Big Data Analytics Degree

Offered mainly as a postgraduate degree, big data analytics is the process of analysing large and often diverse sets of data. These data sets require a different type of analysis as they are either too high in volume, too high in velocity, or too high in variety for traditional analysis techniques and processes. Big data analysis allows businesses and organisations to make better and more efficient decisions, using data that was previously inaccessible to them.

Highlighted courses and degrees in Big Data Analytics


A postgraduate degree in big data analysis will build upon the knowledge you gained at undergraduate level. It is likely that you have previously studied an undergraduate degree in data science, or a closely related subject. You will take the skills you already possess, and learn to apply them to specific and tailored areas. The evolving nature of data, including what we can provide and what we want to understand, means that big data analysts are in high demand.

Your degree will be delivered through a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as incorporating practical sessions and data driven case studies. You may be presented with the opportunity to take part in a work placement year or module, allowing you to experience big data analytics alongside working professionals.


Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise throughout your degree. This may be in the form of choosing particular modules, or simply the area you choose to focus your postgraduate research on. This specialisation can influence the area in which you choose to work or research in after you have graduated. Common specialisations include:

  • Machine Learning
  • Data Mining
  • Text Analytics
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Language Processing

If your degree requires you to write a dissertation or submit a major research project, this will give you the opportunity to further research and explore a favoured area of big data analytics.

Accreditation and Certification

The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study. Different countries have different accreditation systems. Typically, you can expect to be awarded a Master of Science (MSc) for a postgraduate degree.

Depending on your career path once you have graduated, you may be able to gain further academic and professional qualifications and certifications. These can help to progress your career, as well as adding to your knowledge.

Timeframe and Further Studies

Typically, a postgraduate degree in big data analytics will take one to two years to complete. Postgraduate diplomas and certificates can last up to two years, when studied full-time. Your institution may offer part-time or online study options, which may change the duration of your degree course.

Once you have successfully completed your degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. This could be in the form of a research degree, such as an MPhil or PhD, or a postgraduate diploma or certificate.

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Entry Requirements for Degrees in Big Data Analytics

The entry requirements for a big data analytics degree will depend on where you choose to study. Some universities will require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities might prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others may consider previous relevant work experience.

Due to the nature of the degree, some universities may require that you have some experience with programming software. Preferences will differ, but typically C++, Java and Python are accepted.

You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their big data analytics programmes.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.

Typical entry requirements:

  • UK2:1 or higher in a related subject
  • US3.0 GPA (undergraduate degree) or higher in computing or related subject

Fund Your Studies

Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.

You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section to read more about funding your studies.

Typical course fees (per year):

  • UK£16,250
  • US$35,000

Career Options

Graduates of a degree in big data analytics will find that there are a wide variety of career opportunities available to them. Big data analysis is a process that is applicable in many different industries. If you choose to work in a role directly related to your degree, jobs might include business analyst, data scientist, forensic analyst, big data architect, and fraud analyst.

You will have gained a range of transferable skills during your time studying big data analytics. These could include critical thinking, time management, and data collection and analysis.

Guides to related subjects

Learn about subjects similar to Big Data Analytics with these related StudyLink guides

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