Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the MSt in Ethics and Society and the MPhil in Ethics of AI, Data and Algorithms?

The key difference between the courses is that the MSt is targeted at professionals who are looking to develop their understanding of AI ethics, part-time whilst working, whereas MPhil is a full-time course for 1 year which aims more at individuals who are interested in completing a PhD and/or pursuing a career in research or teaching AI ethics.  The structure of the two courses also differs somewhat: whilst MSt students all do the same coursework (before the dissertation), MPhil students will have a choice over which seminars to take and therefore which topics to focus on.

What is the ‘Statement of Purpose’?

The statement of purpose helps us to understand what is motivating the prospective students to apply, what it is about the course that interests them and what they hope to get out of it.

What is considered a suitable writing sample?

Writing samples do not have to be written for university. However, they should be written in an academic style and with appropriate referencing, as they will be used to assess aptitude for written academic work.

What should I include in my Research Proposal?

The research proposal should give a sense of a topic you might research in the MPhil dissertation, and how you would approach it.  It does not have to be detailed and it can of course be changed as each student’s ideas develop throughout the course.

Is it advisable to rely on the goals of ongoing projects listed on the LCFI website as guidance for the direction of the research proposal?

The projects on the LCFI website and staff profiles will be a good guide to the main areas of expertise within the centre. Basing the research proposal on this would make sense. Bear in mind that the research proposal is in no way binding once you start the course. The main purpose of the research proposal is to give us a sense of how you would approach postgraduate-level research.

Will all of the MPhil supervisors be from LCFI?

The majority of supervisors are expected to be from LCFI, though it may be possible to arrange supervisors from elsewhere in the University.

Would anyone from other faculties be directly involved with teaching and supervision?

The course will mainly be taught by LCFI staff. Staff from elsewhere may be approached for supervisions and may teach some of the elective components, but those details are to be determined.

Do I need to have a technical background/knowledge?

The course will not presuppose any particular technical background or knowledge at the outset, and it will be possible to thrive in the course without them. It will, for obvious reasons, be one useful type of skills, but so will prior knowledge of (for example) philosophy and sociology.

What is the ideal student?

The ideal student is someone with a clear interest and motivation for studying interdisciplinary ethics of AI, data and algorithms, and with the academic skillset to thrive in an intensive, research-oriented degree programme.

What makes this course unique?

What makes this course unique is its emphasis on an interdisciplinary approach to the ethics of AI, data and algorithms, reflecting the research ethos of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence. We admit students and offer teaching from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives, including philosophy, history, literature, communication and media, gender studies, policy and governance, computer science and engineering. While students will be able to specialise and pursue research within their own chosen discipline(s), the course is also structured to train students to discuss results from their research across all of these disciplines.