UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


Spotlight on Data Science for Cultural Heritage MSc graduate Bhavesh Shah

3 June 2022

Bhavesh Shah graduated from Data Science for Cultural Heritage MSc in 2021, here he shares his experience.

Photo of Bhavesh Shah

Before studying the MSc in Data Science for Cultural Heritage at University College London, Bhavesh studied Chemistry at Nottingham Trent University and worked in a variety of sectors such as industry, healthcare, local government and hospitals before starting to work at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in 2007 as an Environmental Scientist. Bhavesh studied for the MSc at UCL whilst continuing working. Since graduating, his role has changed at the V&A to a Preventive Data Scientist where he has been putting the skills he learnt during the MSc into action:

Since graduating I have been using data science skills learnt from the MSc straight away in coding applications for the prevention of damage to museum objects from the climate, insects, light and other risks to the objects.”

The main focus of the MSc is to develop experience of applying data science methods in a heritage context, and Bhavesh believes that these skills are becoming an integral part of the heritage sector, so much so that the V&A created a new role for him:

Statistics, machine learning and coding are going to be really important in my profession and the cultural heritage sector moving forward and undertaking this course has really developed skills that I had self-taught in a formal teaching environment. This has been recognised by the museum, so a new role of Data Scientist was created.”

Bhavesh recommends that the best way for Data Science for Cultural Heritage MSc students to get the most out of their degree, is to spend as much time as possible developing their skills and techniques:

For future data scientists I would say that gaining experience in the real world and developing the soft skills required is just as important as gaining knowledge on coding languages and mathematical techniques.”

We’d like to thank Bhavesh for sharing his experience of studying Data Science for Cultural Heritage MSc and wish him well in his career at the V&A.