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).


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.

Why study Computer Science?

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Develop your skills in preparation to undertake independent research at the MSc level. In particular, you will develop skills to get you started and lay the essential foundations for your Masters Research Project. During the module you will hone your specific research interests whilst recognising time constraints and other practical considerations. These usually set, and limit, the topic, the research approach and study, and the selection of suitable methods. The module will cover: the scientific process, logical thinking and experimental design; critical evaluation of the literature; data analysis using the freely available statistical software R from different perspectives to tackle a range of experiments; and writing a research proposal for an MSc project. You will learn through face-to-face tutorial-style sessions, supplemented by structured reading and exercises. During the module you will be supported in defining your area of study and planning your research project. As part of this process you will be expected to undertake a critical review of the appropriate literature and other information relevant to the proposed project. You will need to give consideration to the logistics required, provide experimental design criteria (where appropriate) at least for the initial stages of the proposed work, and also take account of all health and safety regulations (including COSHH) and appropriate ethical considerations. Designing research projects and writing research proposals and taking responsibility are crucial skills for careers at postgraduate level, where you may have to consider deadlines (time management), ethical issues and assessing risks. Experience of using freely available analytical software also gives you an advantage.
  • 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)

  • 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 2023/24 (full-time, per year)


International students starting 2023/24 (full-time, per year)


Placement (UK 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. Find out more about paying your fees.

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.

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. These include an Alumni Scholarship, worth 20% off fees for ARU graduates.

International students

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

Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

Important additional notes

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. Applicants to undergraduate courses can also check our information about undergraduate entry qualifications.

You'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting a course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

Teaching at ARU

We offer face-to-face campus teaching (with the exception of Distance Learning courses), supported by our established online learning systems, which provide additional support for individual study and engagement. The number of contact hours varies course by course, and you can contact us for further information.

In the event that there are restrictions that are put into place due to the pandemic by the government - we will endeavour to retain face to face teaching as much as possible but will respond accordingly to the restrictions placed on the University.

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 section '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.

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.

Get more information

UK applicants

01245 686868

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 683680

Enquire online