Advanced Computer Science - MSc

Attendance:
Full Time, Part Time
Starting:
September 2018, January 2019
Campus:
Fees:
£5,900 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2018 entry (view all fees)

The programme intends to develop your competence in using tools and techniques for producing computer systems solutions from a sound mathematical and scientific base while appreciating the professional responsibilities and quality needed by industry.

What's covered in the course?

The course is designed to cover a number of advanced topics in computer science, namely, ontological engineering, service-oriented design, user-centred design, data engineering, and mobile-application development. In addition, you will receive a solid grounding in research methods and project management before undertaking an individual project that provides an opportunity to demonstrate technical and general employability skills in preparation for career progression. More specifically, the individual project simulates typical graduate workplace tasks that require in-depth knowledge and skills in a specific area of computer science. This will include consideration of wider issues and the ability to manage activities and resources, as well as generate, implement and report on solutions to meet task objectives.

Throughout your studies, you’ll be supported by our expert teaching staff, all of whom have a wide range of research and industrial experience in areas such as intelligent systems, mobile computing, Semantic Web, machine learning and software engineering, which they use to enhance the curriculum.

I started studying Computer Science at Birmingham City University to improve and broaden my knowledge in this field, so that I can find a career in the near future in this field as it has always been my passion. BCU's great labs, library, resources and knowledgeable tutors made this university the best place to start this journey.
I have been away from Computer Science for a few years but the support I received from the Faculty at BCU has made the first few challenging weeks of my study enjoyable. Maryam Mehdigholi

Why Choose Us?

  • We are working with Google to improve the employability of our Advanced Computer Science graduates. On completion of the course you will be equipped to apply for roles in companies such as Google and Facebook.
  • You’ll have access to dedicated industry-standard facilities in our own fully equipped laboratory. Based within our £114 million Millennium Point building, you’ll be able to undertake work such as artificial intelligence, human computer interaction, mobile and web application development, and data science.
  • We are home to a Cisco Systems and a Microsoft Academy Centre – one of Microsoft’s top UK university-based academies – and we are a member of the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance. We are also a Cisco ASC (Academy Support Centre) and Cisco Instructor Training Centre (ITC) – one of only 10 such instructor training centres in the UK.
  • The course is supported through the activities of the Innovations in Computing Education research group, designed to keep teaching and assessment updated to match international trends.
  • We have strong links with companies such as Oracle, LPI, Microsoft, AWS and Apple, which ensure that the course is relevant and respected by employers.

This course is open to International students

School of Computing and Digital Technology

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Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English language and Mathematics.

A first Degree in Computer Science, Computing or similar subject area that closely relates to Computer Science.

International Students

Entry requirements here

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2018 FT 12 months £5,900 per year
PT 30 months £2,950 per year
Jan 2019 FT 15 months £5,900 per year
PT 30 months £2,950 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2018 FT 12 months £12,000 per year
Jan 2019 FT 15 months £12,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Course duration

Please note, there are no taught classes over the summer months (June to August) for postgraduate courses, so the total time spent in University for this course is:

  • September start (full-time) 12 months
  • September start (part-time) 30 months
  • January start (full-time) 15 months
  • January start (part-time) 30 months

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements

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*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Semester One

Service Oriented Architecture
20 credits

This module covers the fundamental principles of service-oriented design. Service-oriented design and technology is increasingly popular among practitioners and researchers as it offers a way to group the basic functionalities of a system into coherent groups known as services and expose these services over the network, exploiting existing network protocols. Services can be used in a distributed, loosely coupled manner over networks, an approach to integrating systems which cuts across operational infrastructure and organisational boundaries. The advent of cloud computing has made service-oriented architecture (SOA) more popular as clouds are typically based on SOA. This module will equip you with the key skills and knowledge to perform service-oriented systems design and implementation.

Advanced Human Computer Interaction
20 credits

In this module, you will combine theoretical concepts with the practical approaches used in industry and academia to create effective interactive experiences. You will learn about the user-centred design process and explore techniques for understanding the requirements of a target audience, the importance of universal design and accessibility, and methods for undertaking rapid prototyping. You will gain practical experience in designing, conducting and analysing usability studies (using a variety of evaluation techniques) and incorporating key findings back into the design process. You will apply this knowledge to collaboratively design and evaluate an innovative digital prototype using industry standard tools.

Semantic Web and Knowledge Management
20 credits

As it stands today, the web needs real people to understand and interpret the information it encompasses. However, the web was originally designed to support not only human interaction, but also automated machine processing of data. The Semantic Web aims to meet this initial aim. In this module, you will explore the next generation of the web using ontologies and knowledge engineering. You will consider the use of semantics to create new, more effective, more intelligent, ways of managing information and supporting applications and gain an understanding of the different aspects of ontology representation, creation, design, reasoning, programming and applications.

 

Semester Two

Research Methods and Project Management
20 credits

This module will prepare you for the research project that you will undertake towards the end of your Master’s course. It will equip you with transferable skills and knowledge that will help you with your final year studies as well as your future career. A combination of lectures, tutorials, and practical workshops will help you to become familiar with the research literature in your chosen subject area and the research methods used in Computer Sciences. This module will help you to improve your written and verbal communication skills, as well as your time management and project management.

 

Advanced Data Science
20 credits

This module will equip you with the knowledge and skills employers need for roles such as Data Scientist, Data Engineer, Data Architect, Business Insight Analyst, Business Consultant, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Analyst. You will learn methods for data pre-processing, analysis, management and visualisation. You will understand a wide range of algorithms to solve clustering, prediction and classification tasks and practice programming them in R and Python. You will also consider topical data science themes including deep learning, stream analytics and language and speech processing. For the coursework assessment, you will formulate a research problem, find suitable datasets and develop a data analytics solution.

 

Advanced Mobile Computing
20 credits

Mobile application development often requires you as the developer to target a specific platform such as Android, iOS or Windows Mobile. An alternative option is to develop a mobile application that may be delivered through the web, thereby independent of platform. This module will examine and make use of a wide range of tools, libraries and frameworks to facilitate the creation of web-based mobile applications that are independent of operating system and hardware platform. You will learn how to structure and present a mobile application, work with sensor and location data, cloud based data storage solutions and how to create a rich user interaction experience.

Individual Master’s Project
60 credits

You will undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project, exploring an area of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide on your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. Your topic must be aligned to the programme you are studying and informed by the research strategy of your school. You should also consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development. You are expected to work independently but will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area.

 

Knowledge and understanding are acquired though a mixture of formal lectures, tutor-led seminars and practical activities, with other independent learning activities at all stages.

Emphasis is placed on guided, self-directed and student-centred learning with increasing independence of approach, thought and process.

The course provides access to effective commercial development environments and ensures students have practical awareness of computer systems requirements. You are required to meet strict deadlines, and to manage and plan overall workload.

Knowledge is assessed formatively and summatively, by a number of methods, including seminars, course-work, viva, presentation, and project work.

Assessment criteria are published both at a generic course level and to provide guidance for individual items of assessment.

You will undertake a major project involving research and application of that research in the solution of appropriate systems problems.

Further Study

Successful completion of the course can open up opportunities for employment in the IT industry, but you may want to continue your studies at postgraduate level, studying a computer science subject in greater detail by means of a PhD.

Although postgraduate study may appear essential for a career in academia, recent statistical evidence shows that it can also be useful for a range of other careers. For example, in 2014 the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills noted that someone with a Master’s degree earns on average £9,000 more per year than someone with a degree qualification.

According to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (2014) observation, one in seven jobs will require a postgraduate qualification by 2022. All these facts indicate that the contribution of postgraduate study to employability is increasingly significant.

Trips and visits

We continually organise student trips to various external events and organisations. We also frequently put students and the university in direct contact with employers through events such as careers fairs where you can meet big vendors such as SAS, Oracle and Microsoft.

Enhancing your employability skills

We know that employers are looking for graduates who have a good balance between in-depth academic knowledge and technical and practical expertise, which is why our course is geared towards employability.

What you learn on our course will help you to stand out when you look for your first professional role. Because you will know how to use sophisticated, industry-standard software, you will be able to demonstrate that you can put into practice your deep theoretical knowledge.

We will also prepare you for a career by equipping you with a range of transferable skills, such as complex problem-solving expertise, the ability to analyse in a careful and considered manner, and working as a team member. We aim to have you employer-ready by the time you graduate and, as part of your Advanced Computer Science course, we will invite guest speakers to underpin the subjects taught.

Thanks to our excellent partnerships and working relationships with some of the UK’s leading companies, you have the chance to network with leading organisations such as IBM, Dignity plc, Mortgage Brain and Griffiths Waite. In addition, our specialist industry links with the Linux Professional Institute, the Oracle Academy, Cisco, and Microsoft, plus our world-class facilities, will mark you out as a highly employable graduate.

This is why our graduates have gone on to pursue computing and software development and designer careers in a wide range of industries, from SME software companies, to industry, government, banking and healthcare. Furthermore, many graduates continue their studies to Doctorate level.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Careers

Because our course is uniquely designed to meet employers’ needs, you’ll be highly sought-after on graduation. It is why many of our graduates have gone on to work for top companies including IBM, Griffiths Waite, Capgemini and Birmingham City University.

Our course covers cutting-edge topics in computer science that will leave you well-prepared to take on any of a diverse set of roles, including software developer, usability engineer, software engineer, mobile application specialist, IT consultant, information systems manager, research scientist and teacher.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our computer science course is most popular with international students from:

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus.

As a student at the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you have access to networked laboratories equipped to industry standards and running the latest software, giving you the best possible introduction to the technologies you will encounter in the world of work.

Dedicated facilities are provided for systems analysis, computer networks, programming in a wide range of languages, artificial intelligence, modelling and visual programming, e-commerce and .net environments, and business intelligence, as well as supporting the application areas of mechatronics, games technology, electronics and computer forensics.

Computer networking

The laboratories are well-equipped for all our computer networking courses, as well as specialist areas for practical work such as voice-over internet protocol (VoIP), forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies and radio frequency identification technologies to name but a few.

Software development and computer programming

There are a number of open access, software development and computer programming
laboratories that can be used to develop systems and programmes, including database management systems such as MySQL, to name but a few.

Systems laboratories

Our embedded systems laboratories are used to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and industrial-standard software development and simulation tools. These include microcontroller software and robotics design and development, to name but a few.

Electronic Systems

Electronic systems

To underpin the basic principles of electronic systems, we have a well-equipped laboratory of general and specialist test and measurement kits, including powered prototyping development boards, dual power supplies, frequency generators and counters and digital multi-meters to name but a few.

Forensic computing

Our successful development of forensic computing has led to a specialist forensics laboratory that is fully equipped with essential hardware and software for this sensitive area of study. The laboratory includes high-spec PC’s with built-in multi interface Tableau write blockers, EnCase and FTK computer forensic software and steganography detection and analysis software, to name but a few.

More on our facilities

Dr Cain Evans

Senior Lecturer Computer Science, Programme Leader MSc Advanced Computer Science

Dr Evans is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science. He has been working in higher education since 1999 and at Birmingham City University since 2001. He has published articles on E-business, mobile computing and smart-care-space and been published in journals, conferences and edited books.  More recently, he has been focusing on Open Big Data and Smart City.

Dr Daniel Doolan

Dr. Doolan is a Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering and has been working in the University sector for over a dozen years having published over fifty research articles primarily in the domain of mobile computing. He holds a PhD in Computer Science with a focus on Mobile Computer Graphics and the application of Parallel Computing to the mobile domain. His master’s research examined the use of fractals in multimedia applications, specifically for 2D-4D image generation, compression and data encryption.

His main research interest is mobile computing, graphics and multimodal interaction, collaboration context awareness and the sensing of the surrounding environment.

His postgraduate work was undertaken at University College Cork known throughout the world for the pivotal work of Professor George Boole,  the “father of the information age” upon which the entire worlds computing hardware and software is based.  Visit georgeboole.com to find out more about his 2015 bicentenary celebrations.

Dr. Doolan has previously held the roles of Director of Studies & Course Leader for a 5 year BSc (Hons) Computer Science degree programme, Research Degree Coordinator and Research Seminar Coordinator having organised and hosted over eighty seminars in recent years.

He has written regularly about computing & his teaching – a summary of which is available on Dr. Doolan’s Website (University Related Posts).

Dr Khaled Mahbub

Lecturer in Software Engineering

Khaled started his academic career, in September 1999, as a Lecturer (US hierarchy) in Computer Science & Engineering at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he worked until March 2001.

From May 2006 to July 2007, Khaled served as Research Assistant at City University London. During this period he was involved in several EU funded projects including Serenity (System Engineering for Security & Design, FP6 EU Project); SeCSE (Service Centric System Engineering, FP6 EU Project).

Between August 2007 and July 2008, Khaled worked as an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Information & Communication Technology, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Between July 2008 and July 2014, Khaled worked as a research fellow at City University London and was a member of the ASE@City group. During this period he has actively contributed in several EU funded projects including: CUMULUS (Certification Infrastructure for Multi-Layer Cloud Services, EU FP7, STREP Project); ASSERT4SOA (Advanced Security Service cERTificate for SOA, EU FP7, STREP Project); S-CUBE (The Software Services and Systems Network - FP7 EU Project); SLA@SOI (Empowering the Service Economy with SLA-aware Infrastructures, EU FP 7, Integrated Project) and Gredia (Grid enabled access to rich media content - FP6 EU Project).

In August 2014, Khaled joined Birmingham City University as a Lecturer in Software Engineering.

Dr Yevgeniya Kovalchuk

Lecturer in Computer Science

Yevgeniya joined the School of Computing and Digital Technology and its Cyber Security Research Group as a Lecturer in Computer Science in September 2016. She received her MSc in Economic Cybernetics from the National Technical University of Ukraine and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Essex. During her professional career, she worked in both pure industrial and academic environments, as well as on projects connecting the two. She has a strong track record of applying computer and data science to solve problems across a wide range of business areas, including banking, insurance, logistics, healthcare, sport and entertainment, among many others.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295