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MSc Advanced Computer Science

Work at the cutting edge of Advanced Computer Science to push boundaries and solve computing problems

2018/19 entry

Length

1 year full-time

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

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The Advanced Computer Science MSc course will enable you to develop a high level of understanding and technical skill at the leading edge of the subject. 

This course has been specifically designed to address the pace of change in this vibrant discipline by giving you breadth of knowledge in several areas, a range of advanced skills, and the expertise necessary to engage in work at the forefront of the application of Computer Science.

You will gain experience of working as part of a highly-specialised research group through the significant individual project which is an integral part of the course.

This is a full time, one year taught course, intended for students who already have a good first degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering or a closely related discipline, who would like to develop a deeper level of understanding and technical skill.

The course will build on your existing strong foundation in Computer Science. It will enable you to undertake more senior roles in the IT industry, engage in cutting-edge Research and Development or progress to a Computer Science PhD once you have successfully completed the course.

Course content

This course is heavily based on research, and all optional modules are led by academic staff who are active in that particular research area. The modules build upon the work currently being undertaken within the Department, connecting you directly to our research.

Industrial practice also strongly influences the content of our courses. We have active industrial partners and an Industrial Advisory board to ensure that what you learn will be relevant and applicable to the workplace, once you leave the university.

You will choose 90 credits from the modules on offer, plus a mandatory 10 credit module on Professional and Research Skills. You will then undertake an 80 credit individual research project. You will benefit from free choice across all the modules, however, not all combinations of module choices will be possible as some have prerequisites.

Modules

To make the choices easier, we have organised the modules into four logical themes which you may wish to pursue. The themes are: research, software engineering, cyber security, and interactive technologies. Undertaking these themes will expose you to some of the latest techniques in these fields. The degree awarded for this course will still be a MSc in Advanced Computer Science regardless of which theme you take. If you are particularly interested in gaining deeper knowledge and experience in Cyber Security or Human Computer Interactive Techologies then we also have specialist MScs available in those areas.

You will have the chance to discuss your own particular fields of study with your personal supervisor when you start the course.

Research theme

You will be able to pick from the following, some modules are recommended as part of this theme:

Software engineering theme

You will be able to pick from the following, some modules are recommended as part of this theme:

Cyber security theme

You will be able to pick from the following, some modules are recommended as part of this theme:

Interactive systems theme

You will be able to pick from the following, some modules are recommended as part of this theme:

Please note that due to timetabling, prerequisites for some modules, and other constraints, the modules you are able to choose from may be reduced.

​Specifically, User Centred Design for Interactive Systems cannot be studied in conjunction with Cryptography Theory and Applications and vice versa.​

Please contact the Department for an informal chat if you have any specific queries.​

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Dissertation

The dissertation will form part of the assessment of your research project. You will write a 14 page academic paper and present a seminar intended for a non-technical audience.

Research project

You will have the opportunity to undertake an individual research project as part of this course. This will take place over the final term and summer vacation and will be a culmination of the taught modules you have taken during the course, allowing you to focus on a specialist area of interest.

The project will give you an introduction to independent research, as well as providing the context of a research group working on topics that will be allied to your own. You will develop the skills and understanding in the methods and techniques of research in Computer Science.

In order to undertake the project you will be allocated a personal supervisor who will be an expert in your chosen area of research. 

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Apply advanced computational thinking to complex problems encountered, using skills in analysis, design and implementation of computing systems, drawing on the foundations of computer science and the state-of-the-art research literature
  • Apply specialist knowledge in areas, such as Interactive Technologies, to complete research and development tasks requiring knowledge beyond that typically acquired in a first degree in Computer Science
  • Identify, evaluate and summarise cutting-edge research literature and apply as relevant to project goals
  • Independently design and implement a significant and effective computing artifact to fulfill a research-led specification
  • Evaluate the merits and limitations of state-of-the-art, complex computational systems using clearly argued criteria
  • Produce and present accessible, detailed, accurate, concise accounts of sustained investigations, including illustrations and explanations of complex technical ideas, for professional audiences

Employment

​97% of our students achieve employment or go on to further study within six months of graduating.

REF 2014

In the Times Higher Education's assessment of the 2014 REF, our research ranked 7th overall in the UK, 5th for impact and 6th for environment.

Teaching

Our staff are at the cutting edge of their fields and we maintain strong links with industry.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2018/19

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year)£7,940£20,910

Additional costs

There are unlikely to be any mandatory additional costs associated with the course, although you may want to set aside £200 for optional photocopying and personal stationery over the duration of the course.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

Teaching quality is excellent - it isn't text book oriented and it always encourages you to develop your understanding on a topic by reading journals and research articles.
Savitri Pandey

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

The first section of the course is taken up by taught modules. Each module comprises a mix of lectures, problem classes and practical classes, plus personal study time. In the second half of the course, you'll undertake an individual research project under the supervision of a member of staff.

Throughout the course you will have a personal tutor and be part of a tutorial group, usually comprising five or fewer students. Your personal tutor will provide academic and pastoral advice throughout your course. When you undertake your individual project, you will be allocated a supervisor within your area of interest. The taught modules will take place in the Autumn and Spring Terms. During your break between these two terms, you should expect to be working on open assessments.

Work on your individual project will start at the beginning of April, and you will receive regular one-to-one supervision throughout the Summer Term. You will continue to work on your individual project over the Summer term and the vacation, and there will be continuing supervision and research-group meetings to discuss your project. You will finish the course when you hand in your dissertation and paper for your project in September.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, you will need to be in York throughout term time and over the summer whilst you undertake your dissertation.

Facilities

Built to the highest specifications, the Department is packed with cutting-edge facilities housed in a modern, self-contained building.

The Department houses four software and two hardware laboratories. 

Our Interaction Labs provide excellent facilities for research and teaching in human-computer interaction. The Interaction Labs consist of an Accessibility and Usability Lab and a Games Research Lab, both of which are stocked with the latest technologies.

Our Real Time Systems Lab is the main research and development facility for the Real Time Systems research group. Inside the laboratory is a range of high-performance computers, custom hardware like FPGAs, robots, and various industrial machinery.

The Computer Vision group have a darkroom laboratory which enables us to conduct experiments in controlled illumination conditions and a second laboratory which includes a commercial 3D scanner. 

Our Robotics Laboratory is a purpose-built laboratory used for various robotics research projects and teaching. Within it, there is a dedicated student working area, with workstations and electronics bench equipment, alongside the main 80m2 robotics arena. The arena features a 5.5m high ceiling allowing drone experiments to take place as well as ground-based robots. Special tracking systems are installed to allow positional data of the robots to be extracted. There is also a workshop area with CAD, soldering and 3D printing facilities.

Find out more about our facilities, including a video tour, showing our labs, teaching and research spaces.

Teaching location

Computer Science is based on Campus East. The majority of teaching on this course takes place on Campus East in the Computer Science building and Ron Cooke Hub.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

All the modules you take will be assessed, and we employ a variety of forms of assessment. These include practical exercises, reports and closed examinations. Your project assessment will be made up of a dissertation, a talk about your project, and a concise paper that you will be encouraged to publish.

Assessments take place at various times during the year. Closed examinations take place in the first week of Spring Term (for modules taught during the Autumn Term); and the first week of Summer Term (for modules taught during Spring Term).

Practical exercises, reports and other forms of open assessment are typically issued towards the end of the teaching sessions of a module. Work for these assessments must be submitted by fixed deadlines well after the conclusion of the taught sessions.

Careers and skills

The course is well-rounded and will allow you to gain an advanced knowledge of current Computer Science either across a wide range of topics or with a more specialist knowledge according to the specified themes. This will prepare you for either a career in research or more senior roles in industry.

Career opportunities

  • Business analyst 
  • Software engineer
  • Systems engineer
  • Information analyst and app developer
  • Systems architect
  • Research career via doctoral studies

Transferable skills

  • Apply advanced computational thinking to complex problems encountered.
  • Apply specialist knowledge in areas, such as Interactive Technologies, to complete research and development tasks requiring knowledge beyond that typically acquired in a first degree in Computer Science.
  • Identify, evaluate and summarise cutting-edge research literature and apply as relevant to project goals.
  • Improved communication and organisational skills.

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
Degree

You should already hold a good first degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or a related discipline. Typically, you will have achieved at least an upper second class honours degree (or international equivalent).

We are willing to consider your application if you do not fit this profile, but you must satisfy us that your knowledge in Computer Science is appropriate for advanced study.

Other qualifications

English language

If your native language is not English you must provide evidence of your English language ability:

  • IELTS: at least 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each component.
  • PTE: 61, with no less than 55 in each component
  • TOEFL: 87, with no less than 21 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all components

We also accept other English Language Tests.

Students who have successfully completed a recent undergraduate degree at a UK University are exempt from the English Language requirement.

You may also want to attend the University's Pre-sessional courses.

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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Department of Computer Science

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