Imperial MSc Machine Learning and Data Science (Online via Coursera)

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abfazal1
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#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
Hi all, just wanted to ask in here what people thought of this course that launched at Imperial last year (but was suspended due to COVID).

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/...hine-learning/

They are taking in applications now and I am potentially interested given it is (1) great brand/maths department; (2) part-time (I have a full time job) and (3) content looks quite applied and practical (esp with the intro to programming, which I have zero experience of).

However, it is quit expensive for an online course.

As for me, I don't think I really "need" to do this course as I am on a set career in economic consulting (for the time being anyways). However, this would be more as a move to future proof my credentials and I think I think I would really benefit from it not only in my current job (more so in a few years) but also I think this could open up lots of doors.

Anyone else applying? Anyone have any thoughts? Appreciate all inputs, particularly if you have done or are planning to do similar courses :-)
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1s&0s
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#2
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#2
I am in a pretty similar boat to you in that I applied more out of a having a genuine interest in DS / ML rather than necessarily wanting to pivot my existing career directly into the space. Being able to take it alongside my existing job is very appealing. I wouldn’t underestimate the number of hours the course will demand of your week though, I reckon I’ll be studying in evenings and both days of the weekend if I get on to the course.

I also agree with you in that I see it as an opportunity to futureproof myself. I would, however, be hesitant to embark upon it on if you would be starting without either an elementary understanding of the underlying maths (linear algebra, calculus) or programming – I think it’d be quite a challenge to get up to speed on both the theoretical (maths) side of DS / ML and the practical (programming) side at the same time.

FYI if you are interested in applying, I would get your application submitted ASAP. With the prior year’s course being deferred due to COVID-19 I’m not sure how many spaces are available for those newly applying this year. Even though it’s online I presume there is a cap on the number of applicants they can take. I applied back in November and haven’t heard anything from Imperial yet despite chasing them a few times with follow-up emails.

You should also look at Bath, who offer a similar online MSc in Artificial Intelligence, and the University of Georgia over in the US, who offer an Online Masters in Science Computer Science (OMSCS) which has DS / ML modules, is more flexible in terms of time to completion, and is significantly cheaper than the two UK options.
Last edited by 1s&0s; 1 year ago
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chibmusic
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#3
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#3
I applied. Waiting for a response too
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chibmusic
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#4
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#4
(Original post by 1s&0s)
I am in a pretty similar boat to you in that I applied more out of a having a genuine interest in DS / ML rather than necessarily wanting to pivot my existing career directly into the space. Being able to take it alongside my existing job is very appealing. I wouldn’t underestimate the number of hours the course will demand of your week though, I reckon I’ll be studying in evenings and both days of the weekend if I get on to the course.

I also agree with you in that I see it as an opportunity to futureproof myself. I would, however, be hesitant to embark upon it on if you would be starting without either an elementary understanding of the underlying maths (linear algebra, calculus) or programming – I think it’d be quite a challenge to get up to speed on both the theoretical (maths) side of DS / ML and the practical (programming) side at the same time.

FYI if you are interested in applying, I would get your application submitted ASAP. With the prior year’s course being deferred due to COVID-19 I’m not sure how many spaces are available for those newly applying this year. Even though it’s online I presume there is a cap on the number of applicants they can take. I applied back in November and haven’t heard anything from Imperial yet despite chasing them a few times with follow-up emails.

You should also look at Bath, who offer a similar online MSc in Artificial Intelligence, and the University of Georgia over in the US, who offer an Online Masters in Science Computer Science (OMSCS) which has DS / ML modules, is more flexible in terms of time to completion, and is significantly cheaper than the two UK options.
What did they say in their follow-up emails? Have you received an email saying that your application is being reviewed by the department yet?
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1s&0s
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#5
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#5
(Original post by chibmusic)
What did they say in their follow-up emails? Have you received an email saying that your application is being reviewed by the department yet?
They never responded to my follow-up emails (one sent December, one sent February).

I haven’t received anything from the department at all – the only information I have is that my application is marked as “Completed” on the Imperial Gateway.

I have to say I’m somewhat shocked by the lack of communication. I know last year was tough for institutions having to deal with constant changes due to COVID, but it’s not exactly difficult to send a mass email briefly explaining what the current state of applications is. As a potential paying customer (to the tune of £28k!) I find it fairly atrocious service.
Last edited by 1s&0s; 1 year ago
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basedlines
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#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
Anybody else receive an offer? Not sure whether to take it.
I'm trying to decide whether the course is really worth the price.
Slightly worried that the online course will not be as thorough, and the content will not be taught clearly.
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Geekmaths
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#7
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#7
I have also applied for this programme and I am waiting for their decision. I have completed two of their Coursera classes on Mathematics for Machine Learning and I thought both the teaching and content quality were excellent. In my view this will also be the case for this online MSc given Imperial's academic reputation but I also feel that the price is quite high. The alternative options are either a full time MSc (MSc in Computing in Imperial is £18 per year, or other universities) or an online part-time MSc from another university, I have heard the Georgia Tech MSc in Computer Science is very good.
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Geekmaths
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#8
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#8
Hi, Has anyone else got a response from the admissions team yet? It has been 5 weeks since I applied I should be getting an answer soon
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Geekmaths
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#9
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#9
(Original post by basedlines)
I applied in February and got the offer in the middle of April, so they might get back to you soon.
I'm about to finish my bachelor's in maths, are you currently an undergrad student or are you applying as a graduate?
I wonder if anyone from Imperial is monitoring this thread because I got a response today and it is unfortunately negative. I am a professional with a few years experience. Good luck if you decide to enroll!
Last edited by Geekmaths; 1 year ago
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1s&0s
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Geekmaths)
I wonder if anyone from Imperial is monitoring this thread because I got a response today and it is unfortunately negative. I am a professional with a few years experience. Good luck if you decide to enroll!
Sorry to hear that . On the bright side, your wallet will be relieved!

