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AI and data science scholarships announced

Posted on 6 July 2023

The University of York has been awarded more than £600,000 in scholarship funding to deliver programmes in artificial intelligence and data science.

The funding will support the delivery of programmes in artificial intelligence and data science

The University of York has been awarded more than £600,000 in scholarship funding to deliver programmes in artificial intelligence and data science.

The award is part of a national scheme by the Office for Students (OfS) to increase the diversity of the workforce in these areas of study and support students from underrepresented groups to study conversion programmes.


The £8.1 million programme funds over 800 scholarships at 30 universities and is designed to encourage more women, black students, disabled students, and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds to enter the data science and AI workforce.

The University has also secured industry support from ETAS (a Bosch subsidiary) and the Office for National Statistics to increase support for this scheme, with programmes being delivered at the Department of Computer Science.

Significant impact

Professor Tracy Lightfoot, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students, said: “Study into artificial intelligence and data science is having an increasingly significant impact on so many aspects of our lives, most notably in areas such as healthcare, transportation, security and our global economy. 

“We need highly-talented and dedicated individuals to take this learning forward, make it safe, understandable, and influential in encouraging positive action in tackling some of the world's greatest challenges.

“This award will help us open up access to this evolving and critical field to those from a variety of backgrounds who can bring fresh and exciting ideas to this fascinating and crucial area of study.”

Increase diversity

In 2019 the OfS launched a funding competition that aimed to increase diversity and address digital skills gaps in the workforce, which supported the government’s priority to invest in AI to encourage innovation in every sector and region. 

Students commencing their studies in 2023/24 can study a range of courses across England which cover topics such as practical AI and data science skills, coding, programming, machine learning, health data science and AI ethics. 

Courses are delivered flexibly in a variety of ways - including full-time, part-time and online learning options - to support students with other work or caring responsibilities. The York scholarships will be available to new students on the part-time, online MSc Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence or the MSc Computer Science with Data Analytics. 

Career aspirations

John Blake, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the OfS, said: “This funding provides opportunities for students underrepresented in these industries to achieve their career aspirations. It builds on the successes of the programme’s recent students and provides the UK’s data science and AI sector with a wider pool of highly skilled graduates.”

Nigel Tracey, VP of Real Time Application Solutions at ETAS, said: “It’s critical to encourage more people, especially from diverse backgrounds, to train in the fields of artificial intelligence and data science, so we’re excited to be a part of this programme. Many of the UK’s leading tech companies continue to grow and they need highly skilled software professionals, so we’re excited to be a part of this programme, which will grow our talent pool. It’s great to do this on a local level in York.” 

“We will support students by offering them practical experience to go alongside their studies. ETAS has doubled in size in recent years and we’re recruiting more highly skilled workers at our Centre of Excellence in York. These scholarships will enable students to help us to develop advanced automotive software.”

Further information:

The University of York is part of the #JoinYourAIFuture national recruitment campaign programme funded by the Office for Students. The Office for Students is the independent regulator for higher education in England.

The OfS’s aim is to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers.

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