What can you expect?

After the first period P1, in which you have laid a powerful foundation, you will spend your next period specializing through a Major. There are three Majors to choose from: The Data Sciences Major takes place at the CentraleSupélec Saclay Campus in France, the Business Analytics Major is followed at the ESSEC France Campus. Finally, the Digital Transformation Strategy Major takes place at the ESSEC Asia-Pacific Campus in Singapore.

In period 2, you must partake in a minimum of 6 elective courses. To successfully become a Major in a direction, four of these electives must be dedicated to the electives within the Major. The other two electives can be in any direction of your choice. Scroll down to read more about each of these Majors.

Major in Data Sciences

CentraleSupélec offers eight elective courses in P2 to all students of the program. To obtain your Data Sciences Major, you must dedicate at least four of your elective courses to Data Sciences. You do that by selecting a minimum of four out of the eight possible electives. See below examples of a few of these data science electives offered. To see an in-depth description of each course, or to see the other electives, have a look at our brochure.

ESSEC France Campus

Example electives of the Major in Data Sciences


High Performance and Parallel Computing
This course refers to both the underlying theoretical foundations of distributed programming as well as the practical use of existing distributed programming architectures. 

Deep Learning & Convolutional Networks
Programming exercises are covered in this course as well as the basic theory and methods for the solution of optimization problems, and linear and non-linear programming.

Natural Language Processing
The primary focus of the course will be on understanding various NLP tasks, algorithms for effectively solving these problems, and methods for evaluating their performance.

Sparse Coding and Compressed Sensing
This course provides an overview of the most recent methods both in terms of representations (scarsity / compressed sensing and coding) as well as in terms of representations and inference including continuous and discrete optimization.

Geometric Methods in Data Analysis
The fundamental constructions related to the manipulation of complex phenomena are reviewed in this course, mixing ideas from computational geometry and topology, statistics, and machine learning.

Massive Data Processing
This course tackles the analysis of massive data sets that are generated in many scientific and business intelligence applications.

Major in Business Analytics

ESSEC Business School in France offers eight elective courses in P2 to all students of the program. To obtain your Business Analytics Major, you must dedicate at least four of your elective courses to Business Analytics. See below a few examples of the electives you can choose from. To see an in-depth description of each course, or to see the other electives, have a look at our brochure.

Collaborative space

Example electives of the Major in Business Analytics


Supply Chain Analytics & Tools
This course aims to familiarize students with the core designing, planning and optimization tasks of a supply chain manager, and to introduce students to the use of supply chain applications to solve the most prominent problems.

E-business Strategy & Operations
With a managerial rather than a technical approach, this course provides participants with the knowledge needed to participate in and manage the development of e-business websites.

By introducing the basic concepts of econometrics and modeling approaches, this course will ensure students are able to: implement suitable statistical methods for the construction of econometric models, assess the validity of econometric models and use econometric software.

Business Analytics with Accenture
Worldwide experts from the company Accenture present actual projects and deliverables in their field of specialty, walk the students through their analysis and present them with interactive case studies.

Quantitative Risk Management
So that students acquire the practical tools to solve real problems, this course builds upon the main theoretical concepts and modeling techniques of Quantitative Risk Management. 

Business Intelligence
In order to gain insight and make better decisions, this course refers to the technologies and processes for collecting, blending, modeling, analyzing and visualizing data.

Major in Digital Transformation Strategy

ESSEC Business School in Singapore offers five elective courses in P2 to all students of the program. To obtain your Digital Transformation Strategy Major, which is a brand new Major recently launched, you must dedicate at least four of your elective courses to Digital Transformation Strategy. You do that by selecting a minimum of four out of five possible business analysis electives. See below a few examples of the electives you can choose from. To see an in-depth description of each course, or to see the other electives, have a look at our brochure.


Example electives of the Major in Digital Transformation Strategy


Digital Business Models
With a managerial rather than a technical approach, the purpose of this course will be to explore, in partnership with the students, the breadth of digital business models with a focus on entrepreneurial ventures, and identify how they might create or transform businesses.

Strategic Consulting in Asia: Tools and Issues
This course is designed for students interested in understanding consulting as a profession in Asia. Through both group and individual activities and case-based assignments, students will become familiar with the tools and techniques that consultants use to help their clients.

Project Management for Digital Initiatives
In this course, the objective is to provide structured and systematic methods for managing complex digital projects. With the digital transformation imperatives, many companies will have to face challenges that are not necessarily easy to tackle with their core competencies.

