School of Computer Science

MSci Computer Science

Key information

Contact details

2018 Entry Requirements

A Levels:

  • Number of A levels required: 3
  • Typical offer: A*AA
  • Required subjects and grades: Grade A in A Level Mathematics
  • We also require Grade C in GCSE English
  • General Studies or Critical Thinking: Not accepted

International Baccalaureate:

  • 766 required at Higher Level (including 6 in HL Mathematics), with a minimum of 32 points overall
  • We also require 5 in Standard Level English

BTEC qualifications:

BTEC Extended Diploma will only be considered if accompanied by A level Mathematics:

  • D* D* plus A-level Mathematics at Grade A*

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma will be considered in combination with 2 A levels including Mathematics:

  • D* plus A-levels A*A (must include Mathematics)

We also require Grade C in GCSE English

Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Year and Pathway:

  • UK and EU sudents: The Physical Sciences Foundation Year is designed for UK/EU students who do not have the recommended qualifications for entry into year one of our computer science programmes. Please click here for further information, eligibility and how to apply.

  • International students: Our Birmingham Foundation Academy offers three undergraduate pathways for international students, allowing you to complete a foundation year before entering into a full time undergraduate degree in computer science. Please click here for further information.

Access to Higher Education Diploma:

  • Not accepted

International qualifications and further information:

Additional information

  • Ideally applicants will offer both A Level Mathematics and Computing, which may become a requirement in future years
  • It is desirable, but not essential, to have some experience of writing computer programs
  • This degree can be taken with a Year in Industry and with a Year of Study Abroad


The MSci in Computer Science is a four year single honours degree programme. Following the first two years, where course content is the same as the BSc Computer Science, in their third year students spend a quarter of their time on a project. In their fourth year students have the unique opportunity to select modules from the School's portfolio of Masters programmes and even to specialise in a particular field at Masters level. In their final year, students undertake an in-depth software project.

The course is designed to provide thorough coverage of Computer Science's core areas giving students a systematic grounding in both the theoretical underpinnings of the discipline and practical software development. Your first two years will be spent studying the fundamentals of computer science, whilst your third and fourth year allows you to go deeper into subjects of your choice.

First year

In the first year you gain a firm foundation in programming, plus the principles of data structures and algorithms; artificial intelligence; and relevant logic and mathematics. Our main teaching language is Java, a language widely used in enterprise systems, but you will also learn functional programming, which is a style of programming with a deep connection to logic.

Second year

In the second year you move on to study enabling technologies and their application. You will learn about a wide range of subjects from the mathematics for modelling and decision making which underpins much of modern machine learning, to systems-level programming, networks, and cyber security. Your programming repertoire will be broadened by exposure to the C programming language plus further functional programming. You will also be taught professional software engineering techniques and apply them to develop a large team project in Java such as a multiplayer networked game.

Third year

In the third year you have freedom of choice to specialise in particular areas of computer science. The choice available covers computer graphics, computer security and verification, theoretical computer science, human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, computer vision, and teaching computer science. You will also work in a group to design and analyse a large software project.

Fourth year

In the final year modules from our range of Masters programmes will be open to you. You will also undertake a much more in-depth project which involves a major software or research element, and brings together all of the computer science skills you have acquired. Your choice of modules alongside your choice of project will allow you to specialise in a field such as computer security, human-computer interaction, theoretical computer science, robotics or natural computation.

On completion of the course, in addition to holding a Masters level qualification, students will be well-equipped for a career as a Computer Science professional. They will also have developed transferable skills in numeracy, problem solving, team-working, general communication, and information technology.

Teaching and assessment

Our teaching employs a mixture of lectures, tutorials, exercise classes, practical work, projects, and independent study, all aimed at strengthening your understanding by active involvement.

Career opportunities

Graduates from this programme gain a higher and more in-depth level of knowledge, which equips you with the ability to specialise in advanced areas of computer science such as; security, HCI and artificial intelligence.

We have strong recruitment links with many companies, including technology consultancies such as Accenture and LogicaCMG, and the well-known IT corporations such as Microsoft, Oracle, Hewlett- Packard and IBM. Opportunities also exist in investment banking (working for organisations such as Goldman Sachs), in retail banks and telecommunication companies.

You can find out more about employability and our strong links with industry here.

Course Modules

You can view the modules available in our new 2018 curriculum here.

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.