About this course
Develop the specialist skills and knowledge to carry out official statistics work on this 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 already working in official statistics or a similar analytical profession.
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.
Please note that some of the modules on this course are taught at the ONS office in Newport, Wales.
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
- a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Your course leader is Paul Smith, Professor of Official Statistics. He is a member of the Royal Statistical Society, and has a special interest in sampling and estimation methods in government surveys. Read Professor Smith’s staff profile to find out more about his work.
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
In light of COVID-19, we’ve made changes to some elements of course delivery for 2020-21. For details as to how this has changed delivery for this course, please view the Addendum to the Programme Specification PDF.
You’ll need a 2:1 in a subject with some statistical methods content, such as:
- population sciences
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.
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?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
COVID-19: we've made some changes to the structure of the course for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
The full-time course runs for a full 12 months, from September to the following September.
For the first 8 months (semesters 1 and 2) you'll focus on the taught part of your course.
Each semester is made up of a combination of modules that everyone on the course takes, and modules that we’ll ask you to choose from a list of options.
For the remainder of the course, you’ll work independently on your dissertation.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our modules for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must study the following modules in year 1:
You must also choose from the following modules in year 1:
Learning and assessment
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our learning and assessment methods for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
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 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service 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 vibrant entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK/EU students pay £9,000.
- International students pay £9,351.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK and EU 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.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
How to apply
You can apply directly through our online form by using the apply button on this page.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least two weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
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.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
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