University of St Andrews

University of St Andrews

Advanced Computer Science

The MSc in Advanced Computer Science offers students with a strong undergraduate background in Computer Science an opportunity to follow their interests in studying the subject at an advanced, research-led level. Students have the flexibility to choose from a wide range of modules in advanced topics including artificial intelligence, human computer interaction, networks and distributed systems, and software engineering.

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in Computer Science, or strongly related discipline is required.

Course modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details about each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue, which is for the 2016-2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.

Compulsory modules: Masters Core Skills: equips students with essential skills in a range of topics including technical writing for computer science and information technology, presentation skills, research skills and project planning, all reinforced by practical assignments.
Object-Oriented Modelling, Design and Programming: introduces and reinforces object-oriented modelling, design and implementation to provide a common basis of skills, allowing students to complete programming assignments within other MSc modules.
Optional modules: Optional modules are subject to change each year, and attendance may be limited (see the University's position on curriculum development). Some modules may be compulsory for particular courses, with limited access for students enrolled on other programmes.

Students choose six of the following optional modules (up to two of these may be from the second list). See the module catalogue for further descriptions.

Optional modules:

Masters Programming Projects,
Artificial Intelligence Principles,
Artificial Intelligence Practice,
Language and Computation,
Advanced Networks,
Mobile and Wireless Networks,
Software Engineering Principles,
Software Engineering Practice,
Critical Systems Engineering,
Software Architecture,
Human Computer Interaction Principles and Methods,
Interactive Software and Hardware,
User-Centred Interaction Design,
Information Visualisation and Visual Analytics,
Database Management Systems,
Web Technologies,
Information Security Management,
Network Systems Management,
Green Information Technology,
Information Technology Projects,
Knowledge Discovery and Datamining.
Additional optional modules:

Computer Graphics,
Distributed Systems,
Programming Language Design and Implementation,
Computer Architecture,
Computer Security,
Concurrency and Multi-Core Architectures,
Video Games,
Constraint Programming,
Dissertation: During the second semester, students work with staff to define and agree upon a topic for the extended project, which they will work on during the final three months of the course, and which culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation. Dissertation projects may be group-based or completed individually (students are assessed individually in either case).

The dissertation typically comprises: a review of related work; the extension of existing or the development of new ideas; software implementation and testing; analysis and evaluation. Students are required to give a presentation of their work in addition to the written dissertation.

Each project is supervised by one or two members of staff, typically through regular meetings and reviews of software and dissertation drafts.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma instead, finishing the course at the end of the second semester of study.

Assessment methods

All students complete coursework related to their chosen modules and then undertake a supervised project/dissertation of 15,000 words.

Sponsorship information

Recent Graduate Discount: The University of St Andrews offers a 10% reduction in postgraduate tuition fees for students who have graduated during the last three years and are now starting a postgraduate programme. Further details on awards are available from our Fees & Funding webpages:


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MSc Full-time September 2016 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (England) 12 months
MSc Full-time September 2016 GBP 19,400 per Year 1 (International) 12 months
MSc Full-time September 2016 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 12 months
MSc Full-time September 2016 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (Scotland) 12 months
MSc Full-time September 2016 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (Wales) 12 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
University of St Andrews St Andrews KY16 9AX Scotland

Get in touch

Remember to mention TARGETpostgrad when contacting universities.

Key information

Postgraduate Secretary
Telephone number: 
01334 463253