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:
We also offer an MPhil in this subject, and part time study is also available.
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.
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.
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.
“The journey of a PhD student is just like a roller coaster, so make sure you take the time to celebrate the wins and reflect on the losses. My PhD involves examining the process of skeletal muscle activation/deactivation by developing novel mathematical methods to extract dynamic information from image data. The most enjoyable aspect of my work is the flexibility it gives me as an individual and being able to deepen my understanding in the field of Bayesian statistics, which I find particularly interesting. In the future I plan to work in the industry as a Data Scientist, on various projects related either to macroeconomics or finance.”
Madalina Mihailescu, PhD Data Science student
You will need a good honours degree and a Masters degree in a relevant subject. A well-developed research proposal is also essential.
You may be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.
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.
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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.
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 planned for 2021 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.
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.
£16,230EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
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:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
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.
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