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Read the latest news and blogs from The Data Lab and Scotland’s data science community.

Where to Study Data Science in Scotland?

To help narrow down the plethora of Data Science and related MSc and BSc courses in Scotland, we have created a simple web application that details what each course has to offer.

What is it?

Our web application allows you to search for a specific degree by the modules and programming languages that are taught. It allows you to highlight the courses that you think look particularly interesting. Information about the entry requirements and course details such as duration and part time study are also given. Furthermore, there is a tab for scholarships for the MSc courses that provides information about the awards that are available per each degree and their eligibility criteria.

We outline the courses currently part of The Data Lab MSc, a fully funded challenge-based learning programme, now going into its second year. This aims to tackle the skills gap in data science and provide students with an education geared towards meeting the needs of industry so they learn the skills that organisations actually require. There are 90 places across 9 programmes in 7 Scottish universities available for 2016/17. To find out more about this course, visit our MSc page, download the MSc brochure, or contact us on

Data science tools

There is a multitude of tools used in data science. From SQL, to Hadoop to R, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Determining an industry standard is challenging. In a recent CrowdFlower study, where approximately 3500 data scientist and analyst job postings in LinkedIn were analysed, the most requested skill found in the job adverts was SQL, followed by Hadoop, Python, Java and R. With over 19 MSc courses offering a mixture of these tools, this is bound to put a student in good stead for a career in data science.

Findings from the 2015 version of the annual O’Reilly Data Science Salary Service echo these results. When data scientists where asked what languages they used most frequently, the top 5 were SQL, Excel, Python, R and MySQL. Interestingly, the use of Spark and Scala grew by 17% and 10% respectively in 1 year, with those who use these languages averaging a higher median salary compared to their peers. Degrees which teach these tools can be searched for individually or in conjunction on the web app.

The skills industry need?

According to a recent CrowdFlower survey, 83% of respondents stated that there are not enough data scientists to go around.[4] With the growth of data-specific MSc courses in Scotland, it is clear that universities are trying to fill that gap. However we must always question whether these courses teach and train students the skills that Scottish employers need?

The Data Science Course Finder

This web application was developed this summer by two of our very talented interns, Perry Gibson and Amy Ramsay. You can find the code for this application on GitHub.

If you have any thoughts, questions or suggestions about this please contact us at

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