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Data Science and Communication

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What you'll need

As part of the application process, you'll need to submit:

  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

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  • We'll email you when a decision has been made
  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

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Master of Science

A Master of Science (MSc) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the sciences.

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Course overview

The MSc in Data Science and Communication is designed for students who have an interest in the way data and data processing are shaping our communication practices as society becomes increasingly digitised. Whether you want to investigate how Big Data impacts our daily decision-making practices or learn how to create innovative communication chatbots, this MSc will provide you with the necessary means to successfully navigate the Networked Society.

Introduction

The programme offers state-of-the-art empirical, technical and theoretical training. You will have the opportunity to learn cutting edge computational techniques to study social behaviours at scale, alongside a deep grounding in the principles of communication studies and the social sciences.

Substantial training will also be devoted to quantitative methods aimed at harnessing big data, especially when it comes to social and news media. You will learn the underpinnings of emerging communication technologies ranging from computer mediated communications to human computer interaction.

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Studying this course part-time

International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.

If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Semester one

You will study four compulsory modules, including a dissertation; and three optional modules (one in Semester one, and two in Semester two).

Compulsory modules

Introduction to Data Science A (COMM741)

Credits: 30 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces major data science techniques and their role in communication. The full data lifecycle is considered, with a focus on data collection, processing, analysis and visualisation. The emphasis of the module is to develop technical skills in coding and its application within data science, but the wider context of how data are generated and used in communication and media is also considered. The main assessment is a piece of coursework, where students describe and apply the methods covered in the module. There is also an in-class test. By the end of the module, students will have a level of knowledge in coding appropriate to select and use data science methods to investigate and solve problems in communication.

Introduction to computational social science methods (COMM742)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will provide students with skills to understand and apply the building blocks of computational social science. Students will be introduced to cutting edge methods to design, develop and interpret quantitative surveys, as well as to cutting edge methods for collecting and analysing large datasets from digital sources at different levels of granularity.
At the end of the module, students will be able to match techniques to answer research questions such as "What are peoples’ attitudes towards news media and what social factors significantly influence those attitudes?"- , – "How does disinformation spread?" , " What hot topics were debated on social media in the last month?". The module will be taught following "active learning" methodologies where empirical activities as well as group discussions will play a key role.

Optional modules

Big data and society B: foundations, politics, and policy (COMM752)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will be of particular interest to students interested in big data and how it is collected and used in modern society; in the politics and policy questions around social media; and in the interactions between media, platforms, and citizens. It will introduce students to the study of online media and platforms, with a particular focus on ‘big’ social trace data. As well as developing their understanding of how Internet-based media systems work, students will learn about the strengths and weaknesses of using big data for social science research, and engage with key online political communication policy questions.

Database and Information Systems (COMP518)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module focuses on how databases are used in modern information systems. They are at the heart of almost all systems, such as supermarket checkouts, online banking, home rentals, and much more. One of the most successful data definition and manipulation languages is SQL, which will be covered in detail. The module will also introduce some of the fundamental concepts in computer science, as well as the mathematical underpinnings of relational databases and the techniques used to support concurrency and reliability in large information systems.

Fundamentals of Strategic Communication B (COMM517)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces students to the study strategic communication by discussing its fundamental theories and concepts. Case studies will be presented and discussed which refer to strategic communication practices with a particular focus on crisis communication, issue and reputation management.
Since strategic communication is a multidisciplinary area of study, the module will deal with theories and models originating from different academic traditions such as (strategic) management, discourse studies (including semiotics, pragmatics and rhetoric), public relations, corporate communication, marketing and advertising.

Media and Politics: Theories and Cases B (COMM765)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module examines a range of interconnected issues concerning the politics/media relationship. It offers a critical overview of the ways in which the media have been studied and discussed in relation to political processes and explores the key aspects of contemporary theory and research in politics and media. Part one is devoted to theories and debates about the politics and media relationship. It examines different ways of making sense of the relationship between the state, the public, and the media and questions surrounding media power and media audiences. Part two focuses on specific cases and controversies in the media-politics relations. It explores the changing relationships, representational forms, power dynamics, and impacts of media performance in selected forms of contemporary ‘conflict’.

Screen Cultures B (COMM744)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Screen Cultures B introduces students to the diversity of cultural contexts and histories that have shaped the formal, industrial, institutional, and political meanings of cinema. The module examines both dominant/institutional and marginal/alternative screen cultures in relation to the formation of screen industries, histories, movements, and cultural identities.
Screen cultures are both an effect of production and reception. The module explores how screen cultures emerge and function, the formal and stylistic aspects that shape screen cultures, and the overlap between industries and audiences in the production of specific institutional, historical, critical, and audience-defined screen cultures. Screen Cultures A will introduce students to advanced film theory, industry and production studies, and film history alongside advanced formal analysis.

