AI and Data Science Conversion Masters Scholarships

Level of study
Postgraduate taught masters
Subject area
Law, Computer Science, Biological Sciences, Medicine and Medical Sciences, Business
Type of Award
External, University
Deadline for applying
Closed 31/07/2023 (Note: competition closed for this year)

Award Description

The University of Birmingham is offering AI and Data Science Conversion Masters Scholarships in 2023/24 for 7 Masters programmes to upskill students from non-STEM and far-STEM degrees and progress into the AI and Data Science workforce.

This will include 120 students from under-represented groups, particularly women, Black and disabled students and those from low-socioeconomic backgrounds, who will each be supported by a £10,000 scholarship.

Scholarship funding will be prioritised for women, Black students, disabled students and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, to ensure that AI reflects the makeup of our society. Funding is intended only for those underrepresented students who meet the eligibility criteria outlined below.

Value of Award

Over 100 awards of £10,000 per award.

Eligibility Criteria

You must have either an unconditional or conditional offer for a place on one of the following University of Birmingham courses:

  • MSc Financial Technology
  • MSc Data Science
  • MSc Responsible Data Science
  • MSc Computer Science
  • Online MSc Bioinformatics
  • MSc Bioinformatics
  • MSc Health Data

Additionallly, applicants will need to demonstrate that they are categorised under at least one of the 9 underrepresented groups as identified by the OfS.

Applications for scholarships will initially be reviewed using a points-based system. Priority for these awards will be given to applicants in the following categories:

  1. Black students (as defined by HESA codes: 21; 22; 29; 41; 42)
  2. Female students
  3. Disabled students

Consideration will also be given to applicants who meet other underrepresented criteria in the following secondary categories:

  1. Students from low participation neighbourhoo (POLAR Q1 and Q2)
  2. Care experienced students
  3. Estranged students
  4. Gypsy, Roma, Traveller students
  5. Refugees
  6. Children from military families, veterans and partners of military personnel.

All applications will be assessed and priority will be given to criteria 1-3. Applicants who do not meet any of the criteria above will not be considered for a scholarship.

Students must have not studied a STEM or a far-STEM degree subject before. You must be either:

  • ‘far-STEM’: other STEM subjects (e.g. biology, geology, psychology, medicine) OR
  • ‘non-STEM’: any other subject (including economics, business, arts etc.).

You must not have studied:

  • cognate: the same broad subject area as conversion course (e.g. computer science, AI, data science)
  • ‘core-STEM’: science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects such as physics, engineering, mathematics, statistics, IT

Judging criteria:

The awards will be allocated on the basis of merit – simply meeting the eligibility criteria will not guarantee that an application is successful. We will adopt a gathered field approach where decisions on the allocation of all 100 awards will be considered by a single scholarship selection panel.

Selection will be determined by a University scholarship panel based on the following criteria:

  • Underrepresented group score - All applications will be assessed using a points-based system and priority scoring will be given to criteria
  • Aptitude and skills - Scholarships will consider performance in an aptitude test. Learners will be ranked by the Scholarship Panel based on performance in our on-line aptitude test
  • Student motivation - The panel will consider the student’s interest in the subject, ability to demonstrate that their background has sufficiently prepared them for the programme, relevant experience and how the course will fit into their future plans

Prioritising criteria in case of oversubscription:

All applications will be assessed and priority scoring will be given to criteria 1-3. Scoring will prioritise:

  • Students with 2 or more characteristics
  • Black students based on the rationale that they are just 5% of new Postgraduate taught entrants in 21/22 within University of Birmingham and underrepresented in highly skilled employment. 426 new entrants in 22/23. Largest distinction attainment gap of all ethnicities of 23.4% in 20/21. Lower non-completion rate than White or Mixed individuals
  • Female students based on the rationale that they are underrepresented in the tech sector although females are still the majority of new PGT entrants within the student body at University of Birmingham
  • Disabled students based on the rationale that they are the 2nd most underrepresented group within University of Birmingham with 501 new entrants in 22/23 and underrepresented in highly skilled employment.

How to Apply

To be considered for an award, applicants must, by the deadline, have done both of the following:

  1. Made an application to their intended Masters programme. Please apply through the relevant programme page on the Course finder section of the University of Birmingham website. This must include all of the relevant supporting documentation: references, transcripts if available, and English language certification if applicable
  2. Completed the AI and Data Science Conversion Masters Scholarships application form. You should enter the application ID number that you were given during the application to your Masters programme.

The deadline for applications to the scholarship for MSc Bioinformatics (Online) is:

  • June 2023 Intake - 19 May 2023
  • October 2023 Intake - 15 September 2023
  • February 2024 Intake - 19 January 2024

The deadline for scholarship applications for all other programmes is midnight on 31 July 2023.