Term 3: Dissertation and Work Placement

In the third term, you will complete a substantial dissertation project. The majority of our students base their dissertations on 12-week placement projects hosted by our partner organisations. Host organisations will generally provide you with a bursary of £3,000. Placement projects are usually based on a data science challenge relevant to the host’s activities and will give you the opportunity to gain real-world experience as a data scientist.

You will be supported throughout the projects by an academic supervisor and by a company supervisor, who is typically an established data scientist.

We have arranged placement projects for over 130 students over the last 4 years of our programme. Our students have undertaken projects at many leading companies including Boots, Fujitsu, The Co-operative Group and AstraZeneca.

If you do not choose to work in a partner organisation, you also have the opportunity to base your dissertation on either:

  • a research project based at the University -if you are interested in building a career in data science research
  • an enterprise project - if you are interested in starting your own data science business.

We have worked with a wide range of organisations to provide our students with insight and experience of real-world data science. Throughout their course our students have contact with representatives from industry through group projects on live data, company talks and skills workshops. Our students have performed placement projects at Unilever, AstraZeneca, Admiral Insurance, Boots, The Co-operative Insurance and many more. Within our programme, we also place emphasis on helping students develop the soft skills that will enable them to make the most of careers opportunities. In addition to our industry seminars, we work closely with students to help them present themselves to potential employers most effectively.

100% of last year's MSc Data Science students rated our placement project process as either Very Good or Excellent.

Previous Placements

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 with total flexibility to use any methods I desired, it was really MY project. It has been a perfect placement and provided the essential skills for a full-time position within the data science area."

Hwan Lee

"Gaining a deep understanding of the use and impact of my work allowed me to better appreciate the role and responsibilities of data scientists in the pharmaceutical industry. The placement made it easier for me to be a future data scientist by helping me to confidently answer interview questions for the job application processes."

Sean Sheehan

The Behavioural Insights Team
"I learned an enormous amount over course of the project, 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."