MSc / PGDip

Accredited by University College Birmingham

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1.5 years FT / 2.5 years PT


3 or 6 months (optional)


September, February


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Department of Digital
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1 year FT / 2 years PT


September, February


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Department of Digital

Worldwide IT spending projected to total $4.5tn in 2022*

*Gartner, 2022

Global e-commerce sales predicted to reach $6.54tn in 2023**

**Financial Times, 2021

From accessing the internet to using apps and engaging in digital communications, our business and personal lives are now hugely reliant on technology, with the tech industry now estimated to make up over a third of the total world market. If you want to advance in this ever-expanding field, our Computer Science postgraduate course will put you in prime position to pursue a dynamic career in the digital world.

Our computing master’s course explores an array of current core topics for working in the IT industry. You will explore areas including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, web engineering, object-oriented programming, databases, networks and human-computer interaction (HCI). In the process, you will also learn to develop and apply vital problem-solving attributes, behaviours and competencies towards planning and implementing IT solutions.

Opportunities to gain practical skills and experience are built into our Computer Science master's course, from studying in our cutting-edge Cyber Security Lab and other IT facilities on campus to undertaking an optional 12-week industry placement. By completing the course, you can open the doors to careers in anything from software and web development to cyber security, systems analysis or IT project management, opening up a wealth of possibilities for your future in this field.

Why should I choose this course?

  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Develop your practical computing skills in our excellent IT facilities including a dedicated Cyber Security Lab
  • WORK PLACEMENT (MSc only) – Complete an optional three-month or six-month placement in the IT sector to boost your experience and industry connections on successful completion of the taught part of the course
  • IN-DEPTH RESEARCH – Explore a topic within computing and technology in depth by conducting your own master’s research project
  • NO EXAMS - If you are not keen on exams, this course is for you. Unlike many degrees in this field, you will have no written exams during or at the end of the course and will be assessed through practical assessments and coursework only
  • AWARD-WINNING UNIVERSITY – Study at the highest-ranking university in the region according to student choice (Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023)

Our facilities

As a student on our postgraduate computing course, you will have access to cutting-edge IT facilities on campus, including our purpose-built Cyber Security Lab.

Course breakdown

  • Postgraduate

Core Modules

Object-Oriented Programming for Software Development

This module introduces and develops object-oriented design and programming skills. You will learn object-oriented design and programming skills using data structures, design patterns, polymorphism and concurrency (threads and multi-processing). You will work individually to develop an application based on a specification that you will analyse to produce a design, implement and test.

Web Engineering

In this module, you will learn to build websites using emerging web engineering techniques and standards. You will cover web standards, system frameworks and protocols before moving onto development of multi-platform, multi-device web applications. You will learn how to use automated testing and version control before finally deploying your application securely.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

This module will introduce you to the fundamental understanding of core artificial intelligence (AI) concepts and machine learning ideas. It explores various AI concepts such as problem-solving (problem representation, uninformed and informed search), knowledge representation (logic-based languages, e.g. description logic, ontologies and the semantic web) and machine learning. This module will further cover the types of learning problems (classification, regression, clustering etc.) and the taxonomy of machine learning algorithm topics such as Bayesian networks, decision tree learning, support vector machines, supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning. You will learn how to apply these methods to real-life problems.

Data Warehousing

This module aims to provide the key concepts and principles of data technologies ranging from database to data warehousing. You will learn database fundamentals, how to apply appropriate tools to design and develop a database system, SQL syntax and queries to manage a database for a substantial problem. It will further help you acquire in-depth specialised knowledge in data warehousing areas, including principal theories, analytical foundations, and the key considerations for data warehousing development. This module also explores new ideas and emerging trends such as data analytics, big data, and cloud computing associated with data warehousing.

Computer Networks and Virtualisation

This module covers advanced topics in networking and data transmissions by setting an in-depth understanding of the issues associated with network services. It considers modelling, simulation, emulation, planning and optimisation of communication networks. It explores various networking algorithms to provide you with an insight into cutting-edge and emerging computer network technology, such as network virtualisation, concepts of virtualisation and cloud computing, including network principles and architectures. By the end of this module, you will be able to design, explain, and test different networks and protocols, select appropriate approaches to the network stack level, and justify the choices made by implementing physical and logical networks.

Human-Computer Interaction

This module introduces principles of human-computer interaction (HCI) in the context of evaluation paradigms. It contains the fundamental concepts and methods for understanding users, stakeholders, contexts and requirements, and a practical experience of how these requirements can be met using methods for requirements elicitation, interface design, and usability evaluation. The module aims to provide you with a working knowledge of interaction design and user experience principles with an end-to-end interaction design process. By the end of the module, you will be able to utilise prototyping techniques for developing and evaluating interactive technologies using appropriate tools and software.

Masters Research Project

This module introduces you to the disciplines and techniques required for critical appraisal of complex data and industry practice; creating research designs and accompanying research techniques; building theoretical frameworks, and the scheduling and execution of a research project. The module will develop your skills and expertise in the essential research tools you will need both for successful postgraduate study and as a leader in your chosen service industry sector.

The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.

Entry requirements


  • MSc Computer Science – A grade classification of 2:2 is required, or international equivalent.
  • PGDip Computer Science – A grade classification of third-class is required, or international equivalent.
  • There are no subject pre-requisites for this programme.


  • We also consider applicants who are currently employed and wish to apply to University College Birmingham.
  • To apply, you must have five years of relevant managerial work experience, demonstrating in-depth knowledge of the sector for the subject matter you are interested in pursuing.
  • A reference detailing your roles and responsibilities from your line manager and a meeting with the programme team will usually be scheduled prior to a place being offered.

International students

For academic and English entry requirements for EU and international students, please visit the Country Specific Information page.

Please note: As an International Student, when choosing optional placement, a visa extension may be required.


If you have any questions, please complete our enquiry form:

Enquiry Form

Key information

Teaching and assessment

Note: Indicative information only – actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued at your induction. 


Example of a typical teaching week (up to 12 contact hours): 

  • Large group teaching – 10 hours (in lecture rooms/specialist facilities) 
  • Smaller group teaching – 1 hour
  • Tutorials – 1 hour 
  • Subject advice sessions – 1-3 hours 

You will also need to commit around 20 hours per week for individual study time. 


Estimated breakdown of assessment for this course:

  • Coursework – 50%
  • Practical assessment/projects – 50%

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

Tuition fees

UK students

If you are a UK student or an EU student with settled or pre-settled status enrolling on a MA/MSc course at University College Birmingham, your fee for this academic year will be £8,750. The fee for the PGDip course is £6,350.

View postgraduate fees

International students

If you are an international student enrolling on one of our postgraduate programmes (e.g. MSc, MA) in 2023/24, your fee for this academic year will be £14,500 per year. The course fee for academic year 2024/2025 is £15,000 per year.

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Unibuddy Community - meet other students on your course

Starting university is an exciting time, but we understand that it can sometimes feel a little daunting. To support you, you will be invited to join our Unibuddy Community, where you can meet other students who have applied for the same course at University College Birmingham, before you start studying here.

As soon as you have been made an offer, you will be sent an invitation email to complete your registration and join the Unibuddy Community. For more information, check out our Unibuddy Community page.


of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements

Work placements are vital for gaining real-life experience and for building your confidence and skills before you finish your course – and they may even lead to a job when you graduate. 

Our MSc Computer Science course features the option of a three-month or six-month placement on successful completion of the taught part of the course. You are required to secure your own placement with the support of our experienced HIRED team.

Note: Students on the PGDip course, or those planning to top-up from a PGDip to a master's degree, will not be eligible for a placement during the course.

Career opportunities

The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Software developer

Average Salary: £31,000

Systems analyst

Average salary: £30,000 – £40,000

Database administrator (DBA)

Average Salary: £30,000

Computer security consultant

Average Salary: £44,000

Web developer

Average Salary: £26,000

IT project manager

Average salary: £32,000 – £50,000


We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 


Find out more

Ed’s Story

With a background in both business and technology, Ed knows all about the benefits of a postgraduate computing qualification – having completed one himself.

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