Structure and content
Our Big Data MSc is a mix of practical technology such as Hadoop, NoSQL, and Map-Reduce, important maths and computing theory, and advanced computational techniques. The course will teach you what you need to know to collect, manage and analyse big, fast moving data for science or commerce.
Foundation Maths and Computing
Our foundation maths and computing courses make sure you have the theoretical grounding to build on for the rest of the course.
After a recap of SQL, this course takes you through the various NoSQL databases such as document stores like MongoDB, column stores like Cassandra and graph databases like Neo4j. You'll learn to pick the right database for your application and how to build, search and distribute the data in them.
Big Data Analytics
Sometimes, the more data you have, the better hidden the important facts become. Distilling information from big data needs fast, parallel analytics. We guide you through machine learning, data visualisation, web analytics and sentiment analysis. You'll learn the practicalities of big data analytics with techniques from data mining, machine learning, statistics, data visualisation and web analytics. Learn how we are training computers to understand the present and predict the future with data from finance, marketing, and social media.
Parallel and Distributed Systems
Large scale systems need distributed resources. Databases need to be partitioned or sharded across many servers and programs need to run in parallel across many machines. This is where you will master Map-Reduce, learn to duplicate jobs with Condor and play with our Raspberry Pi cloud.
Heuristics for Big Problems
Many big problems from scheduling a large airport to routing a fleet of trucks cannot be solved to perfection. This course covers computational heuristics for function optimisation where the search space is far too large to search exhaustively.
Scientific and Commercial Applications
With guest lectures from science and industry, this course presents a set of case studies of Big Data in action. You'll learn first hand how companies are using big data in fields such as banking, travel, telecoms, genetics and neuroscience.
Each student will carry out a project using a Big Data technology of their choice. With support from our staff you will choose a specialist topic and become a real expert. You'll start with an indepth analysis of the topic and its technology. Then you'll build a solution that will showcase your skills to employers and give you the knowledge to win a high level, high pay job.
This is a practical course and the assessment reflects that. Each module has an assignment and an exam, but the emphasis is on the course work.
Here are some of the technologies you will learn about on our Big Data MSc:
AnalyticsAnalytical and problem solving methods you will learn include:
- Maths and Statistics
- Probability and likelihood
- Information theory
- Linear algebra
- Hilbert spaces and tensors
- Data Mining
- Neural networks
- Bayesian networks
- Decision Trees
- EM Algorithm
- Local search
- Genetic algorithms
- Particle swarm optimisation
- Genetic programming