Informatics: AIAI: Foundations and Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Automated Reasoning, Agents, Data Intensive Research PhD, MPhil, MScR
Awards: PhD, MPhil, MScR
Study modes: Full-time, Part-time
At the Artificial Intelligence and its Applications Institute (AIAI), we enable computer systems to reproduce and complement human abilities, work with people, and support collaboration between humans.
We conduct world-leading research in the foundations of Artificial Intelligence, for example, in:
- knowledge representation and reasoning
- emergence of meaning
- theory and ontology change
- computer-based proof
We also research its applications to intelligent systems, for example:
- autonomous and multi-agent systems
- social computation
- scientific collaboration platforms
- web semantics and linked data
Our research methods focus on the development of models of knowledge, reasoning, and interaction that can be used to understand and automate aspects of human and machine intelligence, but are also understandable and usable to the designers and users of AI systems in order to address broader issues such as fairness, accountability, transparency and safety.
To achieve this, we combine theoretical research into AI models, architectures and algorithms with a strong element of applied research. This has led to a strong track record in using our methods to address real-world problems in:
- scientific collaboration
- social computing
- emergency systems
You'll find a wide range of research areas within AIAI conducted across themes such as:
- Interpretable and Explainable AI
- Neuro-Symbolic AI
- Autonomous and Multi-agents Systems
- Mathematical/Probabilistic and Logical Reasoning
- Formal Modelling and Verification
- Planning and Activity Management
- Data-Intensive Research
- Network Science
Find out more about compulsory and optional courses
We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.
|Programme structure 2023/24
You will carry out research work within a research group under the guidance of a supervisor. You may also attend taught courses that are relevant to your research topic, as prescribed by your supervisor. You will be expected to attend seminars and meetings of relevant research groups. Periodic reviews of progress are conducted to assist with research planning.
A programme of transferable skills courses facilitates broader professional development in a wide range of topics, from writing and presentation skills to entrepreneurship and career strategies.
The School of Informatics is committed to advancing the representation of women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The School is deploying a range of strategies to help female staff and students of all stages in their careers and we seek regular feedback from our research community on our performance.
The award-winning Informatics Forum is an international research facility for computing and related areas. It houses more than 400 research staff and students, providing office, meeting and social spaces.
It also contains several robotics labs, an instrumented multimedia room, eye-tracking and motion capture systems, and a full recording studio amongst other research facilities. Its spectacular atrium plays host to many events, from industry showcases and student hackathons to major research conferences.
Nearby teaching facilities include computer and teaching labs with more than 250 machines, 24-hour access to IT facilities for students, and comprehensive support provided by dedicated computing staff.
In addition to Informatics and the University’s high-performance compute platforms, AIAI research students have access to the institute’s GPU cluster for their AI/machine learning work.
Among our entrepreneurial initiatives is Informatics Ventures, set up in 2008 to support globally ambitious software companies in Scotland and nurture a technology cluster to rival Boston, Pittsburgh, Kyoto and Silicon Valley.
While your research studies are a perfect route to a career in academia, your degree could also take you into the commercial world of applied AI and collaborative systems.
Software developers using AI technologies are among those who rely on the insights of our research. NASA and animation company Pixar are just two of the organisations that have recently employed our graduates.
These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.
A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, typically in an area of informatics, such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science or computer science. You should have experience in computer programming.
We may also consider a UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent, in engineering, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, physics or psychology.
Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:
English language requirements
Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.
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 (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
- C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
- Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
- PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.
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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).
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.
Find out more about our language requirements:
Academic Technology Approval Scheme
If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.
- School of Informatics scholarships for research students
- Research scholarships for international students
- Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarships
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
- your tuition fee status
Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.
Other funding opportunities
Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:
- School of Informatics Graduate School
- Office 3.42, Informatics Forum
- Central Campus
- EH8 9AB
Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.
PhD Informatics: AIAI: Automated Reasoning, Agents, Data Intensive Research, Knowledge Management - 3 Years (Full-time)
PhD Informatics: AIAI: Automated Reasoning, Agents, Data Intensive Research, Knowledge Management - 6 Years (Part-time)
MPhil Informatics: AIAI: Automated Reasoning, Agents, Data Intensive Research, Knowledge Management - 2 Years (Full-time)
MPhil Informatics: AIAI: Automated Reasoning, Agents, Data Intensive Research, Knowledge Management - 4 Years (Part-time)
MSc by Research Informatics: AIAI: Automated Reasoning, Agents, Data Intensive Research, Knowledge Management - 1 Year (Full-time)
MSc by Research Informatics: AIAI: Automated Reasoning, Agents, Data Intensive Research, Knowledge Management - 2 Years (Part-time)
Applications for 2024/25 entry are now open and can be submitted all year round.
Please submit your completed application at least three months prior to desired entry date.
If you want to be considered for School funded PhD scholarships you must apply by one of two rounds:
|24 November 2023
|26 February 2024 (date extended)
Please note that some University and School scholarships require separate applications via the Scholarships portal.
(Revised 25 October 2023 to update application deadlines)
(Revised 15 February 2024 to extend the round 2 application deadline)
You must submit two references with your application.
You must submit an application via the EUCLID application portal and provide the required information and documentation. This will include submission of:
- a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- a research proposal (2-5 pages long)
- degree certificates and official transcripts of all completed and in-progress degrees (plus certified translations if academic documents are not issued in English).
- two academic references
Only complete applications will progress forward to the academic selection stage.
Read through detailed guidance on how to apply for a PGR programme in the School of Informatics:
Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:
- School of Informatics Graduate School
- Office 3.42, Informatics Forum
- Central Campus
- EH8 9AB