MSc Mathematics and Data Science

The MSc combines Mathematics with technology from Data Science (Big Data) and analytics, giving you practical applications in financial, business and medical systems, as well as the tools for studying the network structure that data can take.

We are no longer accepting applications for September 2022 entry from students who require a visa to study in the UK.

Mathematics and Data Science

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September 2022, January 2023
  • Duration September full-time 12 months; September part-time 24 months; January full-time 21 months
  • Mode of study part time, full time
  • Delivery on campus

Overview

The field of Data Science has seen rapid growth in recent years, with vast amounts of data now being generated by major companies and service providers.

Yet, there is a recognised shortage of qualified analysts, both in the UK and globally, to make the most of this data and to meet the demands of industry. In particular, the demand is for graduates who can both manage the data (the computing skills), and analyse the data to extract patterns, build models and make predictions (the mathematics skills). It is only with these analytical skills can the full value of data be extracted.

Launching in 2018, our MSc is one of the first courses to link these two key areas, making it uniquely positioned to help you meet this demand. The course focusses on the application rather than pure theory of mathematics and is assessed primarily through coursework, developing those skills which are in high demand by the data industry.

The course will provide you with a strong foundation in the mathematical analysis of data-driven systems and help you develop your computing skills, from programming Python and R, to advanced techniques including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, to applying the techniques you learn on a large scale. You will learn the techniques used to approach data and build models using computational analysis and understand the mathematics underpinning these techniques. 

Our graduates have gone on to work in financial institutions, major energy firms, sport and fitness, start-ups, NHS, Environmental agencies, the Scottish Government, as well as gone onto undertake PhDs in UK and overseas.

Stirling is associated with The Data Lab, an Innovation Centre that aims to develop the data science talent and skills required by industry in Scotland. It facilitates industry involvement and collaboration, and provides funding and resources for students.

"Shape your world with Stirling. I've come from the consulting industry to enhance my data science skill; and the student friendly faculty and concrete curriculum at The University of Stirling provided the right environment for me to do so."

Nuzhat Nishi

 

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

The aim of the course is to teach you the techniques for approaching data sets using computational analysis; to help you understand the mathematics underpinning these techniques; and to be confident in applying these techniques to real-life scenarios.

On successful completion of the MSc Mathematics and Data Science, you will be able to:

  • analyse and solve real-world problems using different mathematical and computational approaches
  • build, parameterise and analyse mathematical models to real-life problems
  • expand mathematical methods to approach more complex problems
  • be competent in industry-relevant programming languages, including R, Python and Matlab
  • demonstrate skills in data analytics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • analyse small and large-scale data sets using mathematical and computational approaches
  • be confident in your own research and data science skills through real-life based projects

Work placements

The course features a substantial summer project. Where available, these can be done 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 overview

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.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, in a numerate subject, e.g. mathematics, physics, engineering, economics; along with some evidence of a mathematical background, such as having taken and passed mathematics modules in at least some of calculus, algebra, statistics and numerical analysis.

Other routes of entry

If you don’t currently meet the academic requirements for this course, INTO University of Stirling offers a variety of preparation programmes that can earn you the qualifications and skills you need for direct entry.

Explore INTO Stirling programmes to see the pathway and pre-masters routes available for this course and others at the University of Stirling.

International entry requirements

View the entry requirements for your country.

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 Academic or UKVI 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill 
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 59 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall with a Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • Duolingo 95 overall with a minimum of 90 in all sub-skills
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator - High Pass overall with minimum 25 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 24 March 2022

You must also check the specific English language requirements for your country.

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Pre-sessional 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 details

The MSc Mathematics and Data Science is taught by the Division of Computing Science and Mathematics in the Faculty of Natural Sciences. You'll learn from lectures and practical labs during the Autumn and Spring semesters. During the Autumn and Spring semesters, this course covers:

  • statistical analysis techniques for small and large datasets (MATPMD1)
  • basic and advanced programming using R, Matlab and Python (multiple modules)
  • building and analysing mathematical models of real-life systems (MATPMD3)
  • mathematical analysis of data networks, e.g. social media networks (MATPMD2)
  • mathematical optimisation and computer-based search algorithms and Artificial Intelligence (MATPMD4)
  • data analytics and machine learning (ITNPBD6)
  • relational and non-relational databases* (ITNPBD3)
  • cluster computing* (ITNPBD7)

*Optional modules for students starting in October.

In the summer semester, you will carry out a research dissertation project on an application of your choice. The project may be part of a cutting-edge research project at the university, it could be of your own design, or as part of a placement or consultancy project for a company, where possible. Past placements include Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, NHS, Tesco Bank and Filament – a data science start-up. (Many of these are arranged through the Data Lab for scholarship holders.)

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2021). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course Details

Teaching

Core teaching will take the form of lectures and recorded videos from the lecturer, allowing you to study at your own pace. In addition, you will have small group discussion groups and practical sessions. These allow you to ask questions, learn from peers and practice the material covered in the core teaching material.

During the summer, you will carry out a research project of your choice. This project is usually based around a real-life problem and requires the analysis of a data set or the building of a mathematical model. This provides a great opportunity to showcase the skills learnt during the course and demonstrate to employers you can use the skills developed.

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

Assessment is primarily through coursework and projects. These projects often involve analysing real-life data or applying the methods from the module to a specific application. There are also presentations, group assignments and research projects to further develop your skills.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

  2021/22 2022/23
Students from the UK£9,350£9,850
Students from the Republic of Ireland£9,350£9,850
Overseas (non-EU) students£20,845£21,345
European Union students£20,845£21,345

Students from the UK

Course fees

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

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from the Republic of Ireland

Course fees

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

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

European Union students

EU Postgraduate Scholarship

Eligible EU students will automatically receive our EU Postgraduate Scholarship, which provides a 40% fee discount on full-time, on-campus postgraduate degrees at the University of Stirling.

Course fees

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

If you need to extend your period of study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Overseas students (non-EU)

We offer a range of funding options for overseas students.

Course fees

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

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

This course is eligible for a postgraduate tuition fee loan from one of the UK’s governments. See the section, below, for more details.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Scholarships and funding

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

Scottish students may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £10,000 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £11,570 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,025 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

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.

Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

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.

European Union 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

After you graduate

As opposed to focussing on a single application or field, this course was designed to give you the core skills needed to go into mathematical modelling or data science, including becoming a data analyst, data engineer, researcher or modeller.

This has allowed past graduates to enter into a wide range of sectors, including:

  • financial institutions
  • energy firms
  • sport and fitness
  • start-ups
  • NHS
  • Environmental agencies
  • the Scottish Government
  • PhD in UK and overseas

95% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within fifteen months of graduating (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2021, HESA).

Our career services is 1st in Scotland, top 5 in the UK and top 15 in the world (UK International Student Barometer (ISB) Benchmark and Global ISB Benchmark 2018).

Testimonial quotes

“I bridged my knowledge gap on mathematics, while learning data science, and I am now much more assured when working with numbers and data in general. The assignments and tutorials were effective in teaching the major programming languages – Python and R – and I am confident now in applying them to real-world projects.”

George Vekic

Employability skills

Our new MSc Mathematics and Data Science was designed with employability firmly in mind. This has shaped the modules and how the course is assessed.

What our students said

George Vekic
George Vekic
MSc Mathematics and Data Science - Scotland
I’m really glad I finally took the plunge and returned to my studies to complete a master’s at Stirling.
Read George's story

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