MS in Data Science in UK: A Comprehensive Guide

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    Komal Yadav

    Study Abroad Expert

    MS in Data Science in UK is offered by over 77 institutes as a course-based postgraduate degree. The duration of a full-time degree is 1 year whereas a part-time program can be completed within 2 years. A full-time masters in data science from UK universities will cost an international student anywhere around 23,000 GBP to 25,000 GBP/year. This will be equivalent to 21 Lakhs to 23 Lakhs per annum for an Indian aspirant planning to pursue data science courses in UK.  

    • This program is part of the computing and informatics discipline and teaches students to extract valuable information from large amounts of data.
    • A bachelor's degree in computer science or related discipline with a minimum 60% is required to get admission to MS in data science in UK universities
    • The average salary of a data science graduate in the UK is 53,253 GBP. 

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    Why Study Data Science in the UK?

    As the volume of data being collected by various organizations is increasing, the demand for data science graduates is also increasing, especially in the UK, as demonstrated by the Dynamics of Data Science Skills report of Royal Society. The rise of demand has made data science one of the highly sought after masters in the UK

    • Data science jobs in the UK increased by 35% from 736,611 in 2013 to 996,262 in 2017-18. 
    • Funding of 13 Million GBP has been announced in AI, Data Analytics, and related projects. 
    • A 45 million GBP investment has been made to 200 PhD programs in AI and related fields (2017-18), suggesting that the scope of PhD in UK in AI and relevant fields like data science, big data, etc is brighter than it has ever been. 
    • The maximum increase was observed in jobs for Data Scientists and Advanced Analysts, from 8,157 in 2013 to 27,033 in 2017-18.
    • The average salary of Data Science graduates increased by 5% from 50,800 GBP in 2013 to 53,253 GBP. 
    • Home to AI and Big Data drive companies like DeepMind, Benevolent AI, Oxbotica and FiveAI as well as Alan Turning Institute, makes UK one of the best study destination for data science courses. 
    • The highest increase of 35% in salaries of Data Engineers in the UK was also observed in the report published by the Royal Society. 
    Number of Jobs in Data Science in UK

    MS in Data Science in UK: Top Universities

    As per the industrial strategy of UKs government, bringing the country to the forefront for data revolutionization and artificial intelligence is one of the major four focuses. This has also resulted in the improvement of the education of the programs based on data mining. As per THE World University Ranking of 2020, the following are the top data science colleges in the UK. Along with the rankings the table also details the program fees of pursuing Masters in Data science from data science colleges in UK. 

    University THE World University Ranking 2020 Total Program Cost (in GBP) Brochure
    University of Edinburgh 30 32,500 Brochure
    Kings College of London 36 26,550 Brochure
    University of Manchester 55 22,500 Brochure
    University of Bristol  87 23,800 -
    University of Glasgow 99 23,500 Brochure
    University of Birmingham 112 24,120 Brochure
    University of Sheffield 117 24,800 Brochure
    University of Southampton 122 25,450 Brochure
    Lancaster University 139 22,550 Brochure
    University of Sussex 146 18,000 Brochure

    A new approach towards increasing data in the industries has lead to enhancing the quality of education of data science courses in UK.

    Data Science Related Courses in UK  

    If you are interested in diving into the pool of data available across the world, MS in data science in UK is not the only degree that will help you swim. You can also apply for various other related-programs. Some of these are given below:

    University Program Cost of Study (GBP/year)
    Imperial College London MSc Health Data Analytics & Machine Learning 35,600
    Kings College London MA Big Data in Culture & Society 26,550
    University of Leeds  MSc Health Data Analytics  23,000
    Brunel University London MSc Data Science & Analytics 19,280
    Anglia Ruskin University MSc AI & Big Data 14,100

    Subjects like AI, machine learning, big data, data mining, data analytics are all intertangled to each other. Belonging to one parent stream data science and analytics these programs all together are one’s key to the enormous data that has entered the business world by making its way through digitization. 

    MS in Data Science: What is it About?

