Data Science at USW

DATA SCIENCE AT USW

Data science is rapidly emerging in organisations and the need for fully trained data scientists, analysts and programmers are in demand now more than ever.

Businesses rely on big data to uncover hidden patterns and unknown correlations to make informed decisions and drive business success. On the Data Science course, you will learn how to apply high-level analytical skills and knowledge to solve a range of real-world problems.

You will work towards a globally recognised qualification, the SAS Joint Certificate in Applied Statistics and Data Mining. The Joint Certificate will validate your skills and ability to use SAS software, giving you a competitive advantage in the job market.


DATA SCIENCE COURSES

On the MSc Data Science course, you will have the opportunity to work on a real-world data science project in collaboration with an industry partner. You will develop analytical and practical data science skills to solve real-world business problems and utilise industry-led software and cutting edge techniques.

You can also do a Masters by Research or PhD and make an in-depth study of a data science topic that interests you. 

You can study full-time or part-time, on campus or by distance and be supervised by data scientists in our Mathematical Sciences Research Group.

WHAT IS DATA SCIENCE?

Dr Penny Holburn

Data Science is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses a variety of approaches and techniques. 

It aims to solve real-world problems by extracting knowledge from datasets that are typically large and complex. 

It encompasses different disciplines such as mathematics, statistics and computer science. 


WHO CAN STUDY DATA SCIENCE?

data student

This course attracts a variety of graduates

It is primarily appealing to those with a STEM-based background with a keen interest in data who are looking to further develop their technical skills. 

However, we also attract a large proportion of part-time graduates currently working in the industry but who are keen to upskill and develop their career into a Data Science role.


WHERE CAN DATA SCIENCE TAKE ME?

generic student

Most companies now require Data Scientists. Hence, you can virtually work in any business context, as long as decisions based on data are needed. 

Some examples are tech industry, transport, media, banking, medical, consulting, telecommunications, etc. 

The job titles you should look for include: Data Analyst, Data Scientist and Data Engineer.


WHY DATA SCIENCE?

Data science is rapidly emerging in organisations and the need for fully trained data scientists, analysts and programmers are in demand now more than ever.

Businesses rely on big data to uncover hidden patterns and unknown correlations to make informed decisions and drive business success. 

On the Data Science course, you will learn how to apply high-level analytical skills and knowledge to solve a range of real-world problems.

The Data Science degree improved my confidence

TEST

My first degree was in Zoology from Cardiff University, which I completed in 2001.  Whilst the course has improved my computing and statistical skills, it has also greatly improved my confidence in formal mathematics and approaching mathematical problems. It has also given me the skills to lead Data Science focussed projects in work.

The most memorable moment from my master's degree was pulling my first all-nighter in nearly 20 years to get some coursework finished! My most notable achievement was to finally write computer programs that do something useful, as opposed to just tinkering.

If you don't feel you have enough experience in the technical or the theoretical side, don't worry as you get a solid grounding in both.

I now work in the International Trade & Investment department of the Welsh Government and completed the degree on a part-time basis.  

My USW experience has been challenging but relaxed - I wish I could carry on for longer. 

An excellent start to further my professional journey

Data Science test

The lecturers at the university are so passionate about data science, this inspired and excited me to dive into the subject. 

During my degree, I celebrated every small step - I liked feeling like I was achieving something big. The data science degree has opened the door to a completely new world. 

If you're thinking of studying data science, be prepared to work hard. It can feel like a mind-bending subject, but, it will help you see everything from a completely different perspective.

 I am now working for Talent Intuition, the company that I proposed my final project to. I joined the team because I like the idea that a single question can unfold into thousands of possibilities and later emerges into a single solution – which is the process that Talent Intuition goes through for their clients. 

I had studied Mathematics and Statistics at the Open University before joining the MSc Data Science course, and my time at the University of South Wales has been a true inspiration.

Challenging myself to do something for me

test

I had been looking for the right master's course for a while.  It had to be the right subject and location, and something I could make work alongside my normal job.  Most importantly, I wanted something taught on campus each week with the benefit of experienced lecturers.

As part of my final project, I produced some early insights right at the start of the project, for the sponsor which he then presented on stage at an academic conference.

I currently lead of team of data engineers.  This course has given me the confidence to step outside of that and think about how we can expand into data science.  That's exciting because it not only benefits me, but I am helping others in my team to broaden their skillsets.

I often reflect on the fact that I have learnt more about working with data from the modules on this course than several years as a data practitioner in the industry.  I've met new friends and switching to focusing on studying has given me a new perspective on how to achieve a healthy work-life balance. 

data science partner admiral

Projects with Admiral have included predicting the likelihood of cancellation of car insurance at mid-term using data generated at the quotation stage. 

This project involved the training and comparison of different classification models and the selection of the appropriate variables.

TI Data Science

Extraction and analysis of publicly available datasets to create word embeddings for the understanding of the job market. 

This project required the training and tuning of neural networks for modelling multi-class datasets.


Data Science Partner

Projects with NHS Wales have included the design and development of an interactive dashboard using open source software (e.g. R shiny) that automatically updates from data in the public domain and presents the outputs in an informative and analytically robust way.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Data Science is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses a variety of approaches and techniques. It aims to solve real-world problems by extracting knowledge from datasets that are typically large and complex. 

It encompasses different disciplines such as mathematics, statistics and computer science.  It is about building tools that can interrogate the data in order to discover patterns, make predictions and hence understand the underlying relationships in the observed data. 

Data Scientists, are required to understand the research question, collect, manage and manipulate the data, extract the information needed to provide insight and translate and communicate their findings to people from a range of non-technical background.

This course attracts a variety of graduates. It is primarily appealing to those with a STEM based background with a keen interest in data who are looking to further develop their technical skills. 

However, we also attract a large proportion of part-time graduates currently working in industry but who are keen to upskill and develop their career into a Data Science role.

Most companies now require Data Scientists. Hence, you can virtually work in any business context, as long as decisions based on data are needed. 

Some examples are tech industry, transport, media, banking, medical, consulting, telecommunications, etc. 

The job titles you should look for include: Data Analyst, Data Scientist and Data Engineer. They vary depending on the focus of your education and your level of experience. 

You will begin by strengthening your knowledge in Statistics and Computing. You will then study more advanced topics: Data Mining, Statistical Forecasting and Machine Learning. 

Before completing your studies by working on your real-world industry project, you will also undertake study Data Engineering, learning about Big Data technologies, and Project Management and Research Methodology, to give a solid foundation to your soft skills. During the course, you will use popular Data Science tools such as Python, R, and SAS.