Are you interested in the growing field of data analytics, and would you like to further develop your skills in this field? Then this minor could be something for you!

Historically, all empirical sciences, from the natural sciences to the social sciences and humanities, have used data. Recently, however, scientific data’s sheer volume, velocity, and variety, as well as the power of computers and methodology to generate scientific knowledge from the data, have started increasing drastically and in fact are expected to remain increasing over the coming decades.

Commensurately with this growing availability of data, data-analytic tools and computer capabilities, research questions across fields are becoming more complex, leading to commonalities in addressing problems encountered across a large number of fields represented at UU. This similarity of structure of apparently different problems is rapidly leading to the development of a new scientific field to deal with these problems regardless of object of research. This new field is called ‘Applied Data Science’. In Utrecht University it is one of the seven focus areas.

In this Minor you will be introduced to this field. There will be much emphasis on the analysis of data (and the fun of this!), and you will be introduced to programming.

In the courses you learn how to analyse data in a “data science” way. Here prediction and visualization play a central role. Data sets will be derived from different fields, and realistic questions will be asked about these data.

Data are everywhere but they are not always in the right format to analyse them immediately. Therefore, in the courses we also offer you tools to handle the data and write (simple) programmes to manipulate the data.

Software used is, among others, R and Python. These are programming environments that are free of charge and that are most popular in the field of (applied) data science.

Student profile

This Minor is intended for students who find it interesting to answer questions by analysing data. It is offered to students from different faculties of Utrecht University, so it is likely that during this Minor you will be part of a diverse community of students coming from different fields, such as the social and behavioural sciences, the humanities, geosciences, health and sciences. Note that from 2021-2022 onwards, this minor is no longer open to students from the UU Bachelor's programme Kunstmatige Intelligentie and students from the profile Kennis en data analytics of the UU Bachelor's programme Informatiekunde. This is because there is too much overlap with their regular programme.

If you are currently following this minor as a KI student or as a student Informatiekunde Kennis en data analytics, please contact Emmeke Aarts (e.aarts@uu.nl) for a transitional arrangement.

All students can enter this Minorr, except for students from the UU Bachelor's programme Kunstmatige Intelligentie, and the profile Kennis en data analytics in the UU Bachelor's programme Informatiekunde.

For the block 2 course Fundamental techniques in data science with R, the required entrance level is familiarity with correlation and regression, comparing means and cross tabulations of categorical variables. We also expect that you have hands on experience in carrying out these analyses with, for example, SPSS, Stata, R or SAS.

It is possible that you do not have the right entrance level. In that case, you will obtain the appropriate level by following this course in block 1 (taught in Dutch):

Code Course Block Level Coordinator
201900025 Basis van Onderzoeksmethoden en Statistiek 1 1 Dr. Peter Lugtig

When you have followed an introductory statistics course of 7.5 EC, we expect that you will have the required entrance level. When you are in doubt about this, please contact Gerko Vink (g.vink@uu.nl) who is the teacher of the obligatory course in block 2.

Study programme 

The Minor consists of four courses, where two courses are obligatory for everyone. The other two can be chosen, depending on the bachelor programme you are following. 

The obligatory courses are:

Code Course Block Level Coordinator
201900026 Fundamental techniques in data science with R 2 2 Dr. Gerko Vink
201900027 Applied data analysis and visualization 4 3 Dr. Emmeke Aarts

In these two courses you learn how to analyse data. The approach of data analysis in statistics is different from the approach of data analysis in data science, and we will teach you the latter. For example, there is more attention for prediction of an outcome, and less for statistical significance.

Programming and further data handling is also an integral part of data science, as data are often not yet in the format that you can analyse them. For this we offer the following course:

Code Course Block Level Coordinator
INFOB2PWD Programming with data 3 2 Dr. Anna-Lena Lamprecht

This course is not obligatory but highly recommended. When you are interested in following the Master Applied Data Science though, it is important to know that this course is an entrance requirement for this Master.

