About Southampton Data Science Academy

The Southampton Data Science Academy is a partnership between the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton and Cambridge Education Group. The SDSA was established to bridge the data skills gap, providing research-informed industry-focused education and training.

The courses are designed to address the demands of our increasingly data-driven world, helping ambitious individuals around the world to master the powerful tools of Data Science: business and data analysts, marketers, engineers, developers, economists, scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, designers, and nascent data scientists.

The University of Southampton is ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world and its Web Science Institute is the home to a uniquely rich network of experts in Computer Science, Web Science, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Health Science, Social Science, Economics and Business. As a result of the WSI’s pioneering work in Data Science, our expertise is transforming the way that data are collected, integrated and converted into knowledge and evidence, informing decision making in business, industry and government sectors. We are founding partners of the UK’s Open Data Institute in Tech City, set up to lead UK businesses in exploiting data. The WSI’s current training programme has reached many tens of thousands of people through its MOOCs in Web Science, Linked Data, and the Power of Social Media, and its highly regarded University-level Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral programmes provide an excellent career grounding in the digital and information economy.

Our academics

The academics who created the courses provided by the Southampton Data Science Academy are profiled below; for all enquiries please contact

Professor Dame Wendy Hall, DBE, FRS, FREng, is Regius Professor of Computer Science, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International Engagement) at the University of Southampton, and is Executive Director of the Web Science Institute. In 2009 she became a Dame Commander of the British Empire and a Fellow of the Royal Society. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on the Digital Economy, was co-Chair of the UK government’s AI Review, which was published in October 2017, and is the first Skills Champion for AI in the UK.

Les Carr is Professor of Web Science in the Department of Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton. He's also a Director of the Web Science institute and Director of the Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training. His research on Open Access and Open Data led to the establishment of EPrints, offering Open Access publication and data services, training and support to the research industry. Since the 1980s he has experimented with multimedia information systems, novel ways of constructing hypertexts, digital libraries and knowledge management systems.

Elena Simperl is Professor in the Web And Internet Science research group, department of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. She holds a doctoral degree in Computer Science (Dr. rer. nat.) from the Free University of Berlin. Her primary domain of research is at the intersection between knowledge technologies and crowd computing. In particular Elena is interested in socially and economically-motivated aspects of creating and using semantically enabled content on the Web, and in paradigms, methods and techniques to facilitate large-scale collaboration and incentivise participation. 

Rob Blair is a senior teaching fellow in the school of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. He holds an MSc Information Systems from the University of East Anglia, an MSc Web Science from the University of Southampton and is about to defend his PhD thesis. Qualified to teach Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, Rob is an experienced classroom teacher and online tutor specialising in data science.

An Associate Professor of Computer and Web Science at the University of Southampton, David Millard is a founding member of the Web and Internet Science group in the school of Electronics & Computing Science (ECS). He is Director of Undergraduate Admissions and represent ECS on the steering group for the Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training. David is currently the Vice-Chair for ACM SIGWEB. His research roots are in Hypertext, and his current interests are in Web Science, specifically Digital Social Systems and Storytelling Machines.

Dr Alan Rae holds a DPhil in Plant Science taken in the then Department of Agricultural Science in the University of Oxford in 1974. Since then he has worked in Marketing and General management in the Engineering, IT and Business support sectors, mainly as an owner manager, and has started up 4 businesses since 1981. He was regional chair of the CIM and sat on its Professional Body Board. His teaching centres around digital and entrepreneurial marketing. As well as working at Southampton, he's delivered courses at Brunel, London School of Business and Finance and Toulouse Business School as well as for Business Link and the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Gary Wills is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Southampton. He graduated from the University of Southampton with an Honours degree in Electromechanical Engineering followed by a PhD in Industrial Hypermedia systems. Gary is a Chartered Engineer, a member of the Institute of Engineering Technology and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Educational Academy. He is also a visiting associate professor at the University of Cape Town and a research professor at R-Labs. Gary’s research projects focus on Secure System Engineering and applications for industry, medicine and education.