The details
Location: Online Mode of study: Part-time Qualification: MSc Indicative duration: 2 years
Start date: Awarding body: University of Essex Delivered by: Kaplan Open Learning For queries: Call +44 (0) 1206 489 358

In a world driven by technology, computing professionals find themselves in high demand across a range of industries. Ready to develop the practical and professional skills for a lucrative career in the field? 

On our MSc Computer Science, you’ll explore common computing trends and current developments, helping you gain an understanding of the latest software perspectives relevant to computing architecture and data representation. You’ll also develop practical skills and technical knowledge across a range of computing topics, while building on key leadership skills such as problem solving, research and teamwork.  

Delve into a range of exciting topics including:  

  • the historical, architectural and practical perspectives of computer science  
  • techniques and tools for designing, implementing, testing and debugging objected oriented programs in languages such as Python and Java 
  • the underpinning concepts of Software Engineering Project Management 
  • an introduction to Behaviour Driven Development (BDD)  
  • security and governance principles and standards  

You’ll also develop a number of programs and applications throughout the duration of the course. And towards the end of your studies, you’ll be provided with a method for planning, executing, writing and defending a research project within the subject of computer science.

 

 

This degree is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP).

Why we’re great

  • There’s a strong emphasis on the ethical and professional responsibilities you’ll need to uphold when working in this sector.  
  • All programming languages are included within the tuition fee. 
  • This degree is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP) 
  • Gain your degree from the University of Essex, a top 40 UK university (Complete University Guide 2024).  

The MSc Computer Science is made up of the following modules and, upon completion, is equal to a total of 180 credits.

Explore and investigate the fundamental theories and practices of computing. Throughout this defining module, you’ll gain insight on the trends and current developments in the field, and the historical, architectural, and practical perspectives of computer science discipline.  You'll also experience and envision the current and future developments of the discipline.  

Gain the vital, industry-standard skill of objected oriented programming with this comprehensive module. Uncover the fundamental differences between object orientation and procedural programming, and the techniques and tools for designing, implementing, testing and debugging objected oriented programs in languages such as Python and Java.

Develop a critical understanding of the concept of abstraction in programming, as this fascinating module introduces you to Secure Software Development. You’ll focus on the underpinning concepts and skills of secure software development, as well as traditional and contemporary Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) models.

Delve into the fundamental concepts of Network Security with this engaging module. Youll learn to identify and analyse security threats and vulnerabilities in network systems, and determine appropriate methodologies, tools and techniques to manage and/or solve them. Upon completion, you'll be well versed in common diagnostic and monitoring tools, such as nessus, snort, syslog and ELK.

What is cyber threat? How can we manage it? Get to know the key concepts and skills underpinning Information Security and Risk Management (ISM). This engrossing module will introduce you to security and governance principles and standards, as well the understanding of risk and risk management in an information and security role.

How can software engineering aid project management? This informative module introduces you to the underpinning concepts of Software Engineering Project Management, as well as introducing Behaviour Driven Development (BDD). Youll also identify and apply appropriate methodologies, tools and techniques for the development of solutions to real-world problems.

Gain confidence in your critical appraisal of the professional, legal, social, cultural and ethical issues that affect computing professionals. In this valuable module, youll gain a practical foundation in research methods that will enable you to conduct research in practical settings.

Prepare to undertake a substantive piece of independent work, designed to demonstrate your ability to manage the learning process and achieve successful milestones and targets. You'll be provided with a systematic method for planning, executing, writing, and defending a dissertation for a research project on a selected topic of interest within Computer Science.

Teaching methods 

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’ll 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 seminars and Q&A sessions with your tutors 
  • a comprehensive eLibrary of textbooks and academic journals  
  • support from academic staff and your dedicated Student Support team 

 

Assessments 

You’ll be assessed through a series of assignments. This can be by engaging in discussion forums throughout your modules, completing reflective journal entries, delivering live presentations or by submitting longer written pieces. 

