Key Facts

Course Title: Advanced Computer Science
Course type: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
Mode of Study:Full Time
Contact Details:Kerry Melvin, Course Administrator
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Natural Sciences
Subject Area: Computer Science


The MSc Advanced Computer Science course prepares students to work in roles that require the use of data management, analysis and presentation tools, the development of software to deliver services or to control complex processes and equipment, or to provide system analysis and development consultancy to a varied range of clients. The course does not require background in programming or data analysis and for those with no such background appropriate training is offered to catch up with others who already have such training or experience. The course aims to match the needs of business that compete globally in a world driven by advances in information technology. The programme aims to develop both technical and people skills making our graduates ready for jobs that offer high satisfaction and regular challenge at the same time. The first semester of the course is organised into modules delivered intensively over three week periods. The second semester is organised using usual semester-long modules with the difference that all these modules are assessed by coursework only. The summer semester is dedicated to a Master’s level research or development project.

Aims of the Course

The aims of the programme are to equip students with knowledge of a range cutting-edge areas of computer science research and applications and to prepare students to be successful in a variety of computer science related jobs. The course covers advanced computer science topics, including user interaction design, big data, cloud computing, security, intelligent systems and mobile-oriented web applications. The course also provides a good grounding in collaborative team work and general skills for technology consultants.


Entry Requirements

The typical admission requirement is a Second Class Honours or higher degree (overseas equivalent accepted) from an undergraduate or postgraduate programme of a university recognized as such by Keele University. Alternatively the applicant should have completed an approved pre-masters course. The candidate must demonstrate a level of English language capability in reading, speaking and writing in one of the following ways:

  • have achieved IELTS 6.5 or higher;
  • have successfully undertaken a previous degree level programme taught entirely in English;
  • have successfully completed an approved pre-masters course;
  • have successfully completed an approved pre-sessional English course of the designated level.

We will also consider relevant industrial experience for students who do not reach the required degree level and who are not suitable for a pre-masters course.


Course Content

The following indicates the range of modules that may be offered and may be subject to change:

Core Modules:

User Interaction Design (15 credits – Semester 1): The module provides the knowledge and skills required for a student to be able to work on User Interaction Design based on an evaluated assessment of the factors associated with a given application or user interaction scenario.

Distributed Intelligent Systems (15 credits – Semester 1): This module provides the knowledge and skills required for a student to be able to develop applications to control intelligent systems in a distributed and collaborative context, including the programming of robots or intelligent home appliances (e.g. TV, fridge, etc. equipped with embedded computers).

Statistical Techniques for Data Analytics (15 credits – Semester 1): This module provides the knowledge and skills required for a student to be able to develop applications to store, process, distribute, visualise and analyse large volumes of big data using distributed databases, statistical techniques and machine intelligence methods.

Cloud Computing (15 credits – Semester 2): The module provides the knowledge and skills required for a student to be able to understand the principles of operations of cloud computing and to develop applications for cloud computing environments, e.g. data storage and distribution, software-as-service, interactive content services.

Web Technologies and Security (15 credits – Semester 2): To module provided an understanding of contemporary web technologies used for both server and client side development of web applications, with particular focus on mobile applications, and an understanding of security aspects of such applications and of the defence methods and techniques employed to provide security.

Collaborative Application Development (15 credits – Semester 2): The module places students in a real world scenario requiring co-operation and communication as well as analysis and design skills.  This will involve work for a real world client working as a development team.

Problem Solving Skills for Consultants (15 credits – Semester 1 & 2): This module explores skills such as project management, communication and team working and building.  It also provides knowledge of ethical, legal and social issues related to the development and deployment of Information Technology.


Optional Modules:

System Design & Programming (15 credits – Semester 1): This module provides the knowledge and skills required for a student to be able to design software systems and write object oriented programs in an appropriate programming language (e.g. Java, C#).

Research Horizons (15 credits – Semester 1): To module provides the knowledge for a student about a selected computer science research area and the skills required for the development of a mini-project in this area


Project or Industrial Placement

MSc Project or Industrial Placement (60 credits – Semester 3): Provides an integration of concepts taught on the course in either an academic or business environment.

Teaching and Assessment

All first semester 15 – credit taught modules, with the exception of one module delivered over two semesters, will be delivered in block mode, i.e. each of these modules will be delivered over a period of six consecutive weeks. In any week at most two block mode modules will be scheduled to be delivered during the first semester. All taught modules in the second semester are delivered along the whole semester.

The taught modules are mainly assessed by coursework, with examinations in some of the modules.  Project assessment is based largely on a substantial final report.


Additional Costs

Additional costs may be incurred for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines. Some travel costs may be incurred if an external project or placement is undertaken; any such costs will be discussed with the student before the project is confirmed. It will be possible for the student to select an internal project and that would not incur any additional travel costs.