Computer Science

MSc

Gain essential computing knowledge to elevate your career with our MSc in Computer Science conversion, transforming non-computing graduates into skilled software developers.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time
Entry requirements
Duration

One year

Start date

JANUARY 2025 START

Course overview

This MSc Computer Science conversion programme is tailored to empower graduates from diverse academic backgrounds with essential computing knowledge. Geared towards non-computing discipline graduates, you will be moulded into proficient software developers. 

Focusing on practical application, this programme will enable you to harness your initial subject knowledge for creating relevant computer applications. With a commitment to producing job-ready professionals, our curriculum emphasises disciplined software development methodologies and effective teamwork in software projects. 

Accredited by the British Computing Society (BCS), this course will partially meet your Chartered IT Professional (CITP) standard. 

Why Computer Science at Aston University?

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Accredited degree
This course is accredited by the professional body for computing - the British Computing Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT.
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Opportunity for non-computing graduates
An opportunity for non-computing graduates to pursue a career in computing
Teaching
Bridging industry needs
A course specially designed to address industry skills gaps

Course description

Elevate your skills and career prospects with this transformative programme, accredited by British Computing Society (BCS) and a conversion course for those looking to develop their computing proficiency. 

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What we will provide
We provide world-class teaching, comprehensive support to all our students, opportunities to engage with industry and societies as well as all the tools and knowledge you will need to thrive on this programme.

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What you will provide
For this course we are looking for dedicated graduates who work well within teams as well as in isolation, it is imperative that you can collaborate and learn how to work with others effectively. You should have a willingness to engage with problem solving and an inquisitive mind. You must be able to think outside of the box and autonomously, applying the skills you have learnt to take on challenges. This subject area is constantly evolving with latest technologies and trends, so it is key to keep up to date. 

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What skills we teach
Through a team project you will develop your teamwork and collaboration skills, your presentation skills will be enhanced with verbal and written presentation reports. You will be taught analytical skills based around a problem-solving challenge; these are key professional attributes to take with you into your future career. You will be shown a range of tools, which are constantly evolving, and taught how to best utilise these tools when working on a project. You will of course be taught a range of technical skills from programming, software development, human computer interaction, writing software to be ran on the internet or desktop, with also optional choice to study data mining and AI.

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Professional Practice Year
If you meet satisfactory academic performance and have secured a suitable professional experience, you will have the option to be transferred onto our MSc Computer Science including Professional Practice programme. 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 the 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.

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Career prospects
Previous graduates have gone on to a wide range of successful careers after completing this programme, some of the roles include software developer, information security, web application development at reputable companies such as RedHat, REPL group and NatWest. Of course, some have chosen to extend their studies and research by continuing to PhD opportunities.  

How you will learn

Initial learning will be undertaken through a programming bootcamp, where you will immerse yourself in learning programming - a fundamental skills in software development. Then during the afternoon, you will put to practice the mornings learning to test your new skillset. 

Through face-to-face discussions, group work and team projects you will develop key skills, including trying out your design work and receiving feedback from peers. Practical skills are imperative to learning on this course so when it comes to future work in industry you not only have the theoretical knowledge, but you will also have the practical abilities to jump straight in. 

Extra curricula activities

There are many extra curricula activities you can partake in by becoming a student at Aston University, key to this course is a Computer Science Society where you can mix with other likeminded students from your area of discipline, as well as over 130 other clubs and societies across the university! 

We also run a Computer Science Industry Club, which helps you gain key contacts within industry, attend events to network and grow your ties with key business professionals as well as seek important placement opportunities. 

You will also have opportunities to engage with Design Factory Birmingham, an enterprise within the University where real companies set projects for students throughout the year, here you can gain experience and grow your portfolio by working on these projects with students from a multitude of disciplines. 

What you will learn

If you meet a satisfactory academic performance and have secured a suitable professional experience, you will have the option to be transferred onto our MSc Computer Science including Professional Practice programme. 

Taking the Professional Practice route allows you to extend the duration of your master’s 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.

Facilities

Aston University campus is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including modern computer labs, collaborative spaces, and resources to aid your studies and research. We have dedicated lab officers and laptop support technicians available to all students. 

You will have access to a range of facilities that will support your academic and personal development. You will gain both practical and theoretical experience in our lecture theatres and seminar rooms where you will be able to conduct any research. You will also have access to a comprehensive library with a wide range of literature and online databases.

Course objectives

  1. Enables students to develop a systematic understanding of the software development process, and the associated theoretical underpinning and professional skills needed to support sound analysis, design and delivery of technology solutions in practice.
  2. Enables students to gain professional experience and a wide perspective on IT and business through project work at Aston University.
  3. Equips students with practical software and information systems engineering capabilities based on well founded principles.
  4. Develops industry-accredited professionals who are able to communicate in an IT context and endowed with professional level transferable skills.
  5. Prepares students to respond to the computing challenges of the business world, and an effective career in Computing and IT with the potential to reach leadership roles.
  6.  Enables students opting for Professional Placement to enhance their career preparation through a period of structured professional training.

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Foundations of Object-oriented Software Development15
Team Project30
Software Engineering15
Human Computer Interaction15
Database Systems 15
Total90

Select 30 credits from optional module for below:

Module TitleCredits
Data Structures and Algorithms15
Software Project Management15
Information Security15
Reliability in Software Engineering15
Data Mining15

 

Dissertation stage modules

 

Module TitleCredits
Dissertation60
Total60

Programme outcomes

On successful completion of both the taught and dissertation stage, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical awareness of a range of issues in professional software development (e.g. commercial, economic, security, legal, social, ethical & professional) and act autonomously within the legal, social and ethical context.
  • Conduct self-directing investigation into published work and critically assess the identified published work for its professional and academic worth, and its relevance to a given computing problem. 
  • Integrate and apply concepts, techniques, principles and/or theory to specify, design, construct and/or critically evaluate computer-based systems.
  • Plan, manage, conduct and report on a programme of work which covers multiple software lifecycle stages and critically evaluate the process, the deliverables and their value to the stakeholders.
  • Select, apply, organise and deploy a variety of software tools and techniques effectively and safely to meet stakeholder needs and/or goals.
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing software development tasks at a professional level. 
  • Demonstrate qualities and transferable skills necessary for working as an effective member of a development team.
  • Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Successfully complete the work placement and communicate how the work placement has enhanced the student’s employability skills and awareness of  professional practice, related to their chosen career pathway.

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.

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.

See international student information below for international equivalent information.

International students

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

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

How to apply

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway Programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

Masters Foundation programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

 

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Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:

Email: pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09.30am-4.30pm)

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£11,100

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£21,500

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Assessment

You will be assessed typically through coursework and on the occasion you may have practical assignments or assessed tutorials where you will submit your solution to the problem presented. Coursework assessments include, but are not limited to, design work with user interaction, data modelling, programming to a computer specification and many more.  


Career prospects

Alumni of this programme have achieved diverse career successes, securing roles like software developer, information security specialist, and web application developer at renowned organisations such as RedHat and NatWest. Many graduates have opted to further their academic journey, pursuing PhD opportunities to delve deeper into research and advanced studies. The programme's versatile curriculum and practical approach prepare individuals for various professional paths.

Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Study at Aston University and you will be part of a multi-cultural community located at the heart of the dynamic city of Birmingham. Our courses are practical, inspired by industry and many have internationally recognised accreditations. Renowned for our employability prospects and connections to business and industry, we provide outstanding career support, advice and placement opportunities.

For those interested in working in the UK after they have graduated, the UK Government has created a new post-study work visa.

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

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