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Computer Science (Security and Distributed Computing)

Course Description


Modern devices often rely on data that is distributed across multiple computers, whether closely located or more distant. Developing software for such systems offers many benefits, but it also poses new challenges to be overcome, particularly in guaranteeing the security and robustness of the communication between devices.

The MSc at Hull is designed to enable you to overcome those challenges. It prepares you to exploit the extraordinary potential of distributed systems, both in terms of storage capacity and processing power, whilst being aware of the unique constraints and security problems they introduce. You will have access to cutting-edge equipment and facilities, and you will finish with a much greater understanding of how software development needs to adapt to the unique environment of a distributed system. These skills and knowledge are highly sought-after in an industry that is increasingly adopting new distributed technology, such as cloud-based solutions.

The course begins in September each year and lasts twelve months. There are two trimesters of taught modules, followed by an individual dissertation project during the third trimester. There is an option to take an extra trimester – either immediately before or after the dissertation – gaining industrial experience through a module based in SEED, our software development unit working with commercial clients and software. This is unique to Hull.

The Department of Computer Science creates an excellent experience for students, with a supportive student community. We have an international reputation for our research activities, with a strong record of industrial and public grant funding. We are also affiliated with Microsoft’s DreamSpark programme, which allows you to access the latest Microsoft operating systems and development software for home use. Once registered with the department, you can download the software free of charge.

Industrial Experience

There is the option to take an Industrial Experience variant, with the opportunity to extend the period of study by a trimester, to gain experience of working alongside commercial software developers within a commercial software development facility on site (SEED), promoting real-world applications of the advanced concepts met in the course.


The MSc Computer Science (Security and Distributed Computing) programme supports students with various levels of computing and programming practice experience, with material that supports the transition into the postgraduate environment. There is also suitable content on professional skills and the importance of ethics for practising computer scientists.
As a route into research, the programme supports the development of postgraduate technical skills, alongside critical research, analysis and planning activities.
In lectures you’ll benefit from a range of techniques, from interpreting complex ideas through interactive discussions, to live programming or other problem-solving demonstrations.
Core modules
• Oriented Design and Development Using C++
• Component-based Architecture
• Network Security
• Development Project
• Distributed Applications
• Trustworthy Computing
Optional modules
• Computer Science Software Development Practice (pass/fail module)
• Dissertation (There is the option of taking this module either in trimester 3 or trimester 4, depending on whether you take the Industrial Experience module.)
• The Industrial Experience optional 60-credit single trimester module allows students to gain significant commercial experience.

Teaching and learning

We place a strong emphasis on practical laboratory sessions. This will significantly develop your core computer science skills, and enhance your employability through exposure to commercial projects.
As teamwork plays a key role in commercial software development and has great value as an employable skill, group work is used in a number of modules.


Practical coursework is the main form of assessment, and you will design, build and test software solutions to a variety of problems. This is complemented by written coursework.
The largest assessment is the dissertation, which is based on the work done in the third trimester (or fourth, depending on your option choices) and documented in a report of up to 20,000 words.


The MSc Computer Science (Security and Distributed Computing) is designed to open up pathways to postgraduate research, as well as careers in a wide range of areas within your discipline. The industrial placement option will enable you to practise your skills and knowledge of computer science ‘in situ’, giving you a useful insight and advantage when it comes to starting your career.
We have a range of inspirational extra-curricular activities including the Three Thing Game, Imagine Cup Worldwide Software Development Challenge, Really Useful Seminars and Global Game Jam. They are designed to boost your CV and employability, and taking part costs very little.

Our graduates typically gain roles including: Applications Developer, Business Systems Analyst, Computer Analyst, Computer Programmer, Computer Operations Manager, Data Management Analyst, Database Assistant, Developer Support Engineer, Games Programmer, Games Programmer (Engine design), Information Manager, IT Design, IT Systems Manager, IT Technician, IT user Support, Mobile Developer, Operations Director, Software Designer, Software Developer, Software Engineer, Solutions Developer, Systems Engineer, Technical Sales, Technical Specialist, Web Developer.

Visit the Computer Science (Security and Distributed Computing) page on the University of Hull website for more details!

Student Profiles

International Student Scholarships in Science (2015) 2016 under review - 20+ Awards

See the application form for details of this scheme.

Value of Scholarship(s)



The Scheme applies to international (non-UK and non-EU) studentsmaking applications for a fulltime taught programme of study only.

Application Procedure

See the form on the link for details of how to apply.

Further Information



Departmental MSc Scholarships (2016 entry) - 6 Awards

Applicants are asked to state why they should be considered for the award of an
MSc scholarship in no more than 800 words (total, approx. 200 per field) under the
following 4 categories.
a) academic achievement (highest qualification, grades, awards etc)
b) Professional and other extra-curricular experience and achievements,
c) What your plans and aspirations are and how the course and the
award will support this.
d) Other relevant information.

Value of Scholarship(s)



These scholarships are on top of our other awards (including international scholarship). They are tuition fee discounts.

Application Procedure

Read about entry requirements and how to apply for courses and the scholarships at the link, including downloading the forms.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

2.2 Honours degree (or equivalent) in computing, or being able to demonstrate a significant level of computer programming experience.For international students, an IELTS score of 6.0 (with a minimum of5.5 in all skills) or equivalent, such as Pearson PTE or iBT TOEFL, is also required.

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