Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS)

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Normal Period of Study
Full-time: 1 year;
Part-time: 2 years
Mode of Study
Mode of Funding
Self-financed (non-UGC-funded)
Deputy Programme Leader
Professor Li ZENG

Programme Aims

The programme aims to produce data-analytic graduates to meet the growing demand for high-level data science skills and to prepare graduates to apply data science techniques to knowledge discovery and dissemination in organisational decision-making. It is also intended to help data analytic professionals upgrade their technical management and development skills, and to provide a solid path for students from related quantitative fields to rapidly transition to data science careers.

Programme Intended Learning Outcomes (PILOs):

Upon successful completion of this Programme, students should be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge of science and engineering appropriate to the data science discipline
  2. Understand theoretical foundation of contemporary techniques and apply them for managing, mining and analysing data across multiple disciplines
  3. Comprehend computational tools and use data-driven thinking to discover new knowledge and to solve real-world problems with complex structures
  4. Recognise the need for and engage in continuous learning about emerging and innovative data science techniques and ideas
  5. Communicate ideas and findings in written, oral and visual forms and work in a diverse team environment

Course List

Core Electives (15 credit units)

Course Code Course Title Credit Units
SDSC5001 Statistical Machine Learning I 3
SDSC5002 Exploratory Data Analysis and Visualization 3
SDSC5003 Storing and Retrieving Data 3
SDSC6001 Statistical Machine Learning II 3
SDSC6002 Research Projects for Data Science 3


Electives (15 credit units)

Course Code Course Title Credit Units
CS5285 Information Security for eCommerce 3
CS5487 Machine Learning: Principles and Practice 3
CS6290 Privacy-enhancing Technologies 3
CS6493 Natural Language Processing 3
SDSC6003 Bayesian Data Analysis 3
SDSC6004 Data Analytics for Smart Cities 3
SDSC6006 Dissertation 6
SDSC6007 Dynamic Programming and Reinforcement Learning 3
SDSC6008 Experimental Design and Regression 3
SDSC6009 Machine Learning at Scale 3
SDSC6011 Optimization for Data Science 3
SDSC6012 Time Series and Recurrent Neural Networks 3
SDSC6013 Topics in Financial Engineering and Technology 3
SDSC6014 Networked Life and Data Science 3
SDSC6015 Stochastic Optimization for Machine Learning 3
SDSC6016 Predictive Analytics and Financial Applications 3
SDSC8007 Deep Learning 3
SDSC8008 Data-driven Operations Research 3
SDSC8009 Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery 3
SDSC8011 Social Foundations of Data Science 3
SDSC8013 Statistical Methods for Categorical Data Analysis 3
SDSC8014 Online Learning and Optimization 3

The full MSc degree award requires 30 credit units, with the completion of taught courses only; or taught courses plus the dissertation project.

Remarks: Programme electives will be offered subject to availability of resources and sufficient enrolment.

Student Handbook

(Note: The handbooks are updated as at the beginning of the corresponding academic years.)

Admission Requirements

Applicant must be a degree holder in Engineering, Science or other relevant disciplines, or its equivalent

Non-local candidates from an institution where the medium of instruction is NOT English should fulfil one of the following English proficiency requirements.

  • a score of 79 (Internet-based test) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)@#; or
  • an overall band score of 6.5 in International English Language Testing System (IELTS)@; or
  • a minimum score of 450 in band 6 in the Chinese mainland’s College English Test (CET6); or
  • other equivalent qualifications

    TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid for two years. Applicants are required to provide their English test results obtained within the two years preceding the commencement of the University's application period.

    Applicants are required to arrange for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send their TOEFL results directly to the University. The TOEFL institution code for CityU is 3401.

Tuition Fees

HK$9,900 per credit (for local and non-local students admitted in 2024/25)
Credit Units Required for Graduation: 30

Duration of study:
Normal Study Period Maximum Study Period
1 year (Full-time) 2.5 years (Full-time)
2 years (Part-time/Combined mode) 5 years (Part-time/Combined mode)

Fellowships Scheme

Fellowship awards are available for local students admitted to this programme under the University Grants Committee (UGC) Targeted Taught Postgraduate Programmes Fellowships Scheme supported by the HKSAR Government. This programme in the priority area of “Emerging Research” is one of the targeted programmes listed under the Fellowships Scheme. A maximum of 7 Fellowships, subject to a cap of HK$120,000 as prescribed by the UGC for the settlement of the tuition, would be awarded for the 2024/25 intake. Local students admitted to the programme in full-time, part-time or combined study mode will be invited to submit applications for the fellowships. Please click to view more details about the Fellowships Scheme.

Career Prospects

Our MSDS programme offers comprehensive and rigorous training for students seeking a profession in data science. Our graduates have embarked on exciting and highly rewarding careers such as data scientists, data analysts, data engineers, AI engineers, professional consultants, managers, and other data expert positions. These careers, which have excellent prospects for growth and high compensation, are in high demand in industries such as finance and banking, technology, real estate, insurance, education, e-commerce, retail and marketing, and transportation and logistics.

Our graduates from the past few years have found employment in prestigious companies that include members of the Big Four accounting firm, tech giants, retail giants, and international banks. Moreover, they are shouldering critical roles that involve the use of data science to aid highly impactful tasks such as strategic business and operations decision-making, and innovative product and process development. Their careers spread across Hong Kong, the USA, and Mainland China (e.g. Beijing, Ningbo, Chongqing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, etc.) Around 60% of our surveyed graduates receive a monthly salary of over HKD$30,000. Some of our graduates are also furthering their studies in PhD programmes at world-renowned universities.

Contact Us

Deputy Programme Leader
Professor Li ZENG

For general enquiries, please contact the School of Data Science (SDSC) at
For application enquiries, please contact the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) at
For student visa matters, please contact the Global Engagement Office (GEO) at