Research course

Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

University of Edinburgh · College of Science and Engineering

Entry requirements

A minimum UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in computer science, mathematics, physics, engineering or a related discipline. Most students accepted to the programme hold a first class degree.

Applicants coming directly from a bachelors or masters degree are welcome.

We particularly welcome applications from members of communities under-represented in computer science and mathematics.

Months of entry


Course content

The PhD in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence is a 3 years PhD programme offered by the School of Informatics. Those on this PhD programme will also engage and interact with students in the School of Mathematics. The PhD follows on from the EPSRC CDT PhD in Data Science.

The PhD recognises that if researchers in this area wish to be leaders in AI and shape the technology landscape, they must be deeply conversant in both data science and AI. Only then will they be able to direct and better understand how to research, develop and target technologies that will be the pioneering breakthroughs.

Data science is the study of the computational principles, methods and systems for extracting knowledge from data. Almost every activity in science, society and commerce now relies on data-driven decision making --- from large data analytics in biology to small companies deploying data-collecting apps to millions of customers.

AI is the study of computational systems that demonstrate capabilities of perception, reasoning, learning and action that are typical of human intelligence. We have also recently seen an explosive growth in the capability of modern AI technologies. The great recent successes of modern AI, such as object recognition and game playing, are based on data-driven approaches rooted in machine learning and deep networks.

Our programme will allow you to specialise and perform advanced research at the interface of Data Science and AI and gain breadth and practical experience throughout the field.

You will be supervised by one of our 85 world-renowned faculty members. You will also benefit from interacting with a group of 30+ leading industrial partners, including Microsoft Research, Aberdeen Standard, Amazon, Samsung, Huawei, IBM and IBM Research amongst many others.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

+44 (0)131 650 3091