12 Best Universities for Masters in Machine Learning and AI in UK

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are the new buzzwords and UK Universities have been exploring AI through their research and teachings for quite some time now. After the reinstatement of the 2-year PSW, international and Indian students are also showing a huge interest in UK universities. Earlier, we had discussed top universities for data science (including AI/ML) and analytics in the UK. In this post, we will look at the best UK universities for Masters in Machine Learning and AI.

AI/ML Job Market in the UK

AI and big data are together one of the four focuses of the UK Government’s current industrial strategy, which aims to “put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution”. Last year (Feb 2019), the UK Govt. had announced £13 million ($16.8 million) in funding for 40 artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics projects. State funding has been made available for AI projects, such as three consortia developing autonomous vehicles, and £45 million is to be allocated for 200 extra PhDs in AI and related fields.

As per the report produced by Roland Berger, a global consulting firm, and France Digitale, an association that represents venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, AI startups in the UK have raised $1.241 billion in the last 5 years (2014 – 2019). In Europe, the U.K. still sets the R&D standard with 623 AI-related patents.

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

The ISCF fund is a part of the UK Government’s long-term plan to raise productivity and earning power in the UK. The fund is a core pillar in the government’s commitment to increase funding in research and development by £4.7 billion over 4 years (2016 – 2020) to strengthen UK science and business.

AI ML Masters - UK Job Market

Now, we will look at the best universities for Masters in Machine Learning and AI in the UK (not in any particular order or ranking).

Top Universities for Masters in Machine Learning & AI in UK

Co-authored by Parinitia Gupta


M.Phil in Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence

About: This is an 11-month MPhil programme taught from within the Information Engineering Division, with a unique, joint emphasis on both machine learning and machine intelligence, including speech and language technology and computer vision. The course aims to teach the state of the art in machine learning and machine intelligence and equips students with the research skills necessary for doctoral study.

Eligibility: Applicants should have achieved a UK First-class Honours Degree and is expected to have well-developed technical skills in engineering or a related technical area, in mathematics, and in computing. If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications on their website to find the equivalent in your country.

Approx. Fee: The annual fee for students in UK is £ 29k while that for overseas students is £ 50k. This includes University composition fee & maintenance fee.


MSc Data Science and Machine Learning

About: This 1-year program comprises of core machine learning methodology with an introduction to statistical science combined with a set of more specialised and advanced options covering computing and statistical modelling. Projects are offered both within UCL Computer Science and from a range of industry partners.

Eligibility: A minimum requirement of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in a quantitative discipline (such as mathematics, computer science, engineering, physics or statistics) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Knowledge of mathematical methods including linear algebra, calculus, probability, and statistics at first-year university level is required. Prior experience in a high-level programming language like R or Matlab or Python will be an added advantage.

Approx. Fee: For UK & EU students, £14.5k (FT)& for overseas students, it is £30.5k (FT).


MSc Artificial Intelligence

About: This is a 1-year full-time course aimed at imparting knowledge in AI for non-computer scientists.

Eligibility: The minimum requirement is a first class degree in a subject with substantial computing component.

Related Article: MS Machine Learning / AI vs MS Data Science vs MS Analytics

MSc Computing (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning)

About: This is another 1-year full-time course for students with a substantial background in computing. For those who want to explore other areas of computing alongside specialised options in artificial intelligence and machine learning, this course is recommended.

Eligibility: The minimum requirement is a first class degree in mathematics, physics, engineering or other degree with substantial mathematics content.

Approx. Fee: For UK & EU students, £ 15.5k for the year& for overseas students, it is £ 33.5k for the full year (for both above courses).


MSc Artificial Intelligence

About: This course is taught at the UK’s longest established centre for AI. It aims to impart fundamental knowledge and practical skills needed to design, build and apply AI systems in your chosen area of specialisation.

Eligibility: The entry to this course is competitive. It normally requires a UK first-class honors degree. Competence in programming is essential and during your degree, you must have completed a programming course in at least one of the following namely C/C++, Java, Python, R, Matlab, Haskell or ML.

Approx. Fee: £14,600 (Home/EU) and £32,500 (International)

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MSc Data Science

About: This is an interdisciplinary master’s degree and is taught by the School of Computer Science and Mathematical Sciences. It is a 1-year full-time course and the university conducts its own international-quality research. They use this to teach the latest techniques in this field with emphasis on statistical modelling, machine learning, and advanced algorithms.

Eligibility: The minimum requirement is an undergraduate degree 2:1 (or international equivalent), with evidence of interest or aptitude in mathematics and computing. Graduates from other fields with a strong mathematics or computation background will be considered with a minimum of 60% average mark.

MSc Machine Learning

About: This course is basically a 12-month full-time course. But you have the option of completing it in 24 months part-time. This course helps you to learn how to apply ML and AI techniques to real scientific problems.

Eligibility: An undergraduate 2.1 (or international equivalent) in one of the following areas i.e. physics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, engineering or a 2.2 (or international equivalent) may be considered if the applicant has relevant work experience.

Approx. Fee: please visit the university website for both courses.


MSc Artificial Intelligence

About: This 1-year full-time course teaches you state-of-the-art AI subject like computer vision, robotics and machine learning. This helps in developing your skills which you will need for further study by giving you insights into intelligent agents, deep learning, evolutionary algorithms, bio-inspired robotics, and simulation modelling.

Eligibility: You will need an upper 2:1 degree in one of the following subjects, namely computer science, programming, software engineering, artificial intelligence, and maths with computing.

Approx. Fee: The full-year fee includes the cost of tuition and examinations and is £ 9.5k for UK & EU students. For international students, it is £25.5k.

Related Article: Masters in AI/ML Admission as a Re-applicant for a Non-CS Graduate in Mid-30s


MSc Data Sciences

About: This course is based on three key aspects of data science which are fundamental data-related principles, supporting infrastructures, and organisational context. Throughout the programme, there will be opportunities to gain hands-on experience using a variety of tools such as R, Python, SPSS, Weka, and Tableau. The duration is either 1-year full-time or 2 – 3 years part-time.

Eligibility: you will need at least a 2:1 in any subject. Due to the popularity of this course, the university has introduced a staged admissions process to assess applications for entry.

Approx. Fee: The annual fee for UK students is £ 9.5k while that for international students is £ 24.0k.

Related Article: Best Courses to Study in UK for International Students to Get Jobs


MSc Machine Learning & Deep Learning

About: This is a 1-year full-time degree that focuses on state-of-the-art technologies for machine learning and deep neural network systems. The emphasis is on architectures, algorithms, and implementation with applications in a diverse range of fields. This course is delivered jointly by the Departments of Electronic & Electrical Engineering and Computer & Information Sciences.

You will be exposed to state-of-the-art engineering and software technologies. This has industry-engaged research projects with focus on focus on architectures, algorithms and novel engineering and software technologies.

Eligibility: A first-class or second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in electronic or electrical engineering, or computer science is the minimum requirement. Highly-qualified candidates from other relevant engineering and science related disciplines may also be considered.

Approx. Fee: For Scotland/EU students, it is £8.5k, rest of UK it is £9.5k and for international students, it is £ 21k approximately.


MSc Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

About: This is a 1-year full-time postgraduate course. In this programme you will learn about the fundamental principles of AI and ML and how machines can perceive, explore, and understand the world around us. You will also learn about what current generation AIs can and cannot do, about contemporary challenges, and about societal and ethical considerations so that you can make informed decisions about how AI techniques should be used in the real world.

Eligibility: A 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a numerate discipline i.e. Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, Economics or another programme with substantial Mathematics content.

Approx. Fee: The annual tuition fee is £10.5k for UK students and £25.5k for international students.


MSc Computer Science

About: This course is designed to match the growing need for graduates who are trained in one discipline and are also skilled in computer science. You will gain a strong foundation in programming, software development, and contemporary themes in various industries. The course will give you a broad overview of computer science with opportunities to specialise in a number of different research areas.

Eligibility: You should have a first-class or strong second-class bachelor’s honours degree or international equivalent. To apply for this course, you may have an undergraduate degree in any subject but you must demonstrate evidence of relevant quantitative skills, especially in algebra and calculus either through your degree study or by alternative means. The university may also make an offer based on a lower grade if you can provide evidence of your suitability for the degree.

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Approx. Fee: The annual tuition fee is £9.5k for UK students and £20.5k for international students.


MSc Artificial Intelligence

About: This is a 1-year full-time MSc degree and is designed to give graduates the understanding, practical knowledge and expertise to evaluate, design, and build intelligent systems using an extensive range of tools and techniques. The Department of Informatics has a reputation for delivering research-led teaching and project supervision from leading experts in this field.

Eligibility: A minimum of BSc or B.Eng with 2:1 honours in Engineering or other relevant subject e.g. physics, mathematics, computer science. The university also welcomes professional and occupational qualifications. They are assessed on an individual basis.

Approx. Fee: The annual tuition fee is £ 10k for UK students and £ 27.0k for international students.


MSc Advanced Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence)

About: This is a 12-month full-time course. From software used in networking systems to embedded systems in unmanned vehicles, AI is being adopted more and more often these days. This Master’s degree will equip you with specialist knowledge in this exciting field and allow you to explore a range of topics in computer science.

You will gain a broad perspective on intelligent systems covering evolutionary models, statistical and symbolic machine learning algorithms, qualitative reasoning, image processing, language understanding, and bio-computation as well as essential principles and practices in the design, implementation, and usability of intelligent systems.

Eligibility: A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (honours) in computer science. Other Computing based degrees may be considered on a case by case basis. The course requires all applicants to have studied a breadth of relevant modules including significant programming, systems development, data structures and algorithms, with strong marks across all these modules. Relevant work experience will also be considered.

Approx. Fee: For UK students, it is £11.5k and for international students, it is £24k.

MSc Data Science and Analytics

About: The course will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to meet the challenges of data science in the modern world. Modules can be chosen from the School of Mathematics (available for students who are not from a mathematics/statistics background); the School of Computing (suitable for students on this programme who are not from a computer science background); the School of Geography and Leeds University Business School.

Eligibility: A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a subject containing a substantial mathematical and statistical component.

Approx. Fee: For UK students, it is £11.5k and for international students, it is £25.5k.

Apart from the above-given eligibility, it is best if you can visit individual university websites. Also if English is not your first language, then you willhave to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English.A minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component or equivalent is required (subject to exceptions).

The costs/fee are approximately costs as of year 2021. Please visit the university website for the latest course fees. In addition to the fee mentioned, there might be additional costs related to course material, placement & field trips and certain software licenses. For international students, please see accommodation and dependent costs which are not part of the above-mentioned fee.

These are highly desirable Masters qualification in a rapidly expanding sector with excellent graduate employability prospects. The skills and knowledge that you develop will be in high demand by employers including Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft and Yahoo, and you’ll be well prepared to pursue a rewarding career.


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