Business Intelligence and Analytics MSc
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific entry requirements
You are expected to already have quantitative skills, with an interest in developing these further to support postgraduate activity in analysing, evaluating and reporting on a range of real-world data-intensive problems. You will have a suitable Honours degree from a UK university (or equivalent qualification) in a scientific or engineering discipline with some exposure to the use of IT, or in an area of computer science or IT with a strong interest in quantitative analysis. If you do not have a formal qualification, but you are already in employment, you may be considered if your role involves the data mining and decision support techniques and technologies deployed in the course. If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent.
This course addresses the need to propel information-gathering and data organisation, and exploit potential information and knowledge hidden in routinely collected data to improve decision-making. The course, which builds on the strength of two successful courses on data mining and on decision sciences, is more technology focused, and stretches the data mining and decision sciences theme to the broader agenda of business intelligence.
You will focus on developing solutions to real-world problems associated with the changing nature of IT infrastructure and increasing volumes of data, through the use of applications and case studies, while gaining a deep appreciation of the underlying models and techniques. You will also gain a greater understanding of the impact technological advances have on nature and practices adopted within the business intelligence and analytics practices, and know how to adapt to these changes.
Embedded into the course are two key themes. The first will help you to develop your skills in the use and application of various technologies, architectures, techniques, tools and methods. These include warehousing and data mining, distributed data management, and the technologies, architectures, and appropriate middleware and infrastructures supporting application layers. The second theme will enhance your knowledge of algorithms and the quantitative techniques suitable for analysing and mining data and developing decision models in a broad range of application areas. The project consolidates the taught subjects covered, while giving you the opportunity to pursue in-depth study in your chosen area.
Teaching approaches include lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical sessions. You will also learn through extensive course work, class presentations, group research work, and the use of a range of industry standard software such as R, Python, Simul8, Palisade Decision Tools, Hadoop and Oracle.
Taught modules may be assessed entirely through course work, or may include a two-hour exam at the end of the year.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
BIG DATA THEORY AND PRACTICE
The module discusses how to manage the volume, velocity and variety of Big Data, SQL and noSQL databases, and it touches on issues related to data governance and data quality.
This is a self–contained module in applied statistics and operational research (OR) for decision making that lays the foundations for more advanced modules in data mining, optimisation and simulation modelling. It covers the essential of descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics in an application driven manner and makes use of appropriate software tools such as EXCEL and R to derive meaningful solutions.
DATA MINING AND MACHINE LEARNING
This module will provide an overview of modern techniques in Machine Learning and Data Mining that are particularly customised for Data Science applications. Students will work with select data sets, related to the specific public sector or businesses application domains. Students will work through exercises that provide opportunities to explore the features and strengths of different machine learning and data mining methodologies. A range of toolkits will be introduced, such as R and Python.
RESEARCH METHODS AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
The module strengthens student’s skills for the research and industry needs in the area of their studies, their final project, and their professional development. It guides the students’ personal development plan towards the professional requirements of the discipline, and covers methods of critical evaluation, gathering and analysing information, and preparing and planning a project proposal.
BUSINESS SYSTEMS POSTGRADUATE PROJECT
The project module plays a unifying role and it aims to encourage and reward individual inventiveness and application of effort. The scope of the project is not only to complete a well-defined piece of work in a professional manner, but also to place the work into the context of the current state of the art in business intelligence and/or analytics.
ADVANCED BIG DATA ANALYTICS
The module teaches students how to use Big Data Analytics in enterprises considering both the latest research achievements and technology trends. It gives an overview of the underlying concepts and technologies of Big Data Analytics, such as Hadoop, MapReduce, Hive, etc. It covers the whole data lifecycle from creating to processing data and from publishing and to preserving data.
The module provides an in-depth analysis of advanced topics in operational research such as discrete optimisation, multiple criteria optimisation and modern heuristic approaches.
DATA VISUALISATION AND DASHBOARDING
This module covers the theoretical and practical aspects of data visualisation including graphical perception, dynamic dashboard visualisations, and static data ‘infographics’. Tools such as R and Tableau are used. The aim is to prepare students for becoming a data visualisation specialist.
DATA WAREHOUSING AND OLAP
This module teaches students how to build Data Warehouses by understanding their structures and the concept of multi-dimensional modelling. The focus is on Data Warehouse design, multi-dimensional modelling, the integration of multi-source data and analysis, cloud-based data warehousing, NOSQL OLAP, aiming to support better business decision making.
DATA REPOSITORIES PRINCIPLES AND TOOLS
An introductory module that covers theoretical & practical issues related to technologies employed in persistent storage of data. It evaluates underlying technologies & approaches used in capturing, maintaining & modelling persistent data; reviews the evolution of DBMSs their components & functionality, along with some of the predominant & emerging data models; addresses practical issues related to conceptual data modelling, practical & current trends in database design; it also discusses in detail the features and constructs of the SQL, the de-facto database language for the definition and manipulation of relational data constructs.
SIMULATION MODELLING: RISK, PROCESSES, AND SYSTEMS
The module focuses on the choice and use of appropriate simulation modelling approaches to treat real–world problems, developing solution(s) using powerful simulation software and explaining the business and industrial implications thereof. Relevant applications to problems such as stock control, reliability, project management, and service redesign will be considered in domains such as healthcare, supply-chain, and transport.
WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS
This module explores the use of modelling to analyse and measure both online presence and impact using web and social media data. During the module students will learn how to listen to social media conversations taking place and how such data can be transformed into actionable insight for a brand or organisation. Furthermore, we will study ways in which the effectiveness of modern websites are often judged and how online web metrics can be used to drive performance. The overriding aim of the module is to equip students with the necessary technical skills and industrial knowledge for a career in the area of web or social media marketing.
You may take instead another postgraduate module in the Department, at the course leader’s discretion.
Professor Thierry Chaussalet, Professor
Graduates can expect to find employment as consultants, decision modelling or advanced data analyst, and members of technical and analytics teams supporting management decision making in diverse organisations. Typical employers include local authorities, PLCs (such as GlaxoSmithKline, Prudential, Santander and Unilever), public sector organisations (such as the NHS and primarily care trusts), retail head offices, the BBC, the Civil Service and the host of banks, brokers and regulators that makeup the city, along with all the specialist support consultancies in IT and market research and forecasting, all of the whom us data for the full range of decision making.
This course is accredited by the British Computer society for partial fulfilment of the academic requirement for Chartered IT professional.
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
Graduates can expect to find employment as consultants, decision modelling or advanced data analysts, and members of technical and analytics teams supporting management decision making in diverse organisations. Typical employers include local authorities, PLCs (e.g. GlaxoSmithKline, British Airways, Santander and Unilever), public sector organisations (e.g. the NHS and primary care trusts), retail head offices, the BBC, the Civil Service, and the host of banks, brokers and regulators that make up the City, along with all the specialist support consultancies in IT and market research and forecasting, all of whom use data for the full range of decision making.
What our students say
“I have been approached by numerous companies including MI5 and consulting firms since I added my masters to my CV… I have received a 40% increase in my salary from when I started the course to now, therefore pursuing the masters has had a significant impact to my earning potential and opportunities.”
Data Architect, Financial Conduct Authority (Fca)
“The course did not just challenge and stretch me, but exposed me to such a variety of tools, concepts and systems that I have walked away, more prepared to face the challenges of an ever changing and complex business world. In some respects it’s like putting on 3D glasses for the first time and seeing angles, dimensions and views you would never have seen otherwise.”
Manager Revenue Optimisation, Emirates
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.