Postgraduate Course

MSc Data Science with Professional Placement

MSc Data Science with Professional Placement

Overview

The details
Data Science with Professional Placement
October 2022
Full-time
2 years
Colchester Campus

The techniques we use to model and manipulate data guide the political, financial and social decisions that shape our modern society and are the basis of growth of the economy and success of businesses. Technology is growing and evolving at an incredible speed, and both the rate of growth of data we generate and the devices we use to process it can only increase.

Data science is a growing and important field of study with a fast-growing number of jobs and opportunities within the private and public sector. The application of theory and methods to real-world problems and applications is at the core of data science, which aims especially to use and to exploit big data.

If you are interested in solving real-world problems, you like to develop skills to use smart devices efficiently, you want to use and to foster your understanding of mathematics, and you are interested and keen to use statistical techniques and methods to interpret data, MSc Data Science at Essex is for you. You study a balance of solid theory and practical application including:

  • Computer science
  • Programming
  • Statistics
  • Data analysis
  • Probability

A successful career in data science requires you to possess truly interdisciplinary knowledge, so we ensure that you graduate with a wide-ranging yet specialised set of skills in this area. You are taught mainly within our Department of Mathematical Sciences and our School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, but also benefit from input from our Essex Business School, and our Essex Pathways Department. Data scientists are required in every sector, carrying out statistical analysis or mining data on social media, so our course can open the door to almost any industry, from health, to government, to publishing.

Our Department of Mathematical Sciences is genuinely innovative and student-focused. Our research groups are working on a broad range of collaborative areas tackling real-world issues. Here are a few examples:

  • Our data scientists carefully consider how not to lie, and how not to get lied to with data. Interpreting data correctly is especially important because much of our data science research is applied directly or indirectly to social policies, including health, care and education.
  • We do practical research with financial data (for example, assessing the risk of collapse of the UK’s banking system) as well as theoretical research in financial instruments such as insurance policies or asset portfolios.
  • We also research how physical processes develop in time and space. Applications of this range from modelling epilepsy to modelling electronic cables.
  • Our optimisation experts work out how to do the same job with less resource, or how to do more with the same resource.
  • Our pure maths group are currently working on two new funded projects entitled ‘Machine learning for recognising tangled 3D objects’ and ‘Searching for gems in the landscape of cyclically presented groups’.
  • We also do research into mathematical education and use exciting technologies such as electroencephalography or eye tracking to measure exactly what a learner is feeling. Our research aims to encourage the implementation of ‘the four Cs’ of modern education, which are critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.
Why we're great.
  • We are committed to developing the data scientists of the future.
  • Our interdisciplinary Institute for Data Analytics (IADS) researches data issues from the scientific and technological, to the sociological and legal.
  • We have active links with industry to broaden your employment potential and placement opportunities.

Placement year

MSc Data Science with Professional Placement offers a unique opportunity for you to gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The placement is undertaken between the taught part of the course and the individual project. Its aim is to allow you to acquire industry experience and, especially, develop an appreciation of how the skills acquired in the taught part of the course can be applied to real world problems.

You’ll be responsible for securing your own work placement, but if you change your mind and decide not to do your placement, or if you are not able to secure a placement, you can start your dissertation earlier and complete your Masters in the first year.

Our expert staff

Today’s computer scientists are creative people who are focused and committed, yet restless and experimental. We are home to many of the world’s top scientists, and our staff are driven by creativity and imagination as well as technical excellence. We conduct world-leading research in areas such as explorative data analysis, classification and clustering, evolutionary computation, data visualisation and financial forecasting. Specialist staff working on data science and analytics include:

  • Dr Luca Citi – machine learning, learning from biological signals and data (EEG, etc)
  • Dr Hongsheng Dai – computational Bayesian statistics
  • Professor Maria Fasli – machine learning, adaptation, semantic information extraction, ontologies, data exploration, recommendation technologies
  • Professor Udo Kruschwitz – natural language processing, analysis textual/unstructured data, information retrieval
  • Professor Berthold Lausen – biostatistics, classification and clustering, data science education, event time data, machine learning, predictive modelling
  • Dr Aris Perperoglou – data analysis and data visualisation, statistical modelling and smoothing, survival analysis, clinical trials
  • Professor Abdel Salhi – data mining, numerical analysis, optimisation
  • Professor Edward Tsang – applied AI, constraint satisfaction, computational finance and economics, agent-based simulations
  • Dr Spyros Vrontos – actuarial mathematics and actuarial modelling
  • Dr Xinan Yang – approximate dynamic programming, Markov decision process

Specialist facilities

  • All computers run either Windows 10 or are dual boot with Linux
  • Software includes Java, Prolog, C++, Perl, Mysql, Matlab, DB2, Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, and Project
  • You have access to CAD tools and simulators for chip design (Xilinx) and computer networks (OPNET)
  • We also have specialist facilities for research into areas including non-invasive brain-computer interfaces, intelligent environments, robotics, optoelectronics, video, RF and MW, printed circuit milling, and semiconductors
  • Collaborate with the Essex Institute of Data Analytics and Data Science (IADS) and the ESRC Business and Local Government (BLoG) Data Research Centre of the University of Essex
  • The UK Data Archive and the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Essex contribute to our internationally outstanding data science environment

Your future

With a predicted shortage of data scientists, now is the time to future-proof your career. Data scientists are required in every sector, carrying out statistical analysis or mining data on social media, so our course opens the door to almost any industry, from health, to government, to publishing.

