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BSc (Hons) Data Science and AI

Student sat at a table working on their computer
Josef Murmann in the Kitchen, 2021, UAL Creative Computing Institute, Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
UAL Creative Computing Institute
UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Course length
3 / 4 years (with optional foundation year)

Gain practical skills in Data Science and AI and explore how this rapidly expanding discipline is shaping the world around us.

Why choose this course at UAL Creative Computing Institute

  • Industry Ready: This course is crafted by diverse experts from various domain backgrounds which makes this course a unique blend of perspectives that increases the employability and research opportunities along with the native and inherent skill at UAL which is creativity and innovation.
  • Coding for AI: Develop practical coding skills in core modern programming languages and learn how to apply them to a range of data science contexts.
  • Project-based learning: Complete a range of data science projects, learning how to apply your skills and understanding to real world problems.
  • Ethical data science: Explore how computational approaches to data science have the potential to impact individuals and society at scale.
  • Working with others: Learn how to work with others and solve problems together. Teamwork skills are highly sought after by graduate employers in the data science and AI field.
  • The CCI data science and AI community: Join a community of students, academics and researchers who are passionate about data science and AI. Become a member of our integrated online community enabling peer and technical support.
  • Campus location and facilities: All your classes will be taught at our High Holborn site in central London. You will also have access to workshops and facilities at all other CCI buildings in South London including Peckham Road, Greencoat and The Hub at Eagle Wharf.

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Course overview

Data science and AI is a rapidly expanding applied discipline that is shaping the world around us and stimulating a significantly growing area of employment. Data science is also the foundation of the technology that underpins modern approaches to working AI-based products and services.

The BSc Data Science and AI course offers a deep engagement with data science and AI , as well as a critical perspective on ethical data and AI practices. This includes statistical theory, mathematics, data structures, computational approaches, machine learning and software engineering. Delivered by the UAL Creative Computing Institute, this course offers an innovative curriculum that approaches data science and AI through a creative lens.

What to expect  

  • Coding for Data Science: you will learn practical coding skills in core modern programming languages for data science industries and applications.
  • Project-based learning: you will complete a range of computing projects where you will apply skills and knowledge to real world problems.
  • Ethical data practices: you will learn how data practices have the potential to impact individuals and society.
  • Collaboration and creativity: you will study data science and AI in an exciting creative context and learn how to collaborate with your peers to creatively solve problems together. These abilities and attributes are highly valued by graduate employers.
  • The Creative Computing Institute community: you will join a significant community of students, academics and researchers who are passionate about shaping the future of data, AI and creative computing. You will have access to our integrated online community.
  • A supportive environment: you will have access to both technical and pastoral support and be part of community committed to promoting accessibility, diversity, and inclusion.
  • An optional foundation year: you have the option to take a ‘year zero’ course that gives you a foundational understanding of creative computing and prepares you for the rest of the course whichever direction you choose.

Industry experience and opportunities   

You will learn using industry standard tools and frameworks, ensuring you are ready to progress to a wide range of roles across the technology sector. You will benefit from industry talks and will meet industry representatives throughout your studies.

Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to undertake the optional year in industry, details of which will be provided in the second year of study.

Entrepreneurship is encouraged and the opportunity to start enterprises will be supported with business training and access to incubator programmes, as well through team entrepreneurship pedagogies.

Course units

All Course Units are structured along three learning groups: coding (orange), critical and computing theory (blue) and project based (green), with the project-based units leading up to the final data science project.

Year 1

Coding One: Introduction to Programming (20 credits)

This unit will introduce you to programming basics using contemporary programming languages and constructs that form part of professional practice in computing. You will learn fundamentals including variables, conditionals, loops, functions, simple object orientation and interaction approaches, applying mathematical principals throughout.

Introducing Data Science and Mathematics (20 credits)

This unit will introduce you to the fundamentals of mathematics and statistics. You will explore key theories and approaches that support contemporary statistical reasoning, and the general mathematical principles upon which they depend.

Data, Representation and Visualisation (20 credits)

In this unit, you will explore how information is represented as data, and how different types of data can be organised, stored, analysed and interrogated. You will also learn how to use different programming languages and data representations to create, navigate and analyse complex data structures.

Coding Two: Further Programming and Information Architecture (20 credits)

This unit will expand your knowledge, skills and competencies in programming. You will learn how computing hardware interprets instructions, and how these instructions flow through computing systems. You will explore binary and hexadecimal representations of numbers, and how operations are understood in binary form.

Further Mathematics and Statistics for Data Science and AI (20 credits)

This unit will introduce you to a range of mathematical approaches required for carrying out modern data science including calculus, discrete structures, probability theory, elementary statistics and fundamental linear algebra/matrix maths.

Data, People and Society (20 credits)

In this unit, you will be taught what it means to represent people as data points and explore the effects of data abstraction at a macro scale on individuals and marginalised groups. You will also explicitly look at the use of data in public policy making.

Year 2

Coding Three: Algorithms and Complexity (20 credits)

In this unit, you will be introduced to a range of standard algorithms using programming languages including Python and C. Using common algorithms, you will create and analyse computational models, learning how to determine which ones might be best suited to certain kinds of problems.

Data Governance and Computational Ethics (20 credits)

This unit explores data governance and the ethical and legal requirements of data collection, data storage, data access, data sharing and data processing. You will examine current information security processes, which are enforced and regulated by legal and human rights legislation.

Data Science Project: Software Engineering One (20 credits)

You will design and develop a prototype software project, applying your understanding of data governance. You will be encouraged to develop projects that consider specific problems and challenges across a range of use cases. This will help you understand how software development teams operate.

Coding Four: Data Processing and Analysis for Data Science and AI (20 credits)

You will learn how data is represented in computers, and how data can be stored and analysed in multi-dimensional ways for processing. You will develop software for manipulating data of different forms to explore and understand how data can contain information.

Computational Entrepreneurship (20 credits)

A key aim of this unit is to enhance your employability and entrepreneurship skills in a computational context.

Data Science Project: Software Engineering Two (20 credits)

In this unit, you will deliver a substantial software project based on knowledge and competencies that you have developed so far on the course.

Year 3

Coding Five: AI and Intelligent Systems (20 credits)

Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence is at the core of modern industries. This unit will first introduce you to interactive concepts in machine learning and AI. You will then examine more complex intelligent systems design, including neural networks, reinforcement learning and other critical techniques.

Data Security (20 credits)

This unit will build on your understanding of contemporary data security methods. You will be taught to use techniques including static program analysis and threat analysis. You will also use tools to analyse security risks in online applications.

Data Science and AI Project: Product Development (20 credits)

During this unit, you will learn advanced approaches to product development including project management skills, time cost analysis estimation, product architecture and testing procedures.

Ethics of Data Science and AI (20 credits)

In this unit, you will consider and reflect on critical approaches to technology development, particularly as they pertain to data science and AI, building on the design ethics work delivered throughout the course so far. You will be encouraged to apply these techniques to your Final Year Project, exploring how you have applied your knowledge of computing ethics in your work.

Data Science and AI Project: Final Project (20 credits)

This will be your final thesis project, where you will demonstrate your skills and understanding of a range of creative computing methods and approaches including statistical methods, software engineering, data visualisation, machine learning and AI, data security, and other essential topics in the discipline.

Diploma in Professional Studies (Optional year)

The Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS) is an optional placement year in industry between the second and third year of the course. It is a managed year of professional experience, largely undertaken in the design profession in a variety of national and international locations. Successful candidates are selected on a competitive basis from academic performance and studentship, successful completion of the Diploma Higher Education (year 2) and by portfolio and proposal.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Studio/lab-based practice and masterclasses
  • Project work
  • Design briefs
  • Technical tuition
  • Experiential team learning
  • Collaborative problem-solving and group work
  • Panel discussions in a debate environment
  • Independent study

Watch the online open day


Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for entry in autumn 2024 and is subject to change for entry in autumn 2025.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£28,570 per year

This fee is correct for entry in autumn 2024 and is subject to change for entry in autumn 2025.

Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

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Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are: 

For Year 1 entry:

  • Grades BCC or above at A-level  
  • Merit Merit Merit (MMM) at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects include Computer Science and ICT, or Design and Technology) 
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma with 104 UCAS tariff points (preferred subjects include Computer Science and ICT, or Design and Technology)   
  • Equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma. 

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent), with a minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. 

All classes are taught in English. If English isn’t your first language, you will need to show evidence of your English language ability when you enrol. For more details, please check our main English Language requirements webpage.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning 

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Selection criteria

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria:

  • A current ability or potential to engage with the ideas of computing.
  • Experience of experimenting with code.
  • Demonstrable engagement and improvement in a recently learned technical skill.
  • Ability to critically reflect and evaluate your achievements.
  • Ability to present and discuss your work.
  • Willingness to collaborate and resolve problems both individually and as a team.

Apply now

Application deadline

31 January 2024 at 18:00 (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

Home students can apply to this course through UCAS with the following codes:

University code:


UCAS code:


Start your application

Apply now

Application deadline

31 January 2024 at 18:00 (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

International students can apply to this course through UCAS with the following codes:

University code:


UCAS code:


Start your application

Apply with a UAL Representative

Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 4,000 characters and cover the following:

  • Why have you chosen this course? What excites you about the subject?
  • How does your previous or current study relate to the course?
  • Have you got any work experience that might help you?
  • Have any life experiences influenced your decision to apply for this course?
  • What skills do you have that make you perfect for this course?
  • What plans and ambitions do you have for your future career?

Visit the UCAS advice page and our personal statement advice page for more support.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

You must apply in the year that you intend to start your course. If you are made an offer and your circumstances change, you can submit a deferral request to defer your place by 1 academic year. You must have met your conditions by 31 August 2024. If you need an English language test in order to meet the entry requirements, the test must be valid on the deferred start date of your course. If not, you will need to reapply. Requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contextual Admissions

This course is part of the Contextual Admissions scheme.

This scheme helps us better understand your personal circumstances so that we can assess your application fairly and in context. This ensures that your individual merit and creative potential can shine through, no matter what opportunities and experiences you have received.


Computing graduates are highly sought after across many sectors and our degrees facilitate progression to a wide range of careers in both industry and academia. Graduates can join large companies or start their own business using their engineering skills and their knowledge of computational innovation.

Graduates can become:

  • Data scientists for large and small technology companies
  • Specialists in NLP, voice technology and computer vision
  • Data science researchers
  • IT professionals across a wide variety of sectors
  • Founders of technology start-ups in sectors such as finance, healthcare and the creative industries.

Opportunities for Further study:

  • Study one of our specialist creative computing master's courses.