2020 applicants
Postgraduate Course

MSc Artificial Intelligence and its Applications

MSc Artificial Intelligence and its Applications

Overview

The details
Artificial Intelligence and its Applications
January 2021
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

This course is available to study starting in January 2021 or October 2021; part-time study is only available as part of the October-start option.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad area of research that uses rigorous and hands-on computational techniques to address significant problems that arise in many different disciplines, including, but not limited to, computing systems, economics, business, healthcare, games, medicine design, education and agriculture. With the rapid advance of AI, there is a growing demand for students who can understand and promote AI to all these sectors.

Our MSc Artificial Intelligence and its Applications conversion course will equip you with a skillset on AI techniques, and prepare you for meeting demand, regardless of your academic background. You will obtain a comprehensive perspective of the current developments, the needs and the potential of AI, by participating in taught modules that promote a deep understanding of AI methods together with others that deliver the necessary technical expertise.

Our course will cover areas including:

  • Machine learning
  • Data mining
  • Decision making
  • Big data

Our course will give you both theoretical and technical relevant skills, and will offer you:

  • the understanding of the specifics and the intricacies of AI methodologies
  • the ability to apply both basic and advanced AI methods
  • the ability to design and implement novel solutions

You will also gain transferable skills such as the ability to develop and present arguments, as well as the ability to work independently and in groups. Within our School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering lies the very strong AI for Decision Making research group, which will offer graduates of the course networking opportunities.

The course is developed in collaboration with industry partners and public sector organisations, offering you paid work placement opportunities. Our partners include BT, Profusion, Essex County Council, Essex Police, and Suffolk County Council.

Funding for this course available

We are offering a brand new scholarship, funded by the Office for Students. Each scholarship is valued at £10,000, which can be used to pay tuition fees. These scholarships are aimed at groups of people who under-represented in the areas of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in the UK. To apply for a scholarship, you will need to be holding an offer to study our MSc Artificial Intelligence and its Applications course. Full details about this scholarship and information on how to apply can be found on our website here.

Why we're great.
  • Explore ways of linking artificial intelligence to real-world applications in a range of fields and industries
  • Develop a rounded understanding of theoretical, applied and practical aspects of artificial intelligence
  • Our Employability and Careers Centre is on hand to help with careers advice and planning. You will also have opportunities to present your research and travel to international conferences
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

Our research covers a range of topics, from materials science and semiconductor device physics, to the theory of computation and the philosophy of computer science, with most of our research groups based around laboratories offering world-class facilities.

Our impressive external research funding stands at over £4 million and we participate in a number of EU initiatives and undertake projects under contract to many outside bodies, including government and industrial organisations.

In recent years we have attracted many highly active research staff and we are conducting world-leading research in areas such as evolutionary computation, brain-computer interfacing, intelligent inhabited environments and financial forecasting.

Specialist facilities

We are one of the largest and best resourced computer science and electronic engineering schools in the UK. Our work is supported by extensive networked computer facilities and software aids, together with a wide range of test and instrumentation equipment.

  • We have six laboratories that are exclusively for computer science and electronic engineering students. Three are open 24/7, and you have free access to the labs except when there is a scheduled practical class in progress
  • All computers run either Windows 10 or are dual boot with Linux
  • Software includes Java, Prolog, C++, Perl, Mysql, Matlab, DB2, Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, and Project
  • Students have access to CAD tools and simulators for chip design (Xilinx) and computer networks (OPNET)
  • We also have specialist facilities for research into areas including non-invasive brain-computer interfaces, intelligent environments, robotics, optoelectronics, video, RF and MW, printed circuit milling, and semiconductors

Your future

With a skillset that combines both technical and analytical know-how from our School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, our graduates will be able to find employment in very competitive institutions in a wide range of disciplines. A career in artificial intelligence can be realised within a wide range of sectors, including health, finance, education etc, both in the public and the private sector. Examples of specific jobs held by our AI graduates include computer/data/research scientists, software developers and analysts .

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.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 honours degree, or equivalent, in any discipline.

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.

Structure

Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

The example structure below is representative of this course if taken full-time. If you choose to study part-time, the modules will be split across two years.

Please note that if you are studying full-time (either starting in October or January) there is no second year; you will develop your dissertation throughout the course of your single year.

An Approachable Introduction to Programming

This module will help you develop your coding skills, and assumes you have no prior coding skills. The language used will be ‘Python’, which is well known as an introductory programming language, with the ability to learn starting with a simple single line of code approach. As your coding skills develop, you will be able to review and debug simple code, as a route to developing your own code, through the assembling of coding blocks. You will have the opportunity to experience code relevant to your own course, and to develop code that is useful within your degree context.

View An Approachable Introduction to Programming on our Module Directory

Machine Learning and Data Mining

Humans can often perform a task extremely well (e.g., telling cats from dogs) but are unable to understand and describe the decision process followed. Without this explicit knowledge, we cannot write computer programs that can be used by machines to perform the same task. “Machine learning” is the study and application of methods to learn such algorithms automatically from sets of examples, just like babies can learn to tell cats from dogs simply by being shown examples of dogs and cats by their parents. Machine learning has proven particularly suited to cases such as optical character recognition, dictation software, language translators, fraud detection in financial transactions, and many others.

View Machine Learning and Data Mining on our Module Directory

Neural Networks and Deep Learning

The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of the role of artificial neural networks (ANNs) in computer science and artificial intelligence. This will allow the student to build computers and intelligent machines which are able to have an artificial brain which will allow them to learn and adapt in a human like fashion.

View Neural Networks and Deep Learning on our Module Directory

Group Project

Teamwork skills are essential for employability. The aim of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to apply their specialised knowledge to a realistic problem and gain practical experience of the processes involved in the team-based production of software. Wherever possible, teams are organised on the basis of shared interest, and the problem is designed to exercise their understanding of their area of specialised study. Starting from an outline description of a realistic problem, each team is required to develop a fully implemented software solution using appropriate engineering and project management techniques.

View Group Project on our Module Directory

Professional Practice, Research Methodology and MSc Dissertation

This module will prepare you to conduct independent research leading to a dissertation. The module provides you with an appreciation of research and business skills which will be invaluable in your professional career. Subject areas include literature reviews, report writing, business enterprise, accounting and investment appraisal, all focused on a computer science perspective. You will also be given the opportunity to apply computer science and/or engineering principles and techniques to the solution of a practical problem involving a large project.

View Professional Practice, Research Methodology and MSc Dissertation on our Module Directory

Information Retrieval (optional)

Search engines have become the first entry point into a world of knowledge and they form an essential part of many modern computer applications. While much of the underlying principles have been developed over decades, the landscape of search engine technology has changed dramatically in recent years to deal with data sources magnitudes larger than ever before (the rise of 'big data'). As a result of this, new paradigms for storing, indexing and accessing information have emerged. This module will provide the essential foundation of information retrieval and equip students with solid, applicable knowledge of state-of-the-art search technology.

View Information Retrieval (optional) on our Module Directory

Text Analytics (optional)

We live in an era in which the amount of information available in textual form - whether of scientific or commercial interest - greatly exceeds the capability of any man to read or even skim. Text analytics is the area of artificial intelligence concerned with making such vast amounts of textual information manageable - by classifying documents as relevant or not, by extracting relevant information from document collections, and/or by summarizing the content of multiple documents. In this module we cover all three types of techniques.

View Text Analytics (optional) on our Module Directory

An Approachable Introduction to Data Science (optional)

This module will give you skills in artificial intelligence and data science developed through themes presented by relevant experts across a range of academic departments. It is aimed at strengthening the quantitative skill set of those faced with data challenges in their future professional life.

View An Approachable Introduction to Data Science (optional) on our Module Directory

Data Science and Decision Making (optional)

The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the whole pipeline of processing, analysing, presenting and making decision using data. This module blends data analysis, decision making and visualisation with practical python programming. Students will need a reasonable programming background as they will be expected to develop a complete end-to-end data science application.

View Data Science and Decision Making (optional) on our Module Directory

Creating and Growing a New Business Venture (optional)

Acquire critical and transferable skills associated with the creation and growth of new business ventures. You focus on the development process from start up to early stage growth of new ventures, new small businesses spin offs from large firms, and especially innovative, technology-based firms. You study opportunity identification, self-efficacy, ideas generation, bricolage and bootstrapping, developing business models, networking, marketing, and finance.

View Creating and Growing a New Business Venture (optional) on our Module Directory

Computational Models in Economics and Finance (optional)

The modules introduces students to computational thinking in economics and finance by looking at different relevant models and theories, such as agent-based modelling and game theory. Students will also be introduced to various applications, such as financial forecasting, automated bargaining and mechanism design.

View Computational Models in Economics and Finance (optional) on our Module Directory

Big-Data for Computational Finance (optional)

This module is a mix of theory and practice with big data cases in finance. Algorithmic and data science theories will be introduced and followed by a thorough introduction of data-driven algorithms for structures and unstructured data. Modern machine learning and data mining algorithms will be introduced with particular case studies on financial industry.

View Big-Data for Computational Finance (optional) on our Module Directory

Professional Practice, Research Methodology and MSc Dissertation

This module will prepare you to conduct independent research leading to a dissertation. The module provides you with an appreciation of research and business skills which will be invaluable in your professional career. Subject areas include literature reviews, report writing, business enterprise, accounting and investment appraisal, all focused on a computer science perspective. You will also be given the opportunity to apply computer science and/or engineering principles and techniques to the solution of a practical problem involving a large project.

View Professional Practice, Research Methodology and MSc Dissertation on our Module Directory

Teaching

  • Modules provide a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of the theory, methods and applications of artificial intelligence
  • Core components combined with optional modules, to enable you to gain either in-depth specialisation or a breadth of understanding
  • Our postgraduates are encouraged to attend conferences and seminars, as well as engage with the wider research community

Assessment

  • On this course you are assessed mostly by coursework and projects, but this does vary from module to module
  • Some modules may also incorporate written examinations

Dissertation

  • Your research project allows you to focus in depth on your chosen topic
  • Close supervision by faculty staff

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,500

EU students commencing their course in the 2020-21 academic year will be liable for the Home/UK fee.

International fee

£18,460

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 tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Applying

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.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

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.

Exhibitions

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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