Programmes

BSc Data Science

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Statistics
  • UCAS code N3UD
  • Starting 2021
  • UK/EU full-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

Our BSc Data Science aims to provide a programme of study that combines data science, machine learning, statistics and mathematics. The programme uses a rigorous approach, has a mathematical focus and involves applying data science to the social sciences.

The BSc Data Science will prepare you for further study, or for professional and managerial careers, particularly in areas requiring the application of quantitative skills. The programme also allows you to choose to study a specialist area according to your developing interests and career plans.

As a student on the BSc Data Science you’ll gain practical skills, theoretical knowledge and contextual information that will be excellent preparation quantitative careers in a range of industries. By the end of the programme BSc Data Science students will:

  • Gain extensive first-hand experience of carrying out typical workflows of data analytics.
  • Learn about acquiring, querying and understanding the basic properties of data, analysis, how to extract insights from data and how to report the results.
  • Be able to use and understand classical and modern data-analytics techniques, statistical machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques.
  • Be competent in computer programming in data-analytic contexts.
  • Have a broad range of knowledge useful in data-analytic contexts, including topics at an intermediate or advanced level in economics and finance. Depending on your course choices you could also acquire knowledge of advanced topics in mathematics and statistics.
  • Be able to think in a critical manner.
  • Be skilled in making formal and informal inferences on the basis of statistical data.
  • Be able to formulate and develop mathematical arguments in a logical manner.
  • Be able to understand, formulate and use quantitative models arising in the social sciences.
  • Be skilled in acquiring new understanding and expertise.
  • Acquire transferable skills in some or all of: presentations, library and internet research, report writing, information technology (IT) expertise and the use of statistical software.

Watch our Virtual Open Day 2020 Statistics Q&A session here. 

Teaching and learning in 2021
We hope that programmes beginning in September 2021 will be unaffected by Coronavirus. If there are going to be any changes to the delivery of the programme we will update this page to reflect the amendments and all offer holders will be notified. For more information about LSE's teaching plans for 2020 please visit: https://www.lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse/Undergraduate/Offer-Holder/Information-for-Offer-Holders/Teaching-and-assessment and to view our Coronavirus FAQ's for prospective students please see: https://www.lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse/meet-visit-and-discover-LSE/COVID-19/Coronavirus-FAQs-for-prospective-applicants

Programme details

Key facts

Academic year (2021/22) September 2021 to June 2022
Application deadline 15 January 2021
Duration Three years full-time
Applications/offers/intake 2019 New programme for 2021

For information about tuition fees, usual standard offers and entry requirements, see the sections below.

Entry requirements

Below we list our entry requirements in terms of GCSEs, A-Levels and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. We accept a wide range of other qualifications from the UK and from overseas.

GCSEs
A strong set of GCSE grades including several at A (or 7) and A* (or 8-9)
GCSE English and Mathematics grades should also be no lower than B (or 6)
We also consider your overall GCSE subject profile

A-levels
AAA, with an A in Mathematics
We also consider your AS grades, if available.

Contextual admissions A-level grades*
AAB with an A in Mathematics

IB Diploma
38 points overall, with 766 in higher level subjects, including higher level Mathematics.

*LSE is piloting a contextual offer scheme for eligible students applying for 2021. Read our UG Admissions Information to learn more about contextual admissions.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you are predicted or if you achieve the grades that meet our usual standard offer, this will not guarantee you an offer of admission. Usual standard offers are intended only as a guide, and in some cases applicants will be asked for grades which differ from this.

We express our standard offers and, where applicable, programme requirements, in terms of A-levels and the IB, but we consider applications from students with a range of qualifications including BTECs, Foundation Courses and Access to HE Diplomas as well as a wide range of international qualifications.

Information about accepted international qualifications
Information about other accepted UK qualifications

Subject combinations

  • Mathematics at A-level or equivalent is required, and Further Mathematics is highly desirable.
  • The programme is highly quantitatively oriented, and quantitatively oriented A-level courses such as Physics or Chemistry form good preparations for the programme but are not required.
  • Good marks for any quantitative courses at GCSE level are also desirable.

Find out more about subject combinations.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background. The programme guidance below should be read alongside our general entrance requirements information.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on the UCAS application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- subject combinations
- personal statement
- teacher’s reference
- educational circumstances

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements page.

Personal statement

In addition to demonstrating the above personal characteristics, skills and attributes, your statement should be original, interesting and well-written and should outline your enthusiasm and motivation for the programme.

You should explain whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how this relates to your current academic studies and what additional reading or relevant experiences you have had which have led you to apply. We are interested to hear your own thoughts or ideas on the topics you have encountered through your exploration of the subject at school or through other activities. Some suggestions for preliminary reading can be found below, but there is no set list of activities we look for; instead we look for students who have made the most of the opportunities available to them to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their intended programme of study.

You can also mention extra-curricular activities such as sport, the arts or volunteering or any work experience you have undertaken. However, the main focus of an undergraduate degree at LSE is the in-depth academic study of a subject and we expect the majority of your personal statement to be spent discussing your academic interests.

Please also see our general guidance about writing personal statements.

Programme structure and courses

The degree involves studying courses to the value of 12 units over three years, plus LSE100. Please note that the format of the LSE100 course is under review. 

First year

In your first year, you will take six compulsory courses. In addition, you will take LSE100, which is taught in the Lent term only. Please note that the format of the LSE100 course is under review.

