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Postgraduate Admissions

The MPhil in Data Intensive Science is a 10-month cross-departmental programme in the School of the Physical Sciences which aims to provide education of the highest quality at the master’s level. The programme covers the full range of skills required for modern data-driven science from the fields of machine learning and AI, statistical data analysis, and research computing.  

The course structure has been designed in collaboration with our leading researchers and industrial partners to provide students with the theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and transferable skills required to undertake world-leading data-intensive scientific research. Students will gain the broad set of skills required for scientific data analysis, covering traditional statistical techniques as well as modern machine learning approaches.  Both the theoretical underpinnings and practical implementation of these techniques will be taught, with the later aspect including training on software development best practice and the principles of Open Science. The course also aims to provide students with direct experience applying these methods to current research problems in specific scientific fields. Students who have completed the course will be equipped to undertake research on data-intensive scientific projects. Beyond academic disciplines, students will be well prepared for a career as a data science professional in a broad range of commercial sectors.

This course will equip students with all the skills required for modern scientific data analysis, enabling them to participate in large experimental or observational programmes using the latest statistical and machine learning tools deployed on leading-edge computer architectures. These computational and statistical skills will also be directly applicable to data-driven problem-solving in industry. 

The course responds to the growing:

  • demand for highly trained research scientists to design and implement data analysis pipelines for the increasingly large and complex data sets produced by the next generation of scientific experiments;
  • societal demand for data science and data analysis skills in the industry, especially when applied in strategic domains (science, health) and economic areas (finance, e-commerce);
  • need to train postgraduate students with a deep understanding of data science techniques and algorithm building for modern computer architectures and utilising industry best practices for software development;
  • importance of open science in research, specifically reproducibility of scientific results and the creation of public data analytic codes.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will have: 

  • thorough knowledge of statistical analysis including its application to research and how it underpins modern machine learning methods;
  • comprehensive understanding of data science and machine learning techniques and packages and their application to several practical research domains;
  • developed advanced skills in computer programming utilising modern software development best practices created in accordance with Open Science standards;
  • demonstrated abilities in the critical evaluation of data science tools and methodologies for their real-world application to scientific research problems.


Students wishing to progress to PhD study after passing the Masters degree should apply for admission to a PhD through the University admissions website, taking the funding and application deadlines into consideration.

Open Days

The Department of Physics and other MPhil participating Departments contribute to the University of Cambridge's Postgraduate Open Day.

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. It is a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.


This course is advertised in the following departments:

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Key Information

10 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Physics This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2023

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
March 24, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2023

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 1, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 12, 2022

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2023, Lent 2024 and Easter 2024.

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