Careers and Employability

The demand for people with data science skills is predicted to double over the next five years. This rising need is reflected in the average salary for data scientists, which is now £60k per annum.

ITJobsWatch provides a summary of the current UK job market with regards to the data scientist role and the salary that this commands.‌

Those wishing to pursue a career in data science need to be able to demonstrate both technical knowledge, an understanding of the role of data in modern enterprises and an ability to communicate the meaning of data. Our MSc programme has been designed in collaboration with industry to give students the opportunity both to learn the necessary skills and to use them in real-world settings through Industry-hosted placements. A number of placements have resulted in permanent jobs for our students - please see our Case Studies page for examples of projects that have led to permanent roles.

This combination of skills and experience gained by our students helps them stand out from the crowd and start great careers in data science. We have been cited in The IndependentThe Guardian and Computerworld as giving real opportunities to our students.

Project Placements

During your third term, you will be encouraged to take a work placement with a leading company. Several of our students have been employed by these companies at the end of their studies. You can see a list of project host companies here.

Career Options

Our programme opens the door to many possible careers. Former students are now employed in the following roles

  • Data scientists within companies or government agencies
  • Data science consultant
  • Financial modeller
  • Clinical and pharmaceutical snalyst
  • Data technologies dpecialist
  • Data science and machine learning PhDs

Our alumni have progressed to data science roles at Amazon, Deloitte, Santander, SAS, Ernst and Young, The Co-operative Insurance, The Hut Group, Bloomberg, The Office of National Statistics, The Department for Communities and Local Government, The Environment Agency, The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and many more organisations.

Careers Support

As a student at Lancaster, you will gain access to our excellent careers service, offering lifetime support, help and friendly advice. We offer lifetime support, help and advice to all of our students. This includes one-to-one support and advice on work experience, employability skills and careers. Learn more

Enterprise Education

Lancaster University is committed to providing its entrepreneurial students with the support they need to launch their own enterprises.

Lancaster University recognises that some students have the aim of starting their own companies as soon as possible. To support this aim the University provides a wide range of services via Lancaster University Enterprise Centre and encourages students to develop their business ideas.

As part of the MSc Data Science, we offer students the opportunity to incorporate an Enterprise Project into their studies. The majority of our students choose to perform placements with our industry partners: generally with a view to starting work as a commercial data scientist. We recognise, however, that some of our students prefer to complete their studies with a data science project that will form the basis of a future enterprise and we offer our students the chance to develop their ideas. 

Students interested in exploring an enterprise project will be mentored by the Enterprise Centre to develop their ideas and determine its feasibility. Students will have an academic supervisor appointed who will work with them and their enterprise mentor to guide the development of the data science or analytical technology that will be at the heart of their proposed enterprise. Students selecting this option will be eligible for a £500 enterprise grant and will be supported in finding organisations with whom to test the technology that they develop. Students will be expected to work full-time on their enterprise project between June and September and will be expected to produce a dissertation that describes their work and the data science techniques that have been employed and extended.

If you would like to apply for one of our Data Science Masters degrees, you need to use Lancaster University's My Applications website.