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Data Analytics for Government


Key facts

Start dates

September 2022 / September 2023



Course length

Part time: 2-5 years


Combine computing, statistical and mathematical skills and deal with the challenges of our modern data-driven society with our MSc Data Analytics for Government.

With recent developments in digital technology, society has entered the era of 'big data'. The UK  Government recognises big data as one of the eight great technologies. It has priorities for funding and research and will have a pivotal role in rebuilding and strengthening the economy.

We have structured this course in conjunction with the Office for National Statistics. Specifically for employees of all public sector bodies in the UK. You will develop skills in state-of-the-art methods and techniques related to data analytics. And you will cover cutting-edge areas in data analytics, including:

  • data science and big data models
  • advanced machine learning (with AI)
  • statistical programming
  • distributed systems (cloud, Hadoop, Spark)
  • data visualisation
  • statistics in government
  • time series.
Male and female student studying at a computer

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

This programme is restricted to employees of all public sector bodies in the UK. Please contact the University if you are unsure if this applies to you.

You should normally hold a good (first or second class) degree in the physical or social sciences which has developed analytical knowledge and understanding in mathematical sciences. Typically this includes candidates with knowledge and familiarity with basic computing, mathematics and statistics concepts and methods at a degree level. Applicants with other qualifications plus work experience from other fields who have quantitative skills and familiarity with data analysis and modelling ideas, to be reflected in their application, will also be considered. These applications must be approved by the Programme Lead.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English you will require a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 6.0 in all components.


An equivalent English language qualification acceptable to the University.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) part time
£1,070 per single module

Home (UK) part time
£1,080 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2021 / 22
Home (UK) part time
£1,070 per single module

2022 / 23
Home (UK) part time
£1,080 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year your fees will increase each year.

Financial support and scholarships

The Department of Computing and Communication Technologies awards a limited number of scholarships for its taught postgraduate programmes, which are awarded on a competitive basis to UK, EU and international postgraduates each year. Further information can be found at /ecm/courses/scholarships/

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

The most likely extra costs involved in studying this course are computers, books and printing.

You are not required to have your own computer though many students choose to. We have computer rooms available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week on campus, so you should always be able to work if you don't have your own machine. Students who choose to buy a computer are advised to avoid low-end machines since reliability will be important; a budget of around £700 should suffice, although some modules may require use of higher-end hardware which is available on campus. The School does not provide any Apple MacOS machines and their use is not required, but their use is supported if you wish to bring your own. Linux machines are provided on campus and we support the use of Debian/Ubuntu distributions. If you wish for more detailed advice on machine specifications, the department will be happy to advise.

Most software used on the course is freely available to students, either because it is open source, or because the School has a licence which supports personal student use. The School is a member of the Microsoft Imagine scheme and other programs designed to grant access to professional-grade software tools, which would normally be very expensive, for free.

Your University library membership includes access to an extensive electronic library so in many cases, you will be able to read coursebooks online without extra cost. You can of course buy physical copies of books as well if you wish. Textbooks generally vary in price between £20 and £60 depending on the degree of specialism.

Most submission of work for the modules is electronic, so there is little need for printing.

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements. In the event of changes made to the government advice and social distancing rules by national or local government, the University may need to make further alterations to the published course content. Detailed information on the changes will be sent to every student on confirmation in August to ensure you have all the information before you come to Oxford Brookes.

Learning and assessment

The MSc in Data Analytics for Government has a modular course-unit design. This provides you with flexibility and choice.

To qualify for a master’s degree, you must pass modules amounting to 180 credits. This comprises:

  • twelve compulsory taught modules (10 credits each)
  • your dissertation (60 credits).

You can study full time and complete the course in a year. Alternatively you can study part time and complete the course in 2, 3, 4 or 5 years.

Female student working

Study modules

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

Statistics in Government (10 credits)

This module provides a sound overview of the issues and challenges for Official Statistics in the UK.

Data Science Foundations (10 credits)

This module presents an overview of core data science concepts and tools, focusing on real-life data science research questions with practical exposure to R and/ or Python programming as an integral part of the course.

Survey Fundamentals (10 credits)

This module provides an overview of sampling and estimation fundamentals.

