Postgraduate study
Computing & Web

MSc Computing

The flexibility this course offers means 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

2019 entry

Part-time

  • 2 years

More part-time details

2019 entry

Contact details

Further information

 

You are prepared for a wide range of careers in the computing industry. 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. There are three routes you can choose from to gain an MSc Computing:

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

Advanced practiceThere are a number of internship options, including:Vocational – 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.Research – 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.

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

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 your master's project.

 

and five optional modules

Advanced Data Analytics

This module provides you with the core principles and practical skills to apply state-of-the-art computational methods to perform data analytics. The skills are very important in the new horizon of data analysis where existing massive amount of data contains valuable knowledge, which is critical for prediction and decision-making. Due to its characters (3V: volume, velocity, and variety), computational methods are required to extract such knowledge.

You form a solid foundation of 1) predictive analytics, 2) data-driven decision making which refers to tools and techniques for building statistical or machine learning models to make predictions and decisions based on data. Practical guidance about how to handle unlabelled, noisy, incomplete, large-scale data is discussed and you learn how to select the best technique to handle different type of data in different scenarios.

Android App Development

You develop android apps for smartphone and tablet devices to a professional standard. You explore the industry-standard development processes and tools used to build today’s mobile apps. You are informed by current industry practice, to plan and execute a successful software development project.

Assessment is an in-course assignment. You design, plan and build a mobile app for a smartphone or tablet device using industry approaches. Your artefacts and decisions are assessed by a presentation with supporting materials.

Applied Artificial Intelligence

This module examines modern approaches to building symbolic AI inference mechanisms into software applications, contrasting simple reactive systems with those whose behaviours are plan-based and cognitive. It has a strong practical underpinning investigating the semantics of Clojure: a modern functional and symbolic programming language for the JVM. The module builds on earlier studies of programming and algorithms to bridge the gap between theoretical understanding and implementation developing those advanced programming skills necessary to construct and evaluate knowledge-based AI software.

Collaborative Working †

Contemporary project management requires both the integration and orchestration of a diverse range of human resources and talent - the project team - and the ability for these individuals to operate remotely. You will investigate the nature of modern project teams and how effective working relations can be cultivated amongst such diversely talented experts. You will also explore the communication tools and collaborative working techniques available to managers and project teams to facilitate effective coordination and project delivery from a human resources perspective.This module will be closely linked to the Project Cybernetics module.

Data Mining

Data mining is the process of automatically extracting novel information from data sets. These data sets are typically of a scale that precludes any attempt at manual analysis. Key tasks in data mining include: categorising phenomena; finding similarities in subgroups; detecting unusual phenomena; and determining dependencies between phenomena.

Data mining develops techniques predominantly on the basis of statistics and probability theory, but also draws heavily on other areas of computer science in order to engineer systems that are able to process data on a vast scale. This module provides an in-depth, systematic, and critical understanding of data mining.

Emerging Database Technologies

You develop your ability to design and implement database, big data and analytics applications to meet business needs. A case study is used to follow the system development life cycle. You develop a plausible application from inception to implementation for a real world scenario.

You investigate the issues and technologies associated with implementing and supporting large scale databases and the services that are needed to maintain and access a repository of data. Investigations are undertaken in a number of areas including big data, data warehouses, integrating legacy data, data management and approaches that support the modelling and visualisation of data for a range of use views.

Hacking the Human

You explore what is increasingly recognised as one of the most important areas and greatest threats of cybersecurity - the human being. Criminals are increasingly targeting people as an easy way to access a computer system, this is summed up in a famous quote by a well-known writer on cybersecurity, Bruce Schneier ‘Only amateurs attack machines; professionals target people’.

You explore what these types of cybersecurity threats are and what steps individuals and organisations can take to mitigate against them.

Assessment is a case study, exploring cybersecurity event involving issues of human behaviour. You produce a 4000 - 5000 word report identifying and discussing these issues and proposing some solutions for future prevention.

Information Technology 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 provides you with an opportunity to explore the managerial perspective, and you will be introduced to a suite of relevant tools and techniques to apply in an IT context. You will also cultivate the necessary understanding required to support effective appraisal and management of computing resources in a modern enterprise.

Interactive Graphics

Dynamic, interactive visualisations enable the reader to explore the data for themselves through a variety of perspectives. Static visualisations are excellent for print medium but are restricted to showing a single perspective and do not handle multidimensional datasets well. Using an interactive graphic the reader can zoom in on sections of the data which are of interest, explore more than one dimension at a time, and sort and filter to discover new patterns and themes within the data. Particularly useful is the ability to provide a macro/micro view of the same data, i.e. a big picture view of the full dataset from which the reader can then ‘drill down’ into the lower level detail.

This module uses the javascript library for Data-Driven Documents (D3js) for creating animated, dynamic graphics for the web, and looks at other alternatives available.

IoT Security

There has been a rapid growth within the field of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is applied in environmental monitoring, smart homes, industrial controls and digital cities. IoT incorporates various techniques, including wireless sensor networks, embedded systems, ubiquitous computing, and machine learning that involve unique IoT devices with a distinct set of security risks.

