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Big Data and Digital Futures (MSc/PGDip) (2022 Entry)

About this taught graduate course

Course overview

This degree responds directly to the growing demand across research fields and by employers in society for a new generation of postgraduates who can critically engage with big data theoretically, methodologically and practically. In contrast to many big data-focused degrees (such as Data Science or Data Analytics) where the emphasis is almost exclusively on data practices and computational tools, this degree underpins key practical skills with a range of theoretical approaches to data.

How is our world influenced by big data? How are our lives represented in big data? This course will enable you, whatever your disciplinary background, to understand and act in a society transformed by data, networks and computation and develop a range of interdisciplinary capacities.

Our course offers you:

  • Core knowledge in statistical modelling and programming for data-driven careers
  • An extensive understanding of the relationship between big data technology and society
  • Practical and critical application of these techniques to cutting-edge methods across the data spectrum

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

2:i undergraduate degree.


English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirements. This course requires the following:

  • Band B
  • IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements page.


Additional requirements

There are no additional entry requirements for this course.

Core modules

Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods

This module aims to provide an understanding of, and skills in applying, quantitative social research methods, consistent with the expectations of the ESRC in relation to core research methods training within the DTP partnership.

Advanced Quantitative Research

Big Data Research: Hype or Revolution?

Big data is said to be transforming science and social science. In this module, you will critically engage with this claim and explore the ways in which the rapid rise of big data impacts on research processes and practices in a growing range of disciplinary areas and fields of study.

In particular, the module considers the following questions: What is big data? To what extent is 'big data' different to other kinds of data? What key issues are raised by big data? To what extent is big data transforming research practices? How are the 'nuts and bolts' of research practice (e.g. ethics, sampling, method, analysis, etc.) transformed with big data? To what extent are core concepts relating to research practice - such as comparison, description, explanation and prediction - transformed? To what extent can we critically engage with big data? How is big data transforming the 'discipline'?

Dissertation

The CIM Masters dissertation is a piece of work (10,000 words) which addresses a single student-selected subject. The topic may concern any aspect of the subject matter of their Masters programme.

The dissertation is an exercise in independent study in which you can pursue a topic of interest. It allows you to further develop a range of independent research skills, including literature search and bibliography construction, theoretical argument, and generation/appraisal of empirical evidence.


Optional modules

Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:

  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Machine Learning
  • User Interface Cultures: Design, Method and Critique
  • Visualisation
  • Digital Cities
  • Digital Sociology
  • Complexity in the Social Sciences
  • Urban Resilience, Disasters and Data

Teaching

Modules in this course make use of a range of teaching and learning techniques, including, for example:

  • Blended learning including the use of an online virtual learning environment
  • Student group and project work
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Reading and directed critical discussion
  • Independent research by students
  • Practice-based activities

Class sizes

For this course a typical seminar size is around 12-16 students.


Typical contact hours

There are around 7-9 hours contact hours per week for this course, depending on optional modules chosen.


Assessment

A combination of essays, reports, design projects, technical report writing, practice assessments, group work and presentations and an individual research project (10,000 word dissertation).

  • R programming skills (using RStudio)
  • Statistics in Social Science (up to multiple linear regression and logistic regression)
  • Advanced Statistics (generalised linear models, multilevel modelling and casual inference)
  • Basics in Social Network Analysis, Web Scraping, Reproducible Analysis, Data Visualisation, SQL, Deep Learning, Agent-Based Modelling (From Q-Step Masterclasses)
  • Writing and communication skills for analysis/discussing technical content
  • Critical academic research skills with an interdisciplinary focus

Reading lists

Most departments have reading lists available through Warwick Library. If you would like to view reading lists for the current cohort of students you can visit our Warwick Library web page.


Your timetable

Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you and you will be able to choose your optional modules when you join us.

Your career

Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including: AXA, BaiDu, GroupM, Just Eat, Skyscanner, The Labour Party and University of Warwick. They have pursued roles such as: authors, writers and translators; business and financial project management professionals; buyers and procurement officers; data analysts and product managers; marketing associate professionals; quality assurance and regulatory professionals and researchers.

Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:

  • Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
  • Careers in AI and Data Science
  • Discovering Careers in the Creative Industries
  • Discuss What’s Next After Your CIM Master’s Degree

Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (CIM)

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (CIM) was established at Warwick in 2012 to foster innovative and experimental forms of knowledge production through a sustained focus on methodology. CIM is dedicated to expanding the role of interdisciplinary methods through new lines of inquiry that cut across disciplinary boundaries, both intellectually and institutionally.

Method is central to the formation and transformation of disciplinary knowledges, and the challenge of working across and in between disciplines is both exciting and pressing. Our research team is drawn from across the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences, with expertise in a variety of substantive domains.

Within Warwick, CIM is an advocate of interdisciplinary research and study. Beyond Warwick and beyond the academy, CIM explores new forms of public engagement, both with potential research users and with the experts, experimenters and institutions in business, civil society and government that are at the forefront of applied methodological innovation.

Find out more about us on our website.


Our Postgraduate courses

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Taught course fees  Research course fees


Fee Status Guidance

The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.

If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.


Additional course costs

As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad. Information about department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

Funding routes available

Find out about the many different funding routes available for postgraduate study at Warwick.

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

Find out how to apply to us, ask your questions, and find out more.

Taught course applications

Here is our checklist on how to apply for taught postgraduate courses at Warwick.

Research course applications

Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.

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Admissions statement

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Postgraduate fairs

Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in the UK. These events give you the chance to learn about our Master's and PhD study routes, and the wider context of postgraduate study.

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Departmental events

Some academic departments hold events for specific postgraduate programmes, these are fantastic opportunities to learn more about Warwick and your chosen department and course.

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