Gain the skills to design and develop the next generation of Artificial Intelligence (Al) systems and services.
Increased use of Artificial Intelligence (Al) can bring major social and economic benefits by automating tasks currently done by humans. AI computers can analyse and learn from information at higher accuracy and speed than humans can. It offers massive gains in efficiency and performance to most or all industry sectors, for example in Health, Financial Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Social Media. Al is software that can be integrated into existing processes, improving them, scaling them, and reducing their costs, by making or suggesting more accurate decisions through better use of information. Artificial Intelligence has also been a main focus of Computer Science research at Ulster University for over 25 years, and we are uniquely positioned to deliver this degree course.
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About this course
In this section
This course will develop your employability skills by:
- providing you with a broadly-based education in AI and its related technologies which will equip you with the knowledge and skills to select and apply appropriate AI techniques to a particular domain.
- providing a systematic study of the theory and principles of AI, which includes fundamental theoretical computer science, mathematics, programming and software engineering.
- developing your competence in the use of programming languages for the production of AI and Machine Learning software components.
- developing your ability to analyse problems, reason a solution, and represent the knowledge using suitable AI methods and computational techniques.
- providing opportunities for the development of practical and team-based skills in applying AI in an industrial context.
Diploma in Professional Practice DPP
Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS
Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI
Find out more about placement awards
Four years, including placement.
Each student must complete 120 credits (usually six modules) in each academic year, with the exception of placement year (60 credits). Years 1, 2 and 4 are spent in the University. Modules are taught on campus and are web-supplemented. In Year 3, students undertake a year's work experience.
- September 2020
Teaching and learning assessment
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Members of the teaching team are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy and Members of the industry professional body - the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. Through their research, knowledge transfer and placement activities, teaching staff are also actively engaged with the local software and IT industry, and many modules on the course are directly informed by staff research activities.
Lectures are used to present theory and concepts, and are supported through a combination of tutorial discussion and practical, laboratory exercises. Students will be directed to read sections of recommended texts and will be expected to undertake directed reading in preparation for all scheduled classes, and to consolidate the material covered in class by private study.
Modules are either assessed by coursework only or by a combination of coursework and formal examinations (January and May). Coursework assessment is carried out using any combination of written assignments, class tests, practical tests, presentations, and group assignments as appropriate to meet the learning outcomes of each module.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
Software Development I
This module provides students of computing with an initial competence in the development of software through the medium of a modern programming language with facilities for both structured and object-oriented programming
Software Development II
This module is a direct follow-on to Software Development I. Students are introduced to more advanced features of both an algorithmic programming language and an object oriented language, and will be expected to acquire a higher level of competence in writing software.
The module covers the fundamental principles and theory of database design and provides practical experience in designing and developing database systems using a range of techniques, tools and technologies. It emphasises the important role of databases within an organisation and addresses the use of scalable and secure relational database management systems to facilitate the development of software systems involving large volumes of data and over the web.
Computer Hardware and Operating Systems
Differences in the internal structure and organisation of a computer lead to significant differences in performance and functionality, giving rise to an extraordinary range of computing devices, from hand-held computers to large-scale, high-performance machines. This module addresses the various options involved in designing a computer system, the range of design considerations, and the trade-offs involved in the design process.
Mathematics for Engineering I
This module provides students with a solid foundation in the fundamental topics in engineering mathematics. The material develops the student's competencies in the essential mathematics that forms an integral part of an undergraduate honours degree in engineering related disciplines.
Artificial Intelligence I
This module gives the students an understanding of the foundations, methodologies and technological applications of AI technologies, and will develop their ability to apply these to the design and implementation of AI models. The role of learning, problem solving, knowledge representation and reasoning within supervised learning within AI will be covered.
Computer Networks & Security
This module provides an in-depth study of computer, communications and networks. This module will introduce the concepts and principles of computer networks to guide the installation and maintenance of modern, high quality reliable networks. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to learn how to configure and test networks, deploy network based software applications and resolve network infrastructural problems. Students will have an in-depth knowledge of basic skills in networking, and an appreciation for emerging themes that could impact networking in the future
This module builds on programming foundations covered in Year 1 and provides a foundation for the Web development modules in Year 2 and 4. In addition, it offers an appreciation of user factors in application design and provides students with the tools to specify and develop high quality user interfaces.
Object oriented Programming
This module builds on the programming foundations developed during year one and introduces students to the concepts of object-oriented design and programming. Students learn how to use OO concepts to design and implement software solution using the C++ programming language.
Algorithms and Data Structures
The module builds upon the expertise acquired in Year 1 software development. Students are introduced to the classic data structures and algorithms that are used to process them, the specification of methods and classes and the measurement of algorithm performance.
Mathematics for Engineering II
This module introduces students to the essential mathematics with appropriate numerical computing and programming required for embarking on further study in engineering, computing or a related discipline. It develops the students mathematical skills required to solve problems that arise in the context of their undergraduate study. The module content is introduced in a pragmatic way and then related to real world problems, which enhances understanding and makes the concepts more meaningful and relevant for the student. The module also aims to generate in the student a spirit of mathematical investigation and discovery leading to the development of mathematical confidence. An introduction is given to MatLab, the multi-paradigm numerical computing environment and fourth-generation programming language; assessment in also partially completed in MatLab.
This module is designed to equip students with the appropriate research and transferable skills needed to secure employment within the Computing and Engineering domain.
The module prepares students for professional work by developing knowledge of the responsibilities and obligations of employees, employers and clients as determined by codes of professional conduct. Students will have the opportunity to practise the presentation of themselves in, for example, application forms, curriculum vitae, interview, elevator pitches and aptitude tests.
The module provides an underpinning foundation of research concepts, methods and techniques necessary for project development and delivery. The students employ research skills developed during the module to gather research from a variety of sources and critically review this literature. Embedded in all these activities is the reinforcement of the need for adhering to recognised ethical standards and taking a professional approach to employability.
Artificial Intelligence II
Professional Practice - Computing
This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and professional work experience, in a work-based learning environment, as part of their planned programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.
International Academic Studies
This module is optional
This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Republic of Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline whilst generating educational and cultural networks.
This module provides an in-depth study of secure computer systems. This module will introduce the concepts and principles of secure systems. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to learn how to configure and test application and network security, deploy secure network based software applications, configure cloud systems and resolve security problems. Students will have an in-depth knowledge of basic skills in security, and an appreciation for emerging themes that could impact secure systems in the future.
This level 6 module will present some of the sensing, perception, planning, learning, control, and movement generation principles necessary to design and program intelligent robots.
This module provides a foundation in the concepts and techniques used in vision systems. Vision systems is a rapidly expanding field and, as such, has applications in areas such as medicine, biomedical sciences, factory automation, autonomous vehicle, facial recognition software and manufacturing. The module provides students with the opportunity of studying a subject area that is at the forefront of developing state-of-the-art advances in technology.
Final Year Project
Students are required to undertake a major project during the final year of the course. The module offers students an opportunity to develop a realistic and meaningful piece of work during their final year. This module allows a chosen subject area to be researched in depth and a solution developed as a consequence. Students will have the opportunity to integrate and apply the learning achieved from other modules in the course. The module runs during both semesters and allows students to develop a comprehensive approach to all aspects of working on a large project. The project encourages innovation and creative thinking in the development of the solution. It also develops the entrepreneurial mindset, which can influence the challenges undertaken and final decisions made.
Computational Intelligence Technology
Having completed this module the student will have an understanding of the computational intelligence research area. The module addresses both existing techniques used individually and in hybrid forms. The module also introduces the current research topics within this domain.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
Grades BBB to include one from Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computing (not IT/ICT), Software Systems Development, Technology and Design, Design and Technology, Electronics, Engineering or Double Award Science/Applied Science.
Desirable Subject offer: For applicants offering Maths, Further Maths or Physics subjects at A Level, a one grade reduction will be applied at the time of offer.
