Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour
"I want to do a part time degree in AI and despite being by UK standards fairly well paid and working in tech as a software engineer - I can't afford to "
Study in Europe then. I'm doing Data Science at Maastricht, and their AI Masters program is very nice. Taught in English, fees are 2k euro a year.
Massive demand for interns from the course (roughly two internships offered per student) and if you've already shown to be able to work at a professional level you;ll get a wide range to pick from.
Get in now, and you can probably finish before the Brexit negotiations finish :)