    Masters in Data Science teaches how to analyze a large set of information and extract useful statistics from it. This program also focuses on implementing the extracted data towards the benefit of the organization or client. Students enrolled in masters in data science in UK get the in-depth knowledge and skills in: Computational data analysis, Machine learning, Statistical principles of data analysis, Insightful large-scale data analysis, Understanding the ethical issues in the application of data science techniques, and Initiating independent data science projects.

    Some courses taught to MS in Data Science graduates studying in UK are Informatics Research Review, Informatics Project Proposal, Machine Learning, Statistics and Optimization, Databases and Data Management, Large-Scale Data Engineering, Technology, Innovation, Business, and Society, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Text Analytics, and Visual Analytics.  

    Specializations Available in Data Science in UK

    Some of the popular specializations for data science courses in UK are tabulated below:

    Machine Learning Simulation
    Big Data Technologies Network Theory
    Pattern Recognition, Neural Network & Deep Learning Nature-Inspired Learning Algorithms
    Elements of Statistical Learning Statistics in Finance

    These are some of the popular specializations offered in different universities. International students are suggested to ensure that they go through the detailed module of the university they wish to enroll with.The program modules are available at the university websites program page. 

    MS in Data Science in UK: Admissions

    Students with a bachelor's degree in computer science or other related disciplines are eligible for making applications for masters in data science in UK. An undergraduate degree in cognitive science, electrical engineering, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, physics, psychology are also considered by some universities for MS in data science in UK admissions. The related degree courses that will be accepted must have statistics, mathematics, and similar subjects that can be considered while working on data. 

    Where to Apply: Most of the universities in UK accept international applications via their own application portal for a postgraduate program. Some universities also accept applications through the UCAS application portal

    Eligibility for MS in Data Science in UK

    For pursuing a masters in data science in UK an international student must fulfill the following minimum criteria. 

    • Bachelor's degree in computer science or relevant discipline.
    • 2:1 undergraduate degree or minimum 60% at bachelor's level for an international degree.
    • GRE is not required
    • Evidence of proficiency in English language

    Applications of international students may be considered even if they have lower level of education in relevant subjects but substantial professional experience in a related field to support the lack of degree required. This, however, is a rare condition applicant for which are considered on an individual basis. 

    Proof of English Proficiency for International Students

    Students from non-EU countries where English is not the primary language are required to demonstrate proficiency in English language by submitting IELTS or TOEFL scores. PTE scores are also accepted by some universities in the UK. These scores must not be older than two years. The minimum IELTS and TOEFL (iBT) score required for admission in MS in Data Science in UK is listed below: 

    University Minimum TOEFL (iBT) Score Required Minimum IELTS Score Required
    University of Edinburgh 92 6.5
    Kings College of London 92 6.5
    University of Manchester 100 7.0
    University of Bristol 85 6.5
    University of Glasgow 90 6.5
    University of Birmingham 88 6.5
    University of Southampton 92 6.5
    Lancaster University 87 6.5
    University of Sussex 80 6.0

    MS in Data Science in UK: Documents Required for Admission

    • Copies of the official academic transcript: Certificates and mark sheets of your previous institutes. 
      • English translation of non-English transcripts
    • Academic references: Letters of reference (2-3) 
    • Personal statement: A statement from the applicant catering to their achievements and detailing why they want to the program in the university. Applicants must make sure that personal statement being an important part of the application is capable of making or breaking their chances. Ensuring that a personal statement is well written ensures better chances of scoring a position in your favorite university. 
    • Updated resume: A detailed resume with all your previous experiences, if any is also an important aspect of the applications. 

