Computer Science Masters/MSc (2024)

  • Course details
  • Entry Requirements
  • Teaching and assessment
  • Employability

The Computer Science Masters/MSc degree course is for students who have a first degree in a subject other than computing. Established in 1969, it is now the longest-running conversion programme to computing in the UK.

AI and Data Science Masters Scholarships

Computer Science Masters/MSc (1)

We are offering awards of £10,000 to upskill UK students to progress into the AI and Data Science workforce. Scholarship funding will be for students from under-represented groups, particularly women, Black and disabled students and those from low-socioeconomic backgrounds. This scholarship is open to students with a 'home' fee status only.

The deadline for round one applications is 23:59 (UK time) on Sunday 31 March 2024.

Apply now

OurComputer Science Masters/MScprogramme is different to IT programmes, in that it is a technical degree with a significant programming component. It is designed to give you a grounding in both the fundamentals of computer science and practical software development skills through a series of compulsory modules. Students from all backgrounds are welcome to apply. Competency should be demonstrated in mathematics and scientific subjects, for example at 'advanced' high school level, which should allow understanding of the new Computer Science subjects.

The core components of this degree course are a software workshop, taught modules and a summer project. The software workshop involves two terms of intensive training in programming, and you will also have lectures, supervised laboratory work and small-group tutorials.

The four summer months are spent working onyour project. Projects vary from applied softwareengineering through to work that is linked toour research groups. The common factor isthat almost all projects involve the developmentof a large software system. Usually, projects areselected from a list of topics proposed by theteaching staff (possibly on behalf of an externalcustomer) or you can suggest your own project,providing it is appropriate.

Students join this programme from a wide range of first degrees, from the technical and scientific to the social sciences and humanities. Graduates of this degree are highly sought after by employers due to the special knowledge, expertise and skills acquired.

Students with a computing degree cannot be considered for this course and should apply instead for the MSc Advanced Computer Science programme.

Why studyComputer Science Masters/MSc at Birmingham?

  • Birmingham is one of the leading universities in the country for postgraduate study in computer science, and we are proud to deliver outstanding programmes that offer a range of exciting career opportunities for students from around the world.
  • State-of-the-art, multi-million-pound facilities include dedicated laboratories for Computer Science students, and research laboratories for Security, Medical Imaging, Intelligent Robotics, and Computer Vision.
  • We are a partner in The Alan Turing Institute, the UK's national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.
  • Our Security and Privacy Group is recognisedas an EPSRC/GCHQ Academic Centreof Excellence in Cyber Security Researchand we have a strong collaboration with theCentre for Computational Biology (CCB).

Award-winning development

At the School of Computer Science we are not just renowned for teaching and research excellence. We also produce novel solutions for real-world applications, including:

  • Working with Jaguar Land Roverto make their vehicles more secure.
  • Contributing to the development of theTrusted Platform Module which makesmany of our computers capable of securecryptographic operations.
  • Deploying autonomous, intelligent robotsin security and health support facilities.
  • Developing a revolutionary, award-winningmethod for diagnosing skin cancer.

Computer Science Masters/MSc (2)

The MSc was an excellent blend of practical programming skills with theoretical background. The best thing about my current job is the problem solving aspect of programming, the excitement of figuring out the answer to the problem you've been banging your head against.

Owen Davies, MSc Computer Science

Interested in this course?

There is a comparable Computer Science Masters programme available at our Dubai campus. Follow the link below to discover more about the programme, scholarships and opportunities inDubai.

Further information on the Dubai Computer Science Masters programme


The course consists of 180 credits.

Core modules

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning - 20 credits
  • Building Useable Software - 20 credits
  • Computer Systems - 20 credits
  • Data Structures, Algorithms, and Databases - 20 credits
  • Project - Conversion MSc- 60 credits
  • Software Workshop 1 - 20 credits
  • Software Workshop 2- 20 credits

2023 Module descriptions

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods.


Annual Tuition fees for 2024/25

  • UK students £11,340
  • International students: £31,410

Application Fee

For international applicants this programme is subject to a £50 non-refundable application fee. At the end of the application form, before you can submit it to us, you will be required to pay, or indicate how you will pay the required fee in order for us to process your application. Please complete and submit your application before paying your application fee.

Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.

Postgraduate Loans (PGL) for Masters students

UK and EU students (with settled or pre-settled status) looking to pursue a Masters programme in the UK can apply for a non-means-tested loan from the British government via the Student Loans Company (SLC).

The loan will be paid directly to you, into a UK bank account. It is intended to provide a contribution towards the costs of Masters study and whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs is at your own discretion.

