Postgraduate study
Computing & Web

MSc Computing

What is great about this computing master’s course is the flexibility it offers you – the direction you take is entirely up to you. You can design your programme from a huge range of subjects. Choose those that are most relevant to you and build a bespoke course that enhances your career opportunities and progression.

Course information

Full-time

  • within 1 year (September start), 16 months (January start) or 2 years with advanced practice (September or January start)

More full-time details

Part-time

  • 2 years

More part-time details

  • Enrolment date: September and February
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342639

Contact details

Further information

 

This course prepares you for a wide range of careers in the computing industry. Whether you are a graduate looking at the first step on the career ladder or a current employee looking to turn your industry experience into qualifications, this course is flexible enough to meet your needs. It is ideal if you already work in the field of computing and want to develop new skills, and equally relevant if you are a recent graduate wanting to develop the technical knowledge and understanding to progress to your chosen career. You can expand your existing knowledge and develop new skills in areas including:

  • systems hardware
  • hardware
  • networks
  • web
  • programming
  • IT management.

There are three routes you can choose from to gain an MSc Computing:

  • full-time - 2 years with advanced practice (September start)
  • full-time - 1 year (September start) or 16 months (January start)
  • part-time - 2 years.

This course both develops your knowledge to the forefront of computing and your intellectual ability for abstract analysis and synthesis at the level for postgraduate research. It produces graduates who can make reasoned, critical decisions for selecting or implementing appropriate computer-based solutions. It also produces graduates with sufficient technical and inter-personal skills to make an immediate contribution to major projects at the leading edge of computer applications. We encourage enterprise and progression towards further research including MPhil and/or PhD. You acquire a range of practical, professional and transferable skills.

Course structure

Core module

Master’s Project: Computing

You undertake a major, in-depth, individual study in an aspect of your course. Normally computing master’s projects are drawn from commercial, industrial or research-based problem areas. The project involves you in researching and investigating aspects of your area of study and then producing a major deliverable, for example software package or tool, design, web-site and research findings. You also critically evaluate your major deliverable, including obtaining third party evaluation where appropriate.

The major deliverable(s) are presented via a poster display, and also via a product demonstration or a conference-type presentation of the research and findings. The research, project process and evaluation is reported via a paper in the style of a specified academic conference or journal paper. The written report, the major deliverable and your presentation of the product are assessed.

The project management process affords supported opportunities for goal setting, reflection and critical evaluation of achievement.

Research Methods for Computing

You gain the knowledge and skills to understand the research process in computing and digital media, and the necessary skills to undertake your masters project. You learn how to use and critically evaluate previous academic research, and to generate good evidence material to justify their professional practice. This involves you learning about different research strategies and data generation methods and how they fit into the development lifecycle and the evaluation of the user experience, the use of the academic research literature, and research ethics.

Assessment involves you preparing a research proposal which can form the basis of their masters project.

 

and five optional modules

Accrediting Prior and Workbased Studies

Agile Project Management

You work on a project that adopts the agile project management approach. You develop your knowledge and understanding of a range of project management tools, techniques and standards.

You learn agile principles and apply these in a live project simulation. The module helps you to prepare for contemporary practice in industry, developing both knowledge and skills in the application of agile principles.

Assessment: you undertake a team based project that includes managing its development and delivery using a recognised agile methodology. In addition, you document the process and deliver this as part of the in-course assessment.

Computer and Network Security

This module prepares you to be able to face the day-to-day problems occurring with networked PC computers. You look at how organisations can help prevent most problems through effective policies, good daily practice and professional preventative measures.

We also examine the legal framework as a context to place such policies, practice and measures.

Teaching and assessment feature the use of real and realistic case studies so that you can test your knowledge and techniques in as authentic a way as possible.

You produce immediate solutions to problems and review the incidents in order to prevent further occurrences and develop new policies.

e-Commerce Management

New technology typically brings both opportunities and risks: with the emergence of the internet, the opportunities and risks are enormous for entrepreneurs and business managers.

Capitalising on this commercial growth to build and manage an effective commercial web presence requires a sound combination of commercial acumen, technical understanding and effective operations management.

In this module you develop an e-commerce proposition by performing the appropriate commercial analysis, building the e-commerce application and managing the relevant business processes.

Assessment
You research and develop a business case, and produce and manage an appropriate-commerce solution to a case study scenario.

Inclusive Design

You develop expertise in the design and development of inclusive and user centred digital environments. Through immersion in current research and industry techniques, you explore design and development methods for the creation of adaptable environments for the web, software applications and games.

Assessment: a single individual in course assessment. Through negotiation with the tutors, you first select an application area and create an appropriate accessible and adaptable prototype solution or complete design specification. You then consider approaches relevant to website accessibility evaluation and audit.

