Master's Degree in Data Science: Data Science Program

Program Director

PhD, Lancaster University

ICREA-UPF and Barcelona GSE

Steering Committee

PhD, London School of Economics

UPF and Barcelona GSE - on leave

PhD (Environmental Engineering), Universitat de Lleida

Barcelona GSE Data Science Center

PhD, University of Warwick

UPF and Barcelona GSE

The digital revolution brings with it an explosion of data that carries significant potential value for businesses, science, and society.

As data becomes easily available as never before, so too does its volume grow, and extracting useful quantitative insights becomes more and more challenging. 

The Barcelona GSE Master in Data Science prepares its graduates to design and build data-driven systems for decision-making in the private or public sector, offering a thorough training in predictive, descriptive, and prescriptive analytics.

The curriculum will guide students from modeling and theory to computational practice and cutting edge tools, teaching skills that are in growing global demand. 

Data Science students will be armed with a solid knowledge of statistical and machine learning methods, optimization and computing, and the ability to spot, assess, and seize the opportunity of data-driven value creation.

Students will learn how to apply classroom examples using real data and answering concrete business questions from the perspectives of different industries. Through an independent master's project and the opportunity for industrial practicum work conducted with local businesses, students can have the opportunity to solve actual analytics problems hands-on.

Our courses are taught by leading academics and researchers in the fields of Economics, Operations, and Statistics, as well as experienced professionals from the analytics industry.

The program also invites guest speakers and entrepreneurs working at the frontiers of the Data Science.


logoAccenture Data Science Scholarship

Accenture sponsors a full scholarship for one student in the Barcelona GSE Data Science master program.

Scholarship criteria and details

logoBarcelona GSE Data Science Center Scholarships

The Data Science Center offers scholarships in the form of research assistantships (RAs) that require the student to be involved with the Center's data science projects.

About the Barcelona GSE Data Science Center

Program schedule: 

The Data Science program is organized around four pillars:

  • Statistics and Machine Learning
  • Optimization and Operational Research
  • Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, and Big Data Analytics
  • Economics, Finance, and Policy-Making

In September, students are required to take two brush-up courses. Students who can provide evidence of sufficient past coursework may be exempt:

Course offer is subject to change.

Fall Term (September - December)

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
All courses are mandatory.
Statistical Modelling and Inference 6 Omiros Papaspiliopoulos
Deterministic Models and Optimization 6 Marc Noy
Piotr Zwiernik
Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence 3 Nandan Rao
Joan Verdú
Computational Machine Learning I 3

Joan Verdú

Economic Methods for Data Science 3

Caterina Calsamiglia
Antonio Penta
Nandan Rao


Winter Term (January - March)

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Machine Learning 6 Gábor Lugosi
Computational Machine Learning II 3 Coordinator: Omiros Papaspiliopoulos
Select from the following:
Data Visualization 3 Michael Greenacre
Ioannis Arapakis
Macroeconomics and Finance: Financial Econometrics 6 Christian Brownlees
Macroeconomics and Finance: Pricing Financial Derivatives (Part I and Part II) 6 Eulàlia Nualart
Quantitative Methods of Market Regulation 3 Albert Banal
Quantitative and Statistical Methods II 6 Joan Llull

Spring Term (April - June)

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Master Project 6 Coordinator: Joan Verdú
Select from the following:
Note: This list is not exhaustive. Other electives will be available.
Industrial Practicum
Complements the master project with credits if student is placed in company working full-time
6 Subject to availability and selection process.
Coordinator: Joan Verdú
Stochastic Models and Optimization 3 Gergely Neu
Hrvoje Stojic
Topics in Data Science 3 Ilias Leontiadis
Carlos Segura
Gaston Besanson
Networks: Concepts and Algorithms 3 Joan de Martí
Networks: Models and Applications 3 Joan de Martí
Text Mining for Social Sciences 3 Hannes Mueller
Rubén Durante
Nandan Rao
Machine Learning for Finance 3 Argimiro Arratia
Blockchain: From First Principles to Analytics 3 Coordinator: Gaston Besanson
Digital Economy 3 Rosa Ferrer
Juan-José Ganuza
Antonio Penta
Policy Lessons **  3 Albert Bravo-Biosca
Juan Francisco Jimeno

** Requires some prerequisite knowledge and authorization of the program director. Availability depending on sufficient demand.

Master degree awarded

Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a Master Degree in Data Science awarded jointly by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF).

