Heriot-Watt University
MSc Sports Data Science
Department of Computer Science
Oriam Centre, Riccarton

MSc in Sports Data Science icon

This MSc introduces Sports Science graduates to Data Science and imparts the expertise needed to apply big data techniques to performance in sports. Students will acquire academic and practical knowledge of statistical analysis, databases and programming and develop advanced skills in analysing and processing performance data and exploiting it in developing sports performance pathways.

The MSc will be taught by a variety of traditional and innovative means. It will make use of applied topical material relevant to sports performance through close local collaboration with Oriam, Scotland's Sports Performance Centre, and the elite sports organisations based there.

The full-time programme starts in mid September and lasts one year. Admission requires a good honours degree at UK 2:2 level in Sports Science, Sports Management, Sports Psychology, Exercise Science and Health, or a related discipline. Applicants are also required to have numeracy, familiarity with statistics, and basic skills in some programming language.

The F2D5 MSc programme can also be taken part-time over two years or as a 9 month F2D6 Postgraduate Diploma.

Full time students take 4 courses in semester 1 and 3 courses in semester 2 and must normally take courses in bold.

Semester 1
F21DF Database and Information Systems (15 credits)
F21DL Data Mining and Machine Learning (15 credits)
C11NS Interpreting Performance Data (15 credits)
F21SF Software Engineering Foundations (15 credits)
Semester 2
F21AD Advanced Interaction Design (15 credits)
F21BD Big Data Management (15 credits)
F21RP Research Methods and Project Planning (15 credits)
F21SM Software Engineering Master Class (15 credits)
F21EA Sports Data Engineering and Analysis (30 credits)


After semester 2, students continue full time on the MSc project F21MP until the programme ends in August.

Various schemes are available for financing study on this programme. Applications are made to the programme Admissions Officer at the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

English Requirements

Non-native English speakers are expected to be proficient in English at the CEF level of B2 (upper intermediate). This can be established by an IELTS Academic English score of 6.5 or in other ways. English language training courses can be taken at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh during the summer before postgraduate study begins.

Postgraduate Diploma Programme

The 8 taught courses can also be studied over 9 months as part of a Postgraduate Diploma programme with the same title. Students who perform at MSc level on the Postgraduate Diploma programme may transfer when it ends to the MSc programme and complete their project F21MP for an MSc.

Candidates holding a little less than a 1st or second class honours degree or its equivalent may be admitted to the Postgraduate Diploma programme and are eligible for transfer to the MSc programme under the normal conditions.

Part-time Study

Part-time study for the MSc over two years is also possible by special arrangement with the programme director. A typical arrangement would be for students to take 2 courses in semesters 1 and 2 in the first year, 2 courses in semesters 1 and 2 in the second year and split the research and implementation of the MSc project over 2 years.

Programme Requirements

To qualify for an MSc or Postgraduate Diploma, students must successfully complete 8 lectured courses at the appropriate level. The assessment of these courses is by examination and course work.

MSc students must also complete the project course F21MP at MSc level.

Further Information

For further information on the programme or to arrange a visit to the Department contact the admissions officer.

The Department reserves the right to modify the list of courses and may not run every course every year. It may not be possible to take all combinations of courses, students must satisfy the prerequisites of any courses and any course choice must be made in consultation with the programme director.