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Big Data Science

MSc ( 1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time )


This programme is designed for those who want to pursue a career as data scientists, deriving valuable insights and business relevant information from large amounts of data. You will cover the fundamental statistical (eg machine learning) and technological tools (eg cloud platforms, Hadoop) for large-scale data analysis.

The Big Data science movement is transforming how Internet companies and researchers over the world address traditional problems. Big Data refers to the ability of exploiting the massive amounts of unstructured data that is generated continuously by companies, users, devices, and extract key understanding from it.

A Data Scientist is a highly skilled professional, who is able to combine state of the art computer science techniques for processing massive amounts of data with modern methods of statistical analysis to extract understanding from massive amounts of data and create new services that are based on mining the knowledge behind the data. The job market is currently in shortage of trained professionals with that set of skills, and the demand is expected to increase significantly over the following years.

The course leverages the world-leading expertise in research at Queen Mary with our strategic partnership with IBM and other leading IT sector companies to offer to students a foundational MSc on the field of Data Science. The MSc modules cover the following aspects:

  • Statistical Data Modelling, data visualization and prediction
  • Machine Learning techniques for cluster detection, and automated classification
  • Big Data Processing techniques for processing massive amounts of data
  • Domain-specific techniques for applying Data Science to different domains: Computer Vision, Social Network Analysis, Bio Engineering, Intelligent Sensing and Internet of Things
  • Use case-based projects that show the practical application of the skills in real industrial and research scenarios.

Students will be offered lectures that explain the core concepts, techniques and tools required for large-scale data analysis. Laboratory sessions and tutorials will put these elements to practice through the execution of use cases extracted from real domains. Students will also undertake a large project where they will demonstrate the application of Data Science skills in a complex scenario.

The programme is offered by academics from the Networks, Centre for Intelligent Sensing, Risk and Information Management, Computer Vision and Cognitive Science research groups from the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science. This is a team of more than 100 researchers (academics, post-docs, research fellows and PhD students), performing world leading research in the fields of Intelligent Sensing, Network Analytics, Big Data Processing platforms, Machine Learning for Multimedia Pattern Recognition, Social Network Analysis, and Multimedia Indexing.

Why study your MSc in Big data at Queen Mary?


We’re in the top percentile of universities in the world (Times Higher Education and QS World University Ranking)

Our research-led approach

Your tuition will be delivered by field leading academics engaged in world class research projects in collaboration with industry, external institutions and research councils.


Our strong links with industry

  • We have collaborations, partnerships, industrial placement schemes and public engagement programmes with a variety of organisations, including Vodafone, Google, IBM, BT, NASA, BBC and Microsoft
  • Full-time MSc with Industrial Experience option available on our taught MSc programmes. You have the option to complete over two years, with a year of work experience in industry.
  • Industrial projects scheme  - To support industrial experience development, you can to do your final project in collaboration with an industrial partner.


MSc Big Data is currently available for one year full-time study, two years part-time study.


The programme is organised in three semesters. The first semester is composed by three core modules plus one optional module that cover the foundational techniques and tools employed for Big Data Science analysis.

The second semester has four modules that are chosen among a set of options. The module selection allows students to focus on domain-specific research or industry applications for Big Data Science.  Module options allow students to specialize in several areas: Computer Vision, Internet Services (Semantic Web and Social Media), Business, and Internet of Things.

Students carry out a large project full time in the third semester, after agreeing to a topic and supervisor in the first semester, and completing the preparation phase over the second semester.

Undertaking a masters programme is a serious commitment, with weekly contact hours being in addition to numerous hours of independent learning and research needed to progress at the required level. When coursework or examination deadlines are approaching independent learning hours may need to increase significantly. Please contact the course convenor for precise information on the number of contact hours per week for this programme.


Part-time study options often mean that the number of modules taken is reduced per semester, with the full modules required to complete the programme spread over two academic years. Teaching is generally done during the day and part-time students should contact the course convenor to get an idea of when these teaching hours are likely to take place. Timetables are likely to be finalised in September but you may be able to gain an expectation of what will be required.

Core modules

  • Big Data Processing
  • Data Mining
  • Applied Statistics
  • MSc Project

Option modules

  • Advanced Program Design
  • Advanced Database System Technology
  • Sensors and the Internet of Things
  • Business Technology Strategy
  • Techniques for Computer Vision
  • The Semantic Web
  • Information Retrieval
  • Digital Media and Social Networks
  • Machine Learning
  • Introduction to Computer Vision

Please note that modules are subject to change.

Further information

Visit the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science website.


Virginia Elgar, Postgraduate Administrator
School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7333

Entry requirements

An upper second class degree is normally required, usually in electronic engineering, computer science, maths or a related discipline. Students with a good lower second class degree may be considered on an individual basis. Applicants with unrelated degrees will be considered if there is evidence of equivalent industrial experience.

For international students we require English language qualifications IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 92 (internet based).

Learning and teaching

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations, group exercise and role-play as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at Queen Mary.

Teaching for all modules includes a combination of lectures, seminars and a virtual learning environment. Each module provides 36 hours of contact time, supported by lab work and directed further study.

Independent study

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and written examinations. You will also be assessed through an individual project.


The MSc research project will be conducted under close supervision throughout the academic year, and is evaluated by thesis, presentation and viva examination.

Our outstanding resources

  • We offer our students use of their own high- specification computing and research labs, hostings over 350 state-of-the-art computers for exclusive use by our students.
  • Our spectrum of research areas is supported by a range of specialist research labs offering cutting edge tools and technology including our augmented human interaction (AHI) laboratory combining pioneering technologies of  full-body and multi-person motion capture, virtual and augmented reality systems and advanced aural and visual display technologies.  We also have specialist laboratories in multimedia; telecommunication networks; and antenna measurement.

Have a look around by visiting our facilities pages for further information.


Tuition fees

Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide [PDF] for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717

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