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Computer Science MSc

Learn about the course below
October 2021
September 2021 (EU/INT induction)
January 2022
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£10,000 (UK) *
£14,500 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Carl Evans
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You can choose to start this course in October 2020 and in January 2021. This is because we've changed some of our teaching arrangements in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Whenever you start, you'll get the same great learning experience with lots of support to do your best.

Computer Science influences every aspect of modern life and is one of the fastest-moving academic disciplines and has a huge impact on both economic competitiveness and human wellbeing. This course will equip you with the skills and expertise required to forge a successful career in a wide range of industries.

Why study MSc Computer Science* at Middlesex University?

This course not only offers a balance between advanced computer science theory and practical experience, but has a very strong focus on contemporary research. Practical work is an important part of every module and the School of Science and Technology has strong links within the industry, including company giants such as Microsoft and Siemens.

The university is very active in the exploration of a number of key areas within computer Science which you will have the opportunity to focus upon during your studies and individual research project. These include, but are not limited to interaction design, data visualisation, artificial intelligence, ubiquitous computing, cyber-security, algorithmic design, and blockchain engineering.

This course is designed for those students who have previously studied computing at university level and are looking to develop an advanced mastery of the subject.

*Please note this course is subject to review.

Find out more

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What will you study on the MSc Computer Science?

You will be encouraged to investigate the current areas of research that the university is currently exploring. These include computer graphics, machine learning, robotics, quantum computing, algorithmic design and visual analytics, amongst many others. You will also have the opportunity to study a range of programming paradigms, cross-platform software application development, agile techniques, human-computer interaction as well as designing and developing interactive visual computer systems.

What will you gain?

As well as an in-depth understanding of your subject, you will also be quipped with the knowledge of analysing, developing and executing complex software, producing software to a given specification, and you’ll be able to use modelling and abstraction techniques to design software systems. This course will provide you with many transferable skills and will improve your research, data collection and interpretation, communication, problem-solving, presentation, and critical skills. The strong focus on principles and concepts will help you develop the capacity for life long independent study.


  • Modules

    • Advanced Topics in Computer Science (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module serves two main purposes. Firstly, it gives students an opportunity to complete two short studies as separate teaching blocks of advanced topics in computer science. Students will be able to select topics from a pool of designated options. All designated topics have a close alignment with research activity conducted within the school of Science and Technology, and each elective short-course will be presented by an experienced scholar in the specified field of computer science. The module will also focus on the preparation of a project proposal to be taken forward to the dissertation phase of the programme. To this end, a number of teaching weeks will aim to prepare students in research methods and project planning appropriate to an individual project. These sessions will be integrated at several points within the standard 24 week teaching framework with a view to underpin research and development activities within all the taught modules on the programme.

    • Software Development (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module covers the software development process from requirements elicitation and design, to team development, documentation, maintenance, and quality assurance. The development paradigm will be object-oriented, and students will employ an integrated development environment for code management, and utilise associated tools for version control, testing and system documentation. The module also aims to guide the student learner through agile principles and practises, including requirements gathering, planning, test-driven development and refactoring. During this phase of the course students will gain experience using a range of software modelling tools.

    • Blockchain Development (15 credits) - Compulsory

      Blockchain Technology is changing how organisations communicate and operate, with this change there is a challenge and opportunity for Blockchain developers. This module aims to convey the required knowledge underpinning blockchain technology in order to enable you to apply it to develop solutions to practical problems.

    • Cyber and Information Security (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to develop your key skills required to understand and circumvent cyber incidents and how to implement security of systems and data. This module will review a range of related topics, including information security including cryptographic techniques, risk management, network penetration, protection and ethical hacking.

    • Cross Platform Application Development (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is based on the development of cross-platform applications and the context in which they work, that is, the Internet. These technologies and frameworks allow distributed client/server systems because of their cross-platform capabilities and APIs for accessing backend resources. This allows developers to create dynamic data driven Internet applications. The module looks at how such systems can be developed and deployed, the tools, protocols and security needed to do this in an efficient and security-aware manner.

    • Data Visualisation (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides you with an understanding of core concepts in the theory and application of interactive data visualisation, including those relating to visual perception, sensemaking, data preparation, visualisation patterns, dashboard design and interaction. You will learn principles relevant to designing interactive data visualisation and gain the experience of iteratively eliciting requirements for and developing visualisation solutions to real problems using off-the-shelf toolkits.

