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Artificial Intelligence - MSc

Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry.

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....

  • 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


[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.

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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.

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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.

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


Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to meet us in person. You'll get the chance to learn about courses in subject talks, chat to tutors and explore our campus. We'll post you a detailed event programme to help plan your day and find your way.

Next Event: Saturday 24 June

Book your place

Entry 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.

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 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £10,000 in 2023/24
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • £11,000 in 2023/24

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 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £16,870 in 2023/24
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • £18,557 in 2023/24

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.


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


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

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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, Iain Rice, at


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.


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

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 Mariam Adedoyin-Olowe

Programme Leader – MSc Artificial Intelligence

Mariam is Programme Leader of MSc Artificial Intelligence in the School of Computing and Digital Technology at Birmingham City University. She is also a researcher in the field of Data Mining/Data Analytics/Data Science. She obtained her PhD degree in Computing Science from the School of Computing Science and Digital Media (IDEAS Research...

More about Mariam

Dr Iain Rice

Senior Lecturer

Dr Rice is a specialist in Machine Learning and Signal Processing with several years of experience applying AI models to a wide range of real-world problems. As the head data scientist for The RAPID Project Iain created algorithms allowing for up to 12 hours advanced prediction of cardiac arrest in children.

More about Iain

Besher Alhalabi

Doctoral researcher

Besher is an accomplished software engineer with over eight years of experience in data analysis and information management. He holds a BSc in Software Engineering and a Master's degree in Business Intelligence. Besher's career so far has seen him work for various international organisations and UN agencies, as well as developing many...

More about Besher

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...

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Lorraine Chambers

Doctoral Researcher

Lorraine is a skilled software engineer with fifteen years of experience designing and developing object-oriented software in the space industry. During this time, she gained an MSc in Software Engineering, for which she had a paper published on Sentiment Analysis. 

More about Lorraine