About this course
Develop the specialist skills and knowledge to carry out official statistics work on this flexible Data Analytics for Government MSc at the University of Southampton. Learn the survey methods and social data analysis skills to work for the UK government, an overseas government, or a non government organisation conducting large-scale statistical or analytical work.
This UK social data science master’s course is ideal if you are currently working in official statistics or the Government Statistical Service (GSS).
You'll strengthen and update your professional skills and knowledge of survey methods, data science and data analysis.
Compulsory topics you’ll cover include:
- the use of statistical software, such as R and Python, for data manipulation, analysis and simulation
- dealing with administrative and big data sources
- the scope and organisation of official statistics
- statistical acts and codes and practice
You’ll be able to fit the course to your personal interests or career plans through a range of specialist optional modules.
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2-5 years
You can also choose to study any of the course modules as part of continuing professional development (CPD). If you later apply for the part-time master's, you can transfer up to 4 modules onto your academic record as part of the Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Your course leader is Jakub Bijak, Professor of Statistical Demography. He has over 20 years of work experience both in academia and international civil service, and has a special interest in migration modelling, population forecasting and demographic uncertainty. Read Professor Bijak’s staff profile to find out more about his work.
Learn more about these subject areas
Politics and international relations
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
You’ll need a 2:1 in a subject with some statistical methods content, such as:
- population sciences
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
If your degree doesn’t have any statistical content, we’ll ask you to show that you have the necessary background knowledge to the level of the Royal Statistical Society Higher Certificate in Statistics.
You should be currently employed in official statistics, but previous professional experience might be taken into account.
If you’re successful in your application to join this course, we'll ask you to attend an introductory revision module covering basic maths and statistics before the course starts.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
If you choose to study the course over 2 to 5 years, you must:
- complete 2 modules each year
- complete all modules by the end of semester 2 in your fourth year of registration
Your optional modules take place in 1 week slots throughout the year. We rotate these modules over a 4 year cycle, so not all optional modules are available in each year.
If you choose to study full-time over 1 year you'll focus on the taught part of your course for the first 8 months (semesters 1 and 2). For the remainder of the degree, you’ll work independently on your dissertation.
Compulsory modules are available each year. Only the scheduled optional modules for a particular year will be available.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
The taught part of this course is made up of 4 modules everyone on the course takes and 8 optional modules you’ll choose.
For entry in Academic Year 2023 to 2024
Learning and assessment
The learning activities for this course include:
- group work
- project work
- independent study
We’ll assess you through:
- written exams
- a dissertation
You’ll research and write a 15,000 to 20,000-word dissertation on a subject of your choice, to be agreed with your supervisor.
Dissertations usually involve the application of methods you’ve learned during the taught part of the course. They’re a chance for you to develop your research skills and show in-depth knowledge of a particular topic.
You’ll have regular support meetings with your supervisor throughout the process.
You’ll be assigned a personal academic tutor and have access to a senior tutor.
As a graduate of this course, you’ll have the specialist skills and knowledge to conduct professional statistical work within government, either in the UK or overseas.
You’ll be able to specialise further in your current organisation or take on a fresh challenge with a new employer.
Many of the skills taught on the programme, such as survey methods and data analysis, are also in great demand by employers outside government.
Data analysis skills are in demand in sectors such as:
- the environment
- market research
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers, Employability and Student Enterprise team will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £12,700.
- EU and international students pay £24,200.
If you're an international student on a full-time course, we'll ask you to pay £2,000 of you tuition fees in advance, as a deposit.
Your offer letter will tell you when this should be paid and provide full terms and conditions.
Find out about exemptions, refunds and how to pay your deposit on our tuition fees for overseas students page.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
ONS Data Science Campus sponsorship
If you're working as an analyst in the public sector, you might be eligible for sponsorship by the ONS Data Science Campus.
Successful students are expected to act as data science ambassadors and evangelists across government.
Find out more on the MSc in Data Science Campus website.
Southampton Economic, Social and Political Sciences Postgraduate International Scholarship
A scholarship of £3,000 is available to international students studying for a postgraduate master’s in Economic, Social and Political Sciences.
Find out more about the Southampton Economic, Social and Political Sciences International Scholarship, including eligibility and conditions.
Other postgraduate funding options
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
For further details, read our step by step guide to postgraduate taught applications.
The deadline to apply for this course is Monday 11 September 2024.
We advise applying early as applications may close before the expected deadline if places are filled.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will aim to send you a decision 6 weeks after you have submitted your application.
If we offer you a place, you will need to accept the offer within 30 working days. If you do not meet this deadline, we will offer your place to another applicant.
Unfortunately, due to number of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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