Postgraduate Research Course

PhD Data Science

PhD Data Science

Overview

The details
Data Science
October 2020
Full-time
4 years
Colchester Campus

Our PhD Data Science is an advanced research degree within our Department of Mathematical Sciences and we have staff members available to act as supervisors across a number of areas within data science. Possible areas of research include: artificial intelligence, classification/supervised learning, clustering/unsupervised learning, data science education, deep learning, industry 4.0, information retrieval, mathematical foundations of data science, multidimensional scaling, optimisation, and statistical learning. If you’re interested in doing a data science research degree at Essex, contact our Department to discuss potential research areas.

Our staff are strongly committed to excellence in research and excellence in education. Our Department of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) and our School and Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE) have introduced undergraduates and postgraduate courses in data science since 2014.

The University of Essex is a leading institution worldwide on Data Science Education. DMS has strong track record on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) with data-driven industries, for example: Profusion, Mondaq, MSXI and Ocado. DMS has two research groups: Data Science and Mathematics.

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.

We also offer an MPhil in this subject, and part time study is also available.

Why we're great.
  • Our degree is jointly delivered by our Department of Mathematical Sciences and our School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.
  • Our data science courses benefit from the Institute of Analytics and Data Science (IADS), the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) and the UK Data Archive, all based at the University of Essex.
  • You have access to Proficio, the University's unique professional development scheme for research students.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

Our Department of Mathematical Sciences has an international reputation in all areas of mathematical sciences including; statistical learning, artificial intelligence, classification/supervised learning, clustering/unsupervised learning, data science education, actuarial science, mathematical statistics, operational research, applied mathematics, pure mathematics, and mathematics education.

We encourage PhD students to meet with their supervisor regularly. While undertaking your research within our Department, joint supervision across other Essex departments and schools is possible.

Your PhD should lead to publications in academic journals. Our PhD students have had papers accepted and published in journals such as: Advances in Data Analysis and Classification; BMC Bioinformatics; Ecology; Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical; Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena; and The North American Journal of Economics and Finance.

Specialist facilities

Our Department of Mathematical Sciences is based in the University’s state-of-the-art STEM Centre.

All University of Essex research students have access to our innovative and unique scheme, Proficio. Postgraduate research students are automatically enrolled on Proficio, which provides a variety of training courses, and a fund of up to £2,500 per student for conference attendance and relevant external training courses.

Your future

Many of our former PhD students have gone on to work as academics in prominent institutions across the world, such as the University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Nottingham and many other international universities. Some have also remained at the University of Essex, working as postdoctoral research fellows, research impact officers, or lecturers.

Other graduates have joined organisations like the Met Office, the Ministry of Defence, and companies based in the City of London. There is a high demand for data science experts in all sectors of the economy, so our graduates are sought after in the UK and abroad.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

You will need a good Masters degree, or equivalent, in a related subject. A well-developed research proposal is also essential.

You will normally be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.

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

If English is not your first language , we require IELTS 6.0, or equivalent with a minimum of 5.5 in all other components.

Structure

Example structure

A research degree gives you the chance to investigate an area or topic in real depth, and develop transferable research skills. During your time in the Department you have opportunities to attend conferences, publish papers, and give talks at departmental research seminars. You may also attend some university modules, and will meet with your supervisor typically on a weekly basis.

Within our Department, our PhD students are usually encouraged to take our taught module, Research Methods, in the first year of study, so you are well equipped with the necessary skills to undertake effective research. You may also attend some other modules on an informal basis.

All our students wishing to study for a PhD enrol on a combined MPhil/PhD pathway. In your second year of study, depending on progress, a decision is made by our Department on whether to proceed with either an MPhil or a PhD.

Our full-time research students have a supervisory board to review their progress every six months (or annually if studying part-time). Typically, the board involves your supervisor and one other academic. The recommendations of this are considered by our Departmental Research Students’ Progress Board, which will make decisions on your registration status.

If you progress well, you should be confirmed as a PhD student in the first term of your second year of study.

Assessment

A PhD (with a minimum period of three years) typically involves wide reading round the subject area in your first year, then gradually developing original results over your second and third years, before writing them up in a coherent fashion. The resulting thesis is expected to make a significant contribution to knowledge.

Your PhD is awarded after your successful defence of your thesis in an oral examination (viva), in which you are interviewed about your research by two examiners, at least one of whom is from outside Essex.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£5,103

International fee

£15,460

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, graduate employability, student support and more
  • talk to our Fees and Funding team about scholarship opportunities
  • 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 encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.

We aim to respond to applications within four 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.

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