Data Science with Python online short course

Course starts 9 November 2020

Course information

Registration Closes:
3 November 2020
Course Starts:
9 November 2020
8 weeks, excluding orientation.
7–10 hours per week, self-paced learning online.
ZAR R9,900
Payment Options
University of Cape Town (UCT)


In a world that’s increasingly data-driven, organisations need professionals who can extract meaningful insights from data to make better business decisions. 

On the Data Science with Python online short course from the University of Cape Town (UCT), you’ll have the opportunity to develop practical data science and analysis skills for use in everyday business scenarios. Over the course of eight weeks you’ll cover widely applicable Python libraries and learn how these methods can be, and are, used in day-to-day business situations.

Gain an introduction into statistical learning, which will provide a foundation on the mechanics of machine learning. You’ll explore supervised learning using tree-based models and neural networks, as well as unsupervised learning using K-means and hierarchical clustering. You’ll also learn about the process of revealing more robust patterns to ensure models are useful.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this course, you’ll walk away with:

  • The ability to apply data science and analysis techniques to inform decision-making

  • The tools to build and modify robust models in order to help solve business problems

  • A practical grounding in the widely used Jupyter Notebook

  • A certificate of completion from UCT as validation of your new data science skill set

  • The ability to fit data to a model using Python in order to gain insight into business problems

Is this course for you? 

This course is aimed at professionals who want to close any gaps they may have in their data science skills and knowledge. IT professionals who need to rapidly enhance their data science toolkit with demonstrable and practical skills would benefit from the technical nature of the content. Professionals working in a variety of industries will learn how to increase efficiencies and identify new opportunities for their organisation with key data and programming skills. 

This course is technical in nature. It is strongly recommended that you have a basic understanding of mathematics, statistics and at least one programming language if you wish to reap the full benefits of the course.

Course curriculum

 Discover how to solve business problems using statistical learning as you work through the weekly modules of this online short course.

  • Orientation module: Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1:  Data science and statistical learning
  • Module 2: Tree-based methods
  • Module 3: Managing the complexity of tree-based methods
  • Module 4: Neural networks
  • Module 5: Managing the complexity of neural networks
  • Module 6: K-means clustering
  • Module 7: Hierarchical clustering
  • Module 8: Data science in the real world

Use data science in everyday business scenarios

This UCT online short course is delivered in collaboration with GetSmarter. Learn from industry thought leaders as you develop data analysis skills to add to your professional toolkit.

Readiness Test

This course is technical in nature. In order to assess the level of support you’ll need for this course, a readiness test needs to be completed. The test will assess your competencies in mathematics, statistics, and understanding of programming languages.


Your Course Co-Convenors

The design of this online course is guided by UCT faculty and industry experts who will share their experience and in-depth subject knowledge with you throughout the course.

Etienne Pienaar

Etienne Pienaar

Lecturer, Department of Statistical Sciences at the University of Cape Town

Pienaar is a postdoctoral fellow at UCT where he convenes the postgraduate diploma in entrepreneurship. He obtained a BSc in financial mathematics at the University of Johannesburg and subsequently completed a postgraduate diploma in actuarial science, and an honours in statistics at UCT. He then obtained a master’s, as well as a PhD, in statistics. Although his research focuses primarily on the analysis of non-linear jump diffusion processes and the development of computationally scientific techniques (and accompanying software packages), he has strong interests in machine learning and risk valuation for financial instruments.

Jean-Paul Van Belle

Jean-Paul Van Belle

Professor of Information Systems and Director of the Centre for Information Technology and National Development in Africa at the University of Cape Town

Van Belle has written over 120 published peer-reviewed articles in the fields of service-oriented architecture, unified communications within businesses, open source software, mobile computing, and information and communication technologies for development. In 2012, he established the UCT-Samsung Mobile Innovation Lab at UCT.

Earn a certificate from the University of Cape Town

Explore the technical side of data science and earn an official certificate of completion from the University of Cape Town. 

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the course, as per the stipulated requirements.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 9 November 2020.

Get More Information

Enter your information below to view the course prospectus from GetSmarter.

* Required fields

* Please enter a first name
* Please enter a last name
* Please enter a valid email

Yes, I want to receive additional information about Data Science with Python online short course. Please contact me:

* Please select a value
* Please select a value

By consenting to receive communications, you agree to the use of your data as described in our privacy policy. You may opt out of receiving communications at any time.

Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a two-part payment plan for courses nine weeks and shorter. For courses ten weeks or longer, there is a three-part payment plan available. To find out more on payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for please get in contact with an Enrolment Advisor here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.