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Artificial Intelligence - MSc

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

This course will equip you with an understanding of the theory and practice of applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems through pathways. Streams include core AI and Fintech pathways - fully funded scholarships are available.

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Computing and Digital Technology
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

This course is:

Open to International Students

Overview

£10,000 fully funded scholarships available for September 2024 with the MSc Artificial Intelligence scholarship.

[00:00:00] Speaker 1 A.I. - Artificial intelligence is already shaping the world of tomorrow. It has the potential to revolutionise every industry, from Chat GPT and driverless cars to healthcare, our world is increasingly relying on AI and data science to make decisions, solve problems and predict the future.

[00:00:20] Speaker 2 I didn't realise I was in demand in almost every industry, and the staff at BCU have the industry connections to help me kickstart my career.

[00:00:30] Speaker 1 AI graduates command higher salaries. Employers are willing to pay more for skilled graduates who can use AI to make their companies more efficient. And while AI is still seen as a relatively new career, the number of jobs requiring these skills has tripled in the last ten years. Our course equips you to become a specialist, even if you've never studied computer science before.

[00:00:52] Speaker 2 I was a newcomer to computer science at BCU. I've had the support I need to develop my knowledge from the ground up.

[00:01:00] Speaker 1 If you've got a minimum of a 2.2 Undergraduate degree in any subject whatsoever and you're a UK national, you could be eligible to receive a fully funded place to study artificial intelligence at Birmingham City University.

This course will equip you with a sound understanding of the theory and practice of applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems through pathways. Streams include core AI and Fintech pathways which have been designed to meet industry needs.

As a computing conversion course, it is assumed that you are starting fresh with no experience of computer programming and little experience of using mathematics or statistics in your undergraduate courses or in work.

What's covered in the course?

The course begins by creating a foundation in programming and mathematics, upon which you will build the expertise in several key areas of AI oriented to the pathway, going from first Python code and basic algebra, right through to Deep Learning. The core applied areas of the MSc AI include:

  • Image Analysis - machine learning has shown incredible results recently in understanding the themes of images and video which are being applied in a range of commercial settings; from security and driverless cars, to online clothes shopping.
  • Natural Language Processing - being able to understand speech and text is one of the cornerstones of AI systems. Chatbots built on AI are appearing all over the internet, but more than this, technology giants are searching for ways that machines can have detailed conversations with one another, and read and understand text documents.
  • Time Series - dealing with dynamic data is vital to AI systems in finance, healthcare and defence; whether predicting system vulnerabilities, future stock prices or even predicting patient outcomes in ICU, and how a virus outbreak will permeate through a population.

The Fintech pathway complements learners with a finance background by applying AI techniques to risk management and portfolio analysis, giving graduates a competitive edge in the field. Core AI pathway learners will cover data visualisation with editorial design and AI pipelines and impact evaluation.

A strong focus on technology monitoring and ethics will be taught in a way to suit learners from all backgrounds; rather than through specific case studies which only suit certain types of learners. Ethics and horizon scanning frameworks are introduced to apply to any industry. The Master's project will have an industrial route, should you wish to work on an applied project with a corporate partner, and there will be a route on graduation to undertake a professional placement or go on to a doctoral research programme.

STEAMhouse building exterior

Introducing STEAMhouse

STEAMhouse is a centre for technology, innovation, creative thinking, prototyping and business development. Our brand new £70 million pound building is the new home for the School of Computing and Digital Technology.

Find out more

This course is open to International students.

As the world is moving towards digitalisation, and there are more and more problems which have arisen especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, and hence there is a need to create better solutions for the real-world problems that people face. Artificial Intelligence has that potential to recognise problems and thus can develop solutions using existing data. Recognising this need, I chose this course to help try solve the real-world problems. After becoming a mother, I realised that in order to keep up with the fast-paced world, and especially during the pandemic I realised that I need to do a conversion course, which will enable me to have a fantastic career ahead.

Akanksha Vyas

Why Choose Us?

    • Become an AI specialist - No matter your background, this course will prepare you to work in any area of data science competently with AI, you head and shoulders above everyone else in the graduate AI job market.
    • Learn how to evaluate machine learning systems - Our course teaches you how to account for both the limitations and ethical issues that they create.
    • Links with industry - Our delivery partners, such as Amazon, Huawei, Cisco, IBM and Microsoft will provide training for industry-standard systems making you able to solve problems important to your future employers, straight away.
    • Scholarship opportunitiesYou could be eligible to receive a fully-funded place to study Artificial Intelligence at BCU with the MSc Artificial Intelligence scholarship.
    • Flexible learning - You will be taught through a mix of face-to-face and remote learning to fit around other commitments.
    • Fintech pathway available - this course has the option to specialise in fintech modules.

On graduation there are three main routes open to you:

  • A job in industry as a data scientist; solving tomorrow’s problems using the intelligent techniques that we will provide you with
  • A PhD; pushing the forefront of AI by developing new types of intelligent systems to solve the most challenging data-driven problems
  • Where you started; AI is being applied everywhere so going back to your own industry on graduation isn’t taking a step back – you’ll be returning with a broad set of skills and a problem-solving outlook that will benefit any organisation

OPEN DAY

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to learn about this course in detail, chat to students and explore our campus.

Next Event: 29 June 2024

Book Now

Entry Requirements

Essential requirements

Essential Requirements
  • AI pathway: A 2:2 honours degree in any discipline or three years of professional work experience in a role which has required you to work and interact with a range of people requiring a regular element of problem-solving.
  • Fintech pathway: A 2:2 honours degree in addition to a background in finance (e.g. an undergraduate degree in a finance-related subject such as Accountancy, Finance, Economics or Business Management) or three years of professional work experience in a finance role.
Application Details

On application please also provide a 250-word maximum personal statement detailing why you are ready for this course and how you want to use what you learn in your future career or in later life.

Extra information for EU/international students

Applicants whose degree was not delivered in English will require IELTS 6.0 overall, with no subtest below 5.5.

If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact us.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £10,500 in 2024/25
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • £11,550 in 2024/25

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £17,710 in 2024/25
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • £19,485 in 2024/25

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and NVivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Media consumable items (optional)

This course requires the use of consumables.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Professional Placement option*

The Professional Placement option will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market. Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement. The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School.

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course. All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Personal statement

You’ll need to submit a personal statement as part of your application for this course. This will need to highlight your passion for postgraduate study – and your chosen course – as well as your personal skills and experience, academic success, and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Not sure what to include? We’re here to help – take a look at our top tips for writing personal statements and download our free postgraduate personal statement guide for further advice and examples from real students.

Course in Depth

Module

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 140 credits):

In addition, you must choose either to study the AI Pathway or the Fintech Pathway and successfully complete 40 credits from the following PATHWAY modules:

Download course specification

Download now

Course breakdown

Knowledge and understanding are acquired though a mixture of formal lectures, tutor-led seminars and practical activities, with other independent learning activities at all stages. For more information about this course please get in touch with the course leader, Dr Mariam Adedoyin-Olowe, at Mariam.Adedoyin-Olowe@bcu.ac.uk.

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

We know that employers are looking for graduates who have a good balance between in-depth academic knowledge and technical and practical expertise, which is why our course is geared towards employability.

What you learn on our course will help you to stand out when you look for your first professional role. Because you will know how to use sophisticated, industry-standard software, you will be able to demonstrate that you can put into practice your deep theoretical knowledge.

We will also prepare you for a career by equipping you with a range of transferable skills, such as complex problem-solving expertise, the ability to analyse in a careful and considered manner, and working as a team member. We aim to have you employer-ready by the time you graduate and, as part of your Advanced Computer Science course, we will invite guest speakers to underpin the subjects taught.

Thanks to our excellent partnerships and working relationships with some of the UK’s leading companies, you have the chance to network with leading organisations such as IBM, Dignity plc, Mortgage Brain and Griffiths Waite. In addition, our specialist industry links with the Linux Professional Institute, the Oracle Academy, Cisco, and Microsoft, plus our world-class facilities, will mark you out as a highly employable graduate.

