Master of Applied Data Science
Data science is a new profession emerging along with the exponential growth in size, and availability of 'big data'. A data scientist provides insight into future trends from looking at past and current data. Data science is an essential skillset in a world where everything from education to commerce, communication to transport, involves large-scale data collection and digitalisation.
This conversion master's is designed to accommodate students from a range of backgrounds (not just those with Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science majors), who want to enhance or build their data science capabilities and combine these with the skills and knowledge they bring from their previous studies. So long as you are data-hungry and industry-aware; this degree can add to your employability and career prospects.
- One of the few such programmes in Australasia that supports the development of students from a wider undergraduate background.
- Work-integrated learning is a big component of the degree – you will work on an industry data science project.
- There is also a focus on broader skills required of data scientists such as advanced analytical capability, problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and communication skills.
- UC has strengths in the area of data science, including a number of relevant research centres (eg, Geospatial Research Institute, HIT Lab NZ, High Performance Computing, Wireless Research Centre, Digital Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities).
Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard.
You are also required to meet UC's English language requirements.
Specific entry requirements
Potential students can come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds. Candidates would require a B average in relevant 300-level bachelor's courses or show evidence of achievement at postgraduate level.
For the full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Applied Data Science or use the admission requirements checker.
How to apply
You can apply online at myUC. Find out more about how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications.
The degree will comprise a minimum of 180 points as follows:
- up to three Foundation Courses
- four courses from Group A: Advanced Data Science Competencies
- remaining courses from Group B: Domain Specific Competencies
- DATA 601 Applied Data Science Project (45 points).
You can study this qualification full-time (in a minimum of 12 months) and part-time (in a maximum of five years).
You will be required to enrol in all these foundational courses unless there is evidence of prior learning in the fundamentals of data science (exemptions must be approved by the Programme Director).
The courses are:
Group A: Advanced Data Science competencies
You will be required to take the following courses (unless the Programme Director approves a substitution):
- MBIS 624 Data Analytics and Business Intelligence Systems in Organisations
- DATA 471 Special Topic or other Digital Humanities 400-level course as approved by the Programme Director
- STAT 447 Official Statistics
- STAT 448 Big Data
Group B: Domain specific competencies
The remaining courses will be any relevant 400 or 600-level courses in: Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Digital Humanities, Economics, Environmental Science, Finance, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Statistics. Or in any other relevant subject as approved by the Programme Director and the relevant Head of Department.
Some examples of group B courses students have enrolled in recently include:
- BIOL 459 Genomics
- HLTH 462 Quantitative Health Methods
- INFO 620 Information Systems Management
- MBIS 601 Management of Information Systems
- MBIS 622 IS Security and Risk Management
- POLS 443 Science, Technology and Environmental Policy
- STAT 446 Generalised Linear Models
- STAT 450 Advanced Statistical Modelling
- STAT 455 Data Collection and Sampling Methods
- STAT 456 Time Series and Stochastic Processes
- STAT 462 Data Mining
- STAT 463 Multivariate Statistical Methods
This compulsory project involves working in a team to solve real-world data science problems.
According to industry experts, data scientists know what the technology can offer, what analytics are possible and can communicate on all those aspects to the wider business. This applies no matter the field or sector, as data and analytics have become so important and integral to organisational decision making. Graduates will be ready to work in a range of industries including: government, corporates, the IT sector, market research and finance, agriculture and transport.
New Zealand and other countries are currently experiencing a skills shortage in this area, and the need for data savvy professionals with applied experience is growing.
An MADS graduate's skills will include:
- advanced knowledge in data science
- the ability to use data to inform workplace solutions
- planning and implementing data-informed projects
- working in multidisciplinary teams
- have an understanding of what programming can offer.
- Read what other UC postgraduate students have gone on to achieve in their studies and careers in our student and graduate profiles.
- Our Careers, Internships & Employment team can help you to achieve the career you want, connect with employers or find a job.
- For research into career destinations by qualification, visit the Universities New Zealand website.
- Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.
- Come along to an upcoming information event for prospective postgraduate students.
For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Applied Data Science.
For study planning help contact the School of Mathematics and Statistics or the College of Engineering:
College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800