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MSc in Urban Informatics and Analytics

For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas – towns and cities that are increasingly connected and influenced by “smart” technologies. Urban Informatics and Analytics is an emerging interdisciplinary approach to addressing the urban challenges arising from these developments.

Our unique MSc develops the practical skills needed – such as data analytics and visualisation techniques – to tackle these challenges, combining practice with cutting-edge theoretical and methodological understanding of urban systems. Our course offers you:

  • Deep understanding of urban science and digital cities
  • Practical and analytical skills to explore, visualise and make sense of city-scale spatial data
  • Interdisciplinary methodological skills to design solutions to the world’s urban challenges – capitalising on emerging developments in big data analytics and digital technologies


Through your core modules – Spatial Methods and Practice in Urban Science; Urban Data – Theory and Methodology; and a Dissertation – you’ll gain a broad foundation of knowledge and skills to approach the world’s urban challenges.

Across your core modules, you’ll cover topics ranging from the foundations of urban theory, to advanced use of spatial methods and geographic information systems, while exploring at a deep level the limits of various data and methodologies. Beyond this, you’ll be free to choose from a wide range of optional modules, many of which will directly give you opportunities to develop the skills you’ll have been learning in your core modules.


Unlike most existing courses that focus exclusively on data practices and tools, our interdisciplinary course combines training in theoretical approaches to urban life with practice-based methodological skills. Across the course, you’ll develop an understanding of social theories and their application, learning to make informed decisions supported by urban data analytics.

Our students have come from disciplines including urban planning, computer science, sociology and politics, to name a few. Most importantly, our students share an ambition to learn how to apply urban data science to real-life urban environments. We also welcome applications from professionals related to city management or planning.

Francisco“I really like the teaching on the course. We’ve got some big characters with strong intellectual backgrounds, and people who’ve done a lot of research recently. So they’re at the cutting edge of their fields and they’re working on contemporary topics relating to real-world urban issues.”

-Francisco Contreras Marroquin, MSc Urban Informatics and Analytics


The MSc in Urban Informatics and Analytics equips you for future opportunities within business, government, NGOs and the third sector, where expertise in using analytics and data science to solve urban problems is increasingly essential.

The MSc can also be a springboard to a range of careers where you can apply your data analytics and visualisation skills, such as Data Journalism, Finance, Health Care, and Business Analytics. A number of our students have chosen to continue their academic studies through an MPhil/PhD in Urban Science, Interdisciplinary Studies and other relevant disciplines.


In Foundations of Data Analytics, for example, you will develop foundational skills in data analytics using a variety of tools including 'R', the programming language that is taught in a variety of modules across CIM. This module is taught by the Department of Computer Science and develops your technical skills so that you can go from raw data to a deeper understanding of the patterns and structures within the data, to support making predictions and decision making. Starting with examples of analytics work at Google, Netflix, Kaggle and Facebook, you’ll cover topics such as data ethics and data sharing alongside core statistical skills including regression, classification and clustering.

Applications now open!

For full details, see our how to apply page. For further information, contact the Course Convenor, Dr Joao Porto de Albuquerque:

Key details

If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate English language competence as part of your application. This typically involves submitting a form of certification, such as the IELTS. We normally require an overall IELTS score of 7.0 (or equivalent), with a minimum of two components at 6.0/6.5 & rest 7.0+ (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.

Fees – Home & EU £9,440 / £5,150 (Full time / Part time), Overseas £20,160 / £10,510 (Full time / Part time). Up to date information on bursaries can be found on our funding pages.

All students on CIM degrees are given a laptop to use in class… and to keep.

Further information on entry requirements, fees and English language requirements are available on our study pages.

Course structure

The following are the core modules for this MSc:

These modules will enable you to develop key competences on urban informatics and analytics, including topics such as urban theory, spatial data analysis, geographic information systems (GIS), urban sensing, theory and politics of urban data, urban visualisations and exploratory urban data analysis.

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 from the following list:

CS910 Foundations of Data Analytics
IM921 Visualisation
IM927 Digital Cities: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
IM928 Urban Resilience, Disasters and Data
QS906 Big Data Research: Hype or Revolution
CS916 Social Informatics
CS909 Data Mining
QS905 Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods
IM902 Approaches to the Digital
IM904 Digital Objects, Digital Methods
IM920 Digital Sociology

IM922 Playful Media: Ludification in the Digital Age

IM923 User Interface Cultures: Design, Method and Critique
IM929 Ethnography, Knowledge and Practice
IL905 Thinking Water

The modules with a grey background are recommended options for the MsC in Urban Informatics and Analytics.

Optional modules from other departments may be considered as part of your degree programme. Should you wish to undertake an outside option, you will need to discuss this with your Masters Convenor.

Global partnership

As a part of the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities (WISC), the students of the MSc in Urban Informatics and Analytics will be in contact with a consortium of world-class institutions from around the globe, led by the CUSP (Center for the Urban Science and Progress) at New York University (NYU), and including the University of Warwick, Carnegie Mellon University, the City University of New York, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and University of Toronto. Students of the MSc Urban Informatics and Analytics will be invited to participate in WISC and CUSP activities such as the WISC Seminar Series and the CUSP “urban data dive”.

The course also provides a pathway to the PhD programme in Urban Science at WISC for those intending to undertake further postgraduate research at the doctoral level. Each year, WISC offers several 1+3 full studentship positions through the EPSRC-CDT programme on merit basis to UK/EU students who wish to study for PhD in Urban Science. Please contact WISC for more information and eligibility criteria.

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