Around the world, city governments are realising the growing importance of harnessing the power of urban big data. This programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills to design and conduct appropriate analyses, and experience of working with cutting-edge datasets.
- Contact: Qunshan.Zhao@glasgow.ac.uk
- September start
- MSc: 12 months full-time; 24 months part‑time
Why this programme
- The programme will provide you with a critical appreciation of the potential for big data and urban analytics to inform urban planning and policy making, as well as an understanding of practical and ethical limitations.
- It offers hands-on experience of a range of statistical and GIS software, and of the use of programming tools to capture, process and analyse data.
- You will be exposed to a range of cutting-edge datasets typically encountered by urban analysts and the various challenges they present.
- You will benefit from the programme’s strong connection with the Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC), Glasgow’s world-leading urban analytics centre of expertise.
- The programme will develop your ability to convey the results of complex data analyses in ways which have impact on policy makers and public debates.
- A wide range of optional courses will provide you with the opportunity to pursue personal interests, enhancing particular skills or domain-specific knowledge such as transport studies or urban design.
You will take five core and two to four optional courses, as well as submit a research-based dissertation. Knowledge-focused courses introduce you to the context for urban planning and policy making. Skills-focused courses on statistical methods, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or programming will give the opportunity to use a variety of real world datasets. Courses are delivered via a mix of lectures, tutorials, supervised computing lab sessions and small group work.
- Big data and urban analytics
- Principles and applications of GIS
- Programming tools for urban analytics
- Quantitative data analysis
- Sustainable urban futures.
Optional courses may include
- Evidence and evaluation for policy
- Programming with GIS
- Regenerating cities
- Transport studies
- Transport planning methods
- Transport planning lab
- Urban analytics group project
- Urban design policy and practice.
Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.
The practical knowledge and hands-on skills taught as a part of the programme are applicable worldwide. You will have the chance to learn about new emerging forms of urban big data and analytical skills, which will equip you with unique advantages in the global job market. Career opportunities include positions in government agencies, urban planning organisations, city governments, public health boards, retail business, real estate companies, transport and other private consulting firms, as well as non-profit organisations.
Fees & funding
Tuition fees for 2019-20
Home and EU
- Full-time fee: £8000
- Part-time fee: £889 per 20 credits
- Full-time fee: £17620
Fee information is subject to change and is for guidance only
- Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £360
- Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £320
- Registration/exam only fee: £150
Data Lab Masters Scholarships
The University has been awarded funding to support 9 postgraduate taught places in MSc Data Science, 7 postgraduate taught places in MSc Data Analytics, 2 postgraduate taught places in MRes Advanced Statistics and 2 postgraduate taught places in MSc Urban Analytics. The Data Lab funded places, supported by the Scottish Funding Council and European Social fund are available for entry in September 2019, and are awarded on a competitive basis. The Data Lab funding covers tuition fees. You may also wish to investigate additional living costs funding options which are available to students undertaking postgraduate taught study.More Information
This year, in partnership with the British Council and the GREAT Britain Campaign, the University of Glasgow will be offering one scholarship covering full tuition to students in Turkey applying for a taught postgraduate programme.More Information
Postgraduate Student Loan (NI)
If you are a Northern Irish student looking to study a taught Masters programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a University in Northern Ireland.
Northern Irish students are able to apply for non-means-tested tuition fee loans of up to £5,500, to help with the costs of funding
For more information visit
* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmesMore Information
PG International Excellence Award
The Award is available to international students entering any of the University’s Colleges and will be awarded as a tuition fee discount.More Information
University of Glasgow Chancellors Award
The University of Glasgow has a total of 20 Chancellors Awards available. The Award is available to students entering any of the University’s Colleges and are awarded as a tuition fee discount.More Information
African Excellence Scholarship (UKEAS)
The University of Glasgow is offering 1 exclusive scholarship to students from either Nigeria or Ghana who have been supported in their application by our representative UKEAS. The scholarship is available to students entering any of the University’s Colleges to undertake a one year Masters programme.More Information
University International Leadership Scholarship
The University of Glasgow has 20 International Leadership Scholarships available to international (non-EU) students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline in September. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fees discount.
University of Glasgow African Excellence Fee Waiver
For September 2019 academic session we are offering 10 scholarship worth the full tuition fee of a one year Masters programme to to academically excellent students from Africa.
If you study here you will benefit from our extensive knowledge, state-of-the-art facilities and pioneering teaching methods. Studying at Glasgow will prepare you for a wide variety of careers that are in demand internationally and also for future research and study.More Information
African Excellence Scholarship (Uniserv)
The University of Glasgow is offering 1 exclusive scholarship to students from either Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda who have been supported in their application by our representative in these countries – Uniserv Ltd. The scholarship is available to students entering any of the University’s Colleges to undertake a one year Masters programme.More Information
Postgraduate Talent Scholarships
The University of Glasgow awards Postgraduate Talent Scholarships each academic year to support students who could face financial difficulties in taking up their place to study at the University. The value of each scholarship is £2,000 and they are for students undertaking a one or two year Taught Masters programme, in any of the University’s Colleges. For two year Taught Masters programmes, the scholarship is available in year one only.More Information
Glasgow Kerala Scholarship
Following the severe floods which impacted the Indian state of Kerala, the University of Glasgow is offering 4 exclusive scholarships to students from this area and who are facing challenges in progressing onto postgraduate education. The scholarship is available to students entering any of the University’s Colleges to undertake a one year Masters programme in 2019-2020.More Information
PGT Excellence Scholarship
The University of Glasgow has a total of 28 PGT Excellence Awards available to UK and EU Students. Scholarships are available to students entering any of the University’s colleges and are awarded as a tuition fee discount.More Information
Sir Fitzroy Maclean Postgraduate Scholarship
The University of Glasgow is pleased to award a Sir Fitzroy Maclean Postgraduate scholarship available to new students, from one of the eligible countries, for September 2019 entry.
