Online Data Science MSc - University of London, Goldsmiths

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caitlin_96
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Hi all - Happy New Year!
I've seen a few posts about different online Data Science Masters options, with names such as York, Bath, Keele, Sunderland, etc. coming up. But recently, University of London has started offering a Data Science Masters, with options to specialise in Fintech or AI. Has anyone else taken a look at this, or has any thoughts about the course?
At first glance, the range of modules looks great, with enough flexibility to specialise. Also, the University has created MOOCS and online teaching before, so it should be good at online teaching. The price is slightly cheaper than Bath, but more expensive than York.
There's a £101 application fee however, which is pretty sneaky.
Any thoughts?
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pkse4080
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I am studying Online MSc Data Science and AI at UoL/Goldsmith, I started doing the MSc in April 2020...The first two courses I did were 1) Maths and Stat for Data Science and 2) Data Programming in Python. Here are the pros and cons based on my study experience:

Pros:
The discussion forum in each course was quite active, you can find support among other students.... sometimes (not very often though) from tutors...
The course contents (with videos and text) were well structured and you would receive a weekly newsletter (from the so-called Student Relationship Team) about the course so you know whether you are on schedule or not.
The workload is reasonable - I spent around 5 hours per week for each course but I am in Computer Science background, with 1 graded assignment and 1 graded quiz plus a final exam (now in online mode due to Covid-19)

Cons:
Videos were too short and too simple, you need to look for another reference elsewhere occasionally, or external youtube may be more useful for the same topic.
Not much support from tutors - there were discussion activities for each topic in the courses, most feedbacks from students but only a few from tutors

I am now working on the Machine Learning and Big Data Analysis courses, and the above does still apply...
Last edited by pkse4080; 4 months ago
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bal063
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Hi pkse4080, could you elaborate on the video content and reading content please?

I'm currently doing an online MSc in Computer Science through the University of York (worst mistake I've ever made) and looking to move to UoL.

The biggest issue at York is there are effectively no lectures at all. Just a 1-2min video introducing the topic, then they tell you to read 1-2 chapters from a textbook. Next video is "Great, no you understand the topic! We're moving on to another one". In other words, there's effectively no teaching at all. It's 98% reading and takes me 20+ hours to get through it. Same issues you mentioned with tutors etc. but I can deal with it if they teach well.

So is UoL like that or do you feel like they actually teach you? How long are the videos at UoL and how many are there per week? Also how much reading is there at UoL per week? Sorry for the questions, just want to make sure it's not as bad as York if I'm going to transfer there.
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pkse4080
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(Original post by bal063)
Hi pkse4080, could you elaborate on the video content and reading content please?

I'm currently doing an online MSc in Computer Science through the University of York (worst mistake I've ever made) and looking to move to UoL.

The biggest issue at York is there are effectively no lectures at all. Just a 1-2min video introducing the topic, then they tell you to read 1-2 chapters from a textbook. Next video is "Great, no you understand the topic! We're moving on to another one". In other words, there's effectively no teaching at all. It's 98% reading and takes me 20+ hours to get through it. Same issues you mentioned with tutors etc. but I can deal with it if they teach well.

So is UoL like that or do you feel like they actually teach you? How long are the videos at UoL and how many are there per week? Also how much reading is there at UoL per week? Sorry for the questions, just want to make sure it's not as bad as York if I'm going to transfer there.
in the case of UoL, i think it should be better than your case; each module/course (e.g. Machine Learning)... would have around 10 topics, and each topic should have around 30min video lecture.... so that you can at least grab the basics of the topic... but you still need to look at their required readings... at the end of each topic, they will have a quick quiz (do not count towards to your final grade)

apart from the video, end of the topic quiz, they also have 1 graded online quiz and 1 graded assignment and 1 online timed exam... (may need to go back to a physical exam centre for an exam after Covid-19.... which i really do NOT prefer...)....

personally, I think UoL should be better in term of video content... but UoL did not offer MSc in Computer Science, only MSc in Data Science... or MSc in Data Science and (AI or Financial Technology)... and if you are a CS graduate, perhaps you should also consider online MSc in Artificial Intelligence offered by U of Liverpool, U of Leeds or U of Bath... I think they may be a much better alternative..
Last edited by pkse4080; 4 months ago
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phi_phi_d
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Hi pkse4080. I'm thinking of applying for the UoL MSc in Data Science to start in October so it's really helpful to read your comments. Can I ask you how the course materials are released? Do you get them all at the start of the module or are they released weekly? Thanks.
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pkse4080
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(Original post by phi_phi_d)
Hi pkse4080. I'm thinking of applying for the UoL MSc in Data Science to start in October so it's really helpful to read your comments. Can I ask you how the course materials are released? Do you get them all at the start of the module or are they released weekly? Thanks.
I studied 4 modules already, roughly speaking, each module should have around 10 topics. The course materials were released in full for two modules on their first days... for the remaining two modules... only 5 topics were released initially, then the other 5 topics were released in the middle of the course...
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bal063
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(Original post by pkse4080)
in the case of UoL, i think it should be better than your case; each module/course (e.g. Machine Learning)... would have around 10 topics, and each topic should have around 30min video lecture.... so that you can at least grab the basics of the topic... but you still need to look at their required readings... at the end of each topic, they will have a quick quiz (do not count towards to your final grade)

apart from the video, end of the topic quiz, they also have 1 graded online quiz and 1 graded assignment and 1 online timed exam... (may need to go back to a physical exam centre for an exam after Covid-19.... which i really do NOT prefer...)....

personally, I think UoL should be better in term of video content... but UoL did not offer MSc in Computer Science, only MSc in Data Science... or MSc in Data Science and (AI or Financial Technology)... and if you are a CS graduate, perhaps you should also consider online MSc in Artificial Intelligence offered by U of Liverpool, U of Leeds or U of Bath... I think they may be a much better alternative..
Thanks @pske4080. Your feedback has been really helpful! I understand the course isn't perfect but think it's a hell of a lot better than what we're got. Several of my friends and I have decided to make the change to UoL.
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phi_phi_d
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(Original post by pkse4080)
I studied 4 modules already, roughly speaking, each module should have around 10 topics. The course materials were released in full for two modules on their first days... for the remaining two modules... only 5 topics were released initially, then the other 5 topics were released in the middle of the course...
That's really helpful. Thanks.
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CISI
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(Original post by pkse4080)
I am studying Online MSc Data Science and AI at UoL/Goldsmith, I started doing the MSc in April 2020...The first two courses I did were 1) Maths and Stat for Data Science and 2) Data Programming in Python. Here are the pros and cons based on my study experience:

Pros:
The discussion forum in each course was quite active, you can find support among other students.... sometimes (not very often though) from tutors...
The course contents (with videos and text) were well structured and you would receive a weekly newsletter (from the so-called Student Relationship Team) about the course so you know whether you are on schedule or not.
The workload is reasonable - I spent around 5 hours for each course but I am in Computer Science background, with 1 graded assignment and 1 graded quiz plus a final exam (now in online mode due to Covid-19)

Cons:
Videos were too short and too simple, you need to look for another reference elsewhere occasionally, or external youtube may be more useful for the same topic.
Not much support from tutors - there were discussion activities for each topic in the courses, most feedbacks from students but only a few from tutors

I am now working on the Machine Learning and Big Data Analysis courses, and the above does still apply...
Hi, I am also thinking to apply for this online program. Your information are very detailed and useful. May I know whether the assignment/quiz and final exam are difficult? what kinds of questions they have - Multiple choice, written questions or others? How frequent and how to book the exam?
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pkse4080
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(Original post by CISI)
Hi, I am also thinking to apply for this online program. Your information are very detailed and useful. May I know whether the assignment/quiz and final exam are difficult? what kinds of questions they have - Multiple choice, written questions or others? How frequent and how to book the exam?
I think the exams are not difficult provided that you really did the assignments and the end of topic activities on your own... on the other hand, the tutors would provide webinars to walk through the mock exam papers (of course you could revisit the recorded webinars later on)... at the moment, due to Covid-19, you do not have to book the exam since it is now arranged in Online mode. The online exam (online timed assessment - 3hours and 30 minutes) breaks down into two sections, section 1 is likely Multiple choices (~30%-40% of total marks), section 2 is a written exam (60%-70%) and you will have to download the exam paper and write your answers on their worksheet provided and then upload to the virtual learning environment (VLE)...

Not sure if this arrangement will be the same after COVID-19, the format of the real exam is quite similar to the mock one, the content is totally different surely but the scope (e.g. topics, the question format) is quite similar so that you can really focus on the topics appeared in the mock exam for the real exam preparation.

For the graded online quiz, it is an open booked, so that even though it may be difficult, you can still look for the answers in the Internet and get 100% correct I believe.

Lastly, there are other online MSc Data Science (see below - both are from well known US universities) available may be of your interest... the good thing about them is they DO NOT HAVE exam, i.e. the assignment based, which is a good approach coz I think the assignment approach is much better as I can learn more from the assignment but not much from exams...
1. https://www.coursera.org/degrees/mas...cience-boulder
2. https://www.edx.org/masters/online-m...ence-utaustinx

Lastly, I think 1 or 2 modules offered by UoL/Goldsmith are now purely assignment based which is good in the sense, and they are changing the syllabus and coursework/exam structure from time to time, hope more modules can be pure assignment based later on.

Hopes the info is useful for you.
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CISI
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(Original post by pkse4080)
I think the exams are not difficult provided that you really did the assignments and the end of topic activities on your own... on the other hand, the tutors would provide webinars to walk through the mock exam papers (of course you could revisit the recorded webinars later on)... at the moment, due to Covid-19, you do not have to book the exam since it is now arranged in Online mode. The online exam (online timed assessment - 3hours and 30 minutes) breaks down into two sections, section 1 is likely Multiple choices (~30%-40% of total marks), section 2 is a written exam (60%-70%) and you will have to download the exam paper and write your answers on their worksheet provided and then upload to the virtual learning environment (VLE)...

Not sure if this arrangement will be the same after COVID-19, the format of the real exam is quite similar to the mock one, the content is totally different surely but the scope (e.g. topics, the question format) is quite similar so that you can really focus on the topics appeared in the mock exam for the real exam preparation.

For the graded online quiz, it is an open booked, so that even though it may be difficult, you can still look for the answers in the Internet and get 100% correct I believe.

Lastly, there are other online MSc Data Science (see below - both are from well known US universities) available may be of your interest... the good thing about them is they DO NOT HAVE exam, i.e. the assignment based, which is a good approach coz I think the assignment approach is much better as I can learn more from the assignment but not much from exams...
1. https://www.coursera.org/degrees/mas...cience-boulder
2. https://www.edx.org/masters/online-m...ence-utaustinx

Lastly, I think 1 or 2 modules offered by UoL/Goldsmith are now purely assignment based which is good in the sense, and they are changing the syllabus and coursework/exam structure from time to time, hope more modules can be pure assignment based later on.

Hopes the info is useful for you.
Yes. It helps indeed. Thank you~~
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