Study R programming online and learn to use data to analyse and tackle issues in healthcare.

Help address the recognised shortage of skilled health data scientists in the UK and around the world.

Join our online health data science course and discover:

  • what health data science involves, with examples of real-life healthcare applications
  • the potential benefits for the health of individuals and populations
  • the technical, legal and ethical challenges presented by health data
  • how to use R, the popular data science programming language.

Study with us anywhere, online, with experts from our Centre for Health Data Science, the NHS and industry. And set your own study hours on this course that fits around full-time work.

Build credits towards a Masters degree

This course is part of our MSc in Health Data Science. You can use the credits you earn on the course towards this Masters qualification.

Who is this online health data science course for?

This course is ideal if you have:

  • a healthcare or health research background and want to develop your data science skills, or
  • a computational or data-intensive sciences background and are keen to seek related work in the health sector.

Supported by Canon Medical, NHS Grampian, Kheiron Medical and Opportunity North East.

Experts from these organisations help to:

  • develop and review what you learn on our health data science courses
  • ensure your learning addresses in-demand sector needs.

They may deliver guest teaching too.

What you’ll study

You’ll cover topics including:

  • how data science is used to address healthcare problems
  • the role of health data scientists in research and healthcare
  • the importance of health data research
  • issues surrounding access to health data
  • tools and techniques in health data science
  • databases and data extraction using SQL (Structured Query Language)
  • data cleaning, exploration and visualisation using the popular data science language R
  • communication of health data
  • current challenges in health data science.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…

  • Discuss the role of health data scientists in research and healthcare.
  • Explain how data science is used to address healthcare problems.
  • Analyse current challenges in health data science.
  • Apply a data science workflow using R to healthcare problems.
  • Discuss the limitations and assumptions made in health data science projects.

How you’ll study

Online learning

This distance-learning Health 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.

Part of our MSc in Health Data Science, this course is taught at Masters level.

Your teaching

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:

  • videos
  • video lectures to stream or download
  • quizzes
  • reading materials
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

One-to-one tutorials

You’ll have lots of direct support while you study with us on this course. If you live locally, there will be weekly on-campus tutorials you’re welcome to attend at our Foresterhill Health Campus in Aberdeen. If you’re studying remotely, you’ll have the same support online via one-to-one online tutorials with your course tutors.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from a multidisciplinary team of experts in health research, engineering, computing, ethics and law.

You’ll have guest lectures from active health data scientists working in the NHS and industry too.

This course is delivered by our School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition and our School of Natural and Computing Sciences.

Your course coordinator

Where this will take you

Towards a Masters

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:

Masters in Health Data Science

  • Study full-time or part-time on campus.

Build your learning

We have a range of online healthcare and medicine short courses you can use to build your skills.

Many carry credits you can build up into postgraduate qualifications, including Masters degrees:


Nationally and internationally, there’s a critical shortage in data-intensive analytic capacity applied to healthcare.

This course is a perfect first step for building your skills towards a career in health data science. It will help you work towards a career as a:

  • health data scientist
  • health data analyst.

Career pathways span academia, the NHS and industry.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free career support

Access our free careers service while you study.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

See how our careers service can help you.

Entry requirements

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) undergraduate degree
  • or relevant experience that supports this level of study.

Apply for this course

Start date
18 September 2023
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