About this course
Enhance your knowledge with a master's in artificial intelligence (AI) at the University of Southampton. Our researchers draw on their own research to offer modules on state-of-the-art fields like computer vision, robotics and machine learning.
You can choose among these to develop the specialist skills you'll need for further study or a career in application development.
This AI master's will give you a solid grounding in traditional artificial intelligence, and you'll study emerging topics like:
- intelligent agents
- deep learning
- evolutionary algorithms
- bio-inspired robotics
- simulation modelling
We’ll give you access to specialist project labs, computer workstations, and online tools to support your learning in an ideal environment. Our researchers will equip you to handle new and unique challenges in a variety of specialist AI fields. At the end of the course, you’ll be able to design, build, analyse and problem-solve in many areas relating to artificial intelligence.
Your course leader has research interests in the algorithmic principles of biological evolution. Visit Dr Richard Watson’s staff profile to learn more about his work.
“What I enjoy most about my course is the fact that I have been able to choose my modules and shape my course as I wanted it. I have gone down an AI path and selected many Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence modules.”
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
You’ll need an upper 2:1 degree in one of the following subjects:
- computer science
- software engineering
- artificial intelligence
- maths with computing
You must also have an upper 2:1 score in the following modules:
- a programming language
- linear algebra (or another advanced maths module)
- a module in either artificial intelligence, machine learning or advanced algorithms
Desirable modules include:
- data structures
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
This is a full-time master’s course. You’ll study for 12 months, from September to the following September.
In the first 9 months (semesters 1 and 2) you’ll study the taught part of your course.
This is made up of modules that everyone on the course takes, and modules we’ll ask you to choose from a list of options. You’ll take exams at the end of both semesters.
You’ll begin preparing for your research project and dissertation during semester 1, and continue this work in semester 2.
For the last 3 months, over the summer, you’ll work independently to research and write your dissertation. You’ll have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during this time to discuss your progress.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2021-22
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules:
This course introduces the fundamental concepts and techniques of artificial intelligence (AI) . This unit aims to give a broad introduction to the rapidly-developing field of AI covering a range of approaches (modern, classical, symbolic, and statisti...
Machine Learning is about extracting useful information from large and complex datasets. The subject is a rich mixture of concepts from function analysis, statistical modelling and computational techniques. The module will cover the fundamental principles...
This module gives a broad introduction to the new and rapidly expanding field of agent-based computing. It introduces the key concepts and models of the field, dealing both with the individual agents and with their interactions. Particular emphasis is pla...
Your research project will enable you to explore in depth some aspect of your specialist subject area. You will be allocated a project supervisor with whom you will meet and agree a project brief and plan. These must be submitted to, and agreed by, ...
Machine Learning is about extracting useful information from large and complex datasets. The module will cover the practical basis of how learning algorithms are can be applied. You will gain hands-on experience in laboratory-bases sessions. Exclusions...
The Module will prepare students for the summer Research Project and research based coursework exercises. It will give students a grounding in the research methods and techniques necessary in order for planning and successful execution and completion of t...
You must also choose from the following modules:
- To introduce key concepts in pattern recognition and machine learning; including specific algorithms for classification, regression, clustering and probabilistic modeling. - To give a broad view of the general issues arising in the application of algor...
Increasing numbers and kinds of computationally-driven systems require engagement with human beings. While some examples are obvious, from apps to social media to social computing, some are perhaps less obvious such as secure systems, autonomous vehicles,...
This module: - Introduces the students to the key issues of interaction of multiple self-interested parties (a.k.a. agents) and gives a broad survey of topics at the interface of theoretical computer science and game theory dealing with such interactions...
This module lies at the intersection of robotics and biology. Through the abstraction of design principles from biological systems, it is possible to develop a range of core competences, including mechatronic systems, sensor and actuator technologies. By ...
Biometrics is about how we can recognise people automatically, by personal characteristic. We all have fingerprints and faces - and they are unique. We have to sense the information, process it and then deliver an assessment of the identity associated wit...
Financial markets form the source of a vast number of challenging computational problems. These are not only intellectually challenging from the point of view of computational modelling, but the financial sector is also an employer of a significant fracti...
