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University of Bradford awarded £700,000 to launch cutting-edge AI and data analytics course


University of Bradford awarded £700,000 to launch cutting-edge AI and data analytics course

The University of Bradford has won £700,000 to launch an innovative postgraduate course to meet the national shortage of artificial intelligence and data science specialists.

The funding will also provide sixty scholarships, each worth £10,000, for students attending the University’s MSc in Applied Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics course beginning in September 2020, aiming to attract graduates underrepresented in this sector.

The award is part of a £1.4m investment in the new course by Office for Students (OfS), Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Office for Artificial Intelligence and industry contributions. The course is supported by content from leading industry players including Amazon Web Services (AWS) Academy, UKBlackTech and SAS UK.

AI and data science have been identified by employers as key skills for graduates wanting to work in leading edge businesses or become a tech entrepreneur and represent a rapidly-growing sector of the jobs market.

A significant number of students will be drawn from historically underrepresented groups, including female students, black students, disabled students, refugees and students from areas identified as traditionally low participation groups – a focus central to the University’s values.

The scholarships will benefit from three months’ paid work experience and all students will have the opportunity to seek professional certifications from collaborators such as AWS Academy and SAS UK to support their employment ambitions.

Professor Zahir Irani, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic, Innovation, Quality), who led the bid, said: “As the University of and for Bradford, we recognise the significant social and economic challenges of our region. We will therefore be working with key collaborators to remove the barriers to higher education and to graduate-level employment, which students from our target underrepresented groups face.

“This conversion course will enable students to become competent, confident and creative independent data modellers and interpreters, able to select appropriate artificial intelligence and data science tools for a given business-driven problem and perform analysis that can feed into managerial data-driven decision-making. We will be helping to create the visionaries of tomorrow.”

Co-founder of UKBlackTech Mark Martin MBE said: “The announcement of these scholarships will definitely enhance the tech landscape within the region and help to prepare our next generation to tackle some of the challenges that they will face. Also, it’s important we encourage more talent from different backgrounds to access these opportunities so we can develop better tech tools, services and organisations that reflect us all.”



1. The money has been awarded by the Office for Students (OfS), which ran a nationwide competition for universities to win a slice of £13m funding. It was in response to the Government’s Digital Strategy, which predicts that within 20 years, 90 per cent of all jobs will require some element of digital skills.

2. Partners in the bid include: City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, SAS UK, AI Tech North, UKBlackTech, NHS Leeds, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region, Enterprise Partnership , Go Higher West Yorkshire, Bradford Breakthrough, Bradford Council Industrial Centres of Excellence – Health, Engineering & Manufacturing, Business, Digital Bradford Health and Social Care Economic Partnership, One Workforce, Bradford Chamber, Professional Muslims Institute, Bradford District and Craven Digital Programme Board.

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