Computer Science with a Year in Industry MSci

Start date
September
Duration
5 years (including a year in industry)
UCAS code
I103
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2019/20 are as follows:
£9,250 (UK/EU)
£21,180 (International)
Further information

Our Computer Science with an Industrial Year MSci degree programme prepares you at every stage for your future career in industry or research. The course enables you to delve into specialist areas of your interest and gain valuable industrial experience to ensure you stand out in future applications.

At the University of Birmingham we recognise that today’s computer scientists are in high demand and have a range of expertise. We also know that at this point in time it is essential that the course you choose meets your future career aspirations. That’s why our Computer Science with an Industrial Year MSci degree offers a balance of general computer science with practical software engineering and the opportunity to tailor your degree to suit your interests so that you leave us prepared for a career in industry or research.

Our Computer Science with an Industrial Year MSci degree programme is structured to provide you with a solid grounding in fundamental computer science to ensure you are equipped to meet the challenges of your individual and group projects – which will help prepare you for a successful career in industry or research.

The transition to University level learning can be difficult which is why in your first year you will study the key components of computer science to ensure you have a solid understanding of the subject.

We are committed to ensuring you develop key skills needed to boost your future prospects. That’s why in your second year you will develop your team work skills by working on a large project to produce software. You will also learn new styles of programming in Java, a language widely used in business and industry, and the C programming language.

Your third year will be spent in industry which will allow you to develop your skills and gain vital experience which will enhance your time with us and maximise your future prospects. You will return to Birmingham for you fourth year where you will be able to choose from a wide range of modules to suit your interests spend a proportion of your time on a project which will allow you to demonstrate your computing skills.

In your fifth year you will be able to choose modules from a range of Masters programmes which allow you to specialise in your chosen area of interest. You will also undertake a much more in-depth project which will develop your ability to work independently on an advanced problem-solving task.

Why study Computer Science with a Year in Industry MSci at Birmingham?

  • State-of-the-art facilities which include: research labs for Medical Imaging, Intelligent Robotics, HCI and security; Computer Science reference library; Robotics teaching labs and exclusive computing labs just computer science students
  • We are a leading centre for Computer Science teaching and research in Europe and we are home to many acclaimed research groups which filter into teaching on the course
  • Your Year Abroad will help you gain skills and experiences which will help to prepare you for a career and life after university
  • Friendly and sociable department, where staff and students harness great relationships
  • Flexible module choices throughout your degree allow you to tailor your education to suit your interests and strengths

Please be reassured that the vote to leave the European Union does not mean there will be any immediate material change to the UK university sector's participation in EU programmes such as Erasmus and study abroad programmes. Visit our EU Referendum information page for more information.

I was interested in computers from a young age, especially gaming and I knew a degree in Computer Science was a no brainer. The School has everything we need; access to mac, linux and window machines with a whole suite of industry standard software packages. There is 24/7 access and a VPN ensures we always have access to the facilities we need. I will be doing my industrial experience year with General Electric and working in the European HQ for Fleet Transport as part of their IT Leadership Programme. The most prominent thing I noticed when at the interview is how well prepared my degree course has made me for working life. Employers are always impressed by our course.

Matt Boyle, BSc Computer Science with Industrial Year

Modules

Year 1

Through compulsory and optional modules you will gain a firm foundation in the principles of algorithms, artificial intelligence, software engineering and relevant mathematics. You also learn in-depth computer programming in Java – a language widely used in business.

Core modules

  • Artificial Intelligence (20 credits)
  • Data Structures and Algorithms (20 credits)
  • Logic and Computation (20 credits)
  • Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (20 credits)
  • Programming in Java (20 credits)
  • Concepts of Computer Science (20 credits) *1
  • Widening Horizons Module (20 credits) *2

*1 - compulsory for those without Grade A in A level Computing
*2 - compulsory for those with Grade A in A level Computing

Year 2

You progress to studying enabling technologies such as databases, graphics and the formal basis of programming languages. These are taught in conjunction with programming which gives you a much deeper understanding through the implementation of techniques. As part of a team you produce software, and learn new styles of programming in Java and a second language from a different programming language paradigm. You also select modules from a range of options which cover core computer science, programming languages and artificial intelligence.

