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Data Analytics for Government (MSc)

  • Duration: 5 years
  • Mode: Part time

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Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

This is a jointly developed program with ONS to support the professional development of employees in a fast-growing data analytics world.


Based in the Data Science Academy

This course is taught within the Data Science Academy at Cardiff University, a cross-disciplinary industry-informed facility delivering postgraduate teaching in data science, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.


Develop transferable skills

Acquire transferable data science and analytics skills that are highly sought after in a broad range of sectors.


Benefit from multi-disciplinary expertise

Learn from experts across the School of Computer Science and Informatics and the School of Mathematics, and related university research groups specialising in various applications of data science and analytics.

Designed to meet the continuing education and training needs of those who work with data in Government, this course is delivered flexibly so that you can complete the programme around your own schedule and work commitments. You have up to five years to complete the full MSc, with the option to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma once you have completed enough credits. 

The course is taught by experts in Statistics, Operational Research and Computer Science who will help you develop the theoretical understanding and practical experience of applying methods drawn from data science and analytics, with a specific focus on their application within Government and public service.  

This will equip you with a range of in-demand skills for extracting and handling ‘big data’, discovering and communicating meaningful patterns from the data, and applying modelling tools to help businesses and government organisations make better decisions.

A wide portfolio of modules is offered in order to recognise the wide range of interests and applications of data analytics within Government and public sector organisations. Specific guidance is offered to students with a desire to focus on particular subject themes or areas.  

Develop your theoretical understanding, practical experience of data science and analytics with a specific focus on the application of data analytics within government and public service. The flexible delivery of this programme means that it can fit around your existing work and other life commitments. 

Where you'll study

School of Computer Science and Informatics

Our degree programmes are shaped by multidisciplinary research, making them relevant to today's employers and well placed to take advantage of tomorrow's developments.

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School of Mathematics

Our intellectually exciting degrees are accredited to meet the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation.

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Admissions criteria

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject area such as computer science, economics, engineering, management science, mathematics, operational research or statistics, or an equivalent international degree. If your degree certificate or result is pending, please upload any interim transcripts or provisional certificates.
  2. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5 with 6.0 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.

If you do not have a degree in a relevant area, your application may be considered on the basis of your professional experience. Please provide a reference from your employer to evidence that you currently work in an area relevant to the programme. References should be signed, dated and less than six months old at the time you submit your application.

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of August but may close sooner if all places are filled.

Selection process

We will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

You will have the opportunity to study up to 120 credits of taught modules and a research project module (60 credits) within the School of Mathematics, the School of Computer Science and Informatics and the School of Social Sciences.

Four core modules totalling 40 credits, covering fundamental subjects such as statistics, computational and data science and optimisation are combined with an additional 80 credits of optional modules in the taught stage. You then continue to complete the 60-credit dissertation research project to achieve the full MSc in Data Analytics for Government.

Students looking for flexibility are permitted up to four years to complete the 120 credit taught stage of the programme. You are then offered up to 12 months to complete the final dissertation stage in order to complete the full MSc.

You will need to enrol each academic year, and you are allowed to have fallow semesters (semesters where you choose not to study anything).  Also you are allowed one dormant year, that is a full academic year where you are not registered to any modules.  You are allowed to extend the length of a dormant year with the use of fallow semesters immediately before the start and after the end of the dormant year.  However taking time away from your studies will impact on the time available to achieve a full MSc within a 5 year period.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

Year one

Taught Stage (Years 1 to possible Year 4)

During the first years of the programme you should study up to 120 credits of taught modules.  For people interested in the full MSc qualification or the PG Diploma it is advised to complete first the 40 credits (4 modules) of core modules before moving on to other modules.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

The methods of teaching we employ will vary from module to module, as appropriate depending on the subject matter and the method of assessment. We teach using a mixture of lectures, seminars, practical workshops and tutorials. Taught content is delivered through a mixture of face-to-face lecturing and online delivery via video, with contact time used to further explore and reinforce this learning.

