This course and the information on this page is indicative based on the 2019/20 academic year. The final details for this course starting in 2020/21 may be subject to change and will be confirmed by the end of September 2019.
The MSc Advanced Computer Science programme intends to develop your competence in using tools and techniques for producing computer systems solutions, from a sound mathematical and scientific base while appreciating the professional responsibilities and quality needed by industry.
The course is designed to cover a number of advanced computing topics in computer science, namely, ontological engineering, service-oriented design, user-centred design, data engineering, and mobile-application development. In addition, you will receive a solid grounding in research methods and project management before undertaking an individual project that provides an opportunity to demonstrate technical and general employability skills in preparation for career progression. More specifically, the individual project simulates typical graduate workplace tasks that require in-depth knowledge and skills in a specific area of computer science. This will include consideration of wider issues and the ability to manage activities and resources, as well as generate, implement and report on solutions to meet task objectives.
Throughout your masters in computer science, you’ll be supported by our expert teaching staff, all of whom have a wide range of research and industrial experience in areas such as intelligent systems, mobile computing, Semantic Web, machine learning and software engineering, which they use to enhance the curriculum.
I started studying Computer Science at Birmingham City University to improve and broaden my knowledge in this field, so that I can find a career in the near future in this field as it has always been my passion. BCU's great labs, library, resources and knowledgeable tutors made this university the best place to start this journey.
I have been away from Computer Science for a few years but the support I received from the Faculty at BCU has made the first few challenging weeks of my study enjoyable. Maryam Mehdigholi
Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Sunday 24 November. Register your interest and we'll send an email update nearer the time. Visit us to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.
If you’ve got any questions about the course, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Cain Evans.
Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English language and Mathematics.
A first Degree in Computer Science, Computing or similar subject area that closely relates to Computer Science.
Don't meet our entry requirements? You could apply for courses at our International College.
|MSc||Sep 2020||FT||12 months||£7,400 per year||Register your interest|
|MSc||Sep 2020||PT||30 months||£3,550 per year||Register your interest|
|MSc||Jan 2021||FT||15 months||£7,400 per year||Register your interest|
|MSc||Jan 2021||PT||30 months||£3,550 per year||Register your interest|
|MSc||Sep 2020||FT||12 months||£12,800 per year||Register your interest|
|MSc||Jan 2021||FT||15 months||£12,800 per year||Register your interest|
The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
Please note, there are no taught classes over the summer months (June to August) for postgraduate courses, so the total time spent in University for this course is:
Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
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.
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
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 £10,906 for some courses and options?
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):
Advanced Mobile Computing
Mobile application development often requires you as the developer to target a specific platform such as Android, iOS or Windows Mobile. An alternative option is to develop a mobile application that may be delivered through the web, thereby is independent of platform. This module will examine and make use of a wide range of tools, libraries and frameworks to facilitate the creation of web based mobile applications that are independent of operating system and hardware platform. You will learn how to structure and present a mobile application, work with sensor and location data, cloud based data storage solutions and how to create a rich user interaction experience.
Service Oriented Architecture
This module covers the fundamental principles of service-oriented design and the core technologies that enable the implementation of service-oriented systems. It aims to equip you with the key skills and knowledge in order to perform service-oriented systems design and implementation.
Advanced Human Computer Interaction
This module will focus on combining theoretical concepts around user experience design with practical “hands-on” approaches used widely in industry and academia to create effective interactive experiences. You will learn about the user-centred design process that places a core emphasis on designing products, applications, and software for “people”. In particular, you will learn techniques for gathering and understanding a target audience’s requirements, the importance of universal design and accessibility, and methods for undertaking rapid prototyping. A core emphasis will be placed on gaining practical experience around how to design, conduct, and analyse usability studies (utilising a variety of evaluation techniques) and then incorporating key findings back into the design process. You will apply this knowledge to collaboratively design and evaluate an innovative digital prototype using industry standard tools.
Advanced Data Science
This module will equip students with the knowledge and skills for which employers are currently looking when recruiting for such roles as Data Scientist, Data Engineer, Data Architect, Business Insight Analyst, Business Consultant, Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning Analyst. Students will learn methods for data pre-processing, analysis, management and visualisation; understand a wide range of algorithms to solve clustering, prediction and classification tasks; and practice programming them in Python. The course will also introduce the currently trending data science topics, such as deep learning, language and speech processing, and business intelligence.
