Head of Data Science

London, England, United Kingdom

Full Time Mid-level / Intermediate
FutureLearn Ltd logo
FutureLearn Ltd
Apply now Apply later

Posted 1 month ago

Higher education is being rapidly disrupted by digitisation, globalisation and industry moving into the educational space. At the same time, people’s job security is at risk from rapidly evolving industries, robotics & AI, increasing demand for up-to-date technical, data, digital skills, and shorter job spans. Increasingly we are all transforming into lifelong learners, looking to upskill, reskill or entertain ourselves via effective educational content that provides quality, credentialed and recognised outcomes. In emerging markets the internet is accelerating this trend and opening up access to educational products from universities or institutions thousands of miles away, where previously cost, travel or admission requirements would have made study impossible. FutureLearn was founded in 2012 by the Open University, with the purpose of channeling these trends and transforming access to lifelong education.

As part of FutureLearn you will be able to work within a stimulating, multidisciplinary, inclusive and diverse working environment that promotes collaboration, teamwork (AGILE framework), personal initiatives and career growth.

About the role

We are currently looking to recruit a Head of Data Science. This is a unique opportunity for a current Head of or Lead Data Scientist to lead and build a budding Data Science team at an exciting time in FutureLearn as we further grow and move towards a new and personalized product and marketing strategy. We are looking for a hands-on, experienced leader who can own and drive the Data Science strategy, in close collaboration and alignment with key business departments. All data science work is expected to solve business problems and provide added value to decision making, business value and supporting learner acquisition, experience and retention. You will need to be able to define structures, processes and standards for the rapid creation of proof of concepts as well as for the full development and successful deployment of these prototypes once they have proven their value. This will require you to closely work together with Engineers, to ensure an efficient data infrastructure for model development and deployment is maintained and improved. FutureLearn has made significant investments into its data pipeline to enable fast, easy and scalable access to our data. Our data stack consists of Stitch, Snowflake, dbt and Looker. Python is the main programming language used for our Data-Science products and we mainly use Pyspark and AWS cloud tools to enable their scalability and automation. The Data Science team sits in the Data & Analytics Department and works alongside the Business Insights Analysts and Data Engineers. The Head of Data Science reports directly to the Director of Data & Analytics.


Experience (overall 6+ years commercial data science experience) in leading a data science team, including recruitment, talent development and motivating team members through a clear vision of how data science contributes to the overall business success. Bachelor’s/MSc/PhD in a quantitative discipline (Data Science, Machine Learning, Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering or similar) Experience in scoping, prioritising and managing multiple data science projects in parallel with the capacity for getting things done, be it either hands-on or by leading others. Excellent communication and collaboration skills and experience in building strong relationships across business lines to influence and deliver impact across the business. Excellent knowledge of machine learning methods, as well as deep understanding of probability and statistics Excellent knowledge in Python coding, including experience with packages such as Pandas, NumPy, SciPy, Scikit-learn, Matplotlib, Seaborn, and good SQL skills. Experience in the construction of end-to-end ML and data science pipelines and successful production deployment of data science products within cloud environments (AWS, GCP, Azure). Knowledgeable in version control systems and hosting/sharing platforms such as Git/GitHub. Ongoing desire to upskill yourself and your team.


  • Competitive salary
  • Flexible working for all
  • 28 days of Annual Leave plus UK Public Holidays
  • Roll over up to 5 days Holiday
  • Buy and Sell up to 5 days Holiday
  • Personal ‘recharge’ days, no questions asked
  • Personal budget for development and training
  • 18 weeks of FutureLearn Maternity Pay and Adoption Pay (at your full basic pay)
  • 6 weeks of FutureLearn Paternity Pay (at your full basic pay)
  • Sabbatical Leave (up to 3 months of unpaid leave after 3 years)
  • Cycle to Work scheme
  • Season Ticket Loan
  • Charity work – 1 day dedicated to a charity of your choice
  • Free upgraded access on any FutureLearn short course and course fee waiver for Open University

At the moment, all FutureLearners work from home. When it is safe to go back into office, the working environment will be stimulating and fun, with lots of opportunities to collaborate, enjoy healthy snacks, good coffee and work out in the gym.

Once the office is open again this role will be a full time, office based role with a lot of flexibility to work remotely. We are still keen to meet you even if you are not London based. All interviews will be held online, via Zoom. Please let us know if you need any special arrangements for your interviews.

FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform formed in December 2012 by The Open University and is now jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group. FutureLearn has over 10 million people signed up worldwide. FutureLearn uses design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible short online courses, microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that improve working lives. It partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities, as well as organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (HEE). It’s also involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education


We believe diversity matters and want to create an environment where that diversity can flourish. We encourage everyone to bring their whole self to work, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race or disability.


We encourage freelancers and people who have been made redundant as a result of COVID-19 to apply for opportunities at FutureLearn. We believe that in these difficult times, good employers have to rise to the occasion and play their part in the community. At FutureLearn, we take care of each other.

Job tags: AI AWS Engineering Looker Machine Learning Marketing Matplotlib ML NumPy Pandas PySpark Python Robotics Scikit-Learn SciPy Seaborn Security SQL Travel
Job region(s): Europe
Job stats:  26  1  0
  • Share this job via
  • or