Why choose this course
The University of Surrey’s new MSc in Artifical Intelligence (AI) is the only course of its kind in the UK. It covers the three most important aspects of AI – vision, speech and 5G – each backed up by a world-leading research group at Surrey. The course also encompasses the business, regulation and ethics aspects of modern AI.
AI is rapidly changing the way we live, work and learn. However, there’s currently a real shortage of AI talent worldwide, both to serve the industry and to drive future research.
Studying on Surrey’s MSc will enable you to capitalise on the wide spectrum of career opportunities provided by AI, preparing you to work in industry, take an entrepreneurial route or pursue further research.
What you will study
The one-year full-time MSc will teach you the fundamental AI concepts, the universal machine learning tools essential for any AI job role, as well as specific practical and research skills in all three key AI topics: vision, speech and 5G. You’ll gain experience with cutting-edge tools such as Deep Neural Networks (DNN), Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN) and Deep Reinforcement Learning (Deep RL) through regular hands-on exercises and practical labs.
The course consists of technical modules delivered by the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, along with the opportunity to take related modules in business or law and ethics. You will also undertake a year-long project on an AI topic that interests you. You will be supervised throughout the project by an academic specialising in your chosen subject area.
Facilities, equipment and support
A number of the modules you’ll study on this course are complemented by software-based laboratory sessions. From these, you’ll complete your coursework. This is an important part of your course, enhancing your knowledge in preparation for the written examinations. We provide computing support for any specialised software required during the course. The Faculty’s student common room is also covered by the University’s open-access wireless network, which makes it a very popular location for individual and group work using laptops and mobile devices.
Specialist experimental and research facilities (e.g. GPU clusters) for computationally demanding projects or those requiring specialist equipment are provided by the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing.
Surrey’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering has two pioneering research centres supporting this course and student projects. The Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) has more than 25 years of research experience in image processing, deep learning and machine intelligence. The Institute for Communication Systems has over 100 researchers and is home to the internationally renowned 5G Innovation Centre.
The MSc is developed and delivered by academics with unrivalled experience, including:
- Professor Adrian Hilton, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, who has successfully commercialised 4D computer vision techniques used across entertainment, manufacturing and healthcare
- Professor Josef Kittler, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, pioneer of modern machine learning and founder of CVSSP
- Professor Tao Xiang, a Distinguished Professor at Surrey and Chief Scientist at Samsung AI Research Centre, Cambridge.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Our graduates have numerous opportunities in AI-driven businesses such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Samsung, as well as roles in the mobile and gaming industries.
More specifically, the MSc in AI will equip you for a wide range of roles such as:
- AI scientist at a global technology company (e.g. Google, Facebook, Samsung)
- AI analyst in finance/banking and other jobs requiring a systematic understanding of AI
- Entrepreneurial roles (e.g. business start-ups focused on AI technology)
- Industry-sponsored PhD studentship at the cutting edge of AI research.
Academic year structure
If you’re studying this course full-time, you’ll study eight modules across the year – four in each semester. During the first semester, you’ll also apply for and agree on a project with an academic supervisor and begin initial work on the project, before working on it full-time after the end of the second semester. From that point, you’ll have approximately two and a half months to complete the work and write up your dissertation.
You can also study this course part-time, taking between two and five years. The length depends on how many modules you study each year. You can study between two and six modules each year. We recommend part-time students work on their project in their final year of study when all eight modules have either been completed or are near completion.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the 2020/21 academic year. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach. View detailed information on the changes.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the Academic Hive. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in either Computer Engineering, Information Systems Engineering, Computer Science, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Maths, Physics, Telecommunication Engineering, or a recognised equivalent international qualification. We'll also consider relevant work experience if you don't meet these requirements
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2020-21 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
- If you are on an unstructured self-paced part-time course, the fee shown is per 15 credits for the 2020-21 academic year. The fee payable in subsequent years will be reviewed annually.
There are associated costs with this course:
- Books/stationery/admin: Costs may be incurred associated with the purchase of writing paper and associated stationery.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about postgraduate student finance.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View an example of our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Further, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2020/21. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2020/21. Detailed information on all changes is available at our dedicated course changes webpage. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional information relating to specific programmes.