Foundations of
Data Science

  • 150 hours
  • 390 CHF / month

This beginner-level course will give you in-depth knowledge and hands-on tools to use and work with different kinds of data. You will gain practical experience across the data science pipeline by acquiring proficiency in the data science coding language R. Using R, you will learn how to get, clean, analyze and use the insights gained from data sets to make more informed decisions and better communicate your results.

EPFL Extension School learner

Ready to start learning?

Download the course brochure

Join our Discovery Webinar

This complimentary online session will provide a high-level overview of how to automate data to gain insights and how to produce data-driven storytelling, including an overview of the online courses available to gain these sought-after skills.

Join our next session

Why you should take
this course

Data is information. Acquiring strong data literacy by knowing how to work with and manage data will make you a valuable asset for any employer in a data-driven world.

Organizations need
employees who
understand data

Companies are increasingly looking for data-savvy professionals. In fact, a lack of data skills is a major challenge for 44% of companies, while 69% of employers would choose a candidate with data skills over one without.

Data literacy is
now a job requirement

As more companies shift to a data-driven business model and with every department using data for business analytics, basic data literacy is becoming a requirement across functions and levels. This is not just for career advancement, but increasingly for job security.

Transforming lives
—Jehiel, Chavannes

Photo of Jehiel, EPFL Extension School Alumni

Working for a humanitarian NGO in finance, Jehiel had long felt that not knowing how to code would be like being illiterate in the future. Curious and keen about lifelong learning he felt he needed to prepare for the digital transformation coming to his workplace.

Learning the Foundations of Data Science with the EPFL Extension School has done more than that. It’s opened up a new world of personal and professional possibilities. With a new data visualization system involving machine learning now being used at work, he says the course has not only prepared him for new challenges now but also for the future. It’s taught him how to speak the language of this new world and to look at the bigger picture too. He’s already begun working with colleagues to see how to apply data science to other areas of work so they can reach and help more people—and better.

Who is it for?

Photo of the EPFL campus

Foundations of Data Science is for those who work with both structured—spreadsheets and data tables—and unstructured data and who need to understand how to automate data to gain insights, contribute to strategic discussions and make data-driven decisions. Whether you currently work with data, manage data experts, or simply want to add valuable skills to your CV, this course will give you a deeper understanding of how to use data—and how data is used.

" The EPFL brand caught me. The content was interesting. The price was good as was the flexibility of learning remotely from home. The model is just right. "

Bartosz, EPFL Extension School Learner

Course curriculum

The Foundations of Data Science course gives you the essential knowledge, vocabulary and skills for data management and communication. With video trainings, written lessons and hands-on exercises, you’ll gain a broad understanding of the tools and techniques used to work with data.

  • What is Data: Learn about data types, structures and frameworks
  • Interacting with Data: Understanding how data is used and how to use data
  • Where Data comes from: The processes for acquiring and sharing Data
  • Storing & Structuring Data: Working with different types of databases and data sets
  • Cleaning Data: Working with messy or incomplete data sets
  • Analyzing Data: Gaining insights with data science techniques and tools
  • Visualizing Data: Best practices and tools for data visualization and presentation
  • Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence: How data is used by machines
  • Working as a Data Scientist: What do data scientists really do?
  • Data & Society: Ethics and the uses of data in society

These course details are subject to change; please refer to the program outline at the time of registration.


This course is taught at beginner-level. You should have the following tools, skills and abilities prior to registering for this course:

  • English at B1 level
  • A computer with a webcam, microphone and a minimum internet connection of 2Mbps download / 512kbps upload, enabling you to stream videos with sound and to effectively participate in video chats

Your course instructor team

Daniel Flores Agreda
Daniel Flores Agreda Course Developer and Instructor
Giulia Ruggeri
Giulia Ruggeri Course Developer and Instructor

What you'll
get from us

  • 100% online
  • Hands-on project work
  • One-to-one personalized support
  • Self-paced learning
  • World-class EPFL quality
  • Real-world, job-ready, applicable skills

Ready to start learning?

Foundations of Data Science

  • 150 hours
  • 390 CHF / month
Enroll now

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