Information Studies


MSc in Knowledge, Information and Data Science

This programme (formerly called MSc Information Science) is for computationally and mathematically literate graduates wishing to study modern approaches to knowledge, information and data science. Emphasis is placed on current industry practice, theory and likely future trends in artificial intelligence, thus equipping graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary for a wide range of career paths in information-related fields.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 5 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 22 February 2021
Close: 31 May 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£12,500 (FT)
£6,250 (PT)
£25,800 (FT)
£12,900 (PT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normal requirements for admission are a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with appropriate professional qualifications or experience in relevant disciplines will also be considered. We welcome applications from those with science, engineering or humanities backgrounds. However, applicants are expected to demonstrate some technical and/or mathematical aptitude, and in particular should have some experience of computer programming.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

You will learn a variety of topics related to information science, data science and knowledge engineering with emphasis on computational methods and artificial intelligence. The programme is a roughly even mix of optional and core modules, followed by a term-three dissertation designed to train students in the research skills necessary for careers in academia and the higher echelons of industry.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five compulsory modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, consisting of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), full-time 1 year or flexible study over 2-5 years, is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate - any four of the modules available (60 credits), full-time 15 weeks or flexible study over a period of up to two years.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Knowledge, Information and Data Science. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Knowledge, Information and Data Science. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Knowledge, Information and Data Science.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

  • Fundamentals of Information Science
  • Statistical Methods
  • Logic and Knowledge Representation
  • Database Theory and Practice
  • Data Visualization and GIS

Optional modules (indicative list):

  • Developing Dynamic Web Applications
  • Foundations of Machine Learning
  • Graph Databases and Semantic Technologies
  • Information Governance
  • Internet Technologies
  • Machine Learning Methods
  • Models of Human Reasoning
  • Natural Language Processing and Text Analysis

The list above only indicates commonly chosen options. In principle, students may apply to take any module offered within the department, or in other departments, subject to availability and with the tutors' permission.


All MSc students undertake an independent research project on a specific aspect of information technology and its application, which culminates in a dissertation of up to 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials, individual supervision, computer laboratory practicals and classroom practicals, with an emphasis on both theoretical principles and practical skills. Assessment is through a mixture of essays, reports, examination, and practical work in terms 1 and 2 and a dissertation in term 3.

In the taught (pre-dissertation) phase of the programme students spend roughly 20-25% of their time in the classroom/lab with the remainder of their time taken up with groupwork and independent study. For the dissertation, the mode of delivery is independent study punctuated by regular one-to-one meetings with their supervisor.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


The programme will prepare you for technical and management roles in the information technology and artificial intelligence industries, as well as for research careers in academia. Recent graduates have subsequently followed careers in a wide variety of roles in the information sector, including information systems management, web management, information architecture, knowledge-based systems, information security and governance, e-commerce, finance/fintech, data analytics and data science. Others have gone on to undertake PhDs in topics and subject areas encountered on the programme.


The programme will equip you with the technical, theoretical and research skills to adapt to a rapidly changing information-based society, and also challenges them to think deeply about the implications of modern information and artificial intelligence technologies on individuals, society and industry. Topics include data analysis, data visualisation, machine learning, knowledge engineering, data modelling, knowledge representation, database design, management and implementation, text analysis and ontology & linked data design.

Why study this degree at UCL?

You will benefit from the stimulating academic environment of the Department of Information Studies (DIS). This programme is closely aligned with the Knowledge, Information & Data Science (KIDS) research group. Teaching staff are research active and supervise doctoral students in closely related topics.

As a member of DIS, you will also benefit from a very broad range of expertise among other academic staff of the department, who teach and undertake research in library studies, digital humanities, archives & record management and publishing. You will thus be exposed not only to the technical aspects of knowledge, information and data science but also to broad societal and ethical issues related, for example, to information governance and the wider information society. You will therefore be equipped with complementary critical skills that will assist you when applying the methods and tools you will learn in real-world practice.

Additionally, you will benefit from UCL's global reputation as a centre of academic excellence and its Central London location, which provides diverse opportunities for information-related research and collaboration with various London institutions. 

Department: Information Studies

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for computationally and mathematically literate graduates wishing to pursue an in-depth study of modern approaches to knowledge, information and data science. Typically, graduates will have the ambition to enter information technology and artificial intelligence-related industries or to continue into academic research in these areas.

Application deadlines

All applicants
31 May 2021

Applications for the MSc, PG Diploma, and PG Certificate programmes must be submitted by 1 July in the year of entry, although late applications may be considered up to UCL's general application deadline, usually towards the end of July. Selected candidates will be invited to an informal interview.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Knowledge, Information and Data Science at graduate level
  • why you want to study Knowledge, Information and Data Science at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally and/or academically with your degree

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021