Postgraduate study

Artificial Intelligence

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

This MSc is taught at the UK’s longest established centre for artificial intelligence, which remains one of the best in the world.

Our research draws on neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, computer science, mathematics, statistics and psychology to span knowledge representation and reasoning, the study of brain processes and artificial learning systems, computer vision, mobile and assembly robotics, music perception and visualisation. We aim to give you practical knowledge in the design and construction of intelligent systems so you can apply your skills in a variety of career settings.

You follow two taught semesters of lectures, tutorials, project work and written assignments, after which you will learn research methods before individual supervision for your project and dissertation.

Compulsory courses:

  • Informatics Research Review
  • Informatics Project Proposal
  • Introduction to Java Programming (for students who do not already meet the programming requirements for the taught masters)
  • Dissertation

You will choose a 'specialist area' within the programme, which will determine the choice of your optional courses:

  • Intelligent Robotics
  • Agents, Knowledge and Data
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing

You can choose from a variety of optional courses including:

  • Advanced Vision
  • Algorithmic Game Theory and Its Applications
  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
  • Natural Language Understanding
  • Robotics: Science and Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software Architecture, Process and Management
  • Text Technologies for Data Science
  • Computational Cognitive Neuroscience

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.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScArtificial Intelligence1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2017/18
MScArtificial Intelligence2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2017/18
MScArtificial Intelligence3 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2017/18

Our students are well prepared for both employment and academic research. The emphasis is on practical techniques for the design and construction of intelligent systems, preparing graduates to work in a variety of specialisms, from fraud detection software to spacecraft control.

Recent graduates are now working as software developers and engineers, programmers and data analysts for companies such as HarperCollins, J.P. Morgan, Nokia, IBM, Amazon, Soundcloud and the Bank of England.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in informatics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, electrical engineering, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, physics or psychology, plus experience in computer programming.

During your degree you must have completed the equivalent to 60 credits of mathematics that have typically covered the following subjects/topics: Calculus (differentiation and integration), Linear Algebra (vectors and multi-dimensional matrices), Discrete Mathematics and Mathematical reasoning (eg. Induction and reasoning, Graph theoretic models, proofs), and Probability (concepts in discrete and continuous probabilities, Markov Chains etc. )

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • 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(A): 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

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Applicants receiving an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, will be asked to pay a tuition fee deposit of £1,500 to secure their place on the programme by 31st March.

Any applicants who are required to pay will receive an offer with full details. If there is no information on your offer about the deposit you are not required to pay. The deposit has to be paid by 31st March for offers made by 1st March, within 28 days for offers made before 30th June and within 14 days for those offers made from 1st July onwards.

Find out more about tuition fees and studying costs:

  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5194
  • Email: ito@inf.ed.ac.uk
  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • 6th Floor, Appleton Tower
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LE

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

(Revised 3 November 2017 to reflect a change in the programme deadline information).

Applications for our postgraduate taught programmes can be submitted at any time during the year, and will be evaluated as they are received. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline, when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected using both.

Applicants who are not made an offer at a specific selection deadline will either be notified that they have been unsuccessful in securing a place on the programme, or if they do not hear then they are still being considered and their application will be carried forward to the next selection deadline for further consideration at that time.

Applications which are received after our final selection deadline will be considered at our discretion, if there are still places available.

Selection deadlines

Round Deadline
1 7 December 2017
2 8 February 2018
3 19 April 2018

You must submit a reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5194
  • Email: ito@inf.ed.ac.uk
  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • 6th Floor, Appleton Tower
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LE