Data Analysis, Visualisation and Communication MSc

Data Analysis, Visualisation and Communication, MSc

Introduction

Giving you the skills to unlock data, analyse it and communicate your findings clearly and effectively. Making you a hugely employable graduate in an area of increasing importance to businesses of all sizes.

Key Facts

Duration
1 Year
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
Learning Mode
On Campus Learning

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Overview

Data, and the information locked inside, is now recognised as the definitive source for competitive advantage in every economic sector, and a crucial contributor to health and wellbeing. The true value however, can only be unlocked if the data is understood and communicated optimally.

Major global organisations such as Tesco, Amazon, BP and the BBC, to name a few, work extremely hard to unlock key information from within data to help improve business efficiencies and customer engagement, increase sales and better understand consumer buying behaviours.

At the same time, local, regional, and national public agencies work with the collection and communication of data to ensure that they are providing efficient services to their customers and citizens, keeping them informed of things that may improve their quality of life. Accessing the right information and communicating it effectively really does provide endless opportunities for success.

There is significant evidence to indicate that there is a shortfall in people with the appropriate skills required to fully engage in the data chain, which is providing concern to some major employers. This MSc programme will go some way to addressing this shortfall in skills and will put you in a strong position for careers in this vitally important business process.

What You'll Study

The information below applies to the 1 year full time on campus learning MSc programme which runs in September.

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Data Management (CS50AF)

The course provides fundamental understanding of data management techniques to familiarise students with the processes and standards for good data practice. The course will provide instruction covering a complete data management process, including development of data management plans, organisation of data and databases, documentation, development of metadata, issues related to data storage and security, data protection, and data sharing. Both technical and regulatory issues of concerns will be addressed, also including ethical considerations.

Data Analysis and Visualisation (CS50AG)

This course is intended to introduce students to methods of and tools for data analysis and visualisation. Primary focus will be on ensuring that students are aware of and able to apply appropriate methods depending upon the type of data being analysed, the questions to which answers are being sought, and the audience to which visualisations are being targeted.

Optional Courses

One from:

CS50AB Semantic Web Engineering and Linked Data
OR

CS50AD Natural Language Generation

Plus one from the list below:

Marketing Management (BU5039)

The course will apply theoretical and practical content to explore the key concepts of marketing management to provide students with an understanding of planning, coordinating and controlling marketing activities. It aims to take students understanding beyond what has been labelled as a transaction-based approach to a relationship-based approach. As such the aim is to provide students with an understanding of the role of marketing in establishing, developing and maintaining relationships for mutual gain. This will be achieved through a combination of lectures, seminars, simulations and directed private study.

Semantic Web Engineering (CS50AB)

The World Wide Web (WWW) has become a major part of many people's lives. The Semantic Web is an evolving development of the World Wide Web in which the meaning (semantics) of information and services on the web is defined, making it possible for the web to understand and satisfy the requests of people and machines to use the web content. The goal of the course is to introduce advanced techniques for Web 1.0 (XML and XML Schema), Web 2.0 (AJAX and mashups) and Web 3.0 (RDF, OWL, microformats and microdata). It also covers some data exploitation techniques.

Database Systems and Big Data (CS5097)

This course will be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn to design and query databases. The course aims to teach the material using case studies from real-world applications. You will develop a critical understanding of the principal theories, principles and concepts, such as modelling techniques used in the design, administration and security of database systems. You will also learn core theoretical concepts such as relational algebra, file organisation and indexing. At the end of this course you will be able to design and build Web and cloud-based databases and have a critical understanding of how database-driven applications operate.

Natural Language Generation (CS50AD)

The aim of the course is to introduce students who have some background in computing to (1) the varied aims for which Natural Language Generation (NLG) is pursued, (2) the main rule based and statistical methods that are used in NLG, and (3) some of the main NLG algorithms and systems. The course will cover NLG both as a theoretical enterprise (e.g., for constructing models of language production) and as practical language engineering, paying particular attention to the link between NLG and data science. Some programming experience is expected.

Information Extraction and Text Analytics (CS50AE)

An abundance of textual information is available on the Internet. As it is dispersed over web pages, it is difficult to extract the information and understand its overall meaning. In this course, students will learn information extraction and text mining theory and techniques, corpus construction, and programming tools (e.g. NLTK and GATE) in order to extract and structure information from text. The emphasis is hands-on and realistic. Using the techniques and tools, students will be able to start to unlock the economic, cultural, and social value of web-based textual information, gaining valuable skills in an expanding market.

Transport Geography (GG4016)

This course assesses the opportunities to develop a sustainable transport system in Britain and elsewhere. It questions whether mobility is a fundamental human right; whether we can rely on technological solutions to mitigate environmental problems from transport; how the environmental, social and economic costs and benefits of new transport infrastructure can be traded off against each other; the role of spatial structure in the development of sustainable transport systems and the extent to which urban and rural challenges require fundamentally different solutions.

