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Computer Science with Data Analytics MSc - Frequently Asked Questions

Thinking about studying our distance learning Computer Science with Data Analytics MSc? To help you make your decision, below we’ve answered some of the questions we’re asked most frequently about the course, learning online and more.  

If you have any other queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0191 278 4874 or at

I don’t have a background in computer science. Am I eligible for this course?

Yes, you are. Whether you already work in the field and you want to take your career further, or you’re looking for a change in direction, you’re eligible to study our Computer Science with Data Analytics course. All we ask that you have a minimum of a 2:2 honours undergraduate degree in any subject (or international equivalent).  

If you are an international applicant, you may also need to provide evidence of your English language ability, for example holding a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 with 6 in each component or an approved equivalent. 

If you don’t meet the requirements above but you can demonstrate significant professional experience in a related field, you may still be eligible. 

What are the main differences between the Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence MSc and the Computer Science with Data Analytics pathway?

Both of our Computer Science pathways are divided into six 20-credit modules, plus a 60-credit Dissertation Project. You will study five core modules alongside students from our Artificial Intelligence pathway, giving you the opportunity to learn and collaborate with the wider Computer Science MSc cohort. You’ll develop your knowledge of practical computing skills and industry developments with handpicked modules exploring programming, data modelling, secure web development, the digital technologies that could transform our world and more.  

You will then have the opportunity to branch off into your pathway group. At this point, you will delve into two specific modules to grow your specialist skillset. As a Data Analytics student, you will study: 

  • Big Data and Cloud Computing
  • Statistics and Business Intelligence 

Finally, you will grow your interpersonal, research and problem-solving skills through the chance to put your learning into practice with an independent dissertation project on a topic of your choice. 

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

Whatever pathway you choose, our Computer Science MSc will allow you to stay ahead of the curve in an extremely progressive industry. The power of big data is recognised in almost every sector – from education to manufacturing, supply chain to healthcare, sport to hospitality. Whether you’re looking to change direction and build a career in data analytics or you’re interested in growing a stronger understanding of how it could fuel your organisation’s performance, whatever sector you work in, this course is for you. It will help you stand out in a sector that’s full of opportunity for skilled professionals. 

Upon graduation, you’ll be well placed to take up a range of roles, including but not limited to: Data Analyst, Data Engineer, Database Administrator, Information Systems Manager, Business Intelligence Analyst, Big Data Engineer, Data or Systems Architect and Systems Analyst. You could work in a range of different industries, including investment management, healthcare and banking, amongst many others. 

Successful completion of this Masters in Computer Science with Data Analytics could also lead you to a Postgraduate Research Degree

How long will the course take to complete?

You’ll be able to gain a Computer Science MSc in around two years, part time. However, the course is designed to be as flexible as possible and you’ll have the freedom to pause your studies if you need to. No matter what, you’ll be able to study whenever and wherever it suits you, while still having access to our great teaching and online research facilities. 

Will any of my learning take place on campus?

The course is designed to be studied completely online - there will be no need to come to campus.   

As a distance learning student, you will have access to quality teaching and research facilities, just as you would on campus, while being free to study whenever and wherever you want. Study your Computer Science course, your way.

Is the quality of Northumbria University’s distance learning courses the same as on campus courses?

There is no difference between the qualification you receive on our distance learning course and any equivalent qualification which you might study on campus. You’ll be taught by tutors with years of experience in computer science, who also teach our on campus courses. They’ll help you to gain the skills needed to lead in an ever-changing world. 

How will I be assessed? Will there be any exams?

For each module, you’ll have regular virtual assessments to help you keep on track. The format of these will vary but they will all be submitted through Blackboard Ultra, our eLearning portal. The course will combine academic theory with real world practice, so you’ll be able to tailor your projects and assessments to your current role. This means you’ll be able to apply your new knowledge in everyday working life, even before graduation.

How much time will I have to dedicate to studying?

The recommended study time for this course is 15-20 hours a week, so it's ideal for busy working professionals. Plus, our distance learning delivery and flexible learning model means you’ll be able to balance your studies alongside any existing commitments – no need for a career break or to disrupt your personal life.

Will I need any specific tools or equipment to study online?

It is vital that you have regular internet access throughout your course to access Blackboard Ultra, our e-learning portal. This platform contains your online learning materials, in-course communication tools, advice and support services. 

The recommended computer operating systems are:

  • Windows 7 or newer
  • Mac OSX 10.6 or newer
  • Linux – chromeOS
  • Mobile – iOS 7 or newer/Android 4.2 or newer

What support will be available during my studies?

You’ll be part of a supportive, engaging community, and during each module, you’ll participate in interactive seminars with tutors, group tasks with other students and more. Throughout, your course leader will be available to assist you with your studies and any academic questions. 

You’ll also be assigned a Student Success Advisor, who will be there to support you from day one to graduation. Whether you need pastoral guidance, help meeting deadlines or advice about fees, they’ll be on hand at every step. 

What do I need for my application and how do I apply?

Applying for our Masters is easy and quick, and you can apply online on our course page for our intakes in January, April, July or October. A personal Enrolment Advisor will be with you at every step of the way, in case you have any questions about your application.

During the process, you’ll need to upload some important documents onto our online applicant portal including:

  • A copy of your degree certificate or transcript (if this was awarded in a language other than English, you’ll need an official translation too)
  • A photocopy of your driving licence, passport or other proof of identity
  • A 500 word personal statement (this could cover why you wish to do the course, what you think you could bring to it and why you would like to study with Northumbria University)
  • Proof of your English Language proficiency if English is your second language 

After receiving your application, our Admissions Team will aim to respond to you as soon as possible.

How do I pay for the course?

The full course fee for 2021/22 is £8,400* for UK, EU and International students. You’ll be able to pay your fees in module by module instalments, spreading the cost out over the duration of your course. 

For more information about this, plus any financial support you may be entitled to, please contact our Enrolment Team on (+44) 191 276 4874 or at

*Please note, fees correct for academic year 2021/2022 but may change for new intakes starting in subsequent academic years

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