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Degree apprenticeship

Data Science Degree Apprenticeship BSc (Hons)

This innovative degree in data science has been created in partnership with sector professionals.

Students working in a mac

Study alongside your work with a Degree Apprenticeship in one of the future's most vital subjects. You will graduate from this course with a thorough understanding of the intersection of computer science, statistics, mathematical modelling and communication.

This degree has been accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS)

York and London

  • Duration – 3.5 years full time
  • School – School of Science, Technology and Health

Course overview

As a student on this course you will study as part of an exciting and varied learning community, which in the past has included computer scientists, statisticians, clients, mathematical modellers, software engineers, communication professionals and organisational managers.

As you study with us you will learn to collect, analyse and interpret data to tell the story behind the numbers. Through this you will gain specialist, transferable skills in understanding data and models, knowing their scope and limitations, and being able to design, question and communicate these to a wide range of audiences. You will learn cutting-edge Bayesian model selection and evaluation techniques, along with mathematical and computational techniques for working with big data through databases, efficient algorithms, complex systems, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

You will have the intellectual space to focus on your studies while applying what you have learned immediately in real work contexts. The teaching on this course is blended, using both face-to-face and online delivery, as well as work-based learning throughout your study. The unique skills you bring to the course will allow you to make novel and unique contributions to your team and employer, and build a solid foundation for a broad variety of career paths.

Since your employer puts you forward for the degree apprenticeship, you need to directly apply to your employer to study the degree apprenticeship with us. We are working with a very wide range of employers locally and nationally, and current degree apprenticeship opportunities are advertised on the find an apprenticeship pages of the site.

Course structure

Level 1

Foundations: Level 4 develops your understanding of the core data science areas of probability, statistics & data analysis, computer programming and communication. Modules in algebra, analysis and statistics will bridge the gap between school and university mathematics and underpin later advanced topics in data analysis, statistics and artificial intelligence. You will be taught the principles of Programming that will underpin all modules and which begins your training in Computer Science. You will gain valuable skills in creative problem solving and science communication in an interdisciplinary setting, learning and applying knowledge in mixed groups. This interdisciplinary exposure will teach you to see problems from different disciplinary perspectives and to communicate your insights to specialists outside your field. This provides essential preparation for your future position as an interface connecting multiple disciplines.

  • Programming
  • Linear Algebra
  • Communication
  • Practice in Interdisciplinary Problem Solving
  • Analysis & Optimisation
  • Probability, Statistics & Data Analysis

In terms of the block-teaching delivery in the first year, you will be learning about Programming, Linear Algebra, Practice in Interdisciplinary Problem Solving, Analysis & Optimisation, and Probability, Statistics & Data Analysis, whilst the Communication module will be taught in second year. This is due to the integrated nature of the degree apprenticeship and the integrated end-point assessment.

Level 2

Applications: Level 5 builds upon the multidisciplinary foundations in computer science, mathematics and communication laid at level 4. You will develop your ability to mathematically model and simulate diverse phenomena and systems in the world around you, both analytically and via computer simulations. Your computational skills will be extensively developed towards advanced programming and data handling techniques, using databases and object-oriented programming. You will get the opportunity to integrate different data science topics, tools and techniques in the context of the work-based project to investigate a real work data science project within your company, which also helps prepare you for the end-point assessment. This substantial individual research project allows you to accentuate your skills portfolio and develop your interests in different directions. This project is an extended piece of research and writing that shows your individuality, independence, creativity and communication skills.

  • Modelling & Numerical Analysis
  • Databases
  • Geometry & Groups
  • Object-oriented Programming
  • Graphs, Networks & Systems
  • Work-based Project

In terms of annual delivery pattern, in the second year you will study Communication, Databases, Modelling & Numerical Analysis, Geometry & Groups, and Object-oriented Programming.

Level 3

New directions: Level 6 gets you to an advanced level of mathematical and computational sophistication and specialisation, with a portfolio of skills. The first half of level 6 consists of advanced data science topics such as artificial intelligence, data visualisation and big data applications. The other half of level 6 consists of the end-point assessment. This in turn consists of a knowledge test, a report and a professional discussion. These address the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) set out in the occupational standard. You will continuously build an evidence-base for these via ePortfolios and reflections throughout your programme. The conclusion of the end-point assessment constitutes the completion of the academic BSc as well as the apprenticeship.

  • Advanced Data Applications
  • Data Visualisation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • End-point Assessment

 In terms of the yearly delivery pattern, in the third year you will do the Graphs, Networks & Systems, Advanced Data Applications, Data Visualisation and Artificial Intelligence modules, as well as a work-based project. After these modules in third year you will have reached the end-point assessment gateway, which starts a 6-month window to perform the EPA in, which consists of a knowledge test, a project report and a professional discussion, which all draw on the knowledge you have gained in the course and on the job, and your progress towards the KSBs, which you will document in ePortfolios.

Teaching and Assessment

This programme is blended between on-the-job learning, online activities and face-to-face contact. Face-to-face contact concentrates on applying knowledge in new contexts that resemble the real-work setup in a collaborative and creative way. You will constantly blend your knowledge and skills to solve concrete problems. The assessments reflect this and are often based on analysing, solving and communicating a question, including writing your own software and data visualisations.

The forms of assessment are varied, and include written work for specialist and non-specialist audiences, written and practical exams, project reports and different communication formats such as videos, blogs, articles, briefs, social media content, posters etc.

Career outcomes

You will be employed already because your employer effectively sponsors your degree (see vacancy link above). Your talent will be systematically developed on this programme to grow into the role of a data scientist; to learn standard knowledge, skills and behaviours of the trade, and eventually to bring novel ideas, tools and techniques into your company, upskilling your team and finding novel solutions to your employer's projects.

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