Artificial Intelligence - BSc (Hons)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly successful in solving complex and key problems from self-driving cars and medicine to information retrieval and games. Recent advances exploit machine learning techniques where AI systems extract patterns from vast amounts of examples (big data) using large-scale computing infrastructure, such as the cloud. On the BSc Artificial Intelligence you will specialise in this rapidly evolving area of computer science.

Overview

On this degree you learn a combination of solid knowledge of computing technologies and programming skills with an in-depth understanding of the principles and practice of building AI systems. The programme is taught by experts in the area of AI and applied machine learning.

In the first year of the programme your learning is centred on computer science fundamentals and you share modules with students on our successful BSc Computer Science programme. In the second year you study core AI concepts and techniques. In your final year, you select a range of modules allowing you to focus on specific AI techniques and applications of your choice such as neural network, data mining, eHealth and semantic web.

Our degree programme

On this degree, the specific focus is on the technical aspects of both computer science and artificial intelligence. You learn to code in several languages, starting with the Java programming language, which is widely used in industry across a range of applications including mobile devices, and Python, one of the most popular languages for scientific computing and data analysis.

Building on these programming skills, you learn the principles and techniques that underpin the algorithms and systems shaping our world today. These include artificial intelligence, computer security, network technology, software engineering, and human-computer interaction. You put these principles and techniques into practice to develop software in a variety of ways, from small-scale exercises to a major software project. There is a particular focus on understanding and building AI systems to solve real-world problems.

You can also gain experience in teaching with our Computing in the Classroom module. This gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge in a school setting.

Year in industry

Many of our students choose to take a year in industry after the second year of the programme. This gives you work experience, a salary and the possibility of a job with the same company after graduation. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply: for details, see Artificial Intelligence with a Year in Industry.

Study resources

Facilities to support the study of Artificial Intelligence include The Shed, the School of Computing's Makerspace, which houses:

  • 3D printers
  • laser-cutting facilities
  • development equipment, including Oculus Rift and Raspberry Pi.

Students also have exclusive access to a computer room and common room, and we run a peer-mentoring scheme.

Extra activities

Artificial Intelligence students often take part in TinkerSoc, a student-run 'tinkering' society which meets in 'The Shed', our collaborative workspace. TinkerSoc welcomes all students who like making things.

Whether a member of TinkerSoc or not, you can spend time in The Shed, making, exploring and sharing. In this informal environment you can build physical devices for your coursework, as well as develop your own interests and hobbies.

The School of Computing also hosts events that you are welcome to attend. These include our successful seminar programme where guest speakers from academia and industry discuss current developments in the field. We also host the BCS local branch events on campus.

Professional network

Our programmes are informed by a stakeholder panel of industry experts who give feedback on the skills that employers require from a modern workforce.

Our successful year in industry programmes have allowed us to build up excellent relationships with leading companies such as BAE Systems, Citigroup and The Walt Disney Company.

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Accreditation

This degree has been accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Engineering Council. Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). An accredited degree will provide you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics grade 4/C

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL including Mathematics 5 at HL or SL, or Mathematics Studies 6 at SL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    N/A

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Fees

The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £16400
  • International full-time £21900

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

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Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

Within the School of Computing are authors of widely used computing textbooks. Programmes are taught by leading researchers who are experts in their fields.

Teaching is based on lectures, with practical classes and seminars, but we are also introducing more innovative ways of teaching, such as virtual learning environments and work-based tuition. Work includes group projects, case studies and computer simulations, with a large-scale project of your own choice in the final year.

Overall workload

Each stage comprises eight modules. Most modules run for a single 12-week term. Each module has two lectures and one to two hours of classes, usually making 14 formal contact hours per week and eight hours of 'homework club' drop-in sessions each term.

Academic support

We provide excellent support for you throughout your time at Kent. This includes access to web-based information systems, podcasts and web forums for students who can benefit from extra help. We use innovative teaching methodologies, including BlueJ and LEGO© Mindstorms for teaching programming.

Teaching staff

Our staff have written internationally acclaimed textbooks for learning programming, which have been translated into eight languages and are used worldwide.

Assessment

Assessment is by a combination of coursework and end-of-year examination and details are shown in the module outlines on the web. Project modules are assessed wholly by coursework.

The marks from stage one do not go towards your final degree grade, but you must pass to continue to stage two. 

Most stage two modules are assessed by coursework and end-of-year examination. Marks from stage two count towards your degree result. 

Most stage three modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and end-of-year examination. Projects are assessed by your contribution to the final project, the final report, and oral presentation and viva examination. Marks from stage three count towards your degree result.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

In stage three your project counts for 25% of the year's marks. 

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • Provide a programme that will attract and meet the needs of both those contemplating a career in computing and those motivated primarily by an intellectual interest in artificial intelligence
  • Provide a sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the principles of computing
  • Provide knowledge of key areas in artificial intelligence
  • Provide generally applicable skills that will be of lasting value in a constantly changing field
  • Offer a range of modules covering the foundations of computer science
  • Offer a range of options to enable students to study selected areas of computer science and artificial intelligence in depth
  • Provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires students to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge
  • Develop general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills that can be applied in a wide range of different applied computing settings.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • hardware: the major functional components of a computer system 
  • software: programming languages and practice; tools and packages; computer applications; structuring of data and information 
  • communication and interaction: basic computer communication network concepts; communication between computers and people; the control and operation of computers
  • practice: problem identification and analysis; design development, testing and evaluation 
  • theory: algorithm design and analysis; formal methods and description; modelling
  • the philosophical and psychological principles of knowledge and cognition
  • machine intelligence: systems, algorithms and applications.

Intellectual skills

You gain intellectual skills in:

  • modelling: knowledge and understanding in the modelling and design of computer-based systems in a way that demonstrates comprehension of the trade-off involved in design choices
  • reflection and communication: present succinctly to a range of audiences rational and reasoned arguments
  • requirements: identify and analyse criteria and specifications appropriate to specific problems and plan strategies for their solution
  • criteria evaluation and testing: analyse the extent to which a computer-based system meets the criteria defined for its current use and future development
  • methods and tools: deploy appropriate theory, practices and tools for the specification, design, implementation, and evaluation of computer-based systems
  • professional responsibility: recognize and be guided by the professional, economic, social, environmental, moral and ethical issues involved in the sustainable exploitation of computer technology
  • computational thinking: demonstrate a basic analytical ability and its relevance to everyday life.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • design and implementation: specify, design and implement computer-based systems
  • evaluation: evaluate systems in terms of general quality attributes and possible trade-offs presented within the given problem
  • information management: apply the principles of effective information management, information organisation, and information retrieval skills to information of various kinds
  • tools: deploy effectively the tools used for the construction and documentation of software, with particular emphasis on understanding the whole process involved in using computers to solve practical problems
  • the ability to plan and manage projects to deliver computing systems within the constraints of requirements, timescale and budget
  • the ability to recognise any risks and safety aspects that may be involved in the deployment of computing systems within a given context
  • the ability to critically evaluate and analyse complex problems, argument and evidence, including those with incomplete information, and devise appropriate computing solutions, within the constraints of a budget
  • identify and develop solutions for computational problems requiring machine intelligence.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in:

  • teamwork: Be able to work effectively as a member of a development team
  • interaction reflection and communication: make succinct presentations to a range of audiences about technical problems and their solutions
  • information technology: effective information-retrieval skills (including the use of browsers, search engines and catalogues); effective use of general IT facilities
  • intellectual skills: critical thinking; making a case; numeracy and literacy; information literacy; the ability to construct well-argued and grammatically correct documents; the ability to locate and retrieve relevant ideas, and ensure these are correctly and accurately referenced and attributed
  • self-management: managing one's own learning and development including time management and organisational skills
  • professional development: appreciating the need for continuing professional development in recognition of the need for lifelong learning
  • contextual awareness: the ability to understand and meet the needs of individuals, business and the community, and to understand how workplaces and organisations are governed
  • sustainability: recognising factors in environmental and societal contexts relating to the opportunities and challenges created by computing systems across a range of human activities

Independent rankings

89% of Kent Computer Science and Information Systems graduates were in graduate-level jobs or further study 15 months after graduation. (The Guardian University Guide 2023)

Computer Science at Kent scored over 87% for graduate prospects in The Times Good University Guide 2023.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Graduates who have both IT knowledge and business skills can expect excellent career prospects. Our graduates have gone on to work in:

  • software engineering
  • mobile applications development
  • systems analysis
  • consultancy
  • networking
  • web design and e-commerce
  • finance and insurance
  • commerce
  • engineering
  • education
  • government
  • healthcare. 

Recent graduates have gone on to develop successful careers at leading companies such as:

  • BAE Systems
  • Cisco 
  • IBM
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Citigroup 
  • BT.

Help finding a job

The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Work experience

You can also gain teaching experience by taking the Computing in the Classroom module.

Career-enhancing skills

You graduate with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of computer science and artificial intelligence and a range of professional skills, including:

  • programming
  • modelling
  • artificial intelligence techniques
  • design.

To help you appeal to employers, you also learn key transferable skills that are essential for all graduates. These include the ability to:

  • think critically
  • communicate your ideas and opinions
  • analyse situations and troubleshoot problems
  • work independently or as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Apply for Artificial Intelligence - BSc (Hons)

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can apply through UCAS or directly on our website if you have never used UCAS and you do not intend to use UCAS in the future.

Find out more about how to apply

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T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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