Cloud Computing for Big Data

By StudyLink

Cloud Computing is revolutionising IT. For the first time, vast amounts of computer power are being made available to anyone with an internet connection, under a pay-as-you-go charging model. The result is that cloud computing is opening up new, more agile and innovative ways to create digital services. This article briefly explains cloud computing and how it is radically changing how businesses are using computing.
Cloud computing offers the ability to acquire vast, scalable computing resources on demand. This is revolutionising the way in which data is stored and analysed. The dynamic approach to analysis offered by cloud computing has become important due to the growth of “big data”: the large, often complex, datasets now being created in almost all fields of activity, from healthcare to e-commerce. However, due to a lack of expertise, the full potential of cloud computing for extracting knowledge from big data has rarely been achieved outside a few large companies; as a result, many organisations fail to realise their potential to be transformed through extracting more value from the data available to them. For example, many companies in the UK and worldwide are facing a huge skills gap, that is preventing them from realising the business benefits of cloud computing. Graduates with skills in this area are therefore in great demand, and starting salaries are high.
Figure 1: A Microsoft data centre providing cloud infrastructure
While characteristics such as size, data dependency and the nature of business activity will affect the potential for organisations to realise business benefits from big data, organisations don’t have to be big to have big data issues. The problems and benefits are as true for many SMEs as they are for big business which inevitably broadens and increases the demand for cloud and big data skills. Furthermore, even when security concerns prevent the use of external “public” clouds for certain types of data, organisations are applying the same approaches to their own internal IT resources, using virtualisation to create “private” clouds for data analysis.
MSc in Cloud Computing
The School of Computing @ Newcastle University is recognised as one of the leading centres for research into cloud computing and its application to big data, with a portfolio of over £25M of related funding. This includes the £12M RCUK Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy Hub (SiDE), which is addressing a wide range of big data challenges, in areas including healthcare (e.g. activity analysis) and mobility (e.g. driving analysis).
This one year MSc Degree programme in Cloud Computing will produce experts in cloud computing with practical experience of exploiting this knowledge to solve problems in a range of application domains. Concentrating on both theory and practice, it provides students with the flexibility to carry out challenging project work on cloud computing either at University or within industry. Suitable for students with a Bachelor’s degree in computing science, this course prepares graduates to pursue careers as developers, architects, data scientists or project managers or to undertake research. The course commences in the middle of September and lasts for 12 months. It is possible for students to take the degree part-time over two years. The part-time version of the course is particularly intended to encourage participation of employees from local IT companies.
A number of leading IT companies (such as Red Hat Inc., Arjuna Technologies Ltd., Gospelware, HP, ADlink) are sponsoring the course for project work to be carried out at their industrial R&D laboratories. Read some examples of industrial projects. An Industrial Advisory Board composed of these sponsoring companies ensures that the technical content of the course continues to reflect industrial R&D priority areas.
Funding/Scholarship Opportunities

  • The course is approved by the EPSRC and a number of studentships (normally for UK students) are available, including Red Hat sponsored financial assistance.
  • All international students who accept the offer by July 2014 will receive £1000 following registration.

Further information about scholarships and funding opportunities can be found on our scholarships database at:
For further information about Cloud Computing @ Newcastle University, please contact Professor Paul Watson (

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