Best Schools for Master’s in Computer Science in the UK

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Master’s in Computer Science in the UK

A Master’s in Computer Science in the UK is a postgraduate program covering a wide diversity of topics in computer science and information technology. Students have the opportunity to learn the mathematical underpinnings and basic principles of computer science. Many programs also offer a strong focus on developing programming and software development skills, which are highly sought after by many types of employers. Students from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds can benefit from enrolling in a Master’s in Computer Science program.

What Is a Master’s in Computer Science?

A Master’s in Computer Science is an advanced degree program that covers both the theoretical and the applied aspects of computer science. In the UK, this program typically takes about one year to complete. Many top UK schools offer this program, including Oxford University. Depending on the particular program, there may bee some variance in the proportion of theoretical to applied work throughout the course.

While some schools require Master’s of Computer Science applicants to possess a strong undergraduate background in computer science or a related numerical field, others admit students with any type of Bachelor’s degree. Such programs usually also offer bridging courses intended to cover potential knowledge gaps for students from non-technical or non-scientific backgrounds.

Most UK Computer Science Master’s programs offer some combination of required foundational courses and optional modules for specialisation. Among commonly taught core courses, students can expect to find:

  • Data Structures
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Operating Systems and Networks
  • Fundamentals of Databases
  • Introduction to Software Design

The core curriculum may also contain a practical workshop where students begin to work on an introductory software project. Students then may take courses that focus on special areas of interest. Some options may include:

  • Intelligent Data Analysis
  • Machine Learning
  • Neural Computation
  • Statistics and Evaluation Methods
  • Cryptography
  • Advanced Topics in Software Engineering

Some UK programs in Computer Science also offer courses in related mathematical topics.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Computer Science in the UK?

Earning a Master’s in Computer Science from a UK school can allow graduates to gain valuable skills as well as an advanced knowledge of computer science. At many UK schools, computer Science programs offer a combination of traditional lectures, workshops, laboratory work and tutorials. This structure lets students approach knowledge in a variety of ways and helps them acquire practical skills as well as theoretical knowledge.

An important component of many UK Master’s in Computer Science programs is the software development project. Programs typically require students to complete a major project before graduation. While faculty supervision and guidance is available, Master’s students have the opportunity to exercise their judgment and engage in independent academic exploration.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in Computer Science?

Graduates of a Master’s in Computer Science program can find employment in many different sectors. As digitalisation of many aspects of industry and daily living continues to grow, computer skills continue to be in great demand. A Master’s degree in this area of knowledge is an additional advantage for graduates who aspire to senior and leading positions.

Many Computer Science graduates go on to work as software engineers, structuring and designing software. Engineers may write code, develop algorithms, run quality assurance testing and provide maintenance for existing programs. A Master’s degree can help graduates secure positions with prestigious businesses. Another related career is that of systems integration engineer, who designs and maintains computer systems. This position involves using knowledge of both hardware and software. Programmers and systems engineers work for a wide variety of employer types, including:

  • Film and music
  • Software development firms
  • Social media companies
  • Retailers
  • Manufacturers
  • Transportation companies
  • Government agencies
  • Defense and security
  • Army, Navy or Air Force
  • Animation studios
  • Publishers

Some related careers include network administration, database development and administration and computer security development.

Some graduates obtain research-intensive positions, researching new types of systems and software solutions. They may be employed by private research companies or by military or intelligence branches of the government.

Graduates may also choose to obtain additional academic degrees and go on to teach computer science at advanced levels. Many of those combine teaching positions with advanced research in their field.

University of Southampton

Southampton, United Kingdom

  • 72SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 25,243Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

University of Southampton (Southampton) is a public institution located along the University Road in Southampton, United Kingdom. Southampton offers a wide range of master's degree programs across its five academic faculties namely: Arts and Humanities; Engineering and Physical Sciences; Environmental and Life Sciences; Medicine; and Social Sciences....

University of Buckingham

Buckingham, United Kingdom

  • 92SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 19,017Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

The University of Buckingham (UB) is one of UK’S oldest private universities located in the city of Buckingham, England. Through its 14 academic schools, the university offers master’s programs in a wide variety of disciplines....

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Cardiff, United Kingdom

  • 94SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 16,264Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Cardiff Metropolitan University (Cardiff Met) is a UK public Institution with two central campuses located in Llandaff and Cyncoed in Wales, United Kingdom. Through its 6 academic schools, the university offers master’s programs in a wide range of disciplines....

University of West London

London, United Kingdom

  • 96SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 13,324Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

University of West London with campuses in Ealing and Brentford in London, UK offers undergraduate and postgraduate studies through its eight schools: the London School of Film, Media & Design; Claude Littner Business School; School of Computing and Engineering; London College of Hospitality and Tourism; Ealing Law School; London College of Music; College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare; School of Psychology, Social Care and Human Sciences....

University of Gloucestershire

Cheltenham, United Kingdom

  • 108SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 18,271Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

University of Gloucestershire (Gloucestershire) has multiple campuses across Gloucestershire and Cheltenham, United Kingdom. Students at Gloucestershire are offered a wide range of master’s degree programs through its 8 academic schools, including: School of Art and Design; School of Liberal and Performing Arts; School of Natural and Social Sciences; and the School of Media....

University of Liverpool

Liverpool, United Kingdom

  • 119SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 24,390Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

University of Liverpool, established in 1881, is a multicultural, research-intensive University located in the city of Liverpool in England, UK. The University offers a number of master's degree programs from its various departments and schools including Arts, Dentistry, Communication & Media and Law....

University of Chester

Chester, United Kingdom

  • 125SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 15,404Average Tuition
  • 65%Acceptance Rate

The University of Chester is one of the oldest universities in the UK. Founded in 1839, it is a public university situated in Chester, England. The University has dedicated faculties, through which it delivers master’s degree programs to local and international students. ...

Queen's University Belfast

Belfast, United Kingdom

  • 171SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 17,796Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Queen's University Belfast (Queen's) is a public institution located along the University Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. Queen's offers a wide range of master's degree programs across its three academic faculties namely: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Engineering and Physical Sciences; and Medicine, Health and Life Sciences....

University of East Anglia

Norwich, United Kingdom

  • 174SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 19,942Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

University of East Anglia, established in 1963, is a modern research-intensive University located in Norwich in England, UK. The University offers a number of master's degree programs through its four faculties of Arts & Humanities, Medicine & Health Sciences, Science and Social Sciences....

University of Dundee

Dundee, United Kingdom

  • 189SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 23,602Average Tuition
  • 80%Acceptance Rate

The University of Dundee (DU) is a public research university located in the city of Dundee, Scotland. The University has dedicated faculties through which it delivers master's degree programs to both local and international students ...