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Satellite Data Science MSc

Different course options

Full time | University of Leicester | 1 year | 27-SEP-21

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Informatics Earth Sciences

Course type


Course Summary

Course description

Satellite observations of the Earth provide us with detailed information about the natural environment and allow us to monitor how humans are altering the planet. Uptake, use, and commercialisation of Earth observation data demands expertise in data analysis. There is a need for graduates who understand the principles of remote sensing whilst being able to write computer programmes, especially in Python, and use high-performance computing infrastructure. This course covers these areas, placing you in a strong position to seek employment in industry.

On this degree you will:

  • Use data from space-based sensors to understand and tackle pressing global environmental challenges related to the biosphere and atmosphere.
  • Develop analytical skills to use and process big datasets from satellites and other sensors.
  • Learn to effectively use and modify open-access big data processing environments such as Python and R.
  • Get started with cutting-edge image processing techniques, artificial intelligence and machine learning, on different platforms (e.g. cloud computing).
  • Gain an appreciation for the extensive application of Earth observations to multiple sectors throughout the world.

Careers and employability

This course will provide you with a broad-based education in data analytics techniques suitable for a career in data science in multiple sectors, not necessarily limited to a career focused on satellite observations: research, academia, industry, SMEs, start-ups, government, policy, NGOs, not-for-profits. You will gain practical experience using tools and software (R, Python) that increase your employability and contribute to addressing the shortage of qualified data scientists in the UK and abroad.


This module focuses on the programming language R as an effective tool for data science. R is one of the most widely used programming languages, and it provides access to a vast repository of programming libraries, which cover all aspects of data science from data wrangling to statistical analysis, from machine learning to data visualisation. That includes a variety of libraries for processing spatial data, perform geographic information analysis, and create maps. As such, R is an extremely versatile, free and opensource tool in geographic information science, which combines the capabilities of traditional GIS software with the advantages of a scripting language, and an interface to a vast array of algorithms.
Research Project - Core
Earth observations of the atmosphere - Core

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (overall cost)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (overall cost)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Students need to have 2:2 degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Non-standard qualification or professional experience in a relevant area may be considered.

University information

As a top 25 UK University, Leicester has always been home to the great minds; academics, researchers and students who aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo, advance new practices, and develop a fresh way of thinking. Through the ground-breaking research of their experts, you will tackle the emerging social, economic, political and scientific issues head on and set the agenda where others simply follow. At Leicester, students aren’t...more

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