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Scientific Computing - MSc/PGDip

Course Description

Scientists and engineers are tackling ever more complex problems, most of which do not admit analytical solutions and must be solved numerically. Numerical methods can only play an even more important role in the future as we face even bigger challenges. Therefore, skilled scientific programmers are in high demand in industry and academia and will drive forward much of the future economy.

Degree information

This programme aims to produce highly computationally skilled scientists and engineers capable of applying numerical methods and critical evaluation of their results to their field of science or engineering. It brings together best practice in computing with cutting-edge science and provides a computing edge over traditional science, engineering and mathematics programmes.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation/report (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma, six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), is also offered.

Core modules
-Computational and Simulation Methods
-Numerical Methods
-Numerical Optimisation
-Research Computing with C++
-Research Software Engineering with Python
-Techniques of High-Performance

Optional modules - options include a wide selection of modules across UCL Engineering and UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences.

All students undertake an independent research project project which culminates in a dissertation of 20,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and hands-on programming and includes a variety of short programming projects, delivered as part of the taught component. Students are encouraged to participate in scientific seminars, for example, weekly seminars at the UCL Centre for Inverse Problems. Assessment is through examinations, assignments, small projects and the dissertation, including a computer programme.


We expect our graduates to take up exciting science and engineering roles in industry and academia with excellent prospects for professional development and steep career advancement opportunities. This degree enable students to work on cutting-edge real-life problems, overcome the challenges they pose and so contribute to advancing knowledge and technology in our society.

Students develop a comprehensive set of skills which are in high demand both in industry and academia: professional software development skills including state-of-the-art scripting and compiled languages; knowledge of techniques used in high-performance computing; understanding and an ability to apply a wide range of numerical methods and numerical optimisation; a deeper knowledge of their chosen science subject; oral and written presentational skills.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL has a global reputation for excellence in research and is committed to delivering impact and innovations that enhance the lives of people in the UK, across Europe and around the world. UCL is consistently placed in the global top 20 across a wide range of university rankings (currently fifth in QS World University Rankings 2014/15). Furthermore, the Thomson Scientific Citation Index shows that UCL is the 2nd most highly cited European university and 13th in the world.

Our wide-ranging expertise provides opportunities for groundbreaking interdisciplinary investigation. World-leading experts in the field and students benefit from a programme of distinguished visitors and guest speakers in many scientific seminars. In this way a network of collaborators, mentors and peers is created, which students can access in their future career.

This degree has been designed to balance a professional software development and high performance computing skills with a comprehensive selection of numerical mathematics and scientific subjects, culminating in a scientific computing dissertation project. The dual aspect of a science and computing degree enable students to tackle real-life problems in a structured and rigorous way and produce professional software for their efficient solution.

Visit the Scientific Computing - MSc/PGDip page on the University College London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Brown Family Bursary - Single Award

The bursary will be awarded based on financial need only as determined by the Student Funding Office.Value, Benefits and Duration
- The value of the bursary is £15,000. The payment is to be applied to tuition fees in the first instance, with any remainder being paid to the successful applicant towards maintenance in termly instalments.
- The bursary is tenable for one year only.
- The bursary may not be held alongside other tuition fee only awards.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- prospective full-time UK Master's students who are undertaking a one-year programme of study in the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences or Mathematical & Physical Sciences (BEAMS) in 2015/16
- currently holding a first-class Bachelor's degree; and
- in financial need.

Application Procedure

See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate/UK-EU-Master/uclalumniandfriends

Further Information


Entry Requirements

An upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in mathematics, computer science, engineering, physical sciences or a closely related subject.

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