Postgraduate study

UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Biomedical Artificial Intelligence MScR, PhD

Awards: MScR, PhD

Funding opportunities


The UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Biomedical Artificial Intelligence grows from the realisation that AI technologies will play a central role leveraging data to transform our understanding and practice of biomedicine. Delivering such a step change will require training a new cadre of scientists operating at the intersection of computer science and biomedicine, building AI systems which are effective, ethical and empowering to scientists and users alike.

The CDT offers training under the "1+3" format: in the first year, you will receive training through a number of taught courses and projects towards a Master by Research. Starting in the second year of the programme, you will propose and pursue an interdisciplinary PhD project under the joint supervision of an AI expert and an application domain expert.

MSc by Research

This master involves a larger element of research than conventional masters; out of 180 credits, 120 are awarded for project work. You will take 60 credits worth of taught modules on AI, biomedical sciences and responsible research and innovation. The precise split between these three areas will depend on your background; we will provide you with advice at the start of the course, as well as support throughout. You will then participate in two sizeable projects: a group project worth 40 credits on a data modelling challenge set by a collaborating lab (or industrial partner), and an interdisciplinary individual project worth 80 credits (your main MSc project). Both projects will involve an open ended element and it is expected that in many cases original results will be achieved, which will then inform the choice of a PhD topic.

The MSc will be an opportunity to acquire new technical and research skills; it is expected that CDT students will normally achieve an average of 65% or more, and will show an aptitude to research in their project.


Following successful completion of your Master by Research, you will choose an interdisciplinary PhD project. You will be expected to find supervisors (your MSc experience will help there!) and write a short proposal within the first month of PhD. Your supervisors will help you develop your proposal, and further feedback will be given by the CDT board. The PhD will then mostly be individual research, but you will be embedded in local research groups, and there will be plenty of opportunities to showcase your work at local, national and international conferences and events.

Leading clinical, industrial and international academic partners will provide students with opportunities for hands-on application in a broad variety of contexts.

Strong technical skills are essential to become a successful researcher, but on their own they might not be sufficient. Researchers in Biomedical AI will also need to excel at a range of other abilities, from effective interdisciplinary communication, to shaping policy and public understanding of science. To address these training needs, we have developed a rich programme of training opportunities. You will be able to select your own training programme, in consultation with your supervisor, and strengthen your ability in cross-disciplinary skills that will serve you well throughout your future career.

The School of Informatics offers state of the art computational facilities, commensurate to its standing as one of the world leading computer science institutions. Collaborating biomedical scientists are hosted in large institutes with world-class experimental facilities.

Overall, career opportunities for graduates are broad and favourable. Biomedical AI is expected to be a sector of particular growth in the near to medium term, as highlighted in several governmental reports (Industrial Strategy, Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, etc) as well as major industrial players (Association of British Pharma Industry, Glaxo-Smith-Klein strategic report 2018). According to the EU patent office, the Med-Tech sector filed the largest number of new patents in 2017 than any sector.

A UK 2.1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in computer science, mathematics, physics, engineering or a related discipline.

Applicants coming directly from a bachelors or masters degree are welcome.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 with at least 20 in each section

  • PTE Academic: total 61 with at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills scores

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your tuition fee status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • UKRI CDT in Biomedical AI
  • Informatics Forum
  • 10 Crichton St
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AB

You will be asked to submit a research proposal and CV.

Successful applicants will be admitted on the MScR programme and - upon successful completion of the MScR year - will be automatically transferred to the PhD.

Find out more about the application process for this programme on the Centre for Doctoral Training Biomedical AI website:

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • UKRI CDT in Biomedical AI
  • Informatics Forum
  • 10 Crichton St
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AB