10 Best Master’s in Data Science programs in Europe

Masters in Data Science
Photo by Zhanhui Li on Unsplash

Read further to find the solution to your question of ‘Which MSc in Data Science university should I aim for?’

Did you know that – 88% of Data Scientists hold a master’s degree? Which clearly indicates the importance of a master’s degree. Without a degree, you’ll find yourself struggling to get the best career opportunities.

Data is the fuel, Data is the thunder, Data is the new gold and whatnot. I have heard many such statements, and I am sure you have heard them as well. So I’ll skip the part where I make poetic statements about how good Data Science is, and just get into what you are looking for.

This blog focuses on MS in Data Science program providing universities based in Europe.

Why should you choose Europe and not the USA?

This question needs a detailed answer, it needs an independent blog. Regardless, I’ll try to answer this question in a short manner.

Following are the reasons why I believe you should choose Europe instead of the USA.

  • Applying for a university in the USA is a much tedious and complex task when compared to applying to a university in Europe.
  • USA universities are infamously expensive, if you are an Indian, consider spending at least 40 lakh rupees for the program. Average tuition face in a university in the USA is close to 25 lakhs. Whereas many of the European universities have ‘0’ tuition fees.
  • Possibly the most important point (also my favourite) – you can travel all across Europe. Explore the continent, meet new people, learn new things.

Here’s our thought process behind the ranking.

Our team created this ranking by keeping at the front what we believe is most important for a successful career.

The cost of education is at an all-time high, and we understand that it must be a point of concern for you as well. Hence we have made sure to add the graduate tuition for each program.

We have also considered the rank of the computer science department for each university on the world stage. We have displayed the rankings provided by Times higher education.

We narrowed down on the following list based on what we thought is a must for a useful data science program. This includes a balanced program, hands-on experience, post-graduation opportunities.

We conducted the research using multiple sources, mainly the official sites of the universities, multiple review sites and answers on Quora.

10. University of Leeds – Leeds, England

MSc Data Science and Analytics

  • World computer science ranking: #154
  • Tuition (2019-20): £25,500 (25,37,075 INR) for non Europeans
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Website: University of Leeds

As the program name MSc Data Science and Analytics suggests, this program is more on the business analytics side and less on the highly technical machine learning side.

The reason why I chose to add this university to this list despite of it’s not so attractive rank is the flexibility it provides in it’s course modules. Mathematics modules are available for students who are not from a mathematics/statistics background, while Computing modules are for students who are not from a computer science background. So the course basically is for everyone.

Following are the compulsory subjects

  • Data Science
  • Learning Skills through Case Studies
  • Dissertation in Data Science and Analytics

You can choose optional module from a number of interesting modules available.
You can find more detailed curriculum on the link above.

9. University of Helsinki – Helsinki, Finland

Masters Degree in Data Science

  • World computer science ranking: #126
  • Tuition (2019-20): 15000€ (13,48,470 INR) per year for non Europeans
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Website: University of Helsinki

The reason why I chose this Masters degree in a data science program at Helsinki University is that it’s more balanced, and also cheaper than the one at Leeds University.

In the program, you can specialise in one of the two the core areas of data science; machine learning & statistics – or in its applications. Choosing machine learning means you can focus on the development of new models and methods in data science. Whereas, specializing in applications means you can become a data science specialist in an application field.

There is a short drawback though, Helsinki University is although one of the bests in Finland, it’s not regarded highly in the technical field.

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8. University of Amsterdam – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Master in Information studies: Data Science(Track)

  • World computer science ranking: #74
  • Tuition (2019-20): 22,220€ (19,95,735 INR) for non Europeans
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Website: University of Amsterdam

This Master in Information Studies: Data Science(Track) program is on the data science business side. It will make you capable enough to learn how to translate scientific, societal, and business challenges into data-related questions, then identify beneficial solutions, communicate results and make well-founded decisions.

In short this program will make you a key player in the business data world.

If you are more into the technical aspect of Data Science(Machine learning, Deep learning), you can choose to pursue Master’s in Artificial Intelligence at this university. The program is fantastic and offers many great opportunities.

7. EIT Digital Master School – Europe

Master of Science in Data Science

  • World computer science ranking: #Based in multiple universities
  • Tuition (2019-20): 14,000€ (12,58,572 INR) per year for non Europeans
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Website: EIT Digital Master School

This one is a unique program(I personally liked the concept). The MSc in Data Science program is run in collaboration with multiple reputed universities all across Europe.

You’ll study data science, innovation and entrepreneurship at two different leading European universities, one year at an ‘entry’ university and one year at an ‘exit’ university. You can choose these universities out of over 20+ universities.

And what’s the most exciting part? Upon graduation, you’ll receive degrees from the two universities and a certificate awarded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

The second-year offers specialisation and an internship at a company or a research institute and results in a Master thesis with a strong innovation and entrepreneurship dimension.

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6. Ludwig Maximilians Universität – Munich, Germany

Master of Science in Data Science

  • World computer science ranking: #52
  • Tuition (2019-20): No tuition fees, nominal semester fee applied
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Website: Ludwig Maximilians Universität

ZERO TUITION FEES, that’s the highlight of this highly reputed MSc in Data Science program at LMU Munich. It is also considered one of the best in Europe.

Why should you be excited about this university? It’s because LMU is among the top universities in the fields of Informatics and Statistics in the whole wide world.

In this program, students learn statistical and computational methods for working with Data. In the practical modules, students will tackle real-world problems in cooperation with industrial partners.

This is one university you should not shy away from.

5. UCL – London, England

Master of Science in Data Science

  • World computer science ranking: #18
  • Tuition (2019-20): £34,100 (33,92,716 INR Full Time) £17,050 (16,96,358 INR Part Time)
  • Duration: 12 months (Full time) 24 months (Part time)
  • Website: UCL Data Science

MSc in Data Science at UCL is highly ranked for a reason. The program makes you work really hard, and the university has made sure that it’s worth the hard work you put in. The assignments are exciting, lectures are informative and the tutorial prepares you well enough.

The program has several modules – and are divided as challenging and easier ones. You can choose the one you want based on how in-depth you want to go.

Following are the compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Statistical Data Science
  • Introduction to Machine Learning
  • Statistical Design of Investigations
  • Statistical Computing

The main drawback of this program is a heavy workload, you’ll be constantly working on assignments with ‘no holidays’. You should put your dating world on hold if this is the university you are aiming for.

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4. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ‐ EPFL – Lausanne, Switzerland

Master of Science in Data Science

The reason why this MSc in Data Science program is at such high rank is its flexible program and high reputation.

The program usually takes 4 semesters to finish. But the university allows a minimum of 3 semesters and a maximum of 6 semesters to finish the program, so it all comes down to your preference and pace.

This MSc in Data Science program at EPFL offers you a comprehensive education, from the foundations to implementation, from algorithms to database architecture, and from information theory to machine learning.

With it’s high ranking and not so heavy fees, this university should definitely be on your list.

3. Technical University Munich- Munich, Germany

Master of Science in Data Engineering and Analytics

A challenging program but definitely a rewarding one, the MSc in Data Engineering in Analytics(Data Science) at TUM is true to its fantastic reputation.

The university offers two programs “Mathematics in Data Science” and “Data Engineering and Analytics”. Although both of these programs sound different, upon research we found that these programs are exactly the same.

The program has mandatory courses on Data Analysis and Data Engineering. For details on more programs visit their site.

To sum up this university in one sentence, I would say ‘Top quality education by not having to face heavy debts’. Alumni of TUM also have a decent reputation all across the globe. Hence finding a high paying job after the program won’t be much of an issue either.

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2. Imperial College London – London, England

MSc in Business Analytics

  • World computer science ranking: #10
  • Tuition (2019-20): 32,488€ (29,20,606 INR) for non Europeans
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Website: Imperial College London

MSc in Business Analytics at Imperial College has been one of the bests in the world for a long time. It is currently ranked #5 in the world in the QS World University Rankings: Masters in Business Analytics Rankings 2021.

As the name suggests, this program keeps your door open for both the technical side and the business side, keeping your chances open to enter any of the two sides of Data World.

The program is part of the business school and does not come under the Computer Science department. Hence all the courses have a business aspect to them. You will learn how to apply the latest academic thinking and analytical and computing tools to help make business decisions.

Since it has an impeccable reputation, getting job interviews won’t be a difficult task as such. The university also has dedicated teams to get you the best internships and job opportunities.

1. ETH – Zurich, Switzerland

Master of Science in Data Science

  • World computer science ranking: #4
  • Tuition (2019-20): 1,240€ (1,11,473 INR)
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Website: ETH – Zurich

The program at top of the list, and well deserving the position MSc in Data Science at ETH Zurich is the most flexible on this entire list. You can easily choose the area of Data Science you want to dive deeper into. Enabling graduates of the program to work in their industry of choice; medical, finance or environment, choose the one you like and go with it.

The flexibility is not only in the course selection but also in what duration you can finish the course in. The course which can be usually finished in 2 years can be extended to 4 years if you want.

I haven’t added much detailed about the curriculum since it’s so flexible. To learn more about the curriculum head over to the site.

All in, this is the best university for MSc in Data Science at Europe.

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Final Note

All the universities above conduct classes in English language, hence if you can carry conversations in English that should be enough. Other point I would like to make is choosing universities is a tough and career deciding decision, hence research as much as possible of the university you are applying for.

I would personally refer you to choose Europe over USA (the pros and cons need an entirely different blog altogether, leave a comment below if you want such blog)

Who are we?

At aiadventures, we work in the field of Data Science. And provide training to aspirants.

We take great pride in our successful track record of over 1000+ students trained, few of which joined us to build their strong profile to get the best university for their Master’s in Data Science. Many of our students, with the help of their fantastic profile, have bagged a place at reputed universities.

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