Big Data Technologies MSc

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UKPASS code: 022973 | Institution code: W50 | Attendance mode: Part-time day/evening
Start: 14 September 2017
Duration: 2 years
Location: Central London
Campus: Cavendish

Fees TBC

This course has been designed to enhance your professional abilities, and deepen your knowledge and understanding of emerging, state-of-the-art database technologies. It will equip you with the range of highly marketable, hands-on skills required in data modelling, and in designing, managing, monitoring and administering corporate database systems divisions, information centres and webenabled database applications.

The course combines academic study with Oracle certification training, and you will be encouraged to take the associated Oracle exams and become an Oracle Certified Associate. It is suitable for recent graduates who wish to study for a higher qualification and/or gain relevant technical and professional skills in database systems. It's also a strong course for practitioners looking to enhance their professional abilities, develop their careers, and update their technical skills, knowledge and understanding of state-of-the-art and emerging technologies.

Course content

The course addresses new technologies, and advanced theories and techniques, along with their application, implementation and integration with legacy systems. You will analyse new demands and the application of new technologies in the management of data and information resources, and examine emerging technologies shaping the way data is now processed, accessed, retrieved, structured and modelled.

Embedded into the course are these themes that will help you to develop skills in the use and application of specific area in the database discipline. One theme is related to database administration and the ability to deliver and administer web-enabled database solutions. A second theme is related to database application development, and the ability to deliver web-enabled information systems solutions. The third theme focuses on the role of data architect, and the skills and knowledge needed to organise and design data and manage projects in a way that harnesses potential emerging technologies.

Teaching methods include lectures, student-led activity and smaller, instructor-led groups. You are encouraged to gain greater understanding of topics through practical activity and the use of scaled down versions of real life scenarios. The Oracle training materials that we use will prepare you to take the Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) exams. Assessment usually involves a combination of exams and coursework, leading to a product such as a presentation, group investigation, technical solution, a piece of software or a research review. Exams are normally two hour long and take place 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.

Core modules


The project module plays a unifying role, and aims to encourage and reward your individual inventiveness and application of effort. It is an exercise that may take a variety of forms and which provides you with the experience of planning and bringing to fruition a major piece of individual work.


This is a hands-on module that uses Java to develop your programming skills and to give you a good practical understanding of object-oriented programming and concepts. Topics covered include data structures, GUI programming, applets, database connectivity, server-side programming (using JSP). As part of the module, you will learn the fundamentals of Java programming; how to handle events through programming; how to design and implement web-based applications communicating with a database and how object-orientation can enable you to re-use existing solutions and to facilitate new designs of software components.


You will learn about the theoretical and practical issues related to technologies employed for the persistent storage of data. This module discusses and evaluates the underlying technologies used in capturing, maintaining and modelling persistent data. Pursuing this, the evolution of Database Management Systems, their components and functionality will be discussed, along with some of the predominant and emerging data models.


This is a hands-on module that develops your database skills for the definition and manipulation of data constructs. You will use Oracle's SQL to learn the features and constructs that contemporary ad hoc Database Query Languages offer; Oracle's PL/SQL is used to teach the procedural and object-relational aspects of Data Query Languages; issues related to the efficient use of client/server programming constructs are also addressed. You will be given access to Oracle courseware that can help you with your preparation for Oracle Certification Exams, whereas the exercises and teaching materials used in this module are based on Oracle University materials.


This module will develop further your research and industry skills required for your professional development, future career and study. Among the skills that will be strengthened are those related to the awareness of the professional, legal and ethical issues, the critical evaluation, the collection and analysis of information, and the development and defence of a sound project proposal.

Option modules


The module focuses and addresses recent technological developments in integrating and analysing large amounts of business data that today's transactional/operational enterprise systems are capable of collecting. You will explore multi-dimensional modelling, the integration of multi-source data and analysis, aiming to support better business decision making. Most of the topics covered in lectures will be associated with a number of supervised, Oracle-supported, computer laboratory/workshop sessions. The exercises and study materials used in these sessions will utilise material and courseware drawn from Oracle documents and Oracle university courses.