Statistical Programming (10 credits)

This module introduces core programming techniques in R essential for performing data manipulation, data processing and data analyses of traditional and alternative data sources through practical sessions.

Introduction to Survey Research (10 credits)

This module introduces the stages involved with planning and undertaking surveys. It will consider the methodological issues that may arise, including errors, and will discuss options for minimising the impact through the survey design.

Regression Modelling (10 credits)

This module will introduce the basic regression model - residual analysis, model building and selection, and the handling of categorical variables. Also, Logistic regression (binary response regression) will be introduced, assessing the model fit and model building and selection. Finally, Multiple regression and Multivariate regression modelling will be introduced.

Advanced Statistical Modelling (10 credits)

This module introduces a broad class of linear and nonlinear statistical models and the principles of likelihood inference to a variety of commonly encountered data analysis problems in variety of disciplines.

Time Series Analysis (10 credits)

Analysis of univariate time series: description, modelling and forecasting. This module is aimed at the students who wish to gain a working knowledge of time series and forecasting methods.

An Introduction to Machine Learning (10 credits)

This module provides you with the principles of computer learning and its applications. It covers the fundamentals of machine learning methodologies, implementations and analysis methods appropriate for machine learning applications.

Advanced Machine Learning (10 credits)

This module builds on the Intro to Machine Learning module. It focuses on Advanced Programming Skills and Neural Computing as an extension of machine learning, natural language processing & multi-media. It considers supervised and unsupervised machine learning algorithms (random forests, neural networks, clustering, Log regression, and support vector machines) alongside more advanced Imaging and multi-media data processing.

Introduction to Distributed Systems (10 credits)

This module provides an overview of processing data at large scale and parallel processing. It introduces Hadoop and Spark and the use of parallel processing paradigms.

Data Visualisation (10 credits)

This module will build on the basic data visualisations introduced in the compulsory modules. It will cover information design, interaction design and user engagement; state of the art tools to build useful variations for different types of data sets and application scenarios; mapping.

Optional modules

Survey Data Collection (10 credits)

Further Survey Estimation Methods (10 credits)

Applied Data Mining (10 credits)

Final project

Compulsory modules

Dissertation in Data Analytics (60 credits)

Students on the MSc are also required to complete a dissertation on a data science focussed topic related to their programme of study.

The exact content of each dissertation will vary in accordance to the title but will involve you completing a literature review and research of the topic at an advanced level, the preparation of a project proposal, the application of analytical techniques and academic approaches to the generation of alternative solutions and synthesis of a solution for the complex problem in hand, together with the presentation of the solution in oral and written form.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Our course has a supportive teaching and learning strategy based on active student engagement.

We use a variety of teaching and assessment methods such as:

  • critical appraisal reports
  • data analysis reports
  • data analysis using software applications
  • presentations and case studies.

Learning methods include:

  • blended learning
  • formal lectures
  • problem solving practicals
  • guided independent learning
  • use of the computer based virtual learning environment ‘Moodle’
  • independent research
  • software data analyses
  • experiments.


Assessment methods used on this course

We have designed the assessments on this course to develop your technical skills. This is led by the underlying theory and requirements of the industry.

Assessment  is 100% coursework and covers a range of activities including:

  • reports
  • data analysis
  • programming
  • presentations.

We encourage you to relate the assessment tasks with professional activities. And to relate your achievements with professional standards. 

You will have the opportunity to work independently and in groups. Where appropriate, we use self and peer assessment to encourage you to get involved in your own professional development.


The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics is home to world-leading and award-winning research.

Our focus is on user-inspired original research with real-world applications. We have a wide range of activities from model-driven system design and empirical software engineering through to web technologies, cloud computing and big data, digital forensics and computer vision.

Staff and students collaborate on projects supported by the EPSRC, the EU, the DTI, and several major UK companies.

Computing achieved an excellent assessment of its UoA (Unit of Assessment) 11 return for REF 2014 (Research Excellence Framework).

Students on this course can be involved with research in the following research groups:

After you graduate

Career prospects

This programme allows graduates to undertake a wide range of roles in data science. Common careers in this area are as:

  • data engineers
  • business analysts
  • data managers
  • machine learning practitioners
  • data scientists.

Programme Changes: On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.