Postgraduate study
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Statistics with Data Science MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Accreditation

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Statistics with Data Science

As the name suggests, the programme lets you delve deep into mathematical statistics but also explore trendy topics in data science. Projects and assignments offered plenty of experience with both R and Python in modules which were not necessarily focused on programming. Now, a few months into my first job after graduation, I already find that all parts of the curriculum have offered me something which I apply today.

Henning Tansjoe MSc Statistics with Data Science (2020/21)
Henning Tansjoe               MSc Statistics with Data Science (2020/21)

In this digital and data-rich era the demand for statistics graduates from industry, the public sector and academia is high, yet the pool of such graduates is small. The recent growth of data science has increased the awareness of the importance of statistics, with the analysis of data and interpretation of the results firmly embedded within this newly recognised field.

This programme is designed to train the next generation of statisticians with a focus on the newly recognised field of data science. The syllabus combines rigorous statistical theory with wider hands-on practical experience of applying statistical models to data. In particular the programme includes:

  • classical and Bayesian ideologies
  • computational statistics
  • regression
  • data analysis of a range of models and applications

Graduates will be in high demand. It is anticipated that the majority of students will be employed as statisticians within private and public institutions providing statistical advice/consultancy.

Links with Industry

The School of Mathematics has connections with a wide number of industrial partners, organisations, charities and government departments. As an MSc student in the School you will have opportunities to engage with these external organisations through regular employability events, careers workshops, and our annual analytics challenge (whose recent partners have included Edinburgh Airport and the Data and Marketing Association). You will also have the opportunity to undertake an industry-based consultancy-style dissertation project.

Recent partners for industry-based consultancy projects in the Statistics with Data Science MSc include:

  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • AzkoNobel
  • Public Health Scotland
  • Simply Business

Accreditation

This MSc is pending accreditation by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS). Thus, this programme will be recognised by RSS for the purpose of eligibility for the professional award of Graduate Statistician. The accreditation is based on the general depth, breadth, quality and foundation of the programme and its statistical content.

This programme involves two taught semesters of compulsory and option courses followed by your dissertation project.

Compulsory courses have previously included:

  • Bayesian Data Analysis
  • Bayesian Theory
  • Extended Statistical Programming
  • Generalised Regression Models
  • Incomplete Data Analysis
  • Statistical Research Skills

Optional courses have previously included:

  • Biostatistics
  • Credit Scoring
  • Fundamentals of Operational Research
  • Fundamentals of Optimization
  • Large Scale Optimization for Data Science
  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition*
  • Machine Learning in Python
  • Methods for Causal Inference*
  • Probabilistic Modelling and Reasoning*
  • Python Programming
  • Simulation
  • Statistical Methodology
  • Stochastic Modelling
  • Text Technologies for Data Science*
  • Time Series

*delivered by the School of Informatics

Dissertation projects

The dissertation will take the form of two consultancy-style case projects in different application areas.

Each consultancy-style project will last 5-6 weeks and will take the form of a consultant-client style where an industrial client will present a problem to your class. Each student will then act as a consultant, addressing a particular aspect of the problem and presenting their conclusions to the client at the end of the 5-6 week period.

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
MScStatistics with Data Science1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2023/24

At the end of this programme you will have:

  • knowledge and understanding of statistical theory and its applications within data science
  • the ability to formulate suitable statistical models for new problems, fit these models to real data and correctly interpret the results
  • the ability to assess the validity of statistical models and their associated limitations
  • practical experience of implementing a range of computational techniques using statistical software R and JAGS

Trained statisticians are in high demand both in public and private institutions. This programme will provide graduates with the statistical skills necessary to handle and analyse different forms of data, interpret the results and effectively communicate the conclusions obtained.

Graduates will have a deep knowledge of the underlying statistical principles coupled with practical experience in implementing statistical techniques using standard software across a range of application areas, ensuring they are ideally placed for a range of different job opportunities.

The degree is also excellent preparation for further study in statistics or data science. Students have gone on to study their PhDs at highly-ranked universities including Oxford and Edinburgh.

Student Support Team

In the School of Mathematics, we have a dedicated Student Support Team consisting of six staff members. You will have a Student Adviser who is your first point of contact during your time at the University of Edinburgh, and who is available to help and advise on a range of issues connected to your postgraduate study. Study support will be provided by academics acting as Cohort Leads, with wider teaching teams, who will work with students to connect you with your programme of study and provide you with more specialist subject support.

Student blogs

Learn about what life is like as a MSc student in the School of Mathematics, by hearing from the people that have experienced it first-hand! Our student bloggers come from all across the world, and have studied on a variety of our MSc programmes.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in a numerate discipline such as mathematics, engineering, computer science, physical or biological sciences, economics or business.

Your degree must have included substantial mathematics content, including calculus (including calculus of several variables), linear algebra, probability, statistics and statistical theory. Detailed information is available from the School of Mathematics website.

You can increase your chances of a successful application by exceeding the minimum programme requirements.

Students from China

This degree is Band B.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

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

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

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:

Application fee

None.

Deposit

None.

Additional programme costs

None.

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScStatistics with Data Science1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScStatistics with Data Science2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Martingale Foundation Scholarships

We are one of the Martingale Foundation's newest university partners. The Martingale Foundation helps provide access to postgraduate mathematics study for UK students facing financial barriers by offering fully-funded MSc and PhD programmes. Applications for the 2024 Martingale Scholarship close on Wednesday 25 October 2023.

British Council GREAT Scholarships - Malaysia

This scholarship programme offers financial support to applicants from Malaysia pursuing one year of taught postgraduate study in the School of Mathematics. The scholarship has a value of £10,000 which will be deducted from tuition fees and will be tenable for one academic year.

School of Mathematics funding

There may be School funding available for well-qualified candidates.

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
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2024 31 August 2024

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines.

We strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications may close earlier than the published deadlines if there is exceptionally high demand.

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.

We aim to make the majority of decisions within eight weeks of the selection deadline.

If we have not made you an offer by a specific selection deadline this means one of two things:

  • your application has been unsuccessful, in which case we will contact you to let you know, or
  • your application is still being considered, will be carried forward for consideration in the next selection deadline and we’ll be in touch once a decision is made

Selection Deadlines

Round Application Deadline Decisions made or applications rolled to next deadline
1 15 December 1 March
2 31 March 31 May
3 31 May 31 July

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD