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Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way we live and work and Solent University, Southampton is investing in the diversity of the next generation of AI talent with 20 scholarships funded by the Office for Students available for January 2024 entry.

20th November 2023
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Applicants from underrepresented communities (see our course page for full details) are invited to apply for a scholarship to study on the University's MSc in Applied AI and Data Science, which launched in 2020 with funding from the Office for Students (OfS).

The conversion course welcomes students from any academic discipline and 43 scholarships have already been awarded, with graduates going on to succeed in roles across AI engineering, machine learning and data analysis. Scholar Sasha Westlake, who is now an analyst at Boeing, says:

"My scholarship was fundamental for me to be able to complete my course, and I'm so grateful I was awarded one. It allowed me to reduce my hours at work, so I was able to fully engage and attend university while staying financially secure."

Addressing the growing need for skills in AI and future proofing graduate outcomes, Solent's commitment to offering opportunities rooted in the latest technological advancements is enhancing accessibility into higher education and opening pathways to employment.

Olalekan Akinbamijo, who was awarded a scholarship in September 2022, went on to do an internship at Imperial College Health NHS Trust as part of the Health Data Science Black Internship Programme. He says:

"My passion lies in the application of AI and data science in advancing diagnosis in the health sector and both my course and internship have offered me unique opportunities to gain first-hand experience in this area.

"During my studies, I won a health data science competition and was hosted by the House of Lords and Health Data Research UK. It was a thrilling experience which was possible thanks to my time at Solent University and experience as an intern."

Associate Professor in Computing, Dr Shakeel Ahmad, who launched the University's AI and data science course, says:

"Artificial intelligence is becoming an integral part of our daily lives. We are all witness to how generative AI tools are shaping our world - taking away a lot of complicated tasks from humans but creating new challenges as well.

"We must equip every student with a fundamental understanding of AI and the related ethical and social issues, demystifying the technology while also supporting them to navigate an AI-driven world with confidence, competence and safety. 

"At Solent, we believe that teaching AI is a wise investment today for a brighter future tomorrow, and our graduates with an education in artificial intelligence will be better prepared for the evolving job market."

Earlier this month, OfS announced new funding to deliver more courses in this area between 2024 and 2025, giving students the opportunity to transform their careers by embracing the technology of the future.

Find out more about Solent's AI scholarships here.