Explore advanced topics in computer science with this wide-ranging programme, which will equip you with the understanding and practical skills to succeed in a variety of careers.
Rooted in the established research strengths of the School of Computing, the programme will introduce topics like systems programming and algorithms before allowing you to specialise through your choice of modules.
You could look at emerging approaches to human interaction with computational systems, novel architectures such as clouds, or the rigorous engineering needed to develop cutting-edge applications such as large-scale data mining and social networks.
Building on your existing knowledge of computer science, you’ll develop the theoretical and practical skills required to design and implement larger, more complex systems using state-of-the-art technologies. You’ll even have the chance to work as an integral member of one of our research groups when you develop your main project.
You’ll benefit from world-class facilities to support your learning. State-of-the-art visualisation labs including a powerwall, a benchtop display with tracking system, WorldViz PPT optical tracking system and Intersense InertiaCube orientation tracker are all among the specialist facilities we have within the School of Computing.
We also have Ascension Flock of Birds tracking systems, three DOF and 6DOF Phantom force feedback devices, Twin Immersion Corp CyberGloves, a cloud computing testbed, rendering cluster and labs containing both Microsoft and Linux platforms among others. It’s an exciting environment in which to gain a range of skills and experience cutting-edge technology.
Core modules in Semester 1 will lay the foundations of the programme by giving you an understanding of the key topics of algorithms and systems programming.
From there you’ll have the chance to tailor your studies to suit your own preferences. You’ll choose from a wide range of optional modules on diverse topics such as cloud computing, image analysis, machine learning, semantic technologies and developing mobile apps.
Over the summer months you’ll also work on your research project. This gives you the chance to work as an integral part of one of our active research groups, focusing on a specialist topic in computer science and selecting the appropriate research methods.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Advanced Computer Science module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.
Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with them through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings.
Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessment methods.
The professional project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Recent projects for MSc Advanced Computer Science students have included:
A proportion of projects are formally linked to industry, and can include spending time at the collaborator’s site over the summer.
Computing is an essential component of nearly every daily activity, from the collection, transformation, analysis and dissemination of information in business, through to smart systems embedded in commodity devices, the image processing used in medical diagnosis and the middleware that underpins distributed technologies like cloud computing and the semantic web.
This programme will give you the practical skills to gain entry into many areas of applied computing, working as application developers, system designers and evaluators; but further, links between the taught modules and our research provide our students with added strengths in artificial intelligence, intelligent systems, distributed systems, and the analysis of complex data. As a result, you’ll be well prepared for a range of careers, as well as further research at PhD level.
Graduates have found success in a wide range of careers working as business analysts, software engineers, wed designers and developers, systems engineers, information analysts and app developers. Others have pursued roles in consultancy, finance, marketing and education, or set up their own businesses.
At the Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications (CISA) we enable computer systems to reproduce or complement human abilities, work with people, and support collaboration between humans. We conduct world-leading research in the foundations of Artificial Intelligence (knowledge representation and reasoning, emergence of meaning, theory and ontology change, creativity, mathematical proof) and in intelligent collaborative systems (multiagent systems, social computation, scientific collaboration platforms, web semantics and linked data).
Our research methods are inspired by developing formal models of knowledge, reasoning, and interaction that can be used to understand and automate aspects of human intelligence, but are also understandable and usable to the human designers and users of AI systems.
To achieve this, we combine theoretical research into computational models, architectures, and algorithms with a strong element of applied research. This has led to a strong track record in using our methods to address real-world problems in healthcare, scientific collaboration, social computing, emergency systems, transportation, engineering, aerospace and others.
You'll find a wide range of research areas within CISA conducted in the four research groups the Institute currently hosts:
CISA includes one of the most innovative collaborations between research and business - our Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (AIAI). Through its resources and the engagement of CISA staff and students in consultancy, training and joint projects, we help companies and government agencies to apply newly researched techniques.
You will carry out research work within a research group under the guidance of a supervisor. You may also attend taught courses that are relevant to your research topic, as prescribed by your supervisor. You will be expected to attend seminars and meetings of relevant research groups. Periodic reviews of progress are conducted to assist with research planning.
A programme of transferable skills courses facilitates broader professional development in a wide range of topics, from writing and presentation skills to entrepreneurship and career strategies.
The School of Informatics holds a Silver Athena SWAN award, in recognition of our commitment to advance the representation of women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The School is deploying a range of strategies to help female staff and students of all stages in their careers and we seek regular feedback from our research community on our performance.
The award-winning Informatics Forum is an international research facility for computing and related areas. It houses more than 400 research staff and students, providing office, meeting and social spaces.
It also contains two robotics labs, an instrumented multimedia room, eye-tracking and motion capture systems, and a full recording studio amongst other research facilities. Its spectacular atrium plays host to many events, from industry showcases and student hackathons to major research conferences.
Nearby teaching facilities include computer and teaching labs with more than 250 machines, 24-hour access to IT facilities for students, and comprehensive support provided by dedicated computing staff.
Among our entrepreneurial initiatives is Informatics Ventures, set up in 2008 to support globally ambitious software companies in Scotland and nurture a technology cluster to rival Boston, Pittsburgh, Kyoto and Silicon Valley.
While your research studies are a perfect route to a career in academia, your degree could also take you into the commercial world of applied AI and collaborative systems.
Software developers using AI technologies are among those who rely on the insights of our research. NASA and animation company Pixar are just two of the organisations that have recently employed our graduates.
This course is designed for computer science, informatics and IT professionals who want to pursue a career in which advanced research skills may be useful. It is most suitable for experienced or emerging professionals and is ideal if you wish to advance your knowledge of business performance and how it is supported by information technology.
What you study
The course is structured to give you advanced level research skills specifically relevant to the IT discipline, together with a framework for developing your knowledge of how organisations seek to use IT for transformation and innovation.
On the course you examine the relationships between corporate strategy, business models, services and process models, performance, risk and value management, and computer technology. You discover how enterprise systems can be integrated with strategic and tactical business decision-making as well as data analytics and processing. You also learn about emergent technologies such as smart applications driven by artificial intelligence and robotic process automation.
Throughout your work, questions will emerge and you will be able to identify topics to research based on what you have studied. You take three modules that reflect your area of specialism or that provide you with important background knowledge. You also learn about research techniques from which you conduct your preliminary research study and dissertation.
Throughout the course you benefit from a strong underpinning focus on computer science and informatics.
The course has been designed in consultation with LEADing Practice, an Enterprise Standards body whose models are integrated into enterprise software products of SAP™, IBM™, iGrafx™ and LEADing Practice’s Enterprise+. This professional, vendor-neutral standards body brings to bear its invaluable experience to the course, having worked with over 4,600 industry practitioners.
In addition, you are taught by leading research-active academics and industrial practitioners. Eminent contributors and guest speakers enhance your learning by exposing you to theoretical knowledge and real-world case studies. This may include industry professionals such as the founder of Enterprise Architecture, John A. Zachman. Further support comes from the Global University Alliance (GUA), a consortium with more than 450 academic institutions in its membership. Both LEADing Practice and the GUA work with other standards bodies such as the OMG, ISO, IEEE, CEN, and W3C. All this knowledge is uniquely brought together in this course to provide you with industry expertise and connections.
As a result the course helps to raise your professional profile with your existing or prospective employer and enables you to pursue a career where advanced research skills are may be useful, including those appropriate for doctoral study.
The course is designed as study blocks so that you attend for two weeks in October then two weeks in January in the academic year. The remaining time you engage in pre-reading, and work on your assessments including a preliminary research study and your research dissertation.
you then undertake the following two modules in which you engage with your agreed research topic with close supervision
On completion of the course you should be able to demonstrate the most relevant ways that computers can help organisations achieve their goals.
You may aim to pursue studies at PhD level, or develop your skills as an industrial practitioner in enterprise modelling, engineering or architecture.
You can join the LEADing Practice open source standard development community – more than 4600 practitioners who work across all sectors of industry. The MRes enables you to become certified as a LEAD Transformation eXpert as well as a LEAD Business Architect.
With such a wide variety of options, you can expect a fulfilling career leading to a senior technological or business role.