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Data Science Scholarships

Birkbeck is offering scholarships for students on the PG Cert Applied Data Science and MSc Data Science.

In March 2023, the government announced that it would support the development of degree conversion courses in artificial intelligence (AI) and data science technologies to help address the shortage of AI and data specialists in the UK. In response, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) and the Office for Artificial Intelligence (OAI) are providing funding through the Office for Students (OfS) for providers to develop postgraduate conversion courses in these areas.

Value of funding

  • Successful applicants will be provided with a £10,000 scholarship. After deduction of your course fees, any remaining amount will be paid in equal instalments over the period of your full-time or part-time study. 

Start date

  • PG Cert Applied Data Science: October 2024
  • MSc Data Science: October 2024 or January 2025


  • If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, you must:
    • have a current application for the PG Cert in Applied Data Science or MSc Data Science at Birkbeck
    • be self-funding your degree, and not in receipt of any other scholarship or sponsorship
    • apply for the scholarship before the posted deadline, and
    • meet at least one of the eligibility criteria set out in the section below.
  • All applications will be assessed and priority will be given to eligibility criteria a) to c) as stipulated by the OfS.
  • Applicants who do not meet any of the criteria below will not be considered for a scholarship.
  • a) 21, Black or Black British - Caribbean; 22, Black or Black British - African; 29, Other Black background; 41, Mixed - White and Black Caribbean; 42, Mixed - White and Black African. 
  • In line with the HESA student ethnicity codes 2018/19 (HESA student ethnicity codes).
  • b) Female: Applicants who are ‘female or identify as female’ gender. The Office for National Statistics describes female gender as “a social construction relating to behaviours and attributes based on a label of femininity. Gender identity is a personal, internal perception of oneself and so the gender category someone identifies with may not match the sex they were assigned at birth where an individual may see themselves as a woman.”
  • c) Disabled: You are disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities. 
  • ‘Substantial’ is more than minor or trivial, e.g. it takes much longer than it usually would to complete a daily task like getting dressed. 
  • ‘Long-term’ means 12 months or more, e.g. a breathing condition that develops as a result of a lung infection. 
  • There are special rules about recurring or fluctuating conditions, e.g. arthritis.
  • d) From indices of deprivation decile 1 to 4. Check to see if your area is in indices of deprivation decile 1 to 4
  • e) Care experienced. A care experienced person is someone who has spent time in care during their childhood.
  • f) Estranged. An irreconcilably estranged person is someone who has not had any verbal or written contact with their parents for a significant period of time, and this is unlikely to change. This can include your biological or adoptive parents, or your only living parent. A significant period of time is usually considered to be twelve months or longer, but this can also depend on your circumstances.
  • g) Gypsy, Roma, Traveller. The term Gypsy, Roma and Traveller encompasses a wide range of individuals who may be defined in relation to their ethnicity, heritage, way of life and how they self-identify. This may include:
    • English or Welsh Romany Gypsies
    • European Roma
    • Irish Travellers
    • Scottish Gypsy Travellers
    • show people such as people linked with fairground or circus professions
    • people living on barges or other boats
    • people living in settled (bricks and mortar) accommodation
    • New Age Travellers
  • h) Refugee. The definition of a Refugee as defined on the UKCISA website is that you must be ordinarily resident in England on the first day of the first academic year of your course; and you must have been recognised as a refugee by the UK Government and have remained ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands since then; OR be the spouse/ civil partner of such a refugee and have been in that relationship on the date on which he/she made his/her application for asylum; OR be the child of such a refugee, or the child of such a refugee's spouse/civil partner, and be able to show that on the date that refugee made his/her application for asylum, you were under 18 years of age; and the refugee was your parent, or your parent's spouse/civil partner.
  • i) Child from UK military family, veterans or partner of UK military personnel. From a military family, where immediate family member (partner, child, sibling) is or was part of the UK military/ military personnel/a veteran.

Application deadline

  • Monday 19 August 2024.

How to apply

  • Please read the below guidance before applying.
  • Personal details
  • Eligibility criteria 
    • Scholarships are aimed specifically at supporting graduates from underrepresented groups in the Artificial Intelligence and Data Science fields stated by the Office for Students. Hence, the information you provide us with in this section will help us in establishing your eligibility for the scholarship. Please note that this section is an important part of the selection process. 
    • Please be sure to tick the box(es) that best describes your situation and that you can provide the necessary proof if requested. 
  • Course details 
    • Please enter the title of the course you are applying for and the year and month your course starts. 
  • Personal statement 
    • When answering the questions in the personal statement section of the form please consider the following. In making a judgement about your application, the selection panel will base their assessment on: 
      • Your personal and family circumstances and the barriers that you have faced in continuing your education - with particular reference to the underrepresented group(s) you belong to. 
      • Your ambitions for the future, why you have chosen to study this course and how the scholarship will help you to achieve your ambitions. Your application for the scholarship is completely confidential and the selection panel will only be able to take into account information that you provide on your application form. Whilst the selection panel do need some details of personal circumstances, with particular reference to the underrepresented group(s) you belong to, please note that we do not need to know about the circumstances that led to you being included in particular groups if you do not wish to provide this information (although it may help in some circumstances). Please also note that, as the scholarship is funded by the OfS, anonymised data may be supplied to OfS for accountability purposes. 
    • The supporting statement should be no more than 500 words. Please make sure to adhere to this limit. We have also provided some prompts on what to include in the application form.

Application outcome

  • Please note that this is a competitive process and not all applications will be successful. There is no appeals process if you are not successful as the panel’s decision is final; also, please note that we will not be able to offer feedback. All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Wednesday 25 September.
  • You are welcome to reapply in the next intake if you are unsuccessful. If you are successful in being offered a scholarship, you will be notified soon after the assessment, and we may ask for further details including bank account details.