About the course
Develop expertise in contemporary design and practice within computer science. You graduate with the ability to explore further how technology influences people’s lives.
Our MSc Advanced Computer Science provides you with the flexibility to master the areas of computing that interest and excite you most. You choose from a range of topics including:
- Intelligent systems and robotics
- Machine learning and data mining
- Human language understanding and text processing
- Computer game development
- Cloud and web technologies
- Computer security
- Evolutionary computation
Our School is a community of scholars leading the way in technological research and development. Today’s computer scientists are creative people who are focused and committed, yet restless and experimental. We are home to many of the world’s top scientists, and our work is driven by creativity and imagination as well as technical excellence.
We are ranked Top 10 in the UK in the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities, with more than two-thirds of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent (REF 2014).
This course is also available on a part-time basis.
This degree is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).This accreditation is increasingly sought by employers, and provides the first stage towards eventual professional registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).
Our expert staff
Our research covers a range of topics, from brain-computer interfaces, human language understanding and technology, intelligent and adaptive systems, information and data analysis, robotics and embedded systems, to future networks, optoelectronics and radio frequency and signal processing foundations, with many of our research groups based around laboratories offering world-class facilities.
Our impressive external research funding stands at over £4 million and we participate in a number of EU initiatives and undertake projects under contract to many outside bodies, including government and industrial organisations.
In recent years we have attracted many highly active research staff and we are conducting world-leading research in areas such as evolutionary computation, brain-computer interfacing, intelligent inhabited environments and financial forecasting.
We are one of the largest and best resourced computer science and electronic engineering schools in the UK. Our work is supported by extensive networked computer facilities and software aids, together with a wide range of test and instrumentation equipment.
- We have six laboratories that are exclusively for computer science and electronic engineering students. Three are open 24/7, and you have free access to the labs except when there is a scheduled practical class in progress
- All computers run either Windows 7 or are dual boot with Linux
- Software includes Java, C++, Perl, MySQL, Matlab, Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, and Project
- Students have access to CAD tools and simulators for chip design (Xilinx) and computer networks (OPNET)
- We also have specialist facilities for research into areas including non-invasive brain-computer interfaces, intelligent environments, robotics, optoelectronics, video, RF and MW, printed circuit milling, and semiconductors
Our graduates have achieved success in a variety of professions. Many have pursued careers in computing and information technology, while others have gone on to work in research organisations or become university academics.
Our recent graduates have progressed to a variety of senior positions in industry and academia. Some of the companies and organisations where our former graduates are now employed include:
- Electronic Data Systems
- Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
- Bank of Mexico
- Visa International
- Hyperknowledge (Cambridge)
- Hellenic Air Force
- ICSS (Beijing)
- United Microelectronic Corporation (Taiwan)
We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.
What fascinates you? Apply your learning in computer science or engineering to solve a problem. Design, implement and evaluate a solution, producing a dissertation on your investigation and giving an oral presentation of your work. Test your knowledge, while gaining practical experience and building your project management skills.
View 'MSc Project and Dissertation' on our Module Directory
This module aims to prepare students for conducting an independent research project leading to a dissertation and to provide them with an appreciation of research and business skills related to their professional career. As a precursor to their project students, individually select an area of Computer Science, or Electronic Engineering, or Computational Finance and perform the necessary background research to define a topic and prepare a project proposal under the guidance of a supervisor. The module guides them by a) introducing common research methods b) creating an understanding of basic statistics for describing and making conclusions from data c) helping to write a strong proposal including learning how to perform literature search and evaluation and d) giving an in-depth view into the business enterprise, financial and management accounting and investment appraisal.
View 'Professional Practice and Research Methodology' on our Module Directory
Teamwork skills are essential for employability. The aim of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to apply their specialised knowledge to a realistic problem and gain practical experience of the processes involved in the team-based production of software. Wherever possible, teams are organised on the basis of shared interest, and the problem is designed to exercise their understanding of their area of specialised study. Starting from an outline description of a realistic problem, each team is required to develop a fully implemented software solution using appropriate engineering and project management techniques.
View 'Group Project' on our Module Directory
This course gives an introduction to computer security and cryptography, and then goes on to consider security as it relates to a single, network connected, computer. Introductory material is independent of any operating system but the consideration of tools will focus on those available for Linux, partly because its open-source nature facilitates this and partly because it is widely used on server systems. The introduction to cryptography will be used to consider its use in encryption and authentication.
View 'Computer Security (optional)' on our Module Directory
This module gives an introduction to intelligent systems and robotics. It goes on to consider the essential hardware for sensing and manipulating the real world, and their properties and characteristics. The programming of intelligent systems and real-world robots are explored in the context of localisation, mapping, and fuzzy logic control.
View 'Intelligent Systems and Robotics (optional)' on our Module Directory
We live in an era in which the amount of information available in textual form - whether of scientific or commercial interest - greatly exceeds the capability of any man to read or even skim. Text analytics is the area of artificial intelligence concerned with making such vast amounts of textual information manageable - by classifying documents as relevant or not, by extracting relevant information from document collections, and/or by summarizing the content of multiple documents. In this module we cover all three types of techniques.
View 'Text Analytics (optional)' on our Module Directory
Want to learn about more advanced web technologies? Topics covered in this module include current server-side and client-side frameworks, relational and no-SQL databases, XML, web services and others. Student showcase their web development skills by designing and implementing a web site making use of the technologies taught in this module.
View 'Advanced Web Technologies (optional)' on our Module Directory
A huge industry has grown up in the last few years delivering a wide range of apps for mobile devices, including application areas such as games, social networking, information, and productivity. Given the power of modern mobile devices coupled with their range of inputs (audio, camera, GPS, motion sensor, touchscreen) this creates an exceptionally interesting platform to develop applications for. Furthermore, these platforms come complete with their own marketplaces meaning that successful applications can achieve a large market share based largely on their merit. The purpose of this module is to teach the main aspects of programming applications for such devices. Such a course could be taught at an abstract level, independent of the particular type of device in question, but the approach taken on this module is to explore one particular platform (Android), in a hands-on and in-depth manner. This is a popular platform with a range of excellent devices (including low cost ones) from a variety of manufacturers. The platform is well designed and well documented, and has the significant advantage of being Java based, meaning that students can get up to speed relatively quickly and concentrate on the interesting issues involved in developing a high quality app without having to learn a new language at the same time.
View 'Mobile & Social Application Programming (optional)' on our Module Directory
- Courses provide a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of the theory, methods and applications of computer science
- Core components combined with optional modules, to enable you to gain either in-depth specialisation or a breadth of understanding
- Our postgraduates are encouraged to attend conferences and seminars, as well as engage with the wider research community
- Courses are assessed on the results of your written examinations, together with continual assessments of your practical work and coursework
- Your research project allows you to focus in depth on your chosen topic from April
- Close supervision by faculty staff
UK entry requirements
We will consider applications with an overall grade of 2:2 and above.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
IELTS entry requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.