Data and Artificial Intelligence Ethics (Online Learning) at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS

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Course summary

A new, interdisciplinary degree with Edinburgh Futures Institute This programme meets the urgent demand for interdisciplinary skills and knowledge in the ethical design, use and governance of artificial intelligence and other data-intensive technologies. Today, many organisations and sectors that work with artificial intelligence (AI) and data-intensive applications are missing the distinctive expertise in their technical and policy/governance workforce needed to answer society’s ethical demands for responsible technology use, which increasingly goes beyond mere legal compliance. Faced with rising public expectations and regulatory demands that new technologies will be applied not just legally, but ethically, all sectors require skilled graduates armed with critical, creative and higher-order data skills. Graduates of this programme will help their future employers to navigate complex new technical systems and roles with transparency, accountability, fairness, justice, and respect for individual and human rights, and in ways aligned with genuine human and social needs. Our interdisciplinary degree is designed with the University of Edinburgh’s world-leading academic expertise in this area, drawing on philosophy, law, informatics, and science and technology innovation studies (STIS). It leverages the research power and mission of the Futures Institute’s Centre for Technomoral Futures, which promotes sustainable, just and ethical outcomes for artificial intelligence (AI) and data-driven technology. On this programme you will:

  • build the complex cognitive and collaborative skills needed to become knowledgeable and competent in responsible and ethical data and AI development, use and governance
  • develop an understanding of the ethical, legal, policy and design values, principles and practices that enable responsible use of data and AI
  • gain practical experience working and communicating about AI and data ethics with other stakeholders and practitioners across sectors, disciplines and publics
You will learn how ethical norms and principles map onto the distinctive technical affordances of AI and data science; how ethics intersects with other forms of technology governance such as law, policy, design and professional standards; and how ethics relates to broader political and cultural contestations of algorithmic, corporate and state power and influence. Perhaps most importantly, you will gain practice in working and communicating about AI and data ethics with other stakeholders and practitioners across sectors, disciplines and publics. Postgraduate study at the Edinburgh Futures Institute This programme is part of an interconnected portfolio of postgraduate study in the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI). EFI supports interdisciplinary teaching, learning and research that is focussed on complex global and social challenges. Our programmes are all taught by academic experts from many different subject areas. You will develop creative, critical and data-informed thinking that cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries. You will have the space to think deeply about questions linked to your own passions and professional goals, and will develop a project based on an issue that you care about. As well as knowledge specific to your area of study, studying at EFI will give you the skills and understanding you need to become a creative, confident and critical citizen in a fast-changing world. These will include:
  • core data skills
  • data ethics
  • the ability to interrogate issues of global scope
  • the creative and analytic approaches to knowledge that are vital for building better futures
You can join us regardless of whether you already have skills in the use and application of digital data.


See the University of Edinburgh website for detailed programme information.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for individual programmes vary, so please check the details for the specific programme you wish to apply for on the University of Edinburgh website. You will also need to meet the University’s language requirements.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

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Data and Artificial Intelligence Ethics (Online Learning) at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS