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MSc Human-Centred Interactive Technologies

This innovative course will prepare you for a career in interdisciplinary, collaborative teams in user experience design and research industries.

2018/19 entry

Length

1 year full-time

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

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This is a highly innovative degree which will equip you for a career in industry and research in our increasingly digitised and connected world. 

This course is designed for you if you possess a strong background principally in computer science, design, or information technology and want to gain expertise and industry relevant practical skills in iterative, user-centred approaches for designing positive user experiences (UX) with interactive technology.

The course emphasises design that is driven from a deep understanding of users, through the use of qualitative and quantitative research techniques drawn from the diverse fields of cognitive psychology, computer science, sociology and beyond. You will gain expertise and skills in eliciting and analysing the goals of potential users, designing usable and inclusive user journeys, and evaluating the quality of user experiences with interactive technologies: all skills in demand in modern, UX related careers or in postgraduate study.

The course is also suitable if you are seeking to develop a more research-based career, as it provides breadth in an expanding and thriving research field, and the opportunity to specialise in particular areas through an independent research project.

Accreditation

When you are awarded the MSc in Human-Centred Interactive technologies you will automatically meet some of the conditions for profession engineering status in the UK. This course is recognised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology for partial fulfillment of the CEng, and by the BCS for partial fulfillment of the CEng and the CITP Further Learning.

More information on the accreditation of our courses.

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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.

Course content

On the course you will undertake four modules, two in the Autumn term and two in the Spring term. The modules comprise a mixture of lectures, practical classes, and seminars, plus a significant amount of personal study time.

Following the modules, you will undertake a six-month individual study module with assessed dissertation. 

Modules

  • User Centred Design of Interactive Technologies - This module provides you with the foundation of knowledge to create usable and accessible interactive systems that promote positive experiences for their users. 
  • Research Methods for Interactive Technologies - You will receive a grounding in the principles and practice of the various research methods commonly used in human-computer interaction research both in the academic and commercial context. 
  • Design and Research Practice for Interactive Technologies - You will gain practical experience of designing, conducting, evaluating and presenting (both orally and in written form) a substantial piece of human-computer interaction research.
  • Advanced Topics in Interactive Technologies - This course will introduce you to a wide variety of research topics both to illustrate the variety and excitement of HCI research and also to provide a scholarly grounding in the state of the art of HCI research and practice. 

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

Dissertation

Project - Human-Centred Interactive Technologies - The independent study module extends over the summer term and summer vacation period and gives you the opportunity to explore a topic in depth.

In order to undertake the independent study module, you will discuss and agree a topic with academic members of staff. You will have the opportunity to pick a topic that suits your interests and abilities. Your project will contribute new knowledge to the field of human-centered interactive technologies, or apply existing theories and design practice to novel domains.

Projects are worth 50% of the total mark for the course.

Examples of previous projects include:

  • Design of interactive technology for a variety of different domains such as food sustainability, travel, passwords and digital archives
  • Understanding how people juggle their digital communications
  • Effects of size and typefaces on readability in Chinese, Thai and other international fonts
  • Evaluation of health and social care technology in order to support wellbeing
  • Exploration of immersion, uncertainty, and other aspects of user experience in digital games
  • Comparison of different verbal protocols for evaluation of technology
  • Investigation into the factors influencing number entry error
  • Identification of cultural differences that influence design

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:

  • evaluate interactive technologies and systems in terms of usability, accessibility and user-experience using a broad range of analytic, expert and user-based methods
  • generate substantial quantitative and qualitative data relating to interactive systems by planning and executing focussed empirical research of diverse users
  • design HCIT by conceptualising designs and prototyping interactive systems based on detailed analysis of target-user and other stakeholder data
  • identify and implement the most effective and appropriate approaches to specific user-centred design and research by taking a pluralistic approach to emerging research, commercial ideas and disciplinary fields beyond Computer Science
  • present complex HCI information and data-supported arguments to technical and non-technical audiences, in an accessible and professional manner, using appropriate media
  • contribute to high-performance teams by taking responsibility for their work in the team structure, coordinating productively with others, and contributing to collective decision-making
  • advocate and build consensus for high-quality, moral and ethical design and operation of HCIT by using professional, ethical and legal frameworks and standards to guide their design and research practice, while aiming for the broadest inclusion of users based on individual needs and preferences
  • read, understand and critique existing literature in HCI for purposes of informing new research and practice to evolve and improve the field beyond the state-of-the-art.
The lecturers are all exceptional. They are very approachable and the group dynamic lends itself well to extending teaching beyond the classroom. Informal chats outside of class have helped me to put abstract ideas into focus and I have always felt that the lecturers treat us as peers rather than students.
Jonathan, MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2018/19

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

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

We have a Taught Masters Scholarship that applicants holding an offer for one of our taught MSc courses can apply for. 

We also offer continuation scholarships. Should you decide to stay and study for a PhD after you graduate, you could be eligible to have your fees paid. 

Living costs

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

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

You will be taught via a mixture of lectures, practical classes, seminars, and a significant amount of personal study time.

You will have a personal tutor and will be part of a tutorial group, usually comprising of five or fewer students. Your personal tutor provides academic and pastoral advice throughout your course.

When you undertake your individual project, you will be allocated a supervisor within your area of interest.

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 labs and two hardware labs. 

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 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 alongside 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.

Course location

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

The taught modules on this course are examined by open assessments. The assessment paper is published at the end of the week of teaching, and you will be required to submit your answers typically four weeks later. This type of assessment allows you to engage with the research literature and gives us the chance to assess your practical skills.

Once you have successfully completed the taught modules, you will undertake an extensive individual project. Here you will work on a topic relevant to human-centred interactive technologies, and document the results in a report. You will also be required to present the project report in a conference style paper.

Assessments will take place at various times during the year. Practical exercises, reports and other forms of open assessment will be due either during the course module or just after its completion.

Careers and skills

Graduates completing the course will be equipped to play leading and professional roles related to the design and evaluation of interactive technologies in industry, commerce, academia and public service. The MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies is also intended to provide a route into a PhD or research in this rapidly expanding field.

Career opportunities

  • UX Designer
  • Experience Designer
  • User Researcher
  • UX Consultant
  • PhD study

Transferable skills

  • Communication with technical and non-technical audiences in both writing and oral presentations
  • Project planning and delivery
  • Collaboration and consensus building
  • Ability to critique research and practice
  • Decision making and problem solving
  • Time management
Discussing my time at York and my MSc in my Capgemini interview was a definite advantage, as it put me a step ahead of the rest.
Alex, MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies, 2011

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
Degree

The course is intended for students who already have a good first degree in a computer science or an appropriate discipline related to human-computer interaction or have equivalent industrial experience. Typically, you will have achieved at least an upper second class honours degree (or international equivalent).

Other qualifications

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to 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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