We’re committed to providing frequent and transparent feedback in the following ways: 

  • our assessment criteria are designed to be simple and transparent 
  • you’ll always be aware of your current provisional grade, right from the start of the programme 
  • you’ll be able to view your marks clearly in your gradebook whenever you log into the learning platform 
  • there’s a 7-day turnaround for marking and feedback of assessed work 
  • you’ll have regular contact with your Student Support team, with whom you can discuss any concerns as soon as they arise 

 

Online learning experience 

Your learning experience will be fully supported by high-quality learning materials and resources, delivered via our state-of-the-art virtual learning environment (VLE).  

On average, your learning experience will include the following: 

  • directed learning (40%) this includes participating in tutor-led discussions and seminars, completing interactive exercises on the VLE, and watching videos and lecturecasts. You’ll also be able to book appointments with your module tutor during their office hours, which can be found on the VLE 
  • self-directed learning (30%) – including undertaking wider reading and research in your area of study to develop your understanding of the subject area 
  • assessment (30%) time spent preparing ad completing assignments and activities that contribute towards your overall assessment. 

Typically, you’ll need to dedicate a minimum 15-20 hours of study per module, per week. 

 

Study duration 

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 our courses have regular start dates throughout the year.  

On successful completion of your degree, you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex’s Colchester campus. 

 

Academic staff 

A quality teaching experience is at the heart of everything we do.  

The dedicated tutors who teach our course modules are subject matter experts, experienced academics and leading industry thought leaders. They play a vital role in ensuring the latest theories and areas of study are covered in our courses, and are proud to provide a high level of academic support. 

You can find more information on our key academic staff and their experience here. 

 

Quality and assurance  

We’re proud to provide a first-class education to students anywhere in the world and adhere to the strictest quality standards 

The University of Essex Online has been evaluated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and we’re registered in the Approved (fee cap) category with the Office for Students (OfS) 

All our degrees are delivered by Kaplan Open Learning, a world-leading education provider with over 15 years’ experience. 

There’s a global shortage of computer science professionals, which drives a huge demand for computing graduates. This course is designed to help you enter the computing field – and after completing your studies, you’ll be prepared to become a software developer, software engineer, web developer, requirements analyst, network analyst, information systems administrator or project manager.

Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees and a BCS-accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

Gaining a postgraduate qualification with the University of Essex Online also puts you in good stead for your career prospects. Results from our 2021 student survey showed:

  • 92% of students said their course helped develop their research skills
  • 89% of students say their studies fit with their future plans
  • Almost 60% said their studies had a positive effect on their career
  • 25% of students saw their salaries increase by up to 10%

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.

Full tuition fee:  

£12,167 UK / £12,428 International (2023-24) 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. 
  • Regional scholarship available for international students based overseas in eligible countries 
  • 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. 
  • 10% corporate discount available when three or more of your employees study with us. 
  • 10% anniversary scholarship available when students enrol from 1 July 2023.
  • 20% impact scholarship available for our April 2024 intake.

Please note, a maximum of two discounts or scholarships can be applied. The corporate discount can only be used in combination with our upfront payment discount, but not in conjunction with any other discount or scholarship. 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.  

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. 

Subject specialists, industry authorities and experienced academics: the tutors who teach modules on our MSc Computer Science are experts in the field of computing.

What our students say

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Erin Lovell - Essex Online MBA

You are smart, capable, and strong. Repeat that to yourself as many times as you need to per day until you believe it.  

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Things I love: writing, long-distance charity walks, my Jack Russell terrier Jada, virtually all animals, tea, travelling to places I don’t speak the language, and learning. Things I dislike: cooking, butterflies, the sound of forks on teeth and being late.  

Why did you decide to open a sports centre?

My business partner and I had been discussing it for a few years before it all started to come together. We recognized that Bermuda was missing a central, family-friendly, location for practitioners of different martial arts & boxing styles to train. Our goal was to open a purpose-built facility that would be high-quality, affordable, and inclusive. So far, so good!  

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