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Master's degree

Master of Applied Data Science

03 October 2023

UC's Master of Applied Data Science (MADS) This conversion accommodates students from a range of backgrounds who want to build their data science capabilities. Learn more about studying a Master of Applied Data Science through our Te Kaupeka Toi Tangata | Faculty of Science.


Master of Applied Data Science

Degree Structure - Duration
1 year full-time


Master of Applied Data Science

Degree Structure - Start In
Semester 1 or 2 (February or July)




2024 tuition fees estimate per 180 points:

  • Domestic — $13,316
  • International — $52,500


Master of Applied Data Science


Data science is a new profession emerging along with the exponential growth in size and availability of 'big data'. A data scientist provides insight into future trends from looking at past and current data. Data science is an essential skillset in a world where everything from education to commerce, communication to transport, involves large-scale data collection and digitalisation.

This conversion Master's is designed to accommodate students from a range of backgrounds (not just those with Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science majors), who want to enhance or build their data science capabilities and combine these with the skills and knowledge they bring from their previous studies. So long as you are data-hungry and industry-aware; this degree can add to your employability and career prospects.

Data Science Lecturer and Student

Master of Applied Data Science

What will my study involve?

  • One of the few such programmes in Australasia that supports your development from a wider undergraduate study background.
  • Work-integrated learning is a big component of the degree — you will work on an industry data science project.
  • Option to begin your study off campus from any location, with the final semester and project on campus at UC.
  • Focus on broader skills required of data scientists such as advanced analytical capability, problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and communication skills.
  • UC has strengths in the area of data science, including a number of relevant research centres (eg, Toi Hangarau | Geospatial Research Institute, Tangata Hangarau, Hangarau Tangata | HIT Lab NZ, Wireless Research Centre, Digital Humanities).

Master of Applied Data Science

Entry requirements

Potential students can come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds. You will need a B Grade Point Average in 300-level bachelor's degree courses, or have evidence of achievement at postgraduate level.

If English is your additional language, you are also required to meet UC's English language requirements.

For the full entry requirements, see the Regulations for the Master of Applied Data Science or use the admission requirements checker.

How to apply

You can apply online at myUC.

See Admission and enrolment for all information on enrolling at UC.

Master of Applied Data Science

Subjects and courses

Foundation courses

You will be required to enrol in all these foundational courses unless there is evidence of prior learning in the fundamentals of data science (exemptions must be approved by the Programme Director).

The courses are:

Advanced Data Science Competencies

All students take the following courses (unless the Programme Director approves a substitution).


You should complete the foundation course DATA401, or have a background in statistics, before enrolling in STAT462 and STAT448.

You should also complete the foundation course COSC480, or have a background in Python computer programming, before enrolling in DATA420.

This compulsory project involves working in a team to solve real-world data science problems.

Elective courses

The remaining courses will be any relevant 400 or 600-level courses in: Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Data Science, Digital Humanities, Economics, Environmental Science, Finance, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Statistics. Or in any other relevant subject as approved by the Programme Director and the relevant Head of Department.

Some examples of elective courses students have enrolled in recently include:

Master of Applied Data Science

Career opportunities

According to industry experts, data scientists know what the technology can offer, what analytics are possible, and can communicate on all those aspects to the wider business. This applies no matter the field or sector, as data and analytics have become so important and integral to organisational decision making. Graduates will be ready to work in a range of industries including: government, corporates, the IT sector, market research and finance, agriculture, and transport.

Aotearoa New Zealand and other countries are currently experiencing a skills shortage in this area, and the need for data-savvy professionals with applied experience is growing.

An Applied Data Science graduate's skills will include:

  • advanced knowledge in data science
  • the ability to use data to inform workplace solutions
  • planning and implementing data-informed projects
  • working in multidisciplinary teams
  • have an understanding of what programming can offer.

Useful information:


2024 tuition fees estimate (per 180 points):

  • Domestic — $13,316
  • International — $52,500

2023 tuition fees estimate (per 180 points):

  • Domestic — $12,633
  • International — $50,550

SSL estimate (per 180 points):

  • 2024 — $1375.50 (capped at 150 points per academic year)
  • 2023 — $1240.50 (capped at 150 points per academic year)

Planning my study

Master of Applied Data Science

How do I plan my degree?

The degree will comprise a minimum of 180 points as follows:

You can study this qualification full-time in a minimum of 1 year, and part-time in a maximum of 3 years.

You can also choose to begin your degree off campus from any location by studying online, and then complete the final semester and project on campus at UC.

For full requirements, see the Regulations for the Master of Applied Data Science.


Postgraduate Prospectus 2024

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