The Screen Cultures B syllabus is organized in two distinct blocks.

Block one: dominant and institutional screen cultures

The first block reflects the institutional or dominant screen cultures that are likely familiar to most audiences. These cultures are often understood through lay terms such as mainstream, popular, Hollywood, or art cinema. Their production and reception are defined by an understanding of screen cultures as an effect of industrial organizations and institutional practices.

Block two: marginal and alternative screen cultures

The second block of Screen Cultures A attends to the alternative and marginal screen cultures that have emerged beyond and outside of those dominant cinemas explored in block one. These screen cultures may be less familiar but have been central to particular audiences, political contexts, and sites of exhibition. Many of the screen cultures in this block seek to challenge the hegemony of those case studies from the first block.

In structuring the module in such a way, Screen Cultures B delivers a comprehensive overview of key debates surrounding screen cultures, especially cinema cultures, while also ensuring that it is inclusive given also its strong focus on diversity and alternative and marginal cultures.

Understanding Media Change B (COMM757)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

To understand contemporary media and its place in social and cultural life we need to understand past media, not only as historical origins or predecessors of the new, but in order to understand how change is produced, experienced and negotiated. This module will consider processes of ‘remediation’, ‘transmediality’ ‘intermediality’ , as well as the recurrence of past ideas, forms and sensibilities in the present; arguments about planned obsolescence, newness and innovation; critiques of progress and theories of technological and media change; ideas of maintenance, residual and emergent media. The module will introduce you to key theoretical and historiographic approaches, from German media theory and ‘media archaeology,’ to Benjaminian, phenomenological and everyday life approaches. ‘Media’ includes both communication and storage media and as extending beyond the practices and technologies we might normally consider (computer based media, film, television, radio, photography, video games and so on) to include neglected and ‘grey’ media associated with everyday experience (databases, telephony, fax, photocopying, photobooths, etc). The module is both concept and topic-driven with lectures and seminars focussing on key theoretical texts, and testing out concepts on a range of different media examples.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Your experience

This programme is delivered by the Department of Communication and Media. The department is a close-knit community of dedicated, innovative teachers and researchers that extend a warm welcome to postgraduate taught and research students. You will benefit from a personalised approach which treats you as an individual and encourages you to become involved in the life of the department.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Why study Communication and Media at Liverpool?

  • We have a long-standing reputation for innovative research in media, cultural and communication studies
  • The interest in contemporary communication is at the heart of our enterprise, though always with a focus on how the media deploy their affordances to communicative and social effect
  • There is a strong family-ethos within the department. Personal interaction with our students is at the heart of what we do
  • We have exciting partnerships with industry, arts and key creative venues both in the city and internationally and they collaborate with us as part of the programme offer
  • Ranked 4th in the sector for outstanding (4*) research impact, with 100% of our impact classified as either outstanding (4*) or very considerable (REF 2021)
  • Our programmes address a wide range of questions about the modern media industry, news, communication and social interaction in a lively and creative environment
  • Our internationally-acclaimed research is casting innovative light on many aspects of the discipline and engaging with the very latest topics, such as social media, populism, artificial intelligence, global media events, fake news and online harassment.

Careers and employability

This course will provide you with key skills which are in high demand both in the private and the third sector. There is a constant growth in the number of jobs that specifically call for an expertise in Data Science applied to communication environments.

The interdisciplinary professional skills you will develop will make you highly qualifiedto pursue a career in a wide range of sectors dealing with Big Data and Society, ranging from data analysis and data management to natural language processing and communication diffusion.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

Examples of relevant careers include, but are not limited to:

  • Computational social scientists
  • Digital communication managers
  • Product/project managers for AI/digital products
  • Counsellors for digital strategies.

Such professional figures are required by a wide range of stakeholders including, among others, AI companies (from start-ups to multinational corporations), news media agencies, public health, and cyber security institutions.

In addition, the programme’s focus on cutting edge methodologies for data analysis in response to social science issues will allow students to become pioneers in solving novel problems arising in the Networked Society, tackling, for instance, misinformation as well as challenges both in human-computer interaction and computer-mediated communication. This MSc programme offers multiple opportunities in the fast-changing digital media sector.

Graduates wishing to continue academic studies will find a supportive and nurturing research environment that prepares them well for doctoral-level research activities. Career pathways that follow this route include employment in higher education (teaching and/or research), or teaching at secondary and further education levels.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £10,800
Part-time place, per year £5,400
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Part-time place, per year £11,200
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.