    • Individual Project (60 credits) - Compulsory

      The project module aims to develop the students knowledge and skills required for planning and executing research projects such as proof of concept projects or empirical studies related to computer science. To plan and carry out their projects the students will have to: Apply theories, methods and techniques previously learned Critically analyse and evaluate research results drawing on knowledge from other modules Develop their communication skills to enable them to communicate their findings competently in written and oral form​.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How will the MSc Computer Science be taught?

You’ll attend online sessions, where you’ll do practical work designing, analysing and building software, as well as a combination of real-time and pre-recorded lectures and seminars, which will give you the opportunity to ask questions, take part in class discussions and talk about problems. Some work will be done in groups. In your spare time, as well as in directed study periods, you’ll do your own independent study and reading, which will include the use of online resources.


Although there will be some tests as part of the programme assessment, there will be no written exams. You will be assessed entirely through coursework, presentations, reports, learning logbooks, practical software development assignments and group assignments. You will receive regular feedback on your work throughout the course.

For your independent project and dissertation, you will plan, conduct and critically evaluate an analytical study. You will be assessed on your research proposal, written dissertation and a viva voce exam, in which you’ll justify and reflect on your work, and discuss possible further developments.

Teaching and learning - changes for students in January 2021

If you’re a new student for January 2021, your teaching will start online due to national lockdown restrictions. We plan to start in person teaching on campus sometime after mid-February when the lockdown ends. When restrictions are lifted, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we currently plan to teach your course fully online through a mixture of live interactive sessions and independent learning. This will ensure you’re equipped with the same skills as on campus study, and offer you an engaging learning experience where you can meet and network with your lecturers and fellow students through online platforms. We are also exploring opportunities for face-to-face interactive sessions with smaller groups of students and staff where possible and we can make the appropriate arrangements. You will still be able to access bookable study spaces on campus, and any of the facilities and support services which are open, as well as our extensive online support.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes, the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario 1: Course delivered fully online 

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

12 hours

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

38 hours

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:


Scenario 2: course delivered with a mix of online and face to face learning with social distancing in place

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

12 hours

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

38 hours

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:


Face-to-face sessions

Contact time per week, per level:

2 hours

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.
  • Face to face sessions – Wherever it’s possible to do so, and we can make the necessary arrangements to ensure your safety, you’ll be able to attend scheduled sessions, workshops or appointments on campus as part of your live learning. The number of hours given in this scenario provides an indication of the number of hours of face to face learning you could expect, and a full timetable will be provided to you before the start of your course.


You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MSc Computer Science support your career?

There is a very high demand worldwide for well-qualified IT graduates and this course will leave you perfectly placed to for a variety of roles in the software industry, such as software developer, IT systems architect, IT security coordinator, or information security analyst. You also have the opportunity to move into broader IT project management, systems design, consultancy or strategy planning. You might choose to specialise in a particular field, for example finance or security, or take on a managerial role.

The course's strong research slant creates an excellent foundation for further research in a wide range of topics.

Our graduates have gone on to work for software firms, computer manufacturers and specialist IT security consultancies. There are also opportunities within government departments, the health service, public services, financial institutions, management consultancies as well as in the media, transport, retail and education sectors. You could even start your own business.

  • Tomasz Wawreniuk

    MSc Computer Science student

    I chose this course because I love solving problems and computer science is the best subject for that. Course group is small, which gives an intimate feeling to the lessons. Lecturers know your strengths and weaknesses and will develop personalised projects that allow you to understand things in your own way.

    The support on this course has been very good. Lecturers are helpful and willing to stay after hours to assist. Getting experience with real clients has been an amazing learning process through which I’ve gained confidence and bettered my communication skills. For example, working with the Pink Shoe Club (a company that aims to help women open and develop businesses) allowed me to work in a team with people I hadn’t interacted with before. We had to learn how to assess each other’s skills to utilise everyone’s strengths in the most efficient manner.

    Student group in this course is very international and it’s exciting to learn about everyone's similarities and differences. I’ve loved my time at Middlesex University and I’d say that the diverse community here makes this course even more valuable.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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