The science of learning from data.
Data is at the core of modern society. We are producing it, collecting it, wrangling it, analysing it, modelling it, understanding it, visualising it, using it on a scale that seemed impossible not so long ago.
Data Science is fundamentally about how we can learn from data and how we can meaningfully use it to improve our world. Studying Data Science leads to opportunities in fields as diverse as banking and biotechnology, entertainment and education, gaming and government, medicine and manufacturing, retail and research.
Data Science is also a broad area of study. At Otago, the Data Science programme pulls together the best that computer science, information science, and statistics have to offer while stressing application and understanding of the impact of Data Science on society.
Information on this page is about Data Science as a major for undergraduate science degrees, and as an endorsement for the Diploma for Graduates. The University of Otago also offers the Master of Business Data Science, a one-year postgraduate degree with a strong business focus:
Master of Business Data Science (MBusDataSc)
No new enrolments will be accepted for the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) from 2024.
The University has developed a proposal to transfer the Data Science major subject option from the BAppSc to the Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree, as well as the BASc and BComSc combined degrees. This proposal is awaiting final approval, which is expected soon.
AskOtago is available to help with any course advice enquiries:
Apply for the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2023Apply Now
Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc)Apply Now
Apply for the Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc)Apply Now
Apply for the Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad)Apply Now
Why study Data Science?
Data is everywhere and the demand for data scientists is exploding. Data Science is a broad field but it essentially boils down to extracting information from large and complex data sets. Working as a data scientist for an organisation means you will be at the heart of decision-making processes.
Data Science brings together techniques and methods from computer science, information science, and statistics. This means there are opportunities in areas that particularly interest you, whether it is efficient computation, data storage infrastructure, data analysis or applied machine learning. In addition to problem-solving skills that can be applied to many areas, you will gain valuable communication and data visualisation skills.
Entry into the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) in Data Science is open to anyone, however taking Digital Technology for NCEA is useful and NCEA Level 3 Mathematics and Statistics is helpful.
There are opportunities for Data Science graduates at all levels of business, industry, government, and science.
Can I combine Data Science with other subjects?
Because Data Science is a major for the Bachelor of Applied Science, you will need a minor or a second major in an approved subject area.
There are a large number of subject areas to choose from in Applied Science, Arts and Music, Science, as well as all Commerce subjects.
You may even choose Computer Science, Information Science or Statistics.
What will I learn?
Data Science brings together techniques and methods from computer science, information science, and statistics to extract insight from large and complex data sets, and to communicate this acquired knowledge through effective modelling and visualisation.
You will learn how to acquire, handle and analyse data to solve problems in a wide variety of areas. You will also learn to think critically and ethically about the increasing role Data Science plays in society.
How will I learn?
The programme is delivered using lectures, tutorials, and practical labs. Assessment is a combination of assignments, projects, presentations, and exams. There will be opportunities to work in groups.
Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.
- Bachelor of Applied Science* (BAppSc)
- Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc)
- Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc)
- Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad)
*It is a requirement that every Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) normally includes an approved minor subject or an approved second major subject. Usually such a minor or second major subject must be selected from the approved combinations of major subjects with minor or second major subjects. Some exceptions may apply. For details see:
Full list of available approved minor and second major subject areas
Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) majoring in Data Science
COMP 101 Foundations of Information Systems
COMP 120 Practical Data Science
COMP 161 Computer Programming
COMP 162 Foundations of Computer Science
STAT 110 Statistical Methods or STAT 115 Introduction to Biostatistics
Note: Students are exempt from COMP 161 if they have gained entry to COMP 162 by passing COMP 151 with a grade of at least B or via an Advanced Placement Test.
COSC 201 Algorithms and Data Structures
INFO 204 Introduction to Data Science
STAT 210 Applied Statistics
STAT 260 Visualisation and Modelling in R
COSC 343 Artificial Intelligence
INFO 304 Advanced Data Science
STAT 312 Modelling High Dimensional Data
One of COSC 344 Database Theory and Applications, STAT 310 Statistical Modelling
144 further points, including either requirements for an approved minor or approved second major subject or other approved papers.
