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MASc in Data Visualisation

MASC Visualisation Teaser Image

In a digital, visual and rapidly changing world, data and data visualisations are key to how we know nature and society, communicate in science and organisations, and engage with publics. Visualisations - graphs, charts, networks and maps - are transforming how we understand data and algorithms, and they are today being positioned as key interfaces for communication, decision-making and engagement across media, science, industry, policy and advocacy. As a result of these developments, there is today growing demand for data visualisation expertise across science, business, media, tech, policy and advocacy sectors.

CIM’s new Data Visualisation MASc addresses this demand, opening-up new career opportunities through an interdisciplinary degree that connects technical and scientific aspects of data visualisation creation with socio-cultural, critical understanding. MASc students will learn how to design, develop, deploy and interpret data visualisations through methodological, conceptual and practice-based learning. During the degree, students build a data visualisation portfolio, demonstrating to employers how they can work with visualisation in, for example, data-intensive research, policy communication and/or public engagement.

During the programme you will develop:

  • End-to-end skills and joined-up understanding that enable you to design, create and code visualisations, work with data, and analyse and understand your data visualisations and those of others.
  • Critical, interdisciplinary perspectives required by employers, integrating expertise in tools, techniques, knowledges and methods of analysis which lead to a 360 view of what data visualisations are and do, and the limits of this medium.
  • A portfolio of work to kickstart your career progressed through diverse projects in your modules, a practice- or theory-led dissertation, and within the Data-Design Camp.
  • Expertise in the interactions between Data + Code + Design + Theory developed through learning to code as a basis for creating visualisations, as well as furthering your understanding of visualisations through critique and analysis.

What is an MASc?

The MASc is a flexible degree where students can customise their learning trajectory through interdisciplinary topics and modules that might usually be isolated to either MA or MSc qualifications. Through optional module choices, individual projects and the final project, you can tune your degree to suit your learning and career goals.

The core modules – 1. Visualisation Foundations, 2. Data Visualisation in Science, Culture and Public Policy and 3. Advanced Visualisation Design Labs – engage students with the diverse knowledge and skills required for designing, developing, deploying and interpreting data visualisations. Your studies will bring together topics from the Sciences, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, drawing from fields as diverse as data science, digital humanities and human-centred design.

By studying Data Visualisation(s) as objects, methods and a subject, you will develop a range of skills:

  • Coding and software skills for visualisation
  • Design and visual analysis skills building on the fundamentals of data visualisation
  • Substantial design experience through project work
  • Analytical skills to conceptually frame and relate visualisation designs to wider societal, cultural, and political debates
  • Writing and communication skills for analysis/discussing technical content
  • Critical academic research skills with an interdisciplinary focus

Our interdisciplinary study program enables you to make this degree your own. Rather than following a degree focused on data and code, or one founded on design and theory, the MASc Data Visualisation integrates data + design + code + theory whilst allowing students to follow individual goals within projects and through optional module choices.

CIM students will have diverse backgrounds -- whether you have studied graphic design or geography, communication studies or computer science (or architecture or astrophysics!), what is most important is that you share our students’ ambition and enthusiasm for learning how data visualisations are made and influence the world; and be keen to learn through research and by doing.

CIM students benefit from being part of a diverse student cohort who bring variety of experiences, perspectives and skills from the sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences including computer science, design, media and communications, sociology, and science and technology studies. We also encourage applications from professionals already working in data and design related fields who want to expand their career opportunities by investing in this exciting subject.

The MASc in Data Visualisation equips students for exciting opportunities in sectors working with Data, Analytics and Digital or Visual interfaces. These opportunities are rarely just a coding job, or an analytics or design job. Instead, employers across Data Science, Research, Media, Journalism, Business, Government and NGOs now require the knowledge and skills that can bring fields of expertise and interdisciplinary understanding together.

Today’s careers have many components, and frequently require that candidates can understand contextual positioning (e.g. sociocultural, ethical), alongside technical skills (e.g. coding, design) and strong research, critical thinking and communication skills. Studying Data Visualisation is an ideal education into how to understand and work with our data-fied, analytics-led, media-rich, connected world.

Data visualisation is a job role in of itself, but it is also increasingly specified for any job that works with data and requires communication. As such, the MASc degree allows students to open-up new opportunities in their current field of work or in your career plans, at the same time as revealing new career opportunities.


Our core modules will enable you to develop key competences in Data Visualisation through learning that integrates across methodological and conceptual perspectives, and often through practice-based learning. After developing foundational skills and knowledge, you will develop your understanding of what visualisations do and how they are made, before developing your final project.

Visualisation Foundations: Data visualisations (graphs, maps, networks) have become a fundamental currency for the exploration of data and the exchange of information. This module develops foundational understanding in what visualisations are and how they operate. Coding skills are developed alongside the conceptual understanding, allowing students to develop visualisations and their understanding in terms of design, theory, data and code. As visualisation is such an interdisciplinary topic, students will engage with diverse topics spanning data science and psychology, graphic design and the arts, and critical cartography and data feminism.

Data Visualisation in Science, Culture and Public Policy: The module introduces concepts, methods and empirical cases that enable an understanding of the affordances, power and limitations of data visualisation in science, culture, and public policy. Data visualisations have opened-up diverse challenges and opportunities for contemporary science, culture and public policy that show how visualisations mediate knowledge and enable communications through persuasion and real-world engagements. The module draws from social, cultural and political theory, science and technology studies, as well as digital and environmental humanities, equipping students with an ability to analyse and research the affordances of data visualisation as forms of knowledge, intervention and participation.

Advanced Visualisation Design Labs: Students develop three visualisation projects that further advance their independence in visualisation design, development, analysis and critique. Each project responds to a visualisation challenge drawn from methodological, societal, scientific and policy topics. At least one of the challenges involves a real-world problem proposed by an external partner. Students respond to project briefs through hands-on workshops, prototyping, and expanding their design and technical skills in dialogue with their methodological and critical understanding. Masterclasses expand students’ methodological and technical repertoire in areas such as human-centred design, typography, storytelling, stencilling, and digital cartography. In dialogue with their visualisation portfolio, students produce a design manifesto exploring their methodological and aesthetic approach, in relation to ethics and visual cultures.

Practical Final Project: Students produce a substantial, practice-based data visualisation project on a subject of their choosing. Students further develop their skills & knowledge through independent research leading to the visualisation outcome(s) and a report (5,000 words) that showcase their creative and critical approach, and theoretical and methodological understanding. A one-week Data-Design Camp enables students to advance their projects and to refine their design, coding and practical skills through interactions with leading visualisation professionals. During the Data-Design Camp, students will not only receive feedback on their dissertation projects but will also develop your career awareness in dialogue with external experts and understand the needs and perspectives of the related industries better.


Our interdisciplinary approach comprises a flexible structure, which enable students from varied backgrounds to complement and expand their knowledge with an individually-tailored selection of optional modules. Recent modules include:


Full-time MASc: 1 year

Part-time MASc: 2 years

Full-time PG Diploma: 9 months

Part-time PG Diploma: 18 months


2:i undergraduate degree (or equivalent). There is no requirement for prior knowledge of coding or programming.


Band B

There may be the option to attend the Pre-Sessional English Programme prior to commencement of study. See the Pre-Sessional English Programme website for information, but note that CIM has the additional requirement of a minimum 6.0 in the IELTS writing component for acceptance through this programme.


Full-time MASc: Home: £11,529 per year; Overseas: £24,696 per year

Part-time MASc: Home: £6,248 per year; Overseas: £12,831 per year

Full-time PG Diploma: Home: £8,033 per year; Overseas: £16,800 per year

Part-time PG Diploma: Home: £4,494 per year; Overseas: £8,873 per year

We consider all eligible applicants for bursaries and scholarship while funds are available, so do apply for the course as early as possible if you'd like to be considered.

Further Details
CIM Masters Bursaries

A number of CIM Bursaries are available for the Data Visualisation MASc programme. Each bursary will provide a £8,000 contribution towards tuition fees.

Deadline for applications: 31 Aug 2022

Please click here to apply

Li Xiaoming Scholarships

A scholarship in memory of Li Xiaoming. Available to Masters level students from the People's Republic of China.

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Postgraduate Loans

Home / EU students may be eligible to apply for a loan to support their study and living costs. Postgraduate Loans have to be paid back.

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Warwick Postgraduate Sanctuary Scholarships

Scholarships to support refugee, humanitarian protection and asylum seeking students in the UK.

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Warwick Alumni Discount Scheme

10% tuition fee discount will be available to Warwick graduates who have Home/EU or Overseas fee status. You must be a graduate of Warwick at any level of qualification.

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Warwick Taught Masters Scholarships

Bursaries to support Home fee status students and UK domicile EU students who satisfy certain eligibility criteria.

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Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme

Fee and stipend awards to support MA Digital Media and Culture candidates from developing countries.

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PhD Funding is possible through a number of sources at Warwick.

Information on all funding sources available to CIM postgraduate candidates (Masters and Doctoral) is available hereLink opens in a new window.


CIM’s new Data Visualisation MASc opens up new career opportunities through an interdisciplinary degree that connects technical and scientific aspects of data visualisation creation with socio-cultural, critical understanding.