Information Technology, MSc

Information Technology, MSc


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

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 15 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study

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.

Available Programmes of Study


Information Technology

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MSc 15 months On Campus Learning Full Time January Aberdeen More

Stage 1

Compulsory Courses

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.

Enterprise Software Development (CS551Q)

15 Credit Points

This is a look at data science with respect to business intelligence, dashboards whereby students learn to create applications for handling larger datasets, as well as as a knowledge of visualisations for different situations. This also covers networking and fault tolerance issues as part of learning to development for continuous integration and continuous deployment of the applications.

Introduction to Programming (CS551N)

15 Credit Points

Students will be exposed to the basic principles of computer programming, e.g. fundamental programming techniques, concepts, algorithms, data structures, and object orientated programming. The course contains lectures where the principles are systematically developed. As the course does not presuppose knowledge of these principles, we start from basic intuitions so that students know the basics of programming as the foundation for their future study.

Advanced Programming (CS551P)

15 Credit Points

Students will learn the context of software development and engineering so that they know they are building the application needed by the client, and that it is being built well. This course is about the design of the software, and the software development life-cycle. We focus on moving from the idea of the software to its deployment and use by someone through the delivery of small working solutions that grow in features based on regular feedback, which helps improve the working solution.

Stage 2

Compulsory Courses

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.

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.

Web Development (CS5077)

15 Credit Points

Students will learn to develop modern web applications using a variety of languages and frameworks as part of their degree, and prepare them for whatever they do after graduation. A key focus will be on the integration of HTML with CSS and Javascript with other backing frameworks to develop dynamic applications.

Human Computer Interaction (CS5075)

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.

Stage 3

Compulsory Courses

MSc Project in Information Technology (CS551R)

60 Credit Points

The project is a group project where you will work with fellow students to build an application for an external client. In order to do this successfully you will follow practicals that procude 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.

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £27,000
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
Home / RUK £12,154
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
MSc 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time September Aberdeen More

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.

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • 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.


Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

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 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 python and web frameworks; 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


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


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

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 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.

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


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

  • Regular co-design hackathon events are provided by Code The City
  • The monthly Aberdeen data meetup on the first Tuesday of each month discusses data analytics, big data, and other topics
  • Visit ONE Codebase for regular events in the local tech entrepreneur community

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

Matei Ioan Marina

Matei Ioan Marina

Matei Ioan Marina

Job Details
Software Developer
Graduated 2017

I am currently involved in developing a number of web applications using mainly C#, JavaScript, HTML, CSS and SQL as database server. I am also heavily involved in using cloud technologies such as Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services. I chose the MSc IT because it offered a unique blend of technical and project management knowledge whilst not being heavy on previous experience in the IT industry. The staff were very friendly and helpful throughout the course.

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Kanat Kussembayev

Kanat Kussembayev

Kanat Kussembayev

Job Details
Senior Business Intelligence Analyst
Graduated 2018

This degree was a great solution to cover all in demand topics of IT industry. Including information security, Data management and architecture, project management and etc. The program scope was really sufficient to get a clear picture of everything important in IT. The Summer Project was a really interesting thing to do. It was the project that involved all aspects of what we studied: database modelling, scrum methodology, coding.

Gareth Donaldson

Gareth Donaldson

Gareth Donaldson

Job Details
Senior Systems Engineer
Graduated 2017

Having some experience with software engineering and finding that I really enjoyed it, I was keen to explore the possibility of moving into this in my career development. I chose the MSc IT program as it offered a way for someone with limited knowledge of computer science to move into this field. It was also a way of bolstering my academic qualifications to further develop my career while learning skills that would be of use to me in future.

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Our Experts

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.


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

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