The module provides you with extensive coverage of the principles of database administration, including transaction management and control, backup and recovery, availability and security. It aims to define the role of the database administrator, to provide an in-depth appreciation of the underlying technical issues involved in managing a database within an organisation, and to investigate the mechanisms that are available to handle the additional complexity that arises from managing distributed and replicated data. Lectures and tutorials will be complemented by special workshops covering issues related to concepts and technologies used to administer Oracle installations. The exercises and materials used in these workshops will be drawn from materials used in Oracle University courses.


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.


You will focus on technologies and software delivery methods based on the utility computing model at the networked enterprise. The module gives you an overview of the underlying concepts of utility computing, such as its business and service provisioning model, outsourcing, and virtualisation. You will also examine how clusters, grids and clouds can be utilised for enterprise computing, and what new challenges are raised regarding quality of service, security, and ethical and legal issues.


This module provides you with an overview of emerging IT business models in the context of e-business and enterprise computing. You will cover different e-business models (B2B, B2C, B2A), and analyse the relationship between e-business/e-commerce front-ends and enterprise resource planning systems. You will also examine emerging B2C and B2B business revenue models based on the e-enterprise from technological, business, legal and ethical perspectives.


You will examine the role of the project manager, together with the techniques used for project planning, scheduling, monitoring and controlling projects throughout the project life cycle. The PRINCE2 project management method is used as a framework for understanding the key issues, providing you with practical experience in using a project management software tool for project scheduling.


This module introduces you to the discipline of requirement analysis through requirements modelling in order to capture, validate, specify and manage requirements in Information Systems Development (ISD) projects. You will also focus on the analysis of risks and failures of ISD projects, with emphasis on the role of requirement analysis when building 'right' systems.


This module will provide you with skills in manipulating XML-based and semantic web technologies, for modelling, querying and reasoning about distributed and interoperable data over the internet. You will understand the general vision and impact of collaborative and semantic web technologies and their applications, and be able to describe web resources in RDF and RDF schemas for supporting semantic interoperability and defining vocabularies for web resources. You will also learn how to develop, validate and query metadata documents in XML-based technologies, engineer ontologies using semantic web languages, and query and reason about ontologies using formal and descriptive logics.


This module analyses the problem of interoperability in data centric applications and gives you an insight into different approaches that addressed the problem in the last decade. You will focus on the impact of internet technologies on the interoperability of current database systems, discuss standards for data interchange and address interoperability of distributed heterogeneous database applications using XML-based web services.


This module introduces techniques sued to analyse, integrate and interpret web and social data for purposed of understanding and optimising web site usage. The aim of the module is to prepare for an analyst career in the area of web or social media marketing. You will learn how web and social media data can be utilised to determine a website's effectiveness to conveying information to its users; about the different sources of web and social media data (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Web Logs) and how such data can be used to learn about and target a specific web audience; and you will develop practical experience in using several different types of online analytical tools (e.g. Google analytical, Bing Webmaster Tools and AWstats.

Course team

Tasos Ptohos, Principal Lecturer

Associated careers

Graduates can expect to find employment as business systems analysts and designers, data analysts, database administrators, database application developers, database systems consultants, information resources managers, systems designers and systems integrators. Recent graduates have joined a variety of organisations, including Bank of America, Vodaphone, the Metropolitan Police, CGI, Network Rail, Business & Decisions, JCC Payment System, Jacobs Engineering, Virgin Media, Accenture, Chevron and a number of local authorities and NHS trust.

Professional recognition

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.

Related courses


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.

Work Placements

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.

Personal tutoring

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.

Language support

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.

International Westminster

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.

Students' Union

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.

Upcoming postgraduate information evenings

07 June 2017Postgraduate Information EveningCavendish, Harrow, Little Titchfield Street, Marylebone, Regent Street
View subject-specific information evenings

Science and Technology

Our active research and postgraduate programmes also ensure that undergraduate students are in close contact with the cutting edge of applied scientific knowledge.

Find out more about our faculty

Student success

Business Intelligence and Analytics student wins first prize at the Retail Masters dissertations competition,


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