Computer Science MSc

Postgraduate ( full-time, full-time with placement)


January, September

Course duration: 12 months (September start), 15 months (January start), 20 months (with placement).

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Improve your computer science expertise by developing industry-level skills to design, develop and implement web solutions for clients worldwide. Study your Computer Science Masters degree at ARU and specialise in cloud infrastructure in modern data centres, web application programming and IT security in business. Take an optional 12-week work placement and develop key employability skills.

Find out more about teaching options and studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.

Full description
I'm really proud of the progress I've made


Our students move in to a wide range of IT job roles in industry. In addition to specialist and technical roles, our graduates also move into management/project delivery roles including; Software Developer/Engineer, IT Consultant/Project Manager, IT Support Manager, Technical Consultant, Security Engineer, Front End Web Developer, Microsoft Solutions Architect and Application Developer.

You’re also in the perfect position to move into a teaching career in secondary and further education or continue your academic career and move up to our Computer Science PhD.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Semantic Data Technologies
    Businesses, large organisations and government departments at a local and European level are increasingly producing and using large semi structured data generated from data collection from their own activities and from the wider internet and social media. Semantic Data Technologies both identify and interpret the meaning of data according to its context. This module introduces this concept, alongside the key technologies and techniques for storing data and develops the skills needed for sophisticated data management. The technologies supporting the 'semantic web' have provided the tools, methodologies and theoretical underpinnings to enable data to be automatically interpreted by machines for knowledge based tasks. These techniques are increasingly being used in a more general approach to handling the kind of non-structured data that is important for recording, evaluating and guiding policy and decision making processes. This module will provide the knowledge and skills for students to structure semantic data, develop ontological models and use these to create knowledge based applications to analyse data, support decision making, enable intelligent access to information and add value to data. After completing this course students will be able to design and implement applications that comply with data re-use standards, utilise the semantic web as well as applying those technologies to the organisation and analysis of big data. The knowledge and skills learned in this module complement those of information system analysis design and data base implementation as well as advanced web server and application development, providing a theoretical and practical base for enterprise wide data handling.
  • Secure Systems
    With the growth of high bandwidth internet, eCommerce, eBusiness and Virtual Private Networks, security has become a centre-stage issue. This module will raise your awareness of the overarching IT security issues faced by business today, and equip yourself with the necessary understanding to fulfil management responsibilities in information security strategies.
  • Advanced Web Solutions
    Creating Web applications requires different approaches than traditional applications and involves the integration of numerous technologies. This module will enable those who have some experience of software development, architecture technologies and HTML to build complex web solutions and advance to dynamic, database-enabled, framework driven website/intranet programming and applications using the PHP scripting language and MySQL database. As part of this process you will learn about the Model-View-Controller architectural pattern, object-oriented PHP, event-driven programming, and databases and see how they all work together to deliver exciting applications. You will also learn how client-to-server data flows in a web environment and how to control it through the integration of fundamental security techniques in every step of the development process. Furthermore, you will gain an insight into how to use and apply version control and how to use specialised software to integrate it into your projects. Finally, you will learn about web testing techniques and which tools are best used for debugging different parts of the application. This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the issues, principles, techniques and tools associated with the development of rich Web applications, from design to implementation.
  • Data Centre and Cloud Infrastructure
    Cloud computing and virtualisation are key cornerstones for the delivery of today’s state of the art IT services and applications, underpinned by a key robust infrastructure in modern Data Centres. This data centre infrastructure is the focus of this module starting from first principles with the cloud reference model, which consists of five fundamental layers (physical, virtual, control, orchestration, and service) and three cross-layer functions (business continuity, security, and service management). The varying technologies, components, processes, and mechanisms for each layer and cross-layer function will be studied through a planned set of lectures and laboratory sessions utilizing a virtualised test bed. This module will also place an emphasis on students understanding how the web applications they have developed in other modules, can be deployed in cloud and data centre environments either as virtual appliances or alternative container systems and securely tested. Design principles, underpinning knowledge and technology concepts will be the prime focus of lecture material and during the practicals, students will be apply to put the theory into practice with a range of practical exercises concentrating on infrastructure and security testing skills. The module will be assessed by a two part case study focusing on both the design and (security) testing of a typical virtual infrastructure and data centre environment deploying application containers.
  • Research Methods
    Gain support and foundations in the research skills needed for your Masters level dissertation. You’ll investigate research activities including project management, research project design and analyses, ethical considerations and dissertation preparation.
  • Masters Project
    Prepare and submit your Masters Stage Dissertation or Project (worth 60 credits). This involves 600 hours of student commitment and will be presented in a form equivalent to a maximum of 18,000 words. The topic may be drawn from a variety of sources including: departmental research groups, previous / current work experience, the company in which they are currently employed, a lecturer suggested topic or a professional subject of their specific interest (if suitable supervision is available). The project topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The chosen topic will require the student to identify / formulate problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artefacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present their finding using a variety of media.

Optional modules (subject to availability)

  • Postgraduate Work Placement
    Put your skills into practice during your placement module, with real life issues in a work environment. You will get the opportunity to gain work experience in different environments and tackle issues using problem evaluation, solution and analysis gaining a deeper understanding of the industry/business sector. Learning key soft skills in a professional environment will help to enhance your employability after completing this course. You will have access to support to help you locate a placement but will also be expected to be in good academic standing before being permitted to start the placement. Once in a placement you will be allocated a link tutor within the course team who will visit you and help to ensure the placement runs as expected. At the end of your placement you will be expected to be able to critically reflect on your experience and demonstrate how you have applied your theory and learning to date within a work-based environment by writing a reflective report on the placement, underpinned by a log of work done. This log will help you to demonstrate your professionalism, leadership skills, and knowledge to prospective employers and also gain key communication and personal skills. The University placement team will provide guidance and support to assist you in obtaining a placement. However, securing a placement will ultimately be your responsibility. To ensure you're prepared for work in industry, you are required to pass all taught modules before undertaking a placement. You will need to have secured an acceptable placement by the specified deadline. Upon securing an acceptable placement you will be required to pay the placement fee of £625. If you have not secured an agreed placement by the deadline, you will automatically be transferred to the one-year Masters course (without placement). For more information visit


We’ll assess the application of your technical knowledge through written assignments, software projects, presentations, and a dissertation module.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Specialist facilities

In our computer science laboratories you’ll have access to a range of different desktops, servers and operating systems. You’ll have the additional advantage of free access to a range of software resources from the Microsoft Academic Alliance. Our Netlab gives you 24hr remote access to software.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2021/22 (per year)


International students starting 2021/22 (per year)


Placement (UK, EU and international students)


How do I pay my fees?

UK students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for postgraduate students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships and bursaries, which provide extra financial support while you're at university.

International students

As well as a number of scholarships, we offer an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning in September 2021, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2021-22.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

Teaching options

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our students can choose to study face to face on campus or online only. They're also able to change their mode of delivery on given dates in each trimester.

For on-campus teaching, we offer at least four hours face-to-face teaching related contact time per week for our undergraduate full-time courses, supported by online learning using our established online learning systems. The number of contact hours varies course by course, and you can contact us for further information. The provision offered is subject to change due to the possibility of further Government restrictions, however we remain committed to delivering face-to-face teaching and ensuring a safe and inclusive environment.

In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place due to the pandemic, we may need to move some courses online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Check the standard entry requirements for IELTS requirements for this course.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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January, September

Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online