Computing Science with Industrial Placement, MSci

Computing Science with Industrial Placement, MSci


The 5-year MSci is an integrated Master's programme that adds a year-long placement in industry to the 4-year BSc Computing Science degree.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
60 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month

Are you excited by the possibilities of quantum computing, blockchain, encryption, data science, machine learning and other emerging AI technologies that have been making headlines recently, such as ChatGPT?

Computing Science at Aberdeen encompasses both the theory and the practice of computing with particular emphasis on developing your technical analysis, design and programming skills. You will study topics including software programming, databases and data management, computer systems, AI and cyber security and learn to apply your technical and creative problem skills to a wide variety of commercial, scientific and socio-economic contexts.

Our teaching reflects how advances in computing are constantly transforming how we live, learn, work and socialise – from how we detect and treat disease or analyse business, scientific or social data to how we make online shopping easier and more secure.

You will be taught by leading researchers whose work in multi-agent systems, natural language generation, machine learning and blockchain underpins what you will learn in your lectures.

Our teaching is also heavily informed by our strong links with industry organisations, who support our students through guest lectures and seminars as well as prizes (including for example Amazon, CGI and ScotlandIS).

Industry Placement

Students can spend a year on industrial placement during their studies of Computing Science. It is an excellent opportunity for students to gain first-hand professional experience of working in industry. A year of industrial placement can be taken either between the third and fourth year of studies or after the fourth year.

Students who successfully complete a CS50IP-style placement, and otherwise fulfil the requirements for an honours degree, will be awarded an MSci degree "with industrial placement" to acknowledge the fact that these degrees take five years.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

Programming 1 (CS1032)

15 Credit Points

This course will be delivered in two halves. The first half will provide a self-contained introduction to computer programming. It will be accessible to all undergraduates. Students will be exposed to the basic principles of computer programming, e.g. fundamental programming techniques, concepts, algorithms and data structures. 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. The second half will be particularly of use to those studying Science and Engineering subjects, broadly interpreted, as well as Computing and IT specialists. It will include a gentle introduction to professional issues and security concepts.

Modelling and Problem Solving for Computing (CS1029)

15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to techniques that support problem solving and modelling with computers, and concepts and methods that are fundamental to computing science. The techniques and concepts will be illustrated with numerous computing examples.

Object - Oriented Programming (CS1527)

15 Credit Points

This course will build on the basic programming skills acquired in the first half-session and equip the students with advanced object oriented programming knowledge, implementation of data structure and algorithms, and basic software engineering techniques. The students will be challenged with more complicated programming problems through a series of continuous assessments.

Web Development (CS1534)

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. The course is open to all undergraduates, and is accessible to those with no previous experience.

Optional Courses

Select a further 60 credit points from courses of choice.

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Software Programming (CS2020)

15 Credit Points

This course is concerned with tools and techniques for scalable and dependable software programming. It focusses primarily on the Java programming language and related technologies. The course gives extensive programming practice in Java. It covers in depth features of the language and how best to use them, the execution model of the language, memory management, design principles underpinning the language, and comparisons with other languages. Tools for collaboration, productivity, and versioning will also be discussed.

Human - Computer Interaction (CS2506)

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.

Algorithms and Data Structures (CS2522)

15 Credit Points

This course provides the knowledge needed to understand, design and compare algorithms. By the end of the course, a student should be able to create or adapt algorithms to solve problems, determine an algorithm's efficiency, and be able to implement it. The course also introduces the student to a variety of widely used algorithms and algorithm creation techniques, applicable to a range of domains. The course will introduce students to concepts such as pseudo-code and computational complexity, and make use of proof techniques. The practical component of the course will build on and enhance students' programming skills.

Optional Courses

Progression from First Year Only:

  • Databases and Data Management (CS2019)

Direct Entrant Only:

  • Computer Systems and Architecture (CS1533 )

Plus, select a further 45 credit points from courses of choice.

Databases and Data Management (CS2019)

15 Credit Points

Databases are an important part of traditional information systems (offline /online) as well as modern data science pipelines. This course will be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn to design and query databases using major database technologies. The course aims to teach the material using case studies from real-world applications, both in lectures and lab classes.

In addition, the course covers topics including management of different kinds of data such as spatial data and data warehousing. The course provides more hands-on training that develops skills useful in practice.

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

  • CS3518

    Languages and Computability

Artificial Intelligence (CS3033)

15 Credit Points

The course provides an introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI). It discusses fundamental problems of AI and their computational solution via key concepts.

Operating Systems (CS3026)

15 Credit Points

This course discusses core concepts and architectures of operating systems, in particular the management of processes, memory and storage structures. Students will learn about the scheduling and operation of processes and threads, problems of concurrency and means to avoid race conditions and deadlock situations. The course will discuss virtual memory management, file systems and issues of security and recovery. In weekly practical session, students will gain a deeper understanding of operating system concepts with various programming exercises.

Principles of Software Engineering (CS3028)

15 Credit Points

Students will develop large commercial and industrial software systems as a team-based effort that puts technical quality at centre stage. The module will focus on the early stage of software development, encompassing team building, requirements specification, architectural and detailed design, and software construction. Group work (where each team of students will develop a system selected using a business planning exercise) will guide the software engineering learning process. Teams will be encouraged to have an active, agile approach to problem solving through the guided study, evaluation and integration of practically relevant software engineering concepts, methods, and tools.

Distributed Systems and Security (CS3524)

15 Credit Points

This course discusses core concepts of distributed systems, such as programming with distributed objects, multiple threads of control, multi-tire client-server systems, transactions and concurrency control, distributed transactions and commit protocols, and fault-tolerant systems. The course also discusses aspects of security, such as cryptography, authentication, digital signatures and certificates, SSL etc. Weekly practical sessions cover a set of techniques for the implementation of distributed system concepts such as programming with remote object invocation, thread management and socket communication.

Enterprise Computing and Business (CS3525)

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. This course is open to anyone across the university and requires no programming experience.

Software Engineering and Professional Practice (CS3528)

15 Credit Points

In this module, which is the follow-up of CS3028, students will focus on the team-based development of a previously specified, designed, and concept-proofed software system. Each team will build their product to industrial-strength quality standards following an agile process and applying the software engineering concepts, methods, and tools introduced in CS3028. The course includes a series of mandatory participatory seminars on professional and management issues in IT and IT projects. Students will be expected to relate their engineering work to these issues.

Optional Courses

Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice.

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Subject to satisfactory completion of the Junior Honours year and placement being available, students will take the course ‘Business and Industrial Applications of IT’ (CS 50IP) which will involve working in industry (where 'industry' is taken to mean manufacturing industry, business, commerce, the public sector etc.) for a year between their Junior and Senior Honours years or after Senior Honours. Students who successfully complete this course will have their degree designated as awarded ' with Industrial Placement', but performance on CS 50IP shall not otherwise contribute towards Honours assessment.

Business and Industrial Applications of IT (CS50IP)

120 Credit Points

Students can gain work experience in industrial, business or public sector organisations by taking up a 1-year placement / internship. Students are required to submit monthly reports as well as a final thesis summarising their work experience. Students who successfully complete such a placement will earn an advanced undergraduate degree (MSci in Computing Science with Industrial Placement).

Year 5

Compulsory Courses

Research Methods (CS4040)

15 Credit Points

In this course, you will conduct an individual research project into the behaviour of a computing system. You will develop knowledge and understanding of rigorous methods to: explore computing system behaviour; identify questions about behaviour; design experiments to answer those questions; analyse experimental results; and report on the outcomes of your research. You will develop your understanding of research ethics and how this relates to professional behaviour.

Security (CS4028)

15 Credit Points

The course provides a solid foundation in computer and information security. It will cover topics of Information and Risk, Threats and Attacks, Cybersecurity Architecture and Operations, Secure Systems and Products, Cybersecurity Management and Trustworthy Software.

Introduction to Machine Learning and Data Mining (CS4049)

15 Credit Points

This course provides an introduction to machine learning and data mining. Students will learn how to analyse complex datasets by applying data pre-processing, exploration, clustering and classification, time-series analysis, neural networks, and many other techniques. This course is particularly suitable for those who are interested in working as data analysts or data scientists in the future.

Single Honours Computing Project (CS4529)

60 Credit Points

Consists of a supervised project which provides experience of investigating a real problem in computing science, or a computing application/technology. Learners will apply knowledge and skills gained earlier in their degree programme, and seek to go even further. Managing the project and presenting the results obtained are an integral part of the investigation.

Optional Courses

Select a further 15 credit points from courses of choice.

We will endeavour to make all course options available. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

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

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Computing Science?

  • The MSci is an integrated Master's programme that adds a year-long placement in industry to the degree.
  • The Aberdeen University Artificial Intelligence Society and the Aberdeen University Computing Society provide a forum for students to share their interest and expertise in computing through workshops, guest talks, coding challenges and social events
  • The Aberdeen Software Factory is a student-run software house that enables students gain experience working on larger software projects for external clients. Other extra-curricular activities include ACM programming Contest, Code The City and Global Service Jam.
  • We keep you updated with exciting computing science opportunities such as networking events, career fairs, internships, placements and graduate jobs
  • We work closely with the Careers and Employability Service to support you with one-on-one mock interviews, CV planning, and more.
  • We also help organise sector career fairs in technology, business, finance, and other related areas where you get the opportunity to interact directly with the employers.
  • Some of the organisations that our graduates have gone to work for in recent years include Google,
    Citi Bank, Coca-Cola, Danske Bank, Dell, Disney Pixar, Morgan Stanley, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, GE Digital and Allianz Insurance.

Entry Requirements


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

General Entry Requirements

2024 Entry


Applicants who achieve AAAB or better over S4 and S5 are likely to be made an offer of admission. This may be unconditional or it may be conditional, dependent upon academic profile. Good performance in additional Highers / Advanced Highers may be required.

Highers at AB from two Science or Maths subjects required.

A Level:

A minimum of 3 A Levels at ABB.

A levels at AB from two Science or Mathematics subjects.

International Baccalaureate:

A minimum of 34 points. 6 points at HL from two Science or Mathematics subjects.

Irish Leaving Certificate:

Five subjects at Higher, with 4 at H2 and 1 at H3. H2 from two Science or Mathematics subjects.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate 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 - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

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

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

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

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

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

Fee information
Fee category Cost
RUK £9,250
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
EU / International students £24,800
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

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 Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

The Inform Prize

The Inform Prize is an annual competition where students design apps that help overcome a real-world problem before presenting it to a group of industry figures.

What our Alumni Say

Vlad-Tudor Marchis

Vlad-Tudor Marchis

Vlad-Tudor Marchis

Graduated 2016

My placement year with Wincom was more than I could have hoped for. On top of all this, I have gotten the opportunity to return and work there after graduation, so I can very easily say that this has been an invaluable experience for me.

Our Experts

Find out about the experts you will be taught by.

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.


Year-long placement

As part of the degree, students undertake a year-long placement in industry.

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

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Contact Details

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

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