Core modules

  • Advanced Functional Programming (20 credits)
  • Mathematics Modelling and Decision Making (20 credits)
  • Security and Networks (20 credits)
  • Software Engineering (20 credits)
  • System Programming in C/C++ (20 credits)
  • Team Project (20 credits)

Year 3

You are able to pick eight modules from a wide selection.  You may choose to study subjects relevant to industry, for example computer networks, distributed systems or commercial programming. Alternatively you may prefer to focus on current research in areas such as evolutionary computation, neural computation, intelligent robotics and natural language technologies.

One third of your time will be devoted to a project which will give you the opportunity to write a large piece of software and to apply the computing skills you have acquired so far.

Choose 120 credits from the following example optional modules

  • Advanced Networking (20 credits)
  • Complex Adaptive Systems (20 credits)
  • Computer Graphics (20 credits)
  • Computer Vision and Imaging (20 credits)
  • Computer-Aided Verification (20 credits)
  • Human-Computer Interaction (20 credits)
  • Individual Study (20 credits)
  • Intelligent Robotics (20 credits)
  • Language and Cognition (20 credits)
  • Machine Learning and Intelligent Data Analysis (20 credits)
  • Programming Language Principles, Design and Implementation (20 credits)
  • Security of Real-World Systems (20 credits)
  • Teaching Computing in Schools (20 credits)
  • Theoretical Foundations for Security (20 credits)

Year four

We encourage our students to gain as much real world experience as they can during their studies. The University has strong links with a number of employers offering internships or formal placements that can range from two months over the summer vacation to a full sandwich year as part of your degree course. 

Computer Science Industrial Placement (120 credits)
In order to proceed to Year 4 (the industrial year), students must:

  • Not have any modules to repeat during the year. If they have resit examinations, they must arrange for time off to take these.
  • Have found a company willing to provide a placement which meets the School's requirements, which include providing an Industrial Tutor. The placement must involve a component of skills training (approximately 40%) and technical project work (approximately 60%). The skills training can include formal taught and/or self study courses and apprenticeship style learning "on the job". The training and project work must be of a technical nature relevant to the degree programme. The project work will most typically involve programming but other types of project work are acceptable.
  • Students who do not meet the academic requirements or cannot find a suitable industrial placement will transfer to the degree programme without the Year in Industry component.
  • A student who fails the Industrial Studies module will be permitted to transfer to the degree programme without the Year in Industry component.

Tuition fees for placement years

There is a reduced tuition fee for the academic year spent in industry or whilst studying abroad (where available). Fee information and further clarification is available on the University fees and funding page.

Year five

Core modules

  • Computer Science Masters Project (60 credits)

Optional modules

Choose 60 credits of optional modules, examples listed below:

  • Advanced Networking (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Advanced Robotics (20 credits)
  • Complex Adaptive Systems (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Computer-Aided Verification (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Computer Graphics (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Computer Vision and Imaging (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Cryptography (10 credits)*
  • Evaluation Methods and Statistics (10 credits)*
  • Human-Computer Interaction (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Individual Study (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Intelligent Robotics (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Language and Cognitition (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Machine Learning and Intelligent Data Analysis (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Programming Language Principles, Design and Implementation (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Research Topics in Human-Computer Interaction  (10 credits)*
  • Robot Vision (20 credits)
  • Secure Programming (10 credits)*
  • Security of Real-World Systems (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Security Research Seminar (10 credits)*
  • Teaching Computer Science in Schools (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Theoretical Foundations for Security (Extended) (20 credits)

* Current specialist MSc modules included for an indication of content. Actual modules may change.

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. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2019. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to core modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees

Annual tuition fees 2019/20

UK/EU £9,250
International £21,180

Visit our  tuition fees page for more information.

Scholarships

At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.


Tuition fees for placement years

There is a reduced tuition fee for the academic year spent in industry or whilst studying abroad (where available). Fee information and further clarification is available on the University fees and funding page.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code I103.

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

View advice on ' How to apply for undergraduate courses', including advice for UK, EU and overseas applicants.

Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
A*AA
Required subjects and grades:
A level Mathematics grade A. If you are taking any reformed science A levels, which include Biology, Chemistry and Physics taught from 2015, you must pass the practical element.

General Studies or Critical Thinking not accepted.
It is desirable, but not essential, to have some experience of writing computer programs.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

7, 6, 6 required at Higher Level (including 6 in Mathematics), with a minimum of 32 points overall. We also require 5 in Standard Level English.

BTEC 

 BTEC Extended Diploma/Diploma qualifications will only be considered if accompanied by A level Mathematics.
Grades: MSci; D*D* plus A-level Maths at Grade A*

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma will be considered in combination with 2 A levels including Mathematics.
Grades: MSci; D* D* plus A-level A*A.

The BTEC Extended Diploma alone will be considered for our Physical Sciences Foundation Year programme (DDD required)

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

Foundation Year

Would you like to study for one of our degrees but lack the entry qualifications we require? Consider a Foundation Year programme which can lead to entry onto one of our courses.

International Students

Standard English language requirements apply, learn more about international entry requirements.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

Hear from our students talking about their experiences during one of our modules.

You will benefit greatly from an overhauled and re-designed curriculum in order to give you the chance to really dig deeper into your subjects of interest

How you will learn

You will be taught using a combination of lectures, labs and tutorials with lecturers available to provide additional help throughout your degree.

How you will be assessed

Each module is assessed independently with all containing some components of continuous assessment. Some modules are completely assessed by coursework. Assessment methods include end-of-year examinations in May and June, written assignments, oral and poster presentations, computer-based tests, marked exercises, and laboratory and project reports. Feedback is an essential part of learning and the way we help to shape your success.

We use a wide range of methods, such as written feedback on your assessments, class feedback sessions and discussions with your tutor.

Your personal tutor

We know that starting university can be daunting, and is a big step into a new way of living and learning, that’s why from the beginning of your time with us you will be assigned a Personal Tutor who will remain with you throughout your studies and support your academic progress, developing your transferable skills and any welfare issues.

Seminars and tutorials

Small-group tutorials/personal tutorials run alongside our lectures, addressing any individual problems you may have and allowing you to consolidate and discuss lecture material with your tutor and fellow students. 

Self-study is an essential part of the programme and requires self motivation and enthusiasm for your subject. It also allows you to pursue your own lines of enquiry and become an independent thinker.

Lecturers and world-leading researchers

Being taught and challenged in a range of ways and by a range of people helps to not only broaden your knowledge but to allow you to build your network and discover your interests. Allowing you to meet and learn from different leaders in their fields is key to the course, that’s why during your studies you will be taught by a mixture of professors, doctors and postgraduates, offering you a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience.

Resources and facilities

We know that life as a student can be busy and that juggling work and a social life can be hard. That’s why our purpose built multi-million-pound building offers 24-hour swipe access for all our students to access our state-of-the-art facilities whenever they need to.

We encourage group work and face-to-face interaction with your fellow students and academics, that’s why there are plenty of student areas in the building and collaborative student and staff spaces.

Contact Hours

Depending on the programme, the modules you select, and the number of optional help sessions you choose to take part in, each week you will have between:

Year 1: 15 and 25 hours of lectures, labs and tutorials, with lecturers available to provide additional help outside those hours. During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into University. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.
Year 2: 13 and 22 hours of lectures, labs and tutorials, with lecturers available to provide additional help outside thos hours.
Year 3: 9 and 20 hours of lectures, labs and tutorials, with lecturers available to provide additional help outside those hours.
Year 4 - MEng programmes only: 7 and 18 hours of lectures, labs and tutorials, with lecturers available to provide additional help outside those hours.

Please note the above data is based on the most common module selections for the each year group and does not include hours for self-study. This data does not include modules taken during a Study Abroad.

Our courses are especially designed, at every stage, to equip you with the knowledge, academic skill and transferable skills you need for a successful career in industry or research. 

The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17 shows that 93% of our Computer Science graduates are in graduate-level employment or further study six months after graduation.

We hold specialist careers fairs throughout the year for computer science students to help you network and find opportunities to secure placements and graduate employability once you leave us.

Graduates who have studied our courses:

Example employers:

  • Accenture
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Honda
  • HP
  • IBM
  • Logics
  • Rolls Royce
  • UBS
  • QinetiQ

Example careers: 

  • Artificial Intelligence Engineer
  • Cloud Computing Engineer
  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Systems Designer
  • Lecturer/Teacher
  • Applications Developer

Careers Network

We provide a wealth of opportunities to develop your career. From your first day at Birmingham to after you graduate, the Careers Network  is here to help you identify and achieve your individual career aspirations through its wide range of services.

Our dedicated careers team brings you information, advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Careers advisers offer one-to-one advice appointments where you can discuss your career plans and explore your options. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning  Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Visit the Careers Network website for more details

Internships

Our multi-award-winning work experience team has dedicated internship officers to help find the right work experience for you. Make the most of these opportunities and apply for our Work Experience Bursary Scheme, the Birmingham Undergraduate Internship Programme or one of our successful mentoring schemes. 

The video below talks to students, staff and employers about their internship experience: