In today’s technology-driven world, data is constantly being captured. With this steady growth of valuable data, the question of how we manage, process, and analyze the information to make sense of it has become more important than ever. Data on its own is meaningless, there is a need to dig deeper and interpret findings in order to make sense of the information.

Enter the Data Scientist. Their aim is to consider the massive amounts of data, analyze it in great detail, and extract meaningful findings that can support future action. These days, most large companies across a range of industries, employ Data Scientists to provide this valuable service.

The era of the Data Scientist is now.

With Europe boasting some of the best universities in the world, kick-starting your future career in data science by studying at one of their prestigious academic institutions is a no-brainer.

To make the choice even easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best universities for data science in Europe.

Helpful Posts

Related Scholarships

Top Universities for Data Science in Europe

1. University of Oxford

With the title of the oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Oxford consistently ranks as one of the very best tertiary institutions in the world. It boasts roughly 100 academic departments and is considered a world-leading center of research, teaching, and learning. With students flocking from all over the world to complete their education at the University of Oxford, it is no surprise that international students make up roughly 45% of the student body.

Unlike many other academic institutions, the University of Oxford’s departments and colleges are not based on one central site. Rather, they are scattered throughout the city of Oxford in England.

Similarly, their postgraduate offerings in the field of data science are rather unique too.

The Master in Social Data Science is a multidisciplinary qualification, providing both the technical and social knowledge in order to collect, investigate and analyze massive amounts of diverse data on human behavior. This social data science specialization offers a unique focus on individual and social human behavior.

The MSc in Social Data Science is a full-time qualification that runs over 10 months and includes a thesis where students are able to apply the knowledge they gained during the course in order to produce a substantial piece of academic research.

Graduates who hold an existing master’s degree are able to pursue the Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Social Data Science. This offering has a strong focus on advancing our understanding of social processes, by providing the opportunity for cutting-edge research on human behavioral data.

Full-time, the DPhil runs over three to four years, but there is also the option to complete the qualification on a part-time basis, over six to eight years of study and research.

Students who have an existing undergraduate degree with honors in any subject are able to apply for the combined MSc + DPhil in Social Data Science, which combines both MSc and DPhil graduate offerings into one program.

2. University College London

The University College London (UCL) is a close contender for the best university in England. Based in the heart of London, UCL was founded in 1826 and boasts the title of first English university to advocate for inclusivity, diversity, and open-mindedness.

US News & World Report ranks UCL as the third best university in Europe, while the QS World University Rankings place this institution as 8th worldwide.

With some 42,000 students from over 150 different countries, UCL’s student body is made up of around 53% international students.

As one of the best data science universities in Europe, UCL has no shortage of data science offerings. Their undergraduate offering, the Bachelor of Science (BSc) Data Science, runs full-time for over 3 years. This degree balances theoretical studies with practical work and provides comprehensive training on the statistical basis of data science.

Graduate students have the choice of either a Master of Science (MSc) inData Science and Machine Learning, or a Master of Science (MSc) in Data Science.

For the combination of computer science, statistics, and machine learning for data-driven problem-solving, the MSc Data Science and Machine Learning is the perfect option. The program is offered on a full-time basis and runs for over a year.

UCL’s Statistical Science department offers the MSc Data Science. Accredited by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), this degree runs full-time over 12 months, or part-time over 2 years. This program combines statistical and computational skills for data-driven problem-solving.

3. Imperial College London

Another top European university based in London, Imperial College London has a world-class reputation in the areas of business, science, medicine, and engineering. Founded in 1907, Imperial is an international community boasting students from more than 125 different countries.

Imperial’s Department of Mathematics offers two postgraduate offerings in data science.

The Master of Science (MSc) in Statistics (Data Science) is a one-year, full-time degree that offers exceptional training in both theoretical and practical statistics applied to data science. Modules in this program focus on a range of techniques and tools for the scientific processing of large amounts of data, including using analytic software, machine learning theory, data visualization, and data transformation and representation.

