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Computing Science

MSc / PGDip / PGCert

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

BCS accredited MSc (partial CITP)

If your first degree is not in computing but you want to move into IT then our BCS accredited MSc in Computing Science is designed for you. Our course provides the basis for starting a career in computing and IT; teaching you the fundamentals of programming, hardware, networks and software engineering.

The course will enable you to develop a sound knowledge of computer software development for a range of problem areas, such as interactive websites, stand-alone applications and network systems. Because of its emphasis on software system construction and management, and data organisation, the qualification is applicable to a wide variety of fields concerned with using computers, as well as directly to the computer industry itself.

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Wheatley Campus

Course length

  • Full time: MSc - 1 year (12 months); MSc with placement 2 years (24 months); PG Dip - 6 months; PG Cert - 3 months
  • Part time: MSc - 2 years; Msc with placement 3 years (36 months); PG Dip - 18 months (12 months study time); PG Cert - 6 months

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • This programme is rooted in real-world and industry-relevant experiences.
  • Lecturing staff have extensive experience in research and university teaching, as well as a wide range of previous industrial and commercial backgrounds. 
  • You will have the opportunity to put the skills you have gained into practice if you choose to undertake our 1 year optional placement.
  • You will be joining a school with a diverse and truly international postgraduate community.
  • The universal nature of the technical skills developed in our programmes means our courses are of equal relevance to both new graduates and those with many years of industrial experience.

Professional accreditation

The course is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.

The MSc in Computing Science has a modular course unit design providing you with maximum flexibility and choice. To qualify for a master’s degree, you must pass modules amounting to 180 credits. This comprises six taught modules (20 credits each) plus your dissertation (60 credits).

The MSc in Computing Science with placement enables you to work in industry for a year in the middle of your course to give valuable workplace experience. Placements are not guaranteed, but the Department's dedicated placement team will help with the process of finding and applying for placements. To qualify for a Master’s degree with placement, you must pass modules amounting to 180 credits plus the zero credit placement module. This comprises six taught modules (20 credits each) plus your dissertation (60 credits).

The Postgraduate Diploma in Computing Science allows you to concentrate on the taught part of the degree and is ideal for people working in the computing industry who wish to brush up their skills. To qualify for a Postgraduate Diploma, you must pass modules amounting to 120 credits. This comprises six taught modules (20 credits each). In some cases, it may be possible for a student on a Postgraduate Diploma to do 3 taught modules (20 credits each) plus your dissertation (60 credits).

The Postgraduate Certificate in Computing allows you to concentrate on the taught part of the degree and is ideal for people working in the computing industry who wish to learn a specific area in this rapidly changing discipline. To qualify for a Postgraduate Certificate, you must pass modules amounting to 60 credits. This comprises three taught modules (20 credits each).

We also offer a Postgraduate Certificate Computing Research Project.

Part-time students normally distribute the work evenly over a two-year period.


Semester 1

You will be studying the following modules:

  • Research, Scholarship and Professional Skills (compulsory for MSc and PG Dip) is designed to equip you with the tools necessary for the scholarship and research skills needed for the computing field as well as equipping you with the professional skills and outlook needed for a lifelong career in the computer industry.
  • Object-Oriented Programming (compulsory for MSc and PG Dip) covers the principles of programming and object orientation, giving you the opportunity to apply these using an object-oriented programming language.
  • Modern Computer Systems (compulsory for MSc and PG Dip) introduces the concepts, operations and components of computer systems and the principles of computer networks. You will have the opportunity to create and maintain an IT system similar to that found in many SMEs.


Semester 2

You will be studying the following modules:

  • Advanced Software Development (compulsory for MSc) studies current practices, skills and techniques applied to managing software development related projects, individually and in project teams. The module combines theory with pragmatic and professional insights and considers requirements engineering, project management, risk, quality assurance, usability and HCI issues.
  • Cyber security and the web (Compulsory for MSc) introduces key concepts in cyber security and web development giving you the skills to design and build interactive websites and to ensure that those websites are secure.
  • Business IT (compulsory for MSc) covers the principles and practice of structured data, including how it is represented, managed and transformed in a modern business environment.

As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the list of taught modules you choose from may vary from the list here.

Students undertaking an MSc with placement will do a 1 year placement in industry. The placement will be undertaken after the taught component and before doing the dissertation.

Students studying for an MSc will also take:

  • MSc Dissertation which is an individual research and development project that allows you to study a topic of your choice in depth, guided by your supervisor. The work may be undertaken in close co-operation with a research, industrial or commercial organisation. You undertake your dissertation over the summer period.

Teaching and learning

Lectures serve to provide a theoretical basis, while the practical sessions are used to strengthen your understanding by active involvement. Coursework and projects form the basis for continuous assessment. Many of the modules are enriched by the teaching staff's research expertise. There are also visiting lecturers from research organisations and industry.

Approach to assessment

Methods of assessment include examination and coursework reflecting the development of academic content from the more practical aspects to the more conceptual. Types of assessment include coursework exercises, presentations, lab work, reports and examinations.

Specialist facilities

Our labs are equipped with industry-standard equipment and software tools. This enables you to develop skills of immediate relevance to industry needs while also providing a sound practical basis that enhances your understanding of theoretical concepts. Our server lab is equipped with servers, PCs and networking equipment in a secure environment so you can create and manage IT systems.

Additional costs

Students on placement are responsible for living costs associated with their placement.

Attendance pattern

Part time study is an option on this programme for students who wish to combine their study with work. Where possible we try to ensure that part time students only need to attend for 1 day a week, although students will be expected to undertake additional independent study.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2019/20: Masters £6,360 (12 months), Diploma £5,100 (6 months), Certificate £2,550 (3 months) 2020/21: Masters £8,000 (12 months), Diploma £7,000 (6 months), Certificate £4,000 (3 months)

Home/EU - part time fee: 2019/20: £3,240 Masters 2020/21: £4,000 Masters

Home/EU - sandwich fee: 2019/20: £1,270 2020/21: £1,410

International - full time: 2019/20: £14,850 2020/21: £15,700

International - sandwich fee: 2019/20: £3,180 2020/21: £3,250

Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by up to 4% each year.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

The Department of Computing and Communication Technologies awards a limited number of scholarships for its taught postgraduate programmes, which are awarded on a competitive basis to UK, EU and international postgraduates each year. Further information can be found at /ecm/courses/scholarships/

Entry requirements

You should normally hold a first degree equivalent to at least a British lower second-class bachelor's degree, in a non-computing subject. If your first degree contains only a small element of technical computing you can also be considered.

For entry to the Postgraduate Certificate Research Project you should provide evidence of experience in research and study methods at an appropriate level.

English language requirements

f your first language is not English you will require a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 6.0 in all components.


An equivalent English language qualification acceptable to the University.

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the university's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

How this course helps you develop

The focus on using industry standard tools to solve practical and industrially relevant problems, and using those problems to teach the theoretical concepts ensures that students have the opportunity to acquire skills which will not just equip them for today's computing industry, but for a lifelong career in the computing industry.

Students on the MSc course who undertake a placement will have the opportunity to put into practice in a business environment, the skills they have acquired in the taught part of the programme as well as gaining valuable experience for their CVs.


Our MSc students come from all over the world and graduate to follow careers in technical, business-related and creative roles, for example as developers, engineers, IT managers or web developers. Whatever their interest, our graduates tell us that the relevance of our courses and the skills they've learnt enable them to achieve their goals and build their careers.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

Academic and administrative help and advice will be available to all students from sources such as:

  • Advice academic guidance and supervisory arrangements from the programme lead, subject coordinators and module leaders. Most modules will have tutorial, seminar or lab-based support activities
  • The Placement Team can help students find placement opportunities and give support while on placement
  • Programme and dissertation handbooks
  • Student Support Coordinators
  • Student forums
  • Student representatives who are invited to attend a variety of meetings at which programme issues and student concerns are discussed.
During induction week, you are given handbooks explaining the choices available to you on the course, and providing helpful information about the compulsory modules as well. The Subject Coordinator is available for consultation and our Postgraduate Administrator is available to deal specifically with graduate issues.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Research highlights

The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics is home to world-leading and award-winning research. Our focus is on user-inspired original research with real-world applications. We have a vibrant and growing research community, with a wide range of activities from model-driven system design and empirical software engineering through to web technologies, cloud computing and big data, digital forensics and computer vision. Staff and students collaborate on projects supported by the EPSRC, the EU, the DTI, and several major UK companies.

Further, Computing achieved an excellent assessment of its UoA (Unit of Assessment) 11 return for REF 2014 (Research Excellence Framework).

Research areas and clusters

Students on this course link into the wide range of research that goes on in the school. In particular they can be involved with research in the following research groups:

Related courses

  • Advanced Computer Science
  • Software Engineering