Six universities and their 34 partner organisations are set to receive funding to establish health data science masters programmes to help address the skills shortage in data science in the UK.

The UK has a rich and diverse scientific talent base, thanks to the strength of the NHS, academic institutions and innovative scientific and digital industries.  At Health Data Research UK, we have an ambition to harness this talent and create a community of health data scientists with new skills that will dramatically change medical research and open up new, faster, smarter pathways to patient care.

Our aim is to develop great people by identifying those with curious minds, technological appetites, and a keenness to be at the forefront of revolutionising patient care, creating new syllabuses, from school-leaver to doctoral training, to address health data science needs of the 21st Century. These will include the new masters-level degree programmes in health data science.

Following an open competition to UK universities and a selection process that included an independent panel of academics, health professionals and a patient representative, the following universities have been selected to lead the masters programmes:

Each of the successful institutions demonstrated scientific excellence, a track record in postgraduate training, innovative approaches to further education and strong institutional commitment.  They will be funded to deliver a three-year student intake between 2020 and 2023.

Professor Peter Diggle, Director of Training at Health Data Research UK, said: “We are delighted to support these six universities to develop these vital programmes, which will enable life sciences or quantitative sciences graduates to be effective members of health data research teams.  The programmes will genuinely integrate statistics, informatics and health science and will be aimed at medical students and life sciences graduates who are keen to develop their quantitative skills, or at core maths, physics, statistics or computing graduates who want to move into the health science arena.  This brings us one step closer to building a community to lead the health data science revolution.”