MSc Data Science (Distance Learning)

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New programme for 2022

Faculty Faculty of Engineering
Awards available MSc
Programme length Two or three years part-time.
Part-time study available Yes, part-time only
Start date October 2022

Programme overview

If you want to improve the world through the responsible use of data, the MSc in Data Science will give you the skills to do so. You will learn how to understand, in depth, the computational and statistical principles of modern data science and be skilled at the rigorous and ethical application of these techniques to real-world challenges.

Whether you have a background in numerate sciences, engineering, or computer science, the programme will provide you with the skills to succeed in this exciting and fast-moving discipline and will equip you with excellent employment prospects to pursue roles in industry as either a data scientist or data engineer as well as for research and development roles.

This MSc aims to:

  • Equip you with the ability to work across disciplinary boundaries in the effective application and deployment of data-intensive solutions in a variety of contexts.
  • Give graduates a breadth and depth of knowledge and skills in computational, machine learning, and statistical principles and the capability for insightful large-scale data analysis, so you will be able to specify and implement analytical pipelines for real-world data at scale.
  • Provide you with a good understanding of the ethical issues in the application of contemporary data science techniques to real-world challenges so you can be conversant with arguments concerning the risks and potential benefits and disadvantages arising from the deployment of these technologies.
  • Enable you to independently initiate data science projects specified at a high-level perspective, leading them from scoping onward to completion, while exercising appropriate project management methods and maintaining stakeholder engagement.

The MSc in Data Science has been co-designed with industrial partners and is highly relevant to rewarding employment opportunities. There is a strong emphasis on responsible innovation and ethics to encourage you to use your knowledge and skills for societal good in the workplace or through further research. The course is closely associated with excellent research in the University, ensuring leading edge teaching. 

Fees for 2022/23

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

UK: part-time (two years)
UK: part-time (three years)
Overseas: part-time (two years)
Overseas: part-time (three years)

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2022/23

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

You will take either a 20-credit unit in Software Development: Programming & Algorithms, or, if you already have software development skills, a 20-credit unit in Statistical Computing will be required.

The remainder of the MSc consists of the following compulsory units:

  • Large-Scale Data Engineering (20 credits)
  • Technology, Innovation, Business, and Society (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Data Analytics (10 credits)
  • Advanced Data Analytics (20 credits).

The final compulsory unit, a Data Science Mini-project (20 credits), is a group activity which will be aligned, wherever possible, with an external client.

To complete your studies, a 60-credit individual research or implementation project can be chosen from a selection proposed by project supervisors. This unit will provide you with first-hand experience in planning, running, documenting, and presenting a substantial piece of original work in the field of Data Science. The aim of this unit is to give you a substantial opportunity to integrate material from all taught units and demonstrate the breadth and depth of your learning on the MSc.

The scheduling of units depends on whether you choose the two- or three-year study option. Note that tutor-led sessions will normally take place during UK office hours only. 

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Data Science (distance learning).

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold/achieve a minimum of an upper-second class honours degree (or international equivalent) in numerate science, computer science, or engineering.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile E
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement


Graduates from this MSc will be keenly sought after in roles such as lead data scientists or lead data engineers, capable of critically evaluating and synthesising research literature, developing and deploying scalable data-processing systems, and communicating with others in their field and in other disciplines. Top graduates from this degree will be able to proactively advance the development of data science and related technologies.

The programme content has being co-designed with, and will be continually revised and updated with, our industrial partners, as represented by the Data Science Industrial Advisory Board. We expect a sizeable proportion of the students on the MSc to be in employment while studying, and the overwhelming majority of them to retain these posts after completion.

Expected application closure date

Applications for 2022 have now closed and will reopen for 2023 entry in October 2022.

Request more information

Find out more about studying with us or request a prospectus.

Get in touch

Contact details

Enquiries Team Phone: +44 (0) 01173941649 Email:

Professor Dave Cliff

School website: School of Computer Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Engineering Mathematics
Department website: Engineering Mathematics

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

REF 2021 results

The University of Bristol is ranked fifth for research in the UK (Times Higher Education), with 94% of our research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Full REF 2021 results for the University of Bristol.


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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