School of Computer Science

MSc Natural Computation - 2010

Final Award MSc
Interim Award PGCert/PGDip
Programme TitleNatural Computation
School/DepartmentSchool of Computer Science
Banner Code4586
Length of Programme1 years
Total Credits180
UCAS CodeNone
Awarding InstitutionThe University of Birmingham
QAA Benchmarking GroupsComputing

Educational Aims Of Programme

  • Meet the increasing need from industry for graduates equipped with a knowledge of natural computation techniques.
  • Provide a solid foundation in natural computation for graduates to pursue a research and development career in industry or to pursue further studies (e.g. PhD).
  • Give up-to-date coverage of current topics in natural computation (such as evolutionary algorithms, co-evolution, evolutionary design, nature-inspired optimisation techniques, evolutionary games, novel learning algorithms, artificial neural networks, the theory of natural computation, molecular computation and quantum computation).

Programme Outcomes and Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategies

Knowledge and Understanding

  • The ideas and concepts underlying a variety of natural computation techniques.
  • The strength and weakness of natural computation techniques and the similarities and differences between these techniques and other existing techniques.
  • Applications of these techniques to solve large and complex problems in industry.

Skills & Other Attributes

  • Given a real-world problem, identify whether natural computation techniques are likely to provide a good solution and then select appropriate techniques from those available.
  • Derive efficient solutions to appropriate non-trivial problems using natural computation techniques alone or in combination with other techniques amd implement these solutions using both 'off the shelf' software and software they themselves write.
  • By the end of the programme, carry out original research and development (e.g. in industry or for a subsequent PhD) with limited supervision, both in the field of natural computation and in allied fields.

Transferable Skills

  • Use appropriate methods for literature searching and information retrieval.
  • Know and apply a variety of research methods, including experimental design and the analysis of data.


  • The Outcomes in the original specification of 8 November 2000 have been reformatted and re-worded slightly to fit the revised programme specification form now current.