Computing - MSc

Full Time, Part Time
September 2016, January 2017
£5,500 for UK/EU Full Time 2016 entry (view all fees)

Combining the rigour of academic discipline with leading-edge technical IT skills, our MSc Computing course will really help you to stand out from the crowd.

The beauty of this course is that you do not require prior IT knowledge because it is designed to provide graduates of other disciplines with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge and competency in a range of advanced topics in computer science and business computing.

You’ll look at the use of major commercial software such as Cisco, Oracle, PRINCE2, SAS and SAP – and investigate them within a wider theoretical context.

What's covered in the course?

We have a long history of delivering successful Master’s courses in business computing and pride ourselves on delivering a stimulating and supportive learning environment.

Central to your Master’s course is integrating learning with using major commercial software, such as  SAS (data mining and business intelligence) and Cisco (networks and distributed systems),  as well as investigating the wider theoretical context.

In the first term, you will study the key topics of systems development, network technology and databases. In the second term, you will have the opportunity to study a range of specialised topics, with either a technology/software construction or business focus. You will also learn about the skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur in the IT sector.

Your third term will be spent on an in-depth academic Master’s project. You will also learn about the skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur in the IT sector.

You’ll also benefit from our strong industry links, which enable us to keep our courses relevant and up-to-date, and that will help you to stand out from the crowd when you look to enter the workplace.

We also have close links with SAS, the global leaders in Data Analytics.

We’re based within the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at the £114 million Millennium Point building in Birmingham city centre, which is fully equipped with state-of-the-art, industry-standard labs.

Throughout your course, our expert teaching staff will provide all the support you need. 

Why Choose Us?

  • We’re recognised nationally and internationally for our high quality teaching, research and extensive industry partnerships.
  • We’re home to a Cisco Systems and a Microsoft Academy Centre – one of Microsoft’s top UK university-based academies – and we’re a member of the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance. We’re also a Cisco ASC (Academy Support Centre) and Cisco Instructor Training Centre (ITC) – one of only 10 such instructor training centres in the UK.
  • You’ll have access to state-of-the-art, industry-standard equipment and laboratories.
  • You’ll be equipped with the academic knowledge and practical skills that are demanded by industries and employers.
  • We have strong links with SAS, SAP, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 3pm and 8pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities. You can't book your place just yet, but register your interest and we'll send you an email when you can book.

Register your interest

This course is open to International students

£1,500 scholarship for all international students
who enrol full-time on this course starting Jan 2017
School of Computing and Digital Technology

Discover the School of Computing and Digital Technology

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Tudor Training

And in jobs such as:

  • ICT Training Manager

New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students

We would normally expect you to hold at least a Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in any discipline.

However, we can also consider your application without standard entry qualifications if you can provide evidence of the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully complete the course.

International Students

Entry requirements here

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2016 FT 1 year £5,500
PT 29 months £2,750 per year
MSc Jan 2017 FT 1 year £5,500

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2016 FT 1 year £12,000
MSc Jan 2017 FT 1 year £12,000

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Stage 1: Postgraduate Certificate

Professional Skills and Research Methods
15 credits

You’ll be introduced to research methods, academic writing and project management – all of which will help you to complete your Master's project. This module also covers professional skills, including consultancy.

Systems Development
15 credits

You’ll be introduced to the fundamental principles of computer programming to develop the underpinning knowledge and skills required to develop modern software applications.

Databases for Enterprise
15 credits

You’ll study and examine key database skills and knowledge, and explore recent trends, such as object oriented approaches, XML and web-database technologies.

Network Technology
15 credits

You’ll study networking concepts, using a top-down, theoretical and integrated approach to network applications, network protocols and future network technologies.

Stage 2: Postgraduate Diploma

Technology Entrepreneurship
15 credits

What skills, knowledge and attributes do you need to become a successful entrepreneur in IT? This module looks at these questions in detail, and explores the issues involved in identifying e-business opportunities and realising them.

IT Project Management
15 credits

You’ll get to grips with major contemporary project management techniques used in industry across the world, including PRINCE2.

Web Technologies
15 credits
15 credits

Select from:

Business Intelligence
Provides students with a range of skills for processing, examining and extracting information from raw data using appropriate statistical analysis techniques.

Service Architecture
Topics include service architecture models and designs, protocols used in service architectures, and software frameworks for implementing service architectures.

Strategic IT Planning
This module combines exploration of key theoretical ideas in Business Process Design and Strategic Planning, with practical work based on the widely used SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software.

