Data science refers to collecting, storing, segregating, and analyzing data which serves as a valuable resource for organizations to use in data-driven decision-making. It is often used by highly skilled computing professionals who have excellent technical knowledge and expertise.
It exists everywhere. Every interaction in any technological domain includes a set of data. It is one of the most amusing fields to be a part of today's modern world. Data is the key to power in this age of information.
Data science is a multidisciplinary field that draws from a variety of academic and professional disciplines. A master's degree in data science can provide students with the skills needed to work with large amounts of data, understand what information it contains, and make predictions based on that information.
The United Kingdom is among the most popular study destinations for students wanting to pursue data science. There are over 40 universities offering master's degrees in data science or related subjects in the UK.
The UK is regarded as a royal and reliable educational destination, and its institutions are ranked among the best institution globally. The UK is also home to many leading international companies, which offer attractive scholarships and other financial support packages to students.
This blog will be an all-in-one guide for all of your queries regarding a master's in data science in the UK and make your data science journey a little simple.
Which is better: UK vs USA
The United Kingdom and the US are two of the world's most popular destinations for students to study data science. The UK is a leader in research and development and has some of the best universities in the world, while the US is known for its quality of education and research facilities.
There are a lot of universities in both the USA and UK that offer Masters in Data Science.
Both countries are famed for their technological prowess, but which is superior?
The answer lies in the fact that they both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Let's take a look at them:
- University Rankings: According to Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the UK has five universities in the top 10 while the USA has two universities only (Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
But the difference between these two countries is not much because Stanford University is ranked third while Massachusetts Institute of Technology is ranked fourth. So it will be easy for international students who want to study in the UK or USA because they can get scholarships from top-ranking universities.
- More universities offering the course- The UK has built an ecosystem around data science that's much stronger than in the US.
For one thing, more schools offer master's programs in data science than there are in any other country. And many of them are relatively affordable – especially compared to US universities.
- Future Prospects: the UK has some of the best companies operating out it, including Google and Facebook, who are always on the lookout for talented graduates with a good knowledge base in data science.
If you want to work at these companies or any other company that deals with big data analytics, then getting an MDS degree from the UK will be beneficial as they prefer people with a background in this area.
- Greater Diversity: The UK is a very diverse country with people from different backgrounds coming to study there every year. Students will have the opportunity to engage with people from various cultures, making it easier for them to fit into their new environment after graduation.
- Comparatively Cheaper: Although excellent US universities are offering Master's degrees in data science, their cost is often prohibitive for many students. There are very few students who can afford to pay tuition fees and living costs without some form of financial assistance.
In contrast, most UK universities have tuition fees that are lower than those charged by US institutions – and they offer scholarships and bursaries for those who need them most.
This makes studying in the United Kingdom way more pocket friendly than in the USA.
- Less Competition: There is very high competition in data science in the USA compared to any other country in the world. The United Kingdom has comparatively less competition.
After completing your master's in Data Science, you will stand a great chance of starting your career as a data scientist a lot faster than in the US.
- Unfriendly Immigrant Laws: The United Kingdom considers itself a country with royal status. Due to this the laws for immigration and foreigners staying in their country are very harsh and rigid.
For this reason, people feel less likely to move to the UK.
Not only the government but also the people of the country think very highly of themselves and consider themselves superior. Due to this, many migrants have faced the issue of discrimination and bullying.
- Longer Course duration: Another disadvantage of studying Master in Data Science in the UK is that it can take a long time to complete your degree because of its duration.
Most universities in UK have very elongated courses in data science, so you might have to wait a bit longer to step into the field.
- Cost of living: The cost of living in London is among the highest in Europe, and it can be costly to live here if you do not have a job lined up. If you are planning on staying after graduation, then this may be an issue for you.
The living cost might be a bit cheaper than in the US but it is still higher than in most the European and 3rd world countries. The long course duration of the universities in the UK makes it even more expensive to study in the country.
- Global Reputation: Reputation building is one of the biggest reasons people prefer to study in the USA. The USA has a well-reputed name in the global scenario.
If you are qualified in the US, then most of the companies in other countries will view you highly. And this plays a good role in what opportunities you'll get to choose from.
- Best facilities - Most universities provide state-of-the-art labs where students can learn various aspects of data science like machine learning, SQL, etc.
They also have access to huge datasets which are used by professors during lectures so that students can understand how things work before applying them in real life.
- Quality Education: Although the UK has more universities in the top 10 rankings of THE, still it's not just about numbers. You won't be studying in all the schools.
You'd just be looking at one. Stanford and the University of Massachusetts ARE RANKED #3 AND #4 in those rankings is proof of the quality of education that the US provides.
- Very High Cost of Education: The cost of education is higher than what it costs in the UK or other countries.
The fees for courses like MS in Data Science can be as high as $20,000 per year or even more. This is higher than what it costs to study in the UK.
- Work permit and Visa hassle: The US has a less regulated job market; in the US, it is more difficult for foreign students to get visas and work permits for jobs. In most cases, you will have to work on an H1B visa which has a limit on how many people can use it every year.
If you want to stay beyond your visa, you need a green card which can take years to get. If you want to do research and development (R&D), then this might be more difficult as well since companies are less likely to hire someone who does not have citizenship or permanent residency status.
- High cost of living: The housing market is more expensive than in other countries like the UK or Australia, and you will need accommodation as soon as you arrive.
Also, the standard of living is very high. Hence every amenities are a lot more expensive compared to any other country on the planet.
Different Education Pattern: The American system of education is very different from the European system.
The courses are more theoretical than in Europe, and students must follow a rigid path. For example, they often have to take classes in statistics before they can take classes on machine learning or artificial intelligence.
Based on these facts about both the educational superpowers, you can make a wise decision for yourself about which of these pros and cons are of priority to you.
Whichever country you decide to move to, it is assured that you will get a top-quality education. Only some factors will be acting as variables based on your personal preferences.
Top 5 Universities for Masters in Data Science in UK
The United Kingdom is filled with a lot of universities, and it is considered the hub of education in the world. And a lot of good universities offer the Masters in Data Science as a full-time course.
Going through all of the UK universities that offer data science to figure out which one is best suited for you sounds very frustrating and a long process, doesn't it?
But don't worry, we have taken care of that hassle for you. Among all the universities that offer the course of master's in data science, we have done thorough research to come up with this list of top 5 universities for the course in the UK.
The below-listed educational institutions provide the best curriculum & opportunities for their students in data science.
1.University of Edinburgh:
The University of Edinburgh is one of Scotland's ancient universities, founded in 1583.
It is located in the center of the city, is home to over 20,000 students from more than 140 countries, and offers a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral courses
The university has an international reputation for excellence in research, teaching, and impact. It is ranked as one of the best universities in the world for a master's in data science.
The university offers a variety of master's programs aimed at graduates who want to develop their skills in data science or related fields such as artificial intelligence (AI).
The Master's program in Data Science aims to equip students with the skills to analyze large amounts of data using advanced analytical methods and tools such as machine learning.
Students will also learn how to apply these techniques to real-world problems through projects that are supervised by members of the industry as well as academics from within the School of Informatics and Computing at the university.
The course is taught over two terms. In terms of content, each term has a different focus. The first term focuses on applied statistics and machine learning; the second term focuses on statistical modeling and social network analysis. You will get the opportunity to choose electives from other departments within the university (e.g., industrial placement).
2. Kings College London:
Kings College London is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It was established in 1828 and is located in South Kensington, London. The university has a rich history that spans over two centuries and has produced many famous alumni, including Lord Byron, Charles Darwin, and Sir Alexander Fleming.
The university offers a variety of courses, including a Master in Data Science (MSc). Suppose you are interested in data science or are looking to make a career transition into the industry. In such a case, this course will give you a competitive edge over other candidates applying for jobs.
The program provides a unique opportunity to network with other students, alumni, and industry professionals. This will help you make valuable contacts after graduation to help you find employment or further research opportunities.
The Master's in Data Science at KCL is a one-year full-time program. Students can also study part-time, but this will take longer.
The full-time program consists of four semesters:
Semester one (September - November) - introduction to data science; programming and statistical modeling of data; research methods & design; ethics and regulation.
Semester two (January - April) - machine learning methods; longitudinal data analysis; natural language processing (NLP) & sentiment analysis; visualization & interactive visualization techniques.
Semester three (April - July) - advanced methods for text mining and semantic analytics; advanced techniques for data management & storage; privacy and security issues in big data analytics; real-world applications in industry (e.g., finance, health, transport).
Semester four (August - December) - final project report
3.University of Manchester:
It was founded in 2004, when the Institute of Science and Technology and the Victoria University of Manchester merged to become the University of Manchester. With 52,275 students, it is the UK's second-largest university in terms of the student population.
The Department has been at the forefront of data-driven research since its foundation in 2009 by Professor Nigel Shadbolt and Dr. Tim Chartier, who was appointed as Founding Directors to lead this new initiative.
The master's in data science from the University of Manchester is a 12-month, full-time study program.
The first six months are spent on intensive coursework and research projects. You will study core topics such as data mining, machine learning, and big data analytics, together with elective modules on topics such as business intelligence, text analysis, and social media analysis.
You will also undertake an individual research project under the guidance of one or more academic supervisors.
After the first six months, you will spend three months working in the industry or on a research placement at Manchester Data Science Institute (MDSI).
Your placement could be anywhere in the world – this is where you will put your skills into practice and gain real-world experience before returning to complete your dissertation project during the last three months of the program.
4. University of Bristol:
Bristol, United Kingdom's University of Bristol is a red brick research university. It was founded in 1876 and obtained its royal charter in 1909. Its predecessor, University College, Bristol, was founded in 1876.
The university offers a wide range of courses through its School of Integrative Social Sciences (ISS). For example, its MSc in Data Science provides students with an opportunity to apply statistical techniques to real-world problems using data mining methods such as machine learning algorithms
In addition, they will also learn how to analyze large datasets using statistical software packages such as R or Python.
The Master's in Data Science is a one-year full-time program that focuses on the application of statistics, machine learning, data mining, and other data science techniques to solve real business problems.
Master's in Data Science is a one-year full-time program. The course consists of two semesters, and each semester has four modules. The first semester covers the following topics:
Data science for business and economics
Data mining and statistical machine learning
The second semester is a research project based on the first semester's topics. It's an individual project that lasts 10 weeks, where you will be supervised by a member of the research group.
5.University of Glasgow:
The University is a university of public research in Glasgow, Scotland. It was created by papal mandate in 1451, making it the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's four ancient institutions. The university was a part of the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century.
Master's in Data Science in the UK is a program that helps you to develop your skills and knowledge in data science. The program will train you with the latest techniques and tools used by data scientists so that you can become an expert in this field.
If you wish to pursue a career in data science or if you are looking for a way to enhance your existing skills, this program is just perfect for you.
You'll begin by studying statistical concepts such as probability distributions and regression analysis before moving on to more advanced topics like Bayesian statistics, multivariate analysis, and time series modeling.
Finally, in your final years, you'll specialize in a specific area of interest, such as geospatial analytics or natural language processing (NLP).
Admission & Cost of Studying
Before deciding on your dream university to study in the UK, let's first take a look at the admission requirements and cost of studying for doing a master's in data science in the United Kingdom.
English Language Requirements for Data Science in the UK
English language requirements must be met by students who do not speak English as their first language for Data Science in the United Kingdom by achieving a minimum score of 6.0 on the IELTS exam.
