School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics

MSc Data Science and Business Analytics

The growing availability of huge amounts of data in business and industry is generating a high demand for graduates able to handle and exploit big data. Using sophisticated analytics techniques, including social network visualization and sentiment analysis, and professional software packages, including R dplyr and ggplot2, you will gain the skills and knowledge to transform data into commercial value and boost your employability.

Key features

  • Equipping applicants from almost all undergraduate degrees with broad professional competence in one of the world economy’s most sought-after postgraduate subject areas.
  • Offering an equal number of taught credits in the three areas of data modelling, computing and business, with a wide choice of available business modules.
  • Providing a flexible individual project in one or more of the three taught areas supervised by world-leading subject experts.
  • Establishing high proficiency in the use and application of state-of-the-art programming languages including R.
  • Developing modern analytics expertise for obtaining business, scientific and social insights from Big Data sources and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Consult eBooks to support your learning and receive a free Apple iPad mini to stay-up-to date, wherever you are.
  • Enjoy teaching from leading academics: for example, in the UK 2014 Research Excellence Framework 68 per cent of our mathematics and statistics research papers were classified as World Leading or Internationally Excellent.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Throughout the programme you will learn how to master sophisticated analytics techniques and professional software, including R, to handle and exploit big data, and to work as part of a project team. You will also develop practical and professional competence in data science and business analytics, and will be able to make strategic decisions in a broad range of business related practical situations.

    In semester two you will select optional modules to suit your interests and career aspirations and have the opportunity to boost your employability with an optional industrial placement.  

    An optional placement year is available after Semester 2.

    Core modules
    • ISAD515 Computational Problem Solving and Computer Systems

      This module introduces the students to different models of computation, and how they can be effectively applied to solve real-world problems in the student's area of expertise. The module introduces important factors in the operation of computer systems, enabling students to critically evaluate hardware and perform dimensioning estimations.

    • BPIE500 Masters Stage 1 Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who will be undertaking an industrial placement as part of their masters programme. It is designed to assist students in their search for a placement, and preparation for the placement itself.

    • MATH500 Big Data and Social Network Visualization

      Sophisticated analytics techniques are needed to visualize today's increasing quantities of Big Data. Up-to-date R tools including dplyr for data manipulation, ggplot2 for visualization, and knitr/LaTeX for document presentation are studied. These are applied to database interrogation, social network visualization and sentiment analysis. A professionally documented collaborative R package is produced using RStudio.

    • PROJ516 MSc Project

      The student will complete a research or developmental project of their choosing (from a Project Catalogue ¿ or self-proposed), and communicate their motivation, methodology, and conclusions through a formal dissertation. The project will build on their area of previous expertise.

    • SOFT562 Software Development and Databases

      This module will provide knowledge and skills in software development and database design. It will cover computational problem solving, abstraction and problem decomposition. The module will enable students to identify appropriate system requirements related to the relational model and to create advanced queries using SQL. The module will include structured programming and object oriented and event-based methodologies.

    • MATH501 Modelling and Analytics for Data Science

      This module gives students an understanding of modelling and analytics techniques for Data Science. It supplies modern data modelling tool boxes for making strategic decisions in a broad range of Business related practical situations. It offers a hands-on introduction to Bayesian inference and machine learning. It provides additional practice in making professional presentations.

    Optional modules
    • STO702 Global Supply Chain Management

      One of the sweeping changes in the current global economy is global supply chain management (SCM). Effective management of global supply chains can take the advantages of not only global market but also global resources, to provide supply chains with formidable competitiveness. However, global SCM faces unprecedented challenges and can be more vulnerable because of their geographically long distance, high uncertainty and more sources of risks. This module will provide students with comprehensive knowledge in managing global supply chains, develop students¿ skills in analysing decisions related to global issues in SCM, and equip students with state-of-the-art technologies to move towards modern, professional and forward thinking supply chain specialists.

    • ACF717 Econometrics and Financial Modelling

      This module considers modern econometric and financial modelling techniques for dealing with cross-section, time-series and panel-datasets within a practical context.

