Published: 16 March 2022

Surrey launches MSc Mathematical Data Science

One of the first courses of its kind in the UK, the University’s new masters programme combines mathematics with computer science to train the next generation of advanced data scientists.

A full-time one-year course, the new MSc Mathematical Data Science will welcome its first students in October 2022.

The MSc focuses on the sophisticated mathematical theory that underpins data science while also equipping students with the computational skills to analyse and extract information from large data sets. This combined knowledge is highly valuable in sectors where huge volumes of information need to be understood – such as in banking and finance, marketing, e-commerce, engineering, transport, genomics, climate science and crime prevention.

According to a Burning Glass Technologies analysis commissioned by the Royal Society, the UK is facing ‘explosive demand’ for data science skills, with demand for data scientists and data engineers having tripled over the past five years.

While data science courses often focus on how to implement established algorithms and software, Surrey’s MSc encompasses techniques from pure and applied subjects within maths such as data representation, advanced statistical techniques, data-generating dynamical systems, and modelling techniques.

Programme leader Professor Dorje Brody explains:

“Understanding the underlying mechanisms behind data science is becoming more important as the volume of data increases exponentially, driven primarily by the internet. As new challenges emerge it’s important to be able to improvise and adjust data science systems, and you can’t do that if you don’t have a good grasp of the mathematical theory.”

The course is offered by Surrey’s Department of Mathematics and also draws on expertise within its Department of Computer Science and newly-formed Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI. The Department of Mathematics has strong links to the National Physical Laboratory and Meteorological Office among other partners, and hosts a research group in Data Science and Dynamics.

The topics students will study are closely aligned to current research areas such as data science and dynamics, mathematics of life and social sciences, and nonlinear waves and geometric fluid dynamics. Students will be able to tailor their course through a choice of optional modules and select a dissertation subject that reflects their particular area of interest, undertaking their dissertation project over the summer following two terms of taught modules.

Students will learn from academics with exceptional experience in data science research and practice, including:

  • Professor Brody – an expert in analysing big data who has advised large internet companies on using large data sets for applications in marketing, recommendation engine, and finance, and developed several successful patented solutions
  • Dr Stefan Klus – a specialist in data-driven methods for the analysis of complex dynamical systems, from biological systems to fluid dynamics and quantum mechanics. Meet Dr Stefan Klus
  • Dr Werner Bauer (due to join Surrey in September 2022) – an expert in numerical analysis and scientific computing for geophysical fluid dynamics, researching geometric discretisation methods, consistent data assimilation techniques and parallel-in-time training of physics-informed neural networks
  • Dr Janet Godolphin – a statistician with expertise in designing experiments and analysing experimental data, and experience of a wide range of industrial and medical applications
  • Dr Naratip Santitissadeekorn – a senior lecturer in Data Assimilation and Mathematics, who innovates statistical inferences of time-series of count data and more generally of spatial-temporal point processes


Discover our courses in mathematics including our MSc Mathematical Data Science.

Share what you've read?