Knowledge, Information and Data Science MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This programme 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.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 31 Mar 2023

Applications open

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 a broad range of academic backgrounds. However, applicants are expected to demonstrate technical and/or mathematical aptitude and, in particular, should have experience of computer programming.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

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.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

On this programme you will learn a variety of topics related to information science, data science and knowledge engineering with an emphasis on computational methods and artificial intelligence. The programme is an even mix of optional and core modules, followed by a Term 3 dissertation designed to train students in the research skills necessary for careers in academia and the higher echelons of industry.

Who this course is for

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.

What this course will give you

You will benefit from the stimulating academic environment of UCL's 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 part of DIS's postgraduate community, you will also benefit from a very broad range of expertise among 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. 

The foundation of your career

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.


This programme will equip you with the technical, theoretical and research skills to adapt to a rapidly changing information-based society, and also challenge you to think deeply about the implications of modern information and artificial intelligence technologies on individuals, society and industry. Specific skills acquired include data analysis, data visualisation, knowledge engineering, data modelling, knowledge representation, database design, management and implementation, ontology and linked data design, and web-based programming. 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.

Teaching and learning

Assessment is through a mixture of technical assignments and practical work, reports or essays, examination in Terms 1 and 2, and a dissertation in Term 3.

In the taught (pre-dissertation) phase of the programme, students spend 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.

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.


You will take five compulsory modules, three optional modules, and a research dissertation.

In Terms 1 and 2, the compulsory modules provide an understanding of the key concepts of information science, data science and knowledge engineering, and their practical application to professional practice; common statistical ideas, techniques, models and tests for data analysis; the theory and practice of database systems including their design and management with standard tools such as SQL; how to create and assess different types of data visualization; the main concepts of formal logic and logic programming and their application to knowledge-based systems.

In Terms 1 and 2, there are also a wide range of taught optional modules to choose from; these are all subject to availability and timetabling.

Term 3 is for self-directed study, coursework assignments and exams.

You will also undertake an independent research project with the support of a supervisor, which culminates in a dissertation

Part time students will usually take four taught modules in each year, and the dissertation in the second and final year. They must take all five compulsory modules and three optional modules by the end of their studies. There is no fixed order in which the taught modules should be taken and we are happy to allow as much flexibility as possible

Modular/flexible students can take the eight taught modules (compulsory and optional) in any order they wish (apart from those modules with prerequisites) and must make sure they have completed all eight by the end of their studies. The dissertation should be submitted in the final year of study.

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an 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.


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.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £14,100 £7,050
Tuition fees (2023/24) £29,000 £14,500

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

The department strives to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available via the UCL library as hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions. Whenever appropriate, module leaders will point students towards free online learning and research materials to further reduce students' expenditure.

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

Funding your studies

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

ARLIS Global Majority Art Librarianship Scholarship

Deadline: 26 February 2023
Value: Tuition fees (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK

The Stationers' Foundation Bursary Scheme

Deadline: 26 May 2023
Value: Up to £9,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

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.

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 Application fees.

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
  • Selected candidates will be invited to an informal interview.

    Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

    Choose your programme

    Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

    Year of entry: 2023-2024

Got questions? Get in touch

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