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Data Science (with Foundation Year) BSc (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): 7G75
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Four years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


Mathematics and science – the building blocks you’ll focus on during your foundation year, preparing you to move on to BSc (Hons) Data Science in your second year.

You’ll take part in a series of individual and group projects alongside your modules. It’s a hands-on way of learning that will develop your problem-solving and creative thinking skills and helps to build other transferable skills such as team-working.

If you find data science isn’t for you, we can support you to move into one of our other mathematics courses at the end of your foundation year.

Our Mathematics degrees are current and relevant to the needs of the business. Our close links with the industry mean that, if you wish, you’ll have the opportunity to take up job placements with some of the world’s leading companies.

  • 97% of our mathematics students were in work or further study 15 months after graduation (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020/21).
  • Join our Mathematics Society, and you’ll have the opportunity to take part in regular events hosted on campus by the local branch of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.
  • We offer a number of short placements in one of our research teams. It's a great opportunity to further your research interests and contribute to the activities of the mathematics department.

What you’ll study

Introductory Mathematics

This module provides an introduction to important mathematical ideas, including Algebraic rearrangement, Trigonometry, Vectors, Descriptive Statistics, Integration and Differentiation. You’ll gain an understanding of ideas that form the basis of later, more specialised, developments and you’ll be able to solve simple but realistic mathematical problems.

Intermediate Mathematics

This module aims to provide the link between Introductory Mathematics and degree level Mathematics. You’ll cover more complex topics such as the chain rule and integration by parts, the generalisation of vectors to matrices, the approximation of numerical series, logic and probability, complex numbers and mathematical proof.

Foundation Science

In this module, you’ll cover topics in Physics and Chemistry including exchange, transport and conservation of energy and inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. The aim of this module is to provide a sound scientific foundation for the study of engineering or mathematics at the undergraduate degree level.

Computational Mathematics

A hands-on introduction to ideas and skills which cross Mathematics, Physics and Computing. Using software such as Excel and Matlab, you’ll learn about mathematical ideas like matrices and the consideration of how physical systems can be represented mathematically.

Practical and Professional Skills

This module aims to provide a link between the theoretical modules in the course and their practical implementation. The professional skills aspect will help you with interpreting coursework requirements, exam and revision techniques, note-taking and referencing. The practical sessions will cover a variety of topics that require you to make use of the scientific principles and mathematical techniques that you’re learning in the other modules on the course.

Mathematical Methods

This module aims to consolidate and extend your previous knowledge of calculus and linear algebra, with emphasis on the underlying intuition of the techniques.

Introduction to Numerical Methods

Learn about important numerical methods for solving mathematical problems and develop computational skills using specialist mathematical software packages.

Foundations of Computing and Technology Programming

This module has several strands including programming and technical aspects that introduce you to the fundamentals of writing computer programs.

Computer Science Programming

Learn about programming languages relevant to software with industrial scale, reliability and performance characteristics.

Data Analysis

Gain an introduction to statistical ideas and their application using modern software. Explore data analysis, probability, statistical inference and statistical modelling.

Introduction to Abstract Algebra

You’ll be introduced to the world of rigorous mathematics, as well as the theory to help you learn about the most important algebraic structures; groups and vector spaces.

Mathematical Enterprise

In this module you’ll work in small teams to develop a plan for a new business or enterprise, using your mathematical skills to showcase the viability of your venture. This module is run in conjunction with Nottingham's Creative Quarter and you’ll work with several local businesses to create business plans.

Discrete Mathematics and Computational Complexity

Gain in-depth knowledge of the fundamental concepts in discrete mathematics and computational complexity theory by focusing on real-world applications.

Probability and Statistical Inference

Refine your knowledge of statistical inference and statistical modelling and further develop essential computational and IT skills

Foundations of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

The rate at which data is being stored is growing at a phenomenal rate and many businesses are struggling to analyse and make sense of this vast collection of data. This module will introduce you to a number of machine learning techniques to process and discover patterns in data.

Information and  Database Engineering

Understand the nature and application of database management systems and acquire skills for database administration and management.

Linea Algebra and its Applications

This module will build your conceptual and technical background and, in particular, work on vector spaces will be extended and generalised to linear transformations. You’ll be introduced to coding theory through the application of linear algebra to linear codes.

Core modules

Distributed Database Engineering

Learn about the processes and techniques data scientists use to support the challenging workloads for data science by focusing on a range of distributed database technologies that can support big data.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Learn about the theoretical foundations of AI, the main methods and techniques and current areas of AI research and development.


Project in Mathematics

Your project gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your skills, knowledge and understanding of mathematics or computing, and show your planning and problem solving abilities.


Project in Computing

Your project gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your skills, knowledge and understanding of mathematics or computing, and show your planning and problem solving abilities.

And Either

Professional Mathematics Skills

Gain a broad view of the practical applications of mathematics in the real world, especially in industrial contexts such as finance, physics and


Communicating Science and Technology

This module will be of interest to you if you are considering a career in teaching and / or want to develop your portfolio of transferable skills.

