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MSc in Computing - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

The MSc in Computing is an intensive programme of study designed specifically for graduates of computing and related disciplines, and for those with appropriate industrial experience. The qualification enables you to develop your knowledge and skills in computing and to promote a professional attitude to the application of those skills.

The qualification will:

  • give you the knowledge and skills necessary to become an effective professional in the computing industry.
  • develop your abilities in the critical evaluation of the theories, practices and systems used in a range of areas of computing.
  • provide you with selected specialised areas of study so that you can experience and develop the frontiers of practice and research in focussed aspects of computing and its application.
  • encourage you, through the provision of appropriate educational activities, to develop study and transferable skills applicable to your employment and your continuing professional development.

In addition, if you are following a specialist pathway your qualification will:

  • enable you to develop a deeper understanding of a specialist area of computing
  • enable you to contribute to future developments in the field
  • provide the opportunity for you to develop and apply research skills, focused on a substantial practical project.

Learning outcomes

The qualification provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this degree you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • a wide range of computing tools, techniques, development practices, and systems and their application to business, societal and personal requirements
  • the application of a combination of computing theory and practice, with the ability to use theoretical considerations and practical constraints to guide application
  • computer systems their development, specification and use, allowing their evaluation against a range of criteria
  • computing and related standards, codes of practice, quality and evaluation frameworks and their application.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this degree you will be able to:

  • integrate knowledge and skills from various sources into a coherent whole, making appropriate abstractions
  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, using appropriate tools and techniques, notations and formalisms
  • pursue an original, independent, practical project involving an appropriate balance of research, development, evaluation and review and to communicate effectively the project aims, processes and outcomes.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this degree you will be able to:

  • recognise and respond to opportunities for innovation in computing
  • recognise social, legal and ethical responsibilities and their appropriate application
  • critically evaluate developments in computing including the identification of limitations and risks, legal issues, cultural and ethical impact and societal and business needs
  • identify needs, articulate goals, locate and employ resources and to follow action plans in support of independent learning and professional development.

Key skills

On completion of this degree you will be able to:

  • communicate effectively with technical and non-technical audiences, using appropriate channels and media and where appropriate incorporating research and practice from the forefront of the computing discipline and professional practice
  • make and articulate decisions, including collating appropriate evidence and opinions, even in the presence of incomplete information
  • independently apply problem solving principles; using appropriate underpinning knowledge and skills
  • review, evaluate, reflect on and critique your own work and the work of others, engaging in peer review processes that lead to innovation and improvement.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will learn independently, using online teaching texts; multi-media packages on CD DVD and the Web; directed reading from textbooks and academic and industry papers and specialised software tools.

We will support your learning with:

  • self-assessment questions and exercises
  • computer-based investigations, tasks and activities, and open-ended
  • project work
  • feedback and guidance from tutors and other subject specialists
  • computer conferences and other online forums
  • study guides, information and guidance packs.

We will assess your learning using some or all of the following:

  • interactive computer marked assignments (iCMAs)
  • tutor-marked assessments (TMAs)
  • formal examinations
  • end of module assessments (EMAs)
  • progress and project reports.

There will be opportunities for you to:

  • apply your learning in practical contexts, for example by reflecting on your own engagement with computing systems in a home, work or social setting
  • engage with fellow students, tutors, subject practitioners and academic specialists in online group and small group events
  • engage with research papers and industry white papers at the forefront of the discipline
  • gain exposure to the professional and employability discussions that are shaping the computing profession.

Cognitive skills are developed via a range of activities including self-assessment exercises, multi-media tasks, tutor-led discussions, and the exploration of open and complex problems. Tutor-mediated online activities and student and tutor conference facilities provide an environment for critical discussion and peer interaction. Tutor feedback on formal exercises aids the development of these skills.

Cognitive skills will be assessed by addressing problems requiring investigation, analysis and synthesis. These will be examined in TMAs and examinations, and TMAs and the project will offer opportunities to demonstrate integration of knowledge and skills from a range of topics.

Key skills are taught and developed throughout the teaching materials; supported by tutor feedback and guidance around formal activities and assessed exercises.

You will undertake both direct and self-selected reading, and there is progressive development of your engagement and use of these materials.

Various types of assessment questions, project reports and some open-ended activity progress reports will be used to formally assess the skills taught.

Practical and professional skills will be taught and developed throughout the qualification, with support from tutors and subject specialists. TMA, EMA and project progress and final reports will included assessment points related to practical and professional skills.

You will be supported in developing a style of independent learning and reflective practice that encourages a professional engagement with the computing discipline, encompassing professional codes of conduct and legal, social and ethical concerns. Some aspects of professional practice will be taught and developed but may not be assessed.

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