It can be very stressful trying to decide where to study data science in the UK, as programs and universities can vary drastically between each other in terms of what courses they offer. Each institution will have different amounts of coursework and program frameworks, which is why it is important to carefully compare and contrast each one you are interested in. However, the first step in deciding which data science structure is right for you is to investigate whether or not the field of data science is right for you.
Ideally, you have already dabbled in or are able to take some introductory courses in subjects related to data science. Hopefully you already have or would be able to take some introductory courses into the field of data science like a basic online statistics course.
This can include a mixture of elementary statistics, computer science or programming courses. However, if taking courses has not been a viable option for you, there’s no need to worry. An Alternative step would be to take a look at some articles online on the field of data science. The idea is to look for a website dedicated to publishing content about what’s new in the field of data science. Taking a perusal on sites like this will help you determine to what extent topics in data science interest you.
If you’ve already concluded that data is something that piques your interest and don't need any extra convincing, that is wonderful news! Now you can get started on deciding which university program is right for you.
This guide is divided into five main sections that is meant to provide plenty of options. The first two sections look at the best programs in the UK for computer science and engineering, and artificial intelligence. The third section offers the best programs in Europe for data science, whereas the fourth list covers the best programs to study abroad.
The last section provides some great online resources for those who are either already enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses, or for those who learn best by being self-taught. One important fact to take into account while searching for the perfect program is that data science is an ever-changing field, and these innovations can often mean that the best university structures for the field are also always changing.
Top UK Universities for Computer Science and Engineering
Being a data scientist can be fun, highly-compensated, and rewarding – in fact, it is one of the UK’s fastest growing professions. With many innovations in big data, computational software and the way enterprises use data, being a data scientist can be very enticing.
However, finding the right university in which to study the field can often be a confusing and frustrating experience. In the UK alone, there are a multitude of distinguished universities to choose from. According to the Shanghai ranking of universities around the world, these five universities have the best programs for computer science and engineering.
- University of Oxford – Department of Computer Science
- University college London – Department of Computer Science
- University of Edinburgh – School of Informatics
- Imperial College London – Department of Computing
- University of Cambridge – Department of Computer Science and Technology
Top UK Universities for Artificial Intelligence
One of data science’s most variable and exciting specializations is a subject that is becoming ever more popular: artificial intelligence. The fundamental issue that artificial intelligence tries to solve is that of automation – everything from making phones more efficient to improving self-driving cars.
The field of artificial intelligence combines the best of statistical analysis and the complex algorithms of computer science, which makes it ideal for data scientists with an eye for creativity and mathematical genius. This discipline will deal heavily with data mining and data processing, which is what these following universities do best. The following list provides the best universities in the UK to study artificial intelligence:
- University of Essex - School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering
- University of Manchester - School of Computer Science
- University of Leeds - School of Computing
- University of Birmingham - School of Computer Science
- University of Surrey - Department of Chemical and Process Engineering
Top Universities in Europe for Data Science
If you have a knack for statistical and predictive analytics, but don’t exactly want to be a computer science engineer, a data science course will be perfect for you. The field of data science combines the best of statistics and computer science, taking the fun of analytical functions and applying it to programming.
Data analysis is a dynamic field, and if you would like to be an expert in processing data, and making data processing more efficient, then a data science program is the ideal pathway. Data science programs will typically include topics on big data, data management, and computer programming. These universities hold Europe’s top five programs in data science.
- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich - Department of Computer Science
- University of Copenhagen - Department of Computer Science
- Universite Grenoble Alpes - Grenoble Alpes Data Institute
- Technical University Munich - Department of Informatics
- Aalto University - School of Science
Top Universities in the World for Data Science
Being interested in such a dynamic and ubiquitous field as data science means not only having many university programs at your disposal in the UK and in Europe, but around the world as well. While many of the world’s top university programs for computer science and engineering are located in the United States, there’s no need to worry if programs in this country aren’t an option for you.
This list is a compilation of the top data science programs in countries spanning a wider geographical region than just North America. Keep in mind while browsing programs for schools abroad that you may need to obtain a student visa in order to start your program. While this is definitely an important factor, it shouldn’t limit your choices, especially considering that student visas are relatively easy to obtain compared to other visas.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Statistics and Data Science Center
- Tsinghua University – School of data Science Research
- Nanyang Technological University - School of Computer Science and Engineering
- University of Toronto – School of Computing Studies
- Weizmann Institute of Science – Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics
- The University of Adelaide - School of Physical Sciences
- Korea Advanced Institute of Science and technology - School of Computing
- The University of Tokyo - Department of Mathematical Informatics
Resources for Data Scientists
Data science is constantly changing, which can make it hard to keep up to date to the latest in emerging data analytics. This list is meant to provide some of the best online resources for data scientists – including everyone that is just getting started in their career or is already a well-seasoned analyst. It is important to remember that while data science and statistics are linked, the resources for both fields are often very different. This list covers every aspect of the discipline, from programming, data for students to practice, and online courses.
Practice on Data Sets
Being a student and professional in data science can involve a lot of self-teaching. Which is why, when it comes to analyzing and modeling data, there’s no better way to learn than by practicing on real data sets. It can be difficult finding the best data sets to practice on, as there is a vast array of free data online to get started with.
However, there are a few websites that make it easy to search for, analyze, and learn about data analysis. One site that’s particularly useful for data scientists at all levels is Kaggle. Kaggle's No Free Hunch strives to shed the spotlight on both what makes data science so interesting and to supplement Kaggle's wonderful data science forum.
Blogs for Data Mining
When it comes to data mining, it can be difficult to understand a lot of the computational and analytic aspects of the field even with the most experienced professors and professionals. Some of the most common frustrations you may face on your journey in the subject of data mining can be processing, managing, and structuring data.
If you’re having trouble with platforms such as Hadoop, concepts such as cleaning data, or are just curious to learn more about data mining, there are many online resources to help get you started. The Data Mining Blog has created a space in which to talk about everything that applies to the research and applications of data mining.
Machine Learning Blogs
Machine learning is one of data science’s fastest evolving specializations. While many undergraduate courses will involve some machine learning courses, it could be that you’re looking to get further instruction on the dynamic field.
If you’re looking to find further explanations on complex algorithms or extra help on the theory behind machine learning, there are many online blogs and videos that can help you. Machine learning (theory) strives to provide the thorough explanations and discussions on everything theory related.
Webinars for Data Science
When it comes to learning data science online, having a structured data science course to follow can be helpful. Getting started with learning data science can be difficult, as there are many online resources to dig through.
However, the first factor you should consider when looking for an online class is whether or not you’re willing to pay for data science tutorials, tips and more. Webinars are ideal for people who would like to learn or practice at their own pace. Tdwi is a payed webcast whose objective is to show the way data science is changing the way our world works. R-bloggers, on the other hand, is a free data science webinar dedicated to everything programming related in data science.