Digital Marketing Strategy
As digital is becoming the #1 advertising media platform globally, this course aims to provide both a deep perspective into digital marketing, channel by channel, as well as the integration of digital within a marketing plan.

The Major in Digital Transformation Strategy is brand new. See the video below to discover the ESSEC Asia-Pacific Campus!


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The structure of the program explained

8 to 10 months


In France
Refresher & Core courses
ESSEC France Campus and CentraleSupélec Campus


In France

In Singapore

Major in Data Sciences
CentraleSupélec Campus

Major in Business Analytics
ESSEC France Campus

Major in Digital Transformation Strategy
ESSEC Asia-Pacific Campus

Mix between Data Sciences & Business Analytics courses

Minor in Data Sciences

Minor in Business Analytics

International Field Trip

iMagination Week
Capstone industrial project
International Field Trip

4 to 6 months


Internship & Thesis

The first period in France

Regardless of how you would like to later specialize, you would always start your program in France. During the first period (P1), that runs from September to December, you receive "refresher courses" and core courses. The refresher courses - taken in September - are courses geared at bringing everybody up to the knowledge level needed for the rest of the program. Core courses, or fundamentals, cover the basis for your specialization further on in the year. In total, you will have six highly intensive course courses in P1. Both the refresher courses as the core courses take place on both campuses in the area around Paris: on the ESSEC Business School campus or the CentraleSupélec Saclay campus.

You choose your campus and Major

During period 2 you will choose one of three Majors to specialize in. Depending on your choice, you will continue your program either at the CentraleSupélec Saclay Campus in France, the ESSEC France Campus also in France or the ESSEC Asia-Pacific Campus in Singapore. The first part of P2 is uniquely devoted to your specialization choice. After this, depending on your choice of Major, you will have the opportunity to take courses or minors from the other directions, giving you a well-rounded and balanced set of skills. P2 ends with an International Field Trip, and the length of this period varies depending on your choices. The electives are available from January to June.

Applying your new skills to the real world

During the final phase of the program in period 3, you will do an internship and write your thesis. The internship can take anywhere between 4 to 6 months and allows you to put your newly acquired skills and knowledge to the test. It is also an excellent way to grow your business network and to take the first steps to secure a job after graduation.

Period 1: Building the foundation

During the first period, you will attend six intensive foundation courses. Below is a short description of these courses. To read a more detailed description of the foundation courses offered, have a look at our brochure by clicking on the name of a course.

Foundation courses offered at the 
ESSEC Business School Campus

Foundation courses offered at the
CentraleSupélec Saclay Campus

Big data analytics 
This course will develop your analytical problem-solving skills and present you with the statistical methods needed to analyze and leverage multidimensional data.

Continuous & Discrete Optimization 
Programming exercises are covered in this course as well as the basic theory and methods for the solution of optimization problems, and linear and non-linear programming.

Forecasting & Predictive Analytics 
This course develops your judgment and critical sense in order to be able to produce and evaluate operational forecasts, and understand how it all can go wrong.

Big Data Algorithms, Techniques & Platforms 
This course will teach you all about big data management - algorithms, techniques and tools needed to support big data processing.

Strategic Business Analytics 
This course will teach you to design, assess and manage business strategies and how to use quantitative techniques in a strategic consulting approach through real life case studies.

Machine learning 
This course will give the opportunity to apply the course theory to real-world problems through group lab projects with a particular focus on statistical risk and its minimization with respect to prediction function.

 See below an example class of our course in Machine Learning by Chloé-Agathe Azencott.

Period 3: Put your new skills to the test

The Data Sciences & Business Analytics program is built on the premise of learning by doing. That is to say, we don't want you to just theorize about your chosen field of expertise, but to experience it and to delve into the complexities of business life in the real world. That is why, all students will go on an international field trip, do an internship and write a final thesis.

Your Internship, with a duration of 4 to 6 months, can take place anywhere in the worlds and is designed to facilitate your professional integration. Through the developed network of ESSEC and of CentraleSupélec's partnering firms, institutions, and alumni, you are sure to easily find an internship that suits your career ambitions.

The Thesis is an individual research that you carry out on a cutting-edge topic related to data sciences and/or business analytics. It will be a great way for you to combine your built-up expertise with an inquisitive mindset and real-world data. The objective for you is to experience a first complete and original applied theoretical research experience. 

Finally, the International Field Trip is a one-week trip to meet local professionals and business leaders all over the world. You may travel to Hong-Kong, Silicon Valley, etc.

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An intelligent use of data nowadays forms the core of business decisions constitutes the driving force of the societal and economic evolution of the years to come. It is probably one of the most important topics of our days. Analysts estimate that data-related businesses generated about 10 billion dollars in recent years, and will probably generate more than 30 billion dollars in the years to come.

The growth in job opportunities is tremendous: companies and organizations will need a couple of hundred thousand data scientists and business analytics leaders in the next few years. Moreover, the exponential growth in content-generation will bring about a huge need for highly qualified individuals with an in-depth knowledge and a global understanding of the technological and business challenges underlying the digital revolution era.

Recent business studies converge to an estimated need of educating several million data scientists and leaders within the decade to come. This is why two prestigious French Grandes Ecoles ESSEC Business School and CentraleSupélec have partnered to propose this very innovative and complete program. We believe that truly innovative leaders must be both business savvy and erudite in data sciences.Hence we propose a unique program where students learn and combine the key skills in innovation and wealth creation that companies will increasingly require"


Academic Co-Director
Professor of Econometrics & Statistics, ESSEC Business School


Academic Co-Director
Professor of Applied Mathematics & Computer Science, CentraleSupélec

Yan LI

Academic Co-director
Professor of Information Systems, Decision Sciences and Statistics, ESSEC Business School


  • Chloe-Agathe Azencott : Research Faculty, Mines ParisTech & Institut Curie.
  • Cazals, Frédéric : Affiliated Professor at the department of applied mathematics of CentraleSupélec & Inria Permanent Researcher
  • Glady Nicolas : Associate Professor, Accenture Strategic Business Analytics Chair holder, and Director of the Center for Digital Business of ESSEC
  •   Felix Papier : Associate Professor, Operation Management Department, ESSEC Business School
  • Paragios, Nikos : Professor at the department of applied mathematics of CentraleSupélec and affiliated research scientist at Inria and senior fellow of the Institut Universitaire de France
  • Pesquet, Jean-Christophe: Affiliated Professor at the department of applied mathematics of CentraleSupélec & Full of professor at the department of computer science of the University of Paris-East
  • Prat Nicolas : Associate Professor, Information Systems, Decision Sciences and Statistics (IDS) Department, ESSEC Business School
  • Rombouts Jeroen : Professor, Information Systems, Decision Sciences and Statistics (IDS) Department, ESSEC Business School
  • Kevin Bretonnel Cohen, American PhD from CU Boulder Director, Biomedical Text Mining Group Computational Bioscience Program University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Arnaud De Bruyn, Belgian Ph.D. in Business Administration, Pennsylvania State University (USA) Professor, Marketing Department, ESSEC Business School.
  • Marie Kratz French, Doctorate in Applied Mathematics, UPMC Paris VI (France) Professor, Information Systems, Decision
    Sciences and Statistics Department, ESSEC Business School.
  • Frédéric Pascal, French Ph.D. in Signal Processing, Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre-La-Défense (France) Professor, Applied Mathematics Department, CentraleSupélec


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Combine the power of three campuses

Studying in France

Choosing the MSc in Data Sciences & Business Analytics means you will enjoy studying at up to three campuses. Two of these are around Paris, France, the third in Singapore. Regardless of your campus choice, however, you are sure to pursue your degree in a spacious, conducive environment for you to reach your highest potential.

ESSEC France Campus

ESSEC France Campus 

At just 35 minutes from the bustling business district La Défense, stands the iconic ESSEC France Campus. Located in the second largest student area in Ile-de-France, housing over 27,000 students, the France campus provides everything you need to develop and enjoy your academic career to the fullest.

The campus is a very modern home to our 4000 students: they use the latest technologies in our Knowledge Labs, enjoy a nice meal together in restaurant The Daily Market and of course relax and socialize in the Foy’s bar. Our students are very diverse and active: there are over 100 student associations you can join.

Playing the Piano

Most importantly, however, next to great facilities and modern infrastructures, the ESSEC France campus is renowned for the power of its programs. Expect nothing short of top-of-the-bill educational programs provided by the world’s best professors. Your development won’t stop at the classroom door either: 1500 managers yearly come and recruit our students during events. Next to that, at the ESSEC France campus, we have our very own two incubators at the heart of our entrepreneurial ecosystem. In other words: you can directly put your most creative and innovative ideas to the test, do internships and apprenticeships at world-changing companies of France, while immersed in the rich French culture (and pick up French, while you’re at it…!)

CentraleSupélec Saclay Campus


In September 2017, CentraleSupélec will open the doors to its brand new Saclay campus, in Gif-sur-Yvette: 105,000m2 of excellence and innovation comprising 4 buildings, of which two are completely new. This will facilitate exchange and interdisciplinarity.

