Gear up for a health data science career

These week-long intensive courses, organised in partnership with The University of Birmingham’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science and AI, offer rapid but deep introductions to key health data science topics.

They are aimed at people who:

  • are interested in a career in health data science
  • have recently transferred from another discipline
  • are working in health data science but want to widen their knowledge.

Forthcoming events

Working With Real-World Health Data

This course will be delivered by PIONEER, the Health Data Research Hub for Acute Care, led by the University of Birmingham and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, and delivered in partnership with Health Data Research UK.

The PIONEER Data Hub team are excited to be working with HDR UK and the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science and AI to give graduates from across the country insight into how real-world health data works ...” Liz Sapey, Director of PIONEER

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, UK (please note this is an in-person event ONLY)
Dates: Monday 27 to Friday 31 March 2023
Fee: £400 with a discounted rate of £250 for registered students
Deadline: Sunday 5 March

  • Find out more and apply here.

Experimental and Observational Methods for Health Science

Appropriate health study design is critical to ensure that we can answer the questions, for example, is a drug effective for treating a condition? Does daily monitoring of your blood pressure lead to reduced chance of a heart attack? However, health studies often need to consider a number of complex factors which might lead to biased or misleading results. This course gives insights into how health studies are designed and implemented.

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, UK (please note this is an in-person event ONLY)
Dates: Monday 15 to Friday 19 May
Fee: £200
Deadline: Applications will open at the end of March – please register your interest below.

  • More information and to register interest click here.

If you have any questions about either of these courses please email


Train for a new future

Find out more about the immersion weeks and what's behind them

Data science and the need for diverse skills

As an emerging discipline, health data science requires people with diverse skills in mathematics, programming, and data analysis. These skills commonly found in graduates with backgrounds in subjects such as physics, engineering, mathematics and computer science.

Research by HDR UK (The Great UK PhD Data Science Survey) found that many graduate students received little or no training in how their skills could be applied to other disciplines, including health data science.

The immersion weeks help tackle this. The sessions are created by subject specialists supported by Teaching Fellow Dr Ben McCanna who has recently bridged the disciplinary gap. A theoretical physicist by background, he is working with the experts to identify and address the gaps in knowledge that are key obstacles to changing disciplines.

Partners for new approaches in training

Leading figures from HDR UK and the University of Birmingham, Professors Chris Yau and Iain Styles, are working together to develop bespoke training courses, such as the immersion weeks, that will provide insight into health data science for graduates in the quantitative sciences.

Their aim is to provide excellent training in order to bring more people, from diverse backgrounds, into the field.

I was originally trained as an engineer and switched to health data science. My colleagues have often entered into health data science opportunistically after completing their PhDs in other subjects and discovering the relevance of their knowledge for solving biological and health problems,Professor Christopher Yau, (Pilot Co-Director), University of Oxford and Health Data Research UK

I moved to health data science following a PhD in Theoretical Physics following a chance conversation with an academic already working in the area. I’d never considered working in the area before this and was really surprised to discover how the skills I’d developed during my PhD mapped to problems in health data research. It’s surprisingly common for those of us working in this area to have started our careers on a different path,Professor Iain Styles, University of Birmingham

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