Master of Data Science Online

Why Data Science with JCU?

The JCU Online Master of Data Science is designed to put professionals who recognise the power of data and numbers ahead of the pack. The JCU Master of Data Science is backed by an Industry Advisory Board, made up of data science and tech leaders from across Australia with extensive experience both domestically and abroad.

100% online & part-time

Fast-track your career with flexible study you can balance around your life. Study one subject at a time wherever and whenever suits you.

Graduate with proof of capability

Build a portfolio to showcase your newfound capabilities through capstone projects and masterclasses.

Gain skills the industry needs

Develop skills in a suite of programming languages and software including Python, R, Tableau and AWS and study the only online Master of Data Science in Australia to be SAS certified.

Program Highlights

  • Develop fundamental skills in data science.
  • Open up your career opportunities.
  • Build your portfolio.
  • Gain skills in SAS, Python, R and more.
  • Fast-track your career with 100% online study.
  • Be supported by a dedicated Student Success Advisor.

Learn while you work

Hands-on experience: Data science student projects

With JCU Online, you will build a portfolio to demonstrate your expertise. See some examples from our students below.

Student Project Ubot Robot Harvesting

Ubot: Robot harvesting

Create MobileNetV3 model using UBOT provided annotated citrus images. Compare with provided UBOT citrus detection mask RCNN model and compare detection accuracy and detection speed performance.

Student Project Fuel price cycle in NSW NRMA

Fuel price cycles in NSW: NRMA

To build a statistical model that will identify fuel price cycles in New South Wales (NSW) for the National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA), provide diagnostics around movements and visualise in a dashboard.

Student Project Cairns regional council water monitoring

Cairns regional council water monitoring

Conduct an analysis and visualisation of Council’s customer water meter data (1997 – 2018) for the purposes of gaining and developing insights to inform Council’s review of its Demand Management Strategy and better understand growth expansion areas.


Programming languages and software used

python RStudio MySQL aws

tableau sas R jupyter

Man writing codes

Succeed in a data-driven world and become SAS® Certified

The rapid growth of the data science field, and the increased demand for data scientists who are able to uncover the value in the data, is opening up opportunities in Australia and around the world. Delivered by leading experts with a deep knowledge of contemporary data theory and real-world industry experience, JCU’s online Master of Data Science provides the foundation you need to thrive in a data-driven world.

You’ll also gain industry-recognised skills - JCU has partnered with SAS®, analytic software provider and leader in Data Science. The Master of Data Science will prepare you to become a SAS® Certified Big Data Professional Using SAS®9.



What you will study

You will study up to 12 online subjects, depending on your entry point and recognition of prior learning. There are six subjects offered each year. Study periods are seven weeks long, with new subjects starting every second month.

You’ll gain expert skills in programming languages including Python and R, professional capability in visualisation tools such as SAS and Tableau, software development platforms like R-Studio and Jupyter and experience on cloud computing platforms including Amazon Web Services.

An interdisciplinary approach means you’ll acquire relevant knowledge from across the mathematics, information technology and business domains, delivered by experts in research, academia, business and of course, data science. This varied approach delivers a flexible knowledge base and skillset, adding weight to employability.

Want more details about these subjects? Find out more from our course guide.




*Duration dependent on individual study path and subject availability. Please speak to an Enrolment Advisor for more information.

