University of Adelaide launches its first Master's level MOOC

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The University of Adelaide has launched its first MicroMasters program – a global open online course at Master’s level that will allow learners to potentially earn credit towards an on-campus Master’s degree.

The University, with edX, the non-profit online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT, is offering Big Data MicroMasters through the University of Adelaide’s massive open online course (MOOC) delivery program, AdelaideX.

The Big Data MicroMasters will offer knowledge and skills in data science, an emerging field across a range of industries including science, engineering, economics, marketing and education. It will appeal to those with a background in computer science, or those wanting to be able to use large data sets in their work.

“With the scale of data collection present in today’s world and the massive amounts of information generated, the ability to analyse and interpret data for advances in many fields and to improve decision making and business processes is increasingly in demand,” says Professor Pascale Quester, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic).

“Students taking the Big Data MicroMasters will develop both the technical and computational skills that are in high demand across a range of industries. They will develop critical skills in programming for data science, computational thinking, algorithm design, big data fundamentals and data-driven analysis – with plenty of opportunities to apply and explore what they learn through a range of case studies.”

The Big Data MicroMasters offers students four courses and an assessment piece which, once completed successfully will grant them 12 units of credit – 25% of the 48 units of courses – should they be successful in gaining admission to the Master of Data Science, planned for a 2018 start.

The launch of credit-bearing courses in the form of the MicroMasters program at AdelaideX is the University of Adelaide’s next step in offering courses for career advancement to learners around the world. The MicroMasters program aims to increase the employability of learners and provide a path to an accelerated on campus Master’s program.

“We have now had almost 420,000 enrolments in over 190 countries in our AdelaideX MOOCs (massive open online courses) since joining edX in 2014,” says Professor Quester.

“We’ve released nine MOOCs to date with our tenth course, Introduction to Data Structures, launching on 21 March. The MicroMasters program is an opportunity to expand our open online learning presence while offering greater flexibility in post-graduate study.”

edX Chief Executive Officer Anant Agarwal, who is a professor at MIT, says: “We are honoured to work with the University of Adelaide to launch a MicroMasters program in Big Data. This offering marks an exciting step toward furthering our shared mission to expand access to high-quality education.

“The MicroMasters programs on edX empower learners everywhere to improve their lives and advance their careers. Signaling the next level of innovation in learning, MicroMasters programs are designed to meet the needs of both universities and employers, by providing learners with the in-demand knowledge and skills needed for success in today’s rapidly evolving and tech-driven world.”

Enrolments are open for Big Data MicroMasters at


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