Last Updated on November 14, 2021
The UK has always been one of the hot favorite countries to study abroad. The country has got a rich academic heritage and offers excellent training and research facilities. Additionally, job prospects, especially for STEM graduates are also excellent. In this article, we will look at the best masters in data science and analytics in UK.
It’s true that international students will be able to stay in the UK for 2 years after completion of studies to look for a job. But, how is the AI & Big Data job market in the UK? So, before going to the list of top universities for data science and analytics in the UK, we will look at the job market scenario first.
Data Science, AI and Big Data Job Market Scenario in the UK
Government Funding and Investments
AI and big data are together one of the four focuses of the UK Government’s current industrial strategy, which aims to “put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution”. Earlier this year (Feb 2019), the UK Govt. had announced £13 million ($16.8 million) in funding for 40 artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics projects. State funding has been made available for AI projects, such as three consortia developing autonomous vehicles, and £45 million is to be allocated for 200 extra PhDs in AI and related fields.
As per the report produced by Roland Berger, a global consulting firm, and France Digitale, an association that represents venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, AI startups in the UK have raised $1.241 billion in last 5 years (2014 – 2019). In Europe, the U.K. still sets the R&D standard with 623 AI-related patents.
Some of the biggest tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft have been drawn to UK’s disproportionately large pool of talented AI entrepreneurs and bought (acquired) startups like DeepMind, Swiftkey, Evi Technologies, VocalIQ, Rainbird, etc. universities specifically Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College, and University College London, are breeding grounds for the new generation of artificial intelligence companies mushrooming in Britain. Yes, AI shines in Britain. Know more about the hottest ML-AI startups in the UK.
Tech Job Market
The digital sector in the UK has seen considerable growth in recent years and contributes substantial value to the economy. According to the DCMS Economic Estimates, the digital sector contributed £130.5 billion to the UK economy in 2017, accounting for 7.1% of UK GVA.
The most recent data from the Tech Nation report (2018) suggests that the UK tech sector is growing 2.6 times faster than the UK economy, indicating that the sector makes a strong positive contribution to overall economic growth.
Shortage of Data Scientists, AI & ML Engineers, and Big Data Analysts in the UK
There is a good shortage of skilled and experienced big data analysts, AI and machine learning specialists, and human-machine interaction designers. Jobs requiring digital skills often pay more. “Jobs requiring digital tech skills
command higher salaries, on average, £42,578 compared to £32,477 per year (non-digital), while digitally-enabled jobs – those requiring only some engagement with digital tech – bring in £35,227”.
As per the report by the Royal Society, demand for workers with specialist data skills like data scientists and data engineers has more than tripled over five years (+231%), comparable to a general increase of regular workers of 36%, according to a labor market analysis commissioned for Dynamics of data science skills.
British employers posted 27,033 job ads seeking professionals of this caliber between the twelve-month period of July 2017 and June 2018, the latest available data. In comparison, employers posted 8,157 job ads in the twelve-month period from January to December 2013.
Data Science Job Trends and Salaries in the UK
Growth varied considerably across the UK, from 79% in Wales and 112% in the South East to 269% in the North West and 563% in Northern Ireland. The latest available data shows that the average publicly listed salary for these roles is £64,376, up 22% over the same period. Have a look at the top job roles (and salaries) for data scientists in the UK.
The average starting salary for a data scientist with less than a year of experience ranges from £25,000 to £30,000 per annum. But, with experience, salaries can be in the range of £45,000-£80,000.
Industry-Academic Partnerships to Offer Masters (MSc) Programs
Businesses are also starting to react to the country’s data scientist shortage and are collaborating with other firms and educational establishments to try and close the gap before it becomes too large to manage. For example, data management and analytics firm SAS has teamed up with HSBC and the Data Lab to introduce an MSc course in Data Science for Business at the University of Stirling. Additionally, many other organizations are working closely with universities to provide training and placement during the MSc courses.