Graduate Certificate subjects
  • Foundations for Data Science
    This subject provides an overview of data science as a discipline, as well as an introduction to fundamental aspects of this area. Read more
  • Statistical Methods for Data Science
    This subject introduces practical applications and concepts involved in descriptive statistics, inferential statistics and linear modelling. Read more
  • Data Visualisation
    This subject introduces the fundamentals of data visualisation and how it can solve a wide range of practical data interpretation problems. Read more
  • Database Systems
    This subject provides an introduction to the principles and concepts of database systems and their importance in data science. Read more
Graduate Diploma subjects
  • Programming and Data Analytics using Python
    This subject introduces fundamental principles and practices of computer programming with Python. Read more
  • Essential Mathematics for Data Scientists
    This subject provides the essential elements of mathematics required for data scientists. Read more
  • Introduction to Data Mining
    This subject will provide an understanding of a range of widely used algorithms and techniques to automatically extract patterns and models from data. Read more
  • Visual Analytics for Data Scientists using SAS
    This subject introduces students to practical applications and concepts involved in advanced statistical modelling in SAS. Read more
Master subjects
  • Data Science Master Class 1
    This subject brings in leaders in the field to report recent advances in data science techniques and/or applications of data science. It will also explore natural language processing (NLP), web scraping and APIs to harvest data with Python. Read more
  • Advanced Data Management and Analysis using SAS
    This subject introduces the cutting edge tools and techniques for high-performance and large-scale computing. Read more
  • Data Science and Strategic Decision Making
    This subject provides integrated knowledge for understanding and managing information resources, building basic business intelligent systems, interpreting business statistics and developing practical decision models. Read more
  • Data Mining and Machine Learning
    This subject provides a range of algorithms based on machine learning techniques for advanced data analysis and mining. Read more

Course information

Position yourself for success with a JCU Online Master of Data Science – a higher degree that will put you at the forefront of the data science revolution.

Meet our Data Science Academics

With deep academic knowledge and industry experience from a range of disciplines, our data science academics will offer you a world-class learning experience that ensures you have the skills to remain ahead in our data-driven world.

  • Entry Requirements
  • Recognition of Prior Learning
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Career Outcomes
  • Inherent Requirements
Entry Requirements

The Master of Data Science welcomes applications from students who are able to meet the following criteria:

  • A Bachelor degree (whilst not a prerequisite for entry, high numeracy skills equivalent to senior level mathematics that includes algebra and elementary differential calculus is assumed); OR
  • At least five years of relevant work experience in an IT or data science-related industry. Industry experience will need to include some background in computing, data analysis or programming.  Application based on relevant industry experience must be supported by a detailed CV and proof of work experience.

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 2 – Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

*JCU offers a specified online mathematics subject, which can be completed prior to application if you do not currently meet the mathematical entry requirement level.

Not sure if you meet these entry criteria? Our Enrolment Advisors can assist you.

Recognition of Prior Learning

JCU recognises the value of past study and real-world experience. Exemptions or credits for elective subjects will be considered on a case-by-case basis, upon submission of verifiable supporting documentation.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the Master of Data Science, graduates will be able to:

  1. Integrate and apply an advanced body of practical, technical, and theoretical knowledge, including understanding of recent developments and modern challenges, in Data Science and its application.
  2. Retrieve, analyse, synthesise and evaluate complex information, concepts, methods, or theories from a range of sources.
  3. Plan and conduct appropriate investigations of data sets by selecting and applying qualitative and quantitative methods, techniques and tools, as appropriate to the data and the application.
  4. Analyse requirements, and demonstrate effective applications of appropriate computing languages and computational tools for data acquisition, queries, management, analysis and visualisation.
  5. Identify, analyse and generate solutions for complex problems, especially related to tropical, regional, or Indigenous contexts, by applying knowledge and skills of data science with initiative and expert judgement.
  6. Communicate data concepts and methodologies of data science as well as the arguments and conclusions of the application of data science, clearly and coherently to specialist and non-specialist audiences through advanced written and oral English language skills and a variety of media.
  7. Respond appropriately to issues of data security, privacy and, where appropriate, regulatory requirements and cultural frameworks to work effectively, responsibly and safely in diverse contexts.
  8. Reflect on current skills, knowledge and attitudes to manage their professional learning needs and performance, autonomously and/or in collaboration with others.
  9. Apply knowledge of research principles, methods, techniques and tools to plan and execute a substantial research-based project.
Career Outcomes

The field of data science continues to grow, and studying a Master of Data Science will give you an edge in this diverse industry. Upon successfully completing a Master of Data Science with JCU, you will have the skills and expertise to succeed in roles like:

  • Data Scientist
  • Business Analyst
  • AI Developer
  • Machine Learning Specialist
  • Data Analyst
  • Chief Information Officer

According to Seek, the most common salary for a Data Scientist is $130,000¹. The Talent Data Science & Analytics Market Snapshot & Salary Guide states the most in-demand skills in this field include programming languages like SQL, Python and R, business analytics and machine learning², all of which you will learn in JCU Online’s Master of Data Science.

