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Human-Computer Interaction Design (MSc)

Course Description

City, University of London's MSc Human-Computer Interaction Design, formerly known as MSc Human-Centred Systems, will equip you with the latest research, theories and techniques in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), User Experience (UX), usability and interaction design - thoroughly preparing you for a career in user-centred design or user research. You will gain a mix of theoretical and practical knowledge, along with the skills and experience to create engaging user experiences. You will study modules that cover the entire user-centred design and evaluation process; from eliciting user requirements, to designing interactive systems that meet those requirements, to evaluating the usability of those (and existing systems) by conducting user research.

High-quality teaching on the MSc Human-Computer Interaction Design is informed by leading-edge academic research, offering an intellectually stimulating course relevant to the current and future workplace. We offer a healthy balance of theory and practice, with a strong focus on real-world applications, supported by guest lectures from industry. This course is led by the Centre for HCI Design, one of the largest and longest established HCI groups in the UK.

You will benefit from the use of the City Interaction Lab, which is equipped with the latest technologies including eye-tracking equipment, interactive tabletops, mobile testing stations and more, and offers opportunities for you to work on real client projects.

About the course:
- This course is offered as a 12 month full-time or 28 month part-time MSc.
- A 6-month internship route is available, providing valuable work experience.
- A maximum of 40 students will be accepted onto the course in 2016/17, ensuring a staff-student ratio that facilitates high-quality education.
- You do not need a prior background in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) or programming experience to apply for this course. A practical or academic computing background is helpful, but not necessary.

The MSc Human-Computer Interaction Design was previously called MSc Human-Centred Systems. The course content remains the same.

This course is accredited by The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) for partial fulfilment of the academic requirement for Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status.

See the website http://www.city.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/human-computer-interaction-design

Course Content

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

Course Structure

Interaction Design provides the core concepts and skills that underpin the design of interactive systems. You will learn fundamental design principles and you will design and evaluate interactive digital technologies using techniques such as personas, scenarios and prototyping. You will apply creativity tools and techniques to technology-driven service design, creating original and useful products in Creativity in Design. The needs of diverse user groups, including designing for Web accessibility to support disabled users, are examined in Inclusive Design. In Information Architecture, you will learn about the structural design of digital information environments, creating design deliverables such as domain models, wireframes and user journeys. You will also evaluate information architectures from a user perspective. You will gain further evaluation experience in Evaluating Interactive Systems, where you will discover the latest research and learn techniques for undertaking both quantitative and qualitative HCI evaluations - including user testing, Heuristic Evaluation and Cognitive Walkthroughs. You will understand how to design for users’ strengths and limitations from a cognitive psychology perspective in Cognition and Technologies, using frameworks such as Distributed Cognition and Activity Theory, to support the design of novel interactive technologies, e.g. gestural user interfaces and wearables. 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 highly recommended, practitioner tutorials supplement the taught modules. These include talks, workshops and field trips. Previous tutorials have featured HCI and UX practitioners from prestigious firms including Foolproof, Futureheads, eBay and Google.

Teaching and Assessment

The course is available full-time over 12 months and part-time up to 28 months.

The course is assessed by a mixture of coursework and examination and an independent research project.

Delivery of the modules is by a combination of lectures, online activities and interactive workshops and tutorials. All modules are supported by the University's online learning environment.

The assessment for the project module is in the form of a traditional dissertation reporting your work.

Read the full programme specification - http://www.city.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/309926/PSHUCS-MSc-Human-Computer-Interaction-Design.pdf


For up-to-date information about tuition fees, living costs and financial support, visit Postgraduate Fees and Finance (http://www.city.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/funding-and-financial-support).


After the taught part of the course is completed, you will have the opportunity to partake 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. In 2014-15, over a third of our full-time students benefited from our internship programme. Learn more about internships in Industry at City.

Recent internship companies
- Webcredible
- Nature.com

Career Prospects

- Our employability is very high with over 80% of our graduates in full-time employment within 6 months of graduation (Destinations of City graduates)

- This course will equip you for a career as a usability and accessibility specialist, user experience consultant. interaction designer and information architects in leading business consultancies, digital agencies, IT companies, government and commercial organisations. (Destinations of City graduates)

- There is an increasing need for HCI and UX specialists with a deep knowledge of Human-Computer Interaction design. In particular, companies involved in designing interactive systems (e.g. websites design, e-learning applications, multimedia design companies) are looking for graduates with an understanding and appreciation of the human elements in design. This course is also an excellent starting point if you want to study for a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).

The MSc is also an excellent starting point for students who wish to study for a PhD in the areas of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).

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

(Student Profile)

Shamil Parbhoo

The MSc program in Human-Computer Interaction Design at City has thoroughly prepared me for a competitive role in the industry. I am currently on an internship at Fluent Interaction, working as a User Experience Consultant. The theoretical and practical skills that I picked up throughout the program have proved to be useful at my new role. Above all, however, the wide array of students at the university, along with the knowledgeable and approachable instructors have enriched my postgraduate education in a way that I did not expect. I would not have gotten this far without their guidance at every step of the way.

(Student Profile)

Johannes Schleith

'City appeared to be one of the most exciting places in the UK if not Europe, to study HCI and User-centred Design'.

Why did you choose to study at City University London?
During an academic internship I worked with Dr. Stumpf at City's Centre for HCID and got to know its fantastic staff and research. City appeared to be one of the most exciting places in the UK if not Europe, to study HCI and User-centred Design with an approach that integrates and encourages interdisciplinary thinking, building on current theories about cognition and creativity.

What do you enjoy most about your course?
Every part of the course is well thought-through. It combines individual as well as team work and employs a healthy mix of theory and practice, which really helps to understand and apply the concepts and approaches. As expected it was very intense, but by this also pushed us to work hard and learn a lot about the subject.

What has been your favourite module and why?
It is hard to pick one favourite from two terms of inspiring teaching. 'Cognition and Technology' encouraged to think about how information technology might support and extend human cognition and communication.

What has been the highlight of your course so far?
Teaching was complemented by external talks and tutorials about current research as well as tips and tricks by practitioners about careers in industry, e.g. during the HCID Open Day 2015.

Where was your internship and how was the experience?
I am soon to start an internship with the User Experience Consultancy, Spotless.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I am looking forward to apply good practice in user research and user-centred design on real world projects that make a difference and employ technology in a way that extends, rather than takes away human capabilities.

(Student Profile)

Vikram Singh

'City's Human Centred Systems program has been carefully developed over the years. It perfectly combines the academic with the practical.'

Why did you choose to study at City University London?
An excellent combination of the academic and the practical. Most other schools lean one way or the other quite a bit, but the Human Centred Systems program is well balanced and has been carefully developed over the years.

What do you enjoy most about your course?
The receptiveness of the teachers - they are passionate and extremely willing to help. Doing your Masters can be intimidating - they make it much less stressful and overwhelming.

What has been your favourite module and why?
Information Architecture. I love information architecture - how information is structured and how we respond to it. The teacher, Stephann Macri, was passionate and provided a highly participatory environment where everyone was encouraged to contribute. The coursework was excellent as we got to design an entire Information Architecture for a website with a topic of our choice.

What has been the highlight of your course so far?
Starting my MSc Project. It's so intellectually invigorating to begin researching your topic and realizing that you are actually contributing to the knowledge of a particular domain. The teachers too are highly encouraging and provide you with lots of resources for your project.

Where was your internship and how was the experience?
Well, I haven't started yet, but I've met the staff. It will be at Fluent Interaction, a user experience company in London. I really can't wait to begin learning and applying all I've learned in the courses. The staff themselves seem great and very welcoming.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
Continue with my career in information architecture and user experience. I'm certain my MSc has given me the skills and credentials to succeed. However, my MSc has also made me realize how much I enjoy academia - hopefully after a few years, I'll do my doctorate, maybe at City!

(Student Profile)

Lan Huang

'The curriculum of City's MSc Human-Centred Systems is interesting and robust, and our lecturers are very well regarded in their respective domains.'

Why did you choose to study at City University London?
The curriculum of the MSc Human-Centred Systems is interesting and robust. The lecturers are also very well regarded in their respective domains.

What do you enjoy most about your course?
Meeting other like-minded people who are passionate about human-computer interaction.

