BSc Data Science

While studying for his degree in Data Science, Joe reflects on the many eye-opening aspects of his academic life here at Edinburgh Napier.  

Joe BSc Data Science

When I came to the Open Day at Edinburgh Napier there were so many interesting things to see. 

During the Open Day, there were lots of interesting talks going on surrounding my field. I was previously studying Maths and Statistics, so when I saw that Edinburgh Napier was running a new course in Data Science, I thought it would be a great opportunity to be one of the first to study such an important and exciting field in today’s society.  There were a lot of interesting things being said about A.I. and machine learning which are obviously very important and relevant topics today. It got me really interested and drew me in to wanting to study somewhere that had such great facilities and so many interesting people to meet. 

They start you off with a basic understanding of how computing works and that was really helpful. 

For someone who doesn’t have much of a programming background, to be able to get that foundation-level knowledge was really helpful. When I started studying Data Science, some of the first modules that we completed were on computer systems which taught you about the hardware & software that goes into making a computer system. We also learned the basics of software engineering which gave us a solid foundation in Java, which is incredibly useful for anyone that wants to get into any kind of computing or software engineering.  

It’s incredibly useful knowledge to have and not a lot of places will do courses like this. 

If they do, I’m sure it probably wouldn’t be as practical or as business-oriented. There’s a lot of practical knowledge on this course that really make it useful for going out into the wider world and implementing that knowledge in a really useful and practical way. For example, I really want to work with small and medium-sized enterprises, that’s a huge passion of mine. A lot of small business don’t realise how useful the technology we have now is for them.  

The Edinburgh Napier staff have been absolutely incredible. 

When we’re doing coursework it can be quite complicated, so having someone to bounce ideas off can be really helpful. They really are there to help you learn and that’s what they’re passionate about, I’ve never come across people who want you to succeed so much and it’s a really positive experience to have. Throughout the pandemic and its many challenges, ENU dealt with it really well and gave us a lot of options.  

The highlight of my studies was the very first time I created a functioning programme. 

It was a eureka moment to be able to implement something that was actually working and actually functioning. Computing to a lot of people is a bit of a mystery, they don’t really know how it works and I was the same to be honest. So, when you come in and learn how the functions operate, it’s a really powerful thing to see your project come to life.  

The advice I would give to someone looking to study Data Science is: Don’t limit yourself. 

Don’t limit yourself because you don’t have any programming knowledge or mathematical knowledge. They really start you on the ground floor so you can learn a lot in the first year and that gives you such a good foundation to jump into a different area of data science should you want to. It’s a very welcoming and diverse place, I think that anyone could benefit from studying here. There’s a lot of help on hand, so don’t limit yourself, I’ve done it, so you can do it too.