Big data is all around us. Professionals who can identify and obtain intelligence from big data are in demand like never before.
- 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
- Employable Graduates – we’re ranked 15th highest amongst all UK universities and 12th for English institutions with 96.9% of graduates in work or further study within six months of completing their degree: HESA 2016.
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.
Great prospects from big data
Our MSc in Big Data Analytics gives you an 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. You will even have the opportunity to gain SAS 9 base certification, adding substance to your CV.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You will also choose one optional module, such as:
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.
Comparative Analytics Tools
The use of analytics tools is essential in extracting intelligence from big data. This module enables you to undertake a critical evaluation of the main software analytics tools.
Natural Language Processing
Using relevant software tools, you will develop a reflective and critical understanding of the main approaches to Natural Language Processing (NLP) and text mining. This module provides an insight into the extraction and analysis of data-sets of various origin.
Many problems that cannot be solved by classical methods can be investigated using modern optimisation techniques. On this module you will implement a diverse range of optimisation techniques using relevant mathematical software.
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.
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.
2018/19 Fees (August 2018 - July 2019)
£690 per 20 credits*
£690 per 20 credits*
£13,500 for the full programme
*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.
|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.
Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.
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
Scholarships and bursaries
We also offer a number of funding opportunities for all International students, including discounts, scholarships and bursaries.
Find out about scholarships and bursaries
Additional costs and optional extras
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
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art 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.
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.