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MSc Human-Centred Interactive Technologies

Prepare for a career in interdisciplinary, collaborative teams in user experience design and research industries.

Year of entry: 2023 (September)

Length

1 year full-time

Start date

September 2023 (semester 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 those with a background in computer science or a related human computer interaction (HCI) discipline such as design, information technology or psychology. The course will provide industry relevant practical skills in iterative, user-centred research methods, and principles underpinning the design and evaluation of user experiences (UX) with interactive technologies.

The course will ensure you develop skills and expertise in gaining deep, human-centred, understanding of users across a range of contexts, where you will learn how to use qualitative and quantitative research techniques drawn from the diverse fields of psychology, computer science, sociology, and beyond. By the end of the programme, you will be able to elicit and analyse the goals and capabilities of potential users, propose inclusive, ethical design solutions for interactive technologies, and evaluate the quality of user experiences with designs applied for a range of purposes: all skills in demand in modern, UX related careers.

The course is also suitable if you are considering a research-focused career in academia or industry, 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

This course is recognised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology for partial fulfilment of the CEng, and by the BCS for partial fulfilment of the CEng and the CITP Further Learning.

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 core modules comprising 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

Core modules

You will take core modules, topics will include:

  • Research Methods in Computer Science
  • Interaction Design and Evaluation
  • Qualitative Approaches to Investigating UX
  • Professional & Academic Development
  • Human Factors: Technology in Context
  • Player Experience in Digital Games

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.

Dissertation

The independent study module extends the second half of the course in to the 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.

Examples of previous projects include: 

  • Designing interactive technology for a variety of different domains such as food sustainability, travel, passwords and digital archives
  • Understanding how people manage their digital communications and activities
  • Comparing of different usability and UX evaluation methods
  • Supporting people in identifying fake news
  • Identifying cultural differences that influence design
  • Exploring immersion, uncertainty, and other aspects of user experience in digital games
  • Investigating player motivations and gameplay habits
  • Examining the positive and negative effects of digital games

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:

  • 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 focused empirical research of diverse users
  • Design interactive technologies by conceptualising designs and prototyping interactive systems based on detailed analyses 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 and UX 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 interactive technologies 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 and UX 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 2023/24

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £11,770£27,200

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.

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 2023/24 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 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

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

In addition each module will be supported by our Virtual Learning Environment, which will provide access to useful materials and resources.

You will have a personal tutor who provides academic and pastoral advice throughout your course.

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 and user experiment. The Interaction Labs consist of an Accessibility and Usability Lab, a Games Research Lab, and the HomeLab (comprising a living room and a fully functioning kitchen) all of which are stocked with the latest technologies.

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

The taught modules on this course are examined by open assessments. The assessments will be published soon after the start of a module to provide you with enough time to work on these alongside attending any lectures, practicals or seminars. The programme includes a mix of individual assessments, as well as group assessments, where you will work together in teams on a design or research project. Within practical classes and seminars, you will receive feedback on exercises and activities throughout the module. Assessments will be due at the end of each module.

Once you have successfully completed the taught modules, you will undertake an individual project. Here you will work on a topic relevant to human-centred interactive technologies, and document the results in a dissertation.

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
  • Games user researcher
  • User researcher
  • UX consultant
  • PhD researcher
  • Information analyst

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

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in Computer Science or an appropriate discipline related to human-computer interaction, such as design, information technology or psychology, or equivalent industrial experience
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 120, minimum 105 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT B2 with 33/50 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.

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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