Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science BSc

Start date
September
Duration
3 years
UCAS code
GG47
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:
£9,250 (UK/EU)
£22,260 (International)
Further information

Our Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science BSc degree programme will equip you with both the computing and scientific skills to solve real-world problems in one of the leading centres for Artificial Intelligence teaching and research in Europe.

At the University of Birmingham our research expertise allows us to offer an unusually rich and innovative programme for undergraduate study which enables our students to leave us ready for a career path in industry or research.

Our three-year Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science BSc degree is structured to give you a thorough understanding of the field of computer science whilst providing you with the opportunity to develop a strong theoretical grounding in Artificial Intelligence with many opportunities to put this in to practice. 

Artificial Intelligence is one of the current hot topics in Computer Science and society more broadly. It is at the heart of everyday technology and the understanding and application of AI holds the key to solving many current and future real-world problems. This is why our wide range of modules allow you to delve deep into the areas of AI that interest you most and that will set you up for your future career, from Intelligent Robotics to Complex Adaptive Systems.

In your first and second year you will study a range of compulsory modules which will enable you to gain a solid understanding in the fields of computer science and Artificial Intelligence.  You will take part in an AI-related team project in your second year that will require you to combine the design and implementation of state of the art AI algorithms with software engineering best practices.

Your third year enables you to tailor your degree to suit your interests, strengths and future career with a wide range of modules and an individual project. The flexibility of the course means that in your third year you can choose to specialise in Computer Science or Artificial Intelligence, depending on your interests, or you can take a mixture of modules.

We know how competitive the graduate job market can be, that’s why you also learn computer programming in Java – a language widely used in business and industry that will ensure you stand out in future applications. During your time with us you will take part in group work which will allow you to develop key skills essential for both a career in industry or research.

Why study Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science BSc at Birmingham?

  • State-of-the-art facilities which include: research labs for Medical Imaging, Intelligent Robotics, HCI and security; Computer Science reference library; Robotics teaching labs and exclusive computing labs just computer science students
  • We are a leading centre for AI teaching and research in Europe and we are home to many acclaimed research groups
  • Year in Industry opportunities are available for you to gain skills and experience which will help to prepare you for a career after university
  • Friendly and sociable department, where staff and students harness great relationships
  • Flexible module choices in your third year allow you to tailor your education to suit your interests and strengths

Robots will start to appear all over the world in the near future. We give students the opportunity to study the artificial intelligence and robotics and techniques necessary to build autonomous systems that will be able to change our society for the better.

Dr Nick Hawes, Senior Lecturer, Computer Science

Modules

Year 1

In this year you learn about theories of mind and techniques for generating intelligent behaviour. These include understanding human language and logic, techniques for game playing, expert systems for medical diagnosis, and many others. You experiment with the techniques by implementing them as computer programs. You meet weekly with your tutor, write essays and discuss major AI issues with other students in a small group setting.

In the Computer Science part of your degree you will gain a firm foundation in the principles of algorithms, artificial intelligence, software engineering and relevant mathematics. You also learn computer programming in Java – a language widely used in business and industry. The module on Robot Programming introduces you to some important ideas that underpin intelligent robotics and includes group work as part of our commitment to preparing you for the world of work.

Core modules:

  • Artificial Intelligence 1 (20 credits)
  • Data Structures and Algorithms (20 credits)
  • Logic and Computation (20 credits)
  • Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (20 credits)
  • Object Oriented Programming (20 credits)
  • Full Stack Application Development (20 credits)

In the second year you take more advanced modules in specific areas of AI, including an Introduction to Natural Computation, Machine Learning, Computer Vision and Natural Language Understanding. You learn an AI programming language, and take core Computer Science modules in which you will apply your Java skills to building systems involving databases, graphics and human–computer interaction. You will also study the principles underpinning computer architectures and operating systems. These modules will give you all the skills you need to carry out your final-year project.