Learn more about applying for PGL


We offer a range of postgraduate scholarships for taught programmes and research opportunities to ensure the very best talent is nurtured and supported at postgraduate level.

University scholarships

Computer Science Masters/MSc (3)

Birmingham Masters Scholarship

Our Birmingham Masters Scholarship offers £2,000 via a tuition fee discount, to support the brightest and best applicants from UK or Ireland undertaking Masters study at Birmingham during 2024-2025.

How To Apply

Application Fee

For international applicants this programme is subject to a £50 non-refundable application fee. At the end of the application form, before you can submit it to us, you will be required to pay, or indicate how you will pay the required fee in order for us to process your application. Please complete and submit your application before paying your application fee.

UK and non-Tier 4 applicants

Applications will close 31 August 2024. We will close applications as soon as the programme is full, early applications are encouraged.

International applicants requiring visas

Applications to this programme from students who areinternational for fees will close 7 May 2024. We will close applications as soon as the programme is full, early applications are encouraged.

Before you make your application

You will need to provide a transcript of your studies to date. This should include details of modules and subjects studied, and grades already obtained. We are unable to proceed with your application without this information, and if it is not provided, your application could be made unsuccessful.

If you are made an offer

If you are made an offer, you will have 28 days to accept the offer via the online portal, or it will automatically be declined by default.

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Terms and conditions – what you need to know

Our Standard Requirements

2:1 Honours degree in any subject other than computing.Students who have not studied in English must pass a recognised English test.Learn more aboutentry requirements.

For more information on the gathered field process, please see our how to apply section.

International Requirements

International Students

English language

For students whose first language is not English, one of the following English language qualifications are required:

  • IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall, with at least 6.0 in each component;
  • TOEFL:TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 20 in Listening, 22 in Speaking and 21 in Writing;
  • PTE Academic: Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: PTE Academic 67 with no less than 64 in all four skills.

The core components of this degree course are a software workshop, taught modules and a summer project. The software workshop involves two terms of intensive training in programming, and you will also have lectures, supervised laboratory work and small-group tutorials.

  • The Software Workshop module is currently assessed by assignments in the practical sessions, team project and a final examination.
  • Taught modules are assessed in a variety of ways: summer written examination, practical assessment or a mixture of both.
  • The project is assessed by a report, supported by a practical demonstration.

A dynamic, fast-moving sector that offers exciting careers and excellent rewards.

The term computing covers every kind of digital technology that we use to create, store, communicate, exchange and use information. This makes it the foundation for small and large businesses to build their strategies and grow. It is also the key to making our personal lives easier and more fun: mobile phones, online shopping, social media – we owe them all and a lot more to computer science.

What can I do with my degree?

Our graduates find themselves in a variety of environments within academia, research, industry, government and private organisations. The following is a short list of research and vocational areas:

  • Software Engineering: developing methods for producing software systems on time, within budget and with few or no defects
  • Software Applications: applying computing and technology to solving problems outside the computer field, eg, in education or medicine
  • Computer/Cyber Security: covers all the processes and mechanisms by which computer-based equipment, information and services are protected from unintended and unauthorised access, change or destruction
  • Artificial Intelligence: developing computers that simulate human learning and reasoning ability
  • Information Technology: developing and managing information systems that support a business or organisation
  • Theoretical Computer Science: investigating the fundamental theories of how computers solve problems and applying the results to other areas of computer science
  • Operating Systems and Networks: developing the basic software computers use to organise themselves or to communicate with other computers

Where can I work?

You could join a technology consultancy firm like Accenture, PwC, CHP Consulting, LogicaCMG, BAE Systems, PA Consulting or Capgemini, or one of the global IT giants, such as Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Cisco Systems and Apple, amongst many others.

There are a huge number of IT-focused UK companies, not to mention opportunities in investment, retail banking and financial computing and analytics (such as Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of England, Bank of America, HSBC, Barclays, RBS); telecommunications companies (such as BT, Vodafone, Orange, AT&T); IT for retail businesses (such as eBay, Amazon, Tesco, Argos, Expedia) and public sector organisations (such as NHS, GCHQ, Home Office).

Some students choose careers in teaching, research or technology development at universities both in the UK and overseas. There is a great deal of potential for postgraduates looking to put their computing skills to good use.

What does the future hold?

Your career prospects are great and computing graduates with a good degree are in demand. Plus, with the number of computer science graduates from the UK diminishing at the same time as jobs are increasing, students with a postgraduate degree have an excellent chance of securing employment.

Alumnus Brian talks about the MSc Computer Science

University Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge.

