Join our intensive online MSc in Data Science.

Recent advances in data science have been seismic. Big data, predictive analytics, and AI technologies like ChatGPT and Bard AI are revolutionising the way organisations automate processes, predict trends, and engage with customers.

As the volume, diversity and complexity of data being gathered continues to grow, the big challenge facing organisations today is how to analyse this data and use it to inform business decisions.

Join our online Masters in Data Science and you’ll learn to do just that.

Why this online data science degree is different

You’ll go beyond classical statistics and big data in this degree.

You’ll set yourself apart by gaining additional skills in computational thinking (CT), programming, sequencing and algorithms, allowing you to gain better insights from data and create solutions to problems across disciplines and industries.

Who can join our online MSc in Data Science?

You do not need to have a background in maths or programming to join our online MSc.

Its multidisciplinary and multisector focus means we welcome applications from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds, including the humanities, business and social sciences, as well as science, technology, engineering and medicine.

Aligned with industry


We’ve designed this degree in collaboration with industry partners, including Wolfram Research, to ensure you cover the algorithms, tools and workflows required by industry.

You’ll learn to use Wolfram Mathematica and programming fundamentals that underpin languages including Python and R.

By the end of this degree, you’ll be able to...

  • Utilise the algorithms, tools and workflows used at the forefront of data science today, including Wolfram Mathematica.
  • Apply analytic and computational thinking skills to extract knowledge from data.
  • Work effectively in multidisciplinary teams to extract knowledge and insights from data.
  • Combine mathematical modelling and programming skills in the context of data science.
  • Produce meaningful data insights that organisations can use to improve their performance.

Why study data science online with the University of Aberdeen?

Earn a respected Masters degree

You’ll earn exactly the same globally recognised Masters degree online as you would on campus.

Over 525 years of excellence

Graduate from the fifth-oldest university in the English-speaking world, founded in 1495.

20% alumni discount

University of Aberdeen alumni receive 20% off fees for this online degree.

What you’ll study

You’ll study the following courses that make up the 180 credits of this Masters degree.

You can also choose to exit early, earning a:

  • Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits), or
  • Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits).

How you’ll study

Online learning

Our distance-learning MSc Data Science is delivered 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world, with no need for a study visa.

Vary the pace

Each course that’s part of this degree is taught intensively (around 40 hours per week) for three weeks.

You can choose to study one to four courses per term, to vary the pace of the degree to suit you.

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 online access to our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library. 

Your tutors

You’ll learn from a team of academic experts from our School of Natural and Computing Sciences, who work in data science and mathematical modelling.

Industry input

We have strong links to industry and developed this degree in collaboration with industry partners, including Wolfram Research. This ensures you’ll cover the algorithms, tools and workflows needed by industry today.


MSc Data Science is assessed entirely online. You’ll have a range of assessment methods throughout your degree, including online tests, essays and projects.

Intensive hours for taught courses

Each 15-credit course that is part of this degree is taught intensively (around 40 hours per week) for three weeks.

This means you need to be able to dedicate full-time study hours to each course you take.

Course hours breakdown

Each course:

  • is taught for three weeks, followed by an assessment
  • totals around 150 hours of study and assessment time
  • takes around 40 hours per week to complete, including preparing for assessments.

This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.

Vary the pace

Courses are delivered one at a time, consecutively.

You can choose to take one to four courses per term to vary the pace. A term is usually 12 weeks long.

Activities at fixed times

There will be some activities that are scheduled at fixed times, such as online meetings with your tutor, or assessments with deadlines.

You can to an extent set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study around the clock.

Hours for 60-credit project

A 60-credit project is around 600 hours of study time. This is around one term of full-time study.

You can dedicate a full term to your project and work on it full-time. Or you can complete it part-time, spreading the hours you dedicate to it over two or more terms.

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 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 studies 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.

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors via MyAberdeen and email. 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:

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.

We’re a member of the Access scheme run by the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL).

Access study spaces, books and journals in your area

The SCONUL Access scheme allows you, as a University of Aberdeen student, to access books and resources at university libraries across the UK and Ireland, or visit them for a quiet place to study.

You’ll be able to use study spaces, books and journals at over 150 university libraries which belong to the scheme.

Find out about the SCONUL Access scheme for libraries.

Your support team

Our friendly team are here to answer any queries you have before, during and after your studies.

Professor Marco Thiel

Marco is the degree coordinator. He’ll be on hand to answer any questions about degree content before you start and to help you throughout your studies.

Rowena Hardy

Rowena is part of the School’s postgraduate teaching support team. She’ll be there throughout your studies to answer any of your non-academic queries.

Get in touch

The online education team is here to answer any questions you have right now about this qualification, or about studying online.

Ask us a question

Where this will take you

Your MSc qualification

You’ll graduate with an MSc in Data Science from the University of Aberdeen.

You’ll receive exactly the same degree qualification as you would on campus. Your degree title will not mention online.

Your qualification will be recognised by industry and educational institutions around the world, opening up international opportunities.


There are great graduate prospects in the field of Data Science. The demand for data scientists and data analysis experts far outstrips the supply of highly qualified graduates. This is amplified by the fact that there are now very few areas where data analysis skills are not needed.

You’ll be able to pursue a range of careers across sectors, including roles as a:

  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Data Architect
  • Data Mining Engineer
  • Data Scientist.

Average salaries

According to, entry-level annual salaries for Data Scientists range from £25,000 to £30,000, rising to £40,000 depending on your experience.

  • With a few years’ experience, you could expect to earn £40,000 to £60,000.
  • Lead and chief data scientists can earn upwards of £60,000, in some cases reaching more than £100,000.

Lifelong career support

Our career support doesn’t stop when you graduate.

You have access to our free careers service while you study, and beyond.

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

Fees and funding

The fee quoted above is based on you starting your studies with us in the 2024/25 academic year.

We have confirmed that our fees will rise by 5% for the 2025/26 academic year. Our indicative cost includes a 5% fee rise each year.

Pay as you go

This is a pay-as-you-go degree.

You do not have to pay the full tuition fee upfront.

You can spread the cost and pay as you go, term by term.

How it works

  • You decide how many credits to study for each term.
  • At the start of term, you pay only for the credits you’re taking that term.
  • This gives you control over your costs and workload for each term of your degree.

This is an example payment schedule for tuition fees. It’s based on the typical route through the degree.

You can take more or fewer credits per term than is shown in this example.

Term 1) September – December 2024 | Academic year 2024/25

  • Take two 15-credit courses @£1,480 each.
  • Fee for term = £2,960.
  • Payment due in September.

Term 2) January – April 2025

  • Take two 15-credit courses @£1,480 each.
  • Fee for term = £2,960.
  • Payment due in January.

PgCert exit point

With 60 credits earned, you now have the option to exit with a PgCert.

Total fee for this route to your PgCert = £5,920.

Term 3) May – August 2025

  • Summer break. There is no teaching in the first summer of your degree.
  • No payment due.

Term 4) September – December 2025 | Academic year 2025/26

  • Take two 15-credit courses @£1,555 each.
  • Fee for term = £3,110.
  • Payment due in September.

Term 5) January – April 2026

  • Take two 15-credit courses @£1,555 each.
  • Fee for term = £3,110.
  • Payment due in January.

PgDip exit point

With 120 credits earned, you now have the option to exit with a PgDip.

Total fee for this route to your PgDip = £12,140.

Term 6) May – August 2026

  • Embark on your 60-credit project.
  • Fee for project = £3,520.
  • Payment due in May.

Term 7) September – December 2026 | Academic year 2026/27

  • Complete your project.
  • No further payment is due.

MSc complete

On passing your project, you’ll have earned 180 credits and will be awarded an MSc.

Total fee for this route to your MSc = £15,660.

Infographic summarising the example payment schedule described above.

Learning resources

All books and resources you need are included in your tuition fee. They will be available online and you do not have to you buy your own copies.

External hard drive

Because this degree involves handling large data sets, you may have to purchase an external hard drive if you do not already have one, for storing data and coursework.


You may wish to set aside a small budget for printing, depending on how you like to work.

There are several ways you may be able to get help funding your studies:

Find out more about funding options.

Student card

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.

20% Alumni discount

You’re entitled to 20% off our postgraduate taught degrees and short courses if you have a degree from the University of Aberdeen. View Alumni discount details.

How discounts work

Discounts are applied during your application process. You can only use one discount per application.

Entry requirements

MSc, PgDip and PgCert

  • A 2:2 (lower-second) honours degree (or equivalent) in any subject.

This is our minimum entry requirement. It is given as a guide and does not guarantee entry.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world.

See the minimum entry requirements above. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check equivalent qualifications from your country.

Visa requirements

You do not need a student visa to study online with us.

English language requirements

Teaching is delivered in English.

If English is not your first language, use our English requirements checklist to see if you need to provide evidence of your English language skills when you apply.

English language tests and scores

If you do need to provide English language test scores, these are the tests and minimum scores we accept for this course or degree.

These are our Postgraduate Standard requirements.

IELTS Academic, IELTS UKVI 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 Academic/LanguageCert Academic SELT

  • 70 overall
  • 60 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 65 for writing

LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken) – Online / In-centre

  • Overall High Pass
  • 33 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 38 for writing

Oxford ELLT Digital – English Language Level Test Online

  • 7.0 overall
  • 5.0 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 6.0 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 apply through our online Applicant Portal. It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents.

Applying to the University of Aberdeen is always free.

What you need to apply for this degree

  • Degree transcript
  • Personal statement
  • Degree certificate
  • CV / Resume

Apply now

Start with our step-by-step guide. It explains degree transcripts, what to write in your personal statement and how to use our Applicant Portal.

You can apply to start in either September or January.

Apply as early as you can. This is so we have time to review your application and get a decision to you. We also want to ensure you have time to enrol before teaching starts.

September 2024 intake

For our September 2024 intake, the application deadline is 8 September 2024.

You will need to accept your offer and provide any outstanding documents to meet the conditions of your offer by 15 September 2024.

Teaching starts on 23 September 2024.

January 2025 intake

Teaching starts on 27 January 2025.

Application deadlines will be announced in due course.

Studying Data Science involves storing and processing large datasets. You will need:

A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either

  • Windows 10 or later; in this case you would ideally have a secondary Linux system installed.
  • macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.

Computer specifications

Any desktop or laptop should be the highest spec you can afford, with:

  • a minimum of 16GB RAM (ideally 32GB or more); 8GB will suffice for most content, but will not be sufficient for the analysis of some datasets.
  • a good graphics card (ideally, but not necessarily, NVIDIA).
  • a fast processor (ideally Intel i5, i7 or i9).
  • a sizeable hard drive or SSD (ideally 1TB or above).

External hard drive and memory stick

For storing and backing up your data and coursework, we suggest using an external hard drive with at least 1TB of storage space.

Reliable internet access

We recommend:

  • a wired connection
  • a minimum 6Mbps download speed and 2Mbps upload speed so you can take part fully in live sessions.

We will occasionally download large datasets or connect to databases, requiring fast connection speeds.

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 from 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 a course requires any 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.

Master of Science

180 credits


This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over two years, starting in September 2024.

Apply for this programme

Start month
September or January

This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over two years, starting in September 2024.

Apply via our Applicant Portal
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