Computer Science Masters/MSc

Start date
September/October
Duration
1 year full-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21:
£9,900 (UK/EU students)
£24,120 (International students)
Further fee information is available.

The Computer Science Masters/MSc degree course is for students who have a first degree in a subject other than computing. Established in 1969, it is now the longest-running conversion programme to computing in the UK.

Please note that applications to this programme from mainland China are now suspended, due to high volumes of applications to date. Please check back on this website for further information.  All applications that have already been submitted for this course, prior to Saturday 16 November 2019 (0.01am GMT), will continue to be considered as normal.

We are accepting applications for MSc Computer Science on our Dubai campus.

Our Computer Science Masters/MSc programme is different to IT programmes, in that it is a technical degree with a significant programming component. It is designed to give you a grounding in both the fundamentals of computer science and practical software development skills with a choice of in-depth optional modules. Students from all backgrounds are welcome to apply. Competency should be demonstrated in mathematics and scientific subjects, for example at 'advanced' high school level, which should allow understanding of the new Computer Science subjects.

The core components of this degree course are a software workshop, taught modules and a summer project. The software workshop involves two terms of intensive training in Java programming, including lectures, supervised laboratory work and small-group tutorials. 

The four summer months are spent working on your project. Projects vary from applied software engineering through to work that is linked to our research groups. The common factor is that almost all projects involve the development of a large software system. Usually, projects are selected from a list of topics proposed by the teaching staff (possibly on behalf of an external customer) or you can suggest your own project, providing it is appropriate.

Students join this programme from a wide range of first degrees, from the technical and scientific to the social sciences and humanities. Graduates of this degree are highly sought after by employers due to the special knowledge, expertise and skills acquired.

Students with a computing degree cannot be considered for this course and should apply instead for the MSc Advanced Computer Science programme.

Why study Computer Science Masters/MSc at Birmingham?

  • 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.
  • 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 Intelligent Robotics and Computer Vision
  • We are a partner in The Alan Turing Institute, the UK's national institute for data science and artificial intelligence
  • 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)

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

The MSc was an excellent blend of practical programming skills with theoretical background. The best thing about my current job is the problem solving aspect of programming, the excitement of figuring out the answer to the problem you've been banging your head against.

Owen Davies, MSc Computer Science

Interested in this course?

There is a comparable Computer Science Masters programme available at our Dubai campus. Follow the link below to discover more about the programme, scholarships and opportunities in Dubai.

Further information on the Dubai Computer Science Masters programme    

Modules

The course consists of 180 credits.

Core modules

  • Data Structures, Algorithms, and Databases - 20 credits
  • Software Workshop 1 - 20 credits
  • Software Workshop 2 - 20 credits
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning - 20 credits
  • Building Useable Software - 20 credits
  • Computer Science - 20 credits
  • Research Project - 60 credits

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

Annual tuition fees for 2020/21

  • UK/EU students: £9,900
  • International students: £24,120

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 www.cs.bham.ac.uk/admissions/postgraduate-taught/scholarships/


For students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

How To Apply

Students with a computing degree cannot be considered for this course and should apply instead for the MSc Advanced Computer Science programme

Please note that applications to this programme from mainland China are now suspended, due to high volumes of applications to date. Please check back on this website for further information.  All applications that have already been submitted for this course, prior to Saturday 16 November 2019 (0.01am GMT), will continue to be considered as normal.

We are accepting applications for MSc Computer Science on our Dubai campus.

International applicants requiring visas

Please note that applications to this programme from students who are international for fees will close on 1 July 2020. We will close applications as soon as the programme is full, early applications are encouraged.

UK/EU and non-Tier 4 applicants

Applications will close on 10 September 2020. We will close applications as soon as the programme is full, early applications are encouraged.

Before you make your application

You will need to provide a transcript of your studies to date. This should include details of modules and subjects studied, and grades already obtained. We are unable to proceed with your application without this information, and if it is not provided, your application could be made unsuccessful.

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.

If you are made an offer

If you are made an offer, you will have 28 days to accept the offer via the online portal, or it will automatically be declined by default.

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

Our Standard Requirements

2:1 Honours degree in any subject other than computing. Students who have not studied in English must pass a recognised English test. Learn more about entry requirements

International Requirements



International Students

English language

For students whose first language is not English, one of the following English language qualifications are required:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with 5.5 minimum band score
  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 19 in Reading, 19 in Listening, 21 in Speaking and 19 in Writing
  • PTE Academic: 51 in all four skills

Further information about postgraduate English language requirements, including alternative qualifications considered and Pre-Sessional English.

The core components of this degree course are a software workshop, taught modules and a summer project. The software workshop involves two terms of intensive training in Java programming, including lectures, supervised laboratory work and small-group tutorials. 

  • The Software Workshop module is currently assessed by assignments in the practical sessions, team project and a final examination.
  • Taught modules are assessed in a variety of ways: summer written examination, practical assessment or a mixture of both.
  • The project is assessed by a report, supported by a practical demonstration.

A dynamic, fast-moving sector that offers exciting careers and excellent rewards.

The term computing covers every kind of digital technology that we use to create, store, communicate, exchange and use information. This makes it the foundation for small and large businesses to build their strategies and grow. It is also the key to making our personal lives easier and more fun: mobile phones, online shopping, social media – we owe them all and a lot more to computer science.

What can I do with a postgraduate degree in Computer Science?

Our graduates find themselves in a variety of environments within academia, research, industry, government and private organisations. The following is a short list of research and vocational areas:

  • Software Engineering: developing methods for producing software systems on time, within budget and with few or no defects
  • Software Applications: applying computing and technology to solving problems outside the computer field, eg, in education or medicine
  • Computer/Cyber Security: covers all the processes and mechanisms by which computer-based equipment, information and services are protected from unintended and unauthorised access, change or destruction
  • Artificial Intelligence: developing computers that simulate human learning and reasoning ability
  • Information Technology: developing and managing information systems that support a business or organisation
  • Theoretical Computer Science: investigating the fundamental theories of how computers solve problems and applying the results to other areas of computer science
  • Operating Systems and Networks: developing the basic software computers use to organise themselves or to communicate with other computers

Where can I work?

You could join a technology consultancy firm like Accenture, PwC, CHP Consulting, LogicaCMG, BAE Systems, PA Consulting or Capgemini, or one of the global IT giants, such as Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Cisco Systems and Apple, amongst many others.

There are a huge number of IT-focused UK companies, not to mention opportunities in investment, retail banking and financial computing and analytics (such as Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of England, Bank of America, HSBC, Barclays, RBS); telecommunications companies (such as BT, Vodafone, Orange, AT&T); IT for retail businesses (such as eBay, Amazon, Tesco, Argos, Expedia) and public sector organisations (such as NHS, GCHQ, Home Office).

Some students choose careers in teaching, research or technology development at universities both in the UK and overseas. There is a great deal of potential for postgraduates looking to put their computing skills to good use.

What does the future hold?

Your career prospects are great and computing graduates with a good degree are in demand. Plus, with the number of computer science graduates from the UK diminishing at the same time as jobs are increasing, students with a postgraduate degree have an excellent chance of securing employment. 

 

Alumnus Brian talks about the MSc Computer Science

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.