Computing MSc

Learn practical key computing skills that are essential to the modern computing industry.


The MSc Computing is suitable for those who have little or no computing experience or those who have some computing but wish to pursue a very practical hands-on approach at masters level.

With a strong emphasis on practical skills, this MSc will prepare you for a career in the computing industry. You will learn fundamental computing concepts, programming, web development, database design and team working.

The course starts in both September and January.

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Mode of Study:

Full-time (available as Part-time)


1 year

Start date:


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Course details

This course is designed to prepare you for direct entry into the workplace with a solid understanding of how information systems operate in their many different forms.

Modules studied (September intake):

  • Software Development 1
  • Software Development 2 
  • Web Design and Development 
  • Programming for the Web
  • Computer Systems
  • Database Systems
  • Group Project

Modules studied (January intake)

  • Software Development 1
  • Web Design and Development 
  • Computer Systems
  • Database Systems
  • Group Project
  • Management of Software Projects
  • Digital Business Environments
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    How you’ll be taught

    This course is studied full-time over three trimesters. It requires an intensive period of study, involving lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions and independent study. While classes for each module may account for only three or four hours a week, you'll be expected to commit at least 13 hours per week per module.

    This is a full-time course and is split up into three trimesters. You can choose to start in either January or September (the course content varies slightly depending on when you start).


    • September starts: 12 months
    • January starts: 18 months with a three-month break over the summer (after the first taught trimester)
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    Depending on chosen modules, our specialist labs may include:

    The Sensorium - A forward-looking User Experience (UX) Evaluation Lab utilising the next generation of real time human behaviour insight technology

    SOCLAB - Virtual Security Operations Centre

    Swarm Robotics - A custom-designed robot arena and laboratory

    Lions Gate - A locus of interdisciplinary research focusing on sustainability, digital interaction, health and well-being.


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 – theory and practical skills
The role of a Database Administrator (DBA)
Practical exposure to current software tools
Current trends in database technology

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 two 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

Software Development 1 ( SET11102 )

Program Environment: Use of an interactive development environment.

Basic Programming Skills: Variable declarations, printing to the
screen, reading from the keyboard, simple arithmetic operations,
sequence, selection and iteration, functional decomposition, arrays,
simple GUI's.

Introduction to object-oriented programming.

Program testing and documentation.

Further information

Software Development 2 ( SET11103 )

Object-oriented design: identifying architectural relationships of associations and aggregations, recording results of a design, system building, reasoning about a design, development lifecycles.
Documentation: Produce detailed user and technical documentation for programs.
Design, implement, test and document a non-trivial software application
Save and retrieve data from sources external to Java
Develop interfaces to Java programs

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.


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

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements for Computing? 

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

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

Can I get admission into Computing based on my working experience in this sector?

This course has academic entry requirements which are assessed alongside relevant work experience. Full details of any relevant work experience, including references should be submitted with your application and may be considered for entry where the minimum academic entry requirements are below those required.

Please contact us with your specific circumstances by submitting an enquiry form above and we will be happy to discuss your options.

Can I make an appointment with an advisor to discuss further about the admission process?

If you want to get more information on the admission process, please get in touch with the postgraduate admissions team by submitting an enquiry form above.

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.

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Executive Masters

We run a suite of Executive Masters courses for organisations looking to upskill their staff and professionals looking to develop new skills and advance their career.

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2023/24 2024/25
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £6,930 £7,280
Overseas and EU £ £20,395
Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next. For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
The University offers a 20% discount on Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes. The discount can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount. For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.

Please note:

The discount for Edinburgh Napier alumni can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount.

For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.

Please read our full T&C here


What can you do with a MSc Computing degree?

Thanks to its content, and the high demand for well-qualified graduates in computing, this course can open doors to a wide range of careers. You can take advantage of the increased opportunities for advancement that your new skills offer. You could pursue a new role in your specialist area, or take on research, education, or start up a new business. Computer science engineering and computer programming jobs include:

  • Business analyst
  • Computer software engineer
  • Data analysist
  • Java developers
  • System administration or network administration
  • UX design
  • Web developer

From programming and software development to Information Systems Engineering, you'll delve into the foundational concepts that underpin modern computing systems. Through hands-on projects and collaborative learning experiences, you'll gain practical expertise in designing and implementing scalable and efficient solutions to complex problems.

Over time, you will emerge as a proficient and resourceful computing professional, ready to tackle the challenges of the digital age. Whether you aspire to work as a software engineer, systems analyst, or technology consultant, our MSc in Computing will provide you with the tools and confidence to succeed in any computing-related field.

What does a Software Developer do?

As a software developer, you'll be at the forefront of innovation, designing and developing software applications that power various aspects of our lives. Whether it's crafting intuitive user interfaces, optimizing algorithms for efficiency, or building scalable backend systems, your contributions will have a profound impact on how people interact with technology.

You will be collaborating with diverse teams of fellow developers, designers, and stakeholders to bring ideas from concept to reality. Your days will be filled with coding, testing, and refining software solutions to address real-world challenges across industries. From mobile apps that streamline daily tasks to enterprise software that drives business operations, your work will enhance efficiency, improve user experiences, and propel organizations toward success.

As a Software Developer, you will constantly push the boundaries of what's possible, staying abreast of the latest technologies and methodologies to stay ahead in this dynamic field. Your passion for innovation and problem-solving will drive you to create software that not only meets but exceeds expectations, leaving a lasting impact on the digital world.

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