MSc Web Development

Postgraduate, Part-time

Combine the theoretical and practical skills involved in developing modern web-based computer systems.

  • Napier code:

    56745MM

  • Course type:

    Part-time

  • Duration:

    2 Years

  • Award:

    MSc

  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

This is a technical course designed for you to pursue a career in the development and use of practical software technologies for web-based systems development. At its core are four key technologies:

  • software development using Java
  • oracle databases
  • internet-based client and server side software applications.


web design and development

You will expand your current knowledge and critical thinking towards web-based computing and information technology. Building on previous knowledge and practice, this course extends it into new approaches and methodologies.

The course is studied part-time for two and a half years. You will study the same modules, and complete the same course work as a full-time student, but over a longer period of time. You’ll generally come in to University for one day per week, and a four-year Honours degree will take around six years to complete part-time.

Subjects include

  • Web design and development
  • Design dialogues
  • Computer systems
  • Database systems
  • Programming for the web
  • Web-enabled business
  • Group project

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

Previous graduates have found employment in jobs ranging from programmers and web-based programmers in small software houses to graduate trainee programmers in large multinational companies.

This degree and the experience you will gain of creating and commissioning computer solutions may also open up new opportunities in your existing degree or work experience area. Other graduates have moved into academic fields such as research, education and training.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.


The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above. We look for applicants to have a background in any discipline other than computing in order to be eligible for the programme.

Although you are not required to have any formal knowledge of computing before starting the course, it does require you to engage with a wide range of new technologies in a relatively short time, so familiarity with basic computing would be an advantage.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Tuition fees
Students from 2016/17 2017/18
Stage 1 £1,700 £1,700
Stage 2 £2,050 £2,050
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Home EU - Total Fee £3,750 £3,750
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Stage1 £6,610 £6,610
Stage 2 £8,080 £8,080
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Overseas - Total Fee £14,690 £14,690
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This course comprises of 180 credits from taught modules and a dissertation. The total fee you will pay is dependant upon the exit award you wish to achieve.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
Information about SFC (Scottish Funding Council) funding available for this course.

Modules that you will study as part of this course*

Computer Systems ( CSN11108 )

Key features of PC-based systems: Motherboards, hub chips, processors, RAM and cache. Basic processor operation: the fetch execute cycle and interrupts. Principles of operating systems: virtual memory and multitasking. Case study: the Windows operating system. Main features of local area networks and the Internet: Ethernet, wireless networks, the Internet Protocol. Introduction to some of the main network devices, such as switches and routers.

Further information

Database Systems ( SET11101 )

Database architecture and functionality, data analysis and entity-relationship modelling Normalisation to third normal form SQL and relational algebra The role of a Database Administrator (DBA) Practical exposure to current software tools Current trends in database technology

Further information

Design Dialogues ( IMD11112 )

Design dialogues will cover the practical methods involved in gathering user requirements with respect to a wide range of interactive applications for work, the web and the home and designing to meet those requirements. The methods will include techniques such as interviews, observation, modelling of existing practice, participatory design techniques and user and expert based techniques for evaluating system usability.

Further information

Digital Business Environments ( INF11114 )

Digital business models and revenue models. Digital business strategy process models and their use. Online marketplace analysis. The role of ‘Search’ and ‘Social’ ecosystems in the online environment. Assessment of e-Procurement and digital supply chains. Mobile platforms and location-based services. Design approaches for online channels and touchpoints. Privacy and trust issues. Legal and regulatory frameworks for digital business.

Further information

Group Project ( SOC11103 )

The main purpose of this module is to develop your teamworking skills by applying your technical knowledge in a group situation. Your team of four or five students will work together to deliver a working prototype of a software system relevant to your programme of study. The module is also designed to develop your skills in critical analysis and reflection. In the first few weeks, your team will review existing work related to your chosen project which will inform the production of a formal system specification. The review and specification will form the first piece of coursework along with a reflective statement from each team member that discusses personal issues and insights arising from the project up to that point. The second submission is a second group report and presentation (via teleconferencing or equivalent for distance learning (DL) students) on the implementation of the design and the evaluation of the final prototype. This is accompanied by a second personal statement that reflects on the processes and potential conflicts of teamwork. Each group will be allocated a supervisor with whom you will have weekly meetings (online for DL students). However the management and progress of the project will remain the responsibility of the team; the supervisor’s role is to provide advice and feedback where appropriate, and to monitor the contribution of team members. Management and direction of the project must come from the team and not the supervisor.

Further information

Masters Dissertation ( SOC11101 )

The work for this module comprises the completion of an individual research project. Each student is assigned a personal Supervisor, and an Internal Examiner who monitors progress and feedback, inputs advice, examines the dissertation and takes the lead at the viva. There are three preliminary deliverables prior to the submission of the final dissertation: (1) Project proposal (2) Initial Report including time plan and dissertation outline

Further information

Programming for the Web ( SET11105 )

In this module you will learn how do design and implement dynamic web sites, from the basics to modern frameworks and current professional practice. Covered topics are: * General client-side technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript * Client-side frameworks: Bootstrap, jQuery, jQuery-Mobile * A general overview of server-side development frameworks (such as PHP and ASP.NET) as well as how HTTP connects everything together * Data handling/persistence mechanisms: Databases, Entity Framework, Sessions, JSON * In-depth knowledge of ASP.NET MVC and related technologies (e.g. Razor, Linq). We will be using the framework with C# In doing so you will gain a good understanding of and ability to critically evaluate and select an appropriate framework for various kinds of web applications.

Further information

Web Design & Development ( SET11112 )

Current ideas on web page design; Document Object Model (DOM); Document Type Definitions (DTD); web page construction using appropriate IDE tools such as Eclipse; HTML coding; client and server side scripting; database connectivity using PHP & MySQL; Cascading Style Sheets

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

School of Computing courses