Sir Fitzroy Maclean was a Scottish soldier, author and politician. Awarded an Honorary degree of DLitt from the University in 1969, Sir Fitzroy Maclean had a long relationship with the University before he died in 1996. This scholarship was established with respect to Sir Fitzroy’s interests and passions.
The Scholarship will be awarded as a tuition fee discount and stipend.More Information
Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans England only (PTFL)
If you’re starting a master’s degree, you could get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,609 to help with course fees and living costs. You have to repay your Postgraduate Master’s Loan at the same time as any other student loans you have. You’ll be charged interest from the day you get the first payment.
If you’re studying by distance learning, you can also apply.
Examples of postgraduate master’s qualifications include:
- MSc (Master of Science)
- MA (Master of Arts)
- MPhil (Master of Philosophy)
- MRes (Master of Research)
- LLM (Master of Law)
- MLitt (Master of Letters)
- MFA (Master of Fine Art)
- MEd (Master of Education)
- MBA (Master of Business Administration)
If you plan to study for Master of Architecture (MArch) or an Integrated Master’s qualification, you should apply for undergraduate supportMore Information
Wheatley Foundation Bursary
A Wheatley Foundation bursary is a grant that customers living in our homes can apply for to support them to achieve their educational goals and help them on the career path they wish to undertake. It will also aim to offer employability support like CV support and internships where appropriate. A bursary award can support you for the costs of books, equipment, travel costs, childcare or other living costs that will help you to complete a course.More Information
Postgraduate Student Loan (Scotland and EU)
From session 2018-2019 eligible full-time students, undertaking an eligible postgraduate course, can apply for a tuition fee loan up to a maximum of £5,500. Eligible part-time students can apply for a tuition fee loan up to a maximum of £5,500 for the course, split across each year of their course, where the course does not take any longer than twice the length of the full-time equivalent course.
From session 2018-2019, new students will be eligible to apply for support to undertake postgraduate diploma and full masters’ level courses via distance learning.
Please see the Postgraduate funding guide.
For more information visit the SAAS websiteMore Information
Postgraduate Loans for Welsh Students
If you are a Welsh student looking to study a postgraduate programme in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a Welsh University.
Postgraduate Masters Loan
If you’re starting a masters degree*, you could get a Postgraduate Masters Loan of up to £10,280 to help with course fees and living costs.
* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes
For more information visit Student Finance Wales
Postgraduate Doctoral Loan
If you’re starting a doctoral degree on or after 1 August 2018, you could get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan of up to £25,000 to help with course fees and living costs.
For more information visit Student Finance Wales
The University of Glasgow is offering 4 scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2019. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £4,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria please see the Residential Services section on the website.
We are also offering 4 scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £5,000 per year stipend toward living costs per year of study.More Information
The Clan Gregor Society Prize
The Clan Gregor Society are offering an award to new entrants to the University of Glasgow who descend from Clan Gregor. Prospective students will be asked to submit an application highlighting areas of consideration such as academic excellence and financial need. The award is open to both Undergraduate and postgraduate applicants.
The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database
2.1 Honours degree or non-UK equivalent qualification in geography, urban planning, environmental science, public health or related social science subject, along with an interest in acquiring skills in quantitative and spatial data analysis. Candidates from other disciplines may also be considered. If you are unsure whether your degree is suitable, you can email the programme convener to discuss.
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
- ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
- Reading: 20
- Listening: 19
- Speaking: 19
- Writing: 23
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
- PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
- School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study
- BALEAP guide to accredited courses
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: email@example.com
We are proud of our diverse University community which attracts students and staff from over 140 different countries.
How to apply
To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We cannot accept applications any other way.
Please check you meet the Entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.
As part of your online application, you also need to submit the following supporting documents:
- A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
- A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
- Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
- One reference letter on headed paper
- Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
- Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
- A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process.
You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload supporting documents such as your final transcript or your language test.
For more information about submitting documents or other topics related to applying to a postgraduate taught programme, check Frequently Asked Questions
Guidance notes for using the online application
These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately; they are also available within the help section of the online application form.
If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.
- Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
- Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
- Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
- Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
- Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
- English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
- Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
Reference: Please provide one reference. This should typically be an academic reference but in cases where this is not possible then a reference from a current employer may be accepted instead. Certain programmes, such as the MBA programme, may also accept an employer reference. If you already have a copy of a reference on letter headed paper then please upload this to your application. If you do not already have a reference to upload then please enter your referee’s name and contact details on the online application and we will contact your referee directly.
Standard application deadlines
- International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2019
- UK and EU applications: 25 August 2019
Classes start September 2019 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.Apply now