About the course
Expand your horizons and gain a deeper understanding of the way technology and computers work, while unlocking access to the broad array of computer science careers.
As technology plays a larger role in our day-to-day lives, computing professionals are presented with an ever-increasing array of career pathways to explore. This 100% online and part-time MSc Computer Science will help you develop practical skills and technical knowledge across a range of essential computing topics, while simultaneously building on key transferable skills such as problem solving, research and teamwork.
This conversion course begins with an overview module that considers the fundamental theories and principles of computing and introduces you to key trends in the field. Later in the course, you will study a range of topics including:
- how to contextualise and develop information systems using object-oriented approaches in languages such as Python and SQL
- the underpinning concepts and skills of Software Engineering Project Management, including traditional and contemporary Software Development Life Cycle models
- computer networks, network security fundamentals and information security governance principles
The technical skills you will develop will be an asset in whichever area of computer science you go on to work in. Throughout the course you will develop a number of programs and applications, and your degree will culminate in an individual project and dissertation. If anything captures your interest during the course that you to want to study in more detail, this is your opportunity to spend a third of the course focusing on it.
Following a successful advisory visit, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, will undertake a full accreditation visit in the 2021/22 academic year, to consider programmes for accreditation towards Chartered IT Professional (partial CITP).
Why we’re great
- There’s no need to download lots of different software packages – all programming languages are included within the tuition fee and all work is carried out in our online development environment.
- This conversion course will enable you to access the broad range of computer science vacancies, even if you don’t have a computing background.
- No need to take a career break – complete this course 100% online and part-time.
The MSc Computer Science is made up of the following modules and, upon completion, is equal to a total of 180 credits at Level 7.
Launching into Computer Science (20 credits)*
Object Oriented Programming (20 credits)
Secure Software Development (Computer Science) (20 credits)
Network Security (10 credits)
Information Security Management (10 credits)
Software Engineering Project Management (20 credits)
Research Methods and Professional Practice (20 credits)*
MSc Computing Project and Dissertation (60 credits)*
*Core module (must be passed in order to achieve the award)
Studying online gives you the freedom to study when and where it suits you – at home, during your lunch hour or anywhere else you have internet access.
Our courses are delivered through a virtual learning environment (VLE) instead of a traditional campus. This means you will have access to your study materials 24/7, including:
- multimedia lecturecasts made up of written content, short videos, animation, audio recordings, infographics, short tests and mini-assignments
- discussion forums for you to chat about the course content with fellow students
- live seminar sessions with your tutors
- a comprehensive eLibrary of textbooks and academic journals
- support from academic staff and your dedicated Student Support team
To ensure you receive the support you need from your tutor, we cap our class sizes at around 20 students.
In order to meet the technical requirements for this course, students will need access to a computer with at least 8GB RAM.
Our varied assessment methods allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the course content in a wide range of ways. This can be by engaging in discussion forums throughout your modules, completing programming exercises, participating in team projects, completing reflective journal entries and an e-portfolio, by submitting longer written pieces or by undertaking timed open-book tests at home, without the need to travel to an assessment centre.
We are committed to providing frequent and transparent feedback through the following ways:
- Our assessment criteria are designed to be simple and transparent.
- You will always be aware of your current provisional grade, right from the start of the programme.
- You will be able to view your marks clearly in your gradebook whenever you log onto the learning platform.
- There is a 7-day turnaround for marking and feedback of assessed work.
- You will have regular contact with your Student Support team, with whom you can discuss any concerns as soon as they arise.
Our MSc Computer Science has an indicative study duration of 2 years, which is a guide to how long your course will take to complete. The actual duration may be longer or shorter depending on your speed of study, study options chosen and module availability.
It’s possible to complete your studies faster than the indicative course duration by doubling up on modules at certain times; however, minimum study durations do apply.
Our academic year is organised into modules, typically with a one- or two-week break between modules and a structured three-week break for the Christmas period. Students will receive a course timetable during the application process.
All of our courses have regular start dates throughout the year.
On successful completion of your degree, you will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex, Colchester Campus.
There is a global shortage of computer science professionals, and therefore a huge level of demand for computing graduates. This course is designed to help you switch careers to this technical field, and after completing your studies you will be prepared to succeed in roles such as Software Developer, Software Engineer, Web Developer, Requirements Analyst, Network Analyst, Information System Administrator and Project Manager.
We know that many people from non-traditional backgrounds would succeed on our courses! That’s why we offer two different entry routes, taking into account your prior work experience and relevant qualifications. You will also need to meet our English language requirements.
As part of the application process, you will be asked to take a short aptitude test which is designed to test your ability to handle the intellectual and practical demands of the course. Please note that we will consider your performance in the aptitude test as part of your overall application, so if you don’t pass the test you may still be accepted onto the course. Additionally, you will need to pass your first assignment set within your two-week induction period of the course in order to continue your studies.
Academic entry route
In order to satisfy the academic entry route requirements for our MSc Computer Science, as a minimum you must have an undergraduate degree from an approved institution, equivalent to a UK Honours degree, or a relevant professional qualification.
Work experience entry route
In order to satisfy the work experience entry route requirements for our MSc Computer Science, you must have at least three years’ relevant work experience.
English language requirements
As our courses are delivered in English, a high proficiency with English is required. If English is not your first language, your English ability should be equivalent to an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5. Don’t worry if you don’t hold an IELTS or equivalent qualification – we offer a free online English test to assess your proficiency.
You don’t need to prove your English ability if you are a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries.
Fees and funding
Full tuition fee: £11,570 (2021-22) / £11,836 (2022-23) Δ
- Designated for postgraduate student loans in England.
- Simple monthly payment plan available, enabling you to spread the cost over the duration of your studies.
- Full payment discount of 5% if you pay upfront.
- 50% scholarship available for students residing in India.
- Partial scholarship available for international students residing in specific regions outside of the UK.
Alumni discount of 10% of the tuition fee available if you are a previous graduate with the University of Essex or University of Essex Online.
Please note that a maximum of two discounts or scholarships can be applied. Find out more information about our discounts and scholarships here.
Our course fees are fully inclusive – all teaching materials and required reading are included, and there are no hidden charges for assessments or resits. We also charge the same fee for domestic and international students.
Δ All tuition fees shown are net of any applicable sales tax payable by you in your country of residence. Where we are required to add sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the tuition fees shown and confirmed during the payment process.