About the course
The Computer Science MSc provides a balance between computer science theory and practical software engineering skills, including teamwork for industrial or research clients. Graduates find employment in the IT industry, or complement their first degree subject with computer science knowledge, leading to interdisciplinary industrial positions and PhD research.
About this degree
You will learn fundamental aspects of how computers work by taking modules in computer architecture, operating systems, compilers, data structures and algorithms. You will also gain practical knowledge in areas such as human-computer interaction, App design, databases and software engineering. You will develop programming skills in modern languages, such as object-oriented Java for Android development.
Team working, project planning and communication skills are developed by working in small groups developing software for real industrial and research clients. Optional modules allow specialisation in subjects such as functional programming, computer music, entrepreneurship and artificial intelligence.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research project (60 credits).
- Algorithmics (15 credits)
- Architecture and Hardware (15 credits)
- Design (15 credits)
- Programming (15 credits)
- Systems Infrastructure (15 credits)
Students must choose a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 45 credits from Group One options. For the remaining credits, students can choose up to 30 credits from Group Two options and up to 15 credits from Electives.
Group One Options (15 to 45 credits)
- Database Systems (15 credits)
- Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice (15 credits)
- Functional Programming (15 credits)
- Interaction Design (15 credits)
- Software Engineering (15 credits)
Group Two Options (up to 30 credits)
- Affective Interaction (15 credits)
- Artificial Intelligence and Neural Computing (15 credits)
- Project Management (15 credits)
Please note: the availability and delivery of optional modules may vary, depending on your selection.
A list of acceptable elective modules is available on the Departmental page.
All students undertake an independent computer-based science project which culminates in a dissertation in the form of a project report.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorials. Lectures are often supported by laboratory work with help from demonstrators. Student performance is assessed by unseen written examinations, coursework and a substantial individual project.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Computer Science MSc
Graduates from UCL are keenly sought after by the world's leading organisations, and many progress in their careers to secure senior and influential positions. UCL Computer Science graduates are particularly valued as a result of the department's strong international reputation, strong links with industry, and ideal location close to the City of London. Our graduates secure careers in a wide variety of organisations; for example with global IT consultancies, as IT analysts with City banks, or as IT specialists within manufacturing industries.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Analyst and IT Consultant, KPMG
- Associate Quantity Developer, Moody's
- Clinical Systems Manager, Whittington Hospital (NHS)
- Cyber Security Analyst / Developer, BAE Systems
- PhD in System Engineering, City University of Hong Kong
This degree opens up many different career paths. Recent graduates have been employed by some of the world's leading IT companies such as Accenture, Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse. The entrepreneurial spirit is ignited in other students and they may either start their own companies or join dynamic start-ups. Other graduates have gone on to PhD study to conduct cutting-edge research in areas that interest them.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
UCL Computer Science is recognised as a world leader in teaching and research.
UCL received the highest percentage (96%) for quality of research in Computer Science and Informatics in the UK's most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).
Our Master's programmes have some of the highest employment rates and starting salaries, with graduates entering a wide variety of industries from entertainment to finance.
We take an experimental approach to our subject, enjoy the challenge and opportunity of entrepreneurial partnerships and place a high value on our extensive range of industrial collaborations.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Computer Science
96% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)