Thought Piece

CDRC Masters Dissertation Scheme

Back in January 2018 I was a student studying my masters in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) starting to think about my dissertation. Having already completed my first dissertation for my undergraduate degree in Geography, I was getting ready to explore what the current research was missing. I knew I didn’t want to go down the questionnaire/interview route or explore some more census data and wanted to get my hands on some more interesting datasets (which are often behind closed doors). Fortunately my course leader was aware of the CDRC Masters Dissertation Scheme which led me to applying for two or three projects with multiple companies. After a round of successful interviews at Movement Strategies, I was selected to gain a better understanding of retail areas using GPS data. My line manager was incredibly supportive, I was working on a stimulating project and I was paid £500 to do my dissertation. My dissertation, ‘A pioneering study exploring retail centre attractiveness using GPS data in London’ achieved a distinction; a proud moment for me. I gained valuable technical skills and industry experience which led me to my first job.

Having already gained an interest in the CDRC, I discovered the Data Scientist Internship Programme. Again, more interviews and another round of success for me. I worked on two projects, met some great people, engaged in conferences, visited The Alan Turing Institute and gained valuable experience in web scraping at scale.

These two schemes/programmes have helped me to get where I am today, a data scientist working for The Data City. It’s my job to make sure The Data City is able to provide the best data possible for understanding the UK’s emerging economy using our list building software. So what’s the point of this post?

I truly believe the CDRC Masters Dissertation Scheme kickstarted my career so I wanted to give back to the programme. I’ve managed to persuade the team we should enrol in the scheme and encourage a student to undertake some research with us. We’ve submitted two projects which have been advertised by the CDRC and we are also offering a part-time position alongside the research. Please feel free to apply and send any questions our way using the contact form on our website. The two projects we’re advertising are:

  1. Developing an ‘interesting company score’
  2. Developing a database for identifying the most influential directors in the UK using Companies House

We will be paying the student the required honorarium of £500 plus an additional £500 on completion of the project.

About the author

Jack Lewis

Jack has transitioned his masters in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to data analytics. From University he enrolled in the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics internship programme accelerating his development in using code as a tool to generate accurate data.