course page main image

Computer Science - MSc

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

The MSc in Computer Science is a conversion course that provides you a broad and balanced introduction to computer science. The course aims to prepare you for technical roles in the IT industry by introducing the key technologies and skills needed for employment.  

  • 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 in Computer Science is a conversion course that provides you a broad and balanced introduction to computer science. The course aims to prepare you for technical roles in the IT industry by introducing the key technologies and skills needed for employment.  

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 has been designed to provide you 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 Software Development (using the programming language in demand in the industry), Software Analysis & Design (techniques for designing large and complex software), Database Design & Development (backend storage for almost every IT installation in the world), Web Application Development (full stack web application development) and Artificial Intelligence (foundation of machine learning and the future of all contextual decision making). You 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.

As a conversion course, it is assumed that you are starting fresh with little or no experience of computer science. The course offers several arrangements to ensure your smooth transition to computer science. This includes pre-semester week long programming boot camp, where you will have the opportunity to develop fundamental understanding of the programming languages that will be taught in the course. Before starting the course, you will be directed to some online short courses that will help you to develop basic understanding of various technical aspects covered in the course. You will be allocated to a personal tutor, who will be there to monitor your personal and academic welfare. In weekly meetings, your personal tutor will review your progress, discuss goals and expectations, and help you to set action plans. 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. 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 will give you a cutting-edge experience, one that opens up new opportunities for career advancement in industry. For students who show an 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. You are required to meet strict deadlines, which will help you to plan your 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. 

This course is offered full-time, part-time and also full-time with the Professional Placement option to give you the opportunity to gain work experience as part of your degree. 

I made the decision to enrol on the new MSc Computer Science course as it was a conversion course and thus was designed for people with no prior physical experience in technology, like myself. The course introduced us to various fields of technology such as software development, artificial intelligence, and IT project management—fields of technology I had never considered pursuing before.

Our lecturers are incredibly informed about our field, and they have incorporated any trends or updates into the curriculum to make sure we are keeping up with market demands and mastering the appropriate programming languages and software technologies.

Lindelani Moyo

Why Choose Us?

  • Industry-ready - we will prepare you for the software development industry by introducing the key technologies and skills needed for employment
  • Practical experience in programming languages and platforms that are in high demand in the industry
  • Excellent links with industry – including SAS and Oracle. Our curriculum is embedded by industry so that you graduate able to progress into a professional career.
  • Graduate jobs – after successful completion of the course you could go on to jobs such as Web App Developer, Python Developer, Database Engineer, Data Scientist (entry point), Research 
  • Women in Computing – we support females in computing to share experiences and become confident computing professionals through special events and society activities
  • Lab-based learning - our campus has over 20 industry-standard computer labs, so you will enjoy practice-based learning throughout the course

OPEN DAY

Join us on campus where you'll be able to find out more about your course, learn about postgraduate finance and get an insight into studying at BCU. Booking for the next event isn’t open yet. Register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Event: 29 June 2024

Register interest

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements

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

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

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

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 Year (optional)

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

Download course specification

Download now

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.

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 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.

More about Khaled

Dr Antonio Nehme

Lecturer in Computer Science

Antonio Nehme holds a BSc in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics from the Lebanese American University and a PhD in Cyber Security from Birmingham City University. His research focuses on identity management and access control, security of microservices-based applications, auditing and secure collaborations in distributed systems,...

More about Antonio

Faisal Saeed

Senior Lecturer

Faisal Saeed is a Senior Lecturer in the Computer Data Science Department at the School of Computing and Digital Technology, Birmingham City University. Previously he worked as Associate Professor at Taibah University, KSA from 2017-2021, and as Senior Lecturer at the Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Computing, Universiti Teknologi...

More about Faisal

Dr Debashish Das

Data Science Lecturer

Having 20 years of teaching and research experience at leading universities in UK, Malta, Malaysia and Bangladesh, Debashish joined Birmingham City University as a Data Science Lecturer at the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment.

More about Debashish

Rasheed Mohammad

Lecturer in Computer Science

Dr. Rasheed has 20-year teaching experience. He has taught several courses in computer science including website development, operating system, database I&II, Data structure, Java programming, c/c++ programming, intelligent systems, computer organization, computer system security etc.

More about Rasheed

Dr Essa Shahra

Assistant Lecturer

Essa Shahra recently joined the Computing and Data Science department at Birmingham City University as Assistant Lecturer.

More about Essa