    • MKT704 Branding and Marketing Communications

      The module analyses the key elements of the marketing communications¿ mix, and outlines and assesses their role and significance in developing and maintaining brands. The main themes of customer-based brand equity, brand positioning, managing brand elements, using integrated marketing communications to build brand equity and secondary brand associations are introduced and critically appraised through reference to contemporary journal academic literature.

    • STO703 International Strategic Management

      This module focuses on the organisational structures and strategies appropriate to successful business management in a variety of different sectors and countries. It provides student with the opportunity to compare and contrast the practice of international strategic management in different business sectors, and within different cultural and economic contexts. The focus is on the managerial implications of a changing global business environment, the opportunities and threats of emerging economies and the impact this is having on dominant business management paradigms, structures and strategies.

    • MKT714 Social Media Practice

      This module exposes students to the application of social media in a live context. Working on a live project specified by a company with either a specialism in, or a need for, social media in their business practice, this module provides students with the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge of social media into practice.

    • MKT715 Relationship Marketing and CRM

      This module provides theoretical and practical insights into the importance and relevance of relationship marketing in both a B2B and B2C context. It identifies how such relationships can be a source of competitive advantage, add value, and impact on marketing and management decisions.

    • STO700B International Business Environment

      This module provides a broad overview of the environment in which contemporary business organisations operate. It presents data sources and analytical approaches that can be applied to any specific sectors, industries and a range of locations through the world. Understanding the international business environment is a key aspect of organisational decision making and is critical to business success.

    • ACF719 Financial Management

      This module places financial theory into a usable context to develop students¿ understanding of the potential value added to a business by an appropriate financial management strategy. It includes an appraisal of models in financial management and issues arising in the area. The module includes investment appraisal and corporate restructuring decisions, financing and dividend policy and working capital management. Relevant aspects of the role of financial markets and asset pricing will also be considered.

  • Final year
  • Optional modules
    • BPIE503 Mathematics Masters Industrial Placement

      This module enables students to take a lengthy placement linked to their programme. Assessment is based on Progress Reports, Regional Tutor evaluation, Employer evaluation and self-evaluation via reflective report (or portfolio).

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Data Science and Business Analytics Programme Specification September 2017 5764

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree, first or second class, or equivalent, in any discipline.

English language requirements

If English is not your mother tongue 6.5 IELTS with a minimum of 5.5 in any element in a secure English language test.

Plymouth University offers pre-sessional English language courses if you do not have this.

Prior knowledge of data analysis or statistics and/or work experience are not necessary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £6,500 To be confirmed
International £13,250 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) £350 To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

Applying for postgraduate taught study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Postgraduate Admissions and Enquiries team are on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Assist Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

If you would like any further information please contact the Postgraduate and Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858


Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.


Applying for postgraduate research study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. The Graduate School are available to answer any queries on our postgraduate research degrees.  If  you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Assist Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via

If you would like any further information please contact the Graduate School:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 587640


Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.

Well-equipped specialist laboratories

The laboratories are equipped with specialist software including Oracle, Microsoft Visual Studio, Java, the Adobe Creative Suite and many other key products.

The main corporate operating system is Microsoft Windows, but many laboratories have dual boot systems into other operating systems such as Mac OS X.

Find out more about the specialist laboratories


The multi-disciplinary nature of MSc Data Science and Business Analytics will enable you to engage actively with our world-leading research institutes. You will engage with prominent academics with an international reputation for research and teaching and with strong international and national research links. We pride ourselves on strong industrial collaborations that turn research results into business, technology and social innovation.

Studying data science at Plymouth

Dr Julian Stander and Dr Luciana Dalla Valle show some examples of the topics covered in the MSc Data Science and Business Analytics.

Career progression

According to the report (Big Data Analytics: An assessment of the demand for labour and skills, 2012-2017) written by e-Skills UK,

By 2017 the demand for graduates in data science and business analytics will increase by 92%, with at least 28,000 new jobs created every year.

As a graduate in Data Science and Business Analytics you will be in a prime position to pursue a wide variety of prestigious and extremely well-rewarded positions, which include, but are not restricted to: data analyst and data manager, research and business analyst, social media and business strategist, data scientist, and data engineer."

Funding for postgraduates

Find out more about what funding options are available to you as a postgraduate student.
Further information

Meet some of your lecturers