School of Computer Science

MSc in Human Computer Interaction (HCI)


Human Computer Interaction is probably the single most important area for the success of a computer system and also provides great opportunities for innovation and creativity. This degree will provide you with the underpinning theories, methodologies and practice of the discipline. You will also have the opportunity to broaden your studies through optional modules in areas such as Intelligent Robotics, Introduction to Neural Computation or Cryptography. The course builds upon the world class research of the HCI Centre through project work and is designed to prepare you for a career in research or in industry or commerce.

The discipline of Human Computer Interaction is about many things: It is about the interface that a system provides (and, therefore, is the most important and most complex component of most systems) but it is also about so much more. We need to understand the people that use the systems and their abilities and constraints. We need to understand how to build systems that really work and also how to evaluate them. We also need to be able to think creatively in order to build innovative solutions to new problems and emerging applications and domains - to be able to solve the problems of tomorrow's world rather than just those of today.

Course Structure

The MSc in Human Computer Interaction is one year, full-time course. In the first eight months, students will spend half of their time studying taught modules. We will cover the core principles, theories, methodologies and application areas of the discipline. There will also be an opportunity to take optional modules.

The other half of your time will be spent on two mini-projects. Here you will work one-to-one with one of our research-active staff to explore an area in great depth – analysing the problem and existing solutions, developing new ideas and building or evaluating prototype systems. You will also develop your skills in analysis, research, technology and also in presenting and explaining your work clearly and effectively. The final four months will be spent extending the work of one of your mini-projects, again with expert one-to-one supervision.

Split into three academic terms, you will study:

Semester 1

Semester 2


  • Final Project and Dissertation

For further details on programme modules and structure, please click here.

Learning and teaching

The course will be taught through a variety of methods. There will be some small lecture classes, problem-based workshops and also one-to-one supervision. There will be some group work as part of the taught modules. There may be opportunities for some industry-based project work. Perhaps most importantly, you will be part of a small, highly qualified group of students working closely with researchers within the HCI centre.

Career Opportunities

Throughout the course you will become a specialist in HCI but will also build skills for analysing and researching new problems, and constructing/presenting creative and innovative solutions. Graduates of this programme are well prepared to continue their studies through research for a PhD. Although many students choose to progress onto a PhD, the demand for experts in Human Computer Interaction and the opportunities for successful careers in industry and commerce are vast.

Entry Requirements

The minimum requirement is an Upper Second class honours degree in computer science or a related discipline.

How to Apply

Applications for all Computer Science MSc programmes are made directly to the University of Birmingham. For full details on how to apply and what supporting documents are required, please click here.

International Applicants

If you are applying to us from outside the UK you can acess information about the experiences of fellow students, studying in a different country and check degree comparability here. You may also need to provide evidence of English language proficiency, but can find out further information here.

Postgraduate Brochure

Please see our Postgraduate Computer Science Brochure for further information.

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Computer Science Admissions
Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8742