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.
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.