Data Science for Business

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate

Funded places available

If you meet all eligibility requirements you will automatically be considered for one of the fully funded places.

98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16).


SAS | HSBC | The Data Lab

This exciting new course is the first in Scotland to be run in partnership with SAS, a global leader in business analytics solutions. It has been developed in close collaboration with leading financial services organisation HSBC and The Data Lab, to produce graduates with the skills that industry needs.

The course addresses the acknowledged shortage of business leaders and managers with a detailed working knowledge of data analytics. It provides students with a deep understanding of the industrial and scientific relevance of advanced analytics and their application in strategic and operational decision-making. In doing so, it develops graduates with a highly sought-after blend of data analytics, business acumen and advanced management skills.

The course gives you the opportunity to develop specialist skills by choosing elective modules from finance, computing science and management. You’ll work on real life consultancy-style projects alongside industry leaders in data analytics. Our extensive network of external organisations across all sectors provides opportunities to build your knowledge, skills and experience for a successful career in business analytics roles.

SAS partnership

Our partnership gives students access to SAS educational material and licensed software, plus the opportunity for engaging in projects with an industry leader in the field of business analytics. Global organisations from all sectors use SAS to support strategic decision-making. We’re confident that this partnership will make students stand out in their chosen career path.

The Data Lab

We work closely with The Data Lab, an internationally leading research and innovation centre in data science. Established with an £11.3 million grant from the Scottish Funding Council, The Data Lab will enable industry, public sector and world-class university researchers to innovate and develop new data science capabilities in a collaborative environment. Its core mission is to generate significant economic, social and scientific value from data. Our students will benefit from a wide range of learning and networking events that connect leading organisations seeking business analytics skills with students looking for exciting opportunities in this field.

Learn more by downloading our Data Science brochure.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Study methods: Full-time, Campus based
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr Kepa Mendibil
  • Location: Stirling Campus
Download course leaflet
Download postgraduate prospectus

Course Director

Dr Kepa Mendibil

Stirling Management School
University of Stirling

  1. Flexible course structure — specialise in finance, marketing, data science or management
  2. Industry partnership — gives our students access to SAS educational materials and licensed software
  3. Endorsed by The Data Lab — one of Scotland’s innovation centres that helps universities develop new data science capabilities in a collaborative environment
  4. Stirling’s global research rating — we’re among the top 25 in the UK according to REF 2014
  5. Build your global network — study alongside international students across a range of business disciplines

What makes us different?

Advance your career with work experience

On this course you will have the opportunity to enhance your career opportunities by participating in work-based multi-disciplinary projects designed to prepare you for the next step on the career ladder.

We work with companies across different sectors in presenting a range of opportunities for our students.

Business Engagement

The University of Stirling Management School equips students to flourish as effective managers in the workplace through enhanced self-awareness, critical thinking, leadership and team-working skills.

Find out more about business engagement

Business Engagement

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

Library shelves

Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

Watch our videos now

Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

You’ll need a minimum of a second-class honours degree in any subject, or an equivalent qualification. However, if you don’t have these formal qualifications, but bring significant work experience in a relevant area, you can still apply.

If you don’t meet the required criteria for this course, you can complete the Graduate Diploma in Business, Finance and Sport to gain a guaranteed entry onto this Masters degree.

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
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information, check our English language requirements »

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Flexible Learning

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

Fees and costs


2018/19 Overseas £15,250
2018/19 Home/EU £6,300


Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

SAAS Postgraduate Loans

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) is now offering a generous loan scheme to assist eligible Scottish and EU-domiciled students pursuing a Masters at the University of Stirling during 2018/19. Find out more about SAAS Postgraduate Loans

Stirling Management School postgraduate scholarships
Stirling Management School is committed to investing in academically talented students, helping them to further their education with one of our degree courses. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies.

Other scholarships and funding
You may qualify for University funding as well as funding from government bodies, the European Commission, funding trusts, research councils, industry and employers.

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan

This course is currently approved for PTFL funding from SAAS.

Further information on possible sources of funding »


Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Begin your course in the best possible way with our unique Flying Start Leadership Programme.

It’s exclusively for new students about to start one of our postgraduate courses. You’ll take part in a wide range of group and individual activities, workshops and information sessions to help you prepare for the year ahead, and make the most of your time at the University of Stirling Management School.

Attend the Flying Start Leadership Programme, and you will:

  • Discover more about the exciting period of learning ahead
  • Understand what is expected of you in your course
  • Get to know the teaching and support staff
  • Learn more about a diverse range of approaches to learning
  • Work as part of a successful team
  • Develop your personal goals for the year ahead

Activities range from practical skills – such as effective public speaking – to developing ways to work in groups with other students. The Programme is also a chance to discover all that the University and the vibrant city of Stirling has to offer, and to make new friends.

Find out more about the Programme.

Other learning activities to prepare you for study in the UK

Prepare for Success is an interactive web learning tool for international students coming to the UK.

The aim of the course is to equip graduates with a highly sought-after blend of data analytics, business acumen and advanced management skills. Through a series of core modules, you’ll acquire the knowledge, skills and experience for a successful career in data analytic roles. You’ll also develop an understanding of the ways data analytics is used in organisations across different sectors. This will be achieved through data analytics theory and practice, with many opportunities to work with real data sets. You’ll also have the opportunity to work with industry partners, through consultancy projects, as well bringing their expertise into the classroom.

