Bishop and AI news

Stephen Hawking thinks computers may surpass human intelligence and take over the world. This view is based on the ideology that all aspects of human mentality will eventually be realised by a program running on a suitable compu...


Connection Science

All individual members of The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour have a personal subscription to the Taylor Francis journal Connection Science as part of their membership. How to Acce...


Al-Rifaie on BBC

AISB Committee member and Research Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London, Dr Mohammad Majid al-Rifaie was interviewed by the BBC (in Farsi) along with his colleague Mohammad Ali Javaheri Javid on the 6 November 2014. He was a...


Rose wins the Loebne...

After 2 hours of judging at Bletchley Park, 'Rose' by Bruce Wilcox was declared the winner of the Loebner Prize 2014, held in conjunction with the AISB.  The event was well attended, film live by Sky News and the special guest jud...


AISB Convention 2015

The AISB Convention is an annual conference covering the range of AI and Cognitive Science, organised by the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour. The 2015 Convention will be held at the Uni...


Yasemin Erden on BBC

AISB Committee member, and Philosophy Programme Director and Lecturer, Dr Yasemin J. Erden interviewed for the BBC on 29 October 2013. Speaking on the Today programme for BBC Radio 4, as well as the Business Report for BBC world N...


Mark Bishop on BBC ...

Mark Bishop, Chair of the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour, appeared on Newsnight to discuss the ethics of ‘killer robots’. He was approached to give his view on a report raising questions on the et...


AISB YouTube Channel

The AISB has launched a YouTube channel: ( The channel currently holds a number of videos from the AISB 2010 Convention. Videos include the AISB round t...



Studying AI and Cognitive Science at University

Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science - or a combination of the two - are amongst the most exciting and valuable subjects you can study at university. This page is intended to give you some idea of why you might want to choose these subjects for your undergraduate degree, what kind of future such a degree might qualify you for and where you should look for further information.


Why study AI or CogSci?

An interesting and practical degree When choosing a course at university, many people are torn between the academic approach - what subject really interests me? - and the practical approach - what subject will provide a good basis for my career? AI and CogSci are two subjects that can easily fill both these criteria.

Depending on what course you study, you will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of theoretical and practical fields ranging from philosophical approaches and theory of mind to much more technical subjects and you can often have a lot of freedom to choose the subjects that interest you most.

At the end, even if you have chosen some of the more abstract options, you will still have a degree that contains a significant practical component and that is highly rated by employers.

Changing the world AI technology is behind a large numbers of advances that are changing the way we live our lives. Studying AI gives you an insight into how these changes are occurring and what might be happening next and put you in a perfect position to become involved in these changes yourself.

Job Prospects A degree in AI is one of the best qualifications you can have for a technical career and you will learn valuable programming skills. If you want to go into a completely different field, AI is a good general degree as it demonstrates a broad eduction, analytical skills and an enquiring mind.


How can I learn more?

Where can I study these subjects? Many universities have some form of AI or CogSci available. These are often found in the computer science department (AI) or the psychology department (CogSci). A few universities have separate AI or CogSci departments or Informatics departments, which typically comprise AI, CogSci and Computer Science. In many universities, you can study these subjects individually, combined with each other, as part of a different degree (e.g., taking a few AI courses in a Computer Science degree) or as a joint degree with many other unrelated subjects. The approach to these subjects and the possible combinations with other subjects may differ greatly between universities and you are recommended to look into what is on offer carefully before applying. See our courses page for help finding an appropriate undergraduate or postgraduate course. Once you have found a course and a university you might be interested in, you are recommended to contact the department for more information.

What kind of work is being done in these subjects? There is a huge range of work going on in these fields. The central problems of AI include such traits as reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, communication, perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects. Topics vary from the visually impressive robotics to very technical areas such as mathematical theorem proving, which is used in system verification. Some AI researchers believe in the possibility of strong AI: the belief that we can develop an artificial intelligence that matches or exceeds human intelligence, and which can successfully perform any intellectual task that a human can. This is the view commonly seen in Hollywood films. Other researchers believe in applied AI: that software can be used to perform specific tasks far better than humans, but that this cannot encompass the full range of human cognitive abilities. No one knows for sure which of these will turn out to be correct.

Women in AI Computer related subjects are often thought of as being very male dominated and, for that reason, girls are often put off applying to such courses. However, there are excellent opportunities for women in these subjects and many women have achieved very senior positions and great success in the field. Most courses have a good gender balance and the varied nature of the subjects mean that there is a wide scope for varied interests: these subjects are not dominated by stereotypical male geeks!

Contact Us If you would like to find out more or would like information on open days you can attend, please contact us ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). If there are several people at your school who are interested in the subject, we may be able to come and visit you to talk to you about it and to show you some demos. However, due to the limited resources of the society, this is not always possible.

University Courses in AI and Cognitive Science

Undergraduate Courses

A large proportion of universities in Britain offer some kind of AI or Cog Sci at undergraduate level. Often, this is within other degree courses such as Computer Science or Pyschology. Since there are so many different options, we do not list them all but recommend that you visit UCAS to find out about what is available. Once you have found a course and a university you might be interested in, you are recommended to contact the department for more information.


Masters Courses

There are also a large number of taught masters in AI and Cognitive Science related subjects throughout Britain. For a full list of potential courses, you can visit the Prospects or Hobsons webpage. Here are a selection of courses that may be relevant:

Advanced Robotics - Essex University

Applied Bioinformatics - Cranfield University

Applied Informatics - Napier University, Reading University

Artificial Intelligence - City University, University of Edinburgh

AI for Games - Bradford University

AI for Robotics - Hertfordshire University

Bioinformatics - Brunel University, De Monfort University, Exeter University, Heriot-Watt University, Queen Mary, Manchester University, York University, Leeds University, East Anglia University

Cognition and Computing - Birminghman University

Cognitive Computing - Goldsmiths College

Cognitive Science - Edinburgh University

Cognitive Systems - Leeds University

Computing and Intelligent Systems , University of Ulster

Intelligent Systems (IS) and the MSc Intelligent Systems & Robotics - De Montfort University

Computational Linguistics - Essex University, King's College London

Informatics - Edinburgh University, Kingston University, Northumbria University,

Cybernetics - University of Reading

Knowledge Discovery and Datamining - University of East Anglia