Top Universities for Masters in Data Science, ML-AI & Business Analytics in UK
Co-authored by Parinita Gupta
At the present time, the data industry has grown huge and is flourishing with an estimated worth of more than $40m. The direct impact of growth results in an increase in demand for Data Analysts across the world. The study of Data Science or Data Analytics is booming across the globe and especially gaining popularity at UK universities. The prominent UK Universities are catering to this demand by providing a wide variety of courses at the postgraduate level for students to study and specialize in Data Science and Analytics.
A Masters’s (MS) degree in Data Science & Analytics has always been a good career option today and this article will be the guide to different key information on the Masters Program in Data Science in the UK. We will look into the top universities, eligibility, and costs for international students.
University of Cambridge
Cambridge offers a 11-month M.Phil in Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence. The full-time program is offered by the Machine Learning Group, the Speech Group, and the Computer Vision and Robotics Group in the Cambridge University Department of Engineering.
The course aims to teach the state-of-the-art in machine learning, speech and language processing, and computer vision; to give students the skills and expertise necessary to take leading roles in industry and to equip them with the research skills necessary for doctoral study at Cambridge and other universities.
Employment prospects are also extremely good for students who plan to go directly into industry. The course will impart directly employable skills and expertise which are in great demand in the IT, financial, and manufacturing sectors.
UCL (University College London)
Studying a Master’s in Data Science from the University College London allows the candidate to prepare in core statistical and machine learning methodology. This will prepare students with the analytical tools to design sophisticated technical solutions using modern computational methods and with an emphasis on rigorous statistical thinking. UCL also offers another program – MSc Data Science and Machine Learning.
The eligibility criteria for Masters in Data Science is a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum overall CGPA of 7.75/10, 6.25/8.0, 5.75/7.0, 4.25/6.0, 3.3/4.0, or 60% where a GPA scale is not used and the course fee ranges between £25-28,000 for Full-time course (1 Year duration) and around £15,000 for part-time course (2 Year duration). The tuition fees for UK/EU students vary in the range of £13-15,000 for a full-time course and around £7,000 for part-time.
Imperial College London
Imperial College is consistently ranked among the best universities in the world for science, technology, business, and other verticals. Data Science and Machine Learning are among the most sought after courses in this prestigious college. This one-year full-time course provides outstanding training both in theoretical and applied statistics with a focus on Data Science.
The modules will focus on a wide variety of techniques related to the scientific handling of data at scale, including machine learning theory, data transformation and representation, data visualization and using analytic software.
The program is split between taught core and optional modules in the autumn and spring terms (66.67% weighting) and a research project in the summer term (33.33% weighting). The eligibility criteria are a three-year Bachelor’s degree with 75% or CGPA 8.5+ and the course fee is in the range of £24-27,000. Look at the MSc Statistics (Data Science) program at Imperial.
Imperial also offers Masters in Business Analytics. The one-year MSc Business Analytics program prepares graduates for a future of data and evidence-based decision making. You will learn from leading practitioners and world-class faculty on how to apply the latest academic thinking and analytical and computing tools to help make business decisions.
University of Oxford
Oxford offers an MSc in Social Data Science that provides the social and technical expertise needed to analyze unstructured heterogeneous data about human behavior, thereby informing our understanding of the human world. Recent graduates of this program have secured excellent positions in industry, government, NGOs, or have gone on to pursue doctoral studies at top universities.
London School of Economics (LSE)
The Masters in Data Science provides training in data science methods, emphasizing statistical perspectives. You will receive a thorough grounding in theory, as well as the technical and practical skills of data science. The program will cover fundamental aspects of data, computational techniques, and statistical analysis. There is a range of options ranging from Distributed Computing for Big Data and Statistical Computing to Financial Statistics and Probabilistic Methods in Risk Management and Insurance.
The eligibility criterion in this college is a 2:1 degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline, including a substantial amount of mathematics. The course fee ranges from £28-30,000 for overseas students. Please note that the fees do vary every year depending upon the university norms. They only provide a full-time 1-Year program.
