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MSc AI and Sustainable Development

1 year full time; 2 years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught
For 2024-2025
£11,340 Full time (UK)
£5,670 Part time (UK)
£25,290 Full time (International)

AI for a Sustainable Future: Innovate, Transform, Sustain.

As artificial intelligence advances rapidly, coupling ethical AI expertise with sustainability perspectives remains imperative yet underexplored. Our programme provides rigorous interdisciplinary training grounded in priorities of underserved regions worldwide. We nurture responsible leaders to pioneer systemic approaches embedding contextual AI innovations that thoughtfully uplift marginalised communities. Graduates lead at the nexus of ethical technology deployment and inclusive and sustainable development.

This innovative programme will equip you to drive social, economic, and environmental change through ethical AI innovation. The curriculum covers interdisciplinary topics spanning programming, algorithms, data science, machine learning, natural language processing, policy analysis, systems thinking, and sustainability principles. Core modules such as 'AI and Sustainable Development' and 'AI for Global Challenges' provide the contextual insight and technical skills to deploy AI solutions upholding inclusion and empowerment. Optional modules allow customisation across pertinent areas like governance, inequality, climate resilience, and more.

With rigour and versatility, graduates are prepared for impactful roles advancing responsible technology deployment in NGOs, governments, social enterprises and beyond. Hands-on projects, real-world focus, cross-disciplinary faculty, and emphasis on ethical reasoning underpin adaptable expertise poised for emerging careers at the intersection of sustainability and digital transformation. Intended for passionate, globally-minded students and professionals, especially those with social science backgrounds, this programme nurtures intercultural competence, nuanced perspectives, and inclusive mindsets to pioneer systemic change uplifting vulnerable communities worldwide.

AI and Data Science Masters Scholarships for 2024 entry

We are offering £10,000 scholarships to upskill students from under-represented backgrounds to progress into the AI and Data Science workforce.

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Why study at Birmingham?

  • Cross-disciplinary curriculum integrating computer science and social science perspectives to provide a holistic skillset
  • Specialised technical modules delivered by Computer Science faculty focusing on latest programming, machine learning, and data science topics to equip students with adaptable high-demand competencies
  • Intentional development of non-technical abilities such as systems thinking, ethical reasoning, participatory design principles, and change management required for responsible innovation 
  • Experiential insight into on-ground realities of deploying AI innovations in underserved regions to balance benefits and unintended risks

Who is this course for?

This programme is designed for passionate, globally-minded students seeking to drive social, economic and environmental change through responsible technology innovation. It suits those eager to couple ethical AI competencies with sustainability principles plus nuanced appreciation of on-ground realities worldwide. 

We equip passionate learners to spearhead ethical, empowering AI innovation globally. Our pioneering programme offers interdisciplinary training critical for responsible technology. By bridging computer science foundations with policy contexts, we produce versatile, well-rounded AI leaders. Graduates become strategic facilitators of AI deployments that advance access, inclusion and human rights locally and internationally.

Dr. Slava Jankin, Professor of data science and government & Director of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence in Government (CAIG)


Unless indicated otherwise the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2024.

Compulsory modules

You must choose 20 credits from the following list. Each module is worth 20 credits.

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Fees 2024 - 2025


  • £11,340 full-time
  • £5,670 part-time


  • £25,290 full-time

The fees shown above are the first year fees for students starting their course in September in 2024. 

Learn more about fees and funding

How To Apply

30 June 2024 is the application deadline for international students applying through the student route who wish to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2024 made after this date. The deadline for Home students is 30 August 2024.

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in social science (or a related discipline) from a UK university; or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. All applicants must provide evidence of successfully completing at least one advanced module in quantitative methods, statistics, data science or econometrics during their Bachelor's degree.

Relevant practical or professional experience in a related area may also be taken into account. This could include having worked for at least two years in an international development organisation, think tank, international organisation, development consulting role, or in a data science position. The key criteria are having applicable work experience of two or more years duration in a field connected to sustainable development or data science.


International Requirements

International Students

Applicants should also have English language scores of 6.5 IELTS (no less than 6.0 in any band) or equivalent.


This programme prepares graduates for impactful careers at the intersection of technology and sustainability.

You will develop high demand skills tailored to the future needs of organisations seeking professionals with both AI competencies as well as contextual, ethical and systemic perspectives. Your expertise will be applicable across the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Example roles include AI and Sustainability Strategist, Policy Analyst, Technology Consultant, Data Scientist focusing on social/environmental issues, Project Manager for international development programs, Researcher specialising in responsible tech innovation, and positions within governmental bodies pioneering ethical frameworks and standards.

The programme’s emphasis on adaptability, critical thinking, collaboration and communication provides you with essential transferable abilities to excel in diverse settings. You will gain intercultural fluency and nuanced understanding applicable worldwide, especially in regions with great potential for AI to empower communities when responsibly deployed.

We expect our graduates to drive change as innovative leaders navigating complex challenges at the intersection of technology, sustainability and inclusive development.