Important information

You’ll probably have some questions about the AI course. Here is a list of our most frequently asked questions. If yours isn’t answered here, feel free to call us or send an email.

The course starts each year in May, September and January. In order to ensure we continue to deliver world class learning experiences and high standards of student satisfaction, the number of places available on the Artificial Intelligence online MSc is limited for the May intake.

The online course takes two years and three months to complete, or you can take up to a maximum of five years to complete it.

A commitment of around 12–15 hours of study per week is anticipated for most students. If you have less experience in particular areas such as maths or programming skills, or have taken a long break from study, you may need to allow more time during some weeks.

Units are run consecutively, with each one taking eight weeks to complete. Over the course of the year, you’ll have three short breaks, in December, April and August.

  • Autumn term: September to December
    Short break in December
  • Spring term: January to April
    Short break in April
  • Summer term: May to August
    Short break in August

Tailored to fit your lifestyle, our online course is perfectly suited to individuals with full-time work and/or family commitments. Online study offers multiple ways to interact with the curriculum, all designed to fit around your schedule.

Tuition fees are paid at £722* per 10 credits. Fees can be paid in instalments corresponding with the course units. To qualify for an MSc, you will need a total of 180 credits.

Thanks to the relevance of artificial intelligence in multiple industry sectors, and the broad range of subjects covered, this course unlocks career opportunities across the board. Whether you are looking to expand into a more technical or strategic role, this course will support you.

The course offers two study specialisms, one exploring the more technical aspects of AI, the latter focusing on the broader, societal dimensions of the subject; both opening up a choice of careers in AI.

Although we accept students with a first or high second-class undergraduate degree in any subject, some coding experience is recommended. You will also need to demonstrate evidence of relevant quantitative skills, especially in algebra and calculus.

Students are assessed through a variety of methods, which could include practical implementations (for example coding), problem sets, reports, group work, case studies, quizzes, and presentations.

To enrol on our MSc course, the following criteria apply:

  • Typically, you should have a first or strong second-class bachelor’s honours degree or international equivalent.
  • You may have an undergraduate degree in any subject, but you must demonstrate evidence of relevant quantitative skills (especially algebra and calculus) either through your degree study or by alternative means.
  • If your first language is not English you will need IELTS with a grade of at least 6.5 overall and no less than 6.0 in any of the four parts (listening, reading, writing and speaking). If you completed your degree in the UK within the last 2 years prior to the start of the course, you may be exempt from our English language requirements.

How to apply

Drawing on insights from our Centre for Doctoral Training and our connections with the Institute of Coding, the University of Bath provides a unique perspective on the future of AI in practice. By exploring topics as diverse as data science, robotics, ethics and machine learning, the course provides all the experience you need for a career in this ever-evolving, ever-challenging domain.

The course is 100% online, so there is no need to visit campus at any point during your studies. You can attend campus if you wish, for instance if you want to use the library, but it’s not a requirement.

Our online environment features regular interaction with your lecturers and fellow students to give it that classroom feel. To help you connect with the content, the environment includes video content, case studies and a library of digital resources. Although our online courses allow you to study at a time and place that suits you, we do ask that you complete your assignments against a set schedule.

University of Bath online learning experience

We will mainly be using Python. The first unit focusses on getting each student up to the same level of programming in Python.

You must demonstrate quantitative skills (calculus, algebra and statistics) through your undergraduate degree, displaying skills beyond A level maths. Quantitative skills developed through work experience can be highlighted in the personal statement.

You will be required to complete a final project to complete your AI online MSc. You can have a look at our AI project page in order to get an idea of which projects AI research groups typically carry out. Both the projects listed on this page, and the projects that our current PhD students do are a good indication of the types of project you could choose to do for your dissertation.

The degree certificate and transcript do not mention ‘online’, and the degree qualification is equivalent to a full-time campus degree. 

All your required reading will be made available via the University Library’s reading list system and will be available to read electronically. Once you have fully registered as a student and received your university username and password, you will be able to access the Library's services and online resources. 

It is recommended you have the following operating systems in order to fully enjoy the benefits of our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE): either Windows 8 or Windows 10, Mac OS X 10.8 or later. You will need RAM of 4 GB or more and high-speed/broadband connection. If you are unsure, you can test your internet speed here

It is also important you have an up-to-date web browser, listed here: Chrome (version 30.0 or higher), Firefox (version 25.0 or higher), Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer (version 10 or higher), or Safari (version 6 or higher). Cookies must be enabled in your browser for our VLE to function correctly. Most browsers have cookies enabled by default. If you are unsure whether your browser is configured properly, please contact technical support for advice. 

Within the VLE you can access a discussion forum within each unit where you can post questions to your tutor and fellow students. You can also email any questions you may have to your lecturer. If you are seeking support, you can contact our student support team, or if you are having a technical issue, you can ask our 24/7 technical support team.

You are welcome to visit the university if you wish, where you can access facilities such as our physical library, as well as our online library. You can apply for a library card by emailing our library services with your name, address and photo.

One of the main forms of interaction is on discussion forums on our VLE, where some of the weekly activities involve you sharing your thoughts in discussions with your fellow classmates. You also have the option to message each other and connect via email, text, WhatsApp and other social media platforms. 

You do not need a background in programming to study Artificial Intelligence, but you will need to be proficient in maths in order to gain programming skills in the first unit. This course will be challenging if you do not have any programming experience, so we suggest you do some preliminary exploration and practice to gain at least some exposure to programming before the course begins.

This degree has three tenets: theory, practice, and ethics. The University of Bath Computer Science department is theory-led in general; we aim to teach you the skills so that you can easily pick up any specific tools. For example, the first unit currently uses Python.

In some units you will learn the theory of machine learning, so that you understand how the techniques that underpin tools like PyTorch and TensorFlow actually work. Practice is also important, and other units will demonstrate techniques using high-level tools such as these. We try to keep the tools we use in the degree as up-to-date, relevant and useful as possible.

A good programmer can pick up any language. Even if the degree does not cover a specific tool you'd like to use, you will be equipped with the underlying knowledge and experience that will facilitate the process of learning it yourself.

We focus on giving people the knowledge and experience of solving AI problems by both implementing algorithms themselves as well as using existing libraries. Example of libraries include NumPy, Pytorch and Tensorflow. The emphasis is on understanding AI theory and practice so you can not only ‘solve’ a problem with specific libraries or techniques today, but also ensure you have the skills to adapt to new approaches and libraries in the future.

All courses at Bath take a theory and practice approach to teaching. We introduce a concept and ask you to apply it in a given context. AI is a constantly evolving field of research and development, so the theory behind it is crucial. Also important are the ‘soft’ skills we teach you, for example, being able to research new libraries and techniques and apply them to a problem.

* Valid up to and including September 2021 intake. Tuition fees are liable to increase each January. You should budget for an increase of up to a maximum of 5% each year.