GIS Tools and Techniques i (GG5050)

This module will introduce students to a number of introductory and fundamental geospatial tools and techniques for displaying and analysing geospatial data. This will include: navigation, measurement, spatial queries, geocoding, scripting, buffering, digitsing, and overlay analysis. A number of ‘real world’ examples will be used to illustrate the application of the tools for data exploration, data capture, simple spatial analysis, mapping and visualisation. Emphasis will be placed on obtaining a sound understanding of the principles of each technique, as well as the importance of selecting the correct approach to a problem, analysing the data, and interpretation of the results.

Aspects of Digital Mapping & Visualization (GG5052)

This module will introduce students to elements of traditional cartography, digital mapping, and visualisation for the presentation and analysis of geospatial data and the results of spatial analyses. Emphasis will be placed on the development of an appreciation of the importance of traditional and electronic map design and the use of colour as a key to effective communication when producing maps from GIS, visualisation, and image processing software. This will include coverage of scientific visualisation and geovisualisation including animation, interactivity, electronic atlases, and multimedia visualisation. Practical experience of selected software will be gained e.g. MapViewer, Surfer, Voxler, ArcGIS and Fledermaus.

GIS Tools and Techniques II (GG5053)

This module will introduce students to a selection of more advanced geospatial tools and techniques for analysing spatial data. This will include for example: geostatistics, cluster analysis, kriging, and network analysis. A number of ‘real world’ applications will illustrate the application of these spatial tools and techniques. Emphasis will be placed on obtaining a sound understanding of the fundamentals and principles of each technique, as well as how to select the correct technique for solving a problem, the analysis of the spatial data, and the interpretation of the results. ArcGIS software will be used for the practical work.

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Research Methods and Data Analysis (ED55G1)

This course addresses a number of the key strands in the MSc (Educational and Social Research) programme (such as the nature of practitioner enquiry in educational research, the relationship amongst: research, policy and practice, critical reading of texts, research and policy, and different views of knowledge). Focusing on quantitative and qualitative research design and applications, the course aims to explore conceptions of reality and different views of knowledge and characteristics of quantitative and qualitative research. A variety of methodological orientations are studied: practitioner research; ethnography; critical discourse analysis; and statistical approaches.

Group Project in Data Analysis and Presentation (CS5595)

This course aims to develop the ability of students to engage in practical applications of data analysis, visualisation, and presentation methods and techniques via the development of a group project. The project will ask the students to build upon the data strategy developed in earlier courses, addressing issues related to the analysis, visualisation, and presentation of this data to members of the general public.

Optional Courses

Choice of one of the courses from the list below

Human Computer Interaction (CS5541)

This course looks at why a computer system that interacts with human beings needs to be usable. It covers a set of techniques that allow usability to be taken into account when a system is designed and implemented, and also a set of techniques to assess whether usability has been achieved. Weekly practical sessions allow students to practice these techniques. The assessed coursework (which is normally carried out by groups of students) gives an opportunity to go through the design process for a concrete computer system, with a particular focus on ensuring usability.

Current Applications of GIS (GG5540)

This module will examine some of the many different applications of the geospatial technologies. It comprises two sections: 1) invited lectures from external guest speakers on a selection of current GIS applications embracing academic, commercial and research topics on e.g. physical and human geography, planning, archaeology, geology, computer science, and specialist applications from amongst others: the renewable energy sector, oil and gas industry, offshore surveying, marine spatial planning, precision agriculture, environmental management, local authorities, and the business sector; 2) the execution of a practical-based mini GIS project chosen from a list of topics of specific interest to the student.

Marketing Communications (BU5573)

Through a combination of lectures, tutorials, workshops, debates and in-course assessment, this course encourages students to critically reflect upon: Social theory and its relevance to marketing communications; Concepts and contemporary thought within the practice of marketing communication; expressive practice.

GIS Tools and Techniques i (GG5550)

This module will introduce students to a number of introductory and fundamental geospatial tools and techniques for displaying and analysing geospatial data. This will include: navigation, measurement, spatial queries, geocoding, scripting, buffering, digitising, and overlay analysis. A number of ‘real world’ examples will be used to illustrate the application of the tools for data exploration, data capture, simple spatial analysis, mapping and visualisation. Emphasis will be placed on obtaining a sound understanding of the principles of each technique, as well as the importance of selecting the correct approach to a problem, analysing the data, and interpretation of the results.

GIS Tools and Techniques II (GG5553)

This module will introduce students to a selection of more advanced geospatial tools and techniques for analysing spatial data. This will include for example: geostatistics, cluster analysis, kriging, and network analysis. A number of ‘real world’ applications will illustrate the application of these spatial tools and techniques. Emphasis will be placed on obtaining a sound understanding of the fundamentals and principles of each technique, as well as how to select the correct technique for solving a problem, the analysis of the spatial data, and the interpretation of the results. ArcGIS software will be used for the practical work.

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Individual Project In Data Analysis and Presentation (CS5973)

This individual project is one of the core required courses for the MSc programme in “Data Analysis, Visualisation, and Communication”. It is intended to give students the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learnt about data analysis and presentation strategies in Terms 1 and 2, and tackle in depth a real work data communication challenge, drawing upon input and insight from industry and university partners.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Open Day will be on

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How You'll Study

The MSc will be taught by experts in data analysis, management, visualisation and communication from the departments of Natural and Computing Sciences and Geography & Environment, along with other disciplines for elective topics. External partners will be drawn in for guest lectures and evaluation in order to provide practical assessment of skills development.

Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Research
  • Individual Projects
  • Group Projects

Assessment

Courses are assessed by continuous assessment, by written examination or by a combination of these, as prescribed by each course co-ordinator.

Why Study Data Analysis, Visualisation and Communication?

  • While some students may have a background in Computing Science, Applied Mathematics/Physics, or Engineering, the programme will also appeal to students from disciplines where relevant skills in data analysis (or cognitive science) are taught, such as Human Geography and Sociology. This programme will prepare you to use and extend your existing skills for the benefit of the Digital Economy.
  • This programme is appropriate for students from a wide variety of backgrounds who are interested in developing specific skills to make them more competitive in the job market, or as they apply for additional higher degrees.
  • The programme is based on a strong collaboration between Human Geography and Computing Science, with input where possible from experts throughout the university (e.g. in Physics, Seismology, Environmental Science, and Healthcare). It also benefits from the strong partnerships we have with public sector (e.g. SNH, SEPA, RSPB, NHS) and industry (e.g. IBM, Philips Electronics, Nuance, Arria, First).
  • We have extensive experience of delivering world-class research in the areas of data science and data analysis, where our expertise across different disciplines work together. You will be given the opportunity to learn from the staff at the forefront of this research.
  • Our research expertise in Data Science and Data Analysis is at its strongest when we work in close partnership with other disciplines, such as Physics, Maths, Geography, Health and Biology.
  • Our degrees develop an ability to understand new and complex computer systems and to communicate this to others. Our graduates can choose from a variety of employment opportunities in industry, commerce or research.
  • Some of the organisations which employ our recent computing graduates include: Amazon, IBM, BP, Conoco, Hewlett Packard, EDS, Logica CMG, SAIC, British Telecom, QinetiQ, Microsoft, Prudential, the Health Service, and Local Councils.

Fees and Funding

Fees and Funding Table for HOME, EU, RUK and International Students
Nationality Status Amount
Home / EU / RUK Students Tuition fee for main award £4,500
International Students Tuition fee for main award £13,800
  • You will be classified as one of the fee categories above.
  • All International students entering in year 2016/17 will pay the 2016/17 fee for each year of study.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trip courses. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.

Funding

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

Our minimum entry requirement for this programmes is a 2:1 (upper second class) UK Honours Degree (or an Honours degree from a non-UK Institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth) in the area of Computing Science, Economics, Geography, Psychology or Sociology. Degrees in Biology, Politics or Sociology with proven statistical ability will also be considered. Those with a 2:2 should apply as the application will be reviewed by the selector for suitability.

Language Requirements

All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.

Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Physical Sciences Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.

If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.

Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempt from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.

Document Requirements

  • Degree Transcripta full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
  • Personal Statementa detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
  • Degree Certificatea degree certificate showing your qualifications
  • CVan up-to-date CV/Resumé

Facilities

Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University’s award winning Sir Duncan Rice Library is listed in the “Top 20 spellbinding University libraries in the World”. It contains over a million volumes, more than 300,000 e-books and 21,000 journals.

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Careers

There is a substantial shortage of people with relevant skills, across a number of industries. Evidence available shows that companies are looking for people with the ability to analyse, interpret and communicate data.

  • Deloitte recently reported that “there is increasing demand for individuals with a portfolio of skills able to manipulate quantitative data, present it in innovative ways and generate commercial and policy insights from it.”
  • Shakespeare recommends that “Government should task the research councils to be strategic in their funding of graduate training to encourage the growth of basic data science and inter-disciplinary projects, and consider further increasing funding available for teaching of data disciplines.”
  • Computer Weekly, 2013 reported that “Government calls for more data scientists in the UK.”
  • Forbes in 2013 looked at “Combating the Big Data skills shortage.”

Data has become a core component of business activity in a range of sectors, including both public and private non-profit and for-profit enterprises. Some related job areas include data science, data analysis, data visualisation, and data communications analyst.

Our Experts

Programme Coordinator
Dr Wei Pang

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Contact

Address
College of Physical Sciences Graduate School
University of Aberdeen
Fraser Noble Building
King's College
Aberdeen

AB24 3UE
Email
Phone
+44 (0)1224 272515
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