Postgraduate Course

MSc Artificial Intelligence

MSc Artificial Intelligence


The details
Artificial Intelligence
October 2021
1 year
TWI - Cambridge

Unfortunately this course will not be running in the 2021-22 academic year, but we hope that it will be available again in the 2022-23 academic year. However, our MSc Artificial Intelligence course based at our Colchester Campus is available to study in the 2021-22 academic year.

This unique course is based at TWI in Cambridge and gives you a rare opportunity to gain a more practical postgraduate degree experience. By studying within the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) facility at TWI, where you will receive an industry-based experience, as you will be located within a company, rather than on a university campus. TWI is well-known internationally for contribution to industry research and will offer you a very different experience to what you can currently access at our Colchester Campus. You will have access to industry-led projects with real-life application as well as TWI Industrial members companies.

Artificial intelligence deals with the theory, design, application, and development of biologically, socially and linguistically motivated computational paradigms.

The course will focus on linking artificial intelligence techniques to real-world applications and projects, including artificial intelligence in business and financial applications, artificial intelligence in games, artificial intelligence in biological sciences and medicine, and artificial intelligence in industrial control.

Our course covers the theoretical, applied and practical aspects of artificial intelligence, with an emphasis on:

  • Genetic algorithms
  • Evolutionary programming
  • Fuzzy systems
  • Neural networks
  • Connectionist systems
  • Hybrid intelligent systems

Our School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering is a community of scholars leading the way in technological research and development. Today’s computer scientists are creative people who are focused and committed, yet restless and experimental. We are home to many of the world’s top scientists, and our work is driven by creativity and imagination as well as technical excellence. More than two-thirds of our research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent (REF 2014).

On this course you will have access to discussion forums, which will enable you to chat about course content with other students. Lectures will be recorded and uploaded to our ListenAgain service, so that if you miss a lecture for any reason or just want to catch-up, you can do this easily online. Our clear and well-structured course material will all be shared with you via Moodle, and you will also be able to use Moodle to access e-textbooks and academic journals.

The University will be seeking accreditation with both the IET and BCS after the graduation of the first cohort. If accreditation is approved, it will be backdated to this first cohort.

Why we're great.
  • This applied artificial intelligence course is one-of-a-kind in the UK
  • Based at engineering-consultancy company TWI, you will receive a practical and industry-focused experience
  • Upon graduation, you will be well positioned to launch your career in artificial intelligence
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Placement year

Although this isn’t technically a course with a placement, you will be based in a company in Cambridge, TWI, so you will benefit from working with their experts, have access to library facilities, and will be able to network with staff and other students on-site. Ultimately, this course is a more applied and practical version of the MSc Artificial Intelligence course based at our Colchester Campus.

Our expert staff

You will be taught by leading University of Essex academics in the area of artificial intelligence, including Professor Hani Hagras (intelligent systems), Professor Luca Citi (machine learning) and Dr Yunfei Long (natural language engineering). The research areas of almost more than half of the academic staff in our School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering relate to artificial intelligence and its applications.

Our lecturers will provide you with the support you need to be successful on this course via out-of-classroom appointments (through Zoom) and email. There will also be Q&A sessions at different points throughout the course with your tutors.

You will also have industrial supervisors from TWI, where there is a dedicated team. The team at TWI will have regular meetings with you, and will be in contact with staff at Essex and your academic supervisors, to make sure you are on track with your studies. The supervision you receive from both Essex and TWI ensures you receive a simultaneous academic and industrial experience.

Specialist facilities

This unique postgraduate course is based at TWI in Cambridge.

Who are TWI?

TWI is one of the world’s foremost independent research and technology organisations, with expertise in materials joining and engineering processes. They are a company that provides engineering consultancy to its members and stakeholders with authoritative and impartial expert advice, knowhow and safety assurance related to engineering, materials and joining technologies.

