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MSc Advanced Computer Science

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

Year of entry: 2022 (September)


1 year full-time

Start date

September 2022 (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.

Software lab virtual tour

Our software labs offer 24/7 access for individual and group work.

The labs are used for seminars and practical sessions and are fully equipped with the latest software to support your studies.


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

Research excellence

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.

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 benefit from free choice across all the modules, subject to prerequisites. You will also take a mandatory module on Professional and Research Skills. The course concludes with an individual research project.


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 an MSc in Advanced Computer Science regardless of which combination of modules you take. If you are particularly interested in gaining deeper knowledge and experience in Cyber Security or Human Computer Interactive Technologies then we also have specialist MScs available in those areas. You will also take a professional and research skills module which provides a sound basis for the individual research project.

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 choose from a range of option modules which may include:

Software engineering theme

You will choose from a range of option modules which may include:

Cyber security theme

You should choose Identity, Trust, Reputation and their Applications as it is required before studying several other modules within this theme. You will choose from a range of option modules which may include:

and from: 

You must take Identity, Trust, Reputation and their Applications to choose any of the following modules:

  • Cryptography Theory and Applications
  • Forensic Analysis of Cyber Incidents
  • Malware and Other Malfeasance
  • Networks and Communications Security: Threats, Attacks and Countermeasures
  • Rigour in Secure System Development and Assessment 

To choose Rigour in Secure System Development and Assessment you must take:

  • Identity, Trust, Reputation and their Applications
  • at least one from Cryptography Theory and Applications or Networks and Communications Security: Threats, Attacks and Countermeasures.

Interactive systems theme

You will choose from a range of option modules which may include:

Due to timetabling, prerequisites for some modules, and other constraints, the modules you are able to choose from may be limited.

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

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.


The dissertation will form part of the assessment of your research project. You will write a 50-page academic paper.

You will have the opportunity to undertake an assessed 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 project advisor who will be a research expert and will guide you in your chosen area of interest.

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.

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

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2022/23

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £10,800£24,500

Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

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.

Funding information

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

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2022/23 throughout the year.

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

Funding opportunities

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

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

University of the Year shortlisted

“York is everything an outstanding university should be”

Find out how we made the shortlist for University of the Year in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Our University of the Year nomination

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.

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 who 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 and preparing for any closed 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 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 while you undertake your dissertation.


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.

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 during 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 normally well after the conclusion of the taught sessions.

Virtual tours

Take a virtual tour of one or our modern, dedicated facilities.

Our study and social pod is open 24/7 for group and individual study and events. It comes with a fully equipped kitchen.
Our dedicated hardware labs are available 24/7 and will introduce you to the basics of computer architecture, operating systems and program language construction, providing a basis for further study in later years.

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

  • Programming engineer
  • Software developer​
  • Higher education teaching and research
  • Information analyst and app developer
  • Systems architect
  • Business analyst

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

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in Computer Science or a related discipline.
Other qualifications and experience 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 international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, minimum 169 in each component
Duolingo 110, minimum 100 in all other components
LanguageCert B2 Communicator High Pass with 33/50 in each component
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
TOEFL 87, minimum 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all requirements

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


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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