Our graduates are highly sought after by a range of employers and find employment in financial services, scientific computation, decision making support and government, risk assessment, statistics, education and other areas. Our recent graduates have gone onto work as data scientists and data analysts in both the private and public sectors.

We also offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MSc by Dissertation.

We additionally work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

We will consider applicants with a 2:2 degree in one of the following subjects:

  • Mathematics,
  • Statistics
  • Operational research
  • Computer Science
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Pure Mathematics
  • Biostatistics
  • Economic Statistics
  • Statistics
  • Economics

OR

A 2.2 degree in any subject which includes:

One module in:
  • Calculus
  • Maths
  • Engineering Maths
  • Advanced Maths
And one module in
  • Statistics or Probability
  • Maths
  • Engineering Maths
  • Advanced Maths
And one additional relevant module, from
  • Algebra
  • Analysis
  • Programming language (R, Matlab or Python)
  • A second module in Probability or Statistics
  • Numerical Methods
  • Complex Numbers
  • Differential Equations
  • Optimisation (Linear Programming)
  • Regression
  • Stochastic Process
  • Maths
  • Engineering Maths
  • Advanced Maths

Applicants with a degree below 2:2 or equivalent will be considered dependent on any relevant professional or voluntary experience and previous modules studied.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Research Methods
(15 CREDITS)

Looking to build your research capabilities? This module will equip you with the principal research tools for your postgraduate course in Mathematical Sciences, including practice in the mathematical word-processing language LaTeX.

View Research Methods on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

Option from List A
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

Option from List B
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Modelling Experimental Data
(15 CREDITS)

Can you calculate confidence intervals for parameters and prediction intervals for future observations? Represent a linear model in matrix form? Or adapt a model to fit growth curves? Learn to apply linear models to analyse data. Discuss underlying assumptions and standard approaches. Understand methods to design and analyse experiments.

View Modelling Experimental Data on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Applied Statistics
(15 CREDITS)

How do you apply multivariate methods? Or demographical and epidemiological methods? And how do you apply sampling methods? Study three application areas of statistics – multivariate methods, demography and epidemiology, and sampling. Understand how to apply and assess these methods in a variety of situations.

View Applied Statistics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Machine Learning
(15 CREDITS)

Humans can often perform a task extremely well (e.g., telling cats from dogs) but are unable to understand and describe the decision process followed. Without this explicit knowledge, we cannot write computer programs that can be used by machines to perform the same task. “Machine learning” is the study and application of methods to learn such algorithms automatically from sets of examples, just like babies can learn to tell cats from dogs simply by being shown examples of dogs and cats by their parents. Machine learning has proven particularly suited to cases such as optical character recognition, dictation software, language translators, fraud detection in financial transactions, and many others.

View Machine Learning on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 07: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

Option(s) from List A or List B
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 08: COMPULSORY

Mathematics Careers and Employability
(0 CREDITS)

What skills do you need to succeed during your studies? And what about after university? How will you realise your career goals? Develop your transferable skills and experiences to create your personal profile. Reflect on and plan your ongoing personal development, with guidance from your personal advisor within the department.

View Mathematics Careers and Employability on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 09: COMPULSORY

Professional Placement
(0 CREDITS)

This module enables you to undertake a placement with an external Placement Provider. You will acquire effective work-based skills specific to your chosen field, and gain a detailed understanding of work processes. It’s an opportunity to put taught skills into practise and develop a network of industry professionals. Your placement is a sought-after contribution to your employability, giving you the tools employers look for in skilled graduates.

View Professional Placement on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Professional Placement
(120 CREDITS)

This module enables you to undertake a placement with an external Placement Provider. You will acquire effective work-based skills specific to your chosen field, and gain a detailed understanding of work processes. It’s an opportunity to put taught skills into practise and develop a network of industry professionals. Your placement is a sought-after contribution to your employability, giving you the tools employers look for in skilled graduates.

View Professional Placement on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Dissertation
(60 CREDITS)

This is a dissertation module for MSc students. Student will be provided with a list of dissertation titles or your own, provided a member of staff agrees it is of suitable standard and is able to supervise it.

View Dissertation on our Module Directory

Placement

You will complete a professional placement between the taught part of the course and the individual project. This professional placement allows you to gain work experience during your postgraduate studies.

Teaching

  • Core components can be combined with optional modules, to enable you to gain either in-depth specialisation or a breadth of understanding
  • Learn to use LATEX to produce a document as close as possible to what professional mathematicians produce in terms of organisation, layout and type-setting
  • Our postgraduates are encouraged to attend conferences and seminars on a Thursday afternoon

Assessment

  • Courses are assessed on the results of your written examinations, together with continual assessments of your practical work and coursework

Dissertation

  • You will be provided with a list of dissertation titles or topics proposed by staff and it may be possible to propose a project of your own
  • Most dissertations are between 10,000 and 30,000 words in length. However, these are guidelines, not mandatory word counts
  • Close supervision by academic staff

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,200

Year 2 fee is currently calculated at 40% of the Year 1 fee for the year in which the placement occurs.

International fee

£19,740

Year 2 fee is currently calculated at 40% of the Year 1 fee for the year in which the placement occurs.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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