TWI established the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) in 2012, which carries out industry-led, postgraduate research. TWI also hosts a growing number of Innovation Centres in the UK and overseas, established in partnership with leading universities, including the University of Essex, which leverage knowledge, secure grant funding and accelerate research to achieve technology excellence and meet socio-economic and environmental challenges.

With their collective technology focus encompassing robotics and autonomous systems, artificial intelligence and machine learning, internet of things (IoT), advanced non-destructive testing, renewable energy systems, structural integrity, joining 4.0, materials, additive manufacturing and more, the Innovation Centres are creating a substantial impact on the future of UK engineering.

What will you benefit from based at TWI in Cambridge?

You will have access to NSIRC and TWI’s facilities, including their unique library. There are also dedicated student spaces in the building and will have access to both a quiet room and a conference centre.

NSIRC also has a students’ social committee and a social activity club which you will be able to join. These groups provide you with support by organising social, welcome events and provide a space for you to feel comfortable in the industrial work-based environment in which you’ll be studying.

What benefits will you receive from the Colchester Campus?

Although you will be accessing resources, lectures, classes and members of staff based at Colchester remotely, you will have full access of all the necessary software that campus-based students will receive and will also use the Essex Virtual Lab, which we have used extensively in 2020 due to remote and home working arrangements that have been in place.

If you require papers or books which are not available at the TWI Library, you will still benefit from access to the University of Essex’s Albert Sloman Library (which enables you to access to both physical and online books and other resources).

Your future

Our course opens up employment opportunities designing intelligent software – in banks and businesses designing prediction systems, in computer games companies designing adaptive games, in pharmaceutical companies designing intelligent systems that model a given drug and its various interactions, and in heavy industries designing control systems.

Our recent graduates have progressed to a variety of senior positions in industry and academia. Some of the companies and organisations where our former graduates are now employed include:

  • Electronic Data Systems
  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
  • Bank of Mexico
  • Visa International
  • Hyperknowledge (Cambridge)
  • Hellenic Air Force
  • ICSS (Beijing)
  • United Microelectronic Corporation (Taiwan)

We also work with the University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Whilst studying at TWI, you will also have the opportunity to participate in an annual conference where you will meet industrial experts and have the chance to network with industry professionals. The conference is an opportunity to help you find and secure a future career.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

We will consider applicants with a 2:2 degree in one of the following subjects:

  • Computer science
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Networks
  • Computer Games
  • Computing
  • Software Engineering

With at least one other computer related module e.g Database,Web Development, Software Engineering, Operating System, Computer Architecture, Computer systems.


A 2.2 degree in:

  • Electronic Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Telecommunication Engineering
  • Information Engineering
  • Automation
  • Mechatronic Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

With at least one Maths module e.g. Mathematics, Calculus, Algebra, Differential equations, Probability and statistics, Signal and systems, Control theory, Control systems, Computer systems, Embedded systems, Microprocessors.

And 1 programming module such as C, C#, C++, Java, Python, Object oriented programming, Advanced programming, * 1 math module such as Mathematics, Calculus, Algebra, Differential equations, etc.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.


Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.


You will be based at TWI in Cambridge, but will be taught remotely by our expert University of Essex academic staff. Not only will you be working alongside other students at TWI, you will also have the opportunity to remotely liaise with students on the same course based in Colchester.

You will be part of a ‘classroom’ at TWI with other students and attend all Essex modules remotely. You will attend virtual lectures at the same time as your Colchester Campus-based peers.

Teaching sessions will include lectures, lab-work and classes. Lectures provide a means for teachers to demonstrate required skills through examples and applications, and for you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the content of the modules.

You can prepare for the teaching sessions by reading, interpreting and evaluating relevant material including literature for your dissertation. You also have the opportunity to develop skills in working in groups through participation in activities.


Modules will be assessed by coursework and exams. Your lecturers will provide written and/or verbal feedback on your work through comments and discussion.


You will complete a dissertation which will be the final piece of assessed work you produce.

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee


International fee


EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.


You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.


Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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