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Advanced Computer Science - MSc

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

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.

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time/Part Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Computing and Digital Technology
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

This course is:

Open to International Students

Overview

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.

STEAMhouse building exterior

Introducing STEAMhouse

STEAMhouse is a centre for technology, innovation, creative thinking, prototyping and business development. Our brand new £70 million pound building is the new home for the School of Computing and Digital Technology.

Find out more

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The course is designed to cover a number of advanced computing topics in computer science, namely, ontological engineering, service-oriented design, database 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.

Tailor your degree

The Professional Placement version of the course is optional and is offered as an alternative to the standard version of the course. This 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.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
  • Engineering Council Accredited Degree

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

Why Choose Us?

    • Working with Google to improve employability - On completion of the course, our Advanced Computer Science graduates will be equipped to apply for roles in companies such as Google and Facebook. 

    • Industry-standard facilities - Our fully equipped laboratory is based within the £114 million Millennium Point building where you can undertake work in artificial intelligence, human computer interaction, mobile and web application development, and data science. 

    • Professional Placement option - Gain desirable employability skills with the option of a professional placement 

    • Home to Cisco and Microsoft Academies We are home to a Cisco Systems and a Microsoft Academy Centre and a member of the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance. We are also a Cisco ASC (Academy Support Centre) and Cisco Instructor Training Centre (ITC).

    • Content which matches international trends - The course is supported through the activities of the Innovations in Computing Education research group, designed to keep teaching and assessment in line with international trends.
    • Accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT – The course meets standards set by the profession.
    • Strong industry links - strong links with companies such as Oracle, LPI, Microsoft, AWS and Apple, ensure that the course is relevant and respected by employers.

Similar Courses

OPEN DAY

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Next Event: 29 June 2024

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Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements

Our typical entry requirement is a 2:2 honours degree, or equivalent, in a computing-related subject. However, equivalent work experience in a computing-related field will be taken into account for those with degrees in other disciplines.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £9,710 in 2024/25
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • £10,685 in 2024/25
  • £1079 per 20 credits
  • Year 1 - 80 credits
  • Year 2 - 100 credits

Fees for Part-time students

This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

Award: MSc

Starting: Jan 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £9,710 in 2024/25
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • £10,685 in 2024/25

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £17,710 in 2024/25
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • £19,485 in 2024/25

Award: MSc

Starting: Jan 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £17,710 in 2024/25
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • £19,485 in 2024/25

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and NVivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Media consumable items (optional)

This course requires the use of consumables.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

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

You’ll need to submit a personal statement as part of your application for this course. This will need to highlight your passion for postgraduate study – and your chosen course – as well as your personal skills and experience, academic success, and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Not sure what to include? We’re here to help – take a look at our top tips for writing personal statements and download our free postgraduate personal statement guide for further advice and examples from real students.

Course in Depth

Module

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

Professional Placement (optional)

In order to qualify for the award of MSc Advanced Computer Science with Professional Placement, a student must successfully complete all of the Level 7 modules listed above as well as the following Level 6 module.

Download course specification

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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.

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

This degree has been accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by BCS. An accredited degree entitles you to professional membership of BCS, which is an important part of the criteria for achieving Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status through the Institute. Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

Engineering Council Accredited Degree
Engineering Council Accredited Degree

This degree has been accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Engineering Council. Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). An accredited degree will provide you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords. 

Employability

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.

International

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:

Facilities & Staff

[00:00:02] Speaker 1 Hello and welcome to the computing tour for Birmingham City University.

[00:00:05] I'm Alex, a second year Computer Science student sitting here today, and I'll be taking you around the facilities here at BCU.

[00:00:11] Right now we're in STEAMhouse. If you're coming on to a computing course, you may be spending time here doing your Innovation Fest project, where you'll be presenting your project that you worked on to industry professionals. So STEAMhouse is a £72 million conversion of the old bike factory that used to be here.

[00:00:31] This is one of the larger learning spaces that we have here at STEAMhouse, completely built around computing. The entire building is modular. All these walls can be opened up and these classes can be made gigantic.

[00:00:43] So here's another space here at STEAMhouse for, sort of like, breakout rooms or for independent learning places you can go as a group to work on projects. To the left of us, there is the business space where visitors come in and they can work on projects there and also allows for students and staff members to integrate with the tech industry. If you'd like to learn more about STEAMhouse, the video link in description. And now I'm going to take you over to Millennium Point.

[00:01:13] Here we are at Millennium Point. This is the level four project space, the space you'll be using in term time to work on things such as the Innovation project. It is also the home of the Maker's Lab, which I'll be showing you in a little bit. It's a completely transformative and modular space.

[00:01:28] Recently, Birmingham City University has spent six and a half million pounds in revamping their Millennium Point building. It's also the area where we will be holding industry events. One of the things that I want to show you very quickly is the Lapsafe here. So Birmingham City University has one of the largest collections of Lapsafes in Europe. And they're not just here in the Millennium Point building. There's also ones over in Parkside and Curzon as well as STEAMhouse. You're allowed to take a laptop out if you haven't got one personally, and you can use it while you're at university for about six or so hours at a time. We also not only have Windows laptops, but also MacBooks.

[00:02:10] So here we are in the Makers Lab, and this is where you'll be spending time as a first year student working on the Innovation facilities there. Basically, this is where the magic happens, right? So in this room is a bunch of component parts and things to work with your systems such as 3D printers.

[00:02:24] So what you can do is you build a schematic up in the software. We send it to the machines and they can print out component parts for your project. It's also a bunch of different other components here at the university that it offers to students that they can use for their projects, such as Arduino, Mark Controllers, and Raspberry Pi is sort of like the heart of your system. You write some code, you flash onto the microcontroller, then it can control the system that you've attached it to. Over here, we've also got a bunch of component parts even using such as light sensors and motion sensors and buttons and keypads and things like that as well.

[00:02:59] So we've got a bunch of previous projects here as well. Here's Sign Genie which is a sign language interpreter, you sign in front of it and it will send back the sign language on the screen here. You can find out more about this project in description below, showing you how they built it from start to finish.

[00:03:16] We also have laser cutting services at University, so if you need, you know, a frame cut out for your project, for example, that we've got here, you can use the laser cutter and cut out little component parts that all fit together as a housing for your project. Okay, So now I think we're going to head down to level one, which houses the network labs and the games lab.

[00:03:42] This is one of the games labs here at BCU. This is more of a high spec facility to help with rendering animation and, you know, running the games that you create as a games development students as well as that. We've also got the different component parts. You need to build a project VR here so you can experiment with VR within the game called events such as Games Jam where students from across Birmingham City University come together to create a game within 24 hours or 48 hours and present it to a panel.

[00:04:14] So this is one of our networking labs here at BCU. It is a Cisco networking lab. All the hardware in here is industry standard and the majority of it is Cisco related. This entire room and several other rooms on this floor are complete separate LAN network from the rest of university. And you can, you know, run tests and simulations and try and configure and connect to of computers within the labs. The software that we use here is called Cisco Packet Tracer or Nethercutt. This is what we use to prototype our networks. And then you can actually physically build them using the hardware in the room to see how it works in practice.

[00:04:55] So this is one of our many computing labs here at Birmingham City University at the College of Computing. We have about 20 computing labs here at the University of all kinds of different software. And then depending on the course that you're doing, we have experts here from industry working as lecturers to have that real world experience and incredibly helpful with helping you to complete your coursework as well as get any additional advice and sort of guide you in the right direction.

[00:05:22] This is one of the big open communal spaces where you can come and catch up on work, but New Macs here that you can work on as well as Windows PCs out at the back can also see that there's more lab space here. So if you want to use a laptop, you can get those as well. Along with that, there's also the main I.T help desk here where you can come in and ask questions if you've got any issues.

[00:05:43] That was just a taste of computing at BCU. If you'd like to experience it yourself, come along to one of our Open Days or applicant taster days in the future. As well as if you'd like to know more about the computing experience. You can watch this video right here.

[00:06:03] You still here? Go watch the video.

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.

The course is supported with a wide range of cutting-edge facilities in the City Centre Campus. We have a state-of-the-art computer games technology lab which contains high-performance PCs, Sony PlayStation development kits and a range of industry standard software including Unity, Unreal and a suite of professional Microsoft development tools.

We also have many open access areas where students can study together and even hire out laptops for use in these spaces and others within the university.

Within the University there are many internationally recognised research teams giving you the opportunity to collaborate with them on exciting interdisciplinary projects.

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

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 PCs 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

Our staff

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...

More about Shadi

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.

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Dr Sara Hassan

Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering

Sara is a full-time Senior Lecturer in software engineering. She received her PhD in Computer Science in 2019 from University of Birmingham, UK. She worked as a teaching assistant for Software Engineering 2015-2019 at the University of Birmingham, UK. Prior to that she got her MEng in Computer Science with Software Engineering from...

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Parnia Samimi

Assistant Lecturer

Dr Parnia Samimi is a full-time Assistant Lecturer in Computer Science at Birmingham City University. She is currently the Module Lead of the Advanced Database module at the School of Computing and Digital Technology. She studied at National University of Malaysia (UKM), graduating with a Master of Information Technology in 2012. She went on to do...

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Edlira Vakaj

Lecturer of Computer Science

Edlira Vakaj is currently a Lecturer of Computer Science at the School of Computing and Digital Technology. She worked as a Marie Curie Experienced Researcher at the University of Surrey with secondment at Imperial College London in the area of Artificial Intelligence and Ontology Engineering. Edlira’s current research interest is primarily in...

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Dr Abdul Rahman Alsewari

Senior Lecturer

Abdul Rahman Alsewari is a Senior Lecturer in the Computing & Data Science Department at the School of Computing and Digital Technology, Birmingham City University. Previously he worked as an Associate Professor at University Malaysia Pahang, Malaysia from 2013 until 2022.

More about Abdul Rahman

Harjinder Singh

Senior Lecturer

Harjinder is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Digital Technology. He joined Birmingham City University (BCU) in 2000 and has 10 years experience in teaching and consultancy, prior to joining BCU Harjinder worked in Industry as a software developer mainly in C++.

More about Harjinder

Dr Mariam Adedoyin-Olowe

Programme Leader – MSc Artificial Intelligence

Mariam is Programme Leader of MSc Artificial Intelligence in the School of Computing and Digital Technology at Birmingham City University. She is also a researcher in the field of Data Mining/Data Analytics/Data Science. She obtained her PhD degree in Computing Science from the School of Computing Science and Digital Media (IDEAS Research...

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Nouh Elmitwally

Lecturer in Data Science

Lecturer in Data Science, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning with 4+ years of experience in the United Kingdom and other countries. He received a PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Surrey, the UK, and a BSc MSc from Cairo University, Egypt. Before joining BCU in September 2022, he had a long international career in computer...

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