Over the two semesters, you will:

  • Acquire knowledge, skills and experience for a successful career in data driven roles
  • Understand the applications and implications of data analytics in organisations across different sectors
  • Develop knowledge and skills of data analytics tools and techniques for business decision-making
  • Enhance your capabilities and confidence for championing data analytics projects
  • Enhance and develop critical, analytical, interpersonal and other transferable skills

Delivery and assessment

The one-year MSc course is delivered via a mix of lectures, tutorials, case studies, role playing, computer simulations, fieldwork exercises, site visits, guest speakers and company projects. Much of the assessment is continuous. Assessed work is often conducted in groups, developing your teamwork and communication skills.

During the second semester you’ll carry out a consultancy project with an external organisation tackling a critical business challenge. This will give you an opportunity to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills you develop throughout your degree.


Semester one involves four compulsory modules. There are three compulsory modules in semester two, plus one or two other modules of your choice. Following semester two, to be awarded your Masters degree, you’ll complete a dissertation or consultancy project which includes the use of research methods.

Semester 1
Flying Start Leadership Programme

Semester 1 modules:

Semester 2 compulsory modules:

Semester 2 elective modules (20 credits):

  • Big Data Analytics (20 credits) OR
  • Risk Management in Banking (20 credits) OR 
  • Project Management (10 credits) AND (Innovation Management (10 credits) OR New Venture Creation (10 credits))

In the Summer you will undertake either:

Recommended reading

A comprehensive reading list will be available in the near future.

Why Stirling?



In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Top 25 in the UK for Business and Management Research: Top 15 for Real World Impact of Research

The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), an examination conducted by the UK government, which confirmed our place in the UK's top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of over 100 business schools.  

The University of Stirling Management School was ranked among the Top 25 in the UK and Top Five in Scotland for Business and Management in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).

64% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of their originality, significance and rigour and we were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact, with over 60% of our research impact rated as having outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organisations.


International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .


Wide-ranging expertise

This course has been developed in close collaboration with key business and research partners across the private and public sector.

The course has been endorsed by the DataLab, Scotland’s leading Data Science Innovation Centre. It aims to enable industry, public sector and researchers to innovate and develop new data science capabilities in a collaborative environment.

The strength of the course is two-fold:

  • It combines data science with business, including personal and professional skills development.
  • The practical application of the modules helps students make a difference in the workplace from day one.

Flexible course structure

The flexible design of the degree course means you can specialise in finance, marketing, data science and management.

Networking opportunities

Many of our postgraduate students come from overseas. Studying at Stirling offers an excellent opportunity to establish your own global network of contacts at the outset of your career.

Professional development for long-term success

Our Flying Start Leadership Programme helps you develop self-awareness about your strengths and acquire new competencies in a supportive environment.

Our students

MSc Data Science for Business Student scoops top industry award for patient data work

A University of Stirling student has won a prestigious industry award for her data analysis project with NHS National Services Scotland.

Anita George scooped the top accolade at the Data Scientist 2.0: Talent Driven Innovation conference, organised by Data Lab. The MSc Data Science for Business student at Stirling Management School was recognised for the quality of her work and personal development while on placement with NHS National Services Scotland (NHS NSS).

The team at NHS NSS were so impressed by Anita and her work that she has been offered a full-time job with the organisation. Anita’s project involved identifying ways to optimise patient pathways which would help improve the level of patient care and efficiency for the organisation.

Read More here.  



Our staff

Course Director, Dr Kepa Mendibil, is a former Chair of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Manufacturing Section in Scotland. He is also a Member of the British Academy of Management, a board member of the International Federation of Information Processing WG 5.7 and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Dr Mendibil’s research focus is understanding the role of management innovation in improving the performance and sustainability of organisations. He has worked on a number of European and UK funded research programmes, and his research has been published in leading academic journals.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Demand for people with data analytics skills is projected to grow rapidly. Average salaries are higher in data analytics jobs than the IT average and the skills shortage will make that gap bigger. The Stirling MSc Data Science for Business is run in partnership with industry and is designed to produce graduates with the skills that companies need.

The Tech Partnership UK estimate that:

  • By 2020 there will be 56,000 Big data jobs in the UK alone.
  • Big data professionals earn on average 31% more than other IT professionals.
  • 77% of companies say it is difficult to recruit people with the Big data skills they need.

A 2014 report by Egon Zehnder and the Kellog School of Management states that “all leaders need a working knowledge of data science” and that “there is no lack of data scientist, rather a lack of data-ready managers”. This is the specific issue that the proposed course is going to address. 

There’s a clear need for high-quality graduates with a blend of skills in data analytics and business management. This MSc will develop graduates with the necessary specialist knowledge, technical skills and experience for a successful career in roles requiring data-driven decision-making across a range of sectors.

This course combines the latest theories with their application in real organisations and brings together two areas of expertise within the University – Big data analytics (Computing Science and Mathematics, Faculty of Natural Sciences), and management and leadership (Stirling Management School).

The course has a high level of engagement with industry, research and recruitment partners in the course design, delivery, project work and skill development activities. You’ll have the opportunity to gain first-hand practical experience by working on consultancy style projects with external clients.

Employability video

employability video promotion

Business engagement video

industry promotional video


98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study withing six months of graduating - Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16
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