Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2 years

UK fee

£9,000 for the full course or £1,000 per 20 credits* (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 for the full course (2024/25)

Course level

Postgraduate

Qualification

MSc

Start dates

September, January

Location

Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

Course description

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:

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.

Student feedback - Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2023

100%of students agreed that their research skills have developed during their studies
92%of students agreed that they felt better prepared for their future career
A room with data servers with graphics overlayed on the image

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.

A computer screen showing data and graphs
Girl with computing code projected on to her face

Data Science Research Centre (DSRC)

Our team of computer and data science specialists are using their expertise to explore new ways of processing large sets of data to solve real-life problems.

Learn more about the centreLearn more about the centre
Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road

Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

Book your Postgraduate Open EventBook your Postgraduate Open Event

What you will study

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.

Statistical Techniques

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.

Business Analytics

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. 

Information Visualisation - optional module

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.

Independent Scholarship

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.

How you will learn

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:

A portrait photograph of Suntish, a Big Data Analytics graduate

The computers at the University's Visualisation Lab are equipped with the latest technologies and have industry-like capabilities to run complex analytical computations through software like Tableau, SAS, IBM Watson, Python and R Studio and Matlab.

Suntish Narain
MSc Big Data Analytics graduate

Who will teach you

Harry Yu

Dr Harry (Hongqing) Yu
Programme leader

Dr Hongqing Yu also known as Harry is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science and Programme Leader of MSc Big Data Analytics. He mainly teaches on the topics involved in Data Science, Machine learning and AI technologies. 

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

You will require:

Applicants without these qualifications may still be considered if they can demonstrate relevant work experience in a management or supervisory position.

Fees and funding

2024/25 (August 2024 - July 2025)

TypeFull-timePart-time
UK

£9,000 for the full course or £1,000 per 20 credits*

£1,000 per 20 credits

International

£14,900 for the full course

N/A

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.

AwardCredits
Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 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 studiesFind 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 discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarships

We have a range of scholarships and discounts available to international students which can be used together to offer a reduction in your tuition fees.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.


Careers

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.  

Contact us

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 Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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 provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Included in your fees
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Optional costs not included in your fees

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