You explore the important concepts in IoT - the use of Internet technologies to access and interact with objects in the physical world. You also develop the capability to understand potential security risks and produce security architecture of IoT systems. This incudes IoT architecture, IoT operating systems and platforms, low power communications, IoT data analysis, IoT security and identity recognition. You also gain experience of practical skills required for the programming of IoT devices.

Assessment is through 100% ICA where you build a project, which addresses challenges in the IoT security area.

IT Ethics and Law

You explore the key legal issues to consider if you are anticipating a career in the IT industry. Key topics include introduction to the English legal system, intellectual property rights, computer crime, computer contracts and liability, privacy and data protection. You apply the legal principles studied to realistic scenarios and case studies from the real-world.

You are assessed through an ICA which explores a current IT or computing issue from a legal and ethical point of view in the form of a mini investigative report.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is a subfield of computer science concerned with computational techniques rather than performing explicit programmed instructions. You build a model from a task based on observations in order to make predictions about unseen data. Such techniques are useful when the desired output is known but an algorithm is unknown, or when a system needs to adapt to unforeseen circumstances.

You explore statistics and probability theory as the fundamental task is to make inferences from data samples. The contribution from other areas of computer science is also essential for efficient task representation, learning algorithms, and inferences procedures. You gain exposure to a breadth of tasks and techniques in machine learning.

Assessment is an in course assessment (100%).

Measurement Driven Project Management

Project management is a strategic competency for many of today’s organizations. It requires companies to embrace a wide variety of project types, which involves using a diverse range of metrics extending beyond the traditional management control models of cost, quality and time.

You explore how metrics can drive modern project management, and the modelling and development of project management dashboards for regulation, control and reporting purposes.

Assessment is 100% individual in course assessment – to design and implement a dashboard solution for a project management metrics requirement.

Mobile Systems and Cybersecurity

You gain a thorough understanding of the concepts and technologies used in modern mobile devices such as phones, PDAs and laptops. You learn about the hardware used by mobile devices and the networking technologies that allow them to communicate with each other and the outside world. You also explore data compression techniques and security. You attend a series of lectures, tutorials and seminars.

You are assessed by a 100% ICA. You work individually researching an agreed topic and produce a research report (4,000 words).

Object Oriented Programming

You are given an intensive introduction to programming assuming little, if any, previous experience. You cover the principles of object oriented programming and event driven GUI (graphical user interfaces) systems using the Java Language. You are introduced to the fundamental skills required for mobile app and pattern driven development. Topics covered include:
• Object oriented concepts: classes, objects, methods, inheritance, polymorphism.
• Event handling and elements of the Swing GUI API.
• Software development using a source code editor and an IDE.
• Software design techniques, problem solving and algorithm development.
• Software documentation.
• Software testing and evaluation techniques.

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

Philosophies, Tools and Technologies

Contemporary project management is an evolving and extensive discipline that has grown substantially to meet the needs of modern project management demands. This module cultivates detailed and critical awareness of this domain and its expanding range of philosophies, tools and frameworks. You will be introduced to the expanding discipline of project management and familiarise yourself with modern and contemporary project management modalities and the importance of effective project management to organisational functioning, enterprise growth and development.

Project Cybernetics †

Cybernetics is a cross-disciplinary approach for exploring regulatory systems - their structures, constraints, and possibilities. You will explore, in detail, established and widely-recognised governance standard methods such as PRINCE2®. You will work on a simulated project brief to build your understanding and critically review a governance methodology. The module will focus on the structure, processes, documentation, terminology but also tailoring of a particular governance method in order to plan for a specific project brief. This module will be closely linked to the Collaborative Working module. Note: PRINCE2® is a registered trade mark of the Cabinet Office.

Quantitative Visualisation

The field of information visualisation has expanded rapidly with many designers generating new forms of charts through which to view quantitative data. This module explores the range of charts available from the traditional such as bar charts and pie charts, to the more novel such as stream graphs, tree maps, sunbursts, and force diagrams, and examines their mathematical properties.
By accurately representing quantitative data using appropriate charts, the intended audience can make their own interpretations of the data and identify emerging patterns and themes that are more readily recognisable in chart form than in the form of raw data.

Statistical Methods

You develop necessary knowledge and practical understanding of the main statistical techniques. You explore quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques, reflecting scientific and social science methods. You focus on correlation testing, regression, data categories, normalization - the tools needed, rather than the philosophical approaches. You understand how to apply valid techniques and interpret the results in preparation for experimental work.

Your assessment is a single ICA based around a number of case studies that require you to identify the correct data analysis and modelling processes.

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.

 

† These two modules must be taken together as they have an integrated assessment

Advanced practice

Internship

The internship options are:

Vocational: 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 could 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.

Research: 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.


 

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

The programme assessment strategy has been designed to assess your subject specific knowledge, cognitive and intellectual skills and transferable skills applicable to the workplace. The strategy ensures that you are provided with formative assessment opportunities throughout the programme which support your summative assessments. The assessments will include assignments, tests, case studies, presentations, research proposal and literature review, and the production of a dissertation. The assessments may include individual or group essays or reports. The assessment criteria, where appropriate, will include assessment of presentation skills and report writing.

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.

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

2019 entry

Part-time

  • 2 years

More part-time details

2019 entry

Contact details

Further information