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MIRI - Data Science

Note: MIRI - Data Science is currently being discontinued, it has been replaced by Master in Data Science



The master’s degree equips graduates with solid knowledge and hands-on experience in techniques for managing, analyzing and extracting hidden knowledge from structured and unstructured big data ensembles and in building adaptive analytic systems that are able to exploit that knowledge in modern organizations. In particular, the master’s degree addresses the new challenges of the smart society boom: fraud detection, bioinformatics, information extraction from linked open data, real time analysis of sensor data and social networks, and customer relationship management.


The specialization in Data Science is aimed at students from all over the world. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics, or related fields, as well as a good level of English, and they must be motivated to discover knowledge from data in the fascinating world of sciences and technologies. 




Four semesters. (120 ECTS)



Full-time: 20h lectures, 20h personal work per week
Part-time: half of full-time
Lectures are in the morning (8h-14h) 


Why this master's degree?

Data contains knowledge

The primary social and economic value of modern societies is knowledge. For this reason, a mastery of information technologies for structured or unstructured information recorded in data warehouses, websites and social networks is indispensable for the development of individuals and the society in which they live.

This is even truer with the new paradigm of big data, as data are being generated by everything around us at all times. Every digital process and social media exchange produces them. Systems, sensors and mobile devices transmit them. Big data arrive from multiple sources at an alarming rate, in huge volumes and an extraordinary variety. To extract meaningful value from big data, you need optimal processing power and smart analytic capabilities. This leads to a new paradigm, “data value”. Data are the new driving force of businesses and governments, generating new scientific discoveries, creating new business models, providing better services, giving competitive advantages and improving decision making.

However, most of the data gathered are just noise (random fluctuation) and only a small part contains the signals needed to solve society’s present problems. Training highly specialized professionals in Data Science has thus become a crucial factor for improving the competitiveness and welfare of a country.

The skills needed to fully harness the power of big data analytics are data mining skills and business intelligence. Data mining skills encompass all of the methodologies for extracting information from data and expressing the amount of uncertainty in the decisions that we make. Business intelligence includes all of the technologies for managing large amounts of structured and unstructured data and helps to identify, develop and create new strategic business opportunities.


Click on the course unit details below for more information. 
Master Thesis


Common for all Master MIRI students



Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Semester 4

Seminar activities

The activities to obtain the SIRI credits can be done in any semester of the master's degree. Consult the detail of the seminars.

Specialization Elective



It is also possible:

  • Recognize credits for "External Practices" or "Laboral and Professional Experience"
  • Take courses from other MIRI specialties
  • Take courses from other masters at the UPC

Employment opportunities

Data science has emerged as a significant field at the crossroads between science and technology. Data scientists help businesses, government, and society to leverage oceans of available data using very powerful and relatively cost-effective analytic technology. The ability to achieve the full potential of data analytics requires not just data, tools, and infrastructure, but also quantitative skills to traverse the huge mountains of data.

Graduates of this specialization may find employment in a range of sectors:


Using big data reduces fraud and errors and boosts the collection of tax revenues.


The prediction of classical epidemiological models can be greatly improved using genomic data.


Using big data analytic techniques drives efficiency and quality. In the developed economies of Europe, government administrators could save more than 100 billion euros in operational efficiency improvements alone, using big data analytics (McKinsey Global Institute, 2011).

Transparency in smart cities

By simply making data and analytics more easily available to relevant stakeholders in a timely manner, huge added value could be created.

Personal Services

Using data mining techniques for services enabled by personal-location data could capture 600 billion euros in consumer surplus (McKinsey Global Institute, 2011).


Big data analytics will become a key basis for competition and growth of individual firms and allow new products and services to be offered.

Individual entrepreneurship

Leading companies are using data collection and analysis to conduct controlled experiments that lead to better management decisions; others are using data for real-time forecasting to adjust their business levers just in time. Big data analysis allows narrower segmentation of customers and therefore much more precisely tailored products and services. Sophisticated analytics can substantially improve decision making. Big data analytics fosters the development of the next generation of products and services, i.e., manufacturers can use data obtained from sensors embedded in products to create innovative after-sales services such as proactive maintenance. It is obvious that the efficient usage of data mining techniques will substantially increase gains across sectors from computer and electronic products and information to finance and insurance.  

All of the internationally recognized journals and consulting institutions affirm the paramount importance of data mining, business intelligence, big data analytics and data science in their reports for the 21st century:

The market for BI platforms will remain one of the fastest growing software markets.


The market size grew to 14 billion US dollars in 2014, compared to 8.8 billion US dollars in 2008

The analyst firm Forrester

The field of data management and analysis is estimated to be worth more than 100 billion US dollars and grows by nearly 10% per year.

The Economist

The shortage of professionals in such fields is deemed to be 4.4 million in US for 2015



The McKinsey Global Institute, in its May 2011 report, states big data as the next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity. In addition, it is worth mentioning that big data professionals have not been affected by the current economic crisis and are considered to be a top priority of CEOs everywhere.


For this masters will not be any intake. If you are interested in Data Science check the Master in Data Science


Professor in charge

Professors of specialization


Double Degree

What's MIRI

MIRI stands for Master in Innovation and Research in Informatics. This label identifies those programmes with a special focus on research and innovation. Graduates become the most knowledgeable and skilled professionals in their respective area. These programmes are highly specialized and they provide a two year immersion in the corresponding field.

The six MIRI programmes are:

Student Testimonials

What I really like about the Data Mining and Business Intelligence master is that it combines studies on data analysis and data management with the purpose of approaching both worlds; a demanding need for today's business of employing people capable of merging the very best of the two.
The first year already gave me a very strong background to start with, and the second year allowed me to choose on what fields of my interest I wanted to specialize.
My opinion is that it might not be a soft trip and you might need to work hard, but the things you learn along way are really worth it!

Victor Herrero - Degree in Informatics Engineering at FIB

Looking for proper specialization in Data Analysis was very difficult to find. Now that I'm taking on my Master Thesis, I can say that Data Mining & Business Intelligence program, from the MIRI, was a very good choice. It combines advanced theoretical university teachings with hands-on programming. More specifically, the combination of statistics and computing capabilities learnt here will be very difficult to beat in the market. With the techniques acquired, I would say we are ready to tackle every single problem in data analysis I can think of, at the time when everything in the world is being measured and turned into digital data. So the possibililities are just there for you to take. But as there is no free lunch in economy, be prepared, you will need to work very hard.

Jaime Andres Merino - Technical Computer Systems Engineering at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid

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