Health data science

a mixed group of healthcare professional and business people meet around a conference table .

Discover data-driven solutions to real-world health problems 

We live in a world that is deluged with data. There's a digital revolution occurring across our health systems, which is making health data collection more efficient and accessible. Today, health data are measured in the trillions of gigabytes, and are collected not only at the point-of-care in clinical settings and for research studies, but also through wearable devices and social media. Optimising the use of data will be critical to the future of health and healthcare.

Health data science is the science and art of generating data-driven solutions for critical health issues. It uses the insights uncovered from data to better support clinical care, inform health policy and improve population health. This study area is an emergent discipline, which sits at the intersection of biostatistics, computer science and health. The health data science pipeline includes the comprehension of complex health issues, data wrangling and management, machine learning, data analytics, data modelling and data communication. 

Learn within a world-leading research and teaching institute

Our health data science programs are delivered by the Centre for Big Data Research in Health (CBDRH) – the leading Australian and international hub for health research using big data. The CBDRH brings together an interdisciplinary team of staff, who have world-leading expertise in managing, manipulating, analysing and visualising health big data. Using large-scale electronic data than spans the biomedical, clinical and health services domains, the CBDRH is transforming knowledge from data into practical applications within health.

Prepare for career success

A qualification in health data science will teach you to extract crucial knowledge and insights from health big data to inform clinical care and health policy. A qualification in this area will prepare you to make sense of big data to tackle critical health issues facing Australian and global communities.

There is growing demand within the public and private health sector, both in Australia and globally, for professionals with specialised interdisciplinary skills in health data science. The role of a health data scientist is dynamic and always evolving as their work spans across any of the multiple stages of the health data science pipeline. From designing and leading research studies and analysing data, through to building machine learning processes to understand complex health issues, a health data scientist’s work draws on a multiplicity of skills.

Due to the emergent nature of the field, new roles and employment opportunities in this sector are being created all the time. The health data scientist may, for example, manage a team of data analysts to work out processes to gather data, assess how to model the data or devise ways to implement health policy change based on the outcomes of their studies and findings. Our graduates have gone on to careers in hospitals and health services, government agencies, universities and research institutions, pharmaceutical and health technology companies, health insurance companies and health analytics companies.

Our programs

UNSW Sydney Health Data Science Information Session

Hear from our panel of expert staff who take a deep dive into our suite of programs, including our brand new Master of Science in Health Data Science (Extension) program.