There are a number of other courses that can be chosen so that in the end the total number of courses followed is four. The following additional courses are offered:

Code Course Block Level Main Language Coordinator
201800138 Measurement and modelling with social data 2 3 English Dr. Wojtek Przepiorka, dept. of sociology
200300125 Theory Construction and Statistical Modelling 1 3 English Dr. C. Van Lissa, dept. of methodology and statistics
201500130 Missing Data Theory and Causal Effects 3 3 English Dr. G. Vink, dept. of methodology and statistics
INFOB2DA Data analytics 1 2 English Dr.  M. Spruit, dept. of information and computing sciences
INFODB Databases 3 2 Dutch Drs. H. Philippi, dept. of information and computing sciences
GEO2-4208 Aardobservatie en data analyse 3 2 Dutch Dr. T. de Haas, dept. of physical geography
GEO3-4308 Hands on GIS Offered in both 2 and 3 3 English Drs. M. Zeylmans van Emmichoven, dept. of physical geography
GEO2-3031 Introductie GIS / Cartografie Offered in both 2 and 3 3 English (block 3), Dutch (block 2) Drs. F. Toppen, dept of human geography and planning
GEO3-3024 Advanced GIS Offered in both 2 and 3 3 English Dr. S. Scheider, dept of human geography and planning
BetaB3LH Living Pasts: Augmenting Urban Landscapes and Cultural Heritage in the Digital Age Offered in both 1 and 3 3 English Prof. dr. A.H.L.M. Pieters, dept of history and philosophy of science

Please note that some courses have entry requirements that you need to uphold. Please look closely at the course texts and when in doubt, contact the course coordinator/ADS contact person.

Since these courses are offered by different faculties, please also pay attention to the registration periods per course as they can differ per faculty.

Students are free to choose additional courses in any of the blocks.

Given that your previous education is sufficient to start with the course Fundamental techniques in data science with R, a possible set up of this minor would be:

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
(additional course, for example Theory construction and modelling) Fundamental techniques in data science with R (Programming with data or another additional course, for instance Databases) Applied data analysis and visualization

Should your previous education not suffice to start with the course Fundamental techniques in data science with R, a possible set up of this minor would be:

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Basis van Onderzoeksmethoden en Statistiek Fundamental techniques in data science with R (Programming with data or another additional course, for instance Databases) Applied data analysis and visualization
Analysing data is much fun!! This minor will make you more attractive for future employers and there is a large demand for data scientists. It will also help you to find out whether following a master or research master in this field is something you would like.
Professor Peter van der Heijden

There is a maximum of 70 participants per year for this minor.

Enrolment for the minor for the academic year 2021-2022 is open as of May 31, prior to the year you want to start.

Note that once you enrol, you can take more than one year to complete the minor.

Note that in addition, after enrolling for the minor, you need to register for the courses separately.

For the academic year 2021-2022, the enrolment period for period 1 and 2 for the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (to register for Basis van Onderzoeksmethoden en Statistiek and Fundamental techniques in data science with R) are 31/05/21 – 27/06/2021. The enrolment period for period 4 (to register for Applied data analysis and visualization) is 01/11/2021 – 28/11/2021. Note that once the enrolment period closes, post registration is sometimes possible during the late enrolment period. See the academic calendar of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pdf) for a complete overview of all the enrolment and late enrolment days of this faculty.

To register for Programming with data, see the enrolment periods of the Faculty of Science.

Utrecht University students

Register via OSIRIS Student. Enrolment is in order of registration. When the maximum number of students has been reached, the registration will close. We advise to register yourself for the minor first to see whether there is still room left, and then register for the separate courses. Also pay attention to the registration periods as they may differ per faculty.

Given the overlap with their own Bachelor's programme, students of Kunstmatige Intelligentie (UU) at Utrecht University and the profile Kennis en Data Analytics of Informatiekunde (UU) cannot follow this minor programme.

If you are currently following this minor as a UU Kunstmatige Intelligentie student (or as a  UU student Informatiekunde Kennis en data analytics), please contact Emmeke Aarts (e.aarts@uu.nl) for a transitional arrangement.

Students outside of Utrecht University

Enrol for the courses through our application form at OSIRIS Online Application (visit our subsidiary courses page for more information). Use the same application form to apply for the minor. Given that the maximum number of participants has not yet been reached, the Student Information Point will process your form and enrol you for the minor.

Please note that in this particular minor, you can choose courses from different faculties. You will need to fill in a different application for each faculty of which you would like to attend a course from. See the frequently asked questions at the bottom of this page for more information.

Students from Universities of Applied Sciences

The minor is open to applications from students from Universities of applied Sciences. For applied Sciences University students, the course in block 1 (taught in Dutch) Basis van Onderzoeksmethoden en Statistiek is obligatory.

For entry requirements for the master programme Applied Data Science for students from Universities of applied Sciences, please check the Applied Data Science website.

Minor declaration

If you are a student of Utrecht University, the minor will be included in your International Diploma Supplement (provided that you have met all the requirements, of course).

If you are not a student of the University, it may be useful to request a minor declaration. This will allow you to demonstrate that you have successfully completed the minor. When you have passed all courses of this minor, you can apply for a minor declaration in Osiris Case. To do so, you must be enrolled in the minor.

Master's programme Applied Data Science

The minor Applied data science can also be used in order to fulfill all the entry requirements of the as a premaster for the Master's programme Applied data science for students from research universities, if you have followed the two obligatory courses in block 2 and 4, as well as the course Programming with data in block 3. For more information on admission to this Master's programme please check the Applied Data Science website.

More information

Check the Frequently Asked Questions about this minor:

I am a student from another University, can I also apply for the minor?

Yes, you can most definitely also apply for the minor. To apply for the minor, please go to the subsidiary courses page for further information. If you pay the yearly tuition fee at your current university, you don’t have to pay to follow courses at Utrecht University. We will need to see proof of paid tuition fee, after registration you will be further informed about the procedure.

I am a student from an applied University, can I also apply for the minor?

Yes, you can also apply for the minor, but please note that the course Basis van Onderzoeksmethoden en Statistiek taught in period 1 (in Dutch) is obligatory. To apply for the minor, please go to the subsidiary courses page for further information. If you pay the yearly tuition fee at your current university, you don’t have to pay to follow courses at Utrecht University. We will need to see proof of paid tuition fee, after registration you will be further informed about the procedure.

I am not a student anymore (but am a PhD student/work/…), can I also apply for the minor/one course?

Yes, you can follow one or multiple courses via non-degree education, please go to the non-degree courses page for more information. Here you can also find more information on the fee for non-degree education. To enrol, you need approval of the course coordinator (see the ADS minor website), who checks if you fulfill the entry requirements of the course.

I do not fulfill the entrance requirements for the minor, but the pre-course is in Dutch?

Unfortunately, the pre-minor course is as yet indeed in Dutch, we hope that we can change this to English in the future. Note that the entry requirement is a minimum of 7.5 EC of statistics & methodology courses, which means that you could also take another (introduction to) statistics course. Note that none of the introduction courses offered by our department (Methodology and Statistics, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences) are in English, hence the fit will most likely not be 100% but it can certainly do.

An example of an introductory statistics course at another faculty is Methods and Statistics 1 (course code: TW2V19002), Faculty of Humanities, period 3. Please enquire with the course coordinator before registering if you are allowed to enrol, and if this course would be accessible enough to you as a non-humanities student. Another option would be to take an English introductory course in statistics at another University. Make sure to check with the minor coordinator in advance if the chosen course is sufficient.

If I apply for the minor, do I still have to register for the minor courses separately?

Yes, by applying for the minor you do not automatically register for the courses, you still have to do that yourself. This is because there are multiple electives you can choose, and you can opt to spread the minor over multiple academic years. Enrolment periods can be found on the Osiris course catalogue page of the dedicated course (see links on this webpage).

If you are an external student, you first have to apply for the minor via the subsidiary courses page. Please read the next paragraph thoroughly for instructions.

Applying for courses from multiple faculties – for non-UU students

The minor Applied Data Science is a collaboration between multiple faculties of Utrecht University. Since each faculty has its own procedures, the application process is multifaceted.

First, you need to apply at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. Please see the subsidiary courses page for the application process. You here apply for the minor itself, the two obligatory courses plus all courses that you would like to follow that are from the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

If there is a course from another faculty you would like to follow in this minor (for example Programming with data or Hands on GIS), you need to apply separately. Please see the non-degree courses and contract teaching page for all application procedures per faculty.

If you need help or are unsure where to apply, you can contact Bijvak.fsw@uu.nl for help.

I am not able to enrol for one of the minor courses

Please check the enrolment period. For the obligatory courses (Fundamental techniques in data science with R and Applied data analysis and visualization), these are the enrolment periods of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural sciences. For the elective courses, these are  faculty dependent. Course enrolment periods can also be found on the Osiris course catalogue page of the dedicated course (see links on the ADS minor webpage).

If this does not solve your problem, please contact STIP Social Sciences.

For further information, please contact Emmeke Aarts (e.aarts@uu.nl).