Business Analytics - MSc
- Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Start date
- September 2021
- Duration of Study
- 1 year / up to 20 months with entrepreneurship or placement pathway 2 years part-time / up to 24 to 36 months depending on pathway
- Subject Area
- Business and Management, Computer Science, Mathematics
- FEES (2021/22 academic year)
- UK - FT £9,750 / PT £5,370
- EU/International - £18,000
Business analysis, analytical reasoning, AI and cloud computing all feature within LinkedIn’s top 10 skills companies need most in 2020. Rapid development of the Internet and digital technologies has fuelled the demand to harness the power of the huge volume of available data now at an organisation’s disposal. Employers need people who can manage and make sense of data, providing insight and recommendations to improve future business performance.
- Keele is ranked 3rd in the UK for business by the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES 2019).
- Keele is part of a £13 million Office for Students initiative to accelerate the number and diversity of skilled artificial intelligence (AI) and data science graduates.
- Boost your employability by gaining an international perspective and a broader world view to solve commercial challenges.
- System Design and Programming module provides a rapid introduction to program design and development to enable students without a computing or programming background to access this course.
- Gain substantial practical experience by opting for a consultancy or work placement final project.
- Taught by an international faculty who will share their internationally-recognised research in multidisciplinary AI and Data Analytics.
- Our Grand Challenges lecture series invites speakers to provide fresh perspectives on the political, ethical and intellectual problems we face as a world today.
- Hack Keele, a free student society for tech-minded individuals host weekly lab sessions to meet up, learn and share their diverse experience, which ranges from AI to ethical hacking.
- The Business School’s Bloomberg Lab provides access to the world’s most powerful and widely used platforms of information in the finance industry. Students have the opportunity to complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC), free of charge.
About the course
Combining leading expertise from across both Keele Business School and the School of Computing and Mathematics, our course will deepen your understanding of the technical and commercial implications of data-driven solutions.
Business analysts guide businesses to improve their decisions, processes, products and services through data analysis – bridging the gap between IT and business to improve organisational performance, create efficiencies and add value to the business. Grounded in theory and practice, our MSc focuses on developing your understanding of business, management, data analytics and data science within a global context.
With unique access to the combined expertise across Keele Business School and the School of Computing and Mathematics, you’ll gain a deeper insight into how businesses run their operations within today’s challenging economy. At the same time developing the technical skills and knowhow to identify, manage and analyse the most appropriate data sources to evaluate their performance.
Referring to real-life business examples and, where possible, working to solve actual client problems, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the operational, human and environmental factors that influence performance within a business context, as well as the different quantitative and qualitative research approaches you can use to analyse these. We’ll look at the options for collecting data from various sources to support analytics programs, how to construct and quality assure datasets, the process of perform different forms of analysis and effective ways to summarise and present information in a way that senior management can understand.
You’ll graduate with a blended technical and commercial toolset that enables you to not only analyse organisations from different perspectives – strategically, functionally and operationally – but also come up with solutions that are technologically feasible and financially and functionally viable.
Designed to provide a rapid immersion into the field of business analytics, this programme is suitable for almost anyone who is required to evaluate business performance, or aspects of it – whether you work in a for-profit business, government or non-profit.
The programme also includes options that allow you to tailor the content to more closely suit your own backgrounds and interests. For example, if you have existing computing skills you can choose to study more advanced topics on the mathematical theories behind AI and data science. You are also given a choice of modules that allow you to specialise within a specific area of business such as marketing, finance, human resource management and sustainability.
What you'll learn
This exciting master’s course responds to the increasing demand for business analysts who can transform data into insights that drive business value through use of data analytics, data visualisation and data modelling techniques and technologies. This requires a balance of IT, business management, communication, strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
To give you a strong foundation in business and management, you will study two compulsory taught modules, which cover financial and non-financial performance management techniques in business scenarios and best practices in operations, procurement, supply and logistics management. You’ll study three core modules focused on data analytics and data science, with the option to study systems design and programming or, if you already have programming experience, Mathematics for AI and Data Science.
The course focuses on providing you with mixture of business understanding, technical knowledge and communication skills. You’ll broaden your understanding of different types of organisations and factors that influence business performance, together with methods used to analyse these for decision making. You’ll consider how managers use information and how data science can be applied to improve an organisation’s processes, operations and outputs.
Depending on your interests or career aspirations, you can tailor your studies through your choice of two optional modules, one of which depends on your final project pathway choice.
Teaching takes place over the first two semesters. There are no formal group classes during Semester 3, but you consult with supervisors and access the University’s learning and teaching facilities and support services. During Semester 3 you will have the opportunity to chose from one of four pathways, a postgraduate consultancy project, work placement, entrepreneurship pathway or research dissertation.
Business Analytics Module Structure
- International Operations and Supply
- Performance Management
A series of workshops is run across the academic year on a bi-weekly basis, providing additional support as part of a structured programme designed to explore links between the computing and business aspects of the course. Intended to develop the research and applied skills required for your dissertation/consultancy/placement/entrepreneurship project and subsequent employment These workshops will introduce research concepts and provide a series of guest lectures covering different areas of business e.g. HRM, Marketing, Accounting etc. Challenges related to these different areas of business will be set to help develop applied analytics skills. The ultimate aim of these workshops is to develop the research and applied skills required for the final semester and subsequent employment.
