Artificial Intelligence (AI) forms part of many digital systems. No longer is AI seen as a special feature within software, but as an important development expected in modern systems. From word-processing applications to gaming, and from robots to the Internet of Things, AI tends to be responsible for controlling the underlying behaviour of systems. Such trends are forecast to grow further.

This programme is studied on campus.

Cloud-based neural networks will power 40% of mobile interactions between virtual personal assistants and people by 2020.

It is estimated that 85% of all customer interactions won't require human customer service reps by the end of this decade.

Such is the importance of AI, that the field is estimated to grow beyond £4 billion by 2020.

AI has entered an exciting new phase, in which problems once thought too complex for computers to solve are now tackled with considerable success. Examples of such problems are autonomous vehicles, translation of text, speech and photo recognition, and playing games. In studies, this has led to 80% of executives reporting that AI boosts worker performance and creates new jobs.

This MSc programme provides students with in-depth knowledge of recent advances in AI such as data and text mining, efficient reasoning, natural language generation, information visualisation and communication, and distributed AI systems. The programme is centred on practical “hands-on” learning, exploring underpinning theories in combination with the use of techniques, tools, software and methodologies with the opportunities, where possible, to work with international experts and companies at the cutting edge of the field.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Foundations in AI – Presents the fundamental techniques of Artificial Intelligence, used in system such as Google Maps, Siri, IBM Watson, as well as industrial automation systems, and which are core to emerging products such as self-driving vehicles.

Machine Learning – Presents the fundamental as well as the most popular Machine Learning theories and algorithms, used in a wide range of applications such as face detection, anomaly detection, and which are core to the design of for instance computer Go player AlphaGo.

Evaluation of AI Systems – Knowledge of evaluation concepts, tools, techniques and technologies used to determine the effectiveness of AI systems across multidisciplinary applications developed for both controlled and real world environments.

Engineering of AI Systems – Knowledge and practical skills for AI system building. Presents the fundamental tools and techniques to equip software developers with solid programming expertise.

Semester 2

Semester 2

In the second half-session, students develop advanced knowledge and skills in AI in order to prepare them for working with clients over the summer. This session also helps them to decide which areas of AI they wish to explore during their summer project whilst raising awareness of career opportunities in the area.

Compulsory Courses

Data Mining and Visualisation – Artificial intelligence has helped solve complex practical problems such as driving a car, translating text from/to different languages, understanding and answering questions, and playing games such as chess and Go.

Natural Language Generation - Presents the knowledge and skills for modelling human language production with an emphasis of advanced NLG concepts, tools, techniques and technologies pioneered by ARRIA Data2Text. Particular attention is paid to the link between NLG and data science.

Software Agents and Multi-Agent Systems – Provides the student with a solid grounding in the theory and tools which underpin such systems, teaching them both how to develop such systems, and use them effectively as part of a larger product.

Knowledge Representation and Reasoning – This course presents the underlying features of many AI systems concerning how knowledge is represented and the mechanisms to reason with and about this knowledge.

Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

The individual AI research projects, supervised by a member of academic staff, involves, for instance, the implementation and evaluation of novel solutions, exploring existing solutions for new problems, or developing new theories, methodologies and tools. Students will exercise their creativity, problem-solving and communication skills, as well as broaden, deepen and consolidate knowledge obtained in other components of the degree. Where possible, opportunities are made available to work with real industrial clients and international cutting-edge organisations, such as ARRIA Ltd.

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Peer Learning
  • Research
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Why Study Artificial Intelligence?

The University of Aberdeen has a strong history and worldwide reputation in computing science, in particular around Data Science, Natural Language Generation and Artificial Intelligence.

Home to the research success of ARRIA NLG, the University has been ahead of the game in computing science research and teaching for years. Find out more about this hugely successful spin-out company and how it impacts on Artifical Intelligence -

Entry Requirements


Our minimum entry requirement for this programme is a Computing Science degree at 2:2 (lower second class) UK Honours level (or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth).

Key subjects you must have covered: Java, C, C++, Algorithms problem-solving and Data Structures.

Applicants with a 2:2 or equivalent in Engineering (e.g. Electronic/Electrical Engineering) will be reviewed by the selectors for suitability on a case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.

Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Physical Sciences Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.

If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.

Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempted from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme.

an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,000
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
International Students £14,300
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

Data Lab scholarships are available to Scottish and EU students. Applications for these scholarships will be considered on a first-come first-served basis. More information will follow.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Other Experts
Dr Nigel Beacham
Programme Coordinator
Dr Wei Pang

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

College of Physical Sciences Graduate School
University of Aberdeen
Fraser Noble Building
King's College
AB24 3UE