a brand new undergraduate programme for 2020/21. This is our first cross-school programme and is taught by academics from our mathematics, actuarial and computing departments.



Data science is the core of the modern data analytics and engineering revolution, turning data into intelligence and information for decision-making and for solving complex, multi-faceted problems. It is a young discipline, and demand for expertise in all aspects of data science is growing very quickly. Because of this strong global demand, the role of data scientist is frequently ranked as the most promising career and consistently tops the best jobs rankings, with professionals in the field reporting high demand, high salaries and high job satisfaction.

The BSc in Data Sciences programme is based on a strong mathematical and statistical foundation and emphasises large-scale data computation using the most relevant and up-to-date programming languages. Depending on their interests, graduates may find employment in the areas of business, finance, government, science, transportation, forensics, energy, the environment or academic research.

The first three years of the programme are designed to provide the necessary core skills and knowledge in mathematics, computer sciences, probability, statistics, machine-learning and artificial intelligence. The fourth year offers the option to focus on advanced machine-learning, statistical algorithms and applications, data engineering, mathematical aspects of data structures or applications to artificial intelligence.

Go Global

You can take advantage of our international campuses by taking part in an Inter-Campus Transfer. This gives you the opportunity to study Computer Science at our Dubai campus for a semester or a year.

Teaching quality

90% of our 2018 graduates reported in the National Student Survey that staff are good at explaining things.

Links with industry

We have very strong links with the computing industry, with representatives of more than 30 companies attending our industrial advisory board. Much of our research is in collaboration with leading computing enterprises and students really value our research-led teaching by our enthusiastic staff.

Student equipment fund

Our Student equipment fund is an initiative to support students in buying technology (either in hardware, data or software) to explore the usage of – and code development for – new platforms, as part of a taught course or as a personal project. Recent purchases include Parrot AR.Drone 2.0s, Oculus Rifts and Raspberry Pi 2s.


Go Global

This course is currently only delivered at our Edinburgh Campus and there are no current opportunities to study at exchange partner institutions.

However, other Go Global opportunities may be available. Please contact for more information.

Detailed course information

Course content

Year 1

Semester 1

Mandatory courses: Calculus A, Praxis, Software Development 1

Optional courses: Logic and Proof, Intro to Statistical Science A

Semester 2

Mandatory courses: Calculus B, Discrete Mathematics, Software Development 2, Intro to Statistical Science B

Year 2

Semester 1

Mandatory courses: Calculus & Real Analysis A, Linear Algebra, Probability and Statistics A

Optional courses: Software Development A, Software Development 3

Semester 2

Mandatory courses: Data Structures and Algorithms, Database Management Systems, Probability and Statistics B

Optional courses: Numerical Analysis A, Software Development B

Year 3

Semester 1

Mandatory courses: Statistical Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Intel Agent, Software Engineering, Advanced Statistical Methods

Semester 2

Mandatory courses: Professional Development, Bayesian Inference &Comp Maths

Optional courses: ODEs, Numerical Analysis B, Scientific Computing, Data Visualisation Analytics, Statistical Models

Year 4

Semester 1

Mandatory courses: Optimisation, Data Engineering Pipelines, Dissertation A

Optional courses: Numerical Analysis C, Natural Language Processing, Industrial Programming, Statistical Computing, Stochastic Processes

Semester 2

Mandatory courses: Big Data Management, Advanced Machine Learning, Dissertation B

Optional courses: Numerical Analysis D, Data Ass with CC, Con Agents and Spoken Lang Proc, Data Visualisation Analytics, Applied Text Analytics

Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements

  • Highers ABBB including Mathematics
  • A-Levels ABB including Mathematics
  • Int. Baccalaureate 26 points with higher level Mathematics at 5
  • BTEC DDM including sufficient Mathematics

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC including Mathematics at B
  • A-Levels BBC including Mathematics at B

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our minimum and standard entry requirements.

Year 2

  • Advanced Highers ABB including Mathematics and Computing
  • A-Levels ABB including Mathematics and Computing
  • Int. Baccalaureate 30 points with higher level Mathematics at 6
  • BTEC DDM including sufficient Mathematics and Computing
  • HNC A in graded unit including Mathematics and Computing
  • HND AB in graded unit including Mathematics and Computing

Year 3

  • HND AA in graded unit including Mathematics and Computing

Additional information

  • You may have the opportunity to transfer to our Malaysia Campus for one semester or for one academic year, subject to satisfactory academic progress. Learn more about campus transfer and exchange opportunities.
  • If you do not see your qualifications here please contact us at
  • For all years, applications are welcomed from holders of non-school qualificationsmature candidates and overseas students.
  • Please check that you meet our University-wide National 5/GCSE (or equivalent) English and Maths requirements.
  • To find out about the difference between the 3 and 4 year honours courses, please watch our video to help you decide which route is best for your qualifications and experience so far.

English language requirements

  • The minimum requirement for English language for all our undergraduate Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics courses is IELTS 6.5. Please see our English language requirements.


Tuition fees for 2020 entry (by residency status)
Status* Scotland / EU** England / Northern Ireland / Wales*** International
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £19,400

* 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.

** European Union countries (not including England, Northern Ireland or Wales).

*** 'Rest of the UK' (RUK) students entering at Level 1 receive a fee waiver of one year's tuition fee. Normally this will be the final year, or a year during which students study abroad (either at a partnership institution, or at one of Heriot-Watt's overseas campuses).

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree courses in 2020

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

Merit Awards for international students starting undergraduate degree courses in 2020

If you are an international fee-paying, self-funded offer holder you may be eligible for:

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.