The University of Southampton

MSc Artificial Intelligence (1 year full-time)

Our research led MSc in Artificial Intelligence covers the fundamental aspects of traditional symbolic and sub-symbolic aspects. This one year degree offers wide-ranging options including intelligent agents, complexity science, computer vision, robotics and machine learning techniques and helps develop a broad skill set suitable for further study or application development.

Due to high demand, this course is now closed to international applicants. This course remains open for UK and EU applicants. Any non-UK/EU applications received after this time will not be processed. We have a range of other related postgraduate courses that you may want to consider.

Not sure if you classify as an International student? Check our fee status page.

Southampton Regius Professor of Computer Science has co-chaired a UK Government review of the Artificial Intelligence Industry

Introducing your degree

On this degree, you will learn from world-class researchers working in artificial intelligence fields such as computer vision, evolutionary computing, intelligent agents, game theory, deep learning and other machine learning methods. You will develop core data analysis skills and explore both traditional and state-of-the-art aspects of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Sofie Debloudts, MSc Artificial Intelligence
The programme is structured well and the lecturers are passionate about their subject matter.
Sofie Debloudts, MSc Artificial Intelligence


This research-led MSc takes a contemporary approach and covers the fundamental aspects of traditional symbolic and sub-symbolic aspects.

The programme will give you a solid awareness of the key concepts of artificial intelligence. You will also learn the techniques that form the current basis of machine learning and data mining. You will develop a wide-ranging skill set that supports further study or that you can use in application development.

As a result of the leading research being undertaken at Southampton, the course is able to offer a wide range of options that cover state-of-the-art modern techniques, which directly reflect research directions in ECS. These include:

  • intelligent agents
  • complexity science
  • computer vision
  • robotics
  • machine learning techniques, such as support vector machines and deep learning

In addition, students may be able to access events and seminars run by the University's Centre for Machine Intelligence.

View the 2019/20 programme specification document for this course

View the 2020/21 programme specification document for this course


Accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

Programme Structure

The programme has been designed to maximise student choice by allowing you to tailor the structure to suit your own interests. You can choose areas that reflect your personal interests and work on an individual project. You will however, also take a number of compulsory modules to ensure you are exposed to key topics in all areas.

To Apply

You can apply for the programme through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. Visit how to apply for more information. Please note that we belong to the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering (FPSE).

The deadline for new applications to this course is 31 July each year.

Key Facts

Southampton is a University Partner of The Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence

Southampton University has pioneered many of the most important advances in computer science and web technology of the past 10 years

We are in the top 10% in the UK for the volume and quality of our Computer Science research (REF 2014)

100% of our Computer Science research impact is world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2014)

Southampton is ranked in the top 100 universities for Computer Science in the 2018 QS World Rankings, and top 10 in the UK

We are in the UK top ten for Computer Sciences (Guardian University Guide, 2019)

We are recognised as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research by the UK Government and our academics have played a leading role in establishing a European Data Science Academy

"ECS has great research staff, advanced experimental facilities, and I had such a good supervisor that I decided to stay here to do my PhD in Computer Science"

Jia Bi, MSc Artificial Intelligence

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Honours Degree:

A UK bachelor’s degree with a minimum (2:1) degree (or equivalent) in a related discipline such as Computer Science, Programming, Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Maths with Computing, and a high 2:1 in required modules*.

See international equivalent entry requirements. This is a list of the international qualifications that are recognised by the University of Southampton. If you are not sure that your qualifications meet the requirements of this course please contact our Admissions Teams.

*The required modules are:  linear algebra (or another advanced maths module) and a programming language.

Desirable modules are:   artificial intelligence, computing modules (such as, cryptography, software, data structures, databases, machine learning, web, networks) and electronics modules.

English Language Requirements:

All applicants must demonstrate they possess at least a minimum standard of English language proficiency: Band C, IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in all components. Find out more about the University’s English Language requirements.

We welcome applications from international students. For information on applying, visit the International Office website

Selection process:

All individuals are selected and treated on their relative merits and abilities in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy. Disabled applicants will be treated according to the same procedures as any other applicant with the added involvement of the Disability Office to assess their needs. The programme may require adaptation for students with disabilities (eg hearing impairment, visual impairment, mobility difficulties, dyslexia), particularly the practical laboratory sessions, and we will attempt to accommodate students wherever possible.


Career Opportunities

This programme provides an excellent platform for further research in either industry or academia.

Graduates from our MSc programme are employed worldwide in leading companies at the forefront of technology.  ECS runs a dedicated careers hub which is affiliated with over 100 renowned companies like IBM, Arm, Microsoft Research, Imagination Technologies, Nvidia, Samsung and Google to name a few.

  • Academia
  • Bioinformatics
  • Chemoinformatics
  • Financial services
  • Web applications

Visit our careers hub for more information.


Through an extensive blend of networks, mentors, societies and our on-campus startup incubator, we also support aspiring entrepreneurs looking to build their professional enterprise skills. Discover more about enterprise and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

Approved CalculatorsCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
TextbooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.

Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and Photocopying CostsIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:

In some cases you’ll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Pre-course Reading List

People on the MSc come from a variety of backgrounds, however you are expected to have some numerate and mathematical ability, and exposure to programming is strongly desirable. Many key modules require some programming aspects and it will help if you are familiar with at least the basics. A useful tool in AI and machine learning is MATLAB, which is a professional mathematical language. It is available at the university, but expensive to buy a single license. We therefore do not expect you to do this, however there is an open source package Octave for which the language and basic functionality is very similar. Some exposure to this before you start may help you out a little in some of the courses (and it is not a bad skill to have in any case!).

Refreshing some linear algebra and basic probability aspects would also help you when you start, as unsurprisingly these are some of the common mathematical tools which are used in the field. No experience of AI or machine learning is necessary, however a good idea of both disciplines could be gained from the following two books, and these are thus recommended (The Foundations of AI course uses the first, and the ‘Advanced Machine Learning’ course which everyone is strongly encouraged to take uses the second):

  • Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, Stuart Russel, Peter Norvig; Pearson Education; 2 edition; ISBN-10: 0130803022, ISBN-13: 978-0130803023
  • Pattern Recognition and Machine, by Christopher M. Bishop; Springer-Verlag New York Inc.; New Ed edition; ISBN-10: 0387310738, ISBN-13: 978-0387310732


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