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Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re an international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of up to £5,000 off your master’s tuition fees, if you haven’t studied with us before.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students

If you’re a University of Liverpool graduate starting this master’s degree with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off your master’s tuition fees.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

If you’re a Chilean student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with an ANID Chile Scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re an international student from an eligible country, joining a one-year master’s course, you could apply to have your master’s fees paid, up to a maximum of £18,000, and receive additional help with living costs.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 30% discount on your tuition fees with a CONACYT Award.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FIDERH graduate loan, you could benefit from a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a FIDERH Award.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining a master’s degree, you can apply to be considered for a tuition fee discount of £20,000 with a Fulright Scholarship. One Fulbright Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FUNED loan, you can apply to be considered for a 20% tuition fee discount. A total of up to ten awards will be available to master’s and PhD students per academic year.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

If you’re a master’s student from Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China who can demonstrate academic excellence, you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship worth up to £10,000 in partnership with the Tung Foundation.

HRH Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

If you’re a student from Thailand joining a one-year master’s degree, you might be eligible to apply to have your tuition fees paid in full and receive help with living costs. One award is available and only students who are new to the University will be considered.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a resident of the state of Guanajuato in Mexico joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your tuition fees with a JuventudEsGto Scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining an eligible master’s with us, you could apply to be considered for a Marshall Scholarship. If your application is successful, your master’s tuition fees will be paid in full. One Marshall Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary

  • Home students

If you’re a UK University of Liverpool graduate joining a master’s degree with us, you could be eligible to receive £3,000 off your tuition fees. You must have graduated in the last two years and received a widening access scholarship during your undergraduate studies.

The Aziz Foundation Scholarship

  • Home students

If you’re a British Muslim, active within a Muslim community and dedicated to bringing positive change to society, you could apply to potentially have the full cost of your master’s tuition fees covered by an Aziz Foundation Scholarship.

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

If you’re a Turkish student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship.

Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

Do you have recognised status as a refugee or person with humanitarian protection outside the UK? Or are you a Ukrainian who’s sought temporary protection in the EU? You could be eligible to apply for the full payment of your master’s fees and additional financial support.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

Completed a Pre-Master’s at University of Liverpool International College (UoLIC)? We’re offering a £5,000 fee discount off the first year of master’s study to some of the highest achieving students joining one of our non-clinical master’s courses from UoLIC.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re a University of Liverpool International College student awarded a Kaplan Impact Scholarship, we’ll also consider you for an Impact Progression Scholarship. If selected, you’ll receive a fee discount worth £3,000 off the first year of your master’s course.

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for Mainland China

  • International students
  • China

Are you a high-achieving graduate from the People’s Republic of China with a degree from a Chinese university? You could be eligible to apply for a £5,000 fee discount if you’re joining an eligible master’s course. Up to 15 eligible students will receive this scholarship.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

You will normally need a 2:1 honours degree, or above, or equivalent. This degree should be in communication studies, social sciences or humanities subjects, or a technical discipline such as computer science or information technology.

Applicants with a degree in another subject, who also have appropriate professional experience, will be considered on an individual basis.

On receipt of your application, we’ll discuss a possible research topic with you, either in person or via email. This will help us to match you to a suitable dissertation supervisor and aid your choice of optional modules.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, you could be eligible for a Pre-Master’s course. This is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. It’s a specialist preparation course for postgraduate study, and when you pass the Pre-Master’s at the required level with good attendance, you’re guaranteed entry to a University of Liverpool master’s degree.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with writing at 6.5 and no other component below 6.0
TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 19, reading 19, writing 21 and speaking 20
Duolingo English Test 120 overall, with literacy and production not less than 120, and comprehension and conversation not below 105
Pearson PTE Academic 61 overall, with writing at 61, and no other component below 59
LanguageCert Academic 70 overall, with writing at 70, and no other skill below 65
PSI Skills for English B2 Pass with Merit in all bands
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.0 overall, with no component below 6.0 6 weeks On campus
6.0 overall, with writing at 6.0, and no other component below 5.5 10 weeks On campus and online options available
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no component below 5.5 20 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no component below 5.0 30 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no component below 4.5 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.5, with writing at 6.5, and no component below 6.0, for further details.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Why Liverpool?

Liverpool bursts with diversity and creativity which makes it ideal for you to undertake your postgraduate studies and access various opportunities for you and your family.

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Accommodation

To fully immerse yourself in the university experience living in halls will keep you close to campus where you can always meet new people. Find your home away from home.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Data Science and Communication MSc

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.