The Data Lab MSc Skills


The Data Lab MSc - Skills & Placement

Welcome to The Data Lab MSc. We hope you have a great year!

The documents in this page outline your responsibilities as a Data Lab student, and provide guidance about the activities you will undertake throughout the year.

Employability and Skills Training

From October – January we will provide sessions on data-sector employability skills including CV creation, preparation for interviews and networking.  You will learn the crucial first tools required to launch your data career.  The session will also cover the process for applying for a paid industrial placement.  More details on the session for your course/university will be released as soon as finalised.  Attendance at this session is a pre-requisite for your application for a paid industrial placement.

The Data Lab MSc Placement Programme

If you are an EU student who entered Scotland on 1 January or after on a student visa, there are some restrictions for your right to work in the UK which may affect your participation in The Data Lab MSc paid industrial placement scheme. If in doubt, please contact your University’s Immigration Department.

All The Data Lab MSc students have the option to apply for a 2-3 month paid industrial placement with a Scottish organisation.  In 2018/19, 100 students secured placements across all economic sectors and types of organisations including Scottish Government, Volunteer Scotland, RBS and Snapdragon.  Numbers were much smaller in 2019/20 as we had to close the programme early due to the global covid-19 pandemic.  However more than 30 students were able to undertake placements remotely in organisations such as The Scottish Government, Leidos and Aggreko.

The placement is a great opportunity for you to put your data science skills into practice and contribute to a project that is of real value to an organisation.  It gives you the experience of what it is like to work within a data science team and adds a great boost to your CV. 

All The Data Lab MSc students are paid at a minimum of The National Living Wage. (The National Living wage from April 2020 is £8.72 (25 or over) and £8.20 (24 and under).  You should note that a UK National Insurance Number is required if you want to apply for a placement – if do not have an NI for any reason, you should start the application process now as it can take up to 6 weeks to complete.

Placements usually take place after your final university examinations, commonly May-June. This may vary this year, especially for those starting their course in January.  We will work with you and your course leaders to confirm a suitable time for you to undertake placement.  Students who do not achieve progression to MSc after the final examinations are not eligible to undertake a placement.  The project will form the basis of your academic dissertation and will be jointly supervised by an academic supervisor from your university and the industry lead supervisor.

Whilst we will endeavour to match every student request, placements are not guaranteed due to the reliance of host organisations participating.  

Please read these documents carefully, as they provide guidance on your rights and responsibilities as part of The Data Lab MSc


For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact us