School of Science, Engineering & Environment 16.07.24

GRADUATION 2021: Salford Data Science Student secures top role at NHS

As we evolve into an increasingly data driven world, The University of Salford’s Master’s in Data Science has proven to be incredibly popular. Having experienced a 250 per cent increase in student intake numbers this January, it is now one of the fastest growing courses at the University.    


Gemma McKay is the latest in a line of Data Science graduates from the University to land an impressive role and will be joining the NHS as a Principal Insight Analyst. Gemma said: “I was delighted to be offered the position with the NHS. Being able to align my personal values, data science skills and previous career experience within one role is brilliant.  

"My learning experience at the University has been integral in supporting me along my data career path and it has given me the opportunity to develop and hone industry-relevant data science skills and knowledge.  

"Thanks to the degree focusing on practical learning, and the University of Salford having strong links to industry, I was able to pair academic learning with gaining insightful hands-on experience working with healthcare operations data. I was approached to apply for a role with the NHS and I’m delighted that I have been able to apply these skills in my new job and support such an important UK institution.”   

The University is the first in the UK to offer a postgraduate conversion course in Data Science with graduates from the programme is highly sought after.  Industry collaboration is an important element of the course with many modules being co-created with industry. It is through industry partners that students are given the opportunity to gain real-life experience through live briefs with the goal of improving employability.  

Professor Mo Saree, Programme Lead at the University added: “We have had, and we continue to have some incredibly talented students that come to study with us on this postgraduate course which has become the University’s fastest growing programme. It is so rewarding when we can tap into their potential, it makes it all worthwhile when we hear success stories like this.  

“The academic team here has grown over the past year; this is in tandem with the number of industry partners that we work with who have experienced first-hand the quality of students that come to study with us. We are proud of the success rate of students gaining employment upon graduation either through one of our partners or many of the networking events that we host. 

“We constantly review our modules to ensure that students enter the world with those skills that many employers search for. Wishing Gemma lots of luck in her new position, she will be truly brilliant.” 

Gemma McKay portrait