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Graduate Apprenticeship in Data Science

We are offering this Graduate Apprenticeship in Data Science to provide students with a combination of work-based learning and high quality teaching delivered by experts in the field.

What is a Graduate Apprenticeship?

It is a Scottish Government priority to increase workforce skills through graduate-level qualifications such as Graduate Apprenticeships. Skills Development Scotland has developed Graduate Apprenticeships, in partnership with industry and the education sector, to provide work-based learning opportunities and a new way into degree-level study for individuals who are currently employed, or who want to go straight into work.

Graduate Apprentices work for their employer whilst studying and developing their skills at the University of Stirling. It means that work undertaken for the employer counts towards a Graduate Apprentice's qualification.

Benefits of Graduate Apprenticeships

For the employer

  • Designed to meet employer skill needs and challenges.
  • Fees are funded by Skills Development Scotland.
  • Employers can build contacts with academic experts.
  • Employees split their time between work and studying at Stirling - applying acquired knowledge immediately to a company’s tasks.
  • Employers can retain talented staff by supporting their development through this course.

For the apprentice

  • You can graduate with a degree while in full time employment.
  • No tuition fees or loans are needed.
  • The course will give you the right skills to thrive in a data science career.
  • Graduate Apprenticeships are developed jointly by employers and universities to fill jobs requiring highly-skilled employees.
  • There is no age limit for applicants.
  • Apprentices can build a professional network with others on the course.

We’re experts in Data Science

We are a member of The Data Lab, an innovation centre that aims to develop the data science talent and skills required by industry in Scotland.

We also have close links with the Scottish Informatics and Computing Science Alliance, and with Scottish industry through our Industrial Advisory Board – with members from both Scottish and international companies such as IBM, HSBC and Adobe.

Our courses have been developed in partnership with global and local companies who employ data scientists. Our BSc (Hons) Data Science capitalises on the success of well-established postgraduate courses in Big Data, Data Science for Business, MSc Mathematics and Data Science, and MSc Financial Technology, preparing industry-ready graduates sought after by companies. Our students benefit from engagement with industry guest lecturers, which provides the opportunity to see how businesses are working with data and utilising data scientists.

Course details

This Graduate Apprenticeship in Data Science will give students an in-depth awareness and appreciation of the underlying computing and mathematical principles driving data science technologies. It is a practical degree focusing on the mathematical and analytical skills needed to begin a career as a data scientist or analyst.

Graduate Apprentices will study modules chosen from across Computing Science and Mathematics and will be introduced to both data science theory and applications. Subjects at the core of data science are taught during this course, including programming, machine learning and statistics. Students will be introduced to database principles and applications and learn cutting edge technology such as Python and NoSQL. Students will also be taught how to collect, manage and analyse big, fast moving data for science or commerce.

  • Teaching

    Students will learn about Data Science through lectures, small tutorial groups and most of all through practical labs, where concepts taught in lectures are implemented and tested. This knowledge is also put into practice through the work-based learning options which allows Graduate Apprentices to work on the projects that meet their employers’ needs.

    The course is taught over three semesters: autumn, spring and summer. The timetable below provides the modules that will be taught throughout the duration of the course.




    Year 1

    Introduction to Computing Science

    Introduction to Mathematics

    Work based learning

    Practical Statistics

    Introduction to Data Science

    Work based learning

    Work based learning

    Year 2

    Scripting for Data Science

    Introduction to Databases

    Work based learning

    Advanced Mathematics

    NoSQL Databases+ Data Warehousing

    Work based learning

    Work based learning

    Year 3

    Introduction to Machine Learning

    Code Analysis and Performance

    Work based learning

    Data Strategy

    Natural Language Processing and Computer Vision




    Work based learning

    Year 4

    Data Science Applications


    Honours Project

    Distributed Data Science Systems

    Honours Project

    Honours Project

  • Study Mode

    The course includes teaching in the form of block teaching and work based learning.

  • Entry requirements
    • BBB at SQA Higher or equivalent qualifications (to include Computing Science or Mathematics)
    • Relevant Foundation Apprenticeship and 2 Highers (to include Computing Science or Mathematics)
    • Relevant Modern Apprenticeship (SCQF Level 6)
    • Applicants with non-standard qualifications including SVQs/NVQs and access programmes will be considered on an individual basis
    • Applicants with work experience and/or professional qualifications can be considered through Recognition of Prior Learning. This is the process for recognising learning that has its source in experience and/or previous formal, non-formal and learning contexts.

    Mathematics competency

    Where there is no evidence of competency in mathematics either in a formal or informal context, candidates will be required to undertake a short test. This can be administered by the University or the Graduate Apprentice employer.

    Applicants must also be:

    • living and working in Scotland
    • at least 16 years old
    • working for an employer based in Scotland in an area related to one of the programmes
    • recommended by the employer

After you graduate

Demand for workers with specialist data skills like data scientists and data engineers has more than tripled over five years (+231%), according to a labour market analysis commissioned for Dynamics of data science skills, a new Royal Society report published in May 2019.

The types of skills most frequently required by British employers include scripting languages, big data, SQL databases and machine learning.

Related courses

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We're ranked 3rd in Scotland and top 20 in the UK for Computer Science and Information Systems

The Guardian University Guide 2019

Contact us

Please contact Dr Mario Kolberg for any information about this course.

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