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Data Lab Scotland Increasing Funded Data MSc Courses By 45%

Brian Baglow


Funded Data MSc Courses in Scotland increased from 90 to 130

As industry demand for data scientists continues to grow, The Data Lab is increasing the number of funded MSc courses it offers by 45%.

Good news for students considering a career in data science. Growing industrial demand has caused the Data Lab to increase the number of funded MSc courses it offers from 90 places to 130 – a 45% increase.

The MSc programme is core component of the Data Lab’s aim to unlock the estimated £20bn of as-yet untapped data within Scotland.

Edinburgh TourismThe Data MSc courses are offered at 11 Scottish universities. To date over 500 students have benefitted from The Lab’s education programme, which includes activities such as the MSc programme, industrial doctorates and executive education programmes.

A number of 2017 graduates have already been recruited by big name companies including Virgin Money, Royal London, Aquila Merkle and Aggreko, as well as public sector organisations such as NHS, NSS and Glasgow City Council.

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said: “Data science is an area of rapid growth around the world and we want Scotland to lead the way in meeting the demand from business for data skills talent.

“It is encouraging to learn there is a strong uptake among graduates for Masters courses in data science and I very much welcome this news that for 2017-18, Data Lab has almost doubled the number of places available on its MSc programme to further build on that.

“Improving skills, enthusiasm and knowledge of STEM subjects such as data science at all levels of school, college and university and encouraging uptake of careers in this sector are vital to both Scotland’s society and our economic prosperity – this will be the central aim of our ambitious STEM strategy for education and training.”

A crucial element of the Data MSc programme is a three month industrial placement. Around 50 students have taken part so far, with a many then recruited thanks to the placement.

The Data Lab Industrial Placement Award

Anita George, studied at the University of Stirling and undertook her placement at NHS NSS, which secured her the Data Lab Industrial Placement Award.

Anita told DIGIT: “It was a rewarding project to be a part of. It was about optimising pathways for patients diagnosed with cataracts, a major reason for blindness among the elderly. To be a part of something aimed at making a real difference to the life of a person is great.

“While I was there I applied and got a position as an information analyst in public health for the NHS.  It is a great opportunity and another exciting phase in the journey I’ve taken over the past year on this course.”

Paul Forrest, the chair of MBN and one of the judges of the Industrial Placement Award said: “It was very difficult to judge as the placements were all very impressive and a mark of the quality of the data courses across Scotland. In the end we wanted to give the award to the placement that delivered the most social impact. The project on cataract patient pathways does just that. The award to Anita is well deserved.”

The expanded list of funded data MSc courses:

  • University of Aberdeen, MSc Artificial Intelligence (6 places)
  • University of Dundee, MSc Data Engineering (8 places)
  • The University of Edinburgh, MSc Computational Mathematical Finance, MSc operational Research with Data Science, MSc Statistics with Data Science (4 places combined)
  • Edinburgh Napier University, MSc Data Science (7 places)
  • University of Glasgow
    • MSc Data Science (15 places)
    • MSc Data Analytics
    • MRes in Statistics, (7 places combined)
  • Glasgow Caledonian University, MSc Big Data Technologies (10 places)
  • Heriot Watt University
    • MSc Data Science
    • MSc Artificial Intelligence with Speech and Multimodal Interaction (6 places combined)
  • Robert Gordon University, MSc Data Science (11 places)
  • University of Stirling
    • MSc in Big Data (18 places)
    • MSc Data Science for Business (10 places)
  • University of Strathclyde
    • MSc Data Analytics
    • MSc Business Analysis and Consulting (14 places combined)
  • University of West Scotland, MSc Big Data and Advanced Computing (14 places)

Movers and shakers

Brian Baglow


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