Postgraduate taught

MSc Health Data Science - 2021 entry

Please note: The below is for 2021 entries. Click here for 2020 entries.
UCAS code None
Duration 1 year full time
2 or 3 years part time
Entry year 2020

Programme director: Tim Frayling
Web: Enquire online 
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725500

Entry requirements

2:1 degree in a strongly numerate subject

View full entry requirements

Campus St Luke's Campus
Discipline Healthcare and Medicine


Due to COVID-19, we are currently reviewing the delivery of our courses. Our priority is to ensure that safety of all our students and staff, and we are currently planning for flexibility and resilience in our approach so that whatever the year brings we will still be delivering the high level of teaching that we always have. We are still taking applications and you can stay updated on our website as the situation progresses.

  • 1 of only 6 new MSc courses in the UK funded by Health Data Research UK (HDRUK). Five students will receive full fees and stipend (EU/UK fees)
  • A chance to learn and apply your quantitative skills (e.g. computing, maths, statistics) in a health and medical setting, even if you have had no experience in health, medicine or biology
  • Exciting research project opportunities, including working in the NHS, and health-related industry such as large pharmaceutical companies
  • We offer a genuine interdisciplinary experience to you –delivered by experts from mathematics, computing, biomedical science, the NHS and industry
  • Learn about and gain cutting edge skills in the field of health-related data; a rapidly growing area in which the UK excels with access to the largest biobanks, genomic and health services resources

Apply online

View 2020 Entry

Fast Track (current Exeter students)

Open days and visiting us

Get a prospectus

University of Exeter academics talk about the MSc in Health Data Science

83% of research in Clinical Medicine classified as world-leading or internationally excellent

Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3*

Top 10 in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care

Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3*

Major capital investment in new buildings and state-of-the-art facilities

Entry requirements

You will have, or be predicted, at least a 2:1 degree in a strongly numerate subject (e.g. computer science, mathematics, physics), OR a 2:1 in a health/life sciences degree AND demonstrate good programming ability in a modern computer language. Alternatively you will have strong skills in maths and computing, but not have a degree.

Computer programming ability will be assessed with a short test as part of the selection process, and in selecting the students who will receive full fees and stipend.

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

  • Pearson

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

International students are normally subject to visa regulations which prevent part-time study. It is recommended that international students apply for the level of the final award you intend to complete i.e. PGCert, PGDip or Masters, due to the associated cost and requirements for a Tier 4 student Visa.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic): IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6

TOEFL IBT* Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency 

Overall score 176. No less than 169 in any section.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our language requirements page for more information.

Who can apply for this course?

  • Graduates with a Computer Science, Physics, Engineering or Maths degree, may not have any prior life sciences, medical or health experience.
  • Graduates with Life, Health or Medical Science degrees (or Medicine intercalators) with proven basic computer programming skills.
  • Graduates with a strongly numerate degree AND working as analysts in the NHS or other health related organisations.
  • People without a first degree, but who can demonstrate evidence of strong quantitative skills and experience, for example if they have been working in the NHS and have good computer programming and maths

Entry requirements for international students

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

Read more

Course content

Our MSc Health Data Science will help you develop innovative skills needed to unlock knowledge from complex health data, to address some of the biggest health challenges that we face across the globe today. This course combines the expertise of our world-renowned health scientists with experts in mathematics and computer science to develop a better understanding of diseases and to find ways to prevent, treat and cure them.

Why Exeter?

We are one of only six UK institutions chosen to deliver this training for Health Data Research UK which means that we demonstrated scientific excellence, a track record in postgraduate training, innovative approaches to further education and strong institutional commitment. Five students will receive full fees and stipend as part of the Health Data Research UK funding.

The MSc Health Data Science can be taken as a full time or part time programme of study, as appropriate. It is delivered at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 7.

The programme comprises 180 credits in total: taught modules worth 120 credits in total, and a supervised dissertation worth 60 credits. We have eleven partners from the NHS or industry who will provide and supervise dissertations.

The programme is divided into units of study called modules which are assigned a number of 'credits'. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.

View the Overall Course Structure to get an idea of what your programme may look like depending on which pathway you choose.‌

View the draft timetable of contact days for 2020/21‌ for an indication of when modules will run.

The above documents are for illustration purposes only and may vary in subsequent years.

Compulsory modules



UK/EU fees: 

 Fees are subject to an annual increment each academic year.

MSc fees (1 year): £8,800 full time; £2,950 part time

MSc fees (2 year): UK/EU: £4,400

Pro Rata Module Fees:

UK/EU only: £800 per 15 credit module

International fees:

MSc fees (1 year): £21,100 full-time

MSc fees (2 year): £10,550

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

Funding and scholarships

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Five fully funded places

Five students will receive full funding of stipend and fees (EU/UK fees). There will be a selection process that focuses on computing and mathematical skills to assess which students are eligible.

Pro Vice Chancellor's NHS Postgraduate Scholarship

The University of Exeter Medical School is delighted to offer the Pro Vice Chancellor's NHS Postgraduate Scholarship of £5000 to two NHS staff who accept a place to study on one of our Masters programmes enrolling in 2020.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2020. 

Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes.

Read more

Teaching and research

This course will be delivered by research-active academics from the College of Medicine and Health and the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. Our non-academic partners, including the NHS, pharmaceutical and data companies, will also contribute to the course in the form of guest lectures and seminars, and provide at least 50% of the research projects.

You will be allocated a personal tutor who will remain with you throughout the programme. Personal tutors are able to provide guidance and feedback on assessment performance, guidance in generic academic skills and pastoral support. They are also able to refer you to more specialist support services, both within the College and elsewhere across the University.

This is an example of the kind of code students will need to feel comfortable with prior to the start of the course. (pdf)


You will be equipped to work in health and biomedical interdisciplinary teams and to tackle the exciting opportunities and challenges in health data science across a wide range of careers. We will focus on two broad areas in which Exeter excels – health services research and modelling, and stratified medicine, including genomics.

Careers support

We will support your career progression by introducing you to the full range of careers open to you, with seminars and visits to different environments in industry and in NHS Trusts. By providing funds for attendance at HDRUK workshops, and, through our Institute of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, Alan Turing Institute meetings and conferences. The role of the personal tutor will include discussion of future career paths.

All University of Exeter students have access to Career Zone, which gives access to a wealth of business contacts, support and training as well as the opportunity to meet potential employers at our regular Careers Fairs.