Why choose this course
Data science has become increasingly important in many areas over the past two decades. These include banking, finance, insurance, weather forecasting, image analysis, genomics, advertising, transport, elections and many more. Data sets can unravel all kinds of facts, trends, anomalies and patterns – but only with the right technical skills!
Mathematical data science is an interdisciplinary area of applied mathematics. It combines methods and techniques from a broad range of pure and applied subjects within maths to develop approaches that enables us to investigate large data sets. These techniques include:
- Data representation
- Information theory
- Machine learning optimisation
- Numerical methods
- Statistical analysis
This programme will guide you through a range of sophisticated mathematical ideas underlying modern data science. You’ll understand the mechanisms for modelling data-producing dynamical phenomena and gain the theoretical and the computational skills to analyse and extract information from large data sets.
What you will study
Our MSc benefits from the wide range of research being carried out in the Department of Mathematics. The taught courses and dissertation topics available to you are closely aligned with some of the activities of the Department’s research areas. These include:
- Data science and dynamics
- Mathematics of life and social sciences
- Nonlinear waves and geometric fluid dynamics.
During the first two semesters, you'll select a range of taught modules. These will be followed by an extended research project conducted over the summer under the supervision of a member of the Department. In some cases, this will be in conjunction with a second external supervisor, culminating in the writing of an MSc dissertation.
Department of Mathematics has strong links to the National Physical Laboratory, the Meteorological Office and other external partners collaborating on a range of research topics in or around data science. We also host a research group in Data Science and Dynamics, focusing on the study of dynamical systems that generate large data sets.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University. Our graduates have lifetime access to Surrey Pathfinder, our online portal for appointment and events bookings, jobs, placements and interactive development tools.
The University of Surrey has an excellent record for graduate employability. 100 per cent of our mathematics postgraduate students go on to employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes survey 2022, HESA) and we were named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide for 2022. We also run an award-winning Professional Training Placements scheme, which gives students industry experience and prepares them for roles in various sectors.
Mathematics is of paramount importance to all aspects of science, technology and modern finance. The logical insights, analytical skills and intellectual discipline gained from mathematical studies are highly sought after in all of these areas, as well as in a broad range of other disciplines such as law, business, management, ecommerce and the creative arts.
As well as being designed to allow candidates to meet the needs of future employers, our MSc provides a solid foundation from which to pursue further research in mathematics, or one of the many other disciplines to which mathematical ideas and techniques are applied. In particular, as a data scientist or a machine learning engineer, you’ll be well positioned for a range of specialist roles.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday – Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the Academic Hive. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
A minimum of a 2:1 in a relevant UK honours degree in mathematics or related areas (such as physics or certain areas of engineering and computer science).
International entry requirements by country
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall including 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in each other component.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If your experience exceeds the typical requirements for entry to the programme, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience. If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for specific modules through your previous learning, it may be possible to exempt you from those modules, and for you to be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
In some cases, prior knowledge and skills may allow applicants to join the start of a course without meeting the formal entry requirements.
Please see our code transfer and recognition of prior learning guide (PDF) and recognition of prior learning and prior credit web page for further information. Please email Admissions (email@example.com) with any queries.
Start date: October 2023
Full-time - 1 year
- To be confirmed
- To be confirmed
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2023-24 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually
- If you are on a two-year full-time MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme
- Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about postgraduate student finance.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Policies, Regulations and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2022/2023 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: the offer terms and conditions and registration terms and conditions which you will be asked to agree to may be different from those detailed in the examples. Our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will be available at the start of each academic year and will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing but changes (for example, to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer.