Computing with Placement (MSc)
- Duration: 2 years
- Mode: Full time with sandwich year
Why study this course
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.
This MSc Computing offers students from diverse career and subject areas a balance of software engineering skills and technical abilities required for a career in Software Development.
Through this two-year programme you will get a first-hand understanding of the vital problem-solving role of software, the interdisciplinary opportunities available, and what computational systems can achieve.
Through a gentle introduction and intensive support, you will be introduced to programming skills using important languages such as Java and Python. Emphasis is placed on handling data and you will develop essential skills in SQL (Structured Query Language) for advanced database functionality using industry standard products such as Oracle™.
A choice of taught optional modules allows you to further develop skills in areas of your choice.
Students 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.
Graduates from these programmes will be ideally placed for employment in the computing industry or for careers requiring a combination of their graduate discipline with computing expertise.
- A conversion course that is accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
- The opportunity to complement your existing discipline with Computing.
- Tailor the course to your interests through a range of advanced option modules.
- Flexible choice of project topic, for example: associated with the research activity of the School; fulfilling a business need; reflecting your own interest.
- Complete a 7-12 month experience as an IT Professional for students who find a suitable placement.
- You will be provided with a laptop during induction week that will remain with you throughout the duration of the course.
Where you'll study
Our degree programmes are shaped by multidisciplinary research, making them relevant to today's employers and well placed to take advantage of tomorrow's developments.
This is a conversion course. Conversion courses allow you to study a subject unrelated to your undergraduate degree or current career, and support you with a change of career path. No prior knowledge or degree in the subject is required.
Applicants will possess minimum of a 2:2 honours degree or equivalent professional qualification in a subject other than computing.
Non-graduates whose relative lack of formal qualifications is compensated for by their relevant work experience will also be considered.
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS, with at least 5.5 in each area).
Applicants holding international qualifications are welcomed.
Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.
Please feel free to supplement your application with a detailed CV or any other supporting material you may consider to be appropriate.
Programmes commence in September each year but applications made directly to the University are considered throughout the year.
Find out more about English language requirements.
Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.
If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
You will undertake a placement following the taught stage of the course and prior to undertaking your individual project and dissertation. Most students start their placement in the summer of Year 1.
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.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.
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.
Learning and assessment
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.
A diverse range of teaching and learning styles are used throughout the MSc in Computing and the MSc in Computing with Placement. Students will attend lectures, participate in seminars, workshops and tutorials, and carry out practical and laboratory work.
Students obtain support materials either via Learning Central (Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment) or from study packs specially developed for selected modules.
You will also undertake a project and independent study to enable you to complete a dissertation. Dissertation topics may be suggested by you or chosen from a list of options proposed by academic staff reflecting their current interest.
How will I be assessed?
The taught modules within the programmes 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 you to demonstrate your 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.
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.
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.
Outside of scheduled tutor sessions, our Senior Personal Tutor runs an open door policy, being on hand to advise and respond to any personal matters as they arise.
The School has a formal student-staff panel to discuss topics or issues of mutual interest, in addition we schedule fortnightly informal gatherings over coffee for all students and staff associated with MSc Programmes.
Students are responsible for obtaining their placement. The School actively assists students on “with Placement” courses in finding a suitable placement.
Feedback on coursework may be provided via written comments on work submitted, by provision of ‘model’ answers and/or through discussion in contact sessions.
What skills will I practise and develop?
Students will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’, such as being able to:
- Critically analyse and evaluate current issues in computing.
- Clearly communicate ideas, principles and theories by oral, written, diagrammatic and practical means.
- Demonstrate self-direction, initiative, professionalism, critical judgement and planning skills in tackling and solving computing problems using appropriate technologies.
- Demonstrate software design and programming skills.
- Design, using appropriate tools, a simple information system or selected part of a larger system.
- Creatively apply computing knowledge and techniques to the solution of computing problems.
- You will also develop a number of valuable research skills through completion of the dissertation.
Furthermore, graduates will be expected to demonstrate:
- A systematic understanding of general computing concepts, both theoretical and practical.
- An understanding of the methods, techniques, and tools available to specify, design, implement and manage computer based systems.
- An understanding of the principles and characteristics of computer and communications hardware and software and of how these support the development of computer systems.
- A critical awareness of current trends in selected research areas of computing, and discuss their contribution to developing computer based systems.
Students from the UK
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Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
EU, EEA and Swiss nationals starting in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course.
If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees for 2021/22 will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Students from the rest of the world (international)
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More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
Costs for sandwich 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.
Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?
No specific equipment is required.
We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
Careers and placements
Recent graduates have gained employment in roles such as software developers, systems analysts, business analysts, IT consultants, and support engineers.
MSc Computing graduates are employed by organisations of all sizes locally, nationally, and internationally. For example, recent graduates have taken up positions with local NHS Trusts, Logica, Sun Microsystems, BT, and the National Library of Medicine in the USA, as well as undertaking further doctoral study.
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.