Upskill for the Big Data age with our online data science course.
Data science spans information and computational science, mathematics, and statistics. It seeks to identify and understand phenomena as captured in structured or unstructured data.
Train in the data science techniques that are revolutionising the way we use data.
- Learn how to handle large datasets and extract meaningful insights from data.
- Explore the benefits these techniques can bring to businesses across all sectors.
- Generate data-driven predictions and recommendations to optimise processes, workflows, and equipment use.
You’re in expert hands
We’ve been delivering online and distance learning for decades.
20% alumni discount
University of Aberdeen alumni get 20% off this online course.
One-to-one careers advice
Use our professional career-planning service throughout your studies, and beyond.
What you’ll study
You’ll gain an introduction to data science and study common data science techniques.
You’ll also consider the challenges and implications for data managers.
- Data analytics
- Data mining
- Challenges and solutions for large datasets, or ‘big data’
- Real-time data analysis
- Machine learning
- Artificial intelligence
- Neural networks
- Data classification, pattern-recognition and cluster analysis
- Uncertainty quantification
- Data visualisation
- Data integration models for making predictions and recommendations
Data science is increasingly important in many different areas. You’ll explore wide-ranging examples, from Natural Language Processing (eg, analysing Tweets and Facebook posts), to Astro-Archaeology.
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…
Handle large datasets, or ‘big data’.
Conduct cluster analysis of data.
Identify and understand phenomena captured in structured or unstructured data.
Carry out data analysis.
Generate data-driven predictions that aid business optimisation.
Produce reports based on data analysis.
How you’ll study
This distance-learning Data Science course is delivered flexibly, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.
This course is taught at Masters level.
Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.
You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:
- online lectures and interactive lecture material
- reading materials
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.
You’ll learn from experienced data scientists from our School of Natural and Computing Sciences. As well as guiding you through the course, they’ll be on hand to discuss your work with you using online forums.
The course totals approximately 150 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 10 – 15 hours per week.
This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.
You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.
Activities at fixed times
There may be some activities scheduled for fixed times. This could include coursework and assessments with deadlines, or online meetings with your tutor. Otherwise, you can access and work through the course at your convenience.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your course coordinator throughout your course. This could be by email, MyAberdeen, online call, or phone. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.
We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:
- Careers and Employability Service
- Disability support
- IT support
- Library support
- Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
- Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
- Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
- Toolkit – clever apps and free training that can make your study life easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Your course coordinator
Professor Marco Thiel
Marco is an applied mathematician with a background in theoretical physics and dynamical systems. He works in Applied Mathematics and Physics at the University. Marco specialises in applying mathematical modelling and data analysis to a multitude of applications, from Alzheimer’s disease and population dynamics to the movement of newborns and the mating behaviour of fireflies.View Marco’s profile
Where this will take you
Companies today need data scientists who are not only highly skilled in a wide range of statistical and data analysis tools, but who can go far beyond classical statistics and machine learning to gain real insights from data.
This course provides the practical training you need to extract those insights. You’ll learn to create data-driven solutions to problems across many disciplines and industries.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD hours. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.
We welcome students from all over the world.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.
But you do need to check the entry guidance above to understand the level of teaching delivered, to decide if this course is right for you.
If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.
You do not need a visa to study online with us.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
You do not have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure that you can use English well enough to study successfully.
Recommended level of English
For this course, we recommend the following level of English language proficiency.
These are our Postgraduate Standard requirements, and these are minimum scores.
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)
- 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening, reading and speaking
- 6.0 for writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 18 for reading
- 20 for speaking
- 21 for writing
- TOEFL DI code is 0818
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 162 for listening, reading and speaking
- 169 for writing
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)
- Overall High Pass
- 33 for listening, reading and speaking
- 38 for writing
PTE Academic (online test not accepted)
- 62 overall
- 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
For full information about language requirements, see our English Language Requirements page.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:
- Windows 10 or later
- macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.
Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.
Reliable internet access
- a wired connection
- a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.
We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.
If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.
See our detailed IT requirements for more information.
When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.
Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.
Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:
- Be realistic
- Create a weekly schedule as a guide
If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.
Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.
We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.
Ways to save
You may be able to get help funding this course via:
- discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
- employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.
The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:
- a 2:2 (second-class) degree
- or relevant experience that supports this level of study.
You do not need a science or maths degree to take this course. It’s open to students and professionals across all academic backgrounds.