Data Science MSc - 2021 Entry

Entry Year
2021 (2020)

Full time 12 Month(s), Part time 24 Month(s)

Course Overview

From business and finance or health and medicine, to infrastructure or education, data science plays a vital role in all aspects of the modern world. Our MSc programme will ensure you have an advanced level of skills, knowledge, and experience to achieve your career aspirations.

Studying for an MSc in Data Science at Lancaster will provide you with the perfect environment to develop an expertise in the discipline. Your study will build upon the fundamentals, and our specialist pathways will allow you to practise and enhance technical skills, while gaining professional knowledge that will support and advance your career aspirations.

Over the year, you will explore five core Data Science modules. These will ensure you have a solid advanced grounding in the subject, to support your choice of specialism.

You can choose from two specialisms according to your background and interests:

  • Computing
  • Statistical Inference

In taking one of these routes, you will gain access to a range of exciting, advanced pathway-specific modules. These modules will allow you to either enhance your understanding of data science technologies; or to gain expertise in the application of data science to business intelligence, bioinformatics, population health, the environment, or the study of society. Our specialist modules will provide you with detailed, expert knowledge and will enhance your employability. This format means that you will be equipped to apply for any data science related career, while providing you with an advantage in many industries.

In addition to these taught modules, you will also have the opportunity to undertake a 12-week placement either within industry or as part of an academic research project. This will provide you with a fantastic opportunity to apply your skills and knowledge to real-world situations and challenges, allowing you to gain valuable professional experience and demonstrate a working grasp of the discipline.

The placement project represents a substantial, independent research project. Supervised by an academic, you will develop your ability to gather and analyse data, draw valuable conclusions, and present findings in a professional environment. This research will be an opportunity to bring together everything you have learnt over the year, exercise your ability to solve problems and manage a significant project. This will be great experience for you to draw upon in an interview and in your career.


We offer an excellent range of learning environments, which include traditional lectures, laboratories, and workshops. We are also committed to providing timely feedback for all submitted work and projects.

Assessment varies across modules, allowing students to demonstrate their capabilities in a range of ways, including laboratory reports, essays, exercises, literature reviews, short tests, poster sessions, oral presentations, and formal examination.


We have a great relationship with our students and alumni, who have praised the School for its ambition, positivity and friendly atmosphere. By providing a number of support methods, accessible at any stage of your degree, we strive to give our students the best opportunity to fulfil their potential and attract the very best opportunities for a successful career. Our academics are welcoming and helpful; you will be assigned an academic advisor who can offer advice and recommended reading; and our open door policy has been a popular feature among our students. We believe in encouraging and inspiring our computing and communications scientists of the future.


The gathering, interpretation and evaluation of data is fundamental to all aspects of modern life. As a result, data science can lead to a career in a wide range of industries. The core modules of this programme will ensure you are properly equipped to apply yourself to any data role, while your specialist pathway will enhance your opportunities in specific industries, should that be the route you wish to pursue.

Studying at Masters level will further enhance your career prospects, opening up opportunities to progress further in your career.

In addition, many of our Data Scientists also elect to study a PhD qualification.

We provide careers advice and host a range of events throughout the year, including our annual careers fair, attended by exhibitors who are interested in providing placements and vacancies to computer science students and graduates. You can speak face-to-face with employers such as Network Rail, Oracle, and Johnson and Johnson, in addition to a large range of SMEs.


Course Structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.



Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.



We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2021/22 entry fees have not yet been set.

The University will not increase the Tuition Fee you are charged during the course of an academic year.

If you are studying on a programme of more than one year's duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. The way in which continuing students' fee rates are determined varies according to an individual's 'fee status' as set out on our fees webpages.

What are tuition fees for?

Studying at a UK University means that you need to pay an annual fee for your tuition, which covers the costs associated with teaching, examinations, assessment and graduation.

The fee that you will be charged depends on whether you are considered to be a UK, EU or overseas student. Visiting students will be charged a pro-rata fee for periods of study less than a year.

Our annual tuition fee is set for a 12 month session, which usually runs from October to September the following year.

How does Lancaster set overseas tuition fees?

Overseas fees, alongside all other sources of income, allow the University to maintain its abilities across the range of activities and services. Each year the University's Finance Committee consider recommendations for increases to fees proposed for all categories of student and this takes into account a range of factors including projected cost inflation for the University, comparisons against other high-quality institutions and external financial factors such as projected exchange rate movements.

What support is available towards tuition fees?

Lancaster University's priority is to support every student in making the most of their education. Many of our students each year will be entitled to bursaries or scholarships to help with the cost of fees and/or living expenses. You can find out more about financial support, studentships, and awards for postgraduate study on our website.

Related courses

Flexible course structure

The Data Science MSc is structured into three distinct terms. Your path through the course has a series of options depending on both your academic background and your choice of modules.

Work placements

Lancaster's Data Science programme has been developed in co-operation with industry to give our students a great start to their data science careers.

Dom Clarke

"The whole process was great, everyone at the office welcomed me with open arms and helped me with anything I wanted. I was provided total flexibility to use any methods I desired, it was really MY project. I was gifted with the reward of seeing the predictions implemented and seeing the work I had done presented and discussed in front of executives from trusts around the north-west."

Hwan Lee

"This experience was unique and valuable since it allowed me to learn from experts in academia and industry and taught me how to approach a data science project from a business perspective. The placement made me easier to be incorporated into the industry as a future data scientist by providing a clear understanding of a data scientist’s role."

Sean Sheehan

The Behavioural Insights Team
"I learned an enormous amount over course of the project as well as putting into practice and developing the technical skills and knowledge learned on the MSc course, and being able to contribute to a substantial project in this way has increased my confidence in my own ability. The experience has proved to be especially valuable in securing work after completion of the course."

Ioannis Tsalamanis

Uniper Energy
"Personally, the placement provided a transition from the academic environment to the industrial environment and gave me the opportunity to prepare for the job interviews that came afterwards. The fact that there was a short industrial placement after the MSc was highly appreciated by most of the interviewers and offered a great means of describing how my data scientist skills were applied and enhanced."

Some of the companies that have hosted Data Science students

Placement hosts

Our students have taken their work placements in a wide range of businesses, from global corporations to local SMEs. These are just some of the places that have provided students with opportunities to gain experience in real-world data science.

Learn more

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 £60,000 per annum.

Designed with industry

If you wish to pursue a career in data science, you 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.

Students talk with a senior lecturer
A student working in a small group

Career options

Our programme opens the door to many possible careers, including:

  • Data scientist or data science consultant
  • Financial modeller
  • Clinical and pharmaceutical analyst
  • Data technologies specialist

Our alumni have gone on to data science roles at Amazon, Deloitte, Santander, Bloomberg, The Office of National Statistics, The Environment Agency and more.

Enterprise education

Lancaster University is committed to providing its entrepreneurial students with the support they need to launch their enterprises. We understand that you may wish to start your own company as soon as possible. We offer you the opportunity to incorporate an Enterprise Project into your course, instead of a work placement. You may prefer to complete your studies with a project that will form the basis of a future enterprise, and we help you to develop your ideas. 

A man talking in a meeting
A student talks with a lecturer

Lifetime 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 service includes one-to-one support and advice on work experience, employability skills and careers.

Scholarships and funding

For full details of the course structure and the latest module information, click to download our latest course handbook.

A seminar group in Engineering

Fit your study around your career

A Masters qualification is the perfect way to develop your career and enhance your skills and knowledge. This course is available to study part-time, allowing you to study flexibly around your other commitments. With our wide range of courses, you can find a Masters degree to suit your professional interests, explore specialist areas of your discipline and begin to develop your leadership and management skills.

Part-Time Masters