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MSc Computer Science (Research)

Course Description

The School of Computing welcomes applications for our Computer Science research programmes.

Your research should produce an original contribution in your chosen field of study. You work closely with your supervisor, a member of academic staff, who is your principal source of support. If you choose a research area that has interdisciplinary aspects, you may have more than one supervisor. In addition to regular supervision, you will be supported by a supervisory panel of three academic staff who provide further structured input and guidance.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/283/computer-science

Supporting your research

We offer an extensive support framework to all our research students. We support you in becoming an effective researcher through a series of weekly workshops taken in the first year. These cover research-specific subjects including how to access journals and review research publications, how to write and publish academic articles and how to present your work at seminars and conferences. You may also attend workshops on key transferable skills including communication, time management and teamwork.

You join one or more of our well-integrated, active research groups where you will be able to test and discuss your ideas and place your research in a broader context.

We host a seminar series for visiting speakers as well as holding regular seminars within our research groups where research students are encouraged to participate. We also host an annual postgraduate conference where you have the opportunity to both present your work and to gain experience as a conference organiser.

Many of our research students earn money by teaching on our undergraduate programmes. We provide teaching development courses in your first year to give you the skills to teach effectively.

About the School of Computing

Our world-leading researchers, in key areas such as systems security, programming languages, communications, computational intelligence and memory management, and in interdisciplinary work with biosciences and psychology, earned us an outstanding result in the most recent national research assessment.

In addition, two of our staff have been honoured as Distinguished Scientists by the ACM and we have also held Royal Society Industrial Fellowships.

As an internationally recognised Centre of Excellence for programming education, the School of Computing is a leader in computer science teaching. Two of our staff have received the ACM SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education. We are also home to two National Teaching Fellows, to authors of widely used textbooks and to award-winning teaching systems such as BlueJ.

We have strong links with industry including Cisco, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle and are among the top ten in the UK for graduate employment prospects.


Students can gain practical work experience as part of their degree through our industrial placements scheme and KITC (see above). Both of these opportunities consolidate academic skills with real world experience, giving our graduates a significant advantage in the jobs market. Our graduates go on to work for leading companies including Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Intel, Lilly, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Thomson Reuters and T-Mobile. Many have gone on to develop their careers as project leaders and managers.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

This can be studied at the Canterbury or Medway Campus

- https://www.kent.ac.uk/locations/medway/

Visit the MSc Computer Science (Research) page on the University of Kent website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Dan Wilkie

The lectures were delivered engagingly; the course material was really thoughtfully laid out and bolstered by regular workshop sessions which were fun and very informative. The content was focussed around Java development skills and principles of object orientation which was personally the main driver behind my choice for this particular course.

I began the year with no knowledge of object orientation or Java developing skills at all. The concepts were introduced using a custom program which allowed me to really focus on learning Java - without the complications of also having to learn how to use an overly complicated development environment. The material was introduced in structured way which built each new concept on the last. By the time I left I had the knowledge and confidence to build my own applications.

What were the most interesting things you learned on the course?

Developing the ability to implement a graphical simulator for the population of predators and prey in a conservation area really gave me a sense of the principles of object-orientated programming coming to life. This small application combined the principles of abstraction, polymorphism, re-use of existing Java constructs through the API library, and basic Java Swing GUI design to create an application which animated how an initial distribution of predators and prey dynamically evolve according to a simple set of initial rules.

Learning how the Internet emerged from the ARPANET and how this network originally connecting only a handful of U.S. universities expanded into the Internet that we know today gave me a great insight into how layered architectures enable inter-networking through the use of peer protocols, interfaces and services.

The relatively complex concepts behind the in-built back-tracking facility of the declarative programming language, Prolog, was brought colourfully to life by it's application to the problem of finding the shortest lift journey between the runs, restaurants and bars on various European ski-resorts!

How did your studies help you find employment?

My MSc course was key in providing me with the confidence to apply for a job as a QA tester for the main fixed income trading platform of one of the world's largest investment banks.

(Student Profile)

Christian Baverstock

What did you particularly enjoy about your time at Kent?

Excellent campus and support staff who care about the subject. A wide range of possible subject choices.

What were the most interesting things you learned on the course?

Core object oriented techniques and database design I think have helped most with getting a job in the industry. General system architecture knowledge is also useful. Not to mention a look into the world of mobile development. It is good to see the course keeping up with modern technologies.

How did your studies help you achieve your personal goals?

Without the degree and placement year I wouldn't have the great job I do now, simple as that! The help from the placement team is invaluable as they teach you how to deal with future employers, and get the best deal for you. It is very easy to undervalue yourself in the tech industry, but all companies really look for is enthusiasm and a willingness to learn on top of your core technical skills.

(Student Profile)

Tony May

What did you particularly enjoy about your time at Kent?

The whole experience was very intense and enjoyable although extremely hard work. I enjoyed learning a new skill set and having my brain think in a way which was very different to that which it had tried to do before! I also met a great bunch of fellow students - many of whom I am still good friends with.

What were the most interesting things you learned on the course?

I particularly enjoyed the logic course and the Java modules. I wished I'd spent more time on the database and SQL side of the course!

How did your studies help you find employment?

I think they gave me a good grounding in a multitude of skills. The course taught me the ability to think logically and learn new technologies quickly. I also think it showed my future employers that I could turn my hand to something which wasn't necessarily second nature to me.


Entry Requirements

A first or 2.1 degree or advanced/specialist taught MSc in computer science or a related discipline (such as mathematics, business studies or electronics, as long as the degree has a strong computing component). For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website).

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