MEng Computer Science
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast, United Kingdom
GBP 23,100 / per year **
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* subject to the availability of places
** international fee
From driving cancer research forward to accurately predicting the weather, Computer Scientists are powering progress. In fact everything from social care to cybersecurity or even space travel, relies on the talents of Computer Science graduates. We would say the sky is the limit, but we’re already well beyond that!
A degree in Computer Science teaches you to approach technical problems creatively. It also gives you the information and understanding to find ground-breaking solutions to the world’s emerging problems. The course will also equip you with the practical skills to approach the specification, design, construction and use of computer systems.
In an ever changing technological climate, the Computer Science degree programme is constantly evolving to anticipate emerging digital breakthroughs. You will cover topics like machine learning, augmented reality and data analytics, but also receive a grounding in skills like hardware architecture, software engineering and simulation & modelling too.
Employer experience is paramount in this this course, from day one you will learn from prospective employers about ‘real world’ challenges. Industry placements, company sponsored hackathons and project based learning form a core part of the curriculum and vastly improve our graduate employability rates.
Computer Science Degree Highlights
Internationally Renowned Experts
- The School has a number of very strong research groups engaged in leading edge technology. Major new research centres have been established in Secure Information Technologies (the UK Centre of Excellence), Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology (ECIT), e-Science and in Sonic Arts.
- Due to the high demand for Computer Science graduates, some 15–20 scholarships are available, including some sponsored by Civica, Citi and Liberty IT, worth up to £25k. All provide for a cash stipend each academic year, a guaranteed industrial placement, an opportunity for additional
part-time work during the academic year, plus the opportunity of a permanent position on graduation.
Scholarships and Funding
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fees and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students.
These degrees aim to teach the fundamental principles of Computer Science, together with the necessary skills, tools and techniques to enable our graduates to embark on careers as professional software engineers, or to become suitably qualified to undertake research in Computer Science. As with all of our courses, industrial engagement forms an integral part, balancing academic theory with practical learning.
Single Honours BEng/BSc students spend a year on a paid, full-time placement - the School has links with over 500 local, national and international employers, eg BT, Liberty IT, Asidua, Kainos (Belfast), IBM (England), Microsoft, Sun Microsystems (Dublin), Fujitsu (Japan) and Siemens (Germany), and students are assisted in obtaining placements.
The programme contains the following themes which may change due to the nature of the IT Industry and keeping up with industrial trends.
The first year gives solid foundational knowledge around core topics in computer science, topics covered may include:
- Reasons for Problem Solving
- Introduction to Software Engineering
- Foundations of Computing Systems
In the second year you will continue to build on more knowledge and take modules which will expand into more in depth topics such as:
- Professional Computing Practice
- Architecture and Networks
- Data Structures Algorithms and Programming Languages
- Information Modelling
- Software Development
- Theory of Computation
At stage 3 you will have some choice on topics as you begin to specialise in your chosen interests. Some of the topic areas which may be available include:
- Formal Methods
- Artificial Intelligence
- Concurrent Programming
- Cloud Computing
This is a four-year extended degree, established to provide a supply of particularly well-qualified graduates who will become industry leaders. It contains a blend of Computer Science knowledge and skills and business practice and management, as well as skills in conducting state-of-the-art research. Students have the option of a year's professional experience in industry.
The first two years and much of Year 3 are common with the BSc/BEng degree. Transfer to the MEng is possible for selected students at the end of Stage 2, subject to performance.
In the final (MEng stage 4 year) you will be studying advanced modules which cover technical issues to a deep level of detail alongside completing a large independent project. Such specialisms are constantly under review but example topics available may include:
- Advanced Software Engineering
- High-Performance Computing
- Advanced Computer Engineering
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching
- 9 (hours maximum)
- 9 hours of lectures
- 24 (hours maximum)
- 22-24 hours where we expect students to spend time on completing assignments, working on projects (individual or group), preparing for practical classes, alongside studying and reviewing taught material.
