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Data Science (with Foundation Year) BSc (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): I126
  • Start Date(s): September 2024
  • Duration: Four years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


Programming, science and maths  – the building blocks you’ll focus during your foundation year, preparing you to move onto 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.

At NTU, we understand that big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are transforming industries. That's why our goal is to equip you with the skills and knowledge to become an expert in data science.

Through our comprehensive program, you will develop a strong foundation in computer science, enabling you to extract valuable insights from data. Using a diverse set of statistical, algorithmic, and predictive tools, you will gain the ability to transform raw data into practical and actionable information, capable of predicting trends and driving outcomes.

Are you ready to take on the challenges presented by big data and artificial intelligence? Our curriculum will empower you to develop data-driven solutions that optimize business processes, as well as harness the power of data to support human decision-making.

But our approach goes beyond theory. You will have hands-on experience, applying your knowledge in real-world scenarios with a focus on the industrial application of computational intelligence. This practical experience, combined with the technical nature of our course, will prepare you to actively engage in industrial, commercial, scientific, and technological research and development of intelligent systems.

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

  • 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

From natural science, through the business, finance and retail sectors to social networking and mobile devices, computer-based systems now generate huge volumes of data almost continuously. The rapid emergence of ‘Big Data’ brings challenges: there is now an urgent need for graduates skilled in the sophisticated mathematical and computational techniques required for large-scale data analysis.

This bespoke course has been developed in conjunction with specialists in Data Science and sits at the interface of mathematics, statistics and computer science. You'll develop key computer science skills, becoming proficient in several programming languages as well as database design. You will also learn extensive mathematical and statistical theories and techniques, applying this knowledge to a range of problems linked to processing data.

An optional placement year is available, this will typically take place after Year Three, and you will return to campus for your final year in Year Five.

Introductory Mathematics (20 Credit Points)

This module underpins everything you’ll learn on this course. You’ll study important mathematical ideas, including Algebraic rearrangement, Trigonometry, Vectors, Descriptive Statistics, Integration and Differentiation. Taking an applied approach, you’ll be using modern software (principally Excel) and by the end of the module you will be able to solve simple, but realistic, Mathematical problems.

Computational Mathematics (20 CP)

Introducing ideas and skills which cross Mathematics, Physics and Computing, you’ll be applying concepts using software such as Excel and Matlab. You’ll learn how to write simple code and develop computational language skills which are needed to understand more complex topics and solutions.

Introduction to Programming (20 CP)

Learning how to program using Python will be split into two parts. Firstly, you’ll study core Python such as text strings, functions, objects and classes etc. In the second part you’ll look at maths-related Python libraries such as matplotlib (for creating visualisations) and statistics and scipy.stats (for statistical analysis).

Foundation Engineering (20 CP)

You’ll be introduced to basic electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering. Mechanics looks at the consequences of forces; the electrical and electronics part focuses on scientific principles of circuit theory, analogue electronics and components. Laboratory-based sessions will allow you to gain practical knowledge and experience.

Practical and Professional Skills (40 CP)

A series of small projects, each focusing on a different stage of the project lifecycle (research, design, development, testing, evaluation) will draw on the mathematical and scientific skills learned in other modules. You’ll develop professional skills from working on these projects such as time management, referencing, report writing and data protection. These skills prepare you for the rest of your course and your future career.

Foundations of Computing Technology and Programming (20 credit points)

This module has several strands including programming and technical aspects that introduce you to the fundamentals of writing computer programs, as well as numeracy and website development.

Essential Skills (20 credit points)

Develop the skills required to succeed on your computing degree. You’ll learn how to confidently deal with numerical aspects of your course and practice your web publishing skills by creating and formatting basic web documentation.

Systems Analysis and Design (SAD) (20 credit points)

Introducing you to the fundamental principles of SAD, this module gives you a working knowledge of key systems development methodologies, techniques and tools.

Professional Development for Industry (20 credit points)

This module will enable you to learn about the professional bodies and standards relating to the computing professional, and enhance your employability potential by increasing your awareness of the technological, social and economic factors driving the IT industry.

Fundamentals of Data Analysis (20 credit points)

Using statistical software to analyse data, this module introduces you to important concepts, such as exploratory data analysis, probability, statistical inference, and statistical modelling.

Programming for Data Science (20 credit points)

During this module you’ll be introduced to programming languages for data science.  You will learn how to import datasets, perform data manipulation and clean data before exploring how best to communicate and visualise the data using graphs etc.

Practical Project Management and Professional Development (20 credit points)

Continued professional development and lifelong learning are important to your future career. Through this module you’ll improve your time and project management skills, presentations and report writing. This module also includes detailed guidance about the development of your CV and provides experience of selection assessments for industrial placement/graduate employment positions.

Foundations of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (20 credit points)

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.

Data Analytics Techniques and Programming (20 credit points)

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 techniques to process and discover patterns in data.

Information and Database Engineering (20 credit points)

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

Probability and Statistical Inference (20 credit points)

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

Data and Information Security (20 credit points)

Gain an awareness of the regulations and responsibilities that organisations must uphold during processing and capturing data. You’ll study potential security risks associated with data storage and learn the skills to mitigate these risks.

Project (40 credit points)

Investigate problems in computing, implement solutions, critically evaluate and reflect on your work, and develop your abilities to communicate, self-organise and manage.

Distributed Database Engineering (20 credit points)

Study the processes, techniques and technologies that data scientists use to support the challenging workloads for data science.

Business Intelligence and Data Analytics (20 credit points)

Consider how organisations manage the integration of key operational decisions such as improving client services, optimising internal business operations, and introducing new services based on insights from analytics. You’ll cover data visualisation and the importance of user experience when designing interfaces and learn how to use appropriate tools to display information efficiently.

Artificial Intelligence (20 credit points)

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

Optional modules 

Information Systems Management (20 credit points)

Learn how to manage the build and deployment of enterprise and Internet information systems in small to medium organisations.

Applied Statistics (20 credit points)

Extends your experience of statistical techniques and methodologies, applying them in various industrial and commercial contexts.

Communicating Science and Technology (20 credit points)

An opportunity for you to gain valuable transferable skills working as a ‘student-tutor’ with teachers in local schools or to work on a community-based project.

How you’re taught

We will provide lectures, practical computing sessions and seminars. Coursework assessments will provide work-like experience in software development projects, including the use of industry-standard integrated development environment and testing packages, and the application of project management methodologies. Employers supply real-world projects and are invited as guest speakers to give technical or professional development presentations.

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.

How you’re assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods including coursework, which will reflect methods industry requirements and practical and written assessments. An assessment and feedback schedule will be provided at the start of each year to allow you to plan your time. Timely and constructive feedback will be given and you’ll be encouraged to understand and act on it, and to set targets for future learning and assessment.

Careers and employability

Your career development

You’ll graduate from this course with a broad range of skills and knowledge that are applicable to many computing-related fields. In particular, you’ll be prepared with the key skills and knowledge essential to design data driven solutions and face the challenges of the emerging smart technologies and machine.

This course is also provides an ideal foundation for postgraduate study.

Excellent placement opportunities

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, 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 L’Oreal, IBM and Mercedes. They secured varied roles such as Business Analyst, Demand and Forecasting Assistant and IT Intern.

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

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

To find out what qualifications have tariff points, please use our tariff calculator.

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 on 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 text books, 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 text books, 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 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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