Master of Data Science


Program Description

Fifteen years ago, the role of data scientist was unheard of. Today, it’s an established role in business and government departments around the world. The nature of the role is constantly shifting as data sources, software tools, and techniques change. Equip yourself with the skills and knowledge to move and adapt to these changes.

Our graduates leave with an advanced understanding of techniques in data science, including machine learning and statistical methods and their uses in the world of big data. You will be able to critically analyse data requirements and sources in a variety of areas of application from the sciences, humanities, and social sciences to business and government.

Contribute to society

Data Science can assist equitable social and economic outcomes through the interpretation and dissemination of information, enabling communities to learn about themselves and others.

You'll learn about the unique characteristics of working with data collected by, for, and about Māori, and how the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi apply: in particular, the considerations of Māori sovereignty in data collection, transfer, storage, and publication.

Gain practical experience

Demand for data scientists in the commercial and state sectors is rapidly growing, and the role of data scientist has been consistently ranked among the top jobs of recent years.

The MDataSc has a professional focus and involves completing a five-week work placement with one of our industry partners. These partners include a range of data science consultancies, government departments and agencies, and private companies. Here, you will have the opportunity to apply what you have learned to a professional environment, developing your practical competence and honing your professional skills.


The Master’s programme is grounded in academic staff research expertise in the areas of statistics, data analysis, and machine learning. During your studies, you’ll undertake a research project in a real-world setting and gain valuable experience working alongside experts in the Wellington Faculties of Science and Engineering.

Master of Data Science

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Degree structure

The 240-point MDataSc comprises two parts.

In Part 1 (60 points), you will take courses that address fundamental techniques of data science, statistical methods, and machine learning.

Part 2 (180 points) includes a compulsory core of statistical methods and computational techniques; a research component made up of a research preparation course and an individual research project; and a five-week workplace practicum.

Course assessments include a combination of assignments, group work projects, oral presentations, a written research project report, term tests, written examinations, workplace reports, and self-reflection.

Advance your expertise with a PhD study

A PhD is the highest academic qualification offered by the School of Mathematics and Statistics. You’ll carry out original and sustained research under supervision from world-class academics.

Usually, entry into PhD study requires an Honours degree or a Master's with a research thesis. If you're thinking of continuing on to PhD study, you can take a research-based, special topics paper as one of your course choices to help you with entry requirements.

As a PhD candidate at Victoria, you’ll also be supported by the Faculty of Graduate Research.

Last updated Aug 2020

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About the School

Get a world-class education as an international student at Victoria University of Wellington—New Zealand's globally-ranked capital city university. Victoria University of Wellington is located in Well ... Read More

Get a world-class education as an international student at Victoria University of Wellington—New Zealand's globally-ranked capital city university. Victoria University of Wellington is located in Wellington – New Zealand’s second largest city – in the geographic, political and cultural heart of the country. We’re number one in New Zealand for research quality. Read less
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