£10,000 studentships for Lancaster’s new MSc in Health Data Science

Dr Emanuele Giorgi
Dr Emanuele Giorgi

A new postgraduate degree in Health Data Science will see Lancaster University award 22 £10,000 studentships in the first two years of the programme.

The MSc in Health Data Science is aimed at students who wish to develop skills in statistics, computing, informatics and technologies for health research. These studentships aim to increase diversity in the AI and data science sector and to support students from underrepresented groups to access higher education.

Data Scientists, data engineers and business analysts are among the most sought-after positions in the UK and internationally, and the health sector demand continues to grow.

Potential career destinations for students graduating with an MSc in Health Data Science include, but are not limited to:

·      Data scientist in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and bioengineering industries

·      Data scientist in the NHS and allied organisations

·      Civil-service careers in national-level health agencies

·      International health organisations such as World Health Organisation, Medecins Sans Frontieres, and the Red Cross

·      Other organisations requiring experience and ability to work with health-related data

Lancaster University’s MSc Health Data Science programme has been developed to address a growing demand for these skills in healthcare.

Applications are now welcome for entry starting in October 2021. The programme can be studied over one year full-time or two-years part-time. https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/postgraduate-courses/health-data-science-msc/

Senior lecturer in Biostatistics, Dr Emanuele Giorgi and Senior Lecturer in Statistics, Dr Deborah Costain, Directors of the programme, said in a joint statement: “We are very excited to be launching a new MSc in Health Data Science. This programme aims to provide the next generation of health data scientists with a unique set of statistical, computational and research skills to leverage information and tackle important public health problems, globally and locally." 

Data science has critical applications across the health domain. The ability to use and develop technology and methodology to exploit data to inform decision making and drive policy to improve public health is far-reaching. These include ‘wearables’ that motivate people to adopt healthier habits and alert people to potential health issues, to intelligent systems that can use data to improve diagnostic accuracy, track disease progression and transmission and identify those most vulnerable to illness and disease.

Professor Nancy Preston, Associate Dean for Postgraduate Study for the Faculty of Health and Medicine, said: “The Faculty is very pleased to be promoting this flagship Masters in Health Data Science. Data is central to our understanding of health, and this programme will educate the data scientists of tomorrow.”

The programme reflects the inter-disciplinary nature of data science and is led by the Centre for Health Informatics, Computing and Statistics (CHICAS) and with specialist modules contributed by the Statistics Group in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the School of Computing and Communications. The programme will provide an experiential and transformative learning experience with the opportunity to work on ‘real’ data scientific problems in the health domain. 

In June 2019, the UK government announced that it would support the development of degree conversion courses in artificial intelligence (AI) and data science technologies to help address the shortage of AI and data specialists in the UK. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Office for Artificial Intelligence (OAI) are providing funding for institutions to develop postgraduate conversion courses in these areas. The governmental aims are also to increase the number of people from groups currently underrepresented in the AI and data science sector, and to encourage graduates from diverse backgrounds to consider a future career in these areas.

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