Introduction

The MSc degree programme in Information Technology (IT) is a suitable programme for individuals with, or without a computing science background.

MSc Information Technology is also available to study part time online.

This programme is studied on campus.

This programme is particularly attractive to two types of students. This is suitable for those from an Arts and Social Sciences background, or other branches of the physical sciences, including computing, and want to build on expertise developed elsewhere. This is also a suitable route to make a career change into Information Technology and software development. In either case, this is a degree to start your career in the ever growing IT, computing, and software development field, which always has vacancies to fill.

This is a well-established and highly regarded programme which allows you to develop skills in web and applications design, including key aspects of security.

Key areas of IT administration and software development are examined. From the administration side we cover database development, enterprise computing, cloud computing, and security and project management. From the software development side we cover programming, human-centred design, testing, and a wide-range of agile development theory and practices. It has consistently evolved to reflect changes in technology and the demands of industry so you can be assured of a current degree programme.

The programme takes 12 months to complete full-time and 27 months for those studying part-time or online (30 months for those who start in January). Individual units are available for continuous professional development Individual Subject Study (ISS) by arrangement. Email us for more information.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc
Duration
12 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
January or September

Study Options

MSc 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time January
Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Web Application Development (CS1525) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce you to programming and software development for the Web using the object-oriented scripting language Ruby. It will teach you how to develop software that underpins database-driven interactive Web and cloud applications, and give you a broad knowledge of the basics needed for professional software development such as testing and version control. The course uses examples based on real world applications. You will also learn a limited range of core theoretical concepts such as structured programming, variable declaration, conditional statements, iterative constructs, object-oriented programming and meta-programming.

View detailed information about this course

Human Computer Interaction (CS5541) - 15 Credit Points

This course looks at why a computer system that interacts with human beings needs to be usable. It covers a set of techniques that allow usability to be taken into account when a system is designed and implemented, and also a set of techniques to assess whether usability has been achieved. Weekly practical sessions allow students to practice these techniques. The assessed coursework (which is normally carried out by groups of students) gives an opportunity to go through the design process for a concrete computer system, with a particular focus on ensuring usability.

View detailed information about this course

Enterprise Computing and Business (CS551B) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides insight into the business reasons for large software systems such as loyalty card systems, backend systems integrating firms and their suppliers and larges systems that integrate payroll, finance and operational parts of a business. You also learn the entrepreneurial aspects of business during the practical sessions where you explore and develop your own business application idea using service design and lean startup approaches centred around customer development, which you will find useful in any future work.

View detailed information about this course

Fundamentals of Software Project Management (CS551A) - 15 Credit Points

Software Project Management skills are fundamental in current software-centric industrial development projects, whether these focus on purchasing and customising an off-the-shelf application or on developing a complete system from scratch. However, computer science courses and programmes typically teach specific technical skills that tend to leave out SWPM principles and the practice. This course thus addresses such shortcomings, providing students with much project management skills for the software sector that are highly sought in the job market for CS graduates and post-grads.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Project in Information Technology (CS5942) - 60 Credit Points

The Project in Information Technology is a group project where you will work with a number of fellow students to build an application for an external client. In order to do this successfully you will follow practices that produce successful projects, which will be introduced to you during the first week of the project, and continued during the rest of the summer.

Past teams have worked with Survival International, Grampian Fire and Rescue, the Small Isles, local volunteer groups, and an Edinburgh film company.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Systems Analysis & Design (CS5037) - 15 Credit Points

This course will be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn about the processes associated with modern systems analysis and design. In the course you will develop a critical understanding of how to analyse and evaluate systems, and to design and specify corresponding functionalities in a succinct and official way. The course will introduce you to the tools and techniques used by business and system analysts/designers and cover the fundamental issues associated with software engineering and project management.

View detailed information about this course

Advanced Web Application Development (CS2012) - 15 Credit Points

This course builds on the previous course so that you can build more complex database driven web applications using a suitable framework to guide you. This also continues to round out your computing science craftsmanship skills with more emphasis on learning appropriate practices such as version source control, testing and group collaboration, so that you can build good habits, which will help your further during your degree.

View detailed information about this course

Information Security (CS5099) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to techniques for engineering secure information systems. Identity theft and fraudulent scams are some examples where computer systems have been utilised and compromised, and information exploited in ways not intended or authorized. In addition to developing critical knowledge of the theories, principles and concepts associated with information security and systems, this course will enhance your understanding of core topics such as access control, usability and psychology, security policy, ethical hacking, and cryptography. Students study how users and organisations must become better prepared to best exploit emerging technologies and issues arising.

