Thank you for agreeing to write a letter of reference for an applicant to the Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Science, based at the University of Edinburgh. Here is some information about the programme that might be helpful for your letter.
The programme takes four years. It has a “1+3″ structure. The first year is an MSc by Research that contains six classes and a research project. (The course choices include machine learning, databases, statistics, optimization, natural language processing, computer vision, speech processing, and various application areas of data science.) The final three years are spent on full-time research leading to a PhD.
When we are assessing applicants, we want to know if the applicant is suitable for the entire four year programme — that is, are they capable of completing an excellent PhD, provided that they have a year to take courses and learn more about the topic.