Data Education in Universities

The focus of the Data Skills in Universities work is to design and deliver university-level cutting-edge courses that incorporate the data skills that are increasingly valued by organisations and individuals. This work is designed to provide data skills, together with practical experience, for both data professionals and data workers. In particular, it will benefit a wide range of learners who want to study, work and live in the City Region. There are three aspects of the work: new degree courses, work experience for students and embedded data skills on existing courses.

 

New degree courses

Tackling society’s big challenges, such as climate change, wellbeing, and democracy, needs data experts that can read, analyse, represent data and increasingly use machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to uncover significant patterns in the big data sets that exist. If you are interested in this rewarding career as a data professional, we have just introduced a new opportunity for you: the BSc (Hons) Data Science degree at Edinburgh Napier University, that specialises in data pipelines, visualisation, and machine learning.

 

Work experience for students

We are working closely with ScotlandIS and employers to create new paid placements, open to all students in the region, to gain valuable work experience, using the data skills gained on their course in the workplace. We know that beyond the specific degree studies, employers turn to relevant work experience when they make recruitment decisions. In particular, we reach out to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, to encourage and support them to offer paid internships and placements – they benefit from new data expertise that students can bring to their organisations and, at the same time, student benefits from relevant paid work experience – everyone benefits!

 

Embedding data skills in degree study

As data understanding is an increasingly important part of working life, we are also embedding data science in a wide range of courses in the City Region. Taking this approach means that data is introduced in a way that is relevant to the work context and students can see the ways in which our increasing production of data (e.g., all the social network information people share daily) can be used to make informed decisions in their workplace. All four universities in the region are part of this collective effort. Specifically, our main activity centres on Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University. Our first example is a course that is part of Edinburgh Napier’s BN Nursing degree: Assessing Community Health And Patient Wellness. Nursing is one area where the workplace is changing rapidly and understanding health trends in communities and the consequent impact on patient wellness is all about reading and interpreting health data in the context of individual patients.

Please contact one of the team for more information:

Prof Sally Smith, Coordinator s.smith@napier.ac.uk

Dr Valerio Giuffrida, BSc (Hons) Data Science Programme Leader v.giuffrida@napier.ac.uk

Nicola Taylor, Employer Engagement Lead at ScotlandIS, Nicola.taylor@scotlandid.com

 

The University of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt University DDI skills activity is not covered in this programme but details of relevant activity can be found here

A classroom with students

Tackling society’s big challenges, such as climate change, wellbeing, and democracy, needs data experts that can read, analyse, represent data and increasingly use machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms

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