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Faculty of Economics

Friday, 12 May, 2023

The new interdisciplinary MPhil in Economics and Data Science is intended to expand the knowledge of economists to the tools of data science.

“As a Faculty, our competitive advantage is the intersection of Economics and Data Science. We think like economists but are capable of using tools from computer science,” says Professor Christopher Rauh, the Director of the new MPhil programme . “Given the exponentially growing availability of data and accompanying growth in academic research and job opportunities, I would expect the supply of a course tailored to the handling and interpretation of large quantities of data will be met with large demand.”

The course aligns closely with the Strategic Vision of widening participation by offering full and part-time education jointly, through in-person delivery. It will support outstanding career trajectories in a world of growing availability of data, but with limited capacity to analyse it. The new MPhil will not only prepare for roles specialising in data analysis itself, but also for positions in which communication with data analysis experts or management of teams takes place.

Professor Rauh adds “our MPhil in economics and Data Science is an advanced research degree. Insights from data science are most valuable when they exist alongside a knowledge and understanding of the ways in which individuals, businesses and governments make decisions. We will do practical research with typical financial data, for example, predicting the risk of consumer credit default, as well as using non-standard data such as text or satellite images to predict events such as conflict or measure economic growth.”

The course is highly appropriate both for students wanting to start their careers, as well as for those who aim to expand existing responsibilities through a part-time course.

“The course contributes to our priority of extending the public policy impact in two ways. First, as part of the course there will be an active exchange of ideas and discussion with public policy groups and institutions. Second, the transmitted skills of economic analysis of big data are a key and rapidly growing area within many policy groups across the government and NGOs,” says Christopher Rauh, a Professor at the Faculty of Economics, and a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge.

The MPhil will be composed of seven core modules and two optional modules. “We will lend and borrow modules with the Department of Physics’ MPhil in Data Intensive Science, and plan to expand collaborations with the Judge Business School, Computer Science and Engineering once the programme is up and running,” he says.

The proposed MPhil has been approved and will welcome its first cohort in October 2024. It is for 9 months Full Time, or 21 months Part Time.