All Barcelona GSE master degrees have been recognized by the Catalan and Spanish Education authorities within the framework of the Bologna Process (in Spanish, “Master Universitario o Master Oficial”). Indicadors de qualitat

What skills and knowledge will I acquire in this program?
  • Expertise in modern computational, high-dimensional and simulation-based Statistics and Machine Learning
  • Solid evaluation of the opportunities of data-driven value creation within companies and organizations
  • Ability to apply appropriate statistical methodologies and optimization techniques in solving complex problems
  • Innovation with database management systems and distributed processing in a cloud computing environment
  • Experience analyzing Big Data from the Internet of Things (industrial sensor data), the Internet of People (social and location data), and business transaction data
  • Effective communication of data analysis results through presentation and aesthetic charting skills
Who will benefit from this program?

Data Science students usually come from backgrounds in Economics, Business, and other quantitative subjects. They typically have a solid economics grounding, a keen interest in quantitative methods, and the ambition to work on real-world problems and data. Programming professionals and aspiring PhD students looking to acquire analytical and quantitative tools will also benefit from the Barcelona GSE Data Science Program.

Student profile in more detail

Industrial Practicum

The industrial practicum is an in-depth analytics project that takes place during the final three months of the master. The practicum gives Data Science students the opportunity to complete a "deep dive" analytics project using real data from selected companies around Barcelona.

Students will dedicate 300 hours to the practicum, collaborating with companies on-site using real data to solve a specific challenge that requires the types of "skill bundles" they have acquired during the first two terms of the master program.

Companies that have expressed interest in offering practicum projects to Barcelona GSE students include commercial banks, consulting firms, mobile application developers, risk analysts, and online retail platforms, among others. With a wide menu of companies competing for their attention, students are very likely to be matched with a practicum in the industry where they might prefer to work after graduation.

Some of the companies collaborating with the industrial practicum are: 

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Sample practicum project titles

  • Skill Assessment of Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Forecast over Europe
  • Client Clusterization Among Banking Clients
  • Voice Feature Analytics for Early Detection of Parkinson Disease in Speech
  • Player Retention in Mobile Gaming: Social Interactions
  • Optimizing Transport Simulation Systems
  • Smart Tourism
  • Volatility Clustering for Financial Risk Management
  • Augmenting Mobile Phone Data with Public Data for Credit Scoring
  • Dimensionality Models and Optimization of Network Distributions
  • Redundancy in Government Documents
Who hires Data Science graduates?
  • Consulting Firms
  • Financial Services
  • Government & Authorities
  • International Organizations / Non-profits
  • Technology
  • Research & Academic Institutions
  • Other Industries

Examples of recent professional placements:

  • Accenture − Analyst − Barcelona, Spain
  • Barcelona Supercomputing Center − Data Scientist (Postdoctoral) − Barcelona, Spain
  • Blackrock − Data Science Intern − London, United Kingdom
  • Caixa Business Intelligence − Data Scientist − Barcelona, Spain
  • Centre for Research in Health & Economics and UPF (CRES-UPF) − Data Scientist − Barcelona, Spain
  • CoinFi − Data Scientist − Hong Kong, China
  • Criteo − Local Analyst − Stockholm, Sweden
  • European Investment Bank (EIB) − Traineeship in Statistics − Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • Fresenius Medical Care − Junior Data Scientist − Berlin, Germany
  • International Labour Organization (ILO) − Data Scientist − Geneva, Switzerland
  • International Telecommunication Union − Market Analyst − Geneva, Switzerland
  • Munich Airport − Data Scientist − Munich, Germany
  • Novartis − Advanced Analytics Specialist − Barcelona, Spain
  • OECD Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development − Data Science Intern − Paris, France
  • Sanofi − Statistical Forecaster − Barcelona, Spain
  • Social Point − Game Data Scientist − Barcelona, Spain
  • Telefónica − Research Data Scientist − Barcelona, Spain
  • The Washington Post − Digital Analyst − Washington DC, United States
  • World Bank − Data Scientist/ Research Analyst − Washington DC, United States

Examples of recent Data Science PhD placements:

  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)
  • University College London
  • University of California San Diego

Alumni career paths in more detail



Data Science Student Profile 2019-20

16 students from 13 countries (100% international)

Most represented countries this year:

  • Italy (2)
  • United Kingdom (2)
  • United States (2)

Most common academic backgrounds:

  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Business Administration


Data Science alumni career paths

Overview of Data Science career paths

  • Most common job titles:
    Data Analyst, Data Scientist, Consultant
  • Most common industries:
    Technology, Financial Services, Consulting
  • Cities with most Data Science alumni:
    Barcelona, London, Frankfurt

To read personal career stories by Data Science alumni, visit the Data Science Program Ambassadors page.