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Postgraduate taught

MSc Applied Data Science (Environment and Sustainability)

Please note: The below is for 2022 entries. Click here for 2021 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
Entry year 2022
Campus Penryn Campus
Discipline Mathematics

Programme Director:
Dr Markus Mueller

Web: Enquire online 

+44 (0) 1392 724061

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

A good degree (normally a 2:2).

Contextual offers


  • Develop an understanding of state-of-the-art modelling, emergent data science techniques, and explore economic, environmental, and societal issues surrounding sustainability practices and policies
  • Based at our stunning Penryn Campus in Cornwall and hosted by the University’s Environment and Sustainability Institute, which leads cutting-edge research on problems of environmental change
  • Be exposed to a wide variety of data and data analytics approaches with opportunities to work with industry, charities, or the public sector
  • Gain the skills and experience you need to succeed in the demanding and fast growing data analytics sectors particularly in relation to sustainability
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Applied Data Science at the University of Exeter.

11th in the world for Ecology

ShanghaiRankings Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021

8th in the Russell Group for Mathematics

The Guardian University League Table 2020

14th in the UK for Biological Sciences

The Complete University Guide 2022

12th in the UK for General Engineering

The Complete University Guide 2021

Entry requirements

A good degree (normally a 2:2).

Successful applicants will usually have at least an A-level or equivalent in Mathematics and/or have received quantitative skills training as part of their undergraduate programme, or possess relevant professional experience.

Prior experience of coding is not necessary on this course.

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements


Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

Course content

The contemporary climate and environmental crises necessitate discipline-transcending solutions underpinned by understanding complex systems and models that draw from a data intensive world. Sustainable development is now a top priority in many industries and for many public and non-governmental organisations.

This programme is aimed at enhancing the students’ understanding of and confidence in using real-world data and mathematical models to address the big environmental, social and economic issues of our time.

  • Term 1: students develop core skills through the fundamentals module in data science, and explore foundational concepts and transdisciplinary methods for sustainability science

  • Term 2: students are exposed to state-of-the-art data science methods in the Trends in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence module, and put their data science and modelling skill into practices by completing the interdisciplinary module Tackling Sustainability Challenges using Data and Models

  • Term 3: students undertake an advanced data science and modelling project

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Markus is the Programme Director and his research addresses mathematical systems and control theory and their applications within marine engineering, renewable energy, systems biology and human wellbeing. 

His academic work includes developing the Applied Mathematics programmes for both undergraduate and postgraduate taught students at the Penryn Campus, with a focus on interdisciplinary applications and in close liaison with colleagues.

Read more from Dr Markus Mueller

Dr Markus Mueller

Programme Director


2022/23 entry

UK fees per year:

£10,000 full-time 

International fees per year:

£23,000 full-time


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students and have over £2.5 million in scholarships available, including our Global Excellence Scholarships* for international fee paying students.  

For information on how you can fund your postgraduate degree at the University of Exeter, please visit our dedicated funding page.

*Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.

Teaching and research

Teaching and research

We believe every student benefits from being taught by experts active in research and practice. You will discuss the very latest ideas, research discoveries and new technologies in seminars and via using state-of-the-art facilities and software and you will become actively involved in a research project yourself. The programme is led by the Centre for Environmental Mathematics and taught in collaboration with the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI). You can find out more about our internationally recognised scientific research and industrial, public and charitable sector collaborations at the dedicated web pages for Environmental Mathematics and the ESI.

Professor Townley is particularly interested in dynamical systems and control: the study of things (mechanical, biological, electrical, etc.) which interact and evolve in time and can be predicted, managed and optimised.

He’s been the Chair in Applied Mathematics at the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) since June 2011. He works closely with colleagues in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, as well as in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, to understand natural and man-made systems.

Read more from Professor Stuart Townley

Professor Stuart Townley

Professor in Applied Mathematics


This programme is designed for students from a variety of backgrounds who want to enhance their understanding of and confidence in using real-world data and mathematical models to address the big environmental, social and economic issues of our time, gaining knowledge of local to global scales and tapping into/skilling-up for the “Big Data revolution” in the field and in general.

The UK has one of the world’s strongest and most developed data analytics sectors, predicted to grow by 177% over the next 5 years and demand for qualified professionals continues to grow. The UK’s commitment to expansion of renewable energy is likely to mean a high level of investment in the sector in the next decade. The adoption of the UK’s microgeneration tariff in 2009, the Green Deal in 2013, the phased adoption of the Renewable Heat Incentive from 2011-2014 and introduction of Contracts for Difference in 2014, suggests continued strong support for rapid expansion of renewable energy in the UK.

National and international job opportunities

Internationally, many other countries are making similar investments with major industrial nations including the US, India and China investing heavily in renewable generation. This investment will create broad opportunities for those seeking to work in the sector, both nationally and internationally.

Employer-valued skills

  • Data science, modelling and essential programming skills and how to apply these to The United Nations sustainable development goals
  • Ability to extract information from data as a basis for evidence-based decision making
  • Working with stakeholders and advanced team-working skills in complex organisations
  • Using digital media to convert complex data sets into useful information to engage with the lay public and specialists

Students will receive support from our dedicated Career Zone team, who provide excellent career guidance at all stages of career planning. The Career Zone provides one-on-one support and is home to a wealth of business and industry contacts. Additionally, they host useful training events, workshops and lectures which are designed to further support you in following your chosen career path.

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