Programming skills and the use of relevant software packages will be taught. We often invite industry experts to give presentations, which you would be encouraged to attend.

How will I be assessed?

We will assess your progress throughout the course. These assessments may take the form of written exam papers, in-module assignments, and the project dissertation, where knowledge and technical competence will be appraised.  We may also use group work, oral presentations and poster displays to test communication, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

How will I be supported?

Due to the flexible nature of this programme, we can support you to study around your work/ life commitments. You have 5 years to complete your MSc degree.  The year you enrol in your first module is considered as Year 1. If you would like to finish your studies at a particular point, there may be an opportunity for you to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate if you have achieved between 60 and 110 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma if you have achieved 120 credits at level 7.

All of our students are allocated a personal tutor within both the School of Mathematics and the School of Computer Science and Informatics when they enrol on the course. A personal tutor is there to support you during your studies and can advise you on academic and personal matters that may be affecting you. You should have regular meetings with your personal tutor to ensure that you are fully supported.  Personal tutors will be able to discuss your individual circumstances and guide you through your module selection and pathway.  Your personal tutor can support you to progress towards your intended goal.

You will have access to the Science Library, which holds our collection of mathematical and computer science-related resources, as well as to the other Cardiff University Libraries.

We will provide you with a copy of the Student Handbook, which contains details of each School’s policies and procedures. We also support students through the University’s virtual learning environment, Learning Central, where you can ask questions in a forum or find course-related documents.

Cardiff University also offers a wide range of support services which are open to our students, such as the Graduate Centre, counselling and wellbeing, financial and careers advisors, the international office and the Student Union

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will achieve by the end of your programme at Cardiff University and identify the knowledge and skills that you will develop. They will also help you to understand what is expected of you.

On successful completion of your Programme you will be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:

KU 1  Systematically understand current problems faced by a data analyst in a government agency

KU 2  Establish critical awareness of new insights at the forefront of our academic discipline

KU 3  Appreciate the breadth and scope of the methodologies available to address issues faced in the discipline

Intellectual Skills:

IS 1 Identify appropriate methods for the solution of problems in Data Analytics for Government.

IS 2  Apply initiative and personal responsibility in decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations.

IS 3  Resolve complex issues through the use of systematic and creative methods, demonstating sound judgement making in the absence of complete data.

IS 4  Recommend and propose new methodologies and hypotheses to address a problem

Professional Practical Skills:

PS 1  Demonstrate advanced scholarship and practical experience in programming skills, data handling and extraction skills

PS 2  Demonstrate advanced scholarship and practical experience in  machine learning and informatics skills

PS 3  Demonstrate advanced scholarship and practical experience in  problem solving and modelling skills

PS 4  Evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them

Transferable/Key Skills:

KS 1  Clearly communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral, written and practical means to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

KS 2  Effective working in a team and as an individual.

KS 3  Apply logical and analytic thinking to problems

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £5,725 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £15,475 £2,500

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

The University considers that the following costs do not need to be covered by Schools as they are either not essential or are basic costs that a student should be expected to cover themselves:

  • Calculators
  • General stationery
  • Text books (assumed to be available in the library)
  • Non-essential copying / printing.

If there are optional costs/fees to be covered by the student, these are not a requirement to pass the degree. The exception to this is the cost of printing and binding of the final dissertation for submission, which must be paid for by the student.

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Master's Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount

The alumni discount is available for Cardiff University graduates who are planning to start an eligible master's in 2024/25.

Careers and placements

This program allows the students to come in contact with industrial partners and future employers.  There are two modules (one required and one optional) which are delivered using guest lecturers from industrial partners.  The Dissertation module gives the opportunity to work on a real world problem with real data either with an industrial partner or with a lecturer in one of the schools.


The Dissertation module gives the opportunity to work on a real world problem with real data either with an industrial partner or with a lecturer in one of the schools.

Next steps


Open Day visits

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Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.