Business and Local Government Data Research Centre

Data Science and AI Masters Projects

The Data Science and AI Masters Projects scheme is a new and exciting opportunity for businesses, public and third sector organisations to work with the Centre on a joint, data-related project that would involve the use of advanced data analytics.

Through data science and artificial intelligence techniques we will explore a problem that you are facing within your organisation and derive useful insights.

Thanks to our funded scheme, organisations will have access to the next generation of data scientists and artificial intelligence experts, dedicated to finding innovative solutions to the biggest challenges faced today through the use of data.

The project could involve data held by the organisation or open source data and the project will be designed around addressing challenges using AI, machine learning or data science techniques to provide useful insight.

The University of Essex is one of the top Universities in the world for data science, so organisations can benefit from the brightest new talent in the field, as selected Masters students, mentored by top academics work on a data-related project.

About the scheme

Selected Masters students will be allocated to organisations to complete the research project over an approximate 10-week period commencing in February 2024. The Masters student will be working closely with the organisation in scoping out the detailed project objectives, milestones and deliverables under the supervision of academic and research staff at the University of Essex and the Centre.

Organisations will benefit from working with the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE) and the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science postgraduate students at the forefront of data science and artificial intelligence funded by the Centre to bring the project to life and maximise the value of data.

Benefits for organisations

Data is the lifeblood of any organisation, but organisations may lack the skills, expertise or time to undertake novel projects and benefit from advanced analytics that can help them derive new insights from their data and improve their efficiency and effectiveness.

Combining the best of our successful Data Analytics Innovation Voucher (DAIV) scheme with the well-established University of Essex Masters projects and placement programme, now organisations can benefit from specialist analytics expertise through Masters students who can work with the organisations supervised by academic and research staff from the University and the Centre to undertake a Masters level project to tackle a problem that the organisation is facing.

This is a unique opportunity for organisations that want to innovate and undertake technical projects that would involve the use of advanced analytics and would provide them access to expertise and skills that otherwise they would not have at their disposal. Masters students will be undertaking the work during a 10-week period commencing in February 2024.

Taking part in this scheme means that you will be working with someone who has the most up to date knowledge and skills relevant to your organisation. By working with a Masters student you will gain an injection of new expertise and skills to assist on a specific project or provide specialist skills and knowledge. The best innovations can come from someone from outside your organisation who can view a problem from a different perspective.

You may also find that you improve your future recruitment by raising your profile among the next generation of graduates. And you will be giving someone a chance to put their new skills to good use, delivering positive impact for you and a great experience for them to refer to in interviews for future roles.

This opportunity will also provide you with access to academics and researchers working at the University of Essex and you will also have the opportunity to find out and explore wider collaborative opportunities such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs).

Benefits for Masters students

Masters students have completed their Undergraduate degree, and many may have already spent some time in employment before returning to University to continue their studies. They may be undertaking a postgraduate degree to gain promotion or work towards the next steps in their career path, or they may wish to enhance the skills they learned during their Bachelors.

The Data Science and AI Masters Projects scheme provides them with an opportunity to apply the new skills learnt during their Masters programme on a novel and relevant problem in an industrial or other setting therefore obtaining valuable hands-on experience that improves their career prospects.

The students also improve their employability skills by managing a real-life project and strengthening their critical thinking, communication, organisation and team-working skills. They will also widen their understanding of how data analytics is applied within industry while building their professional network.

How to apply

We are inviting expression of interest applications from organisations by Friday 2nd February 2024. We anticipate that projects will begin in February 2024.

To apply you will need to complete a simple application form (.docx), also available from the Business and Local Government Data Research Centre by request (