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Computer Science - MSc *

  • Level: Postgraduate Taught
  • Starting: September 2021, January 2022
  • Study mode: MSc - Full Time, Part Time
  • Location: City Centre

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

The MSc in Computer Science is a conversion course that provides the students a broad and balanced introduction to computer science. The course aims to prepare the students for technical roles in the IT industry by introducing the key technologies and skills needed for employment. As a conversion course, it is assumed that all students are starting fresh with little or no experience of computer science.

What's covered in the course?

The course has been designed to provide the students with practical experience with models, techniques and tools from the forefront of the discipline that drive innovation in the design of software-based systems within this domain. The key topics taught on the course include object oriented programming (using the programming language in demand in the industry), interaction design (techniques for user-centred design), semantic web (next generation of the Web), web application development and big data management (big data management techniques through practice based activities associated with real world issues). The students will also learn the key skills of research, academic writing and project management required for study at masters level. These skills are further developed and placed in the context of the dissertation.

The philosophy of the course is to promote lifelong self-learning by providing a curriculum that promotes a variety of approaches to study. The curriculum is designed to develop not only the academic knowledge, but also the engineering ethos and practical skills required by the modern Computer Science professional. On the programme, academic members of staff within the School of Computing and Digital Technology will teach topics and supervise projects according to their personal research interests. This gives students a cutting-edge experience, one that opens up new opportunities for career advancement in industry. For students who show aptitude for research, there is also the possibility of continuing their studies on a PhD programme.

The development of transferable skills is core to the learning strategy of the programme and is incorporated into work units and assessments: for example; team-working skills are fostered through the use of group, task-based practical projects. Keeping lab-books and submitting self-assessment documentation in support of personal performance fosters self-management and personal development. Learners are required to meet strict deadlines, which encourages them to plan their overall workload and develop time management skills.

The course structure and its content have been developed by taking into account input from various sources, including the curriculum philosophy of the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment, suggestions from industrial partners, feedback from current students, QAA benchmark statements, British Computer Society (BCS) requirements for accreditation, and the Computer Science curriculum guidelines released by The Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula comprising the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Attending one of our Open Days is a great way to find out more about the courses we offer and get answers to any questions you might have. Our next postgraduate Open Day is taking place on Wednesday 9 June.

Book now

This course is open to International students

We are members of:

WISE member logo2 WISE members inspire girls to choose maths, physics and computing.

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English language and Mathematics.

In order to be considered for a place on this course, you must have passed and Honours degree at minimum of 2:2 or equivalent.

International Students

Entry requirements here

International Students

Don't meet our entry requirements? You could apply for courses at our International College.

Apply now

  • UK students
  • International students

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • TBC
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • TBC
  • Part Time
  • 20 months
  • TBC

Award: MSc

Starting: Jan 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • TBC
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • TBC

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • TBC
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • TBC

Award: MSc

Starting: Jan 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • TBC
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • TBC

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

Professional Placement option*

The Professional Placement option will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market.  Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement.  The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study.  You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School. 

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course.  All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Personal statement

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:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

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.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

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.

Relevant academic or work experience

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.

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 £11,222 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Module

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):

 
Introduction to Object Oriented Programming
20 credits
 
Human-Centred Design
20 credits
 
Semantic Web & Knowledge Engineering
20 credits
 
Web Application Development
20 credits
 
Big Data Management
20 credits
 
Research Methods and Project Management
20 credits
60 credits

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.

Professional Placement option*

The Professional Placement option will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market.  Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement.  The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study.  You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School. 

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course.  All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.


This course is accredited by the following organisations:

Our accreditations from these bodies show employers that you have the level of knowledge and skills they need when you graduate.

Further Study

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.

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.

Enhancing your employability skills

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

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.

Careers

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:

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

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 computer science 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 £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.

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.

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
Dr. Shadi S. Basurra

Dr. Shadi Basurra

Senior Lecturer

Dr. Shadi Basurra graduated from the Computer Science Department at the University of Exeter, UK in 2007. He obtained his Msc in Computer Networking from the University of Kent - Canterbury, UK in 2008. He received a Ph.D. scholarship from the Japanese Toshiba Corporation, Great Western Research and Yemen government, which he completed successfully at the University of Bath, UK where he obtained his Ph.D. in 2013. Since 2008 has been a lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Sanaa, Yemen. After completing his Ph.D., he worked as a Researcher at Japan's Sony Corporation and then moved on to work as a Senior Lecturer at Birmingham City University, UK. Shadi's research interests include vehicular, mesh and sensor ad hoc networks, game theory, multi-agent systems, multi-objective optimisation, model calibration, dynamic simulation for zero carbon design and retrofit of buildings, machine learning and edge computing. He has published a number of scientific papers in international conferences in Canada, China, USA and the United Kingdom.

Read Shadi's full profile

Dr Khaled Mahbub

Associate Professor in Software Engineering

Khaled started his academic career, in September 1999, as a Lecturer (US hierarchy) in Computer Science & Engineering at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he worked until March 2001.

From May 2006 to July 2007, Khaled served as Research Assistant at City University London. During this period he was involved in several EU funded projects including Serenity (System Engineering for Security & Design, FP6 EU Project); SeCSE (Service Centric System Engineering, FP6 EU Project).

Between August 2007 and July 2008, Khaled worked as an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Information & Communication Technology, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Between July 2008 and July 2014, Khaled worked as a research fellow at City University London and was a member of the ASE@City group. During this period he has actively contributed in several EU funded projects including: CUMULUS (Certification Infrastructure for Multi-Layer Cloud Services, EU FP7, STREP Project); ASSERT4SOA (Advanced Security Service cERTificate for SOA, EU FP7, STREP Project); S-CUBE (The Software Services and Systems Network - FP7 EU Project); SLA@SOI (Empowering the Service Economy with SLA-aware Infrastructures, EU FP 7, Integrated Project) and Gredia (Grid enabled access to rich media content - FP6 EU Project).

In August 2014, Khaled joined Birmingham City University as a Lecturer in Software Engineering.

Read Khaled's full profile