Skip header navigation

University of Stirling

×

MSc Big Data

Big Data skills are in high demand. Gain skills in big data technology, advanced analytics and industrial and scientific applications on our advanced Masters course.

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc
  • Start date September
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based

Big data is increasingly important in today’s commercial landscape. As a data scientist specialising in big data, you’ll help companies make sense of large amounts of structured and unstructured data, providing rapid insights that enable them to make better, quicker decisions.

The MSc Big Data is a taught advanced Masters degree covering the technology of Big Data and the science of data analytics. You’ll gain practical skills in big data technology, advanced analytics and industrial and scientific applications.

The course will teach you how to collect, manage and analyse big, fast moving data for science or commerce. You’ll learn skills in cutting-edge technology such as Python, R, Hadoop, NoSQL and Machine Learning. At the same time, you’ll delve into important maths and computing theory, and learn the advanced computational techniques you need to develop your career in data science.

Our MSc has been developed in partnership with global and local companies who employ data scientists. HSBC have a development centre in Stirling and have provided some very interesting Big Data projects to our students. Amazon’s development centre in Scotland is close by in Edinburgh.

The University of Stirling is a member of The Data Lab, an Innovation Centre that aims to develop the data science talent and skills required by industry in Scotland. It also supports our students with funding, networking and routes into employment.

As a graduate in Big Data you’ll be able to work in a wide range of sectors such as digital technologies, energy and utilities, financial services, public sector and healthcare.

I chose to study at the University of Stirling because of the vast and challenging variety of modules. The academic staff have been great doing a tremendous job. They're very helpful and always there to talk to. The campus is really beautiful and very comfortable to study with all necessary amenities around.

Vinod Kumar Sudan, MSc Big Data student

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Course objectives

    The syllabus for the MSc Big Data includes:

    • Mathematics and Statistics for Big Data
    • Python scripting
    • Business and scientific applications of Big Data
    • Big databases and NoSQL including MongoDB, Cassandra and Neo4J
    • Analytics, machine learning and data visualisation using Weka, R and ScikitLearn
    • Cluster computing with Hadoop, Spark, Hive and MapReduce
    • Student projects including paid internships

    On this Masters course you’ll gain:

    • an understanding of the issues of scalability of databases, data analysis, search and optimisation
    • the ability to choose the right solution for a commercial task involving big data, including databases, architectures and cloud services
    • an understanding of the analysis of big data including methods to visualise and automatically learn from vast quantities of data
    • the programming skills to build solutions using big data technologies such as MapReduce and scripting for NoSQL, and the ability to write parallel algorithms for multi-processor execution
  • Work placements

    The course features a long summer project, generally in partnership with a company or technology provider.

  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Research

    Our team of academics in the department of Computing Science and Mathematics investigate novel and effective approaches to dynamic and uncertain real-world problems in complex systems and environments. They explore the interdisciplinary connections between computer science, mathematics, life sciences, social sciences and management.

    We work collaboratively with a number of organisations, including The Data Lab (Scotland’s Data Science Innovation Centre, which supports students with funding, networking and routes to employment) and the Scottish Informatics and Computing Science Alliance (SICSA), to ensure our students have the best platform to succeed.

  • Academic requirements

    A minimum of a second class honours degree or equivalent in a numerate subject such as maths, computing, engineering or an analytic science. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate work experience are encouraged to apply.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C or above
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C or above
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

    More information on our English language requirements

  • English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Course structure

Mathematics and Statistics for Big Data

  • Our foundation maths and computing courses ensure you have the theoretical grounding to build on for the rest of the course.
  • This module teaches basic linear algebra, probability theory and introductory statistics.

Big Databases

  • After a recap of SQL, this course takes you through the various NoSQL databases, including document stores like MongoDB, column stores like Cassandra and graph databases such as 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

  • You'll learn the practicalities of big data analytics with techniques from data mining, machine learning, statistics, data visualisation and web analytics. You’ll explore how we’re training computers to understand the present and predict the future with data from finance, marketing and social media.

Analytical and problem solving methods you will learn include:

  • Maths and Statistics
    • Probability and likelihood
    • Information theory
    • Linear algebra
    • Statistics
  • Data Mining
    • Neural networks
    • Bayesian networks
    • Decision Trees
    • DM project management

Hadoop and MapReduce

  • This course covers distributed data processing with Hadoop and MapReduce in addition to the use of Condor for distributed computation.

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.

Modules

The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2017/18 on this course of study.

Loading modules...

Course Details

  • Teaching

    There’s a real mix of practical technology sessions taught in labs and workshops along with lectures, seminars and tutorials teaching you the Big Data theories.

    You’ll carry out a project using a Big Data technology of your choice. With support from our staff, you’ll choose a specialist topic and become a real expert. You'll start with an in-depth 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 salary job.

    We have a programme of invited speakers from industry giving you the opportunity to ask questions of people who are doing data science every day. Recent participants include MongoDB, SkyScanner and HSBC.

  • Assessment

    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.

  • Course director
  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)

      2018/19 2019/20

    Home/EU Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,000 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £10,280 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.

    £6,300 TBC

    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.

    £15,250 £15,950

    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • Scholarships
    Datalab Funding 2018

    For the past three years, we have been able to offer Datalab funded places on the Big Data course to students from Scotland and the EU. We hope to have more funded places available for 2018. Places will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, so apply now and we will inform you of the status of funding as soon as we can.

    Other sources of funding

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances. That’s why we offer a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities available.

    To explore our scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

  • Additional costs

    If you choose to attend your graduation ceremony, you will be liable for an additional charge. There is no charge if you wish to graduate in absentia. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support. .

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

Big data skills are in high demand. You will have opportunities with data-driven companies from a wide variety of sectors and command a salary that’s typically higher than the IT average. As a graduate in Big Data you’ll be able to work in a wide range of sectors, such as digital technologies, energy and utilities, financial services, public sector and healthcare.

Our Masters in Big Data has been developed in partnership with companies that employ data scientists and includes the possibility of an internship that will enable you to make industry connections that could benefit your future career.

  • Our course has been developed in partnership with global and local companies who employ data scientists
  • We’re part of the DataLab MSc, which supports our students with funding, networking and routes into employment
  • Around 88% of data scientists have an MSc, making this course a passport to jobs in this field (The Burtch Works Study 2014)
The Big Data course was very well designed. The range of topics and technologies covered meant that students gained a basic knowledge in a variety of areas which can be further expanded in a future career.
Loading...
Scroll back to the top

Which course would you like to apply for?

MSc Big Data

Search for another course