Data Science for Health BSc (Hons) – 2017 entry

What you'll study

Driven by the pressures of an ageing population and the growth of lifestyle-related diseases, our health service is undergoing a transformation, and computer technology is at the heart of this change.

On our Data Science for Health programme you will develop a sound knowledge of data generation, data handling and computational analysis. Utilising Surrey’s new Engineering for Health centre, you will gain the skills to create computer models that will help to transform the healthcare landscape.

Programme overview

This course forms part of the University of Surrey’s Engineering for Health programme designed to bring together engineers and health scientists to meet the challenges of an ageing population, changing patterns of disease and the appropriate technologies to facilitate improvements to healthcare.

In the future, ‘Big Data’ systems will give users access to huge amounts of information about patients, their conditions and treatment, allowing highly personalised models of care and a more collaborative approach between patients and healthcare providers.

At the same time, people will increasingly be able to take control of their own health via wearable computing devices, which will open up a vast range of commercial opportunities.

This programme has the dual benefit of equipping you for a career at the forefront of innovation in software technologies and their application to healthcare industries. It provides you with the balance of knowledge and skills you will need to design and implement software and systems to a professional standard.

You will gain a thorough understanding of the principles and concepts underpinning computing systems, enabling you to analyse and resolve issues with today’s software programs and provide a foundation for designing the next generation of computational systems.

The course offers study modules covering a wide range of topics including object-oriented programming, artificial intelligence, mobile computing and computational mathematics, using languages and tools such as Java, C++, Android, SQL, Python, MATLAB, assembler and specialist hardware such as Arduino microcontrollers.

You will also gain the vital mathematical skills for analysing, validating and verifying these systems.

Engineering for Health

Building on our existing reputation in the fields of engineering, biosciences and computer science, we have developed the Engineering for Health programme centred on a £12.5m new facility. The key objective for the programme is to educate students to enable them to drive the technology that addresses the future needs of industry and society. Surrey’s Engineering for Health laboratory will be home to: 

  • A Biology laboratory
  • A Human movement laboratory
  • An Electronics laboratory
  •  A Computing area
  • A Central active learning space

Discover more about our project now. 

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 1 offers a broad base and our aim is that you will have developed good practical skills and be proficient in the programming language Java, using industry-standard tools. You will have a broad base from which to build during subsequent levels.

We will also develop your understanding of the foundations of computing and the design and analysis of computational systems.

Developing professional awareness is incorporated from the beginning of your studies with the inclusion of lecturers from industry. You will be introduced to topics specific to your specialist pathway. 

Compulsory modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Year 2 develops and deepens your understanding of the core areas and focuses in more detail on developing your specialist skills and knowledge, for example, in intelligent systems and web technologies.

Specialised modules relating to healthcare will also be introduced. Many Year 2 modules will equip you with strong teamwork, communication and presentation skills. Employers see these personal development skills as giving you an added value in addition to your technical competence, and they will help give you a head start in the job market.

These skills will be particularly useful should you choose to undertake a Professional Training year; you will also be able to benefit from a programme of support geared towards preparing you for this.

Compulsory modules:

Professional Training placement (optional)

A Professional Training placement with an employer is available on our programmes, organised and supported by the Department. Every year sees our students taking up placements at a wide range of companies, in a broad variety of roles. Companies that have participated in the scheme within the Computer Science department include:

  • IBM
  • Eli Lilly
  • Microsoft
  • Accenture
  • BAE Systems
  • Royal Surrey County Hospital
  • Research In Motion

At the end of the Professional Training placement, many students receive offers of graduate employment from their placement employers, which means you can focus on completing your programme without worrying about the graduate recruitment cycle, a concern for most of today’s graduates.

As an integral part of our Professional Training year and as an entry point to the Skills Framework for the Information Age, students document their experiences on the way to their professional membership of BCS using the BCS Professional Development Scheme.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

During Year 3, you will undertake an individual project that contributes approximately one third of the marks for the year, together with a range of optional modules.

The project gives you the freedom, and is your opportunity, to explore a topic of your choice in greater depth. It may build on an interest that was awakened during your Professional Training year or during another part of your degree programme.

It is also your chance to get involved in some of the cutting-edge research that we undertake in the Department.

Compulsory modules:

  • Project (linked to Engineering Solutions for Health Challenges)
  • Emerging Engineering for Health Challenges
  • Internet of Things

Optional modules:


Teaching styles vary, from large group lectures to small group tutorials, computing laboratories and drop-in sessions for programming. You will benefit from an integrated range of learning methods ranging from tutorials, case studies, projects and coursework to practical and discussion classes, including the use of interactive voting handsets.

