Advanced Computer Science with Placement (MSc)

The ‘with placement’ programme provides the opportunity to undertake a 7-10 month experience as an IT professional for students who successfully find a suitable placement.

The MSc Advanced Computer Science with Placement offers students exposure to key topics that are driving emerging technological developments and trends.

Computer Science is one of the fastest moving academic disciplines and the outcomes of research and innovation in this field could have a massive social impact.

The subject spans all aspects of modern life, and this programme offers you the opportunity to apply new skills and advanced techniques to the area of your choice, whilst allowing you to demonstrate that you are at the forefront of your discipline.

Core to this programme is the opportunity to further develop the scope of your problem solving skills by studying advanced programming languages and new programming paradigms.

You will choose to study optional, research-led modules that allow the freedom to build a distinctive personal portfolio of skills and knowledge. These are structured around advanced topics in the School's three core research areas:

  • Complex Systems
  • Visual Computing
  • Data and Knowledge Engineering

You may choose to apply for a paid 7-12 month professional work placement to be undertaken on completion of Spring semester and before completing the MSc course with a 60-credit dissertation. This provides valuable work experience to develop your IT Professional skills.

Distinctive features

  • An advanced computer science degree.
  • Designed for computing graduates who wish to differentiate themselves further through an advanced mastery of the discipline.
  • In addition to coverage of core advanced computer science topics, students may further differentiate themselves by selecting from up to two of three research topics in which to specialise (Complex Systems, Visual Computing, Data and Knowledge Engineering).
  • 7-12 month experience as an IT Professional for students who successfully find a suitable placement.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2018
Duration2 years
QualificationMSc
ModeFull time with sandwich year
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

We welcome applications from 'computer-literate' graduates who have a good honours degree, or equivalent professional qualification in a subject such as Computer Science or a related subject.

Applicants will possess a 2:2 honours degree in computer science, computing or a cognate subject.

If your first language is not English you must provide evidence of competence in English. Our standard requirement is an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no area less than 5.5. The University offers English language courses that can help you achieve this.

Please feel free to supplement your application with a detailed CV or any other supporting material you may consider to be appropriate.

Application deadline: Programmes start in September each year but applications are considered as they arrive throughout the year.  You apply directly to the University online for a postgraduate taught course.

Students will undertake a placement following the taught stage of the course and prior to undertaking their individual project and dissertation. Most students start their placement in the summer of Year 1. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Year 1: 100 credits core modules, 20 credit optional modules.
  • Year 2: 120 credits placement, 60 credits core module.

This is a full-time course undertaken over two calendar years. It is also available as a full-time course over one year or a part-time course over three years, both without placement.

You will undertake an individual research project and complete a dissertation (worth 60 credits) under the supervision of a member of academic research staff.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018.

Year one

This specialist Master’s degree will provide graduates of computing with the opportunity to enhance your knowledge, skills and understanding of the subject through modules taught by research experts in their specialist area.

As well as being taught a compulsory module on new programming paradigms, you will choose from a range of carefully selected modules focusing on contemporary and relevant topics currently emerging within the discipline.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Programming ParadigmsCMT30420 credits

Year two

Your work placement will normally last between 7 and 12 months, usually taking place at the end of the spring semester in July between the taught elements of the course and your final dissertation, allowing you to practice the new skills you have learned and apply the knowledge you have acquired, in the workplace.

You will return to university following successful completion of your work placement at the start of the summer semester the following year to undertake your individual project and write your dissertation, with the aim of completing the course within 24 months of entry.

Module titleModule codeCredits
PlacementCMT305120 credits
DissertationCMT40060 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

The School of Computer Science and Informatics has a strong and active research culture which informs and directs our teaching. We are committed to providing teaching of the highest standard and received an excellent report in the most recent Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) review.

Modules are delivered through a series of either full or half-day contact sessions, which include lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and laboratory classes.

Most of your taught modules will have further information for you to study and you will be expected to work through this in your own time according to the guidance provided by the lecturer for that module.

How will I be supported?

As a School, we pride ourselves on providing a supportive environment in which we are able to help and encourage our students.

We believe that providing suitable feedback mechanisms is crucial to ensure that the best programmes of study are available to our students.

All students are allocated a personal tutor who will monitor your progress throughout your time at university and will support you in your personal development planning. You will see your Personal Tutor at least once each semester.

Our Senior Personal Tutor can also advise and respond to any personal matters as they arise. The School also has a formal student-staff panel to discuss topics or issues of mutual interest.

Students are responsible for obtaining their placement. The School actively assists students on “with Placement” courses in finding a suitable placement.

Feedback:

Feedback on coursework may be provided via written comments on work submitted, by provision of ‘model’ answers and/or through discussion in contact sessions.

How will I be assessed?

The taught modules are assessed through examinations and a wide range of in-course assessments, such as written reports, extended essays, practical assignments and oral presentations.

The placement is assessed through a reflective report that demonstrates that the student has developed skills as an IT Professional.

The individual project and dissertation will enable students to demonstrate their ability to build upon and exploit knowledge and skills gained to exhibit critical and original thinking based on a period of independent study and learning. 

What skills will I practise and develop?

Successful graduates will be able to demonstrate to employers both a deep understanding and broad knowledge concerning computer science from a research and development perspective.

Graduates from this course will be ideally placed to pursue a number of careers, such as systems architects, programmers and software developers, and could also pursue a research career via doctoral studies.

The selection of modules on offer aim to enhance your transferable skills and boost employment prospects.

Master's Excellence Scholarships

Scholarships available worth £3,000 each for UK/EU students starting a master’s degree in September 2018.

Find out more

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2018/19)

EU students entering in 2018/19 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2019/20 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£8,950None

More information about tuition fees, including for part-time and continuing students.

Students from outside the EU (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£19,950£1,000

Costs for sandwich/placement years

During a sandwich year (e.g. year in industry, placement year or year abroad) a lower fee will apply. Full details can be found on our fees pages.

Students may apply for a paid 7-12 month professional work placement to be undertaken on completion of spring semester.

Whilst you are responsible for finding your own placements, the School will give advice on applying for placements, keep you informed of a variety of opportunities, and ensure that you receive support and guidance throughout the whole process.

Students undertaking a placement will be expected to comply with the standard requirements of their placement provider and adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study.