School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

Masters study

Student with app on tablet

Driven by imagination

The world of technology is constantly changing, and sometimes it can be hard to keep up.

Every day new apps and programmes are released, new ways to utilise and exploit data are discovered, and new technologies are developed. These innovations can improve healthcare, protect human rights, and inform decision making by local and national governments. But they also raise concerns around privacy and security, and around the risks posed by poorly designed or biased algorithms and artificial intelligence.

A Masters degree in computer science or engineering is a great way to enhance your skills and put you at the forefront of these developments and the concerns around them. Whether you’re a recent graduate who wants to specialise before entering the world of work, or are an experienced professional looking to spruce up their skills or change career, a Masters degree can give you a competitive edge in the job market.

You will develop advanced skills and knowledge in specialist areas of computer science and engineering. Our Masters degrees are closely aligned with our key areas of research within the department, so you get the latest research embedded in our teaching, straight from the people who are pushing the boundaries of our understanding.


Explore our Masters courses
Why choose us?
  • We are taking positive steps to develop a strong community of female scientists working at all levels in research, education and leadership.
  • More than two-thirds of our computer science research is 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF 2014).
  • Broad range of MSc options ranging from artificial intelligence and computer games to electronic engineering, computer networks and security, robotics, and algorithmic trading.
A headshot of Dr Alba Garcia from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.
"A fast changing world needs creative scientists and engineers working with other professionals to provide technology to support society. We nurture students to provide impact and benefit to society."
Dr Alba Garcia Lecturer

What can we offer you?

Part-time course options

We know that it can be hard to fit in further study around other life commitments. Work, family life and caring responsibilities can make it hard to fit in time for extra study, particularly for women, who are an under-represented group in computer science and engineering. 

To help with this we’ve ensured that many of our Masters degrees can be taken part-time. You’ll carry out your studies across two years instead of one, reducing the amount of time you need to commit in a single year. This makes it easier to manage around everything else in your life, so you don’t lose out on opportunities to expand your knowledge.


Explore our part-time Masters courses

Conversion course

If you have a background in humanities or social sciences then our conversion course, MSc Artificial Intelligence and its Applications, is an ideal way to develop a thorough understanding of AI and how it can be used in the modern world.

This course has been designed to help students from a non-science background gain an insight in to the world of artificial intelligence, including an introduction to programming for those with no prior coding experience, and several optional modules that cover areas such as data science, Big Data, and computational modelling.

Artificial intelligence is a growing area of interest for a range of fields outside of computer science and engineering. However, the UK government has identified a significant skills shortage in an understanding of how AI can be applied to these different fields. By undertaking this specialist course you will develop a new set of skills that will be helpful in the modern workplace.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences also offers two more conversion courses; MSc Applied Data Science, and MSc Data Science and its Applications.

Entrepreneurship support

If you’re planning on creating your own tech start-up then you can benefit from a range of support to help our students and graduates take the first steps to self-employment.

The University of Essex campus includes the Innovation Centre, and the Start-up Hub. Through these spaces you’ll have access to business support and guidance including networking events, help identifying sources of funding, and workspaces with a range of office facilities.

Interdisciplinary research

In our School we know that computer science and engineering have huge impacts on all areas of life. Our academics work collaboratively on projects funded by a range of bodies such as Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Much of our work has impact through our close connections with industry partners and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

Our research has strong interdisciplinary links across the university, with our staff working closely with colleagues in departments including the School of Life Sciences, the Department of Psychology, and the Department of Mathematical Sciences.

The research we carry out feeds in to your teaching, so you are taught the latest theories and discoveries by the same people who have tried and tested then in our labs.

Specialist facilities

As a Masters student in our School you will have access to a range of facilities on our Colchester campus. Along with dedicated PC labs that are solely for use by our students, we also have specialist research facilities such as our recently refurbished Brain-Computer Interfaces lab, iSpace, and the Network Convergence lab.

Our facilities come equipped with the tools and programmes you need to take part in taught modules, and to carry out your own MSc project.

Focus on key specialist areas for the 21st century

We offer Masters degrees in some of the key growth areas for 21st century computing and engineering.

Artificial intelligence, FinTech, and robotics and intelligent systems, are all important fields of growth in our modern world. By focusing your studies on areas like these you will be at the forefront of rapid, exciting change and development. You can contribute to designing and developing tools and platforms that can transform the world, or use them to make a positive impact.

National and local governments, and large and small businesses, are all looking for people with knowledge and understanding of these aspects of 21st century technology. By studying them at Masters level you’ll be giving yourself a head start in your career.

Part of an international community

Our School is home to a broad international community of staff and students who have travelled across the world to study and work together. We come from different backgrounds and speak different first languages, but we’re all united by our interest in computer science and engineering, and we will help support you as you join us at Essex for your studies.

