Machine Learning and Big Data in the Physical Sciences
  • Postgraduate taught
  • MRes

Machine Learning and Big Data in the Physical Sciences

Deepen your understanding of the methodologies used in research involving large data sets.

Deepen your understanding of the methodologies used in research involving large data sets

Learn how to apply tools to real-life experimental data, guided by world-leading experts

Carry out an extended project and apply your data science skills to an area of cutting-edge physics research

Course key facts

  • Qualification

    • MRes

  • Duration

    1 year

  • Start date

    September 2024

  • Study mode


  • Fees

    • TBC Home

    • TBC Overseas

  • Delivered by

  • Location

    • South Kensington

    • White City

Minimum entry standard

  • 2:1 degree or three years of relevant work experience in quantitative disciplines such as finance, computer engineering, medical clinical and transportation

View full entry requirements

Course overview

Further your understanding of the methodologies and toolkits used in research involving large data sets on this Master's course.

This programme considers how the field of physics provides a unique development ground for machine learning and artificial intelligence.

You'll examine the use of machine learning and data-science techniques in the acquisition, curation and analysis of large datasets commonplace in modern physics research.

You'll also explore how different techniques can be deployed in real research and how to apply these tools to real-life experimental data.

An extended project forms the major component of this course, providing you with an opportunity to investigate a cutting-edge physics research topic.

You'll learn alongside world-leading experts at Imperial and deploy the latest data science technologies to enhance your research.


This page is updated regularly to reflect the latest version of the curriculum. However, this information is subject to change.

Find out more about potential course changes.

You’ll take all of these core modules.

Core modules

You’ll also choose at least two optional modules. Example modules are shown here, but availability may vary.

Optional modules

You'll undertake an extended research project as the largest portion of your studies. 

Here, you will carry out original research embedded in a research group which may be jointly carried out with industry. This will demonstrate your analytics and self-management skills, as well as your capacity to undertake PhD level research.

Your work will be assessed by a written report and a poster and/or presentation of your research findings.

Teaching and assessment

Balance of teaching and learning


  • Independent study and research project
  • Lectures, tutorials and practicals

  • 67% Independent study and research project
  • 33% Lectures, tutorials and practicals

Teaching and learning methods

  • Person at lectern giving speech
  • Person giving seminar
  • Research group meetings
  • People collaborating and completing practical work.
    Hands-on sessions
  • Exercises and practical work
  • Computer-based sessions
  • Blackboard virtual learning environment
    Virtual learning environment
  • Individual research project
    Extended research project

Balance of assessment


  • Written examinations
  • Practical and coursework
  • Research project

  • 15% Written examinations
  • 18% Practical and coursework
  • 67% Research project

Assessment methods

  • Person completing coursework
  • A person completing a written exam
    Written examinations
  • Literature review
  • Papers from a written report
    Written reports
  • Oral examination

Entry requirements

We consider all applicants on an individual basis, welcoming students from all over the world.

How to apply

Applications open on 2 October 2023

Tuition fees

Home fee

2024 entry

As a guide, the fee for 2023-24 was £19,400

Overseas fee

2024 entry

As a guide, the fee for 2023-24 was £38,500

Your future career

Chemistry research on computer screen

Prepare for a variety of roles in research, in particular areas in the physical sciences where large datasets are produced and analysed.

Computer monitor showing data

Be equipped for a data science career in industry, where machine learning solutions to data analysis and understanding are key.

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to Imperial. These include key information about your tuition fees, funding, visas, accommodation and more.

Read our terms and conditions

You can find further information about your course, including degree classifications, regulations, progression and awards in the programme specification for your course.

Programme specifications