Computer Science (including Professional Practice) MSc

This course has been developed specifically for those who haven't studied Computer Science at undergraduate level, and also features the opportunity to undertake a professional placement in its second year.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Integrated placements

Duration

22 months full-time

UCAS code(s)

n/a

Start date

Nick Powell

“The support was very good - I knew there would always be someone to talk to if needed.”

Nick Powell, Postgraduate Computer Science Alumnus

Course outline and modules

Almost everything we do in our lives has been touched by software engineering, programming or some form of computing. From the obvious, such as ordering products online to playing computer games, to the less obvious, like paying for your shopping at the supermarket or booking an appointment with the doctor, the supporting systems have all been built using computer science knowledge and skills.  
 
As a non-computing graduate on our Computer Science masters course, you’ll have the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and experience you need to build an exciting career. 

The difference between this course and the MSc Computer Science course is that this one features a professional placement. Students are responsible for finding their own work placement, with the help of our award-winning Careers and Placements Team, who have helped so many of our students to secure placement and work opportunities. Aston is 3rd in the UK for the number of students taking a sandwich year (HESA 2018), showing just how much we encourage students getting professional experience and how successful we are at enabling them to secure work placements. Take a look at our specific placement information and support. Please find more about the timeframe under ‘Learning, teaching and assessment’.

What you’ll learn 

You’ll learn to master the tools you need to meet the computational challenges that business and society face, while building a solid base of theoretical knowledge to underpin your delivery of smart solutions and in-depth analysis. 
 
As well as developing a systematic understanding of the software development process you’ll also learn how to make best use of huge amounts of data, enabling you and your future employer to make better business decisions. 
 
We teach specialist subjects ranging from user experience (UX) design to artificial intelligence (AI) and data mining, and give you unique opportunities to apply your knowledge to solve real-world problems. 
 
You’ll be able to get involved with our student-run software development company, Beautiful Canoe, as well as opportunities to work with businesses on real-world issues. 

Entry requirements

  •  A Bachelors Degree in a non-Computing subject, with at least grade 2:2 (or equivalent) and GCSE Mathematics Grade B or equivalent. 
     
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements.
    For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

  
The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor. 

Learning, teaching and assessment

This course is taught through a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials, lab sessions, practicals, online activities and independent study. 
 
Core Modules
•    Foundations of Object-oriented Software Development
•    Team Project
•    Software Engineering
•    Human Computer Interaction
•    Database Systems
•    Dissertation 
•    Professional Practice

Optional Modules*
•    Data Structures and Algorithms 
•    Software Project Management
•    Information Security
•    Reliability in Software Engineering
•    Data Mining 

*Availability of the optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules. 
You will complete all of these modules apart from your Dissertation across 2 terms (September until Easter). You will work on your Dissertation until the following September. This course also contains a Professional Practice placement which will take place after you've completed the dissertation, and will last for 9 months. International students undertaking this course will be offered a visa for the full duration of the course lasting 22 months.

The course will be assessed through a combination of written and oral examinations, class tests, individual and group coursework, projects, presentations and practical assessments.

Professional Practice

The difference between this course and the MSc Computer Science course is that this one features a professional placement.

Taking the Professional Practice route allows you to extend the duration of your Masters to 22 months and gain valuable working experience to support your career aspirations. The placement commences after completion of your MSc dissertation and can be paid work. study abroad exchanges or unpaid research projects or even a mix of these options. You will return to Aston the following May for an intensive period on campus to draw all your learning together and finalise the assessments.

Although you are responsible for finding your placement, you will have access to the support of our award-winning Careers and Placements Team, who have helped so many of our students to secure placement and work opportunities, including by providing CV and application preparation, and practice interviews. In addition, you will participate in a programme of activities within the School designed to develop your personal and professional skills such as industry seminars and networking activities. Opportunities for one-to-one coaching and mentoring will also support your learning journey and help you become more work-ready.

Aston is 3rd in the UK for the number of students taking a sandwich year (HESA 2018), showing just how much we encourage students to gain professional experience and how successful we are at enabling them to secure work placements. Take a look at our specific placement information and support.

Fees and scholarships

UK/EU students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £9,350

International students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £19,450

You can find out more about our Postgraduate scholarships for international students. If you are a UK or EU student, please email seaspgtaught@aston.ac.uk for information on funding.

Career prospects

There is a widespread skills shortage in this field, and our course has been designed specifically to develop the next generation of computing professionals, capable of going on to build long and successful careers in computer science.  
 
Recent graduates on similar programmes have joined a wide range of exciting companies including Cap Gemini, Microsoft, KPMG, IBM and Ford. 

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020. More information on post-work visas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study Computer Science at Aston? 

If you’re interested in a career in computing but don’t have a computing degree, this course could be for you. As well as the theoretical knowledge you need, we place a focus on ensuring our graduates receive the practical, hands-on experience they’ll need in the workplace. 

What will I be doing on the Computer Science course at Aston? 

We’ll encourage you to push your own boundaries and develop skills across a range of areas including Artificial Intelligence (AI), software engineering and data science. You’ll do this through an extensive and varied programme of learning, all of which will be applicable to your future career.  

You’ll work both individually and in groups on assignments and projects, including one to develop your own computer game. 

How does this course differ from the MSc Computer Science course?

This version of this course with professional practice features the opportunity to undertake a work placement during your time studying at Aston, however the MSc Computer Science course that doesn’t include a professional practice does not include a work placement opportunity as part of the course.

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