    Masters in Data Science in UK: Cost of Study

    Students planning to study abroad have to bear three types of expenses: Pre-arrival Cost; Tuition Fees; and Cost of Living. The cost one might spend before landing in UK on various applications, exams etc are a part of the pre-arrival expense. The tuition fees and cost of living abroad are cumbersome expenses to cater. You should be familiar with these before applying for data science courses in the UK. Given below are the details of the same:

    Pre-arrival Cost

    Before getting accepted to the university, students are required to pay a few one-time costs. These are grouped under a general category known as pre-arrival cost. Following are the general estimate of such expenses which an international student may require when planning to study MS in data science im Australia:

    Type of Expenses Cost (in GBP)
    UCAS Application Fee 20 (for one course)
    IELTS Registration Fee 175
    TOEFL (iBT) Registration Fee 161 - 253
    UK Student Visa Fee 322
    Airfare 439 - 550

    Tuition Fees for Masters in Data Science in UK

    The average annual tuition fee of universities offering masters in data science in UK is around 23,000 GBP to 25,000 GBP. The University of Edinburgh has the highest annual tuition fee of 32,500 GBP for masters in Data Science in UK. This will range from  21 Lakhs to 23 Lakhs per annum for Indian students. 

    Cost of Living in UK

    The cost of living for an international student in the UK includes accommodation charges, transportation charges, meal cost and other personal expenses. The following table provides the living expenses for some of the popular universities in UK: 

    University Cost per Annum (in GBP)
    Kings College of London 15,000
    University of Manchester 12,835
    University of Bristol 9,000 - 14,496
    University of Glasgow 12,360
    University of Birmingham 11,100 - 12,600
    University of Southampton 14,484
    Lancaster University 13,860
    University of Sussex 7,488 - 13,620

    Given below is a graph comparing the total cost of study for MS in data science in UK for some of the popular instituitions mentioned above:

    Cost of Studying MS in Data Science in UK

    Masters in Data Science in UK with Scholarships 

    Funding education in the UK could be a daunting task, especially for students. However, universities provide plenty of scholarships for international students in the UK to assist them in financial matters. Apart from scholarships applicants can always apply for loans for pursuing higher education abroad. The benefit of having a scholarship over a loan is the repayment involved in loans can be another added task for a student on a budget. 

    Some of these scholarships are listed below along with their eligibility and amount offered: 

    Scholarship University Eligibility Award Amount (in GBP)
    John Fisher High Performance (HPC) Scholarships University of Edinburgh 60% or above in bachelors; Enrollment in School of Informatics master's program 50% or tuition fee waiver
    Kings International Scholarship Kings College at London Enrollment in postgraduate  25,000
    GREAT Scholarship British Council; GREAT British Campaign Masters student from China, India, Malaysia Varies
    Think Big Postgraduate Scholarship University of Bristol Enrollment in postgraduate  5,000; 10,000; or 20,000
    College of Science and Engineering Scholarship University of Glasgow Enrollment in postgraduate 10,000
    Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme University of Birmingham Enrollment in masters  2,000
    Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarships University of Sheffield Enrollment in masters Tuition fee waiver
    University’s Masters Scholarships Lancaster University Enrollment in taught masters program 5,000
    Chancellor’s International Scholarship University of Sussex International student enrolled in masters program Tuition fee waiver

    Looking for more scholarships to study masters in UK, click here

    Work-While Studying in UK

    Did not get a scholarship? Don’t worry!!! The UK gives you a work permit for part-time jobs while you are availing any course from UK universities. It allows you to work around 20 hours a week depending on the course structure you are admitted to.

    Some of the popular Part-time Jobs in the UK: Restaurant staff, Online Customer Services, Tutoring, Freelance Creative Writer, and Assistant jobs in Research Labs. You can also apply to university facilities like the cafeteria, library etc. 

    You can earn up to an average amount of 115 GBP/week working in a part-time job which can help you with your personal expenses to a certain extent.

    Internships: If you are good at your academics and have good marks in your semesters you can simply opt for internships at some of the best automotive, aerospace, or power plant industries that might again pay you well and help you sustain in the UK.

