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Course Content

Course content

The Machine Learning MSc at UCL is a truly unique programme and provides an excellent environment to study the subject. It introduces the computational, mathematical and business views of machine learning to those who want to upgrade their expertise and portfolio of skills in this domain.

About this degree

Students develop an understanding of the principles underlying the development and application of new techniques in this area, alongside an awareness of, and ability to analyse the range and scope of algorithms and approaches available, and design, develop and evaluate appropriate algorithms and methods for new problems and applications.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (15 credits), five to seven optional modules (75 to 105 credits), up to two modules (30 credits) from electives, and a research project (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Supervised Learning (15 credits)

Optional modules

Students must choose 15 credits from Option Group One and a minimum of 60 credits from Option Group Two. Students must choose a further 30 credits from either Option Group Two or approved electives.

Option Group One (choose 15 credits)

  • Graphical Models (15 credits)
  • Probabilistic and Unsupervised Learning (15 credits)

Option Group Two (choose 60 to 90 credits)

  • Advanced Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning (15 credits)
  • Advanced Topics in Machine Learning (15 credits)
  • Affective Computing and Human-Robot Interaction (15 credits)
  • Applied Machine Learning (15 credits)
  • Approximate Inference and Learning in Probabilistic Models (15 credits)
  • Bioinformatics (15 credits)
  • Information Retrieval and Data Mining (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Deep Learning (15 credits)
  • Machine Vision (15 credits)
  • Programming and Mathematical Methods for Machine Learning (15 credits)
  • Statistical Natural Language Programming (15 credits)

Please note: the availability and delivery of optional modules may vary, depending on your selection.

Students may select up to 30 credits from elective modules

A list of acceptable elective modules is available on the departmental website.

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words in the form of a project report.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, class discussions and project supervision. Student performance is assessed though a combination of unseen written examination, coursework (much of which involves programming and/or data analysis), practical application, and the research project.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Machine Learning MSc

Careers

Graduates from this programme have an excellent employment record. Substantial sectors of UK industry, including leading, large companies already make extensive use of intelligent systems techniques in the course of their business activities, and the UK has a number of very successful developers and suppliers of the technology. Students also benefit from strong corporate and academic connections within the UCL Computer Science alumni network.

Graduates have taken machine learning research degrees in domains as diverse as robotics, music, psychology, and bioinformatics at the Universities of Basel, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Nairobi, Oxford and at UCL. Graduates have also found positions with multinational companies such as BAE Systems and BAE Detica.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Computer Vision Engineer, ZVR
  • Data Analyst / Data Scientist, Deloitte Data Analytics Group
  • Programmatic Yield Manager and Data Analyst, eBay
  • Data Scientist, dunnhumby
  • PhD in Computer Science, UCL

Employability

Scientific experiments and companies now routinely generate vast databases and machine learning and statistical methodologies are core to their analysis. There is a considerable shortfall in the number of qualified graduates in this area internationally. Machine Learning graduates have been in high demand for PhD positions across the sciences. In London there are many companies looking to understand their customers better who have hired our graduates. Similarly graduates now work in companies in Germany, Iceland, France and the US, amongst other places, in large-scale data analysis. The finance sector has also hired several graduates recently.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Computer Science is recognised as a world leader in teaching and research, and our Master's programmes have some of the highest employment rates and starting salaries.

We take an experimental approach to our subject, enjoy the challenge and opportunity of entrepreneurial partnerships and place a high value on our extensive range of industrial collaborations.

This MSc is one of the few leading Master's programmes entirely dedicated to machine learning. It combines a rigorous theoretical academic framework along with specific knowledge of a variety of application fields to fast-track your commercial career or to prepare for PhD research.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Computer Science

96% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


Visit the Machine Learning (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!

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