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Full time & Part time October MSc, MRes 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

About the course

Our MSc Computer Science provides a good grounding for working in the information technology industry. As well as gaining a broad knowledge of computing, you will acquire programming skills and have the opportunity to investigate certain areas of current research more deeply.

This intensive programme is designed for graduates who are new to computer science and would like to embark on a career in IT. It is also ideal if you are working in IT and want to update your skills and place them in a broader context while also obtaining a formal qualification.

Our MRes Computer Science is an advanced programme offering a supervised research project. You also take a module on research methods in computer science and information systems, as well as three other taught modules.

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Entry Requirements

At least a second-class honours degree (2:2) or equivalent, in a subject other than computer science, together with some aptitude for programming.

Applicants without a degree-level qualification but with significant computing experience may also be considered.

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course Content



Where is Birkbeck, University of London


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Student Profile(s)

Mark Bridge

4091.jpg 'The course was very challenging, but working hard and keeping up with the fantastic teachers and researchers at Birkbeck gave me the breadth and depth of knowledge, practical skill and confidence to hit the ground running as a software engineer in an intensely competitive field.

'I started as a contractor at AT&T working on what turned out to be one of two winning bids for a multi-billion dollar government contract managing phone services and quickly moved on to work on designs and prototypes for a j2ee electronic delivery verification application at the US Postal Service - one of the world's largest IT/web service infrastructures.

'Later working on image processing and secure content delivery for a small startup in internet magazine publishing, I built on what I'd learned about the java api's, learning about the pdf manipulation and cryptography, and built on what I'd learned about C/C> at Birkbeck by working on open-gl based image manipulation software. I also took part in building out and supporting the hardware infrastructure, utilising what I had learned about operating systems and scripting to add dedicated image processing servers to the data-centre in this very hands on role.

'Following this I moved on to work on the Playstation Network at Sony and built on my java skills - in my first year I successfully architected, developed and oversaw the deployment of a highly scalable and reliable service-oriented java ee software system serving millions globally in a strategically key area and then moved on to help re-write the legacy customer account management and registration system there.

'I am now bringing to bear what I learned about databases working with and developing hugely data intensive Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) applications and solutions in Cancer Translational Informatics at a major medical teaching school - using IT to deliver personalised treatments tailored to the genetic profile of the cancer disease as manifested in the individual.

'Birkbeck laid strong foundations for a professional career in the industry and the challenges it presents. Doing the course was one of the best decisions I've made and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make it in the IT industry.'


Adrian McMenamin

4107.jpg 'Birkbeck has a very good reputation; it’s part of the University of London, has an international reputation, and is very well known. I had friends and colleagues who had attended Birkbeck and told me that the student experience was a good one.

'My first degree was a BSc Astrophysics from about 25 years ago, but I felt that I could do more academically and so I enrolled on the MSc Computer Science at Birkbeck.

'I already had skills and knowledge in my area of study, but I wanted a formal qualification to show to employers. I felt as though I was getting on in life and that I wanted to learn new things and I wanted the personal challenge of studying for a formal qualification.

'It was absolutely essential for me that I was able to study for the degree part-time; I needed to work to be able to pay the mortgage and support my family. Although the degree was a big part of my life, I didn’t want to give up work and my career. To be able to study at a College of the University of London which was fully geared up to working with part-time students was very important. I never had a sense at Birkbeck that I was an ‘add-on’ as a part-time student.

'One of the things I came to enjoy most about the degree was the fact that it required hard study, it provided structure and goals that you had to reach, and you had to set yourself targets. It was a bigger challenge than I thought it would be but that made it more interesting. I was exploring open questions in research that had been unanswered for 20-30 years.

'I gained more from my time at Birkbeck than I initially thought I would. I knew I would get a formal qualification which would look good on my CV and impress employers, but I actually gained an understanding that I can do more, that there are things I can learn, new challenges I can face in life, and gained confidence from tackling important scientific questions and making a contribution. I got a lot more out of it than just a formal qualification.


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