Core modules:

  • Functional Programming (20 credits)
  • Security and Networks (20 credits)
  • Software Engineering and Professional Practice (20 credits)
  • Systems Programming in C/C++ (20 credits)
  • Team Project (Artificial Intelligence) (20 credits)
  • Artificial Intelligence 2 (20 credits)

Year 3

In the final year you have enormous freedom of choice. One third of your time is spent on a project which can be chosen from a wide selection offered by staff members, or developed from your own idea. This usually involves writing a large piece of software and gives you the freedom to extend and demonstrate your skills in a manner of your choosing. In the other two-thirds of your time, you can choose freely from over 20 optional modules, including some specialist AI modules such as Intelligent Robotics, Neural Computation and Advanced Natural Language Processing. You can choose to specialise in Computer Science or AI, or take a mixture of modules from both themes. 

Core modules:

  • Computer Science Project (40 credits)

Optional modules.

80 credits from the range of example modules below. Please note that 60 to 80 credits must be taken in Complex Adaptive Systems, Intelligent Robotics, Language and Cognition and Machine Learning and Intelligent Data Analysis. Any remaining credits can be chosen from the others below:

  • Advanced Networking (20 credits)
  • Complex Adaptive Systems (20 credits)
  • Computer Graphics (20 credits)
  • Computer Vision and Imaging (20 credits)
  • Computer-Aided Verification (20 credits)
  • Human-Computer Interaction (20 credits)
  • Individual Study (20 credits)
  • Intelligent Robotics (20 credits)
  • Language and Cognition (20 credits)
  • Machine Learning and Intelligent Data Analysis (20 credits)
  • Programming Language Principles, Design, and Implementation (20 credits)
  • Security of Real-World Systems (20 credits)
  • Teaching Computing in Schools (20 credits)
  • Theoretical Foundations for Security (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. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2020. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to core modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees

Annual tuition fees 2020/21

  • £9,250 - UK/EU
  • £22,260 - International

Visit our  tuition fees page for more information.

Scholarships

At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.

 

Tuition fees for placement years (where applicable)

There is a reduced tuition fee for the academic year spent in industry or whilst studying abroad (where available). Fee information and further clarification is available on the University fees and funding page.

 

For students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code GG47.

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

View advice on how to apply for undergraduate courses.

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAA
Required subjects and grades:
A level Mathematics grade A. If you are taking any reformed science A levels, which include Biology, Chemistry and Physics taught from 2015, you must pass the practical element.

General Studies or Critical Thinking not accepted.
It is desirable, but not essential, to have some experience of writing computer programs. Please note that Access qualifications are not suitable for this programme. 

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 

6, 6, 6 required at Higher Level (including 6 in Mathematics), with a minimum of 32 points overall. We also require 5 in Standard Level English.

BTEC 

BTEC Extended Diploma/Diploma qualifications will only be considered if accompanied by A level Mathematics.
Grades: 
- BSc; D*D* plus A-level Maths at grade A.
- MSci; D*D* plus A-level Maths at Grade A*

 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma will be considered in combination with 2 A levels including Mathematics.
Grades: 
  - BSc; D* plus A-level AA.
  - MSci; D* D* plus A-level A*A.

The BTEC Extended Diploma alone will be considered for our Physical Sciences Foundation Year programme (DDD required)

Please note: typical offer grades are for guidance only, other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

Foundation Year

Are you a UK/EU student and would like to study for one of our degrees but lack the entry qualifications we require? If you are not studying A Level Mathematics you can consider a Foundation Year programme which can lead to entry onto one of our courses.

International Students

We accept a range of international qualifications, please contact the admissions tutor for more information.

 

Standard English language requirements apply, learn more about international entry requirements.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

Hear from our students talking about their experiences during one of our modules.

You will benefit greatly from an overhauled and re-designed curriculum in order to give you the chance to really dig deeper into your subjects of interest

How you will learn

You will be taught using a combination of lectures, labs and tutorials with lecturers available to provide additional help throughout your degree.

How you will be assessed

Each module is assessed independently with all containing some components of continuous assessment. Some modules are completely assessed by coursework. Assessment methods include end-of-year examinations in May and June, written assignments, oral and poster presentations, computer-based tests, marked exercises, and laboratory and project reports. Feedback is an essential part of learning and the way we help to shape your success.

We use a wide range of methods, such as written feedback on your assessments, class feedback sessions and discussions with your tutor.

Your personal tutor

We know that starting university can be daunting, and is a big step into a new way of living and learning, that’s why from the beginning of your time with us you will be assigned a Personal Tutor who will remain with you throughout your studies and support your academic progress, developing your transferable skills and any welfare issues.

Seminars and tutorials

Small-group tutorials/personal tutorials run alongside our lectures, addressing any individual problems you may have and allowing you to consolidate and discuss lecture material with your tutor and fellow students. 

Self-study is an essential part of the programme and requires self motivation and enthusiasm for your subject. It also allows you to pursue your own lines of enquiry and become an independent thinker.

Lecturers and world-leading researchers

Being taught and challenged in a range of ways and by a range of people helps to not only broaden your knowledge but to allow you to build your network and discover your interests. Allowing you to meet and learn from different leaders in their fields is key to the course, that’s why during your studies you will be taught by a mixture of professors, doctors and postgraduates, offering you a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience.

Resources and facilities

We know that life as a student can be busy and that juggling work and a social life can be hard. That’s why our purpose built multi-million-pound building offers 24-hour swipe access for all our students to access our state-of-the-art facilities whenever they need to.

We encourage group work and face-to-face interaction with your fellow students and academics, that’s why there are plenty of student areas in the building and collaborative student and staff spaces.

Contact Hours

Depending on the programme, the modules you select, and the number of optional help sessions you choose to take part in, each week you will have between:

Year 1: 15 and 25 hours of lectures, labs and tutorials, with lecturers available to provide additional help outside those hours. During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into University. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.
Year 2: 13 and 22 hours of lectures, labs and tutorials, with lecturers available to provide additional help outside thos hours.
Year 3: 9 and 20 hours of lectures, labs and tutorials, with lecturers available to provide additional help outside those hours.
Year 4 - MEng programmes only: 7 and 18 hours of lectures, labs and tutorials, with lecturers available to provide additional help outside those hours.

Please note the above data is based on the most common module selections for the each year group and does not include hours for self-study. This data does not include modules taken during a Study Abroad.

Our courses are especially designed, at every stage, to equip you with the knowledge, academic skill and transferable skills you need for a successful career in industry or research. 

The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17 shows that 93% of our Computer Science graduates are in graduate-level employment or further study six months after graduation.

We hold specialist careers fairs throughout the year for computer science students to help you network and find opportunities to secure placements and graduate employability once you leave us.

Graduates who have studied our courses:

Example employers:

  • Accenture
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Honda
  • HP
  • IBM
  • Logics
  • Rolls Royce
  • UBS
  • QinetiQ

Example careers: 

  • Artificial Intelligence Engineer
  • Cloud Computing Engineer
  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Systems Designer
  • Lecturer/Teacher
  • Applications Developer

Careers Network

We provide a wealth of opportunities to develop your career. From your first day at Birmingham to after you graduate, the Careers Network  is here to help you identify and achieve your individual career aspirations through its wide range of services.

Our dedicated careers team brings you information, advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Careers advisers offer one-to-one advice appointments where you can discuss your career plans and explore your options. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning  Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Visit the Careers Network website for more details

Internships

Our multi-award-winning work experience team has dedicated internship officers to help find the right work experience for you. Make the most of these opportunities and apply for our Work Experience Bursary Scheme, the Birmingham Undergraduate Internship Programme or one of our successful mentoring schemes. 

The video below talks to students, staff and employers about their internship experience: