MSci Computer Science
|Typical offer||AAA-ABB; IB: 36-32|
|Discipline||Computer Science and IT|
Our single honours Computer Science degrees explore more than simply how computers and software work. They focus on the wider context within which the subject must operate; from the precise technical details to the social, scientific and industrial application. By combining logical thinking with key mathematical skills, they will lead to a wide variety of careers which require graduates who understand the science behind computer technology.
You will develop practical skills in the specification, design and implementation of computer systems, as well as an understanding of the theory behind them. Our world-class teaching is informed by active, up-to-the-minute research of international standing in developing fields including machine learning and artificial intelligence, nature-inspired computation, knowledge representation and reasoning, and learning from data.
You will be inspired and immersed in research-related topics from the outset, not just in your final year, with Frontiers of Computer Science in the first year and Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and Applied Computing in the second year. Through these modules you will develop a strong appreciation for the ‘science’ in Computer Science.
As an undergraduate you will tackle new and emerging application areas such as mobile and ubiquitous computing, bioinformatics and systems biology and enterprise computing. You will learn new languages and technologies, and consider how they may be usefully applied and potentially improved upon.
You will develop your problem-solving skills, your technical competence and your ability to analyse and reflect on issues relating to computer technology. These are essential whether you wish to work for a leading computing company developing new technologies, enter the world of business and finance, or if you would like to use your degree in a different role where you can make the most of your abilities to analyse and solve problems.
We maintain excellent teaching links with computer-related industries via business-linked projects, including assessment and prizes awarded by IBM, whilst organisations such as The Met Office, NATS and Motorola also collaborate in research and student project work.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
This year gives you a solid foundation in computer science. It includes an introduction to procedural and object-oriented programming, system architectures, computing for the web, professional issues of computing, and explores some of the boundaries of scientific knowledge in the field. Modules on vectors and matrices, and probability and discrete mathematics provide the mathematical underpinning of later modules in computer science and artificial intelligence.
The second year includes exposure to rigorous software development and software engineering best practice, together with information systems. Research-led modules in machine learning and artificial intelligence, and applied computing across science and industry give the distinctive flavour of this degree. Options this year include modules in algorithms, graphics, networks and IT management.
The project, in which you’ll develop a substantial software system for scientific and/or business, forms the core of the final year and allows you to develop your skills and interests in computer science. The wide range of optional modules allows you to tailor your degree toward your specific interests.
Entry requirements 2017
AAA-ABB; IB: 36-32
GCE AL Maths grade B; IB Maths HL5
Candidates may offer GCE AL Maths, Pure Maths or Further Maths.
Please read the important information about our Typical offer.
For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.
Learning and teaching
We make use of a variety of teaching styles, including lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. Most modules involve two or three lectures per week, so you would typically have about 10 lectures each week. In addition, workshops and tutorials support and develop what you’ve learnt in lectures and enable you to discuss the lecture material and coursework in more detail. You’ll have over 15 hours of direct contact time per week with your tutors and you will be expected to supplement your lectures with independent study. You should expect your total workload to average about 40 hours per week during term time.
We’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment, where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. You can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as the discussion forums.
We aim to provide a supportive environment where students and staff work together in an informal and friendly atmosphere. The department has a student-focused approach to teaching, whereby all members of staff deal with questions on an individual basis. We operate an open door policy, so it is easy to consult individual members of staff or to fix appointments with them via email. As a friendly group of staff, you will get to know us well during your time here.
A research and practice led culture
We believe every student benefits from being taught by experts active in research and practice. You will discuss the very latest ideas, research discoveries and new technologies in seminars and in the field and you will become actively involved in a research project yourself. All our academic staff are active in internationally-recognised scientific research across a wide range of topics. You will also be taught by leading industry practitioners.
Modules are assessed by a combination of continuous assessment through small practical exercises, project work, essay writing, presentations and exam.
You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. For three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years contribute to your final degree classification. For four-year programmes the assessments in the second, third and fourth years all contribute to your final degree classification.
A degree from Exeter is highly valued by employers. Management and personal skills are built into our programmes and our students take advantage of the wide range of extracurricular and personal development opportunities offered by the University, including volunteering and playing an active role in student societies.
Our Employability Officer is active in developing aspects of our programmes and services that improve the employability of our students. We also have a dedicated Careers Consultant who provides specific services such as careers workshops tailored to careers in engineering and support in matters such as applications and job interview skills. The Employability Service runs several careers fairs throughout the year and these have been particularly successful in putting major UK employers in touch with Exeter students. Relevant employers visit the department from the first year to meet and hold mock interviews with students, with the aim of helping them to develop their career ideas at an early enough stage to help with module choices and placement decisions.
Career opportunities for computer scientists are limitless and graduates can be found working in the private and public sector in areas such as software engineering, health, communications, education, life sciences, physical sciences, finance and manufacturing. Computer scientists from Exeter have a reputation as being articulate, numerate, problem solvers, who typically claim great job satisfaction, a good salary and a huge range of career possibilities.
Find out more about the Destinations of Computing and IT Graduates on our employability web pages.
Undergraduate students on the four-year MSci Computer Science can choose to take an optional Commercial and Industrial Experience module during the vacation before the third year. This module provides paid work experience in a commercial setting while earning credits towards your degree programme.