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Human-Centred Interactive Technologies - MSc

Course Description

The MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies is a full-time, one-year taught course that is intended for students seeking a professional career related to human-computer interaction, user experience, usability or related fields or those wishing to pursue research in the area. The course is intended for students who already have a good first degree in a computer science or an appropriate discipline related to human-computer interaction or have equivalent industrial experience. The course covers a range of topics associated with designing interactive systems for good usability and enhancing the user experience. The course has been specifically designed for students wishing to specialise in the design and evaluation of interactive technologies.

The MSc Human-Centred Interactive Technologies course was updated for October 2016 entry. The course had been running successfully for eight years, but in that time the landscape of interactive systems has changed considerably, with the growth of iPhones and apps and the introduction of tablet computers. We have also responded to feedback from students who have asked for more integrated modules and more opportunities to practice interaction design.

Course Aims
The aims of the course are:
-To provide a specialist education in the theories of and methods for designing and evaluating interactive technologies
-To provide an opportunity to engage in a rigorous and scholarly manner with a range of current research topics around designing and evaluating interactive technologies
-To provide practical experience of designing and evaluating interactive technologies
-To develop the skills necessary to conduct research, particularly with users, into the design, engineering or science of interactive technologies
-To provide experience of undertaking a sizeable individual project, on a subject related to research in human-centred interactive technologies
-To prepare students for entry into research degrees or industry-based projects

Learning Outcomes
A fundamental objective of the course is to provide students with a sound theoretical knowledge and practical experience of the skills essential to the design and evaluation of interactive technologies. Having completed the course, students will be able to understand theories of the design of interactive technologies and critique individual technologies from a theoretical viewpoint. In particular they will be able to:
(a) choose appropriate methods for empirical investigations for the design, prototyping and evaluation of interactive technologies, including both quantitative and qualitative methods

(b) plan and undertake a range of empirical investigations of existing or proposed interactive technologies at all stages of the development lifecycle

(c) analyse, draw conclusions from and present the results of such investigations, and

(d) conduct a range of expert and theoretical analyses of interactive technologies to investigate their usability, accessibility and appropriateness for different user groups.

Graduates completing the course will be equipped to play leading and professional roles related to the designed and evaluation of interactive technologies in industry, commerce, academia and public service. The MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies is also intended to provide a route into a PhD or research in this rapidly expanding field.


The dissertation project undertaken by students over the summer is carried out individually, which might involve collaboration with another organisation. A collaborative project is still supervised by a member of the Department.

Projects are worth 50% of the total mark for the MSc. Examples of previous projects include:
-A Gesture Language for Interaction with Art and Cultural Artefacts in Museums
-Analysis of WCAG 2.0 Techniques and Remote Evaluation by People with Visual Disabilities
-Cultural issues in design of online banking websites: a Chinese case study
-Evaluating Human Error through Video Games
-Have the Same Image in Mind? Investigation of Personas in Web Design
-Inattention and Immersion in Video Games
-Measuring User Experience of Mobile Phones: a Study with Retrospective Protocol and Emotion Word Prompt List
-The Application of Game Mechanics to a Virtual Learning Environment
-The Design and Evaluation of NHS Pharmacy Dispensing Computer Software
-Using User-Generated Content as Discourses on the Gaming Experience


Here at York, we're really proud of the fact that more than 97% of our postgraduate students go on to employment or further study within six months of graduating from York. We think the reason for this is that our courses prepare our students for life in the workplace through our collaboration with industry to ensure that what we are teaching is useful for employers.

Visit the Human-Centred Interactive Technologies - MSc page on the University of York website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Jonathan Settle

1877.jpg Why did you choose to study the MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies at York?

I wanted the chance to specialise in a field that I was interested in. Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) was something that I had only touched on in my undergraduate degree but I knew that I wanted to know more about it!

Why did you choose to study Computer Science at the University of York?

I had already studied here for my BEng in Computer Science and had got to know some of the lecturers quite well and was keen to work with them again.

What do you particularly like about being a Computer Science student at York?

I liked how a number of my modules were taught by multiple people, something which gave a variety of insights into what I was learning. I also liked that most of my assessments allowed me to choose my own topic for research.
The course offers a range of modules covering numerous aspects of your chosen discipline. I have had the chance to approach Computer Science from different angles, and largely a psychological angle. The range of topics that I have covered has allowed me to challenge my preconceptions and develop a broader and more realistic view of how Computer Science affects people.
The lecturers in the HCI group are all exceptional at what they do and whilst already being experts in their fields, they are happy to embrace new ideas that you might have. They are very approachable and the group dynamic lends itself well to extending teaching beyond just the classroom. Informal chats outside of class have helped me to put abstract ideas into focus and I have always felt that the lecturers treat us as peers rather than students.
The new campus has provided more open spaces and areas to study than were available before. The great benefit for me has been the new Home Lab that the HCI group has. This has really helped to demonstrate a number of concepts that have appeared in the modules and has allowed the practical application of these.

Would you recommend York and the Department of Computer Science?

Any student that chooses to do an MSc here in York will get the opportunity to work alongside some excellent people in that field. You will get the chance to explore something you find interesting and the end of year project that you do really gives you the chance to do something unique.


Department of Computer Science Postgraduate Taught Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

Each year a number of departmental studentships are available to candidates enrolling on any full-time taught MSc course in the Department of Computer Science. For up to date information on these departmental studentships and for details of co-sponsored opportunities such as the DCMS Bursary for students undertaking our GCHQ-certified MSc course in Cyber Security, please visit our website: https://www.cs.york.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught-courses/scholarship/

Value of Scholarship(s)



See link for more details.

Application Procedure

See link for more details.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Typically, you will have achieved at least an upper second class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a computer science or an appropriate discipline related to human-computer interaction. We are willing to consider applications from those who do not fit this profile. We will, for example, consider applicants who do not have an appropriate qualification but have appropriate industrial experience.

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