BSc (Hons) Data Science

Key information

Why choose this course?

Data is one of the most important currencies at this current time and it underpins our modern world, from the flow of data across international banking networks, to the spread of memes across social networks, to the complex models of weather forecasting. The constant generation of data from our digital society feeds into our everyday lives, affecting how we receive healthcare to influencing our shopping habits. Demand for competent Data Scientists is growing across an extraordinarily diverse range of sectors, from finance to health to retail. However, there is a skills gap that urgently needs addressing, and this requires dedicated, specialised professionals who will fill Data Science and related roles, now and in the future. 

Careers and employability  

According to Indeed, the average salary of a Data Scientist in the UK is £50,538 (according to 2600 salaries as of August 2021), approximately 60% higher than the average salary in the UK. 

Data Science skills are relevant to a wide range of sectors, from healthcare to finance to retail and beyond. Demand is expected to grow in the coming years, with data science becoming embedded throughout the UK and global economy. 

What's the course about?

The programme is distinctive in its combination of fundamental mathematical/statistical skills, an emphasis on holistic industry-relevant skills and inclusion of cutting-edge topics in Data Science (drawing on the University of Hertfordshire’s world-leading research, such as neuromorphic computing and the detection of exoplanets). This programme caters to students who are looking to gain important specialised skills before entering the workplace but also have a solid foundation in the underlying theoretical principles. There is a very strong emphasis on hands-on learning, with students engaging with learning material through practical laboratories (Data Science Laboratory 1 & 2). This is designed not just to help embed classroom-based learning, but also to instil confidence and independence in students’ technical capabilities, which will mature to a professional standard and encompass an increasing range of skills as the course develops. We also aim to ensure students develop independence in their analytical and critical thinking, bringing their own initiative and creativity to solve problems. 

BSc Data Science students will also be offered the opportunity to attend the wide range of research-focused seminars and colloquia running during the teaching term. For example, the Centre for Astrophysics Research weekly astrophysics seminar, the Computer Science colloquium, or the Maths-Physics seminar. Current MSc and PhD students attend, and benefit, from these seminars, and – although not mandatory – BSc students will be encouraged to attend talks of interest and be made welcome. This is aimed to promote an atmosphere of excitement and intellectual curiosity, adding to the richness of the programme, as well as a feeling of inclusion for the student body.  

Your main campus is College Lane 

This is where the creative arts, science and health-related subjects are based. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more. You can use the common rooms to relax with friends, work out in the 24-hour gym or have a drink in our on-campus pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.    

What will I study?

Classroom-based learning, online material, on-campus computer lab-based activities, directed and self-directed independent study.  

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Heather Tymms

Meet Institute of Mathematics prize-winner Heather, who loved her time at Herts and was determined not to let her sight-loss become a barrier to getting fully involved with student life and achieving a first-class degree.

Read more stories BSc (Hons) Mathematics
Current job roleData Science and Analytics Advisor for GHD
Year of graduation2022
Course of studyBSc (Hons) Mathematics with Placement Year
Heather Tymms

Studying at Herts with a disability

Heather hadn’t planned to go to university straight after A-Levels as she lacked the confidence. However six years ago she lost the majority of her sight and wanted to find her independence again. This was when she decided she needed a challenge and a new qualification. Her journey has led her to achieving a first-class degree in Mathematics, winning a school prize from the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

Heather says, ‘I can’t believe how far I have come. I have grown so much, and the future is brighter than I ever imagined it to be. When I started at Herts I would never have dreamt of being able to commute to London. Herts has given me the confidence to achieve more and provided me with the skills and ambition I needed to equip myself for a professional career in a fascinating sector!’

Heather chose to study at Herts as it was her local university and because she knew she would be able to get the support she needed.

‘Being new to having a disability, I needed some extra help and guidance along the way. The Wellbeing Team at Herts provided me with lots of support and resources. Before I started, I was taken on a tour to familiarise myself with the campus so I could learn the best routes between my lectures. This was very useful, as I can get anxious in new places. I also had help in the lectures because I couldn’t see the board!  My lecturers were very accommodating and changed timetabled classrooms to improve access for me if required. I was able to claim the Disabled Students' Allowance, which enabled me to buy a specialist laptop with assistive technology and a magnifier.’

‘I stayed closely connected with my lecturers and the Wellbeing Team through my studies, and I was able to help improve the experience of other disabled students on campus. For example, working with university staff on signage and communication around building sites to enhance safety measures. The university staff were always happy to help improve the safety of all their students.’

‘I really benefited from the support I received from my school careers advisor. Through this service, I had help to secure both a placement and graduate job. I received expert practical advice to help me apply for jobs, they helped improve my confidence with job interviews, and showed how I could disclose my disability to employers in a covering letter.’

Life at Herts

Heather had a brilliant student experience and got involved with lots of extra-circular activities.

‘I really enjoyed my course, I found the lecturers extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and approachable, something which I really valued. I also enjoyed meeting and working with people from all different backgrounds. Herts is a truly diverse and inclusive place to study, and I benefited from collaborating with so many different people.

‘My favorite place on campus was the library. It has such a good atmosphere, and this was where I could concentrate on course work with friends.’

‘I also got involved with the Physics, Astronomy and Maths Society (PAMsoc) and in my final year, I was the society chair. Through PAMsoc activities I was able to learn and make friends with like-minded people, enriching my student experience. We did quizzes, pub nights, discussion groups, and invited our lecturers to speak to us about their personal career paths and the cutting-edge research they are doing.’

Heather’s future career aspirations

Heather is passionate about Maths and says, ‘You can do so many different things with a Maths degree, and not just teaching. You learn transferable skills, critical thinking, elements of computer science, and physics.’

‘I was introduced to the data sector in my placement year at Sainsbury's Digital, where I got to work on interesting projects like using data analysis to improve the experience of customers at the supermarket checkout. I now work for an Engineering Consultancy, GHD, a company who are committed to solving global challenges in the areas of water, energy and urbanisation, values which align to my own. I do a job that I love using data models and python, skills learnt on my course.’

‘I do miss academia sometimes and I may like to do further study in the future.’

Heather’s advice for other students

‘At Herts, you can learn about your chosen subject, but also learn about yourself. Make sure you take the time to reflect and understand both you and your passion throughout your studies and take every opportunity you can. Say yes to new things but know your own limit and don’t burn yourself out. At Herts, there is always support available to you, so seek out help if you need it.’