Significant joint equipment (student accommodation, a learning center, library, gym, sports courts, etc.) will be added to this which, along with ENS Paris-Saclay and Paris-Sud University, will ultimately make up the largest district of the Saclay Plateau: the Moulon district. Located 25 km south of Paris, it will attract more than 30,000 people, of which 8,000 students and scientific equipment employees from both public and private sectors. 


On this campus, we bring over 2,000 students from 60 countries together. They all manage their cultural, social and even technological activities there. Activities such as Gala, Central Business Forum, Centrale 7, and so on. Doing sports and relaxing is also essential for many Centralers’: our campus houses gyms, restaurants, collaborative work spaces, sports rooms and many other facilities. Studying here, you can enjoy an intense and convivial student life! 

ESSEC Asia-Pacific Campus

ESSEC Asia-Pacific Campus

Proudly representing South-East Asia, one of the most dynamic, fast-growing and economically promising parts of the world, is the Republic of Singapore: home to a booming technology sector, a startup ecology that’s picking up strength and speed, and a few of the most advanced cities in the world. Without a doubt, Singapore - as link between Asia, Europe and North-America, has experienced an astonishing growth in development and economic prosperity in the past decades.

At the heart of the One-North area, a district dedicated to advancing research, education and entrepreneurialism, stands the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus. The 6500 square meter campus is brand new: after opening in May 2015, students and teachers alike develop their careers at the edge of modern technology. The focus is truly on the future: the new campus has been built with the environment in mind, and is awarded the Green Mark Platinum Award by the Building and Construction Authority in Singapore.

ESSEC Asia-Pacific Campus

If you choose to study at this very safe and elegant campus, expect the strong presence of multinational firms that can provide access into the promising future of Asia. Like all campuses of ESSEC, the level of the educational systems is world-class. You could use your experience at the Asia-Pacific campus as a gateway into Asia, or as a rich experience to boost your career in other parts of the world. Whatever your choice will be: once you are part of our diverse community of students, trained in a stable, yet vibrant economy with the typically Singaporean high ease of doing business, you will be optimally prepared to take future challenges head on.

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Applying & prerequisites

  • What is the most important thing to get across in my application?

There is no interview for this program so applications are evaluated on the basis of your motivation letter, recommendation letters and academic results. Your motivation letter is key. We are looking for people who are consistent, have vision and are highly motivated. You should be able to demonstrate why this program is the best solution for you and how this is the conclusion of the path you have taken until now. We are looking for exceptional candidates who have at some point taken their lives into their hands, gone off track maybe and either done or tried to do something great.

  • What level of English do I need to have?

This is an international program and all the courses are taught in English. You need to be able to follow courses and feel at ease to work on case studies with your classmates who come from all over the world. A standardised English test is required of non-natives as part of the application. This is one of many aspects that we take into account in making our decisions.

Career prospects

  • What is the difference between a business analytics expert and a data scientist?

This is actually 2 different angles of the same thing and it depends on what focus you want. Is it computer science or business applications? A basic way of explaining the difference is that companies need someone to come with the problem (business analyst) and then someone to solve the problem (data scientist). These 2 actually need to work together and be complimentary.

  • Where can I find a job after graduating? Mainly in France?

There are job opportunities everywhere in the world. You are able to stay in France afterwards but also move internationally. More and more students are finding jobs in the best companies abroad and travel a lot for work. There are also more and more startups coming out of the degree.

Course content

  • How is the program organised? Do you spend time on both campuses?

You will start with the foundations to cover the necessary core skills in the first part of the program before going into more detail with one of two specialised tracks. For the autumn semester (3 months), you will spend time on both campuses, 1 day at CentraleSupélec, 1 day at ESSEC. In the spring semester, you will then choose to focus on your major, from either a business analytics track at ESSEC or a data science track at ECS. Finally in the final semester, you will follow excellence courses on specialised trending topics.

  • What makes the course content innovative?

You will be able to enjoy not only excellent academic teaching from some of the best research faculty in the world but also practical hands-on experience with case studies set by leading industry practitioners and experts in the field brought by our strong partnerships. The program has been developed based on the latest scientific solutions. While the foundation courses cover all the necessary information including a background history, the excellence courses then focus on the hottest trends of the moment. The course material is recent and constantly updated.

  • Regarding the internship, what is the maximum duration I can do one? Do you have any examples of where prior students did theirs?

There are no prestigious companies where our students aren’t employed! These could be in consulting, investment banking, engineering etc. at for example Accenture, BCG, GoldmanSachs, AirBnB or you can launch your own start up.

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