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Health Data Science MSc

This programme covers computational and statistical methods as applied to problems in data-intensive medical research. As part of this programme, you will gain an understanding of techniques that are transforming medical research and creating exciting new commercial opportunities.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

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

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£10,450 (FT)
£5,255 (PT)
Overseas:
£26,380 (FT)
£13,130 (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. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

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

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree, or equivalent, in a clinical or a scientific discipline with a significant computational or mathematical element.

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

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 how to link and analyse large complex datasets. You will also design and carry out complex and innovative clinical research studies that take advantage of the increasing amount of available data about the health, behaviour and genetic make-up of small and large populations. The programme draws on a range of areas, including epidemiology, computer science, statistics and other fields, such as genetics.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six compulsory modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, six compulsory modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), full-time one year, part-time two years or flexible study up to five years, is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate, two compulsory modules (30 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), full-time one year, part-time two years or flexible study up to five years, is offered.

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

  • Basic Statistics for Medical Sciences
  • Data Methods for Health Research
  • Principles of Epidemiology Applied to Electronic Health Records Research
  • Principles of Health Data Science
  • Regression Modelling
  • Scientific Software Development with Python for Health Research

Optional modules

  • Advanced Computational Biology
  • Advanced Statistics for Records Research
  • Essentials of Informatics for Healthcare Systems
  • Information Retrieval and Data Mining
  • Machine Learning in Healthcare and Biomedicine
  • Public Health Data Science
Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation. Project Proposal 20% (2,000 words); Journal Article 80% (6,000 words).

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered by clinicians, statisticians and computer scientists from UCL, including leading figures in data science. We use a combination of lectures, practical classes and seminars. A mixture of assessment methods is used including examinations and coursework.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

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.

Accessibility

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

Funding

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

Careers

Today, some of the most exciting, stimulating and productive research is carried out using large collections of data acquired in big collaborative endeavours or major public or private initiatives. As a student on this programme, we will work with you to develop your passion and interest in this area of research. You will gain skills for a career as an entrepreneur, scientist or manager, working in industry, academia or healthcare.

Employability

The programme is designed to meet a need, identified by the funders of health research and by a number of industrial organisations and healthcare agencies, for training in the creation, management and analysis of large datasets. This programme is practical, cross-disciplinary and closely linked to cutting-edge research and practice at UCL and UCL’s partner organisations. Data science is a rapidly growing field of employment at the moment and employers recruiting in health data science include government agencies, technology companies, consulting and research firms as well as scientific organisations. A number of employers - IQVIA, Roche, AstraZeneca and Public Health England - are supporting the programme in different ways, including providing paid internships to selected students.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Data science is an exciting area with a dynamic job market, including in healthcare. Our graduates have gone on to work for a range of companies, including large research organisations - Roche, IQVIA, AstraZeneca, Evidera, Hitachi - and small start-ups, while others are working in health care or pursuing their interests in universities, working towards PhDs.

The lecturers on this programme are international experts in health data science and you will learn about cutting-edge research projects. Programme content is aligned with the newly-founded Health Data Research UK (HDR UK), a multi-funder UK institute for health and biomedical informatics research, led by UCL in London. This MSc will draw on that collaboration, giving students access to the most advanced research in the field.

We work closely with a range of employing organisations - hospitals, data companies, pharma - to ensure that our graduates have the best possible preparation for a career in data science. This includes offering industry-sponsored dissertations for selected students.

Department: Institute of Health Informatics

Application and next steps

Applications

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme provides a good grounding in statistics and programming, and no prior knowledge is assumed. However applicants should ensure that evidence of their readiness for this kind of training is clearly presented either through their educational history or in their personal statement. Applicants whose first degree has little or no numerical content are unlikely to be accepted.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

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 Health Data Science at graduate level
  • why you want to study Health Data Science at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020