Information Systems Management

Digital technologies are essential to the operation of modern enterprise but it is effective management of such resources that is vital to delivering bottom-line, business results.

This module equips you with the managerial standards, insights and techniques necessary to support the effective appraisal, deployment and operation of computer-based technologies and applications.

You learn how to address the challenges of information systems management, developing the knowledge and abilities vital for a successful career in IT management or business systems consultancy.

Assessment
You are required to undertake a management in-tray exercise to demonstrate your knowledge of IT management and your ability to employ relevant techniques to address and resolve associated managerial problems and concerns.

Managing Projects with PRINCE2®

This module allows you to work on a real/simulated project in an industry like context. You synthesize your previous knowledge and apply it to real life problems for typical client(s). The module emphasises key areas such as project management, client consultancy and teamwork.

The project management side focuses on the structure, processes and terminology of the PRINCE2® methodology allow you to apply and tailor PRINCE2® to address the needs and problems of the client(s).

You are assessed by two equally weighted components requiring working both individually and in groups.

Mobile App Programming

You explore the development tools and technologies used to design and build mobile applications (apps) for the Android platform. Your object oriented programming skills are taken further as you research and use the state-of-the-art skills and knowledge for mobile app development. Topics include:
• Platform SDK, tools and middleware for Android
• Mobile device technologies (e.g. touch, GPS, accelerometer)
• Mobile device restrictions (location uncertainty, network signal loss)
• App deployment (via Google Play) and marketability

You are assessed using an individual in-course assessment. You produce and deploy an Android application in accordance with a requirements specification document. The type of application to be developed is negotiated with the tutor.

Mobile Apps Development

Your main focus is developing mobile apps using web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, Javascript within a number of open source frameworks. These include jQuery Mobile and PhoneGap that enable the production of hybrid native mobile applications. Eclipse is adopted as the rapid application development tool and therefore initial development is for the Android OS.

Assessment: the design, development and deployment of a mobile app for an identified platform, underpinned by a requirements specification document that incorporates non-functional UX design requirements. The type of application to be development is negotiated with your tutor and is either focused on the design or development aspects.

Mobile Systems and Communications

You study the concepts and technologies used in modern mobile devices such as phones, tablets and laptops, and how these devices communicate with each other and the wider world. You find out about a variety of topics including:
• Low power, lightweight displays
• Power sources for mobile devices.
• Connection technologies and protocols for mobile devices
• Satellite Networks
• Personal Area Networks (PANs) including Bluetooth.
• Security issues in mobile and wireless systems including encryption technologies.
• Strategies for maximising bandwidth efficiency including data compression techniques for mobile devices.
Assessment is an in course assessment that tests both practical development and research skills.

Mobile Web Services

You learn to design and develop local and cloud-based services to support your mobile applications. A service oriented architecture approach is adopted that enables you to design a mobile application that is loosely coupled to a set of web services. You enhance your object oriented programming skills by integrating appropriate mobile technologies with C#.Net and utilising code-generation to develop scalable mobile applications. Topics covered include:
• creating and consuming Web Services
• service paradigm (service oriented architectures, messages, dynamic discovery)
• secure communications (authentication, authorization, user accounts, directory services)
• using web services in mobile applications including services in the cloud.

You are assessed by individual course work consisting of two parts (weighted 80:20): develop a medium size application, and produce a short report on the use and development of web services.

Network Service Management

This module introduces the concepts of network management. Ranging from designing a network with business continuity in mind to the operations of running a network efficiently and effectively, we provide you with an understanding of network management and its role within a business environment.

Network management establishes the link between a network infrastructure and business. We examine the best practice within the industry for service level delivery.

We also address the key functions of a service level management approach to networking.

Pattern-driven Development

You undertake a practical investigation into advanced approaches used to build larger scale software applications. Your object oriented programming skills are taken further via design patterns (language independent, reusable templates) and concurrency methods. Topics covered include:
• Structural patterns (e.g. adapter, bridge), creational patterns (e.g. factory method, singleton) and behavioural patterns (e.g. chain or responsibility, iterator).
• Implementing selected design patterns using Java.
• Threads, synchronisation, thread pools, and support for threads in Java.
• Middleware architectures and communication.
• Building middleware in Java.

You are assessed by individual course work that requires you to produce a portfolio of practical and reflective work.

Rapid Application Development

You learn about Rapid Development Tools (RAD) through the process of analysis, design and implementation of a web or mobile app. A range of RAD tools are studied, such as Mendix, MS LightSwitch and WaveMaker. You learn one of these tools in depth in order to explore more fully the capabilities of the tool.

Assessment: two in-course assessments. For the first assessment you design a RAD system. The second involves the implementation in your chosen tool. Short reflective essays and an advanced research topic also form part of the assessed work in both components.