¹ - Data Scientist

² Talent Data Science & Analytics Market Snapshot & Salary Guide.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent requirements are the identified abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours that must be demonstrated, during the learning experience, to successfully complete a course. These abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours preserve the academic integrity of the University’s learning, assessment, and accreditation processes, and where applicable, meet the standards of a profession.

All JCU students have the opportunity to demonstrate, with reasonable adjustments where applicable, the inherent requirements for their course.

Nested qualifications: Early entry exit options

You can also build towards your master’s degree through flexible entry and exit points and ‘qualify as you go’ through our nested qualifications. As you study your Master of Data Science, you will gain your Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma of Data Science. If you need to finish your study early, you may still qualify for a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma. Get in touch with an Enrolment Advisor to find out more.



Data Science nested qualification graph Data Science nested qualification graph

Your personalised Enrolment Advisor

The role of an Enrolment Advisor is to ensure that you have all the resources and academic support needed to be successful in your studies.

Enrolments Advisors are here to help you with:

  • Determining your eligibility for the course.
  • Understanding the structure of your course and what you can expect to learn.
  • Time management strategies for success.
  • How to apply for financial assistance and FEE-HELP.
  • Any questions you have about your application.

Contact hours for your Enrolment Advisor 

Monday and Tuesday: 8am-6pm (AEST)
Wednesday and Thursday: 8am-7pm (AEST)
Friday: 8am - 5pm (AEST)


Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of software is covered in this course?
Our Master of Data Science allows students to gain skills in many different types of software, including SAS, R, Python, Matlab and Tableau. Some prior programming knowledge or experience in these is preferable but not essential.
What is SAS and is it beneficial to have a SAS certification?
SAS is a statistical software suite used by data scientists. Many companies are looking for data scientists who are proficient in SAS, so gaining a SAS certification with JCU Online will allow you to gain industry-ready skills and demonstrate your capability.
Will I learn about cloud-based computing in this course?
Yes, cloud computing techniques and software is covered in the subject Advanced Data Management and Analysis using SAS.
What level of mathematics is required to complete this degree? How will I catch up if I do not meet the requirements?
Students in this course are required to have skills equivalent to senior-level mathematics, such as algebra and elementary differential calculus. If you do not currently meet these requirements, JCU offers an online mathematics subject which you can complete prior to applying to the Master of Data Science. For more information on the Essential math skills every data scientist needs to know, visit our blog.
Can I study this course if I have never done programming before?
Yes, however we do require students to have skills in calculus and basic statistics in order to complete the programming elements of this course.
What kind of assessments can be expected in the Master of Data Science course?
Assessments include reports, assignments and presentations. Students receive regular feedback on their progress via online forums and individual consultations with academic staff.
What is the difference between a Master of Data Science and Master of Data Science - Professional?
The Master of Data Science (Professional) is a four subject extension of the traditional 12 subject Master’s program. It is a great option for students who want to gain more industry experience, build connections and demonstrate their capability when they graduate. With the Master of Data Science (Professional), you will learn high-level technical skills, such as image recognition and natural language processing. You will also build your portfolio through industry-based projects, in which you will apply your newfound skills to a real-world data science problem.

Ready to get started?

Download a course guide

For more detailed and up-to-date information about your degree, including:

  • Information about the course
  • Course duration
  • Fees
  • Course descriptions
  • What to expect from the course
Download course guide

Speak with an Enrolment Advisor

Investing in the right course for you is important to us and we’re here to help. Simply request a call back and will assist you with:

  • Entry requirements
  • Choosing right course
  • How to apply and enrol
  • How online study works
  • Course duration and fees
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