Applied General Qualifications
The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment accept a range of alternative combinations of qualifications such as:
BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma in Computing (not ICT/IT), Electronics or an Engineering discipline, with overall award profile of DDM to include a minimum of 9 unit distinctions.
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma in Computing (not ICT/IT), Electronics or an Engineering discipline, with overall award profile of DDM.
A Levels with;
BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma;
BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate does not satisfy the subject requirement for this course and will only be considered when presented with an A Level in one of the specified subjects (please refer to A level section);
BTEC Level 3 QCF 90-credit Diploma;
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Foundation Diploma does not satisfy the subject requirement for this course and will only be considered when presented with an A Level in one of the specified subjects;
BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.
Irish Leaving Certificate
Grades H3,H3,H3,H3,H3 to include at least one science-based subject (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computing, Technology or Engineering).
English and Maths grade H6 or above (Higher Level) or Grade O4 or above (Ordinary Level) if not sitting at Higher Level are also required.
The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC to include minimum of grade B in a science subject.
English & Maths required at Standard Grade 1, 2 or 3.
Scottish Advanced Highers
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC one of which must be a science subject.
English & Maths required at Standard Grade 1, 2 or 3.
Overall International Baccalaureate Diploma requirement is minimum 26 points (13 at Higher level to include Grade 4 HL Mathematics and another HL Science subject).
Higher or Subsidiary level in English Language required at Grade 4 or above.
Access to Higher Education (HE)
Successful completion of an Ulster University validated Access route in Science/Technology with an overall mark of 70% for entry to year 1.
Plus 70% in NICATS Mathematics (level 2) or GCSE Mathematics grade C (or equivalent)
GCSE (or equivalent) minimum of Grade C/4 or above in Mathematics and English Language.
Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Essential / Key Skill in Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Additional Entry Requirements
OCR/Cambridge Technical Combinations
OCR Nationals and Cambridge Technical qualifications do not satisfy the subject entry requirements to this course and will be accepted as grade only when presented with A levels in the relevant subject(s) (please refer to A level section).
HNC overall Distinction in a relevant subject area for year 1 entry only.
HND overall Merit in a relevant subject area. HND applications may be considered for year 2 entry where the curriculum sufficiently matches that of Ulster University full time year 1 course.
Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in a relevant subject area with overall 55% and minimum 55% in all taught level 5 modules. Applicants will normally be considered for entry to an associated Honours degree (normally Year 2 entry).
For further information regarding all of the above qualifications please contact admissions as listed in contact details below.
Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.
Exemptions and transferability
Transfer between this course and other similar courses within the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment may be possible on the basis of academic performance.
Exemption from parts of the course may be considered based on appropriate performance in a related, designated course or other approved experiential learning (APEL).
The course has been designed to enable students who graduate with a good honours degree to apply for postgraduate study towards a PhD, MSc, MRes or other higher qualification.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
AI skill sets are in high demand across all sectors, such as finance, consulting, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, government and education. As a graduate in Artificial Intelligence, you will be well placed to progress into a wide variety of careers from large-scale established commercial enterprises to innovative technology start-ups with opportunities in large companies e.g. financial services firms, consumer retail firms, small and medium sized businesses or the public sector.
Work placement / study abroad
All students normally spend one year on industrial placement (Year 3) working in some aspect of the computing/engineering industry for a minimum period of 25 weeks. On satisfactory completion of the placement period, you are eligible for the award of Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP). Students who complete their industrial placement abroad receive the award of Diploma in Professional Practice (International).
Alternatively, students may apply to study abroad in another academic institution for a year. Satisfactory completion leads to the Award of Diploma in International Academic Studies (DIAS).
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Fees and funding
In this section
Fees (per year)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
- Northern Ireland & EU:
- England, Scotland, Wales
and the Islands:
£9,250.00 Discounts available
- £14,060.00 Scholarships available
Scholarships, awards and prizes
Prizes and Scholarships for this course can be viewed on the Faculty Prize list:
Follow the links to the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.
Additional mandatory costs
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
Central Admissions Magee
International Admissions Office
Course Director: Mrs Mairin Nicell
For more information visit
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