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Postgraduate study

Student views

Lauren McGinney

MSc Applied Artificial Intelligence

I've discovered many new aspects of AI that I’d love to explore in the future – from media to cybersecurity. Coding and AI are valuable skills for so many jobs.

Lauren McGinney

Why Teesside?

I graduated with a bioscience degree, but I was interested in something completely different for my masters, like artificial intelligence (AI) or data science. Teesside is one of the only universities to offer these conversion courses, so I didn’t need to have a computing background. I was also swayed by the Office for Students scholarship, and the modem campus.

Why artificial intelligence?

I wanted to learn different skills and explore a new field in a cutting-edge area. I learnt about code in my undergraduate degree and read about AI in my spare time, and I was interested in combining this knowledge to work in healthcare-focused AI.

Best thing about the course?

I've discovered many new aspects of AI that I’d love to explore in the future – from media to cybersecurity. Coding and AI are valuable skills for so many jobs.

Favourite module?

I studied three modules in my first term – Artificial Intelligence Foundations, Software for Digital Innovation, and Big Data and Business Intelligence – and I loved all of them. The lecturers were amazing and I liked how each module used a different software – Python, R, or PowerBI. We started at a basic level, and by the end of the module were able to use the software for own projects on data analysis and presentation, and machine learning. I didn't expect to learn so much and be confident in coding and using this software so quickly.

Tell us about the facilities

Teesside has great facilities – a big library, gym, and amazing computing and technology equipment.

The Students’ Union is really popular, especially on the weekly quiz nights. You can get nice food and drinks, and the shop is handy.

Tell us about the support services

The Careers Service has a lot of events, workshops and resources, and they have a jobs board, which will be very useful when I graduate.

The Library has so many books and journals, and most are also available online. There’s also study spaces for individuals and groups, which is good for group projects.

Tell us about the campus

The campus is right in the centre of Middlesbrough, and everyone is so friendly, helpful and interesting. It’s a perfect location too, the accommodation is onsite, and the town centre shops, restaurants, leisure facilities, bus and train stations are all just a two-minute walk.

It’s also really easy to get to nearby towns and cities like York, Newcastle, Durham for great days out – they’re all just an hour away.

What skills have you learnt?

I’ve learnt so many subject-specific skills – coding languages, data analysis, software use, and testing. On one of the modules I used Python to import, analyse and visualise data, then made and tested a program to show the data and charts. We also had to conduct a literature review and write a self-reflective report on our learning.

I've also developed key transferable skills like conducting research, report writing, time management, online learning, note taking, and troubleshooting. All the skills needed were developed during the course.

Plans for the future?

I initially wanted to work in data science or machine learning in healthcare. However, I’m now really excited by AI. Nearly every business is, or will be, using AI and there are lots of start-ups specialising in this area. I'd love to work in several fields over the course of my career.

Would you recommend Teesside University?

Yes, the lecturers and wider University have been amazing. I’ve gained knowledge and skills that I can apply to almost any field and career. The applied AI course is for people who have little experience in programming so it’s perfect for someone wanting to learn something new.

What advice would you give to some considering Teesside?

Definitely apply, the teaching quality is excellent. Look into scholarships and other funding options as you may be eligible for grants are loans that are really helpful.

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