NPA Data Science

Start date

Level 4: December 15, 2021

Level 5: December 19, 2021

Level 6: January 9, 2021

Data science is one of a number of emerging technologies, which include artificial intelligence and cloud computing, that are becoming increasingly important in modern societies. ‘Big Data analytics’ was one of four technologies (along with cyber security, mobile computing and cloud computing) identified by The Tech Partnership as an area of future skills shortage (Employer Insights, 2017). The skills shortage in data science has been widely reported.

Data skills are important for everyone, irrespective of their vocational or academic ambitions. Data citizenship relates to the need for everyone to possess a basic understanding of data to permit them to participate in contemporary society and engage in the political process. More focus is being placed on data literacy among the general workforce, as more organizations become data driven and opportunities to apply data analytics to an ever-increasing range of tasks becomes apparent.

Why enroll in this certification?

Employment trends indicate that the current shortage of specialists in data science will become more acute in the future, resulting in a significant shortage of data and computer scientists in the coming decades. A key objective of this certification is to stimulate interest in data science to improve the ‘skills pipeline’.

Certification in data science will attract learners for a number of reasons. The demand for data skills is high among employers. Most contemporary jobs require data skills of some kind, and the ability to manipulate data, and draw insights from it, is a valuable skill for any employee. Data science is a prominent topic in the media, which will drive demand for qualifications. And the need for specialist skills in data science is forecast to grow significantly over the next decade.

Who does the certification suit?

The creation of a National Progression Award in Data Science provides an entry-level qualification for learners who wish to study this topic at lower levels (SCQF levels 4, 5 and 6). The certification will be attractive to young learners at school and college.

The certification is also relevant to learners with no particular vocational interest in data science but who wish to improve their data skills prior to pursuing a career in other fields.

The certification is of interest to learners at school and college. National Progression Awards in this field (Computing) are popular in the final years of secondary education, often used to compliment a traditional programme of National Qualifications in preparation for progression to university. In the college context, the certification can be taken to prepare learners for a wide range of Higher National qualifications in areas such as Business, Computing and Engineering.

The aim of the certification is to provide a foundation in data science that will prepare learners for further studies at college or university or eventual employment via an apprenticeship or degree course.


NPA in Data Science at SCQF level 4
(12 SCQF credit points)
Group Award code: GP8N 44
Units: Data Citizenship and Data Science
Duration: 80 Hours
NPA in Data Science at SCQF level 5
(18 SCQF credit points)
Group Award code: GP8P 45
Units: Data Citizenship, Data Science and Computer Programming
Duration: 120 Hours
NPA in Data Science at SCQF level 6
(18 SCQF credit points)
Group Award code: GP8R 46
Units: Data Citizenship, Data Science and Machine Learning
Duration: 120 Hours


NPA in Data Science at SCQF level 4
Registration fee: 650 AED (SQA fees)
Tuition fees: 3000 AED
Exam fees: 500 AED
NPA in Data Science at SCQF level 5
Registration fee: 650 AED (SQA fees)
Tuitionfees: 3500 AED
Exam fees: 500 AED
NPA in Data Science at SCQF level 6
Registration fee: 650 AED (SQA fees)
Tuition fees: 4000 AED
Exam fees: 500 AED


These NPAs cover SCQF levels 4–6, allowing clear progression and development routes to higher level education and employment. The certification is available at three levels in a hierarchy structure and learners may progress to the next level if they wish to continue their studies.

Learners can also progress to a number of other qualifications in this area, or a related area. This award may also lead to employment in a data analyst role.

Potential progression paths include:

  • NPA Data Science SCQF Level 4 à SCQF Level 5 à SCQF Level 6
  • PDA Data Science SCQF Level 7 à SCQF Level 8
  • HND Computing: Software Development
  • Technical Apprenticeship in Data Analytics
  • Graduate Apprenticeship in Data Analytics
  • BSc Computer Science
  • BSc Software Engineering
  • Degree in a range of other disciplines


If a learner wishes to specialise in the field of data science, a variety of future career opportunities will be available to learners including:

  • Business Intelligence analyst
  • Data analyst
  • Data engineer
  • Data scientist
  • Statistician
  • Systems analyst
  • Business analyst
Download NPC Data Science Brochure
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