Semantic Web and Knowledge Management
The Web, as it stands today, primarily depends on human understanding and the interpretation of the vast information space it encompasses. However the Web was originally designed with a goal to support not only human interaction, but also automated machine processing of data with minimal human intervention.
At the heart of Semantic Web is semantic representation and reasoning of data using ontologies and knowledge engineering. This module is about investigating the next generation of the Web, whose key distinguishing characteristics will be the support for and use of semantics in new, more effective, more intelligent, ways of managing information and supporting applications. The module will look into different aspects of Ontology representation, creation, design, reasoning, programming and applications. The course is focused on ontological engineering, which represents an important part of Semantic Web development.
Research Methods and Project Management
This module prepares you for the research project that you will undertake towards the end of your master’s course. It equips you with knowledge and transferable skills that will also help you in your subsequent career, for example, when you are asked to write a report or to carry out an IT project. You will become familiar with the research literature in your discipline, research methodology and research ethics, as well as project management tools, methods and techniques.
Individual Master’s Project
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed Level 7 project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying and informed by the research strategy of your school, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.
Knowledge and understanding are acquired though a mixture of formal lectures, tutor-led seminars and practical activities, with other independent learning activities at all stages.
Emphasis is placed on guided, self-directed and student-centred learning with increasing independence of approach, thought and process.
The course provides access to effective commercial development environments and ensures students have practical awareness of computer systems requirements. You are required to meet strict deadlines, and to manage and plan overall workload.
Knowledge is assessed formatively and summatively, by a number of methods, including seminars, course-work, viva, presentation, and project work.
Assessment criteria are published both at a generic course level and to provide guidance for individual items of assessment.
You will undertake a major project involving research and application of that research in the solution of appropriate systems problems.
Successful completion of the course can open up opportunities for employment in the IT industry, but you may want to continue your studies at postgraduate level, studying a computer science subject in greater detail by means of a PhD.
Although postgraduate study may appear essential for a career in academia, recent statistical evidence shows that it can also be useful for a range of other careers. For example, in 2014 the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills noted that someone with a Master’s degree earns on average £9,000 more per year than someone with a degree qualification.
According to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (2014) observation, one in seven jobs will require a postgraduate qualification by 2022. All these facts indicate that the contribution of postgraduate study to employability is increasingly significant.
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.
We know that employers are looking for graduates who have a good balance between in-depth academic knowledge and technical and practical expertise, which is why our course is geared towards employability.
What you learn on our course will help you to stand out when you look for your first professional role. Because you will know how to use sophisticated, industry-standard software, you will be able to demonstrate that you can put into practice your deep theoretical knowledge.
We will also prepare you for a career by equipping you with a range of transferable skills, such as complex problem-solving expertise, the ability to analyse in a careful and considered manner, and working as a team member. We aim to have you employer-ready by the time you graduate and, as part of your Advanced Computer Science course, we will invite guest speakers to underpin the subjects taught.
Thanks to our excellent partnerships and working relationships with some of the UK’s leading companies, you have the chance to network with leading organisations such as IBM, Dignity plc, Mortgage Brain and Griffiths Waite. In addition, our specialist industry links with the Linux Professional Institute, the Oracle Academy, Cisco, and Microsoft, plus our world-class facilities, will mark you out as a highly employable graduate.
This is why our graduates have gone on to pursue computing and software development and designer careers in a wide range of industries, from SME software companies, to industry, government, banking and healthcare. Furthermore, many graduates continue their studies to Doctorate level.
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.
Because our course is uniquely designed to meet employers’ needs, you’ll be highly sought-after on graduation. It is why many of our graduates have gone on to work for top companies including IBM, Griffiths Waite, Capgemini and Birmingham City University.
Our course covers cutting-edge topics in computer science that will leave you well-prepared to take on any of a diverse set of roles, including software developer, usability engineer, software engineer, mobile application specialist, IT consultant, information systems manager, research scientist and teacher.
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:
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.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yevgeniya joined the School of Computing and Digital Technology and its Cyber Security Research Group as a Lecturer in Computer Science in September 2016. She received her MSc in Economic Cybernetics from the National Technical University of Ukraine and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Essex. During her professional career, she worked in both pure industrial and academic environments, as well as on projects connecting the two. She has a strong track record of applying computer and data science to solve problems across a wide range of business areas, including banking, insurance, logistics, healthcare, sport and entertainment, among many others.