(* denotes a half unit course)

Elementary Statistical Theory  
This is a theoretical statistics course which is appropriate whether or not your A level Mathematics course included statistics. It forms the basis for later statistics options.

Mathematical Methods  
This is an introductory-level "how to do it" course designed to prepare you for using mathematics seriously in the social sciences, or any other context.

Programming for Data Science*

Managing and Visualising Data*

Microeconomics I* 

One from:

Macroeconomics I* 

Finance

Second year

In your second year you will take a mixture of core and optional courses, and will continue to take LSE100 in the Michaelmas Term only. Please note that the format of the LSE100 course is under review.

Mathematical Proof and Analysis* 

Further Mathematical Models (Linear Algebra)*

Algorithms and Data Structures*

Databases*

Either

Probability and Distribution Theory*

AND 

Applied Regression

AND an optional course to the value of one whole unit

Or

Probability, Distribution Theory and Inference
Develops your knowledge of probability and statistics beyond the first-year course. It will also provide the probability and statistics basis for all third-year courses.

AND

Applied Regression*

AND an optional course to the value of 0.5 units.

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review.

Third year

In your third year you will take two compulsory courses, and will choose options to the value of two units.

Machine Learning*

Artificial Intelligence*

Applied Statistics Project*

Courses to the value of one unit from the below options:

Regression and Generalised Linear Models*

Time Series and Forecasting*

Bayesian Inference*

Financial Statistics*

Optional courses 

Optional course to the value of 1.5 units

The relevant School Calendar page will be available shortly.

Where regulations permit, you may also be able to take a language, literature or linguistics option as part of your degree. Information can be found on the Language Centre webpages.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated undergraduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

Format and contact hours: You will usually attend a mixture of lectures and related classes, seminars or workshops totalling between 10 and 15 hours per week. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide

Independent study: You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

LSE teaching: LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

Academic mentor: Your academic mentor will be available to offer general guidance and assistance with both academic and personal concerns, and you will be expected to meet them every term. The Mathematics and Statistics Support Centre provides additional help with first year quantitative courses. You can also join the student-run Maths and Stats Society and Actuarial Society for programme-related activities and for getting to know your classmates better.

Other academic support: There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

Disability and Wellbeing Service: LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Your timetable

  • The standard teaching day runs from 09:00-18:00; Monday to Friday. Teaching for undergraduate students will not usually be scheduled after 12:00 on Wednesdays to allow for sports, volunteering and other extra-curricular events. 
  • The lecture and seminar timetable is published in mid-August and the full academic timetable (lectures/seminars and undergraduate classes) is published by mid-September and is accessible via the LSE Timetables webpages.
  • Undergraduate student personal timetables are published in LSE for You (LFY). For personal timetables to appear, students must be registered at LSE, have successfully signed up for courses in LFY and ensured that their course selection does not contain unauthorised clashes.
  • Every effort is made to minimise changes after publication, once personal timetables have been published any changes are notified via email.

Assessment

Formative unassessed coursework:

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. 

Feedback on coursework is an essential part of the teaching and learning experience at the School. Class teachers must mark formative coursework and return it with feedback to you normally within two weeks of submission (when the work is submitted on time).

Summative assessment (assessment that counts towards your final course mark and degree award):

Summative assessment for most courses is by a three-hour examination in June. A small number of courses are assessed by project work. The class of degree you will attain is based on the assessment over all three years, with the emphasis on marks gained in the second and third years. Please note that assessment on individual courses can change year to year. An indication of the current formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

You will also receive feedback on any summative coursework you are required to submit as part of the assessment for individual courses (except on the final version of submitted dissertations). You will normally receive this feedback before the examination period. 

Find out more about LSE’s teaching and assessment methods

Preliminary reading

  • J.Zelle, Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science, 3rd Edition, Franklin, Beedle & Associates, 2016
  • M. Lutz, Learning Python, 5th Edition, O’Reilly Media, 2013
  • R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gerhke, Database Management Sytems, McGraw-Hill, 2002
  • J. Hellerstein and M.Stonebraker, readings in Database Systems, 4th Edition, 2005
  • W. Mckinney, Python for Data Analysis, 2nd Edition, O’Reilly 2017
  • H. Wickham, Ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis, Springer, 2009
  • Larsen R.J. and M.L. Marx (2013) Introduction to Mathematical Statistics and Its Applications (fifth edition), Pearson (earlier editions are also acceptable)
  • A. C. Muller and S. Guido, Introduction to Machine Learning with Python, O’Reilly, 2016
  • A. Geron, Hands-on Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn & TensorFlow, O’Reilly, 2017
  • M. Wooldridge, An Introduction to MultiAgent Systems, 2nd Edition, Wiley, 2009
  • L. Deng and D. Yu, Deep Learning: Methods and Applications, Now Publishers Inc, 2014
  • F. Chollet, Deep Learning with Python, Manning, 2018
  • A. Geron, Hands-on Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn and Tensorflow, O'Reilly, 2017

Careers

Quick Careers Facts for the Department of Statistics

Median salary of our UG students six months after graduating: £30,000

Top 5 sectors our students work in:

  • Investment banking
  • Auditing
  • Retail and commercial banking
  • Accounting
  • Insurance and brokerage

The data was collected through an annual Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, aggregated over five years (2011-2016). The survey was completed by graduates approximately six months after their graduation ceremony. The median salary is calculated for those whose main activity is working full-time and includes those working outside the UK.

Graduates from the programme will be prepared for further study, or for professional and managerial careers, particularly in areas requiring the application of quantitative skills. 

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search.

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