This is why our graduates have gone on to pursue computing and software development and designer careers in a wide range of industries, from SME software companies, to industry, government, banking and healthcare. Furthermore, many graduates continue their studies to Doctorate level.

International

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities & Staff

[00:00:02] Speaker 1 Hello and welcome to the computing tour for Birmingham City University.

[00:00:05] I'm Alex, a second year Computer Science student sitting here today, and I'll be taking you around the facilities here at BCU.

[00:00:11] Right now we're in STEAMhouse. If you're coming on to a computing course, you may be spending time here doing your Innovation Fest project, where you'll be presenting your project that you worked on to industry professionals. So STEAMhouse is a £72 million conversion of the old bike factory that used to be here.

[00:00:31] This is one of the larger learning spaces that we have here at STEAMhouse, completely built around computing. The entire building is modular. All these walls can be opened up and these classes can be made gigantic.

[00:00:43] So here's another space here at STEAMhouse for, sort of like, breakout rooms or for independent learning places you can go as a group to work on projects. To the left of us, there is the business space where visitors come in and they can work on projects there and also allows for students and staff members to integrate with the tech industry. If you'd like to learn more about STEAMhouse, the video link in description. And now I'm going to take you over to Millennium Point.

[00:01:13] Here we are at Millennium Point. This is the level four project space, the space you'll be using in term time to work on things such as the Innovation project. It is also the home of the Maker's Lab, which I'll be showing you in a little bit. It's a completely transformative and modular space.

[00:01:28] Recently, Birmingham City University has spent six and a half million pounds in revamping their Millennium Point building. It's also the area where we will be holding industry events. One of the things that I want to show you very quickly is the Lapsafe here. So Birmingham City University has one of the largest collections of Lapsafes in Europe. And they're not just here in the Millennium Point building. There's also ones over in Parkside and Curzon as well as STEAMhouse. You're allowed to take a laptop out if you haven't got one personally, and you can use it while you're at university for about six or so hours at a time. We also not only have Windows laptops, but also MacBooks.

[00:02:10] So here we are in the Makers Lab, and this is where you'll be spending time as a first year student working on the Innovation facilities there. Basically, this is where the magic happens, right? So in this room is a bunch of component parts and things to work with your systems such as 3D printers.

[00:02:24] So what you can do is you build a schematic up in the software. We send it to the machines and they can print out component parts for your project. It's also a bunch of different other components here at the university that it offers to students that they can use for their projects, such as Arduino, Mark Controllers, and Raspberry Pi is sort of like the heart of your system. You write some code, you flash onto the microcontroller, then it can control the system that you've attached it to. Over here, we've also got a bunch of component parts even using such as light sensors and motion sensors and buttons and keypads and things like that as well.

[00:02:59] So we've got a bunch of previous projects here as well. Here's Sign Genie which is a sign language interpreter, you sign in front of it and it will send back the sign language on the screen here. You can find out more about this project in description below, showing you how they built it from start to finish.

[00:03:16] We also have laser cutting services at University, so if you need, you know, a frame cut out for your project, for example, that we've got here, you can use the laser cutter and cut out little component parts that all fit together as a housing for your project. Okay, So now I think we're going to head down to level one, which houses the network labs and the games lab.

[00:03:42] This is one of the games labs here at BCU. This is more of a high spec facility to help with rendering animation and, you know, running the games that you create as a games development students as well as that. We've also got the different component parts. You need to build a project VR here so you can experiment with VR within the game called events such as Games Jam where students from across Birmingham City University come together to create a game within 24 hours or 48 hours and present it to a panel.

[00:04:14] So this is one of our networking labs here at BCU. It is a Cisco networking lab. All the hardware in here is industry standard and the majority of it is Cisco related. This entire room and several other rooms on this floor are complete separate LAN network from the rest of university. And you can, you know, run tests and simulations and try and configure and connect to of computers within the labs. The software that we use here is called Cisco Packet Tracer or Nethercutt. This is what we use to prototype our networks. And then you can actually physically build them using the hardware in the room to see how it works in practice.

[00:04:55] So this is one of our many computing labs here at Birmingham City University at the College of Computing. We have about 20 computing labs here at the University of all kinds of different software. And then depending on the course that you're doing, we have experts here from industry working as lecturers to have that real world experience and incredibly helpful with helping you to complete your coursework as well as get any additional advice and sort of guide you in the right direction.

[00:05:22] This is one of the big open communal spaces where you can come and catch up on work, but New Macs here that you can work on as well as Windows PCs out at the back can also see that there's more lab space here. So if you want to use a laptop, you can get those as well. Along with that, there's also the main I.T help desk here where you can come in and ask questions if you've got any issues.

[00:05:43] That was just a taste of computing at BCU. If you'd like to experience it yourself, come along to one of our Open Days or applicant taster days in the future. As well as if you'd like to know more about the computing experience. You can watch this video right here.

[00:06:03] You still here? Go watch the video.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus.

The course is supported with a wide range of cutting-edge facilities in the City Centre Campus. We have a state-of-the-art computer games technology lab which contains high-performance PCs, Sony PlayStation development kits and a range of industry standard software including Unity, Unreal and a suite of professional Microsoft development tools.

We also have many open access areas where students can study together and even hire out laptops for use in these spaces and others within the university.

Within the University there are many internationally recognised research teams giving you the opportunity to collaborate with them on exciting interdisciplinary projects.

Computer networking

The laboratories are well-equipped for all our computer networking courses, as well as specialist areas for practical work such as voice-over internet protocol (VoIP), forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies and radio frequency identification technologies to name but a few.

Software development and computer programming

There are a number of open access, software development and computer programming laboratories that can be used to develop systems and programmes, including database management systems such as MySQL, to name but a few.

Systems laboratories

Our embedded systems laboratories are used to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and industrial-standard software development and simulation tools. These include microcontroller software and robotics design and development, to name but a few.

Electronic systems

To underpin the basic principles of electronic systems, we have a well-equipped laboratory of general and specialist test and measurement kits, including powered prototyping development boards, dual power supplies, frequency generators and counters and digital multi-meters to name but a few.

Forensic computing

Our successful development of forensic computing has led to a specialist forensics laboratory that is fully equipped with essential hardware and software for this sensitive area of study. The laboratory includes high-spec PCs with built-in multi interface Tableau write blockers, EnCase and FTK computer forensic software and steganography detection and analysis software, to name but a few.

More on our facilities

Our staff

Dr Faisal Saeed

Associate Professor

Faisal Saeed is an Associate Professor at the College of Computing and Digital Technology, at Birmingham City University. He leads the MSc Artificial Intelligence course and Research Summer School at the College. Previously, he worked as an Assistant and Associate Professor at the Information Systems Department, Taibah University, KSA (2017-2021),...

More about Faisal

Nouh Elmitwally

Lecturer in Data Science

Lecturer in Data Science, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning with 4+ years of experience in the United Kingdom and other countries. He received a PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Surrey, the UK, and a BSc MSc from Cairo University, Egypt. Before joining BCU in September 2022, he had a long international career in computer...

More about Nouh

Hansi Hettiarachchi

Doctoral researcher

Hansi successfully completed her BSc (Hons) in Computer Science and Engineering at University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in 2016 with a first-class. After completing the bachelor's degree, she joined the Research and Development Division of CodeGen International (Pvt) Ltd., Sri Lanka as a Software Engineer. Hansi could obtain over three years of...

More about Hansi

Dr. Shadi Basurra

Senior Lecturer

Dr. Shadi Basurra graduated from the Computer Science Department at the University of Exeter, UK in 2007. He obtained his MSc in Computer Networking from the University of Kent - Canterbury, UK in 2008. He received a Ph.D. scholarship from the Japanese Toshiba Corporation, Great Western Research and Yemen government, which he completed successfully...

More about Shadi