Optional modules

Choose two modules from:

Stochastic Processes 

Extend your understanding of probabilistic modelling to include stochastic processes and learn advanced techniques for investigating the behaviour of stochastic processes.


Optimisation is the art of optimal decision-making under constraints. This module introduces you to optimisation, focussing on the theoretical foundations of the subject, as well as the practical modelling aspects, and the algorithm analysis and design.

Computational Statistics and Data Analysis

Explore topics from computational statistics and statistical models relevant to modern applications, with an emphasis on developing solid conceptual understanding of these methods through applications

How you’re taught

We will provide lectures, practical computing sessions, seminars and two to four surgery sessions each week. Here you’ll meet with your lecturer in small groups to discuss any problems, or work through challenging topics. The rest of your time will be spent carrying out an independent study such as reading textbooks and lecture notes and working on exercises.

Contact hours

Year 1 - lectures/seminars/workshops (30%) and independent study (70%)

Year 2 - lectures/seminars/workshops (30%) and independent study (70%)

Year 3 - lectures/seminars/workshops (29%) and independent study (71%)

Year 4 - lectures/seminars/workshops (23%) and independent study (77%)

A placement year may be taken between year 3 and year 4 of study

Learn a new language

Alongside your study, you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Find out more about the ULP.

Staff Profiles

Timothy Hetherington

Principal Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Find out more about Timothy Hetherington, Principal Lecturer in the Department of Physics and Mathematics at Nottingham Trent University.

James Hind

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Find out more about James Hind, Senior Lecturer, in the Department of Physics and Mathematics in the School of Science and Technology.

Nadia Chuzhanova


School of Science & Technology

Find out more about Nadia Chuzhanova Professor of Biomedical Mathematics in the Department of Physics and Mathematics at Nottingham Trent University.

Peter FitzGerald

PL - Student and Academic Experience Manager

Computer Science

Find out more about Peter FitzGerald, Principal Lecturer and Student and Academic Experience Manager, in the Department of Computer Science at NTU.

How you’re assessed

We want you to graduate with a range of transferable skills, so all of the modules have two or three assessment components that help you to demonstrate your knowledge in a variety of ways. As well as traditional exams and in-class tests, you’ll complete assignments and group projects, and give presentations.

  • Year 1 - coursework (60%) and written (40%)
  • Year 2 - coursework (57%) and written (43%)
  • Year 3 - coursework (42%) and written (58%)
  • Year 4 - coursework (66%) and written (34%)
  • A placement year may be taken between year 3 and year 4 of study

Careers and employability

Your career development

This course prepares you for a wide range of career opportunities both inside and outside mathematics. It’ll help you to develop numerical, analytical and computational skills which are greatly respected by employers. You’ll also gain essential, transferable skills including report communication, team working and problem-solving.

Our recent graduates have secured roles at companies including:

  • NomuraShell International Trading and Shipping
  • Caisson Investment Management

They have also started careers in:

  • Industrial and commercial mathematics
  • Statistical applications systems modelling
  • Software engineering
  • Telecommunications
  • IT applications
  • Teaching and research.

They have gone into a wide variety of job roles including:

  • International Technology Analyst
  • Investment Analyst
  • Senior Auditor
  • Data Analyst (Business Intelligence)
  • Business Development Executive


NTU is one of the most employment-focused universities. Increasingly, employers want to recruit graduates who have real-world work experience. That’s why all of our courses, across every subject area, offer you a work experience opportunity. Our experts help build and support your future with a range of career programmes and events.

On this course, after your third year, you will have the opportunity to take a year's work placement (sandwich placement). This will give you the chance to gain vital experience and put your knowledge into practice. You're also twice as likely to secure a graduate job within six months if you take a work placement.

Our recent students have taken placements across a wide range of companies including DeVere Group, Mercedes and The Government Statistical Society. They secured varied roles such as Assistant Auditor, Data Scientist and Trainee Wealth Assistant.

You'll be supported and assessed throughout your placement year and will write a reflective report and diary at the end of your placement. When you successfully complete your placement, you will be eligible to receive an additional award of a Diploma in Professional Practice.

Find out more about work placements.

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.

Campus and facilities

Entry requirements

  • We accept UCAS tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent
  • GCSEs – Maths grade B/6 and English C/4

Other qualifications and experience

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or information, get in touch through our enquiry form

This course is not open to International applicants who require a Student Visa. For alternative courses please see Nottingham Trent International College.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service by telephone +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential textbooks, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.


If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs. Placement opportunities are available in the UK and overseas.  Travel grants and Erasmus funding may be available to help fund international travel costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. Students will also be required to pay additional costs for printing, poster preparation and final dissertation copies in their final year - estimated costs of approximately £20 - £50. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.


Students will require a basic scientific calculator for use in examinations (e.g. Casio 83 or 85 series, approximately £15).

This course is not open to International applicants who require a Student Visa. For alternative courses please see Nottingham Trent International College.

How to apply

Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you apply.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

This course is not open to International applicants who require a Student Visa. For alternative courses please see Nottingham Trent International College.

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