An advanced computing science MSc building on, and linking closely to, the Department's key research themes.

Key Facts

1 Year
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
Learning Mode
On Campus Learning

Interested in this Degree?

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Preparing you for a career in advanced information system design, technology management and commercial and academic research.

This programme provides in depth knowledge and skills of leading edge techniques, such as user modelling, information filtering, personalisation, adaptive hypermedia, data mining and visualisation, and natural language generation.

Emphasis is placed on developing intelligent information systems to complex problems using advanced computational techniques.

Individual units are available for continuous professional development Individual Subject Study (ISS) by arrangement.

What You'll Study

The information below applies to the 1 year full time on campus learning MSc programme which runs in September.

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Semantic Web Engineering (CS50AB)

The World Wide Web (WWW) has become a major part of many people's lives. The Semantic Web is an evolving development of the World Wide Web in which the meaning (semantics) of information and services on the web is defined, making it possible for the web to understand and satisfy the requests of people and machines to use the web content. The goal of the course is to introduce advanced techniques for Web 1.0 (XML and XML Schema), Web 2.0 (AJAX and mashups) and Web 3.0 (RDF, OWL, microformats and microdata). It also covers some data exploitation techniques.

Data Mining and Visualisation (CS5012)

This course aims to make students familiar with basic data mining and visualisation techniques and software tools. Students will learn how to analyse complex datasets by applying data pre-processing, exploration, clustering and classification, time series analysis, and many other techniques. This course will also cover text mining and qualitative modelling. Through this course students will be able to analyse real-world datasets in various domains and discover novel patterns from them. This course is particularly suitable for those who are interested in working as data analysts or data scientists in the future.

Natural Language Generation (CS50AD)

The aim of the course is to introduce students who have some background in computing to (1) the varied aims for which Natural Language Generation (NLG) is pursued, (2) the main rule based and statistical methods that are used in NLG, and (3) some of the main NLG algorithms and systems. The course will cover NLG both as a theoretical enterprise (e.g., for constructing models of language production) and as practical language engineering, paying particular attention to the link between NLG and data science. Some programming experience is expected.

Information Extraction and Text Analytics (CS50AE)

An abundance of textual information is available on the Internet. As it is dispersed over web pages, it is difficult to extract the information and understand its overall meaning. In this course, students will learn information extraction and text mining theory and techniques, corpus construction, and programming tools (e.g. NLTK and GATE) in order to extract and structure information from text. The emphasis is hands-on and realistic. Using the techniques and tools, students will be able to start to unlock the economic, cultural, and social value of web-based textual information, gaining valuable skills in an expanding market.

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Innovation Strategies (CS5594)

This module gives students a unique opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills, which are required to help in the development of a business-oriented mindset. Even students who have no ambitions to set up a new business, there is a great deal that they can learn about entrepreneurial tools and techniques which would benefit their future career in different employment capacities. From the very beginning, students are asked to identify a novel software-based niche product/service (i.e., a still-to-be-devised, currently non-existing but potentially appealing product/service idea) and to find out how to set up a company which would develop and commercialise such product.

Advanced Computer Science Workshop (CS5563)

The module delivers practical experience in the technical issues involved in creating an effective showcasing proof of concept for a real product in the wider software sector. It is a follow-up of the CS5594 module, where students have devised a business plan for a company centred around such product. Students work in teams alreadyset up during CS5594, implementing the requirements specifications for the product devised in that module. On the final day of the module, an Industrial Assessment Group listens to the technical presentation of the showcasing proof of concept developed as part of this module and provides feedback.

Technological, Scientific and Market Research (CS5577)

This course serves as a lead in to the individual summer project. In it you will analyse the domain of your chosen research topic and provide a report on the background or literature.

Semester 3


The project will require creative, analytical and practical skills. The project typically involves the development of a substantial piece of software, and its evaluation.

Previous project examples include:

  • A sustainable E-learning Implementation Strategy: Data Mining Applications and its Use in Higher Educational Institutions.
  • Latent Dirichlet Allocation Performance for Text Mining.
  • Educational Data Mining.
  • Exploring and Analysing Real World Data with Topic Models.

Compulsory Courses

MSc Project in Advanced Computer Science (CS5950)

The purpose of this course is to develop the students' creative, analytical, practical and presentational skills and to allow the students to consolidate material learnt earlier in the programme, to extend their skills, and to research new areas.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Research
  • Individual Projects
  • Group Projects
  • Seminars


Assessment is by coursework, by written examination or by a combination of these as prescribed for each course. The summer project will be assessed by project implementation and by a dissertation. The degree of MSc shall not be awarded to a candidate who fails to complete the summer project at an appropriate standard, irrespective of their performance in other courses.

Why Study Information Systems and Data Management?

  • Aligned with the research expertise of the department. This exposes you to cutting-edge research and teaching from academics at the top of their game. The key research areas within the Department are - Data Mining, Information Systems, Semantic Web Technology, Systems Modelling and Natural Language Generation.
  • It exposes you to the theoretical application of computational techniques, at an advanced level, whilst still remaining relevant to industry.
  • Many graduates from this programme move on to undertake PhDs within the Department, given the engagement with the key research areas.
  • The programme gives you the chance to specialise in your chosen area through a dissertation project.
  • It teaches practical business skills, for example, through a group project where you either develop your own business idea and its prototype, or work with the Aberdeen Software Factory and a collaborating organisation to develop a solution for the organisation's problem. In either case, the prototype solutions and ideas are showcased to local University and business representatives at a "Dragons' Den" type fair.
  • Designed to meet the national need for skilled, business aware technologists. The IT industry has identified a critical shortage of advanced computer specialists who are not only familiar with existing technologies, but who can also develop leading edge applications.
  • We are a very close-knit department of students and staff and you will be given the freedom to develop your skills and learning whilst being supported along the way.
  • We have a global community of Computing Science Alumni, working in every corner of the world, many operating in very senior roles.
  • Our degrees develop an ability to understand new and complex computer systems and to communicate this to others. Our graduates can choose from a variety of employment opportunities in industry, commerce or research.
  • Today, the challenge for Computing Professionals and Scientists is to develop and use the technical analysis, design and programming skills gained at University to create better and more intelligent tools. These tools can be used to support many different things from medical solutions and managing huge volumes of data to online purchasing and improving business processes, and we will give you the tools and knowledge to succeed in these areas.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Status Amount
Home / EU / RUK Students Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year £6,000
International Students Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year £14,300
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.


View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Entry Requirements


Our minimum entry requirement for this programme is a 2:2 (lower second class) UK Honours level (or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth) in the area of Computing Science.

Key subjects you must have covered: Java, C, C++, Algorithms problem-solving and Data Structures.

Language Requirements

All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.

Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Physical Sciences Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.

If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.

Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempted from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.

Document Requirements

  • CVan up-to-date CV/Resumé
  • Degree Certificatea degree certificate showing your qualifications
  • Degree Transcripta full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
  • Personal Statementa detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme


Aberdeen Software Factory

Aberdeen Software Factory

The Aberdeen Software Factory is a student-run software house. Students can gain experience working on larger software projects and benefit from work experience, while clients will benefit from a flexible, cost effective solution to suit their needs.

Find out more


There are a number of careers to progress with this degree. Previous students who were on similar degrees have found jobs using the skills taught here with financial service organisations in banking and insurance, Amazon Research and Development, and software houses of all shapes and sizes, as well as moving on to study PhDs here and elsewhere in the UK. This programme provides you with the technical and analytical skills needed to successfully adapt to wide-range of situations in the ever-changing world of computing.

Our Experts

Head of Department
Dr Wamberto Vasconcelos
Other Experts
Dr Jeff Pan, The University of Aberdeen
Programme Coordinator
Dr Nigel Beacham

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

What our Alumni Say

  • Madumere Onyemaechi, at

    Madumere Onyemaechi

    I consciously made the choice of coming to the university of Aberdeen, as I wanted to evolve into a world class scientist, at a university that is highly reputed in my field.


College of Physical Sciences Graduate School
University of Aberdeen
Fraser Noble Building
King's College

AB24 3UE
+44 (0)1224 272515
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