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MSc Applied Data Analytics

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  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions, Part-Time, Sandwich (Thick) out of college.

The aim of this course is to train data and business analytics professionals who can help their employers climb the pyramid of analytical literacy. It will also equip recent graduates with the skills to gain competitive advantage based on analytical insight into business, scientific and other types of data.

It is an ideal second degree for recent graduates in maths or physics, who need to convert their skills and knowledge into a recognised Master's qualification that will allow them to enter the highly paid profession of data analysis. The skills shortage in this field was highlighted in a recent McKinsey report, which predicted that the United States alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with analytical expertise, and 1.5 million managers and analysts with the skills to understand and make decisions.

Interested in studying this course part-time? Enquire now.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, January 2019


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


September: 1 year full-time, 2 years with optional 40-week work placement or 2 years part-time. January: 16 months full-time, 2 years with optional 40-week work placement or 2 years part-time.

Required subjects:

Computing, technology, maths, physics, engineering or IT

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 or equivalent in a required subject. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading or equivalent. For more information see our full entry requirements.

Course details

Core units

  • Research Methods & Professional Issues: Research requires a structured and disciplined approach at all stages. We'll help you to develop key research skills in many areas, from project proposals and planning to critical analysis of research findings, academic writing and presentation. We'll also ensure you consider professional standards and ethical issues in your research.

  • Advanced Data Management: Data management is part of any modern real-world application. We'll help you develop an understanding of data modelling, design and execution, and how to use data-driven systems and to evaluate current trends in database technologies.

  • Data Mining & Analytic Technologies: Many businesses rely on data mining and exploration techniques to better understand the market and customer behaviour to plan ahead and make more informed decisions. You'll learn about tools and techniques of data mining and analytics, and have an opportunity to apply them to real world problems in settings like fraud detection, customer profiling and more.

  • SAS Programming: The SAS Institute is a world-leading supplier of data analytics software and a partner in this Master's programme. You'll have the opportunity to discover the most popular SAS tools and development frameworks, and learn how to program using SAS 4GL language. This will familiarise you with the technologies used by major SAS customers. You'll also have a chance to earn a highly regarded, official SAS Institute Programming Certificate.

  • Research Project: An opportunity to complete a significant piece of self-managed research in an area that interests you. You'll engage with a complex, real-world problem where you can combine different methods and tools.

Option units

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may change from year to year.

You'll choose two of the following units:

  • Business Intelligence: Vast amounts of data about a company’s customers and operations is routinely collected and stored in large corporate data warehouses. This data can be of immense value if properly analysed. You'll explore a suite of techniques and tools for data preparation and analysis, and presentation of the results to non-technical and managerial staff, in alignment with business strategies.

  • Analytics for Data Streams: In real world data-intensive applications, the data is arriving in a continuous stream and usually cannot be accumulated before processing. This online setting requires special techniques to analyse incoming data on the fly. Sensor networks, manufacturing industry or surveillance are just a few examples of streaming data sources. You'll learn how to efficiently process streaming data using state-of-the-art stream exploration, analysis and mining techniques.

  • Web Mining & Analytics: Web mining has emerged as one of the most attractive areas in applied research. It spans a large spectrum of topics such as information retrieval, topic detection and social community analysis. You'll gain extensive knowledge and systematic understanding of web and social network analysis, together with a critical awareness of current problems informed by practical experience of web modelling and mining.

  • Big Data & Cloud Computing: Big data can be encountered in numerous domains and applications. Analysing large amounts of data requires special methods to cope with its volume, variety and velocity. We'll help you become familiar with methods and technologies associated with big data analytics. Cloud computing provides a secure infrastructure for systems integration, data processing and manipulation as well as storage.  The cloud structure, the concept of virtualisation, services and deployment models for data storage and manipulation will be discussed.
  • Optional Industrial Placement: If you take this opportunity, you'll gain experience of working in an appropriate professional environment in line with our employability strategy.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for MSc Applied Data Analytics.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.


The experience that you will gain during your placement is invaluable in helping to make informed decisions about your future career path, as well as enhancing employment prospects upon graduation. What’s more, you can also choose to take your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market. Many of our students find that they are offered permanent jobs after graduation by their placement companies. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

Many new graduate positions are taken by people who have already had work experience as part of a course. Employers increasingly expect would-be recruits to have some kind of work experience, without which they are unlikely to be considered, regardless of their qualifications.

How long is my placement?

You will begin your placement after your study and you must complete a minimum of 40 weeks. We have a dedicated placement support team to to ensure you achieve a rewarding and satisfying placement.

Full entry requirements

The normal requirements for embarking on this course are:

  • A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 or equivalent in a required subject

If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed please contact the Future Students Enquiry Team in the first instance so your application can be individually assessed.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our postgraduate entry requirements page.


The Applied Data Analytics course has been designed to address the shortage of highly qualified professionals in the intelligent computer systems industry, who are needed to harness the recent big data wave.

You will graduate this programme as a highly qualified professional, with relevant expertise and knowledge of advanced tools and technologies and the ability to understand and implement state-of-the-art solutions needed in order to address practical problems that businesses and organisations are already facing and will face in the future. This means that as a graduate of the course, you will be a highly desirable employee and enjoy a wide variety of career opportunities in a variety of industries.

Some of our Applied Data Analytics graduates are now undertaking roles such as:

  • Data analyst
  • Consultant
  • Business intelligence expert
  • Data manager
  • Academic researcher.

Industries worked in

  • Consultancy
  • Business
  • Academic research.

Further study

If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Master's, you can look into our range of doctoral programmes.

Meet our staff

Professor Vasilis Katos

The Head of the Department of Computing & Informatics, Vasilis is a certified Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) and has experience as an Information Security Consultant. He has served as an expert witness in Information Security for a criminal court in the UK.

Read more about the expertise of other members of the Department of Computing & Informatics, and register now to come along and meet some of them.

Dr. Shahin Rostami

Dr. Shahin Rostami is the Programme Leader for MSc Applied Data Analytics (ADA), and a Lecturer in Computational Intelligence. His research interests lie within the areas of Computational Intelligence and Machine Learning, ranging from theory to their application to complex real-world problems. He also leads the Computational Intelligence Research Initiative (CIRI)

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

Course specific material(s) included in your tuition fee:

  • SAS software

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsidised travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat Units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies (with or without attancdance), you may be required to pay additional fees equivalent to one ninth of the tuition fee per 20 credit unit.

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Course changes

The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text

Removal of the optional study exchange.

Changed placement  duration to 40 weeks.

Added January starts full-time 16 months.

Key facts

Duration: September: 1 year full-time (16 months with optional study exchange), 2 years with optional 30-week work placement or 2 years part-time


After an annual review of the placement year tuition fee,  a price increase in line with current inflation, equating to 3% has been introduced.

Fees £790
20/02/17 Removal of the examination element of summative assessment from the 'Advanced Data Management' unit Programme Specification

Changes to the ILOs, indicative contents and reading resources to refer more explicitly to cloud computing, clarification of expected contact hours and formative assessment.

Programme Specification

Additional information

Simon Phelps

Career development

Read about career and development opportunities and discover how gaining industry experience could help you.

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International students

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