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MSc Computer Science

Course overview

Start date

September 2021

Subject area






On campus, dual delivery

Course summary

Do you want to be at the forefront of solving tomorrow’s real-world technology problems and aiding the need for better products and solutions? An MSc in Computer Science will equip you with the key skills and knowledge in order for you to impact the future of technological advances in computer-based systems.

This course helps you to further develop your knowledge and skills within the cutting-edge areas of Computer Science. The course has been designed to provide you with a blend of advanced theoretical knowledge and practical skills related to emerging technologies deployed in industry and research.

The course is taught and delivered by leading researchers who are actively engaged in this rapidly changing field to ensure that you’re up to date with the latest developments.

The flexible nature of the course will enable you to choose from a range of advanced modules that match your career ambitions. These include emerging areas such as Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Vision, Computer Security and Cloud Computing.

This course is also available as a two year masters with an industrial placement year. The embedded industrial placement offers a unique opportunity to apply the skills learnt on real-life projects.

Return to campus: dual delivery

In a Covid-secure environment, enjoy learning on our state-of-the-art campuses and flex between online delivery

Find out more


Our flexible course offers a unique selection of modules in cutting-edge and emerging areas, allowing you to specialise in area of your choice. 

Industry recognised

Many of the advanced modules incorporated within the programme are offered as stand-alone professional development short courses, giving industrial repute to these modules and programme as a whole.

Industry experience

Practical work, projects and dissertation will be based on real-world industrial applications and current research supervised by subject experts at the forefront of emerging and established areas of the field.


What we're researching

We have three research groups, which are closely aligned to the modules that are delivered for this course. These research groups are: Intelligent Systems, Software Systems Engineering and Enterprise Computing.

In Software Systems Engineering, we’re part of the European Union’s anti-piracy ASPIRE Project (Dr Paolo Falcarin). We’re also researching: security requirements and risk management (Dr Shareeful Islam), search-based software engineering and program analysis (Dr Syed Islam); and software product lines (Dr Rabih Bashroush), while digital forensics studies are led by Dr Ameer Al-Nemrat.

In Enterprise Computing, we are currently conducting cloud computing energy efficiency research, which comes under the EUREKA project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, under Dr Rabih Bashroush.

In Intelligent Systems, we specialise in a wide range of artificial intelligence based research such as machine vision (Dr Shafiq ur Rehman, Dr Saeed Sharif), machine lip reading (Dr Helen Bear), virtual reality (Julie Wall), neural networks (Dr Sin Wee Lee), activity recognition and machine learning (Dr Shafiq ur Rehman, Dr Usman Naeem, Dr Amin Karami). This group also conducts research on Big data (Dr Amin Karami), Internet of Things (Dr Syed Islam) Mobile Sensing and ambient assisted living (Dr Usman Naeem, Dr Saeed Sharif, Dr Shafiq ur Rehman).

How you'll learn

Our specialist laboratories have everything you will need to develop a thorough, critical understanding and gain hands-on experience in a wide range of emerging technologies. These range from cyber forensic lab, our OpenStack cloud platform to virtual reality and robotics lab.

Our dedicated and specialist staff will be around to support you, and you will have a personal tutor, a course tutor and module tutors to oversee your progress.

There are formal lectures, tutorials, workshops, practical classes and lab sessions as you develop your knowledge. Leading industry experts often present guest lectures and there is a virtual learning environment to enhance connections between teacher and student.

As a key element of this course, you will be asked to complete a dissertation on an aspect of one of the cutting-edge computer science areas of your choice. Whatever topic you choose, your dissertation needs to make a contribution to the field, and you will be supervised by a leading academic spearheading research in that particular domain. Throughout, you will be encouraged to focus on the real practical needs of the industry and forming solutions around those.


About the industrial placement year

This course is also available as a two year master's with an industrial placement year. The industrial placement is designed to address the demands of the profession and give students a competitive edge when it comes to their career. The industrial placement component is for a duration of an academic year, i.e., normally 30 weeks including minimum 24 weeks of delivery time. It starts after students have successfully completed the 1st year of study, i.e., all the taught modules and the dissertation component of the MSc course which together form 180 credits. Please refer to the course specification for the summary of the course structure and further information.

Students on the MSc with Placement courses must pass all taught modules of their respective course plus dissertation to gain 180 credits, before they become eligible to progress to the next stage and undertake industrial placement. Students on the MSc course with placement will also normally be required to fulfil the 80% attendance requirement (on all modules) to be eligible to progress to the industrial placement. Students unable to meet the above requirements to progress successfully will normally be moved to the one-year full-time version of the course and their student visa, if any, will be curtailed accordingly.

It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to secure their placement and the university cannot guarantee placements. The University will offer guidance and support and recommend students to many of our industrial partners that have expressed strong support and interest in the programme. 

During the industrial placement period, you will undertake an internship within a partner organisation  (or by means of alternative arrangements such as projects led by industry and carried out on campus) and complete a zero-credit Industrial Placement Module. 

There are additional fees for the placement module (in the second year of the course), in addition to the fees for the taught modules and dissertation paid in the first year. 

Entry requirements

Minimum 2.2 Honours in Physical Science, Electrical/Electronic/Communication Engineering or Humanities and Social Science related subject. 
We would normally expect you to have Grade 4/C in GCSE English and Maths.


(Including European Union)

Overall IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).

If you do not meet the academic English language requirements for your course, you may be eligible to enrol onto a pre-sessional English programme. The length of the course will depend on your current level of English and the requirements for your degree programme. We offer a 5-week and an 11-week pre-sessional course. Find out more here.

As an inclusive university, we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have the relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application – in particular your personal statement - to help us decide on your eligibility for the course.

Please note that some courses require applicants to meet the entry requirements outlined on the course page. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.

What you'll study and when

We consistently review and develop our courses and modules to ensure they are up-to-date with sector and industry graduate skills demands. Course structure, modules and options are subject to change.

  • Advanced Software Engineering 
  • Big Data Analytics 
  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Vision 
  • Computer Security
  • Cloud Computing
  • Mental Wealth; Professional Life (Dissertation)
  • Industrial Placement

How you'll be assessed

You will be assessed using a mixture of practical coursework and a theory exam. Coursework can take a variety of forms, including laboratory work, data analysis and oral presentations. The Research Dissertation is assessed on a final written report, a poster presentation and a practical component. You will receive detailed feedback on all assessment outlining strengths and areas of improvement.

Course specification

Your future career

Almost all industries and business sectors and being heavily automated and there is a move towards the use of emerging technologies such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Cloud Computing to develop modern products and solutions.  In addition to this, Cyber Security is of major importance to the government and businesses in all sectors.  

There is a shortage of personnel with advanced skills in these emerging and growing fields, and graduates of this programme can progress to work in a multitude of roles and industries. This can be directed technology industry, related banking and financial sector or diverse ones such agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing and automotive. 

As a graduate of this programme, you'll have a solid understanding of the main disciplines that fall under these emerging and current areas. The kind of role you could go into includes

• Big Data Analyst / Business Intelligence / Business Analyst
• Senior Software Architect / System Architect
• IT Project Manager / IT Consultant / IT Programme Manager
• Software Engineering / System Developer
• AI Specialist / Robotics
• IoT Specialist / Smart Device Programmer
• Cyber Security Specialist / IT Security Consultant
• IT Infrastructure Manager
• Cloud Architect

This qualification is also heavily influenced by current research and developments that are at the forefront of the respective fields. It lends itself to a career in research and academia. Many of our graduates are expected to progress on to a MPhil/PhD and take on career in research and academia. 

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.

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