An Institute of Coding (IoC) consortium including Queen Mary University of London and led by Coventry University has been awarded £3.7m in funding from the Office for Students to develop a suite of postgraduate conversion courses in artificial intelligence (AI) and data science. The primary goal of the new conversion courses is to respond to the shortage of data science and AI specialists in the UK.
Queen Mary University of London will launch its new masters-level conversion programme in September 2020. The MSc in Data Science and AI by conversion will be delivered in its entirety by the University, and while existing degrees in this field require learners to have a background in STEM education, this programme will break new ground by being open to students from varied academic backgrounds.
The postgraduate conversion programme will allow learners who do not have a strong background in Computer Science, programming or statistics to first acquire skills in these areas through a series of ‘bootcamps’ - a participatory learning environment that accelerates the learning process through blended learning concepts, iterative learning approaches and challenging problem solving - before moving on to apply them in learning specialist AI techniques.
With the launch of this new programme, Queen Mary University of London is providing learning opportunities that allow students to adapt to the fast-paced and rapidly changing global society where digital skills are more important than ever before. The Government's Digital Strategy predicted that within 20 years, 90 per cent of all jobs will require some element of digital skills. The current supply of skilled graduates needs to increase significantly to keep pace with demand, which is expected to continue accelerating.
Isobel Bates, Institute of Coding Project Manager at Queen Mary University of London commented, 'We are delighted to receive funding from the OFS to create this important new programme and offer an opportunity for a more diverse group of learners to gain essential digital skills, who will in turn address the needs of our future work place and society. We actively encourage female and BAME graduates, learners who are underrepresented in AI and data science, to apply for our conversion programme at Queen Mary University of London and consider a future in this area'.
For more information:
- The Institute of Coding (IoC)is a large national consortium of educators, employers and outreach organisations that is committed to co-developing new courses and activities at the degree level and above that will help a larger and more diverse group of learners into digital careers.
- MSc Data Science and AI by conversion consortium delivery partners:
- The School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London.
- The Office for Students (OfS) is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Education, acting as the regulator and competition authority for the higher education sector in England.