Data Science MSc

Why choose this course?

Data Science is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of employment globally, due to rapid and ongoing developments in computer systems and data gathering. Large data sets are widespread in business, science and government.

This course builds on the established strengths of the Mathematics and Computer Science programmes and develops a multidisciplinary approach to the computational analysis of data. Contemporary society faces new challenges in the analysis of data, predictive analytics in support of decision making processes that are both mathematical and computational. There is an increasing demand for data-savvy professionals both in industry and in research who are able make sense of large amounts of data and apply it to the solution of relevant problems.

This course offers postgraduates with some background in computing, mathematics, or data-based investigation the opportunity to develop their skills in a way which will prepare them for careers in this fast-growing and exciting area which spans virtually all areas of commerce and industry as well as scientific research, and involves working with individuals and organisations to extract value from the ever-increasing volume of data that is available.

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2021 and January 2022
Full time 2 years including professional placement September 2021 and January 2022
Part time 2 years September 2021 and January 2022
Location Penrhyn Road

2021/22 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2021/22 (i.e. between August 2021 and July 2022), please view the information about changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2021/22 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2021/22. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Data Science aligns with a thriving area of applied machine learning research in the School of Computer Science & Mathematics - giving opportunities for exposure to plenty of cutting edge examples and exercises.
  • The Data Science course is designed for entry from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, with more flexible entry-points than the more commonplace style of "September-starter" postgraduate course.
  • Like many MSc courses in the School of Computer Science and Mathematics, Data Science benefits from broad entry requirements, a diverse community of learners, and study in week-long blocks that can fit around different work/study patterns.

What you will study

The multidisciplinary nature of data science is reflected in this MSc programme through the careful combination of modules in data management, analysis, modelling, visualisation and artificial intelligence (AI), which are taught by a cross-disciplinary team whose expertise encompasses mathematics, statistics, AI and machine learning, information management, and user experience design.

For a student to go on placement they are required to pass every module first time with no reassessments. It is the responsibility of individual students to find a suitable paid placement. Students will be supported by our dedicated placement team in securing this opportunity.

Modules

The programme is made up of four modules each worth 30 credit points plus an individual project worth 60 credits. The optional Professional Placement can be undertaken following completion of the other modules. The optional Professional Placement taken during an additional year will give 120 credits.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

Databases and Data Management

30 credits

In this module students will be introduced to the methods, techniques and tools that organisations use to collect, manage, store and secure data. Different approaches and methods will be explored to model data requirements using structured and unstructured databases. Students will also be introduced to data warehousing architectures and concepts in "big data". Essential knowledge of data security issues, including policies, structures and practices used to ensure data security and confidentiality, and the way that such issues are addressed in practice, is also examined.

Data Analytics and Visualisation

30 credits

This module introduces the core concepts of data analytics, starting from elementary statistics applied to data-driven decision making, progressing through more sophisticated software-supported data analysis to the presentation of information and its persuasive effect, with applications to business strategy, demographics and social analytics.

Applied Data Programming

30 credits

This module emphasises a practical and applied approach to programming and software skills for Data Scientists which differs from typical Software Engineering approaches in that the emphasis is on the use and manipulation of data using languages and platforms designed for use in real-life, data-driven problems. The languages and platforms are considered only as far as their use for data manipulation are needed with limited exploration of underlying theory or data structures. This prioritises practical implementation including locating, accessing, loading, manipulating, securing, storing and describing data, and enables the introduction of aspects of data analysis, data-mining and machine learning provided by the chosen languages and platforms.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

30 credits

The module introduces fundamental concepts and methods in Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition, and discusses their applications in disciplines such as image and video analysis, computer games, information security, data science and mechatronics. Students are firstly introduced to classical methods, before they are taught modern state-of-the-art approaches. Then, they are exposed to applications related to their course. The module is taught in a practical fashion and therefore some knowledge of a programming language is required.

Project Dissertation

60 credits

This module constitutes the major individual piece of work of the Masters Programme where the student carries out a project involving independent critical research, design and implementation (where applicable).

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Select, justify and use effectively the research methods and techniques appropriate for particular cases in order to carry out a literature search and an independent work of research
  • Critically identify the need to position their research in the wider academic or business context and structure the dissertation format to agreed conventions
  • Plan, manage and critically evaluate the project using the techniques and tools needed in order to bring it in successfully on time and within resourcing limits
  • Identify and critically analyse real-world problems or knowledge gaps to which academic concepts and methods can be realistically applied to improve or resolve the problem situation
  • Apply skills to show an ability to engage in academic and professional communication with others in their field through report and presentation
  • Present critical awareness in applying appropriate legal, social or ethical obligations and when required, respond to the financial and other constraints of a corresponding business environment.
Professional Placement

120 credits

The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates an extended professional placement. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and develops and enhances key employability and subject specific skills in their chosen discipline. Students may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for the major project or future career.

It is the responsibility of individual students to find and secure a suitable placement opportunity; this should not normally involve more than two placements which must be completed over a minimum period of 10 months and within a maximum of 12 months. The placement must be approved by the Course Leader, prior to commencement to ensure its suitability. Students seeking placements will have access to the standard placement preparation activities offered by Student Engagement and Enhancement (SEE) group.

Read more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

 

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to take the option of a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's Tier 4 visa.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Typical offer

At least a 2.2 honours degree in a subject with significant computing science or mathematics/statistics content. Typical appropriate first degree subjects would include: computer science (including software engineering or cyber security), mathematics, statistics, and engineering.

International

In order to complete your programme successfully, it is important to have a good command of English and be able to apply this in an academic environment. Therefore, if you are a non-UK applicant* you will usually be required to provide certificated proof of English language competence before commencing your studies.

For this course you must pass IELTS academic test in English with an overall score of 6.5, with no element below 6.0, or meet the scores listed on the alternative online tests. Please note that we do not accept Standard XII as proof of Academic English.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

* Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

The learning, teaching and assessment strategies reflect the programme aims and learning outcomes, student background, potential employer requirements, and the need to develop a broad range of technical skills with the ability to apply them appropriately.

The use of coursework emphasises more authentic assessments, which could be, for example, from business or research contacts in local SMEs or colleagues working with "big data" in the NHS, with appropriate ethical and IP approval, as necessary. For example, students will typically create applications, documentation and visualisations, writing reports and giving presentations. Students will have the opportunity in some assignments to identify topics and target audiences in consultation with teaching staff which allows them to express their individuality and appreciate the diversity within course. In this way, as they progress through the course, students are guided and supported to assemble a portfolio of tangible outputs which evidence, explicitly, the knowledge and skills they have gained and which may be used to demonstrate their capabilities to future employers in a format that can be influenced by the students' own preferences.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Year 1: 15% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 292 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1508 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises in-class tests, practical (e.g. presentations, demonstrations) and coursework (e.g. essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows:

  • 94% coursework
  • 3% exams and tests
  • 3% practical

(repeat for each year, if part time)

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

­You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which provides dedicated academic guidance and advice as well as the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes, therefore you may be taught alongside postgraduates from other courses.

Who teaches this course

This course is delivered by the School of Science and Mathematics in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing.

The Faculty's wide selection of undergraduate and postgraduate courses covers a diverse range of subject areas, from aerospace to geography; from maths and computing to biotechnology; and many more. Our collaborative set-up provides new opportunities for our students, and we design our courses with industry professionals to ensure you stay up to date with the latest developments.

School of Computing and Mathematics

The School of Computer Science and Mathematics offers high-quality undergraduate and postgraduate courses, designed to reflect the developing needs of business and industry. We deliver our teaching in an exciting and challenging learning environment, and make use of modern, well-equipped facilities.

Kingston University offers high quality undergraduate and postgraduate courses focused on applied computer science and mathematics, cyber security, games and digital media - designed to reflect the developing needs of business and industry. They are underpinned by the latest technologies and strengthened by active collaborations with industry leaders providing practical experience through placements as well as educational partnerships.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Our modern teaching environment at Kingston University

There is a wide range of facilities at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • dedicated postgraduate computing laboratories, fully-equipped with fold-flat LCD screens, data-projection systems and high-spec processors
  • development software and tools, such as Linux, Microsoft.net, Dreamweaver MX, Flash 8, Eclipse, Java 2 Standard and Mobile Editions, tools for Motorola and Nokia phones, UML and CASE tools and NXP Processors Development Kits
  • Digital Signal Processors (dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers)
  • IP Set Top Box development environment (NXP's STB810)
  • Electronics Laboratory
  • a mix of wireless LAN technologies
  • the learning resources centre, offering subject libraries, online database subscriptions and resource materials
  • a postgraduate teaching suite
  • the dedicated Graduate Centre on campus, providing seminar rooms and social spaces.

Our dedicated team of IT technicians support the labs and are always on hand to provide assistance.

Resources in London

Kingston is just a 30-minute train journey away from central London. Here you can access a wealth of additional libraries and archives, including the British Library and the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Course fees and funding

Here you can find more details about fees for this course, as well as any funding opportunities available to you for this course. Please note that fees relate to the academic year in question and will increase in future years.

If you require a Tier 1-5 visa to reside in the UK (this includes a Tier 4 student visa), you may not be able to enrol on a part-time programme at the University.

Kingston University has carefully considered the Tier 4 visa route and has decided not to offer Tier 4 part-time study. Tier 4 sponsorship is only available to students studying on a full-time course.

2021/22 fees for this course

Home 2021/22

  • MSc full time £9,430
  • MSc part time £5,187

International 2021/22

  • MSc full time £15,600
  • MSc part time £8,580

2020/21 fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,200
  • MSc part time £5,060

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £15,200

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free Wi-Fi is available on each of the campuses.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting a course at Kingston, you will be able to apply for a loan of up to £10,000 to study for a postgraduate masters degree.

Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

Careers and recruitment advice

The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.

The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting.

After you graduate

The new Data Science course is aimed at careers contained within the more generic 'Data Science' umbrella, including Data Engineer, Data Analyst and Machine Learning Engineer.

Changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19

Course information (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Composition of the course

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.

Unless government advice instructs otherwise, Study Abroad programmes will take place in 2021/22. The safety of all our students is paramount, therefore, as per normal practice, all Study Abroad activities must also be approved by the University's insurers to ensure that students are adequately protected during their period abroad. We will provide updates as the pandemic situation stabilises and/or further government advice is released.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback from students and other key stakeholders. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Modules

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules in response to issues arising from the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles, module summaries and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed in 2021/22, e.g. moving those modules which can be delivered more effectively to the first teaching block and moving back those – such as practical modules and placements – which may be more difficult to deliver due to some ongoing restrictions.

In some cases, it may be necessary to delay placement modules which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will guide students through the appropriate options available to ensure students are able to make informed choices.

Entry requirements (changes for 2021/22 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a direct result of the pandemic.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a direct result of the pandemic.

Teaching (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to steadily increase the proportion of on-campus teaching. We will continue to provide a proportion of online learning, as experience has shown that this enriches and supports the student learning experience.

If the pandemic affects teaching and learning activities in 2021/22 more than we currently anticipate, the proportion of online learning will increase. However, unless a lockdown is enforced, we will ensure that all courses provide a reasonable percentage of their teaching and learning activities on campus.

Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you should still be able to engage with your course remotely in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, for example on courses with high practical content, your course team will be able to advise you on the options available to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced in 2021/22 the University will aim to deliver the course fully online once more. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled learning and teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours were not and will not be made as a direct result of the pandemic.

‘Scheduled learning and teaching' includes teaching delivered online, either live or recorded/on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2021) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2022) will not be available until the autumn. We make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible.

In 2020/21 it was agreed that scheduled learning and teaching could take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm, to maximise the time available for teaching in order to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing. This meant we sometimes had to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. If we need to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing in 2021/22 we expect to adopt a similar approach. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Assessment (changes for 2021/22 entry)

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. to the overall methods of assessments, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.

Changes are made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback received from students and other key stakeholders. Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

If social distancing or lockdown restrictions are in place in 2021/22, online alternative options to formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be made available to students where possible.

Staff (changes for 2021/22 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

Staff are engaged in Continuous Professional Development activities to develop their teaching expertise, as part of the normal enhancement processes, to ensure that course teams have the required breadth of expertise.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2021/22.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to be able to increase student access to on-campus facilities. Students will therefore have access to University computers and library facilities.

If, due to an increase in social distancing requirements or the enforcing of a lockdown, it becomes necessary to significantly increase the proportion of teaching delivered online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities might be restricted if social distancing requirements are enforced.

The University is committed to supporting students who are unable to access suitable technology to ensure equity of access in a blended delivery mode.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2021/22. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2021/22.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2021/22 entry)

We are anticipating that placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead in 2021/22. However, to ensure students gain maximum value from placement activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, when any impacts from the pandemic restrictions are minimised.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered.

In the interests of the health and wellbeing of our students, all placement arrangements must be approved by the University's insurers and the appropriate risk assessments made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), MSc, etc., as a direct result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Accreditation

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and in accordance with any professional body requirements. We do not anticipate making any further changes to courses in response to any issues arising from the pandemic and which would put at risk any professional body accreditation status.

Additional (changes for 2021/22 entry)

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.