Imperial College London is among the top data science schools in Europe. For students looking for a remote learning option, the Master of Science (MSc) Machine Learning and Data Science is a fully online degree delivered through the Coursera platform.

With foundations in statistics and mathematics, this part-time master’s degree will enable graduates to pursue a career as computational statistician, machine learning engineer, or data scientist.

4. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich)

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) is another one of the best data science universities in Europe. It is situated in the heart of Europe in magnificent Zurich, Switzerland. This academic institution is considered the 5th best university in Europe by US News & World Report, and ties for 8th place in the QS World University Rankings.

Founded in 1855, ETH Zurich was established as a center of innovation and knowledge, and today boasts campuses in the Hönggerberg district, Zurich city center, as well as external sites in the Canton of Zurich and in Singapore.

This exceptional institution’s Department of Computer Science, in collaboration with the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, offers graduate students a Master in Data Science.

This specialized master’s degree is a two-year program taught in English, combining theoretical foundations with practical experience to equip students with the relevant skills and knowledge for a career in data science.

Graduates who hold an existing master’s degree in data science, or a related field, can apply for the Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) in Data Science

This interdisciplinary program in continuous education focuses on the management, analysis, and utilization of large, complex data sets, and offers insights into the legal, privacy, societal, political, and ethical aspects of data science.

5. University of Edinburgh

Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of the top 20 universities in the world, and one of the top 10 in Europe. Boasting alumni from Nobel laureates and space explorers to Olympic champions and prime ministers, the University is based in the heart of Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh, one of Europe’s most spectacular cultural hubs.

The University of Edinburgh offers a variety of data science programs, suited for almost any type of student.

The School of Informatics offers graduate students a Master of Science (MSc) Data Science. This program is available over a year, full-time, or on a part-time basis over 2 – 3 years. This master’s degree aims to provide students with broad knowledge across the field of data science, advanced training in at least one area of data science, cutting-edge research experience, and the ability to solve real-world problems using data in science, industry, and the public sector.

The University of Edinburgh’s School of Mathematics offers a Master of Science (MSc) in Statistics with Data Science and is designed to develop the next generation of statisticians focused on data science. This program is accredited by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and is available full-time for over a year

The Master of Science (MSc), PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgProfDev in Data Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) is a highly flexible, fully-online offering from the School of Informatics.

The DSTI, hosted by the Bayes Centre, offers different entry points into the field of data science, with courses available in medicine, humanities, the sciences, and arts. The duration of the program ranges from 2 years part-time (Postgraduate Certificate) to 6 years, part-time intermittent study (Master of Science).

The Usher Institute at Edinburgh Medical School, a world leader in Data-Driven Innovation, offers a similarly flexible and online MSc, PgCert, PgDip, PgProfDev Data Science for Health and Social Care. This program is aimed at individuals working in health, social care, or computational roles with an interest in starting a career in data science, as well as graduates who are wanting to develop data science skills to be applied in health, social, and care services.

The MSc in Data Science for Health and Social Care is a part-time, online program that runs over 3 years but offers the flexibility to exit the program after 1 year (with a Certificate) or 2 years (with a diploma). Students who wish to complete stand-alone courses are able to achieve postgraduate professional development (PPD).

Data is everywhere, and rapid technological development has made data collection not only possible but really simple in almost any industry. This massive amount of data allows for the opportunity to glean valuable insights to inform future action. Data Scientists with the knowledge and skills to harness this information are needed to extract knowledge from the noise and to derive valuable information from the sea of data that surrounds us. It is obvious that data science will continue to shape the Information Age, and qualified Data Scientists will continue to be in high demand.

With a vast selection of some of the highest-ranked universities in the world, Europe is the ideal place to study data science. Indeed, the five universities covered in this article, which are only a tiny representation of the tertiary institutions available in Europe, offer students 14 different data science qualifications, ranging from undergraduate degree to postgraduate doctorate.


I hope this article on the best data science universities in Europe was helpful. You can also find more information on different European universities and scholarship opportunities on the Europe Scholarships Page!