    Masters in Data Science in UK: Jobs 

    Offering a significant jurisdiction for big data and related fields like data science and a fast pace increase in the demand of workers with specialists data skills, UK is a great destination to find jobs post completion of the degree. As labor data analysis, the demand for skilled workers in the field has more than tripled over past five years as compared to general increase in the demand for workers in other fields. After completion of MS in Data Science, students can work in one of the following jobs in UK

    • Data Scientists and Advanced Analysts
    • Analytics Managers
    • Data Analysts
    • Data Systems Developers
    • Data-Driven Decision Makers
    • Functional Analysts

    As per the report of Dynamics of Data Science Skills of Royal Society, the average increase in salary of data science graduates in the UK was 5% from 2013 to 2017-18. This increase was mainly because of the rise in demand of Data Scientists and Advanced Analysts. The salary increase observed was also the highest in this job designation i.e. 22%. 

    Jobs for Data Science Graduates in UK

    A summarized table describing jobs roles and responsibilities of data science graduates is mentioned below: 

    Designation Responsibility Role
    Data Scientists and Advanced Analysts Create sophisticated analytical models used to build new datasets and derive new insights from data Data Scientist; Biostatistician; Statistician; Economist; Data Engineer; Financial Quantitative Analyst
    Analytics Managers Oversee analytical operations and communicate insights to executives Marketing Analytics Manager; Chief Analytics Officer 
    Data Analysts Leverage data analysis and modeling techniques to solve problems and glean insight across functional domains  Data Analyst Business; Intelligence Analyst
    Data Systems Developers Design, build and maintain an organization’s data and analytical infrastructure Systems Analyst; Database Administrator 
    Data-Driven Decision Makers Leverage data to inform strategic and operational decisions IT Project Manager; Marketing Manager
    Functional Analysts  Utilize data and analytical models to inform specific functions and business decisions Financial Analyst; Business Analyst 

    For previous years some of the top recruiters for Data Science graduates in UK include the following. Along with the top recruiters in listed the job designations and the payscale offered to the graduates of data science courses in UK.:

    Recruiter Job Designations Payscale (GBP/year)
    Harnham Jr. Data Scientist 60,000 to 65,000 
    SuperSolid London Associate Data Scientist 28,000 to 35,000
    Informa Data Scientist  60,000 to 70,000
    Afiniti Research Data Scientist 34,000 to 57,000
    Springer Nature Jr. Data Analyst 27,000 to 38,000
    Llyod Data Group Data Scientist 45,000 to 50,000

    Apart from cushy median salaries and upcoming industry giants in the data science and analytics field, UK offers an additional benefit. For bridging the gap between the huge demand and the poor supply business have starting to react by collaborating with education institutes to come up with programs in related streams. With an offer of handsome salaries, UK will ensure that you do not run empty-handed without a job in the country. The need of the hour for country is skilled labor, making masters in data science in UK worth the cost. However, students looking to pursue a degree at a cheaper cost can study Masters in Data Science from Canada as well. The average tuition fee of Canadian universities offering masters in data science is around 13,210 GBP as compared to 24,000 GBP charged in the UK. 


    Ques. Which university is best for data science in UK?

    Ans. University of Edinburgh, Kings College of London, University of Manchester, University of Bristol and University of Glasgow are some of the top ranking universities offering MS in Data Science in UK.

    Ques. How much does it cost to study MS in Data Science in UK?

    Ans. Average tuition fee for studying masters in data science in UK is around 23,000 GBP to 25,000 GBP per year. Cost of living in UK for international students is between 7,400 GBP to 15,000 GBP.

    Ques. What is the duration of MS in Data Science in UK?

    Ans. The duration of a full-time masters in data science in UK is 1 year. A part-time degree in the same discipline can be completed in 2 years.

    Ques. What are the requirements to get admission in a UK university offering masters in data science?

    Ans. A bachelor's degree in computer science or related discipline is required to get admission in MS in Data Science offered by UK universities. International students are also required to submit IELTS or TOEFL score as proof of English proficiency.

    Ques. What are the job chances after an MS in Data Science from UK and how much can earn with masters in data science degree from UK?

    Ans. Students can work as Data Scientists and Advanced Analysts, Analytics Managers, Data Analysts, Data Systems Developers, Data-Driven Decision Makers and Functional Analysts after completion of masters in data science in UK. The average salary of data science graduates in UK is 53,253 GBP.