The path to becoming a Future Functional Specialists in AI

By engaging yourself in this all-round Master’s program that includes not only thorough theoretical learning but also active hands-on group projects, you will become a functional specialist who is capable of analyzing, designing, implementing and managing AI-related assignments in public services.

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Why choose us

Take advantage of the most distinguished Master program in AI for Public Services. A path where you will acquire not only specialized skills but also practical tools and a network of valuable relationships.


This Master will take our students through a great journey to discover strengths and weaknesses of using AI for public services.
Marzia Mortati, Vice-Director Of AI4Gov


the potential of data

Know and understand the potential of data to create public services, and be able to critically assess social and ethical impacts:

  • Understand datasets (quality, appropriateness, value, cost, etc.)
  • Learn how to operate with data and to manipulate data to extract insights for design

what AI can do

Understand what AI can currently do, what the different applicative domains are with a specific focus on governance with AI, and what features it can have:

  • Understand the state-of-the-art of AI and the available market solutions with a level deep enough to commission implementation.

Propose practical AI projects

Analyse, design, plan, implement and evaluate human-centric AI projects for an up-to-date range of public services:

  • Develop strategic management abilities for AI-based projects
  • Learn how to apply a human-centric approach to the design of AI-based services

Be able to commission/buy AI based systems

Be able to commission/buy AI-based systems to companies and experts, and evaluate and analyze their performance and quality:

  • Learn how to manage innovative procurement and public-private partnership in public services design and delivery.
  • Learn how to evaluate the quality of the commissioned implementations.

Make informed judgements on AI

Get the ability to think critically and analyze different use cases for AI delivery through public services in society:

  • Ability to create public value through innovative design and implement AI-based projects

Acquire project group work and communication skills

Understand the potential of acquiring project groupwork and communication skills.

Develop the ability to present and discuss ideas and an attitude to negotiate in teamwork.


Master in Artificial Intelligence for Public Services

  • Title: International Master in AI for public service
  • Level: Master of 1st level
  • Teaching language: English
  • Duration: 12 months – September, June
  • Place of Delivery: mainly online
  • Number of places offered annually for students: 40
    Number of CFU of the Master: 60 (1 ECTS credit is equivalent to 25 hours of student dedication)
  • Website:
  • Universities delivering the Master: Universidad Politecnica di Madrid, Politecnico di Milano

To earn a Master in Artificial Intelligence for Public Services, you must successfully complete 4 courses, 4 project-based group activities and a Master thesis (60 ECTS total), including:

1 core introductory course (3 ECTS total):

AI in Public Administration (2 weeks)

AI in Public Administration (2 weeks). You will learn what AI is and is not, how AI can be applied for the digital transformation of the public sector, and which are the steps that need to be taken for the creation and deployment of AI-based public services. You will see examples of success stories from different types of public administrations and talk to some of those who were responsible for them. And you will get an initial introduction of how you can move from an organization-centric creation of public services to a user-centric one.


3 foundation courses (15 ECTS total):

Basic Concepts and Techniques in AI (7 ECTS, 4 weeks)

Basic Concepts and Techniques in AI (7 ECTS, 4 weeks). You will get a complete overview of the different types of techniques that are being used for the development and deployment of AI-based services (in the public sector and in industry). You will learn to differentiate between different types of knowledge, you will learn the main techniques that are used for knowledge representation, for data mining, for machine learning and for deep learning, and the different groups of tasks that can be solved with all these techniques, and when each of them are applicable. You will also learn how to analyze existing systems and services using AI. During the development of this module there will be a get-together session in Madrid (during October) where you will have the opportunity to meet the other master participants in person as well as attend guest lectures and keynotes from relevant persons involved in the design and delivery of AI and public services, and interact with them.

Service Design for Human-Centric AI (5 ECTS, 4 weeks).

Service Design for Human-Centric AI (5 ECTS, 4 weeks).You will learn what service design is and its relevance in the development of meaningful AI-based public services.

You will become familiar with the design process, from problem setting, idea generation, solution development, prototyping and testing. You will receive foundational knowledge in notions linked to creative problem solving, user experience, service prototyping, and ethical aspects linked to developing AI-systems as socio-technical systems.
You will also approach the notions and techniques linked to user research and co-design to understand when these are relevant for AI adoption, while getting a sense of data visualization techniques for the translation of algorithm-generated outputs into solutions that are meaningful for the final users.

AI and Ethics (3 ECTS, 2 weeks)

AI and Ethics (3 ECTS, 2 weeks). Virtually every AI professional will have to cope with legal and ethical issues during his or her professional career. You will learn how to apply practical and theoretical tools to address these issues. In particular, you will be given some general notions on the legal framework in Europe of AI, necessary to avoid breaching the law and necessary to exercise our rights. Specific focus will be made both on ‘privacy and data protection’, including practical cases around the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and the upcoming Regulation on AI, on intellectual property and copyright regulation, including practical examples on data licenses and open data policies.


4 predefined group-based hands-on projects (from 7 to 12 ECTS each).

Each of these projects will be structured around 4-6 weeks of work, where you will go in depth in understanding the details of some specific AI techniques, while at the same time working in groups every week around a specific problem. Your group will be always accompanied by a set of mentors, who will guide you through the process and who will have specific checkpoints with your group so as to check progress and move forward. More details are explained during classes. The pre-selected projects are:

AI for public procurement (7 ECTS, 3 weeks)

AI for public procurement (7 ECTS, 3 weeks). You will learn about how to apply natural language processing and classification techniques to public procurement data, from Europe and from your own countries, so as to improve the procurement of services or to fight corruption. You will also go deeper into the consequences in terms of the AI regulation and on Open Data requirements.

The second AI4Gov in-person event will presumably take place at the end of this project.

AI-based service design for sustainability (7 ECTS, 4 weeks)

AI-based service design for sustainability (7 ECTS, 4 weeks).You will learn more about user-centered design, eXplainable AI and prediction mechanisms that can be used to make our society (and public services) more sustainable. You will also go in-depth of prototyping techniques for digital platforms and experience ways to account for the point of view of the user. You will practice how to include co-design activities in the tenders associated to the procurement of these types of services.

AI for active listening and citizen participation (12 ECTS, 8 weeks)

AI for active listening and citizen participation (12 ECTS, 8 weeks). You will experience the entire project cycle, combining the design approach explored in Module 3 with the selection/adoption of specific AI techniques seen in Module 2. You will follow the entire process from challenge definition, identification of needs, focus on technological possibilities and solutions, idea elicitation, solution definition.

You will get more in-depth knowledge about natural language processing techniques. Inspired by existing work on public participation and deliberation processes, you will learn more about decision making, predictive methods (forecasting and scenario-based design) and governance. You will also learn how to include clauses in tenders related to the quality of the results obtained and related to anonymization processes. You will go deeper into aspects related to the ethics of interacting with citizens and processing those interactions. And you will learn about how to request and evaluate the quality of the solutions when procuring these types of services.

AI for improved data and knowledge governance (3 weeks)

AI for improved data and knowledge governance (3 weeks).You will learn the techniques that can be used to govern all the public data more efficiently in the context of data spaces, using knowledge graph and data integration technologies. You will also learn about the importance of metadata management, and how to ensure that the results of your procurement processes turn into open data for the benefit of society and further public service development.


1 final individual or group-based hands-on project, which will lead into your Master thesis (9 ECTS, 3.5 weeks)

This last project will allow students to propose and work, individually or in groups, on a use case that they would be interested in, based on their real experiences and needs. The final delivery will be the Master thesis. There will be also a final event where we will hold the graduation ceremony.


Hands-on group-based projects

A large part of the programme is based on the idea of having you as students working in multidisciplinar-multicultural groups towards the design of public services that use different types of AI techniques, as discussed above.

We have selected 4 predefined topics and AI and service-design focus areas for each of them, so that students will get a comprehensive insight of types of problems that can be addressed with AI solutions and types of approaches that may be taken to design services for them.

These group-based projects will be structured around 4-6 weeks of work, where each group will have a mentor assigned, who will drive the group towards the achievement of the solutions, The following work will be done each week, with checkpoints on every common session:

  • Week 1. Setting the objectives, understanding/framing the problem, understanding user/ context /technology (i.e., data available, barriers, limits, feasibility of applying AI, user needs, organisation needs, …)
  • Weeks 2-3. Extract insights from the research, reframe the problem, define design opportunities; go in depth into some of the AI techniques that can be used; idea generation.
  • Weeks 3-4-5. Initial idea iteration/prototyping, basic design of the solution, ethics consideration.
  • Weeks 4-5-6. Refinement, basic implementation, implications in procurement of solutions, final presentations.

The final project will be open so that we can collectively, and for each group, decide on the topic to be addressed, based on existing experiences or current or future needs by the members of the groups, and generate the Master thesis individually or in groups.

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Applications for the Master will follow these steps:

First, you will have to provide via this form some basic information, including:

  • A 1-page document describing your interest in the master.
  • A short CV (maximum 2 pages)

The academic commission of the master will review the applications received in batches letting you know whether your application is accepted, discarded or kept in the reserve list. The first notifications will be expected to be sent out end of May 2023.

If accepted by the academic commission, you will have to register through the official registration system setup by Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, whose link will be provided to you together with the acceptance letter.


What is the expected duration of the course?

The next edition of the Master will run from mid of September 2023 to the end of June 2024. More details can be found in the Apply section.

How many credits (ECTS) does the Master correspond to

The Master corresponds to a total amount of 60 ECTS, distributed across all the courses.

What are the fees for the following courses?

The total tuition fees for the Master in future courses will be approximately 17.000 €. For the 2022-2023 edition, tuition fees have been 4.800 €, given the fact that part of the creation of materials and support for some lecturers are being funded by the CEF-Telecom programme. A small additional charge of less than 200 euros was required for the administrative costs of diploma generation upon completion. For the course 2023-2024, tuition fees will be of 9.600€. We will offer grants to approximately 15 students, with special attention to those working on the public sector, so that part of their tuition fees are covered.

Is there any discount for early-bird registrations?

If you register before our early-bird registration deadline (February 28th, 2023) and you are accepted into the Master by the academic commission, you will be entitled to a 20% discount in the total fee. In order to secure your position, you will be required to provide an advance non-reimbursable payment of a 20% of the total fee (1920 euros) during March 2023

Are there any other costs associated to participating in the course?

We will ask students to participate in three physical events in Europe (including at least one in Madrid and one in Milan), of a weekend each. They will be scheduled at the beginning of the course, half way and at the end. Participants will be expected to pay for your travel costs. Accommodation and food costs will be covered by the master.

Will I get an official title from any of the universities involved in the Master?

Upon the successful completion of all the activities in the Master you will receive a joint certificate from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Politecnico di Milano.

What is exactly the title awarded to who finishes the master?

You will be awarded a joint title from UPM and PoliMi that corresponds to a Master of 60 ECTS. More particularly, in the Spanish system this corresponds to a “Máster (título propio) por la UPM” and in the Italian system it would correspond to a “master di primo livello da PoliMi”.

How many students do you foresee for the next edition of the Master?

Up to 40 students will be selected.

Will there be any exam?

The educational methodology of the Master is centered around project-based learning. Therefore, there will be some tests during the first modules and continuous checkpoints by mentors during the courses, including oral presentations, and especially during the activities associated with the different projects.

Can I participate in the Master part-time?

We assume that most of the students will be working while they take part in the Master, and hence most interactive activities will be done on Tuesday and Friday evenings. That said, we expect students to be able to finish the Master during this academic course, so for this first edition we will only accept those students that are confident in finishing during this academic course. In future editions we may consider part-time options.

When should I register and which documentation will you ask for?

There will be a two-stage application process. Firstly, you need to send us a simple application form (see Apply section) with your CV and a letter describing your interest in the Master’s course by email ( For the registration a Bachelor’s degree on any discipline (not necessarily STEM) is required. The sooner you send it to us, the sooner we will let you know our decision. If you are accepted, you will be redirected to the official UPM registration system, where you will have to fill in your details, you will be asked for proof of your previous qualifications and you will be provided with your payment details.

Program Format

The language used for this Master program will be English, and will be delivered in an online format.In the second edition we will only focus on full-time students that can accomplish the Master during the second edition.


Successful students will get a joint diploma from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Politecnico di Milano.


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