Programmes

BSc Data Science

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Statistics
  • UCAS code N3UD
  • Starting 2021
  • Home full-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • 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 29 January 2021
The UCAS deadline has been extended from 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.

Fees and funding

Every undergraduate student is charged a fee for each year of their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees

Home students:

The 2021 tuition fee for new home students is £9,250 per year. The home undergraduate fee may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years.

Overseas students:

The 2021 tuition fee for new overseas students is £22,430 per year.  The overseas tuition fee will remain the same for each subsequent year of your full-time study regardless of the length of your programme. This information applies to new overseas undergraduate entrants starting their studies from 2021 onwards.

Table of fees

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information about fee status classification.

Scholarships, bursaries and loans

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country. LSE provides generous financial support, in the form of bursaries and scholarships to UK, EU and overseas students. 

In addition, UK Government support, in the form of loans, is available to UK and some EU students. Some overseas governments also offer funding.

Further information on tuition fees, cost of living, loans and scholarships.

Programme structure and courses

The degree involves studying courses to the value of 12 units over three years, plus LSE100. 

First year

In your first year, you will take six compulsory courses. In addition, you will also take LSE100.

(* 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*
Covers the principles of computer programming with a focus on data science applications.

Managing and Visualising Data*
Explains the fundamental principles for effective manipulation and visualisation of data.

Microeconomics I* 
Introduces the principles of microeconomics analysis. You will study the foundations of consumer and producer theory, competitive and monopolistic markets, welfare analysis and taxation, market failure, as well as an introduction to game theory. 

One from:

Macroeconomics I* 
Provides an introduction to macroeconomic analysis, you will study how countries’ economic performance is determined in the short and the long run.

Finance
Delivers an introduction to the financial decisions of firms, in particular capital budgeting; the financial decisions of households; the role of the financial system in the economy and the flow of funds; causes and consequences of the recent financial crises.

LSE100*
A half unit, running across Michaelmas and Lent Term in the first year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and is designed to build your capacity to tackle multidimensional problems through research-rich education.

Second year

In your second year you will take a mixture of core and optional courses.

Mathematical Proof and Analysis* 
Provides an introduction to the financial decisions of firms, in particular capital budgeting; the financial decisions of households; the role of the financial system in the economy and the flow of funds; causes and consequences of the recent financial crises.

Further Mathematical Models (Linear Algebra)*
Covers: Vector spaces and dimension. Linear transformations, kernel and image. Real inner products. Orthogonal matrices, and the transformations they represent. Complex matrices, diagonalisation, special types of matrix and their properties. Jordan normal form, with applications to the solutions of differential and difference equations. Singular values, and the singular values decomposition. Direct sums, orthogonal projections, least square approximations, Fourier series. Right and left inverses and generalized inverses.

Algorithms and Data Structures*
Introduces the fundamental principles of data structures and algorithms and their efficient implementation.

Databases*
Covers the basic concepts of database management systems, including relational and other types of database management systems. 

Either

Probability and Distribution Theory*
Covers the probability, distribution theory and statistical inference needed for third year courses in statistics and econometrics.

AND 

Applied Regression*
Statistical data analysis in R covering the following topics: Simple and multiple linear regression, model diagnostics, detection of outliers, multicollinearity and introduction to GLMs.

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*
Statistical data analysis in R covering the following topics: Simple and multiple linear regression, model diagnostics, detection of outliers, multicollinearity and introduction to GLMs.

AND an optional course to the value of 0.5 units

Third year

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

Machine Learning*
Focuses on the core machine learning techniques in the context of high-dimensional or large datasets (i.e. big data).

Artificial Intelligence*
Introduces the basic principles of artificial intelligence systems.

Applied Statistics Project*
Involves a critical investigation and collation of statistical data on a topic of your own interest.

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

Regression and Generalised Linear Models*
Covers the most important parts of the theory and application of regression models and generalised linear models.

Time Series and Forecasting*
Introduces the statistical analysis of time series data and simple models, and showcases what time series analysis can be useful for.

Bayesian Inference*
Examines statistical decision theory, Bayesian inference, implementation and applications.

Financial Statistics*
Covers key statistical methods and data analytic techniques most relevant to finance.

Optional course to the value of 1.5 units

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page.

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

Student support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small there are a range of people you can speak to and who will be happy to help.

Academic mentors – an academic member of staff who you will meet with at least once a term and who can help with any academic, administrative or personal questions you have. (See Teaching and assessment).

Academic support librarians – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies.

Accommodation service  - they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries.

Class teachers and seminar leaders – they will be able to assist with queries relating to a specific course you are taking.

Disability and Wellbeing Service – the staff are experts in long term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as student counselling, a peer support scheme, arranging exam adjustments and run groups and workshops.

IT help – support available 24 hours a day to assist with all of your technology queries.

LSE Faith Centre – home to LSE's diverse religious activities and transformational interfaith leadership programmes, as well as a space for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a main space for worship. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and is open to all students and staff from all faiths and none.  

Language Centre – the centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern language courses in 9 languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication and language learning community activities.

LSE Careers ­- with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your future career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights.

LSE Library - Founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and it’s a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide.

LSE LIFE – this is where you should go to develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom, offer one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision, and provide drop-in sessions for academic and personal support. (See ‘Teaching and assessment).

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding.

Sardinia House Dental Practice - offers discounted private dental services to LSE students.

St Philips Medical Centre - based in Pethwick-Lawrence House the centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients.

Student Services Centre – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.

Student advocates and advisers – we have a School Senior Advocate for Students and an Adviser to Women Students who can help with academic and pastoral matters.

 

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.

Request a prospectus

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