Online Learning


Online learning

To achieve The Data Lab’s vision to showcase Scotland as an international leader in Data Science, this programme provides funding to develop online courses which contribute to the requirement for more flexible high-quality data science training and education.

To date, the programme has funded a number of data science online learning courses providing a range of learning opportunities in a variety of areas.​

The following courses have launched and are all free to access (with the exception of MSc programmes). Whilst many of the courses have been written in the context of a specific subject area, the skills taught are applicable to wider audiences with the set contexts enabling applied learning and development in new areas.

Please follow the course links below for further information and to register for any of these free courses.  If you would like to be notified when new courses become available please sign up to our newsletter.  

Available courses:

Introduction to Data for Business Leaders

A course that goes beyond the hype surrounding data by demonstrating how you can drive value. This course explores data at an introductory level for decision makers. This course, created by The Data Lab, is for those of you setting up data capabilities for the first time, or those of you taking steps to the next level of data maturity. This is for you if you are part of a community that is leading the change to make your organisation more data savvy.

This course runs continuously and you can begin learning at any time. Find out more and register 

Data Ethics MOOC Image

Data Ethics, AI and Responsible Innovation

Our future is here and it relies on data. Predictive policing, medical robots, smart homes and cities, artificial intelligences – we can all think about how any of those could go wrong. Discover how we can build a future where they are done right.

This story-driven course is created and taught by the leading experts in data science, AI, information law, science and technology studies, and responsible research and innovation, at The University of Edinburgh, and is informed by case studies supplied by the digital business frontrunners and tech companies.

Find out more and register for this course

Data Science for ecologists and environmental scientists

Data Science for Ecologists and Environmental Scientists

Data Science for Ecologists and Environmental Scientists is an online learning initiative for anyone wanting to gain data science skills in the programming language R, with additional content in Python and JavaScript. Our motivation is to overcome “code fear” and “statistics anxiety” in learners of all ages and from all walks of life. This course developed by Coding Club and the University of Edinburgh, is for international audiences, but is also uniquely Scottish with real-world data to put quantitative skills into the context of key ecological questions. The three course themes introduce learners to key elements of data science – ‘Stats from Scratch’, ‘Wiz of Data Vis’ and ‘Mastering Modelling’. 

This course runs continuously and you can begin learning at any time. Find out more and register for this course


Using Data in the Tourism Industry

Discover how data can be used to drive business decisions through this course created by Edinburgh Napier University and Scottish Enterprise. Data gives businesses in the travel and tourism industry the foundation it needs to make innovative decisions. From accommodation to tour company providers, there’s potential for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow and improve productivity if they understand the value of data. 

This course runs continuously and you can begin learning at any time. Find out more and register for this course

Big Data ... reading the future

Data Science for Colleges

This six-module course, developed by the College Development Network (CDN) and University of Stirling, has been designed predominantly for teaching staff in colleges across all subject areas, but is open to all and demonstrates how everyone can benefit from learning more about the data that flows around us. In this course you will be introduced to the basics of data science, including data collection, storage, analysis and application, and given the option to develop a learning activity for students.

This course runs continuously and you can begin learning at any time. Find out more and register for this course


Data Science in Stratified Healthcare and Precision Medicine 

In this course, created by the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with The Farr Institute, Innovative Healthcare Delivery Programme, NHS/NSS, IBM and Aridhia you will learn about some of the different types of data and computational methods involved in stratified healthcare and precision medicine. The topics presented in this course can be of interest to a general audience, including programming in Python and working with data of different types, from tabular data, to images and text. Key computational methods covered, such as machine learning, process modelling and network modelling, are applicable to a wide range of sectors, including finance, education and manufacturing.

This course runs continuously with a new intake every month. Find out more and register for this course.


The Power of Data Science in the Health and Care Sector

This course has been designed to teach health and care practitioners and project and change managers, how to make the most of data. The course, created by the University of Strathclyde and UrbanTide (with an advisory team including members from FlyingBinary, NES and DHI), delivers the knowledge and the ability to understand; the value of data, what data should be gathered, the information governance and the requirements that need to be considered and what the data can then be used for to develop new services and influence strategies, budget decision and policy within the health and care domain. This course is aimed at health and care practitioners and project and change managers who want to harness the power of data and enabling them to do more with the data and giving them the ability to articulate to data scientists the analytics required. 

The next run of this course will be Aug/Sept 2021. Find out more and register for this course. 


Data Science for the Games Industry

This course, created as a collaboration between University of Dundee, Outplay, Scottish Games Network, 4J Studios, Ninja Kiwi, Teradata, Big Consultancy and Enterprise Porridge is targeted at gaming industry experts and the gaming-interested alike.  The course aims to teach participant’s how to store and effectively analyse these data goldmines by drawing on Scottish gaming case stories and the technical background enabling them to build a better gaming experience and to assist the industry to increase revenue through in game purchases.  

Find out more and register for this course. 

Students working in the Broadcast Newsroom at Merchiston

MSc Data Engineering

The part-time fully online MSc programme created by Edinburgh Napier University is aimed at graduates and practitioners with a background in business, quantitative science, or computing who wish to develop into effective Data Engineers with the business understandings and analytical, statistical and computing skills to contribute to this vital area for contemporary commercial and public sectors.  The acquisition of knowledge and skills on the programme will give students a critical understanding of the tools and technologies involved in the analysis, design, development, testing, evaluation and modification of Data Engineering solutions; enable them to select and evaluate appropriate tools for the collection, processing and presentation of complex and diverse data sets, and critically review an organisation’s data needs and make appropriate and measurable recommendations on the use of Data Engineering techniques.  

Find out more and register for the programme. 

Children learning data science at school

Getting Started with Teaching Data Science in Schools

Discover the basics of data science and how to introduce data science activities in the classroom. In this course, created by the University of Glasgow, we explore the use of statistics and data science in learning and teaching scenarios using everyday data sets. We reflect on the value of data analytics and the corresponding implications for society. We develop data science skills using the industry standard Python programming language. We identify how data literacy tasks can be incorporated into school learning activities.

Find out more and register for the programme. 

The Data Science of Cyber Security

Cyber Security is one of the most challenging areas for Big Data and Machine Learning, especially in determining timeline before, during and after an incidence. With the requirement of GDPR for improved defences and responses to incidents, there is an ever-increasing requirement to use machine learning to detect new threats. This course, created by Edinburgh Napier University, will provide a grounding in the fundamentals of data analysis within Cyber Security, and provide key methodologies for machine learning.

Find out more about this course – sign up and start now.

Hurrican seen from space

Hurricane Tracking with Satellite Data

Discover data analytics and learn how to process and interpret satellite data to track hurricanes. On this course, created by the University of Strathclyde, you will explore the key concepts of data science required to process, analyse, and interpret large datasets. You will use tutorials and case studies to understand the possibilities within these datasets, and learn how to interpret satellite data beyond the course.

This course is not currently running – find out more.


Data Science for Environmental Modelling and Renewables

Discover how data science can help us understand environmental change. On this course, created by University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde, we examine and explore the use of statistics and data science in better understanding the environment we live in. You will develop data science skills, learning from experts and completing hands-on modelling activities using real world environmental data and the powerful programming language R.

This course is not currently running – find out more.