Non-native English speakers can also take the TOEFL or PTE exams. A TOEFL score of more than 79 and a PTE score of more than 53 are required for master's degree programs in Data Science in the United Kingdom.
1. Admission Criteria
Students having a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field are eligible to apply for master's programs in data science in the United Kingdom.
Some institutions in the UK evaluate undergraduate degrees in cognitive science, electrical engineering, languages, mathematics, philosophy, physics, and psychology for MS in data science admissions.
Statistics, mathematics, and other areas that might be considered while working with data must be included in the linked degree courses that will be accepted.
2. Cost of Study
The cost of the study is divided into three sections:
i) Pre-Arrival Cost
ii) Tuition Fees
iii) Cost of Accommodation
- UCAS Application Fee is around Rs. 2000.
- IELTS Registration Fee is around Rs.17,000.
- UK student visa fee is around Rs. 32,000.
- Travel Expense from India to the UK is somewhere between Rs.44,000 to Rs. 56,000
- The tuition fees for a master's in data science at the University of Edinburgh is ₹25,20,705.
- The tuition fees for a master's in data science at King's College London is ₹28,04,389.
- The tuition fees for a master's in data science at the University of Manchester is ₹27,88,500.
- The tuition fees for a master's in data science at the University of Glasgow is ₹24,88,356.
- The tuition fees for a master's in data science at the University of Bristol is ₹29,40,600.
Cost of Accommodation
- Near the University of Edinburgh is ₹9.09 Lakhs.
- Near the University of Manchester is ₹13 lakhs.
- Near King's College London is ₹ 15.21 lakhs.
- Near the University of Bristol is ₹ 14.17 lakhs.
- Near the University of Glasgow is ₹ 12.53 lakhs.
3. Visa Requirements
Students from the European Union do not require a visa to study in the UK. However, they may need a visa if they wish to work as well as study. International students coming from outside the EU will need a Tier 4 Student Visa to study at an institute that is registered with the Home Office (UK Government).
- Proof of being accepted by a Designated Learning Institution.
- Proof that you have the money to pay your tuition fees and manage the living expenses as well.
- There should be proof of your clean background. You should not have any criminal history. To prove this, you need to have a police verification certificate with you.
- A health checkup report is also necessary that certifies that you are fit and in good health.
You need to have a valid passport.
4. Job Opportunities
There are several work prospects in the UK after obtaining a master's degree in Data Science, ranging from retail to health care and from the government to the IT business.
This curriculum is designed to equip students for successful careers as data scientists and analysts. Information extraction, data gathering, data representation, data aggregation, knowledge extraction, knowledge explanation, and data analysis are among the abilities that students graduate with.
In addition, exclusive internship programs at UK institutions, along with a strong focus on visual analytics and machine learning, as well as strong industry links, can assist applicants in securing positions as data visualization and data analysis specialists.
Successful individuals can work as data scientists and analysts in a variety of settings, including corporations, investment management organizations, banks, markets, and financial agencies.
The students get expertise in various data science approaches and how to use them. They also get experience as well as a theoretical grasp of the market, making them appealing to a wide range of companies and preparing them for future education.
After completing a master's degree in Data Science (DS), the average income in the United Kingdom is roughly £52,456. In the United Kingdom, a Data Scientist with one year of experience may earn between £25,000 and £30,000 per year on average.
Those with experience, on the other hand, may expect to earn between £45,000 and £80,000 as a Data Science graduate salary in the United Kingdom.
Aside from attractive median incomes and up-and-coming business giants in data science and analytics, the United Kingdom has another advantage.
To reduce the gap between high demand and inadequate supply, businesses have begun to collaborate with educational institutions to develop programs in relevant fields. The United Kingdom will ensure that you do not leave without a job with attractive earnings on offer.
Skilled labor is in high demand in many countries, making a master's in data science in the United Kingdom a worthwhile investment.
We hope that our blog was of help to you in solving your queries regarding a master's in data science in the UK. For any further questions, feel free to hit the comment section.