If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Computer Science Masters/MSc (2024)


Is msc in computer science hard? ›

In conclusion, pursuing a master's in computer science can be quite challenging. The job market is competitive and the cost of tuition can be expensive. Students who are looking to pursue this degree should research the available scholarships or financial aid programs that can help cover some of the cost.

Is it hard to get a masters in computer science? ›

A master's degree in computer science typically takes anywhere from two to three years. Earning a degree in computer science takes significant time and effort, but students have many options when it comes to structuring their degree programs. Many choose to complete their degree by studying part-time.

What is the acceptance rate for Masters in computer science? ›

The acceptance rate also varies, but has been at about 15%. 8.) What do students in the program do after receiving the degree? Most students go on to work in industry, some at large companies (i.e. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc.)

Is it easier to get a CS job with a Masters? ›

With your master's degree in computer science, you may find that you're a more competitive job candidate. For example, while 72 percent of software developers hold a bachelor's, only 20 percent hold a master's, according to Zippia [3].

Is MSc in computer science worth it? ›

Earning a master's in computer science may lead to higher average salaries and offers the potential for steady job growth, which can contribute to a stable and potentially comfortable career in the field.

Is computer science oversaturated? ›

Experts Say No. Computer science and tech are far from oversaturated and the need for computer science skills will only continue to grow in tandem with the world's reliance on technology. Pretty much every area of technology is poised to expand because our cultural reliance on technology is expanding so fast.

What is a good GPA for computer science masters? ›

Most computer science master's programs require applicants to have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0; more selective programs may require higher.

What GPA do you need for a masters in CS? ›

Admission Requirements for a Master's in Computer Science

Transcripts demonstrating a minimum undergraduate GPA (2.85 to 3.25 is typical) Math prerequisite courses, such as calculus, discrete mathematics and linear algebra. Other prerequisite courses, such as computer programming languages.

Does GPA matter for Masters in computer science? ›

Yes, a top-ranked place like MIT, Berkeley, or Stanford might require a 3.9 GPA and GRE's pushing 700 Verbal, 800 Quantitative.

How much money is required to study Masters in Computer Science at USA? ›

The tuition fees for an MS in Computer Science in the USA depend on the university you choose and the course you pursue. On average, the tuition fees in the USA for MS in CS can be anywhere between 40,000 USD and 60,000 USD (INR 33,22,000 - INR 49,83,000).

Who has the highest acceptance rate for Masters? ›

List of Graduate Schools with High Acceptance Rates
School NameAcceptance RateMinimum GPA
Golden Gate University75%3.00
Simmons College73%3.00
St. John's University72%3.5
Loyola University Chicago71%2.7
44 more rows

Which university has highest acceptance rate in USA? ›

Top Universities in USA with High Acceptance Rate
High Acceptance Rate US UniversitiesAcceptance Rate 2021-22Acceptance Rate 2022-23
University of Toledo97%92.3%
Colorado State University90%90%
Pace University88%83%
Kent State University87.3%88%
8 more rows
Oct 20, 2023

Can you be overqualified with a Masters? ›

With this in mind, here are a few examples of factors that can hold candidates back from securing a role, even with a master's degree: Over-qualification: Candidates who have a master's degree and apply for entry-level roles may find it challenging to find a job due to over-qualification.

Does Masters in CS increase salary? ›

Make More Money (And Yes, That Translates to ROI on the Degree) A master's degree in computer science can also increase salary potential. Although some entry-level computer science jobs don't require a master's degree, professionals in the field who go back to school are seeing the benefits.

Is CS the hardest major? ›

Computer Science

However, it remains one of the hardest college majors. Students enrolled in a computer science degree program will need to learn popular programming languages and challenging theoretical concepts. Coding assignments can be tricky, especially when it comes to finding small errors in a program.

How long is MSc in computer science? ›

M.Sc. in Computer Science is a two-year post-graduate programme with the objective to develop human resources with core competence in various thrust areas of Computer Science.

How to prepare for MSc computer science? ›

How to Prepare for a Computer Science Master's Program: 10 Essential Tips
  1. Review and Strengthen Core Concepts: ...
  2. Brush Up on Programming Skills: ...
  3. Complete Prerequisite Courses: ...
  4. Engage in Online Courses and Tutorials: ...
  5. Work on Personal Coding Projects: ...
  6. Practice Problem Solving and Critical Thinking: ...
  7. Develop a Study Schedule:
Jul 28, 2023

Is computer science a lot of math? ›

Because math is a foundational part of computer systems, every programmer and computer scientist needs to have basic mathematical knowledge. The type and level of math you need depends on what areas of computer science you want to work in. Some computer science career tracks require only minimal mathematical knowledge.


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