The University of Liverpool has won a share of £13m from the Office for Students (OfS) to fund 36 scholarships on two innovative new postgraduate conversion courses.
Through specialist teaching and paid work placements, the conversion courses will allow graduates from both STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and non or far-STEM subjects to significantly boost their digital skills – helping to address the shortage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data specialists joining the UK workforce.
The scholarships are targeted at graduates from backgrounds often underrepresented in these industries, particularly female, disabled and black students.
The two programmes offered by the University of Liverpool will accept their first intake of students from September this year. There is a 12-month full-time Data Science and Artificial Intelligence MSc course and a 24-month full-time option which includes a paid ‘year in industry’ placement.
The courses have been developed in close collaboration with a number of commercial partners to meet the skills gaps in this growing employment area. They will equip graduates with the necessary technical knowledge and skills required to take up rewarding careers within the data science industry, including interdisciplinary career opportunities.
Partner organisations include Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, CSols Ltd, Facebook, Fletchers Solicitors Ltd., STFC Hartree Centre, Hogan Lovells International LLP, IBM, Mersey Care, Weightmans LLP, Kaplan Open Learning and Shop Direct.
Dr Martin Gairing, Deputy Head of Teaching in the Department of Computer Science said: “We are very pleased that we could secure funding for a total of 36 scholarship from the OfS. The scholarships are for students from groups currently underrepresented in the AI and data science fields and will encourage graduates from diverse backgrounds to consider a future in these exciting areas.
“The MSc Data Science and Artificial Intelligence builds on the department’s strong research expertise. The programme will allow students to build on their existing undergraduate degrees, and up-skill their portfolio of abilities, in the context of the domain of Data Science and AI.”