MSc Artificial Intelligence and Ethics

The MSc Artificial Intelligence and Ethics is an integrated programme of study with dual foci on both theory and application. Presupposing no background in computing, students are equipped with the relevant knowledge and data programming skills – covering recent technical developments alongside broader ethical and theoretical considerations – to fulfil the needs of a vast range of organisations and employers.

The field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expanding exponentially as a result of technological advances in software, hardware, and algorithmic techniques. This masters degree addresses the emerging need for these technologies to be further informed by ethical and political considerations. 

Summary

In a world where AI prevails, organisations will increasingly require graduates who combine expertise in the development and implementation of machine learning applications with a keen understanding of societal and ethical considerations, and the ability to communicate.

The MSc Artificial Intelligence & Ethics addresses this need for interdisciplinary engagement by teaching students the computational and programming techniques that underpin contemporary AI while providing a philosophical grounding in the field.

Students will learn and practice a variety of programming functions using Python, NumPy, and Panda, applying the concepts of data science, programme design, machine learning and natural language processing.

Why this MSc Artificial Intelligence & Ethics?

  • The MSc Artificial Intelligence & Ethics can function as a conversion Masters and requires no academic background in Philosophy or Computing. 
  • Develops strong understanding of data science techniques and advances in machine learning and natural language processing, while building critical and practical understanding of how philosophical thought is beneficial to the development of AI and the ethical use of data.
  • Produces graduates who are proficient in designing and implementing data-driven and machine learning applications, using state of the art software, techniques and algorithms.

Introduction

The option to study philosophical issues of AI whilst pursuing a Masters level computing degree is a unique offering in the UK, allowing students the opportunity to delve on the technical as well as the societal impact of data processing and, in particular, machine learning applications.

The programme allows students to progressively develop their understanding of the techniques of data science, machine learning, and natural language processing, alongside key concepts and methods of computer science, while honing their programming skills in Python and Java; and, at the same time, refine their thinking and communication skills, through humanities courses devoted to a consideration of key practical and theoretical issues, arising in connection with AI.

Structure

The MSc Artificial Intelligence & Ethics consists of eight taught courses, seven courses (90 credits) in Computer and Data Science and one course (30 credits) in the Humanities, plus an individual software development project (60 credits).

The seven computing courses teach students the theory and application of computer and data science, especially in relation to Artificial Intelligence (AI). In Semester One, students learn the basics of programming (e.g. control flow statements and data collections), alongside the fundamentals of computing (e.g. logic operators, algorithm complexity and data structures). how to ingest and transform data (e.g. numerical arrays, images or text). In Semester Two, students learn how to design and structure programs and how to develop machine learning applications at breadth and depth. We choose Natural Language Processing to study depth because it has a profound technical and societal impact nowadays and it is pertinent to humanics.

The humanities course teaches students to think carefully and communicate clearly about philosophical (ethical and other) issues arising in relation to computing, data usage, AI, and other emerging technologies.

The individual project offers an opportunity to students to pursue impactful interdisciplinary projects on an agreed topic of their choice in digital humanities or computational social sciences within the University and with its partners. It runs throughout the year so that students have ample time to focus their independent learning with the right guidance by their supervisor(s). Students will gain experience interacting with non-technical audiences to gather problem specifications and explain solutions.

Teaching & learning

The MSc Artificial Intelligence & Ethics will be delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, lab-based tutorials and office hours.

Students who are enrolled full-time should anticipate devoting approximately 35-40 hours per week to their studies for the duration of their degree. In Semesters One and Two, this will include approximately six to seven formal contact hours per week, with the remainder consisting of structured independent study.

Assessments are conducted through programming assignments, projects and a dissertation. Students are also encouraged to create an online portfolio to showcase their skills and interest to support their career aspirations.

Part-time study


The Masters programme can be taken part-time over two years. Part-time students attend the same classes as their full-time colleagues, taking 50% of the course load each academic year. The classes are not run separately in the evening for part-time students.

While we try to make the part-time study as flexible as possible, our Master’s programmes are demanding and we advise students that, if they intend to work alongside the course, their work should be flexible.

Timetables

Timetables are usually made available to students during Freshers’ Week. Teaching can be scheduled to take place during any day of the week. However, when possible, Wednesday afternoons are usually reserved for sports and cultural activities.

Career Opportunities

Artificial Intelligence and, more specifically, the application of machine learning techniques to big data sets is becoming increasingly prevalent in society. There is an increasing need in the tech and public sector for graduates who can not only develop machine learning applications well, but who can also understand the issues that arise in relation to such applications; and who can communicate technical and societal issues clearly.

In addition to their degree, students of the MSc Artificial Intelligence & Ethics have access to personalized guidance to help clarify and create practical plans to achieve career aspirations. In addition, they enjoy opportunities to network with our partner-employers in the technology and public sector, while studying just minutes from both London’s Central Business District and East London Tech City.

Rolling deadline