Entry requirements

There is no formal pre-requisite study, but you must have the required mathematical skills to study the compulsory module Essential mathematics 1 (MST124), including:

  • algebraic manipulation and solving equations
  • quadratics and parabolas
  • geometry and trigonometry
  • exponentials and logarithms.

You can check you’re ready for MST124 and see the topics it covers here.

If you don’t feel you have the required mathematical skills, you can study an additional module, Discovering mathematics (MU123), to give you the knowledge and skills you need. Contact us to find out more.

Ideally, you’ll also have some basic knowledge of computing.

Talk to an advisor if you’re not sure you’re ready.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,096*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £6,192*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £18,576*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2021. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.


Skills for career development

The ability to analyse complex data sets is a much sought after skill in the modern workplace. The degree will equip you with knowledge of data analysis and modelling from statistics, applied mathematics and computer science. In addition, you’ll develop important transferable skills such as communication, time management and problem solving.

Career relevance

Data scientists are highly sought after in virtually all work places. The use of data science in social media, online commerce and government has revolutionised the digital economy, with employers across both the public and private sectors now recruiting data scientists to identify and solve complex business problems. Data scientists are at the heart of supporting strategic and operational decision making. They are needed in all areas of employment including business intelligence, management, biology, economics, education, engineering, environment studies, finance, government, logistics, medicine, meteorology, market research, sport and multinational businesses.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime, if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • applied mathematician
  • business analyst
  • business manager
  • chief data officer
  • computer scientist
  • data analyst
  • data architect
  • data engineer
  • data scientist
  • information manager
  • machine learning application developer
  • marketing and commerce practitioner
  • statistician

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 13/08/2020
Credit transfer: apply by 17/12/2020
Credit transfer: apply by 11/02/2021

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Our prospectuses are your essential guide to studying with us, covering courses, fees and funding, career prospects and more.

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