The discipline of Human Computer Interaction is about many things: It is about the interface that a system provides (and, therefore, is the most important and most complex component of most systems) but it is also about so much more. We need to understand the people that use the systems and their abilities and constraints. We need to understand how to build systems that really work and also how to evaluate them. We also need to be able to think creatively in order to build innovative solutions to new problems and emerging applications and domains - to be able to solve the problems of tomorrow’s world rather than just those of today.
This course covers the underpinning theories, methodologies and practices of HCI. It includes specialist modules in application domains. Through course and project work your degree is intimately integrated into the research of the University’s HCI centre.
Breakdown of course
This is a one year, full-time course. In the first 8 months, students will spend half of their time studying taught modules. Here we will cover the core principles, theories, methodologies and application areas of the discipline. There will also be an opportunity to take optional modules in areas such as Computer Security, Robotics or Nature Inspired Computation.
The other half of your time will be spent on two mini-projects. Here you will work one-to-one with one of our research-active staff to explore an area in great depth – analyzing the problem and existing solutions, developing new ideas and building or evaluating prototype systems. Here you will develop your skills in analysis, research, technology and also in presenting and explaining your work clearly and effectively.
The final four months will be spent extending the work of one of your mini-projects, again with expert one-to-one supervision.
About the School of Computer Science
The School of Computer Science at University of Birmingham has consistently been ranked in the Top 10 in UK league tables and has regularly achieved high satisfaction scores in National Student Surveys. 95% of our students go into graduate employment (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2014/15), and our School is ranked 8th nationally for research quality in the '2014 Research Excellence Framework'. Our work is regularly presented in international conferences and journals, indicating the high standards we achieve in research. In 2008, the UK Funding Councils undertook a national assessment of the quality of research at British universities, the RAE. Among 81 submissions nationally for computer science, the School is equal 7th in the proportion of 4* awards, for research quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.