The challenge of computer vision is to develop a computer based system with the capabilities of the human eye-brain system. It is therefore primarily concerned with the problem of capturing and making sense of digital images. The field draws heavily on ma...
The challenge of data mining is to transform raw data into useful information and actionable knowledge. Data mining is the computational process of discovering patterns in data sets involving methods at the intersection of artificial intelligence, machine...
Deep learning has revolutionised numerous fields in recent years. We've witnessed improvements in everything from computer vision through speech analysis to natural language processing as a result of the advent of cheap GPGPU compute coupled with large da...
Evolution by natural selection has created amazingly complex and sophisticated solutions to some very difficult problems - how exactly does it achieve this, and how can we harness this capability for engineering artificial systems and computational proble...
This module is useful to introduce: - Image processing and its relation to signal processing. - Image transformations for filtering, coding and etc. - Histogram processing algorithms to enhance image qualities and visibility. - Theories analysing and ...
The last decade and a half have seen the Web move away from a purely document-centric information system to one in which hypertext techniques are applied to the sort of data found in databases; the term “Semantic Web” is used to refer to this Web of linke...
Learning and assessment
We teach most modules through a mixture of lectures, seminars and computer-based practical work. You will enhance your general knowledge of AI and develop key skills in:
- methods of design, analysis, implementation and verification
- methods of research and enquiry
- presenting technical information concisely to a range of audiences
- working in teams towards a common goal
- recognising legal and ethical issues in artificial intelligence
You’ll also be able to choose between several diverse topics to suit your interests.
Depending on the modules you take, we'll assess your progress through a mixture of:
- lab reports
- technical reports
- design exercises
- individual and group projects
- your compulsory dissertation
This is an opportunity to demonstrate your mastery of all relevant techniques and methods of enquiry. You will carry out a research project lasting 3 to 4 months, assessed by a 15,000-word dissertation.
Your personal tutor will meet you by request to give advice, help you choose modules, and provide general support if you need it. You can talk to your module tutors about any subject-specific questions.
You’ll also meet weekly with a mentor, usually a postgraduate student who has graduated from the course, for extra guidance.
Graduates from our MSc programme go on to work in leading global companies at the forefront of technology. We run a dedicated careers hub linked to over 100 organisations including:
- Microsoft Research
- Imagination Technologies
More generally, our graduates are sought for roles in the following fields:
- financial services
- web applications
We also support aspiring entrepreneurs through a blend of networks, mentors, societies and our on-campus start-up incubator. Find out more about enterprise and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £26,850.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
We receive a high volume of applications for this programme. So that we can guarantee a good quality of service and select the most able students, we operate admissions in stages.
If we offer you a place, you will need to accept the offer within 30 working days. If you do not meet this deadline, we will offer your place to another applicant.
|Stage:||Applications open:||Deadline for applications (midnight):||Decisions back to applicants by (5pm):|
Monday 19 October 2020
Thursday 12 November 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
Friday 20 November 2020
Thursday 14 January 2021
Friday 19 February 2021
Friday 22 January 2021
Thursday 18 March 2021
Friday 23 April 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
International applicants: Thursday 20 May 2021
International applicants: Friday 25 June 2021*
* If you are an international applicant who requires a visa to study in the UK, you will need to allow enough time to apply for and receive your visa before our induction events from 27 September 2021. If we are able to make enough offers to fill all places on the programme in any stage, we may not open the programme in later stages.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for any postgraduate taught course that starts in or after September 2021.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you're applying for a Master of Research (MRes) degree, you will not need to pay the fee. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
If you're an international student you'll need approval from the UK's Academic Approval Scheme before you can study this course.
The ATAS certificate is required for certain sensitive postgraduate subjects.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll usually make one of 4 decisions:
- Offer you a place on this course
- Offer you a place on a different course which we think suits you better
- Tell you that we'll consider your application a second time in the next stage
- Tell you that your application has been unsuccessful
If we decide to consider your application a second time in the next stage, this will only happen once.
If we offer you a place, you'll need to accept the offer within 30 working days. If you do not meet this deadline, we'll offer your place to another applicant.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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