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    School of Computer Science Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Computer Science

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    One year full time or two years part time

  • Course Type

    MSc

  • Course Fees

    UK and EU: £9,450
    Overseas: £23,090

  • Last Updated

    04 September 2019

The MSc in Computing and Information Technology is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Computer Science. The course consists of two semesters of taught components followed by an 11-week project leading to the submission of a 15,000-word dissertation in August.

Highlights

  • The course is designed to be flexible to allow students the freedom to pursue their own interests within computer science.
  • The course introduces students to programming skills in a modern software development environment.
  • Students undertake a significant project, including a wide-ranging investigation, leading to their dissertation, which enables them to consolidate and extend their specialist knowledge and critical thinking.
  • Students have 24-hour access to modern computing laboratories, provisioned with dual-screen PC workstations and group-working facilities.

After the first semester, students may switch to the more general MSc in Information Technology, in which programming modules are not required.

Teaching format

The taught portion of the MSc programme includes eight modules: three compulsory and five optional from a wide range available. Teaching methods include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • practical classes.

Class sizes typically range from 10 to 50 students. Most modules are assessed through practical coursework exercises and examinations.

All students will be required to complete a Post Entry Language Assessment (PELA) on arrival at University of St Andrews. Based on their performance in this assessment, students will be advised to attend targeted support sessions during the year to improve language and academic skills. This assessment is required, but will not count towards the final degree classification.

You will also be assigned an advisor who meets with you at the start of the year to discuss module choices and is available to assist with any academic difficulties during the year. A designated member of staff provides close supervision for the MSc project and dissertation.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see our website; some elements may be subject to change for 2020 entry.

Compulsory

Students take the following compulsory module:

  • Masters Programming Projects: reinforces key programming skills gained during the first programming module of the programme and offers increasing depth and scope for creativity.

and choose one of the following:

  • Object-Oriented Modelling, Design and Programming: introduces and reinforces object-oriented modelling, design and implementation to provide a common basis of skills, allowing students to complete programming assignments within other MSc modules.
  • Programming Principles and Practice: introduces computational thinking and problem-solving skills to students who have no or little previous programming experience.

Optional

Students choose five of the following optional modules (up to two of these may be taken from the second list). See the module catalogue for their descriptions.

Not all combinations of modules will be available for all programmes, and some modules are subject to pre-requisites being satisfied. Please consult the relevant course catalogue for available options. 

Optional modules

  • Advanced Topics in Computer Communication Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence Practice
  • Artificial Intelligence Principles
  • Critical Systems Engineering
  • Database Management Systems
  • Data-Intensive Systems
  • Green Information Technology
  • Human Computer Interaction Principles and Methods
  • Information Security Management
  • Information Technology Projects
  • Information Visualisation
  • Interactive Software and Hardware
  • Knowledge Discovery and Datamining
  • Language and Computation
  • Masters Programming Projects
  • Principles of Computer Communication Systems
  • Practice in Computer Communication Systems
  • Software Architecture
  • Software Engineering Practice
  • Software Engineering Principles
  • User-Centred Interaction Design
  • Web Technologies

Additional optional modules

  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Security
  • Concurrency and Multi-Core Architectures
  • Constraint Programming
  • Distributed Systems
  • Logic and Software Verification
  • Programming Language Design and Implementation
  • Signal Processing and Perception for Digital Media
  • Video Games

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students.#

Dissertation

During the second semester, students work with staff to define and agree upon a topic for the extended project, which they will work on during the final three months of the course, and which culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation. Dissertation projects may be group-based or completed individually (students are assessed individually in either case).

The dissertation typically comprises:

  • a review of related work
  • the extension of existing or the development of new ideas
  • software implementation and testing
  • analysis and evaluation.

Students are required to give a presentation of their work in addition to the written dissertation.

Each project is supervised by one or two members of staff, typically through regular meetings and reviews of software and dissertation drafts.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma instead, finishing the course at the end of the second semester of study.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2020 entry. Take a look at our website for the most up-to-date list of modules.


Visit the Computing and Information Technology (MSc) page on the University of St Andrews website for more details!

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