Our Students' Union is also home to a range of cultural societies, who can help you get in touch with students from your home country who are also finding their feet.

Find Out More
Stay with us

We'll give you a loyalty discount of up to 33% on the tuition fee for your first year of postgraduate study at Essex, if you're one of our graduates, studied abroad with us, or have a spouse or partner studying here as a full-time international student paying overseas fees.

Get your Essex loyalty discount

COVID-19 and Teaching in CSEE

Will COVID-19 change the way my course is taught?

We will be delivering courses using a "blended learning" approach, which will utilise digital technologies including Zoom, Talis and Moodle for online teaching and lecturing, and will follow up with face-to-face teaching in small groups. Any resources that you need, such as specific papers that you need to read before coming to a seminar, will also be provided online.

Our facilities include our dedicated PC labs for programming and our specialist research spaces such as the robotics laboratory. These facilities will still be open to you for module teaching and your research, with any changes (such as number of students in the room) made in line with government and public health guidance.

One of the key pieces of work for your MSc is your final project or dissertation. You will be provided with a list of suitable projects, and will approach the relevant supervisors yourself.  If you are unable to come on to campus then you will be able to discuss projects with potential supervisors through Zoom, and on-going supervision can be carried out digitally too.

What will this mean for my learning experience?

We will still be delivering the same exciting and challenging courses as before. You will have the same expert staff teaching you, and you will have access to the same excellent facilities.

By providing content online, you will be able to better manage your time and take a more dynamic approach to your task management for assessments and learning, by scheduling when and how you engage with online learning resources. Maintaining our smaller group sessions in person, including seminars, gives you plenty of opportunities to ask questions and get feedback from our staff.

To help support your learning we have set up virtual PC labs, which will allow you to use online resources (such as accessing remote computers) alongside video-conferencing tools, which will support laboratory collaboration with other students and academics.

All of our assessment and learning resources have been thoroughly reviewed to ensure they guarantee a robust and effective learning experience, no matter the method of delivery.

What happens if the situation changes before I start or during my time at Essex?

We recognise that some students may have difficulty travelling to campus in time to start the academic year.

If for any reason you are unable to travel to campus to start the academic year, all teaching will be available virtually. This means that you can start, or continue, your programme off-campus, wherever you are, with full flexibility to transfer to on-campus learning as soon as you are able to. However if you are an overseas student and you aren't able to join us on Campus in the autumn, then you will need to be aware of some immigration changes taking place in January 2021.

All of our modules are designed to support you to continue learning and still be able to access one-to-one consultation and guidance that you would normally get from the lecturers on your course, if further outbreaks of infection occur during the year. This means you can join us in full confidence that you can continue and complete your programme of study.

There is lots of helpful information about starting at Essex in our guide for applicants should you have any questions, feel uncertain about something in particular, or, would like up to date information on specific topics if your situation changes. 

What will my broader student experience in the Department and on campus be like?

We are proud to be a friendly, inclusive department, and we will continue to be as open and accessible as possible. We understand that the social aspect of university is just as important as the education, so we are working on a range of online and in-person social events that will bring you and your fellow students together throughout the year.

We have been working in partnership with our Students’ Union to ensure that you can enjoy our clubs, societies, activities and services. We have built in flexibility to enable you to access support and activities, and to shape your experience around your life.

To learn more about the range of events Essex will be hosting, please visit our events calendar. To stay up to date with the very latest guidance on how to visit your campus, view our coming onto campus guide.

How will the University support me during this time?

The health and wellbeing of our students is our priority, and this has been one of the focuses to ensure students can start on campus – safely – in October.

This means we are constantly monitoring advice from the UK Government, Public Health England, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the World Health Organisation.

To protect our community on campus once the academic year starts again in October, we will be looking to introduce safety measures including:

  • Enhanced cleaning and sterilising regimes
  • Social distancing in line with international guidance
  • Signage and floor markings in key locations to help you move around our campuses safely

We’re asking you to wear face coverings in all public campus areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain or in specifically designated locations. We’ll be supporting you by giving two washable face coverings to all students.

There is a number of support systems available to you whilst you are at Essex, for whenever you need them and for however long you wish to use them.

These include:

The University also runs a variety of online events throughout the year including at-home yoga and mindfulness sessions.

To find out more about the network of support you will benefit from during your time at Essex, please visit the Student Directory.

Within our department you will be assigned an Academic Tutor, who will be your key contact point throughout your time with us. If you are concerned about your academic progress, or are worried about managing your deadlines, then you can always talk to them. We also have a dedicated team of professional services colleagues in our department office, who will be on-hand to support you and answer any questions you may have.