I ended up getting an offer from them in April, so for anyone picking up this thread the next application cycle, that’s a data point of six months between application and offer. At no point over those six months did I get a response to any of my emails, which is disappointing.
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Geekmaths
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#11
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#11
(Original post by 1s&0s)
Sorry to hear that . On the bright side, your wallet will be relieved!

I ended up getting an offer from them in April, so for anyone picking up this thread the next application cycle, that’s a data point of six months between application and offer. At no point over those six months did I get a response to any of my emails, which is disappointing.
No worries! I submitted my complete application in the 1st week of April which may have been late given the high demand for this programme. In their feedback they said that despite meeting the criteria they unfortunately had already filled their positions. In any case I may reapply next year so please keep us posted if possible with some feedback on your experience from the course!All the best!
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ahmedgu1
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#12
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#12
(Original post by basedlines)
I applied in February and got the offer in the middle of April, so they might get back to you soon.
I'm about to finish my bachelor's in maths, are you currently an undergrad student or are you applying as a graduate?
Hi there, did you accept the offer ? I'd love to ask you a couple of questions about the MSc.
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basedlines
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#13
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#13
(Original post by ahmedgu1)
Hi there, did you accept the offer ? I'd love to ask you a couple of questions about the MSc.
Yes I accepted the offer. I've just started the course this month. There are roughly 50 of us on the course.
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ahmedgu1
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#14
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#14
(Original post by basedlines)
Yes I accepted the offer. I've just started the course this month. There are roughly 50 of us on the course.
Do you have any idea about the acceptance rate for this program, Or what was the lowest GPA accepted ?
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Geekmaths
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#15
Report 6 months ago
#15
Can someone currently attending this course please kindly share your learning experience so far? I am considering reapplying this year
If you could reply in this thread or PM me it would be much appreciated
Last edited by Geekmaths; 6 months ago
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Geekmaths
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#16
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#16
(Original post by basedlines)
Yes I accepted the offer. I've just started the course this month. There are roughly 50 of us on the course.
Hi there, could please share some insights from this course so far?
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basedlines
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#17
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#17
(Original post by ahmedgu1)
Do you have any idea about the acceptance rate for this program, Or what was the lowest GPA accepted ?
I'm not sure about GPAs or acceptance rate.
(Edit: In fact I found out the acceptance rate for 2021 year was roughly 4%)

For the most part the cohort consists of working professionals rather than recent graduates.
Most of my classmates have a first class degree (corresponds to ~4.0 in American system?).
My offer only asked for an upper second class (corresponding to ~3.5 GPA?).
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basedlines
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Geekmaths)
Hi there, could please share some insights from this course so far?
The course is demanding. This semester I spent roughly 30 hours per week studying.
The first semester consists of three modules: Maths, Programming and Ethics.
Each week you will have an assessed piece of coursework due for one of these (and sometimes 2 due at once).

The modules move at a fast pace. For Maths, I would definitely recommend brushing up on basic calculus and statistics before the start of the course. Additionally challenging topics such as multivariate calculus and probability theory are taught from the get-go using mathematical notation. If you do not have a background in mathematics, I thoroughly recommend pre-reading so you are comfortable with notation beforehand.

Programming is split 50/50 between Python and R. The content is not especially difficult and is targetted at people with no prior extensive background.

Surprisingly, the Ethics module contains lots of pratical knowledge as well as philosophical discussion. For example, instruction on how to sufficiently anonymise databases and theoretical criteria for evaluating the performance of models etc.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask.
Last edited by basedlines; 4 months ago
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mohd.adnan.saqib
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#19
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#19
Thanks for sharing the insights. Do you reckon it's worth spending 30,000 pounds for this course?
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basedlines
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(Original post by mohd.adnan.saqib)
Thanks for sharing the insights. Do you reckon it's worth spending 30,000 pounds for this course?
It's tough to say. It would depend on your background, your value hierarchy and what your aims are in undertaking the degree (career? academia? 4fun?).

I'm definitely enjoying the course, but I wouldn't be able to say if the delivery of content is exactly 2x more compelling/engaging/informative than would be available on other comparable MSc courses (assuming other typical MScs are priced around £15k). How much you are willing to pay for this particular degree over others will depend on how highly you value other factors, such as the Imperial brand, networking with coursemates and the flexibility of a part time degree over a full time degree.

More generally, if you aren't yet sure whether to pursue an MSc in this space and you're just aiming to gain minimally sufficient competence for a career transition into a technical role like ML engineering, then most of the practical skills taught on the course could realistically be learnt over a similar timeframe without the £30k expense through committed self study and independent project work. (Although the accountability of pursuing the degree helps to keep that goal close to heart). The real benefit to me thus far has been in gaining a robust understanding of the statistics and mathematics, to a significantlly deeper level of rigour than would have been achievable through independent study.

Please take all of this with a grain of salt since only 1 semester out of 6 total has been delivered thus far, and there are many more modules later in the course which seem to have a technical focus.
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