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

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.

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.


The placement programme is now closed to new organisations for this year but contact us if you are interested in finding out more about the programme.

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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