Principal Data Scientist - Research & Publications

Location: Gloucestershire

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General information



Publication start date


Publication end date


Post Description

Principal Data Scientist

Vacancy location


South West, Gloucestershire, Rosehill

Vacancy details

Job Profile

Operations - Publications


Principal Data Scientist - Research & Publications

Contract Type

Fixed-term contract

Contract duration

12 month FTC

About us

About UCAS

UCAS is at the heart of connecting people to higher education.

UCAS is the world’s leading shared admissions service for higher education. We provide application services for UK universities and colleges as well as delivering a wide range of research, consultancy and advisory services to schools, colleges, careers services, professional bodies and employers.

We’re a successful and fast-growing organisation, which helps hundreds of thousands of people every year. We're committed to delivering a first-class service to all of our customers — they're at the heart of everything we do.

Business Unit description


The Operations Business Unit runs UCAS’ day-to-day frontline services. They include the Customer Experience Centre providing comprehensive high quality services to support applicants in their journey into university and other higher education provision.

They also include services to higher education providers, qualification matching, for instance to support a-level results day, IT service management, data and insights services and the business unit analyses, researches, develops and releases UCAS’ publications particularly at key points in the application cycle.

The Business Unit is responsible for running UCAS’ Confirmation and Clearing service and logistics related to key deadlines in the cycle.

About the role

Contractual Hours

35.00 - 12 month fixed term contract

About the role

This role is to lead the delivery of insight analysis – including Advanced Analytics where relevant - providing a high level of support to a focused group of stakeholders from across UCAS, whilst working on a high-profile project that will be subject to external scrutiny. The role will work on the development of effective external outputs including data-driven publications, require a broad range of advanced analytical techniques and be key in reviewing, influencing and directing the scope and analytical approaches used.

Key accountabilities:

  • To support a focused stakeholder group through development of data-driven insight.
  • To lead the delivery of insight analysis, including Advanced Analytics where relevant, to support the work of the group.
  • To adhere to and enhance UCAS’ data science standards.
  • To lead the development of effective external outputs, including data-driven publications.
  • To develop quickly a strong understanding of UCAS data, including business rules for analysis.
  • To have a strong understanding of the wider education data landscape, and propose usage of third party data when beneficial.
  • To prepare data for analysis, creating reusable datasets for exploration and modelling.
  • To engage actively with other members of the UCAS data science community, sharing insights and new analysis
  • To mentor other data scientists.

Skills, qualifications, and experience

Data science

  • Qualified to a high level in a numerate discipline, such as mathematics, statistics, computer science, operational research, data science, or a related field – evidenced through a Bachelor’s degree (or higher) or demonstrable experience.
  • Good working knowledge of programming in R (preferred) and/or Python (or equivalents) and the ability to write readable, efficient code.
  • Strong data manipulation skills.
  • Extensive experience within Advanced Analytics. Classification and regression modelling, cluster analysis and dimensionality reduction essential. Other Advanced Analytics techniques - including time series analysis (with pronounced seasonal variations), survival analysis and text mining – desirable.
  • Experience with educational data analysis and multilevel
  • An ‘analytic mind set’ – including strong professional judgement in choosing analytic approaches that give efficiently-produced, high quality, actionable results.
  • A natural curiosity and drive to find things out that really matter from data

Personal Attributes, Planning and Communication

  • A motivated individual who 'owns’ and takes pride in their work.
  • A collaborative and inquisitive nature.
  • Extensive experience in leading complex analytics projects that deliver high quality results on schedule and within budget.
  • Able to manage project workload (including the workload of other data scientists) and manage expectations of key stakeholders.


Up to £56,000 with 30 days annual leave, voluntary flexible benefits, paid volunteering days, and a contributory stakeholder pension. It’s not just about the financial benefits that UCAS offers – on-site you can also benefit from our restaurant, affordable gym membership, flexible ways of working and continued online development and support. You will enjoy an exciting, agile working environment, with a vibrant culture and flexible approach to work, all of which reflects our teamwork and innovative spirit

*** Mention DataYoshi when applying ***

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