University of Manchester
The innovative Master’s program in Data Science course is an opportunity for graduates from a broad range of disciplines to develop data science skills. The academic entry requirement for this program is a high 2:1 Honors degree (or overseas equivalent) and the language requirement is a score of 7 in IELTS with a minimum of 6.5 in all components. TOEFL iBT score of 100 with a minimum of 26 in all components.
The full-time 1-year course for overseas students ranges between £21-23,000 and that of UK/EU students is £9-10,000 per annum. Read more about the MSc Data Science (Social Analytics) program at Manchester.
Manchester also offers a Master’s in Artificial Intelligence (MSc ACS). This track combines a number of themes related to AI techniques, namely Making Sense of Complex Data, Learning from Data, Reasoning, and Optimisation, and Advanced Web Technologies.
University of Edinburgh
The Masters in Data Science at the University of Edinburgh has eligibility criteria of UK IELTS Academic total of 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component and TOEFL iBT score of total 92 with at least 20 in each section. The course fee for the full-time 1-year course is around £30,000 for international/ overseas students and around £15,000 for UK/EU students. They also offer a 2/ 3 year part-time Masters Course for Data Science too. Edinburgh also offers MSc Statistics with Data Science and MSc Artificial Intelligence.
University of Warwick
At Warwick, the Computer Science department offers a specialized course in analytics through their Master’s in Data Analytics degree program. The course has 2 components – taught component and a dissertation. The eligibility criteria for this course is 2:1 undergraduate degree or higher in a mathematical or scientific discipline. IELTS score of 6.5. They provide a full-time 1-year course which has a fee range of around £25-27,000 for overseas students and £9,000 for UK/EU students.
University of Leeds
The Master’s program introduces different perspectives on data science, which includes the mathematical and computational underpinnings of the subject and its applications in specific contexts.
Through the Master’s in Advanced Computer Science (Data Analytics) at the University of Leeds candidates are trained to build a foundation in diverse subjects such as machine learning, systems programming, and algorithms. The eligibility criteria and language requirement are the first-degree equivalents to a 2:1 degree in the UK and IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. They offer a 1-year full-time Masters program with a fee of around £25,000 for overseas students and charge around £11,000 for UK/EU students.
University of Southampton
The Master’s program in this university will train students to become proficient data scientists. They will be benefited in areas such as data mining, machine learning, data visualization, programming toolkit, and industrial and societal application scenarios. Learn more about the MSc Data and Decision Analytics program at Southampton.
The eligibility criteria for this master’s program is a 2:1 bachelor’s degree involving some quantitative training like computer science, economics, mathematics, physics, and statistics. The tuition fee for a full-time course for international students varies in the range between £24-26,000 and that of UK/EU students is £9-10,000 per annum.
University of Liverpool
The Master’s program covers more than just the mining and analysis of data — it explores the wider application of big data to all business functions and the creation of new business models. The course develops an individual’s analytical, organizational and leadership skills. Read more about MSc Business Analytics and Big Data at Liverpool.
The entry requirement for this program is a 2:1 Honors degree in management, engineering, science or related disciplines or international equivalent. The tuition fee for the full-time course ranges between £21-23,000 and that of UK/EU students is around £11,000 a year.
Top UK Universities offering MSc Data Science & Analytics with Placement Year
- University of Bath (MSc Data Science and MSc Data Science & Statistics)
- University of Essex – MSc Data Science
- Royal Holloway University of London – MSc Data Science and Analytics
- Queen Mary University of London – MSc Big Data Science
- City University of London – MSc Data Science
Other Top UK Universities for Masters in Data Science and Business Analytics
- King’s College London
- University of Glasgow
- Goldsmiths University of London
- University of Stirling
- Cardiff University
- Aston University
- University of Strathclyde
- University of Sheffield
- Nottingham Trent University
- Manchester Metropolitan University
- Goldsmiths University of London
- Brunel University London
- Leeds Beckett University
- University of South Wales
- Lancaster University
About Parinita Gupta: Parinita is a full-time banking professional. Additionally, she is also a passionate blogger and digital marketer.
She mostly writes about the Banking & Finance, Technology, and FinTech sector. But, she also enjoys writing on other topics as well. You can follow her on Twitter.
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