The Data Lab MSc


The Data Lab MSc

The Data Lab MSc is a collaborative programme between The Data Lab and twelve Scottish universities. 

It facilitates industry involvement and collaboration, and provides full funding and resources for students.

This is an exciting time to learn and work in data science

Data Science is booming and companies are desperately looking for smart data scientists and engineers. We are generating a truly mind-boggling amount of data daily, at a pace that is only expected to accelerate with the growth of the Internet of Things (system of interrelated computing devices that transfer data over a network like, for example, wearables or smart devices). About 90% of all the data in the world today was generated in just the last 2 years.

The entire digital universe is expected to reach 44 zettabytes by 2020 (a zettabyte is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes).  If this number is correct, it will mean there are 40 times more bytes than there are stars in the observable universe.

Learning data science allows you to understand and creatively solve a range of business and social problems. This makes you suitable for a variety of roles in a broad range of Scottish industry sectors such as digital technologies, energy and utilities, financial services, public sector, healthcare, urban planning, among many others.

There are an increasing number of career pathways and specialisms in the world of data science which can take you into a number of roles. Check out these resources by Digital World with qualification guides and possible career options including:

So if you learn data science now, then for the next decade, you will have a profession that’s in great demand.

The Data Lab MSc is a unique programme will provide you with:

  • A fully funded scholarship to cover your tuition fees
  • Sector-specific training in employability and communication skills
  • Access to networking events including a launch and closing event with presentations from industry experts, data scientists and The Data Lab Alumni
  • The opportunity to apply to undertake a paid industrial placement in Scotland
  • An industry sponsored innovation challenge
  • A certified MOOC on Data Ethics and Responsible Innovation
  • Acess to a network of expertise through The Data Lab MSc Alumni

Develop essential non-technical skills too

The Data Lab MSc differs from other academic courses as it focuses on applying academic knowledge to the world of industry, and developing non-technical skills that are essential to becoming a data scientist. Our programme allows you to take the skills you learn in the classroom to solve real life organisational problems and challenges.

We can help you start your journey to become a data scientist or data engineer.

Read about the wide range of courses we are supporting this year.


Does your organisation want access to the latest data science & AI knowledge & techniques? Do you have an idea for a short data science project?  Find out more about our student placements in summer 2021.

5 Reasons to Apply for The Data Lab MSc programme:

As part of The Data Lab MSc you will receive additional technical and ‘business-ready’ skills training. The Data Lab MSc courses are guided by both the needs of Scottish industry and the cutting-edge research of Scottish academia to make sure that you are equipped with the skills needed placed to start your data science career.

You will take part in an intensive week-long residential training event that brings the whole cohort together to experience design thinking in a data science context. You will work with Scottish-based organisations to solve live business problems using real datasets to make a real change for Scotland. Find about more about the 2018/19 Innovation Week and the 2019/20 virtual Innovation Week during lock down.

Placements in Scottish Industry: Students will have the opportunity to complete a paid three-month industrial placement for their dissertation project. Through these projects, students get the chance to apply their learnt skills to real life problems and get familiar with the business life.

Data Talent Scotland: This yearly event brings together employers and students. Attended by over 400 people in 2018, the event gives you access to Scottish organisations recruiting data scientists. Travel to this event is provided for free for all scholarship students.

You will join Scotland’s thriving Data Science Community and will be invited to events across the country to learn from leading academics, innovators and business people, and to build a great network for your future career

The Data Lab is funding 160 places across the 12 participating universities during the 2020/21 academic year. If you are a Scottish or EU student, you will be eligible to have your tuition fees paid in full through this scheme. Funding is provided by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and is channelled by The Data Lab to participating universities. This year we also have scholarships funded by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) at Aberdeen and St Andrew’s Universities. Each programme has an allocated number of funded places, which will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis, so make sure you apply as early as possible.

* For students applying from the UK, according to the terms of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), you are eligible to apply for a place if you have been living in Scotland for a continuous period of 3 years prior to 1 August 2020. Please not that this does not include residency for the purposes of study only.

A recent EMC survey found 75% of firms in Scotland, against 57% in the UK as a whole, have the infrastructure to analyse both internal and external data.

Scotland is fortunate to have some of the best data in the world. Few other countries have the opportunity to link high quality, consistent data that has national coverage for public service improvement.

The Data Lab MSc is funded by:


For further information, please contact the Skills Team.

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