Information Technology MSc

Information Technology, MSc


The MSc degree programme in Information Technology (IT) can be studied full-time on-campus as well as part-time online. It is a suitable programme for individuals with, or without a computing science background.

Key Facts

1 Year / 2 Years, 3 Months / 2 Years, 6 Months
Study Mode
Full Time / Part Time
Start Month
January / September
Learning Mode
On Campus Learning / Distance Learning

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This programme is particularly attractive to those from an Arts and Social Sciences background as well as those who have studied in other branches of the physical sciences who wish to develop Information Technology skills, either to change direction or simply to "add value" in their existing area of expertise.

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 are examined while still providing a grounding in programming and software development. 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 (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.

What You'll Study

The information below applies to the 1 year full time on campus learning MSc programme which runs in September. You will find information about other ways to study this programme in the next section on this page.

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Systems Analysis & Design (CS5037)

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.

Web Application Development (CS1025)

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.

Information Security (CS5099)

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.

Database Systems and Big Data (CS5097)

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.

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Human Computer Interaction (CS5541)

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.

Advanced Web Application Development (CS2512)

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.

Fundamentals of Software Project Management (CS551A)

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 marlet for CS graduates and post-grads.

Enterprise Computing and Business (CS551B)

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.

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Project in Information Technology (CS5942)

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.

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
  • Individual Projects
  • Group Projects
  • Workshops
  • Seminars


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?

  • Develop your awareness and expertise in identifying and exploiting IT opportunities in your chosen area/subject (e.g. Geography, Business, Marketing, Engineering, Economics, Health, etc.).
  • You will learn the fundamental programming and web development skills needed to build software systems.
  • Programming is introduced using the object-oriented scripting language Ruby and the web framework Rails; you learn how to create effective user interfaces and links to databases and the web applications for the internet.
  • Prepare students in the use and development of current and emerging digital technologies to improve organisations competitive advantage (e.g. cloud computing and Internet of Things).
  • The programme develops web site design and web applications design, authoring and administration skills, including user-centred design and evaluation.
  • You will be taught how to continually identify and revise clients' software requirements by following agile development practices.
  • We will give you experience of working in a software engineering team, usually with external clients, developing both interpersonal skills as well as technical abilities.
  • You will study with like-minded people who are looking to develop their IT skills and move into a new career.
  • Individual modules are available for continuous professional development Individual Subject Study (ISS) by arrangement.
  • Our teaching is informed by the latest research in Computing Science and we have particular expertise in Agile Development, information security and Data Mining. 
  • 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.
  • The Aberdeen Software Factory is a student-run software house, established in 2009, which allows students to gain work experience on larger software projects while providing clients with a flexible, cost effective solution.
  • 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.
  • Some of the organisations which employ our recent computing graduates include: Amazon, IBM, BP, Conoco, Hewlett Packard, EDS, CGI, CMG, SAIC, British Telecom, QinetiQ, Microsoft, Prudential, the Health Service, and Local Charities.

Fees and Funding

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

Fees and Funding Table for HOME, EU, RUK and International Students
Nationality Status Amount
Home / EU / RUK Students Tuition Fee for 2016/17 Academic Year £4,500
International Students Tuition Fee for 2016/17 Academic Year £13,800
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 trip courses. 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 is a UK Honours degree (or an honours 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.

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 exempt from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.

Document Requirements

  • 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
  • Degree Certificatea degree certificate showing your qualifications
  • CVan up-to-date CV/Resumé


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 in to. Previous students have found jobs using the skills taught here with IT companies, and software houses, IT departments within global businesses, charities, local councils and other public organisations. 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 and have found new opportunities because 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.

Our Experts

Head of Department
Dr Wamberto Vasconcelos
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

  • Adedayo Bada, Software Developer at

    Adedayo Bada

    Job Details
    Software Developer
    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, Senior Account Manager at

    Vicky Anderson

    Job Details
    Senior Account Manager
    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, Web Developer and Founder at Techinnover at

    Udon Okoh

    Job Details
    Web Developer and Founder at Techinnover
    I have so many good experiences from the programme that I can look back on. The dissertation project was definitely a highlight.


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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