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Course content

Who is it for?

This course is for people who want to design technology that meets user needs, creating interactive systems that are useful, easy-to-use and engaging. It is for people who get frustrated when they interact with unnecessarily complicated websites, mobile apps or other interactive systems and want to improve them. This course will help you appreciate design technology based on an understanding of users' needs and ensure that the products you and others design meet those needs.

Objectives

This course will help you to:

  • Understand the latest academic research, theories and techniques in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), User Experience (UX), usability and Interaction Design.
  • Think about design in new ways - recognising that there are many 'right' ways to design interactive systems.
  • Gain a mix of theoretical and practical knowledge, along with the necessary skills and experience to create engaging user experiences.
  • Study modules that cover the entire user-centred design and evaluation process - from understanding user needs, to designing interactive systems that meet those needs, to evaluating the usability of those (and existing systems) through user research.

Accreditation

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

Internships

After the taught part of the course is completed, you will have the opportunity to take part in a six-month internship which gives you valuable work experience and increases your employability. Internships offer an exceptional opportunity to make you stand out in a competitive job market place. We have extensive experience in helping students to secure placement employment in the IT industry.

Learn more about internships in Industry at City.

Recent internship companies

Academic facilities

You will benefit from the use of the City Interaction Lab - a combined commercial and research lab, where we have undertaken UX consultancy for prestigious companies including Virgin Atlantic.

The lab is fitted with the latest technologies including:

  • A usability testing suite
  • Mobile testing station
  • Eye-tracker
  • Interactive table-top
  • Brain interaction technology
  • 3D-printer and more.

We employ student consultants on some projects, providing the opportunity to work on real client projects.

Teaching and learning

The course is delivered by distinguished academics from City University London's Centre for HCI Design, who all have a passion for user-centred design. We also have close links with industry. Industry professionals help inform and shape the curriculum, setting briefs for the assessments and participating in teaching and learning - by giving guest lectures and running practitioner tutorials. They also provide feedback on students' design outputs and input into module content, ensuring that students learn the knowledge and skills most valued by industry.

Assessment

The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, online activities and interactive workshops and tutorials. It is assessed in a variety of ways, including:

  • Examinations (which focus on applying HCI theory in realistic situations)
  • Coursework (which ranges from written reports and essays, to posters, presentations and design documentation - e.g. wireframe prototypes). A range of both group and individual coursework is set during the course. Group coursework is often centred around realistic design projects
  • Independent research project (dissertation). The independent project allows you to conduct original research on an HCI topic of your choice

Each of these account for around one-third of the total course assessment. However, the exact balance varies according to the chosen elective module.

Modules

You will study seven core modules and one elective module that cover the entire user-centred design and evaluation process. Modules are delivered through a combination of lectures, online activities and interactive workshops and tutorials. These include sessions delivered by guest lecturers from industry.

Full-time students spend eight hours per week in lectures and four hours per week in seminars and tutorials. Part-time students spend half this time in classes.

Overall workload is around 36 hours per week for full-time and 18 hours per week for part-time students.

You will also undertake an independent Research Project, for which our module on Research Methods and Professional Issues will prepare you.

A series of optional, but recommended, practitioner tutorials supplement the taught modules. These include talks, workshops and field trips. Previous tutorials have featured HCI/UX practitioners from prestigious companies, such as Foolproof, Futureheads and eBay.

Career prospects

This course enables you to make informed decisions on how to apply your knowledge in original and creative ways. As a result, this course empowers you to succeed in a variety of User Experience (UX) roles in leading digital agencies, business consultancies, IT companies and commercial/government organisations.

Roles include:

  • UX Designer/Consultant.
  • User Researcher.
  • Information Architect.
  • Accessibility Specialist.

There is an increasing need for specialists with a deep knowledge of Human-Computer Interaction design. As the industry continues to expand, there is no better time to become a Master in this field. The course is also an excellent starting point for those wanting to pursue a PhD in HCI.


Visit the Human-Computer Interaction Design (MSc) page on the City, University of London website for more details!

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