|Paper code||Year||Title||Points||Teaching period|
|COMP101||2023||Foundations of Information Systems||18 points||Semester 2, Summer School|
|COMP111||2023||Information and Communications Technology||18 points||Semester 2|
|COMP120||2023||Practical Data Science||18 points||Semester 1, Semester 2|
|COMP151||2023||Programming for Scientists||18 points||Semester 1|
|COMP161||2023||Computer Programming||18 points||Semester 1, Semester 2, 1st Non standard period|
|COMP162||2023||Foundations of Computer Science||18 points||Semester 2, Summer School|
|COMP210||2023||Information Assurance||18 points||Semester 2|
|COMP270||2023||ICT Fundamentals||15 points||Not offered in 2023|
|COMP371||2023||ICT Studio 1||15 points||Not offered in 2023|
|COMP372||2023||ICT Studio 2||15 points||Not offered in 2023|
|COMP373||2023||ICT Studio 3||15 points||Not offered in 2023|
|COMP390||2023||ICT Industry Project||30 points||1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period, 3rd Non standard period|
|Paper code||Year||Title||Points||Teaching period|
|INFO130||2023||Fundamentals and practice of spreadsheets||18 points||Semester 1, 1st Non standard period|
|INFO201||2023||Developing Information Systems 1||18 points||Semester 1|
|INFO202||2023||Developing Information Systems 2||18 points||Semester 2|
|INFO203||2023||Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience||18 points||Semester 1|
|INFO204||2023||Introduction to Data Science||18 points||Semester 2|
|INFO250||2023||Special Topic||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2026|
|INFO301||2023||Applied Project||18 points||Semester 2|
|INFO302||2023||Information Systems Strategy and Governance||18 points||Semester 2|
|INFO303||2023||Enterprise Information Systems Infrastructure||18 points||Semester 1|
|INFO304||2023||Advanced Data Science||18 points||Semester 2|
|INFO305||2023||Advanced Human-Computer Interaction and Interactive Systems||18 points||Semester 1|
|INFO310||2023||Software Project Management||18 points||Semester 1|
|INFO350||2023||Topics in Information Science||18 points||Semester 1, Semester 2|
|INFO351||2023||Special Topic: Virtual and Augmented Reality||18 points||Semester 2|
|INFO352||2023||Special Topic: Pervasive Game Development||18 points||Semester 2|
|INFO353||2023||Special Topic||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2026|
|INFO390||2023||Research Topics||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2026|
|INFO407||2023||Agent-based Software Technologies||20 points||Semester 2|
|INFO408||2023||Management of Large-Scale Data||20 points||Semester 2|
|INFO410||2023||Interactive and Immersive Systems||20 points||Semester 1|
|INFO411||2023||Machine Learning and Data Mining||20 points||Semester 2|
|INFO420||2023||Statistical Techniques for Data Science||20 points||Semester 2|
|INFO424||2023||Adaptive Business Intelligence||20 points||Semester 1|
|INFO451||2023||Special Topic||20 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2026|
|INFO452||2023||Special Topic||20 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2026|
|INFO470||2023||Advanced Topics in Information Science||20 points||Semester 1, Semester 2|
|INFO490||2023||Dissertation||40 points||Full Year|
|INFO501||2023||Applied Project||40 points||1st Non standard period|
|INFO580||2023||Research Project||40 points||1st Non standard period|
|Paper code||Year||Title||Points||Teaching period|
|STAT110||2023||Statistical Methods||18 points||Semester 1, Summer School|
|STAT115||2023||Introduction to Biostatistics||18 points||Semester 2|
|STAT210||2023||Applied Statistics||18 points||Semester 1|
|STAT260||2023||Visualisation and Modelling in R||18 points||Semester 2|
|STAT270||2023||Probability and Inference||18 points||Semester 1|
|STAT310||2023||Statistical Modelling||18 points||Semester 1|
|STAT311||2023||Design of Research Studies||18 points||Semester 1|
|STAT312||2023||Modelling High Dimensional Data||18 points||Semester 2|
|STAT370||2023||Statistical Inference||18 points||Semester 2|
|STAT371||2023||Bayesian Data Analysis||18 points||Semester 2|
|STAT372||2023||Stochastic Modelling||18 points||Semester 1|
|STAT399||2023||Special Topic||18 points||Not offered in 2023|
|STAT401||2023||Applied Statistical Methods and Models||20 points||Semester 1|
|STAT402||2023||Regression Models for Complex Data||20 points||Semester 2|
|STAT403||2023||Case Studies in Statistics||20 points||Semester 2|
|STAT404||2023||Advanced Statistical Inference||20 points||Semester 1|
|STAT405||2023||Probability and Random Processes||20 points||Semester 1|
|STAT423||2023||Bayesian Modelling||20 points||Semester 2|
|STAT424||2023||Research Design and Methods||20 points||Semester 1|
|STAT425||2023||Statistical Learning||20 points||Semester 2|
|STAT435||2023||Data Analysis for Bioinformatics||20 points||Semester 1|
|STAT441||2023||Topic in Advanced Statistics||20 points||Semester 2|
|STAT442||2023||Topic in Advanced Statistics||20 points||Not offered in 2023|
|STAT490||2023||Dissertation||40 points||Full Year, 1st Non standard period|
|STAT498||2023||Special Topic||20 points||Not offered in 2023|
|STAT499||2023||Special Topic: Clinical Trials||20 points||Not offered in 2023|
Key information for future students
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Tel +64 3 479 7780
Department of Information Science
Tel +64 3 479 8180
Department of Computer Science
Tel +64 3 479 8588