Accelerating data science careers

Cambridge Spark’s Level 7 Data Science and AI Apprenticeship is a unique opportunity for professionals and early talent to accelerate their data career, learn cutting-edge skills and earn a MSc-equivalent qualification in data science through their work.

Over 15 months, apprentices will be supported by a data mentor, a personal coach and the Cambridge Spark Faculty to learn cutting-edge skills and apply them in the workplace. For employees in England, the programme is funded by the UK Apprenticeship Levy.

Who the AI and Data Science Apprenticeship is for:

  • Experienced professionals already using Python to work with complex datasets on a regular basis, who want to apply the latest cutting-edge data science and AI tools in their work
  • Early Careers candidates looking to advance their career as a data scientist

No strong experience in Python and maths?

Our Level 4 Data Analyst Apprenticeship or accelerated, 10-week Data Analysis Foundations Certificate course are the perfect starting points to learn Python and build a career in data science and AI.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Identify and devise data-driven AI solutions to address business opportunities 
  • Automate and optimise business processes with data science
  • Provide technical authority and insights for the business on data science and AI that are relevant to business goals

Organisation Outcomes:

  • Build capability to enable and deploy AI across the organisation
  • Drive business growth with AI solutions to address business opportunities
  • Reduce costs through automating and optimising manual processes


A unique support system to guarantee learner success

We deliver all of our programmes online, helping our clients offer flexible and inclusive programmes open to all of their staff. We believe that the gold standard for online delivery is to offer a mix of experiential learning, coaching, technical mentorship and peer support.

The Curriculum

We deliver a cutting-edge curriculum developed by our leading faculty, made up of data scientists in leading industry positions and academics from some of the top universities in the world. Our curriculum is continuously updated and reiterated to incorporate the most recent techniques coming out of industry and academia.

We take a modular approach to how we offer our curriculum. Our core curriculum provides learners everything they need to thrive in a data science role and meet all requirements for the Level 7 Data Science Apprenticeship. Our Elective Specialist pathways offer learners the ability to stretch themselves and specialise in new technical areas. 

Core Modules

  • The Data Science ToolboxUse of some of the most common, industry standard tools for conducting data analysis and data science in Python.
  • Data Science for BusinessIdentify practical applications and use cases for Data Science & AI to deliver and create business value.
  • Maths for Data ScienceBuild an advanced understanding of key mathematical concepts that underpin much of the AI and data science domain.
  • Introduction to Machine LearningBuild familiarity with a range of advanced concepts and tools required to use different types of machine learning models and techniques.
  • Product Management for AIDevelop a customer-centric product mindset and focus on understanding users to build products that solve their problems and serve their needs.
  • Supervised LearningUse an array of discriminative and generative supervised learning models as well as sophisticated techniques to evaluate model suitability and improve model performance.
  • Unsupervised LearningLearn a range of unsupervised learning models and techniques to reveal latent structure within data, including KMeans, hierarchical clustering, DBSCAN, PCA and t-SNE.
  • Time Series AnalysisBuild an advanced understanding of tools and testing techniques for working with time series data with Python, Pandas, Numpy, the Prophet library as well as autoregressive models.
  • Data Privacy, Ethics and RegulationsGet up to speed with the essentials covering ethical, legal and regulatory issues relating to the use of data.
  • Practical HackathonWork collaboratively in teams on a real-world project to apply newly acquired skills in a realistic simulated environment.
  • Ensemble MethodsGain familiarity with ensembles, covering a range of key concepts including bagging and random forest, boosting & gradient boosting, stacking, advanced SKlearn Techniques & Support Vector Machines.
  • Pragmatic Techniques for Model EvaluationGain familiarity with a suite of evaluative techniques to tackle different types of data science problems for different situations and purposes.
  • Neural Networks and Deep LearningLearn how neural networks are constructed and trained and how to use them in practice, including CNN, RNN, GANs and Graph Neural Networks.
  • Model Explainability and InterpretabilityUnderstand the different approaches and techniques for interpreting and explaining a range of machine learning models and deep neural networks.
  • Academic Reading ClubThese quarterly sessions guide our learners through the latest research within the AI and data science domains.

MLOps Elective Specialist Pathway

  • Software Engineering Practices for Data ScientistsLearn about design patterns and software development principles
    to develop code that is robust and flexible for requirements change.
  • Software Testing for Data ScienceLearn how to test processing functions with unittest, pytest and hypothesis.
  • Machine Learning in ProductionGain experience in advanced testing, Scikitlearn best practices and how to carry out continuous integration, continuous deployment and monitoring models in production.

DataOps Elective Specialist Pathway

  • Databases SQL & NoSQLLearn how to use SQL and NoSQL to store, query and retrieve structured and unstructured data.
  • Big Data SystemsLearn how to apply and leverage the power of distributed computing to extract value & insight at scale.
  • Principles of Cloud ComputingBuild familiarity with cloud computing infrastructure covering common cloud services, the differences between virtualisation and containerisation and the fundamentals of working with Docker.

Advanced Data Science Elective Specialist Pathway

  • Natural Language ProcessingLearn about the main applications and techniques of NLP and how to build models for and evaluate approaches to supervised and unsupervised sentiment analysis.
  • Recommender SystemsUnderstand the practical applications of different types of recommender systems and learn to use the tools to be able to use them in practice.
  • Bayesian ML & Gaussian ProcessesLook at different probability distributions, probabilistic modeling, Monte Carlo methods and the fundamental concepts behind Bayesian machine learning.


What delivery options do you offer?

We tailor our delivery to your workforce needs. This ranges from from independent, immersive e-learning supported by EDUKATE.AI through to tailored bootcamps to our structured Fellowship and Apprenticeship programmes. The Level 7 AI Data Specialist Apprenticeship is available to learners based in England.

Are you able to tailor the programme to the organisation and sector?

Yes. We work with our clients to contextualise our programmes to their organisation and sectors they operate in. We do this through tailored hackathons, bespoke assignments and guest lectures from industry experts. We also work with a range of partners to create bespoke programmes for sectors including health and journalism.

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are a long-term training commitment which seek to support people into the workforce and upskill existing UK-based employees within an organisation, enabling employers to foster a workforce consisting of highly-skilled and highly-engaged talent.

The Cambridge Spark Level 7 AI Data Specialist Apprenticeship is delivered over 15 months plus 3 months End Point Assessment and includes a minimum of 20% off-the-job training, enabling a blended approach between theory and practical-learning.

How does this programme differ from an integrated-degree programme?

This programme is aimed at allowing learners pursuing a career in data science an alternative to the traditional university path. They implement their new skills directly in their workplace as they learn and attain an MSc-equivalent qualification upon completion of the programme.

We also offer an integrated-degree programme in which learners can attain a Cambridge Spark education with a BSc degree (Level 6) or MSc degree (Level 7) accredited by our partner university.

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

The UK government’s Apprenticeship Levy scheme came into effect in April 2017 as a way to drive investment in strengthening the country’s skills base.

All organisations with annual staff costs of over £3m have to pay 0.5% of their salary bill into a ring-fenced apprenticeship levy pot. The money is collected monthly via PAYE and must be spent within 24 months and used for training on approved apprenticeship schemes (such as the Level 7 AI Data Specialist Apprenticeship that we offer).

What if my organisation doesn't pay into the UK Apprenticeship Levy?

An organisation that doesn't pay into the levy can still qualify for government-funded apprenticeships for their staff. In fact, the UK government will sponsor 95% of the apprenticeship programme, leaving the organisation to invest the remaining 5%, provided that learners otherwise meet eligibility criteria.

What does "20% off-the-job training" mean?

Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the day-to-day work duties and it must take place within the apprentice’s normal working hours.

Our off-the-job training is delivered on a flexible basis and can be carried out at the apprentice’s place of work or from home.

The 20% off-the-job training provides learners with the time to focus and develop the required skills, knowledge and behaviours to achieve the apprenticeship.

How much do managers need to be involved?

Managers will need to ensure apprentices achieve the 20% off-the-job training hours and work on their project portfolio.

We also encourage managers to have regular one-to-one meetings with apprentices to catch up on how they are progressing and to join the apprentice and their coach for thirty minutes every 3-4 months for a general catch up about the programme.

Register your interest

Fill out the following form and we’ll email you within the next two business days to arrange a quick call to help with any questions about the programme. We look forward to speaking with you.

Who's benefitted from our data apprenticeships

Read case studies on the impact we have made for our clients.

Delivering data-driven customer solutions at Royal Mail with apprenticeships

Data Analyst Apprentice identifies £30k of savings for GSK

Building AI capability in media and broadcasting with AI apprenticeships

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