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial
- 6 (hours maximum)
- 6 hours of practical classes, workshops or tutorials each week
Learning and Teaching
The School has a world class reputation for research and provides excellent facilities, including access to major new research centres in Secure Information Technologies, Electronics, Communications and Information Technology and Sonic Arts. A number of modules on the course are closely linked to the research expertise of these centres and evolve and change rapidly to reflect some of the current, emerging and exciting developments in the field.
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
The MEng in Computer Science provides a range of learning experiences which enable students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
- Additional Information
Students have access to a wide range of computers in world class laboratories (equipped with several hundred PCs) and specialised software packages. Networks link the School and university computers to powerful machines in Great Britain.
- E-Learning technologies
The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is called CANVAS and may be associated with communication relating to lectures and assignments. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project- based work etc.
Introduce information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
- Peer Mentoring
Queen’s runs a peer mentoring scheme for Computing students – a group of students from all year groups (except first year) are trained to provide support for the 1st year students, in terms of offering advice and guidance, organising social events etc. The School has an active body of EEECS Student Mental Health Ambassadors. The School also has a Computing Society (QCS – Queen’s Computing Society) who organise a range of activities, including social events and more formal activities such as industry lectures, for all Computing students. Charity games evenings are open to all computing students in the School.
- Personal Tutor
Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development
Where you will have significant opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. Comprehensive demonstrator support is provided.
- Projects and teamwork
A number of modules throughout the degree will use supervised projects as a means of enabling you to put your technical understanding into practice. The extensive use of team based projects will provide you with the opportunity to develop skills widely used by employers. In final year, you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology. You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you.
- Self-directed study
This is an important part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
- Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work
Program Tuition Fee
Studying for a Computer Science degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by employers (local, national and international).
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, Liberty IT and Asidua who provide sponsorship for our Computer Science degree as well as Citi and Kainos who are members of the employer liaison panel for the course.
The School has links with over 500 IT companies both here and abroad. We benefit from the fact that there are more software companies located in N Ireland than in any other part of the UK, outside of London. This offers benefits on many levels for our students, from industrial input to the content of our courses, through to year-long and summer placements as well as activities such as competitions organised by the companies etc.
You should also take a look at www.prospects.ac.uk for further information concerning the types of jobs that attract Computer Science Graduates.
A further study is also an option open to Computer Science graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics, see the School website.
Northern Ireland has an excellent international reputation for the quality and supply of its software engineers. Indeed many companies, both national and international, have opted for Northern Ireland as a base for their computing divisions in recognition of the high quality of graduates produced by the local universities.
Given this situation, it is not surprising that our graduates have had unparalleled job opportunities over the years, both locally and internationally. Because of the achievements of Queen's graduates already in the software engineering profession, a Computer Science degree from Queen's is a highly respected qualification. A good Honours degree in Computer Science from Queen's is of great benefit in seeking the best jobs.
Employers, from large multinational firms to small local organisations, actively target our students, recognising that Queen's Computer Science graduates are equipped with the skills they need. On graduating the majority of graduates take up posts associated with software design and implementation. Opportunities exist in fields as diverse as finance, games, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, research, consumer products, and public services - virtually all areas of business. Some of the employers include BT, Liberty IT, Kainos, Accenture, Citi, and Wombat Financial Software.
The types of careers open to Computer Science graduates include Software Engineer; Systems Analyst; Web Designer; Games Developer; Systems Developer; IT Consultant; Project Manager.
Other Career-related information
Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statement for further information.
Degree Plus and other related initiatives
Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skills and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Employment after the Course
Studying for a Mathematics and Computer Science degree at Queen’s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well-regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including mathematics.
Although many of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in teaching, banking and finance, significant numbers develop careers in a wide range of other sectors. The following is a list of the major career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years:
- Management Consultancy
- Export Marketing (NI Programme)
- Fast Stream Civil Service
- Varied graduate programmes (Times Top 100 Graduate Recruiters/AGR, Association of Graduate Recruiters UK)
The School has links with over 500 IT companies, which benefits our students on many levels through providing industrial input into our degree content, summer and year-long placements and competitions organised by the companies.
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world-leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
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