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University of Birmingham and IIT Madras open applications for ‘landmark’ Joint Masters programmes


The University of Birmingham and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) have opened applications for their new Joint Masters programmes in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence – the first such education partnership between any IIT and a UK Russell Group university.

Successful applicants will study in Birmingham and Chennai before receiving a single degree awarded by both universities. They will also carry out a substantial research project, giving them an opportunity to apply their knowledge to real world challenges.

The joint programmes will be delivered at the campuses of both institutions and mutual recognition of academic credits issued by each university will lead to the award of a single degree certificate. Students will benefit from academic flexibility to learn and work in current areas that are going to define the future of global engineering and technology.

The programmes offer flexibility to students to spend either five months or twelve months in the UK, concluding the programme in Birmingham or Chennai.

The programmes will begin in July when students start their studies at IIT Madras and complete several modules before beginning a short industrial placement. Students have the option of two different programmes of study:

  • Study in the UK for 12 months concluding with a research project in Birmingham
  • Study in the UK for five months, then return to IIT Madras to complete the programme and carry out a research project at IIT Madras.

This partnership offers a competitive overall fee for students with the UK study element charged at domestic fee levels rather than the usual international level. More details and information on how to apply can be found at

Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor & Principal of the University of Birmingham, commented:

“Our landmark new Joint Masters programmes open new and exciting opportunities to study in two countries, benefitting from the expertise and industry links of both IIT Madras and the University of Birmingham.

“Successful applicants will experience a global perspective as they learn the fundamental principles of data science and explore the world of AI. Our research-informed teaching will put students at the forefront of these rapidly evolving fields.”

As well as studying in India and Birmingham at two leading institutions, successful applicants will gain a global perspective on data science and AI, as well as experiencing hands-on industrial training.

They will study at the University of Birmingham’s School of Computer Science – world-renowned for its education and research, as well as enjoying the use of state-of-the-art, facilities including dedicated Computer Science laboratories, a teaching laboratory for Robotics, and research laboratories for Security, Medical Imaging, Intelligent Robotics and Computer Vision. The University of Birmingham is a partner in the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.

Students will also benefit from innovative curricula with IIT Madras’ award-winning pedagogy and research methodology, awarded the title of Institute of Eminence, as well as IIT Madras excellence in technical education, basic and applied research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and industrial consultancy. IIT Madras has been ranked the number one Engineering University in India by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).

Professor Preeti Aghalayam, Advisor, Global Academic Programs, IIT Madras, said:

“The University of Birmingham is an exciting partner for us, and we look forward to these joint programmes. The students, spending time at both our campuses, are going to have a fantastic time indeed!”

Professor Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Dean (Global Engagement), IIT Madras, commented:

“This is a great opportunity to study a diverse range of topics, learning how to make sense of the vast amounts of data that organisations now gather. Students going through the program will learn about recent advances in artificial intelligence and what the current generation of AI tools can and cannot do, as well as applying their knowledge to real world challenges.”

Professor V Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said:

“This is a great beginning for a long and fruitful association with the University of Birmingham. We look forward to several such engagements with the University, in various growth areas of IIT Madras.”

Agreement to set up the Joint Masters’ programmes was reached by Professor Adam Tickell and Professor V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras during a visit to Chennai, in November 2022. They signed a collaborative Statement of Intent to explore a range of study areas including data science, energy systems and biomedical engineering. The agreement built further on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in February 2022 where both institutions declared their intention to further develop their partnership.

Lord Karan Bilimoria, Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, said:

“I am delighted and proud of this ground breaking joint degree between the University of Birmingham, ranked as one of the top 100 Universities in the world, and IIT Madras, ranked number 1 in India.

“The University of Birmingham is a global ‘civic’ university, and we are proud of our enduring bonds with India.This innovative joint postgraduate programme offers students the opportunity to pursue a world-class education at globally leading institutions in two countries, and to have their educational achievements recognised by both.”

The University of Birmingham and IIT Madras aim to explore the creation of further joint study programmes, as well as joint research projects, faculty, and student exchange.

Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Birmingham, commented:

“This innovative partnership illustrates how the relationship between IIT Madras and the University of Birmingham will develop – the first of many fruitful education and research collaborations which will emerge as we work ever closer together.”

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