Data Analytics and Databases
Provides an overview of database operations and knowledge of a variety of tools and statistical techniques to help you better understand and make sense of the exponential growth of big data and related issues. You will learn advanced analytics and statistical modelling techniques, enabling you to determine how best to analyse and extract information from a set of data typically available in a modern business or research organisation.
Based on your knowledge of computer programming and the recommendation of a member of School of Computing and Mathematics staff you will choose one of the following:
- System design and Programming
- Mathematics for AI and Data Science
If you are joining us from a non-mathematical background, this module provides an introduction to the mathematical concepts relevant to AI and data science. It will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to tackle real-world AI and data science problems, including: quadratic equations; vectors, matrices; linear questions and multiple variables; functions and probability.
- Visualisation for Data Analytics
The information age is characterised by large amounts of data generated as part of an ever-widening range of day-to-day activities. When properly analysed this data can lead an organisation to better decision-making, insight, and competitive advantage. The module will help you understand how data analytics is used to interpret big data within areas such as health, security, science and business.
- Applications of AI, Machine Learning and Data Science
This module covers a variety of cutting-edge AI and machine learning techniques, showing how they can be applied to real-world problems and datasets and the associated legal, ethical and social aspects. You will explore a variety of different areas and techniques including: decision making and behaviour control; reinforcement learning and deep learning; machine learning applied to areas such as social media; recommender systems used for entertainment and e-commerce; and voice and facial recognition.
Based on your final project pathway you will choose one of the following:
- Research Methods
- Creativity and Personal Development
You will choose one of the following modules:
- Contemporary Challenges in Global Business
- Creativity and Personal Development
- Fintech and Mobile Banking
- International Financial Reporting
- International Human Resource Management
- International Marketing Communications
- Mathematics for AI and Data Science
- Research Methods
- Strategic Human Resource Management
- Strategic Marketing in a Global Context
- Strategy and Information Management
- System Design and Programming
After you have completed the taught modules, you will undertake a large project to further develop your knowledge in a specific area of applied business analytics, management consultancy or business analytics research. You will choose one of the options below:
The dissertation is a formal written academic project of between 15,000 and 20,000 words, making it ideal preparation for future academic research at MPhil or PhD level or for the report-writing and scrutiny expected of senior management professionals. Taking inspiration from your own interests, and with support throughout from a supervisor with relevant expertise, you’ll choose a topic to research in the field of business analysis. For example, you might explore how new analysis techniques could improve aspects of performance, assess the impact of new data collection technologies e.g. IoT on operations and decision-making or critically evaluate how digitalisation impacts business models and organisational structures.
During June and September, you will spend eight to 12 weeks undertaking a management research project on behalf of an organisation (chosen by Keele Business School). You’ll put into practice what you’ve learned, developing and applying your skills to solve a business problem, issue or focus on a specific project. As part of the eventual assessment, you’ll present your findings to the host organisation, exactly as you would do within the workplace. For example, you might choose to critically evaluate the value of implementing a new technology or analyse the impact of the changes to an information system.
Please note that participation in the Consultancy Project is only available after a comprehensive selection process. Please view our terms and conditions to find out more.
Entrepreneurship project (UK students only)
An excellent opportunity if you have an idea for a new business venture, this module will provide you with the time, space and expertise to develop it. For between six to 12 months, you’ll be given the option of a base within the University’s incubator and have access to workshops and guidance from a network of entrepreneurs and business advisers. During this time, you’ll complete a portfolio of evidence on your idea and present this to an external stakeholder.
Places are also limited, and you will be required to undertake an interview prior to acceptance on this module. The Entrepreneurship Pathway is only available to UK students due to visa restrictions. Please view our terms and conditions to find out more.
In an increasingly competitive job market, employers are looking to recruit employees who have high-level knowledge, skills and workplace experience. With support from the School’s Placement Officer, you will gain first-hand professional experience on a suitable, paid work placement for between six to 12 months. During your placement, you will be required to complete an extended project in the field of business analytics on behalf of the organisation. As part of the eventual assessment, you’ll present your findings to the host organisation, exactly as you would do within the workplace. Your placement can be based anywhere in the UK giving you the opportunity to work with local, national and international organisations It may be possible for students who require a visa to study in the UK to add a work placement to their programme. Please view our terms and conditions to find out more.
How the course is taught
We adopt a research-led and practice-based approach to teaching, which is generally delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, small group discussions, individual supervision and computer laboratory classes.
Team building, group work, research, presentations and projects will help you develop vital business and management skills, such as leadership, organisation, strategic thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, delegation, time management, communication, presenting and reporting. Whereas sessions in the computer laboratories will sharpen your knowledge of data types and formats, how data collected, stored and collated (e.g. SQL), types of analysis and the tool available. You’ll also participate in workshop sessions within our state-of-the-art Bloomberg Suite, where you’ll manipulate and analyse real-world data.