View detailed information about this course

Database Systems and Big Data (CS5097) - 15 Credit Points

This course will be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn to design and query databases. The course aims to teach the material using case studies from real-world applications. You will develop a critical understanding of the principal theories, principles and concepts, such as modelling techniques used in the design, administration and security of database systems. You will also learn core theoretical concepts such as relational algebra, file organisation and indexing. At the end of this course you will be able to design and build Web and cloud-based databases and have a critical understanding of how database-driven applications operate.

View detailed information about this course

MSc 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time September
Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Systems Analysis & Design (CS5037) - 15 Credit Points

This course will be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn about the processes associated with modern systems analysis and design. In the course you will develop a critical understanding of how to analyse and evaluate systems, and to design and specify corresponding functionalities in a succinct and official way. The course will introduce you to the tools and techniques used by business and system analysts/designers and cover the fundamental issues associated with software engineering and project management.

View detailed information about this course

Web Application Development (CS1025) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce you to programming and software development for the Web using the object-oriented scripting language Ruby. It will teach you how to develop software that underpins database-driven interactive Web and cloud applications, and give you a broad knowledge of the basics needed for professional software development such as testing and version control. The course uses examples based on real world applications. You will also learn a limited range of core theoretical concepts such as structured programming, variable declaration, conditional statements, iterative constructs, object-oriented programming and meta-programming.

View detailed information about this course

Information Security (CS5099) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to techniques for engineering secure information systems. Identity theft and fraudulent scams are some examples where computer systems have been utilised and compromised, and information exploited in ways not intended or authorized. In addition to developing critical knowledge of the theories, principles and concepts associated with information security and systems, this course will enhance your understanding of core topics such as access control, usability and psychology, security policy, ethical hacking, and cryptography. Students study how users and organisations must become better prepared to best exploit emerging technologies and issues arising.

View detailed information about this course

Database Systems and Big Data (CS5097) - 15 Credit Points

This course will be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn to design and query databases. The course aims to teach the material using case studies from real-world applications. You will develop a critical understanding of the principal theories, principles and concepts, such as modelling techniques used in the design, administration and security of database systems. You will also learn core theoretical concepts such as relational algebra, file organisation and indexing. At the end of this course you will be able to design and build Web and cloud-based databases and have a critical understanding of how database-driven applications operate.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Human Computer Interaction (CS5541) - 15 Credit Points

This course looks at why a computer system that interacts with human beings needs to be usable. It covers a set of techniques that allow usability to be taken into account when a system is designed and implemented, and also a set of techniques to assess whether usability has been achieved. Weekly practical sessions allow students to practice these techniques. The assessed coursework (which is normally carried out by groups of students) gives an opportunity to go through the design process for a concrete computer system, with a particular focus on ensuring usability.

View detailed information about this course

Advanced Web Application Development (CS2512) - 15 Credit Points

This course builds on the previous course so that you can build more complex database driven web applications using a suitable framework to guide you. This also continues to round out your computing science craftsmanship skills with more emphasis on learning appropriate practices such as version source control, testing and group collaboration, so that you can build good habits, which will help your further during your degree.

View detailed information about this course

Fundamentals of Software Project Management (CS551A) - 15 Credit Points

Software Project Management skills are fundamental in current software-centric industrial development projects, whether these focus on purchasing and customising an off-the-shelf application or on developing a complete system from scratch. However, computer science courses and programmes typically teach specific technical skills that tend to leave out SWPM principles and the practice. This course thus addresses such shortcomings, providing students with much project management skills for the software sector that are highly sought in the job market for CS graduates and post-grads.

View detailed information about this course

Enterprise Computing and Business (CS551B) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides insight into the business reasons for large software systems such as loyalty card systems, backend systems integrating firms and their suppliers and larges systems that integrate payroll, finance and operational parts of a business. You also learn the entrepreneurial aspects of business during the practical sessions where you explore and develop your own business application idea using service design and lean startup approaches centred around customer development, which you will find useful in any future work.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Project in Information Technology (CS5942) - 60 Credit Points

The Project in Information Technology is a group project where you will work with a number of fellow students to build an application for an external client. In order to do this successfully you will follow practices that produce successful projects, which will be introduced to you during the first week of the project, and continued during the rest of the summer.

Past teams have worked with Survival International, Grampian Fire and Rescue, the Small Isles, local volunteer groups, and an Edinburgh film company.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

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

  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Peer Learning
  • Professional Placements
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

Assessment is by course work, 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 Technology?

  • You will learn the fundamental programming and web development skills needed to build complex and dynamic software systems, both on your own as well as in teams.

  • Develop your awareness and expertise in identifying and exploiting IT opportunities in your chosen area/subject (e.g. Geography, Energy, Business, Marketing, Engineering, Economics, Health, etc.).

    Programming is introduced using the object-oriented scripting language Ruby and the web framework Rails; you learn how to create effective user interfaces by building large-scale database driven web applications using open data.

    You will be prepared in the use and development of current and emerging digital technologies such as cloud computing, Internet of Things, and open data to improve organisations competitive advantage with entrepreneurial application of these ideas.

    The programme develops web application design, authoring and administration skills, including human-centred design and evaluation, as well as entrepreneurial skills so that you could start your own business using what you learn on the degree.

    You will be taught how to continually identify and revise clients' software requirements through the application of agile development practices such as scrum, pair programming, test and behaviour driven development, mob programming, and the use of sprints and task boards.

    We will give you extensive experience working in software development teams developing both interpersonal skills and technical abilities across a range of subjects such as human-centred design, service design, database development, software project management, and others.

    Our teaching is informed by the latest research in Computing Science and we have particular expertise in agile development, information security and artificial intelligence.

    We provide a thriving environment with many opportunities to develop your skills and expertise beyond the classroom with a range of regular activities taking place on campus, and in the city including monthly meetups, quarterly co-design hack events, and other activities where you can collaborate with professional developers and designers.

    Some of the organisations which employ our recent computing graduates include: Amazon, Arnold Clark, Insiso, IBM, BP, Conoco, Hewlett Packard, EDS, CGI, CMG, Wipro, British Telecom, QinetiQ, Microsoft, Prudential, the National Health Service, and local charities.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Our minimum entry requirement is a UK Ordinary or Honours degree (or a degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth) at 2:2 (lower second) class or above.

While no prior computer programming experience is necessary, a basic level of computer literacy is expected. Those with a Computer Science degree from a non-UK university, or other computing background, will be considered on the understanding that you may be repeating some material.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

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

Fees and Funding

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

MSc 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time January

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,300
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £15,000
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,700
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year
International Students £15,900
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year
MSc 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time September

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,700
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year
International Students £15,900
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • 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.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

There are a number of careers to progress in to following graduation from this degree. Previous students have found jobs using the skills taught here with IT companies and IT departments within local, regional and global businesses, as well as software development companies, charities, local councils and other public organisations. Some graduating students have also progressed onto academic careers following a PhD. Many of our graduates have moved in to new careers, whereas others have stayed in the same area, but have benefited hugely from having this increased knowledge of IT.

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. Some become software developers, business analysts, consultants, data scientists, or follow other roles.

A number of students take what they learn on the degree to start their own business.

Industry Links

What our Alumni Say

Adedayo Bada

Adedayo Bada

Adedayo Bada

Job Details
Software Developer
Graduated 2015

I would recommend the University because I had a wonderful time studying there and the standards are very high which makes me very proud of my degree. Also for someone just coming to the UK, Aberdeen is also a great city.

Vicky Anderson

Vicky Anderson

Vicky Anderson

Job Details
Senior Account Manager
Graduated 2015

My degree gave me a broad knowledge and exposure of Information Technology - everything from databases and web design to programming and looking at the electronic world that we live in. This has stood me in good stead for my career.

Udon Okoh

Udon Okoh

Udon Okoh

Job Details
Web Developer and Founder at Techinnover
Graduated 2015

I have so many good experiences from the programme that I can look back on. The dissertation project was definitely a highlight.

Find out More

Our Experts

Head of Department
Nir Oren , The University of Aberdeen
Programme Coordinator
Dr Bruce Scharlau

Information About Staff Changes

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.

Features

Image for Aberdeen Software Factory
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
Image for Co-curricular activities to put you degree into practice
Co-curricular activities to put you degree into practice

Co-curricular activities to put you degree into practice

Take part in regular co-design events and hackathons to practice your skills with other software development professionals. Monthly meetups provide opportunities to hear about case studies, development practices, start ups, and other topics.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX