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Social and Geographic Data Science MSc

There is ever-growing national and international demand for qualified professionals and scientists who have expertise in social and geographic data science. UCL's Social and Geographic Data Science MSc provides rigorous scientific and vocational training for the next generation of data scientists, with a unique expertise at the interface of social sciences, computing and statistics.

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

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:
£11,470 (FT)
£5,770 (PT)
Overseas:
£23,340 (FT)
£11,830 (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.

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

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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

The programme combines a rigorous treatment of underlying theory for, and methods of implementing and exploiting, spatial analysis,decision support, and data science. Optional modules provide the opportunity to develop expertise in modelling and analysis in one or more areas of social and environmental science with social and policy dimensions.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 12 weeks, part-time one year) is offered.

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

  • Geographic Information Systems and Science
  • Principles of Spatial Analysis
  • Introduction to Data Science
  • Data, Politics and Society

Optional modules

  • Advanced Topics in Social Data Science
  • Mining Social and Geographic Datasets
  • Introduction to Citizen Science and Scientific Crowdsourcing
  • Cartography and Data Visualisation
  • 1 x 15 credit module may be taken from other Geography MSc programmes or from outside Geography, subject to availability and approval from the MSc programme convenor
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.  We have included these updates below:   Research Project and Dissertation (GEOG0105) is a compulsory module and Geospatial Science (CEGE0094) is not available on this programme. 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 MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words and a poster presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory and computer-based practical classes. Assessment is through independent project work, practical-based and written coursework, and the dissertation.

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 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

There is a national and international need for scientists with skills in data science based analysis and decision support complemented by a deep knowledge of domain-specific models and analytical methods that can be brought to bear on environmental issues and their social consequences. The MSc provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for prospective employment within research organisations, consultancies, government departments and a wide range of industries.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Social and Geographic Data Science MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching. The programme brings together the department's strong expertise in spatial science and social and environmental modelling.

Students enter a vibrant, enthusiastic, and international research environment in which collaboration and free-ranging debate are strongly encouraged. UCL's location, in central London, provides easy access to many key intellectual venues and resources, such as the British Library.

Department: Geography

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.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for students with an undergraduate degree in geography, Earth or environmental science, geomatics, oceanography, or another relevant discipline. Applicants with relevant professional experience in geographic information systems, data science, spatial analysis or decision support will also be considered.

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 Social and Geographic Data Science
  • why you want to study Social and Geographic Data Science at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • 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