You’ll learn from leading researchers and external practitioners, gaining industry insights through guest lectures and field trips. Previous students have had the opportunity to attend TEDX talks and access seminars, webinars and podcast as part of the on-going Keele Talks Business programme. We’ll also share our own research, as part of an informal programme of lectures and seminars organised by faculty staff.
Teaching takes place over the first two semesters. There are no formal group classes during Semester 3, but you consult with supervisors and access the University’s learning and teaching facilities and support services.
- Semester 1 runs from the end of September to the end of January, with an assessment period in January.
- Semester 2 runs from the last week of January to the middle of June, with the assessment period in June.
- Semester 3 runs from June to the end of September.
How you'll be assessed
Assessment is varied and includes the use of traditional essays, reports and exams with more creative methods, such as skills portfolios, reflective diaries, workbooks, presentations, communications plans, posters and practical projects. Most modules combine several forms of assessment.
Where possible, assessment is designed to reflect skills and practices in the workplace, including team working, idea generation, meeting deadlines and so on. It will also include reflective assignment, which helps facilitate a positive learning experience and enhances your creative and reflective thinking skills.
In the core business modules you will be asked to critically analyse real world case studies, research modern and comtemporary issues as part of a team and write reports that combine theory, research and practical analysis to draw practical conclusion supported by evidence. Whilst in the data science modules you will perform a series of analysis tasks, perform indepth analyse on large datasets and produce reports containing code, results, analysis and reflections and produce visualisations to effectively convery information to a business audience.
- Undergraduate degree in any subject with second class lower (2:2) or an international equivalent. We will also consider students with equivalent industrial work experience.
- English Language Entry Requirement for International Students
- IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component. The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.
- If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.
- During your degree programme you can study additional English language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.
Teaching on this course is delivered jointly by staff from the Keele Business School and the University’s School of Computing and Mathematics.
KBS staff have extensive teaching, research and work experience in their fields. The School maintains a strong commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching and research. Our staff members have substantial teaching experience and are committed to continuing professional development as academic teachers. Many of our permanent lecturers have PhDs or other higher degrees or professional qualifications.
Staff within the School of Computing conduct internationally-recognised research in multidisciplinary AI and Data Analytics. The School also has several collaborative projects with industry partners, for example, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the global automotive company, Bentley Motors Ltd, to develop an innovative data mining processes that will allow Bentley to exploit the value hidden in the data it owns and collects.
The cross-faculty nature of this course allows you to take advantage of two sets of exceptional facilitates. The first,is the Keele Business School’s new home – the Denise Coates Foundation Building – a state-of-the-art facility complete with 220-seat lecture theatre, a ‘think lab’ study space, data laboratory, cafe and business lounge. Home to our accounting, business management, economics, finance, HRM, international business, management and marketing programmes, our Business School is the first to be located on a Science Park. As well as new teaching spaces, our building is unique in that it is also home to the Smart Innovation Hub, a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which includes space and support programmes for innovation-led businesses, providing opportunities for students and staff to work collaboratively with entrepreneurs and business owners, gaining invaluable networks and experience. You’ll have access to the University’s business support and study alongside innovative companies that are based in the building.
The second is the School of Computing and Mathematics, which has seven 24/7 computer laboratories comprising around 200 desktop PCs with all relevant hardware and software and providing both Microsoft Windows and the Linux operating system.
When studying performance management, you’ll have access to the Bloomberg Suite with all its economic, financial and business real-time data, world news, analyses and reports from the world’s biggest financial organisations.
Based in the heart of England, Keele University is easily accessible by motorway and public transport. You’ll find everything’s on your doorstep, with the most important facilities gathered together at the centre of campus, which, at over 600 acres, is the biggest in the UK.
Recognised for the highest quality teaching, the University was awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), while 97% of our research is classed as world-leading or of international importance (REF 2014). In the global top 20 for campus sustainability, environmental and corporate responsibility underpin the running of our own business and these themes are embedded into our teaching of future professionals and leaders.
Business analytics is an exciting career choice and one that is increasingly in demand. Across all types of industries, organisations are generating huge volumes of data which has heightened the need for professionals who know how to interpret and analyse it. The role of business analyst, in conjunction with other data science jobs, is becoming central to business strategy here in the UK and internationally as businesses strive to maintain competitiveness in a demanding global market.
On this course, you’ll learn to confidently and capably use and leverage data to provide solutions to a range of operational and strategic business problems. You could pursue roles as a graduate trainee, business consultant, business analyst or data analyst, either as a consultant or in-house within a market research, analytics function or with broader management responsibility. On completion, you’ll also be ideally placed to pursue further postgraduate studies at MPhil or PhD level.
Past graduates within the Business School and School of Computing and Mathematics have secured positions in a variety of industries, including including Deloitte, BAE systems and EY.
- Business analyst/consultant
- Business intelligence analyst/consultant
- Business manager
- Data analyst/consultant
- Marketing analyst/consultant
- Supply chain analyst/consultant