Organisations are increasingly making use of large volumes of digital data, from personal medical histories, to socio-economic statistics, to internet trends. Data science is one of the newest professions to come from this demand for effective storage, maintenance, and use of 'big data'.
Data Science combines mathematics, statistics, computing, technology innovation, and practical results. You will study at the forefront of modern practices and issues in the digital world, including ethics and security of data, strategy development, and statistical programming. With such a wide range of industry applications and career opportunities, Data Science has been identified as one of the most essential and employable skills of the 21st century.
- Aotearoa New Zealand is ranked as the #1 country for starting a business (World Bank Group Doing Business 2020 Report), and Ōtautahi Christchurch is home to a number of computing technology and innovation industries, with many start-up companies searching for skilled graduates from UC.
- A number of research centres at UC utilise data science, including Toi Hangarau | Geospatial Research Institute, Hangarau Tangata, Tangata Hangarau | HIT Lab NZ, Wireless Research Centre, Te Kāhui Roro Reo | NZ Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour, and Te Pokapū Aronui ā-Matihiko | UC Arts Digital Lab.
Year 13 studies in maths, statistics, or computing will give you a good background for your first-year courses, however these are not essential to major in Data Science.
Data Science major
Students complete these courses throughout their degree for the Data Science major:
- COSC 121 Introduction to Computer Programming or COSC 131 Introduction to Programming for Engineers (available in 2021)
- COSC 122 Introduction to Computer Science
- MATH 102 Mathematics 1A
- MATH 120 Discrete Mathematics
- STAT 101 Statistics 1
- COSC 262 Algorithms
- COSC 265 Relational Database Systems
- DATA 201 Data Wrangling
- DATA 203 Data Science Multivariable Methods
- One course from STAT 211–299
- COSC 367 Artificial Intelligence
- DATA 301 Big Data Computing and Systems
- MATH 303 Applied Matrix Algebra
- STAT 315 Multivariate Statistical Methods
- STAT 318 Data Mining
With approval, students doing a double major with Data Science and another related subject may instead complete DATA 301 and three of the required 300-level courses.
Graduates of Data Science will find their knowledge is in high demand, as there is a global shortage of expertise to support the steady growth in data collection and digitisation.
You can find employment in business and technology sectors as a data scientist, data advisor, data/analytics consultant, and insight analyst. With this degree, you will build a background in project implementation, research, critical analysis, problem solving, and communication skills in discussing and explaining data findings, all of which are useful skills in a number of careers.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Data Science.
See the School's website for up-to-date location details.
College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
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