Structure and content
This course comprises two 15-week semesters of taught modules, a winter programming assignment over three weeks in January, and the MSc dissertation project over three months at the end.
Practical work is a key component in this course. It builds from self contained tasks in the first semester, over the larger Winter programming assignment, to a group project in Semester 2. Finally, the dissertation project (possibly with a company) is the largest piece of work leading to your MSc dissertation.
Autumn semester core modules:
- Database Principles and Applications: Provides a critical understanding of the role of database management systems and the ability to design and implement practical databases.
- Concurrent and Distributed Systems: Discusses how concurrent and distributed systems may be constructed and parallelism in applications is handled.
- Computer Forensics and Security: Covers the principles of computer security and their application to forensic analysis, in particular confidentiality, integrity, and availability
Plus one elective from:
- Technologies for Ecommerce: Provides an in-depth understanding of the how to use Java servlets and JSP to implement an ecommerce website server
- Artificial Intelligence: Covers methods for allowing computer-based systems to sense their environment, learn from experience, plan future actions and infer new facts
During the winter break there is an extended Distributed Systems assignment using Java.
Spring semester core modules:
- Object-oriented Software Design: Focuses on how to analyse and model requirements and develop object-oriented software, through the use of UML and CASE tools
- Project Management: The evaluation, selection and management of projects through case studies
Plus two electives from:
- Networking2,3: Investigates computer networks, their layered architecture, services and protocols
- Decision Support Systems4: Covers modelling, simulation and intelligent support systems in organisations
- Advanced Computer Games Technology1,3: Technologies for game programming, including graphics, animation and sound components for 2D and 3D games
- Communication Systems and Services1,2,4: Covers the underlying concepts of Voice over IP communications architectures, web service provision and its role in commercial applications, as well as the principles of applications for mobile phones
- Computing and the Brain: Introduces you to the brain, its operation and devices known as artificial neural networks that are based on brain architecture and function
1, 2, 3, 4: core for the following variants: Software Engineering; Computer Network Systems; Computer Games; eBusiness with (the choice of electives is linked to the degree variant: 1: Software Engineering; 2: Computer Network Systems; 3: Computer Games; 4: eBusiness)
You may graduate with the Postgraduate Diploma after two semesters, or you may continue with a three-month project and dissertation to qualify for the award of the MSc degree.
Delivery and assessment
Students will learn about advanced topics in computing through lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. Lectures involve the whole class, while tutorials and practicals are for small groups. Practical work is a key component in our degrees, and provides the opportunity for hands-on experience. It builds from self contained tasks in the first semester, over a larger programming assignment in the winter break to a group project in Semester 2. Finally, the dissertation project is your largest single piece of work leading to your MSc dissertation.
After two semesters of classes you will embark on a three-month project working on your dissertation topic. At the end of the project you will write up your findings as your MSc dissertation. For the MSc projects, we will make a number of industrial placements (usually unpaid) available through the Making the Most of Masters scheme (www.mastersprojects.ac.uk). These will be offered to the best students in the class. Other project suggestions both from external bodies and from within the University are also offered. Furthermore, students' own ideas for projects are encouraged and welcomed.