In the early stages of the programmes, the methods of teaching and assessment aim to ensure the acquisition of techniques and relevant knowledge. This includes practice in finding information and deciding whether it is relevant or not.

The methods adopted in Year 3 are influenced by the need to broaden and deepen the knowledge that you have gained at the earlier levels and to develop the higher order skills that you will need as a professional.

Our modules incorporate lectures from industry, such as IBM’s participation in Year 2s Software Engineering Project. This helps you appreciate that what is being taught is also being used in industry and why it is relevant to industry and research.


You will be formally assessed through examinations and coursework. Examinations take place at the end of each semester on the modules studied during that semester. The assessments we use are tailored to what is being taught.

For example, we strongly believe that practical examinations are more appropriate for Java programming. To ensure that you are fully prepared for your assessments, we provide plenty of practice with diagnostic tests throughout Year 1.

This helps you check that you are on the right lines and that you understand the material. This support is essential to develop your ability to learn.

Marks from Year 2 onwards count towards your final degree grade, forming the basis of your award.


Students undertaking the Electronic Engineering for Medicine and Healthcare programme will benefit from the new Engineering For Health building at the University of Surrey. This is a brand new multi-million pound facility, part-funded by a grant from HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council of England) along with a direct investment from the University.

The three-story building will include:

  • Biology laboratory: a 200-seat laboratory for undergraduate molecular biology teaching programmes
  • Human movement laboratory: housing state-of-the-art technology enabling detailed biomechanical analysis of gait (walking patterns) and upper-limb movement: equipment includes a motion capture system, force platforms, a medical grade treadmill, pressure mat and electromyography (EMG) kit
  • Electronics laboratory: accommodating 50 students, this will enable users to assemble and trouble-shoot hardware-based projects such as health monitoring equipment, sensor-based instrumentation, body area networking projects, short-range wireless communication projects and data acquisition and processing projects
  • Computing area: accommodating over 70 students, this will include lab and lecture space, enabling ‘show and tell’ teaching for computing projects, as well as hardware projects that involve embedded programming components
  • Central active learning space: including eight project ‘pods’ designed to enable group work, this is where engineering and physical science students will solve key engineering for health challenges: it will also be used by researchers and healthcare professionals to develop key ideas, and for research sessions with members of the public

Career opportunities

Students who opt to take the Data Science for Health course will be ready to take up a wide range of roles in fields such as health analysis, health information security and data science (mHealth).

Our programmes are designed to prepare you to work at the cutting edge of computing and its applications, and our graduates can take many routes into rewarding careers.

Employers are increasingly seeking people with a broad range of skills that encompass management and leadership, as well as technical ability. Our programmes produce graduates with this well- rounded skill set of strong academic knowledge and Professional Training.

Our students are highly regarded in many areas of business and industry. Information technology, the focus of one of our degrees, combines business and computation skills that are particularly in demand around the world.

Computer Science, Data Science, Information Technology and Software Development graduates will be highly sought-after for a wide range of roles, including the healthcare industry.

Global opportunities

You may wish to consider spending your Professional Training year working in another country. Students have worked at Movilitas in Germany or Pfizer in the USA. If you work in another part of Europe you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.

This is an excellent opportunity not only to acquire valuable work experience but also to improve or learn another language.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



An A-Level in Maths is required.

We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking in our offers.

It is desirable for those applicants taking part in the Science Practical Endorsement in either Physics, Biology or Chemistry to obtain a pass.


Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 Credits at Merit.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

74 per cent

International Baccalaureate

34 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers ABB/Scottish Highers AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AB

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE in Maths at B/5 or above and English at C/4 or above are required (or international equivalent – see relevant country page).

Mathematics A-level required for A-level and BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma.

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall (or equivalent)

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill (or equivalent)

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2018 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BSc (Hons) 3 Years I500 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 Years I501 View KIS data set

* Subject to validation

Subject to validation

This programme is subject to approval. This means that it has received initial agreement from the University and is currently undergoing a detailed final approval exercise, through the University’s quality assurance processes. These processes are a requirement for all Higher Education Institutions within the UK, to ensure that programmes are of the highest standard. Occasionally there may be instances where the University may delay or not approve the introduction of the programme. In these instances applicants will be informed by no later than 5 August.

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

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International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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