Software Engineering Processes

We give you a broad overview of the software engineering process, with a particular focus on requirements specification and software testing. This is a very practical module. You obtain experience with industry-standard software engineering tools using code examples written in the Java programming language. You gain a better understanding of real world software development.
Assessment for this module is in two parts: -
• A test which is sat part way through the module
• An in-course assessment which takes the form of a portfolio of weekly exercises demonstrating the student’s understanding of the practical aspects of the module.

Systems Administration and Security

You are introduced to the fundamentals of modern networking and examine network protocols and hardware so that you can face the day-to-day problems occurring with networked PC computers. You also look at how organisations can help prevent most problems through effective policies, good daily practice and professional preventative measures. You also explore systems administration including account and data management, hardware management, application and operating system support. The UK legal framework will be examiner as a context to place such policies, practice and measures.

Teaching and assessment features the use of real and realistic case studies so that you can test your knowledge and techniques in as authentic a way as possible. You produce immediate solutions to problems and review the incidents in order to prevent further occurrences and develop new policies.

Systems Analysis and Design

We introduce you to the concepts of systems analysis and design using industry standard techniques, such as unified modelling language (UML) and computer aided software engineering (CASE) tools. Major themes are Object-Orientation and patterns. Particular techniques studied include:
• Class Diagrams
• Use Case Diagrams
• Sequence Diagrams

Also introduced are industry standard databases such as SQL Server. Major themes include:
• Database Design.
• Database Implementation.
• Data Definition language.
• Data Manipulation Language.

You are assessed via a portfolio of work built up from tasks undertaken during the module.


UX Modelling

You gain theoretical and practical underpinning needed for user experience modelling and design. You cover areas such as the theoretical foundations of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), interaction design, graphic design, product design and participatory design and development.

Assessment: you work as a group and individually on a project throughout the duration of the module. You present your proposals and also submit a case study portfolio and report. This entails the modelling, design and evaluation of a multimedia product or service such as the dashboard for an information kiosk or a mobile phone application such as a museum guide.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

Lectures are used to introduce and develop material, with research issues and recent developments included as appropriate. Subjects are explored in depth via tutor-led seminars, practical workshops, individual or group research and contribution to discussion forums.

Lectures, discussion seminars and online discussions are used to develop intellectual skills. Directed self study and research are used in many modules to develop your critical evaluation skills.

Lectures, including presentations from guest external practitioners, are used to deliver relevant subject-specific content. Practical work includes case studies from real scenarios and the development of significant computer applications.

Development of transferable skills, self-managed learning and professional development are core themes throughout the programme. Methods include group-based activities and discussions, self-directed learning and research, and tutor-led workshops.

How you are assessed

Most learning outcomes are assessed by individual coursework, including case studies, essays and the development of computer applications, with critical evaluation of processes or products, and evidence of research into a specified area. Some learning outcomes are assessed by group work. The School of Computing is very experienced in assessing group work with a research profile in that area. The assessment starts with a group, with a clear emphasis on process as well as product, but proceeds to individual assessment of each student by a variety of means.

Other assessments include individual portfolios of technical work and presentations to tutors of research findings. Assessment of a significant computer application, plus group work, is used as the vehicle for assessing planning and self-management. Other assessments of transferable skills include oral presentations and the development of portfolios of work to a professional standard.

Career opportunities

From the beginning of your programme, we prepare you for a career in industry. In addition to your taught classes, we create opportunities for you to meet and network with our industry partners through events such as our ExpoSeries, which showcases student work to industry. ExpoTees is the pinnacle of the ExpoSeries with over 100 businesses from across the UK coming to the campus to meet our exceptional students, with a view to recruitment.

Advanced practice

There are a number of internship options, including:

1. Vocational internship – spend one semester working full-time in industry or on placement in the University. We have close links with a range of national and international companies who will offer you the chance to develop your knowledge and professional skills in the workplace through an internship. Although we cannot guarantee internships, we will provide you with practical support and advice on how to find and secure your own internship position. A vocational internship is a great way to gain work experience and give your CV a competitive edge.

2. Research internship – develop your research and academic skills by undertaking a research internship within the University. Experience working as part of a research team in an academic setting. Ideal for those who are interested in a career in research or academia.


Entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to have one of the following:

  • BSc (Hons) degree, first or second class, in a computing subject with good programming and software design skills; or
  • equivalent qualifications, for example applicants with appropriate professional experience.

In addition, international students will require IELTS 6.0 or equivalent.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

Course information

Full-time

  • within 1 year (September start), 16 months (January start) or 2 years with advanced practice (September or January start)

More full-time details

Part-time

  • 2 years

More part-time details

  • Enrolment date: September and February
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342639

Contact details

Further information