Stage 3: Masters

Masters Project
60 credits

The course is divided into taught modules of 15 and 30 credits and a Master’s project of 60 credits. You’ll need to complete 60 credits for the Postgraduate Certificate, 120 credits for the Postgraduate Diploma and 180 credits for the MSc. Each credit represents 10 notional hours of student learning and assessment.

The programme has one intake in September, although the course can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis, which will take 13 and 29 months respectively.

You’ll be assessed in a number of different ways during your course, including a combination of coursework, examinations, presentations, practical assignments, vivas, online activities and project work. Emphasis is placed on the development of a broad range of relevant skills because this will enable us to appraise your all-round ability and it also gives you the best opportunity to excel.

Further Study

The University can offer postgraduate research (MPhil and PhD) programmes. Details can be found on the postgraduate section of the website.

Enhancing your employability

Our course is designed to equip you with first-hand practical expertise and the rigorous academic understanding you will need to enter the workplace.

Our graduates are very highly sought-after because we deliver computing-related courses that are designed to meet the demands of industry and employers. You’ll also have a range of other transferable skills – such as problem solving and team-working abilities – that you can take into a general business career.

You will be equipped for a range of careers requiring high level skills, including areas such as computer science, software engineering, information systems, e-business technologies, electronics, embedded systems, web technologies, telecommunications, networking and computer forensics. You may become a researcher in a university or commercial research laboratory.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


You may become a researcher in a university or commercial research laboratory. The course also develops a wide spectrum of transferable skills to take into a general business career.

Trips and visits

We continually organise student trips to various external events and organisations. We also frequently put students and the university in direct contact with employers through events such as careers fairs where you can meet big vendors such as SAS, Oracle and Microsoft.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

£1,500 scholarship for all international students
who enrol full-time on this course starting Jan 2017

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our computing course is most popular with international students from:

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus.

As a student at the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you have access to networked laboratories equipped to industry standards and running the latest software, giving you the best possible introduction to the technologies you will encounter in the world of work.

Dedicated facilities are provided for systems analysis, computer networks, programming in a wide range of languages, artificial intelligence, modelling and visual programming, e-commerce and .net environments, and business intelligence, as well as supporting the application areas of mechatronics, games technology, electronics and computer forensics.

Computer networking

The laboratories are well-equipped for all our computer networking courses, as well as specialist areas for practical work such as voice-over internet protocol (VoIP), forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies and radio frequency identification technologies to name but a few.

Software development and computer programming

There are a number of open access, software development and computer programming
laboratories that can be used to develop systems and programmes, including database management systems such as MySQL, to name but a few.

Systems laboratories

Our embedded systems laboratories are used to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and industrial-standard software development and simulation tools. These include microcontroller software and robotics design and development, to name but a few.

Electronic Systems

Electronic systems

To underpin the basic principles of electronic systems, we have a well-equipped laboratory of general and specialist test and measurement kits, including powered prototyping development boards, dual power supplies, frequency generators and counters and digital multi-meters to name but a few.


Students on SAP-certified courses in Enterprise Systems will have access to the University’s unique SAP Lab, providing an inspirational research and development space for you to use for creative thinking and design.

Forensic computing

Our successful development of forensic computing has led to a specialist forensics laboratory that is fully equipped with essential hardware and software for this sensitive area of study. The laboratory includes high-spec PC’s with built-in multi interface Tableau write blockers, EnCase and FTK computer forensic software and steganography detection and analysis software, to name but a few.

More on our facilities

Ash Mahmood

Programme Leader

Ash Mahmood has been the Programme Leader for a group of postgraduate courses in the School of Computing and Digital Technology.

He has also been involved with the delivery and project management of industry based projects through the whole lifecycle from initiation to closure. He works with web technologies which include web standards and protocols, security, databases and management, client /server side technologies, personalisation architectures and management.

Karim Visram

Karim Visram

Senior Lecturer in Computing

Karim initially worked as a trainee analyst and programmer for The Wellcome Foundation (now part of GlaxoSmithKline). He then worked as an analyst/programmer and also a development engineer for Midlands Electricity PLC (this is now part of Western Power Distribution) for fourteen years.

Karim was a (part-time) Visiting Lecturer in Computing Science at the University of Birmingham for five years. He is now currently a (full-time) Senior Lecturer in Computing at Birmingham City University. He is also a (part-time) Associate Lecturer for The Open University.


UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295