What has been your favourite module and why?
Data visualisation. Jo Wood combined both theoretical and pragmatic learning elements to deliver an engaging module. The project allowed us to generate an output that we could put on our CVs and impress employers.

What has been the highlight of your course so far?
Developing a novel prototype on a project with three peers. It was fun, practical and very rewarding.

Where is your internship?
Tobias & Tobias.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I plan to work as a interaction design consultant at a digital agency. I am currently interning at Tobias & Tobias, a design firm that specialises in working with financial services clients.

(Student Profile)

Caroline Owen

Caroline chose City as it has a brilliant reputation in the UX industry, and offers a strong focus on academic research.

Why did you choose to study at City University London?
The HCS course, and City University have brilliant reputation in the UX industry. The university has a strong focus on academic research and always has the latest technology available to the students. I'm very excited about the 3D printer! The HCID lab is also great because it takes on lots of commercial projects and allows students to gain experience with real clients. When I was looking for MSc courses I was very keen to learn practical skills that employers will be looking for. City provides the opportunity to learn these skills and also balances it out with the theoretical side, based on world class international research.

What do you enjoy most about your course?
I love having access to academics who are actively working with the latest technology and carrying out cutting edge research. I also like that they're all very approachable and can often be found having a few drinks after lectures with the students.

What has been your favourite module and why?
My favourite module would have to be Evaluating Interactive Systems because it is directly applicable to a UX role. I'm very interested in user experience research and having experience with things like heuristic evaluations and user testing will hopefully help me when it comes to my next job!

What has been a highlight of your course so far?
Learning creativity workshop techniques (often involving Lego!) has been very useful and entertaining. I also think that being able to run workshops like this and having an awareness of the creativity tools available will be invaluable in the future.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
At the moment I am working full time so I'm hoping to use the skills I've learned in my current role, but if this isn't possible then I'd be very interested to work for an agency. Luckily a lot of them seem to be based very near City University so it has been easy to network and make connections with them.


City University London, School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering Studentships - 6 Awards

The School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering at City University London is offering 6 full-time, three-year doctoral studentships, in the fields of Engineering and Computer Science, for 2016/17 entry. Applications are invited from exceptional UK, EU and international graduates wishing to pursue cutting-edge research in any of the School's key research areas.The School is investing in academic excellence following its success in the recent REF 2014 which highlighted the world class quality of its research.What is Offered
A doctoral studentship will provide:
- An annual bursary (£16,000 in 2015/16)
- A full tuition fee waiver for UK and EU students. Applications are welcome from overseas applicants but the applicant must make appropriate arrangements to cover the the difference between the overseas and UK tuition feeApplications are welcome from individuals wishing to pursue research in any of the areas listed below. You are encourged to discuss your application in advance with a potential supervisor in the School. Please follow the links to find out more:- Computer Science - Adaptive Computing Systems; Human‐Computer Interaction Design; Software Reliability; Machine Learning; Geographic Information Science.
- Civil Engineering - Civil Engineering; Civil Engineering Structures; Fluid-Structure Interaction.
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering - Biomedical Engineering; Systems and Control; Photonics and Instrumentation.
- Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering - Fluid Dynamics; Turbulence and Flow Control; Multi-Scale Flow Technologies; Fluid-Structure Interaction.Further Information:
Email: [email protected]
Visit: http://www.city.ac.uk/citygraduateschool

Value of Scholarship(s)



- Applicants must hold at least a 2.1 honours degree or merit level Masters degree in a relevant subject (or international equivalent)
- Applicants whose first language is not English must have achieved at least 6.5 in IELTS or a recognised equivalent
- Applicants must not be currently registered as a doctoral student at City University London or any other academic institution

Application Procedure

Applications must consist of:
- a research degree application form
- 3 page research proposal
- proof of academic qualifications
- proof of English language proficiency (if you do not speak English as your first language) and
- two confidential references (one of which must be an academic reference).

The above documents should be compiled into a single document and submitted to by the 26th May 2016.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold an upper second class honours degree, the equivalent from an international institution or an equivalent professional qualification. Previous experience with computer technologies and academic and commercial experience is also considered. A practical background in computing technologies is desirable. It is not necessary for students to have had prior exposure to human-computer Interaction or user-centred design.

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