Every day 2.5 quintillion (2,500 followed by 15 zeros) bytes of data are created, and 90% of the data in the world today has been generated in the last two years. As a consequence, skills in identifying and obtaining intelligence from the precious commodity of big data are in demand across many sectors. On this course, you will:
- Gain the technical expertise and industrial experience you need to progress your career or launch an enterprise in big data analytics
- Develop high-level skills in business intelligence, data analytics and database technology
- Harness the full power of SAS software, thanks to our partnership with the global leader in business analytics services
- Address real-world industry-based problems and conduct a major research project on a theme of your choice
- Build broader skills in communication, teamwork and management to enhance your career prospects
The course has been designed both for graduates from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) degrees, as well as subject areas where statistical analysis is a core subject, and for current professionals in Analytics and Data Science who wish to extend their knowledge and expertise of this field.
Great prospects from big data
Our MSc in Big Data Analytics gives you in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of the key issues and concepts in today’s data-driven business and science landscapes. You will develop powerful skills in the extraction, analysis and management of information from big data using a variety of scientific techniques and software tools.
This course offers the ideal introduction to knowledge discovery, analysis and assessment of data extracted from structured and unstructured big-data sets, as well as the visualisation and communication of results. You will process advanced knowledge and information, make deductions and form conclusions.
The practical skills you develop include computer modelling and the design and analysis of big data sets. You will also improve your abilities in broader areas such as communication, teamwork, management and the use of advanced quantitative methods.
Powerful industry partnerships
One of the course’s key strengths is that it is designed in conjunction with SAS, the global leaders in data analytics, whose data mining and business intelligence platform is widely used in academia and industry.
Our links with employers are also bolstered through our research and high-profile consultancy projects, ensuring that our teaching remains up to date and relevant.
Real-world learning in action
As part of your studies, you will address real-world industry-based problems during supervised computer sessions and through independent work. This intellectually demanding process requires not only specialist knowledge of big data analytics but also the ability to apply multidisciplinary concepts to today’s dynamic business and scientific areas.
This course is made up of three stages – Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc.
You will study modules such as:
Studying at Masters Level and Research Methods
This module helps improve your ability to study at masters level and to develop, plan and execute a project using research processes. A pre-requisite for your Independent Scholarship module at the MSc stage, it enables you to review and evaluate academic literature, to gain an understanding of research design and methodological enquiry, and to systematically analyse researched data and theories.
You will develop a rigorous understanding of statistical concepts relating to probability, data analysis and statistical modelling. The emphasis is on applying these concepts to real-life problems through the analysis of data and interpretation of results, supported by relevant software tools.
Processing Big Data
A variety of analytic methods and techniques will be discussed, including machine learning techniques, general data mining algorithms and analysis of techniques for unstructured data assessment.
You will have the opportunity to work with representative, real-world data-sets to enhance your understanding of the issues involved in managing and analysing data. You will also explore the practical aspects of data mining and management data analysis and presentation, using the SAS product set.
Analytics: Ethics, Trust and Governance
You will look at how companies can develop, deploy and manage their information analytics assets in a way that meets best practice in terms of corporate governance, information security, IT, law, corporate and information strategy, effective project delivery, ethics and ensuring a low carbon footprint.
Companies today are overwhelmed with data which is doubling in volume every 12 to 18 months. On this module you will work with high performance visualisation tools to explore new ways of dealing with this growing ‘data lake’ and ensure effective managerial action.
This is your opportunity to demonstrate your ability to apply what you have learned on the course in an independent and rigorous fashion. Through a substantial research project, you will show that you are able to formulate and tackle real business and industry problems with confidence in your technical and presentation capabilities. If you wish to consider a career in research and academia, you will find that the knowledge you have gained through this project – both theoretical foundations and technical hands-on skills – is indispensable in producing cutting-edge research for international conferences and journals alike.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
You will learn through lectures, tutorials, laboratories, individual work, seminars and presentations. Your learning will be supported by using an Internet-based repository which will hold items such as tutorial notes, supplementary reading materials and hints and tips regarding assignments.
Assessment will be provided across all modules to enable feedback at each stage and will include coursework, written exams, research projects and a dissertation/thesis.
Our teaching team
Our expert teaching team are research-active and cover a wide range of specialisms within the subject area. The teaching team includes:
- Dr Ovidiu Bagdasar – Ovidiu is an Associate Professor in Mathematics. His research covers areas including optimisation, number theory, and applied/computational mathematics.
- Richard Self – Richard’s area of expertise covers the broad area of governance and the issues raised by Big Data Analytics. His projects have included location services and the accuracy of GPS on smart devices, including most recently the success of Covid-19 contact tracing apps.
- Professor Fatih Kurugollu – Fatih, Professor in Cyber Security, is Head of the Cyber Security Research Group (CSRG). His current research interest is around AI-based security analytics, including Big Data in Cyber Security.
You will require:
- You’ll normally need an undergraduate degree (2:2 or above) or equivalent in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics subject, or a closely related discipline with significant mathematical content
- If English is not your first language, you will also need an IELTS score of 6.0 or the equivalent
Applicants without these qualifications may still be considered if they can demonstrate relevant work experience in a management or supervisory position.
2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)
£7,850 for the full course or £875 per 20 credits*
£875 per 20 credits
£14,700 for the full course
Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.
* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable
Additional costs and optional extras
About postgraduate awards
Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.
|Postgraduate Certificate||60 Credits|
|Postgraduate Diploma||120 Credits|
|MA or MSc||180 Credits|
This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.
Funding your studies
Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.
Find out about funding your studies
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out about the Alumni discount
As vast amounts of data continue to be generated in line with our growing use of IT products and services, exciting new career opportunities are emerging for big data specialists.
With this MSc on your CV, you will open doors to a future in many areas of computing and information technology, particularly in the areas of data analytics, business intelligence and information management, visualisation and assurance, as well as people analytics in HR.
To help you make the most of all these options, you will be well supported by the University’s careers service, who give advice on job application techniques, and by our academic staff who can provide guidance on relevant employment opportunities.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
Included in your fees
- Specialist computing labs
- Access to software and equipment
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Printer consumables approx. £100 per year
- portable hard drive/memory card, approx. £120
- Core text books, approx. £120
- Portfolio case, approx. £40
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Personal computer and or tablet computer. From £200 upwards depending on specification
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.