Postgraduate study

Business Analytics MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Business Analytics

Given the ever-increasing volume of data that businesses have access to today, there is a demand for employees who have computational and analytical skills and who can help inform business decisions to increase efficiency and ultimately build a competitive edge. Our MSc in Business Analytics has been developed with just that in mind and aims to train you to understand:

  • the variety of business environments
  • the importance and relevance of decision-making problems facing organisations
  • ways of solving these using a variety of techniques

What will I learn?

You will learn how to apply descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics of big data concepts and techniques to generate valuable insight that can assist with decision-making.

Our MSc will provide you with hands-on experience in applying these concepts and using these techniques, as well as most of the popular analytics software, and through your projects, including industry projects.

In sum, the programme aims to equip you with the skills required to interpret, conceptualise and convert Big Data into useful information, thus enabling you to make better informed decisions as future business managers.

All students attend and complete four core courses in Semester 1 and six option courses in Semester 2. The programme concludes with a 60-credit Dissertation.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2020/21

General Educational aims are to:

  • Enable all participants to recognise, understand and apply the language, theory and models of the field of business analytics
  • Foster an ability to critically analyse, synthesise and solve complex unstructured business problems
  • Encourage an aptitude for business improvement, innovation and entrepreneurial action
  • Encourage the sharing of experiences to enhance the benefits of collaborative learning
  • Instil a sense of ethical decision-making and a commitment to the long-run welfare of both organisations and the communities that they serve

Specific Educational aims are to:

  • Understand and critically apply the concepts and methods of business analytics
  • Identify, model and solve decision problems in different settings
  • Interpret results/solutions and identify appropriate courses of action for a given managerial situation, whether a problem or an opportunity
  • Create viable solutions to decision-making problems

It is anticipated that the demand for data analytics employees will continue and indeed grow as analytics is viewed as a key competitive resource by many companies. If market forecasts are anything to go by then the worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics will grow to more than $270 billion in 2022 (Source: IDC). This will inevitably lead to further growth of the market for employees in the area of data analytics.

The MSc in Business Analytics will offer students from a range of degree backgrounds the opportunity to equip themselves with an artillery of concepts, methods and applications of business analytics along with hands-on and practical experience in applying them to industry projects in different business settings. It is not just about being able to analyse and digest the data available but to then translate this into effective decision-making.

In sum, we expect the programme to open a range of career pathways in analytics for our graduates including:

  • business consultants
  • business analysts
  • business intelligence & analytics consultants
  • metrics & analytics specialists
  • analytics associates
  • data analysts
  • solution architects
  • business process analysts
  • management consulting associates
  • operational research consultants

Entrance to our MSc programmes is strongly competitive. You can increase your chances of a successful application by exceeding the minimum programme requirements.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent in an area related to management science, operational research, statistics, econometrics, mathematics, physics, computer science, engineering, or business and management with a distinct quantitative content.

Your background should ideally include courses and/or experience gained in topics such as linear algebra, calculus, probability, statistics, and computer programming.

If you have a UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent in an unrelated subject we may consider your application if you have relevant work experience.

Work experience is desirable but not mandatory.

All students are recommended to have their own laptop for this programme.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III (with a pass in all four components)

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

If you receive an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, will be asked to pay a tuition fee deposit of £1,500 within 28 days to secure their place on the programme.

The fee does not include the cost of text books for core and option courses so you should budget an additional amount for this required expenditure.

See the programme website for more information on fees and deposits:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Business School
  • 29 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JS
Programme start date Application deadline
13 September 2021 31 August 2021

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through the competitive process described on the School website.

Full details on the admissions process and the selection deadlines are available on the Business School website:

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2021/22:

Round Application deadline Decisions by
1 14 October 20 3 December 2020
2 9 December 2020 25 February 2021
3 17 February 2021 15 April 2021
4 21 April 2021 3 June 2021
5 9 June 2021 22 July 2021

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Business School
  • 29 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JS