Advanced Computer Science Masters/MSc

Broaden your knowledge of cutting-edge areas in computing. This programme is designed for graduates with a degree in Computer Science or a related discipline, and a solid foundation in programming.

Drawing on the School’s international research reputation, you will have the opportunity to select from a broad range of advanced modules to reflect your own interests. You will also undertake your own software-development or summer project (which may be research-focused) to deepen your knowledge even further. It is essential preparation for a career in academic or industrial research.


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Alexander Darer

Alexander Darer

MSc Advanced Computer Science

“I wanted to explore areas of research I hadn't looked into before and there are so many brilliant people (supervisors and students) at the University of Birmingham who will guide you as you progress. ”

In the first eight months of the course you study your choice of taught modules to a total of 120 credits, which may include a mini-project. In the final four months, you will work on your summer project and dissertation, individually supervised by a member of the research-active staff in the school.

Ruanbang talks about the MSc in Advanced Computer Science


In previous years, students have surprised themselves by their achievement, regularly producing project work at the level expected of a very good first year research student. Your project supervisors are able to draw on their research experience to help you develop your ability to work confidently on difficult tasks.

Why study this course

Birmingham is one of the leading universities in the country for postgraduate study in computer science, and we are proud to deliver outstanding programmes that offer a range of exciting career opportunities for students from around the world.

Why choose Birmingham?

  • State-of-the-art, multi-million-pound facilities include dedicated laboratories for Computer Science students, a teaching laboratory for Robotics, and research laboratories for Security, Medical Imaging and Intelligent Robotics
  • Our Security and Privacy Group is recognised as an EPSRC/GCHQ Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research and we have a strong collaboration with the Centre for Computational Biology (CCB)
  • The University is home to the Centre of Excellence for Research in Computational Intelligence and Applications (CERCIA), The Human-Computer Interaction Centre (HCI), and the Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics (CNCR)
  • Our teaching is consistently ranked highly in all reputable league tables and guides and we have the highest possible rating from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
  • We are ranked 8th in the UK for research, as measured by the combined volume and quality of our research (research intensity)

Award-winning development

At the School of Computer Science we are not just renowned for teaching and research excellence. We also produce novel solutions for real-world applications, including:

  • Working with Jaguar Land Rover to make their vehicles more secure
  • Contributing to the development of the Trusted Platform Module which makes many of our computers capable of secure cryptographic operations
  • Deploying autonomous, intelligent robots in security and health support facilities
  • Developing a revolutionary, award-winning method for diagnosing skin cancer


In the first eight months of the course you study your choice of taught modules to a total of 120 credits, which may include a mini-project. In the final four months, you will work on your summer project and dissertation, individually supervised by a member of the research-active staff in the School.

Compulsory modules

  • 60 credits - Summer Project

Optional modules

120 credits must be chosen, examples of optional modules are listed below:

  • Advanced Aspects of Nature Inspired Search and Optimisation (Extended) - 20 credits 
  • Advanced Human Computer Interaction - 10 credits
  • Advanced Topics in Functional Programming (Extended) - 10 credits
  • Compilers and Languages (Extended) - 10 credits
  • Computer-Aided Verification (Extended) - 10 credits
  • Cryptography - 10 credits
  • Distributed and Parallel Computing (Extended) - 10 credits
  • Evaluation Methods and Statistics - 10 credits
  • Individual Study 2 - 10 credits
  • Intelligent Data Analysis (Extended) - 10 credits
  • Intelligent Robotics (Extended) - 20 credits
  • Introduction to Neural Computation - 10 credits
  • Machine Learning (Extended) - 10 credits
  • Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing (Extended) - 20 credits
  • Nature Inspired Search and Optimisation (Extended) - 10 credits
  • Network Security - 10 credits
  • Networks (Extended) - 20 credits
  • Operating Systems (Extended) - 20 credits
  • Principles of Programming Languages (Extended) - 10 credits
  • Research Skills - 10 credits
  • Security Research Seminar - 10 credits
  • Teaching Computer Science in Schools (Extended) - 10 credits

For further information, including any pre-requisite knowledge, please visit the Computer Science website.

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods.

Fees and funding

Annual Tuition fees for 2018/19 are as follows:

  • UK/EU: £9,000
  • International students: £21,330

Further funding information

Learn more about fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

We offer a range of postgraduate scholarships for taught programmes and research opportunities to ensure the very best talent is nurtured and supported at postgraduate level.

Additional scholarships can be found in the funding database.

Contact the department for further information.

For further information about scholarships for our postgraduate taught programmes visit

Entry requirements

A 2:1 Honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject (eg, Computing or a closely related discipline); plus a solid foundation in programming. Students who have not studied in English must pass a recognised English test. Learn more about entry requirements

International students

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements. Standard English language requirements apply.

How to apply

International students requiring visas

Monday 2 July 2018 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2018 made after this date; a new application should be made for September 2019. Applications will reopen for 2019 entry by 21 September 2018.
We will close applications as soon as the programme is full, so early applications are encouraged

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Each project is assessed by the supervisor and a moderator. Taught modules are assessed in a variety of ways: summer written examination, practical assessment during the semester, or a mixture of both.

In addition to the opportunity to learn from staff who are experts in their fields and working at the cutting-edge of computer science research, we also support you by providing training in transferable skills relevant to your project work
and in your future career.

Our extensive computing facilities are available 24 hours a day (including a wireless network) to allow you to link in to our services from your own machine. We also offer many information resources (specialist library, information retrieval databases, electronic journals, etc) to support your project and course work.

The importance of project work, together with a very wide range of options, makes this MSc unusually suited as a preparation for a research career in computer science.

Students graduating from this programme have usually developed a taste for working on difficult problems and look for a career where they will be able to apply their enhanced analytical and technical skills.

Some students go on to a PhD, either at Birmingham, elsewhere in the UK or abroad. Other graduates move into industry, typically taking technically demanding jobs.

University Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge.

If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.