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Computing

This qualification develops a rigorous approach to the study and application of computing, and incorporates transferable skills that are highly applicable to professional development in the field. You can choose between the flexible MSc in Computing (offering a wide choice of industry relevant modules), and the more focused MSc in Computing (Software Engineering) or MSc in Computing (Information Security and Forensics), which enable you to develop in-depth specialist knowledge. All three routes finish with a substantial independent project, with either a professional or research orientation. The professional project engages in a research scenario in an employment-related setting of your choice, while the research project enables you to design a research proposal relating to an issue or problem of professional relevance to you or an employer, institution or public body.

Key features of the course
• Brings together theory and practice and draws on your own background and experience
• Enables you to tailor your studies to your specific career needs and professional interests
• Provides an excellent platform for further research studies.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
• Knowledge and understanding
• Cognitive skills
• Practical and professional skills
• Key skills

Entry requirements

To start this MSc, you will need a UK bachelors degree (or equivalent) in computing or a related discipline, or relevant industrial experience. If you do not hold a bachelors degree, irrespective of your industrial experience, you will need to study a module from the Postgraduate Certificate in Computing (K22) to demonstrate your ability to study successfully at postgraduate level.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

Duration

3 - 6 years.

Most students study this qualification over three years, which is the minimum time needed, completing 60 credits each year. The maximum time to complete is six years.

Number of credits

180 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
The modules in the postgraduate computing programme are for professional computer specialists, engineers, technical managers and scientists who need to update their skills and knowledge in specific areas, and gain recognised qualifications to develop their careers. They have been developed to combine theoretical and practical aspects of computing, to enable you to become an effective professional in the computing industry.

In addition they aim to encourage you, through the provision of appropriate educational activities, to develop study and transferable skills applicable to your employment and your continuing professional development.

Professional recognition
Our postgraduate degrees in computing and IT meet the accreditation requirements of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and have been accorded the highest levels of recognition in the last four accreditation cycles. Graduates from this degree will have fulfilled the Further Learning educational requirements for Chartered IT Professional (CITPFL), and partially fulfilled the educational requirements for Chartered Engineer/Chartered Scientist (CEng/CSci).

To gain BCS accreditation, you will need to complete your degree within seven years of beginning your study.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442
Email: ireland@open.ac.uk

Subjects taught

Modules
There are three pathways available for this degree:
• MSc in Computing
• MSc in Computing (Software Engineering)
• MSc in Computing (Information Security and Forensics)

We advise you to begin with modules from the first list for each pathway before moving on to the second.

MSc in Computing
To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

60 credits from List A:
List A: optional modules Credits Next Start:

Data management (M816)
Digital forensics (M812)
Information security (M811)
Project management (M815)
Software development (M813)
Software engineering (M814)

Plus A further 60 credits from List A, or from List B:

List B: optional modules Credits Next Start:
Advanced routing CCNP 1 (T824)
Continuing professional development in practice (U810)
Managing systemic change: inquiry, action and interaction (TU812)
Managing technological innovation (T848)
Network security (T828)
Problem solving and improvement: quality and other approaches (T889)
Strategic capabilities for technological innovation (T849) Thinking strategically: systems tools for managing change (TU811)

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module T846 or T889

Plus

And 60 credits from either the Research route or Professional route:

Research route
Compulsory module Credits Next start

Research project (T802)

Professional route
Compulsory module Credits Next start
The MSc professional project (T847)

Plus a further 30 credits from List B, or any 30-credit module at OU Level 3 or above.

MSc in Computing (Software Engineering)
To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:
60 credits of compulsory modules (starting with M813):

Compulsory modules Credits Next start
Software development (M813)
Software engineering (M814)

Plus
60 credits from List C:

List C: optional modules
Credits Next start
Advanced routing CCNP 1 (T824)
Continuing professional development in practice (U810)
Data management (M816)
Digital forensics (M812)
Information security (M811)
Managing systemic change: inquiry, action and interaction (TU812)
Managing technological innovation (T848)
Network security (T828)
Project management (M815)
Strategic capabilities for technological innovation (T849)
Thinking strategically: systems tools for managing change (TU811)

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module T846 or T889

Plus

60 credits from either the Research route or Professional route:
Research route
Compulsory module Credits Next start
Research project (T802)

Professional route
Compulsory module Credits Next start
The MSc professional project (T847)

Plus a further 30 credits from List C, or any 30-credit module at OU Level 3 or above.

MSc in Computing (Information Security and Forensics)

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

60 credits of compulsory modules (starting with M811):

Compulsory modules Credits Next start
Information security (M811)
Digital forensics (M812)

Plus

60 credits from List D:

List D: optional modules

Credits Next start
Advanced routing CCNP 1 (T824)
Continuing professional development in practice (U810)
Data management (M816)
Managing systemic change: inquiry, action and interaction (TU812)
Managing technological innovation (T848)
Network security (T828)
Project management (M815)
Software development (M813)
Software engineering (M814)
Strategic capabilities for technological innovation (T849)
Thinking strategically: systems tools for managing change (TU811)

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module T846 or T889

Plus

60 credits from either the Research route or Professional route:

Research route

Compulsory module
Credits Next start
Research project (T802)

Professional route
Compulsory module
Credits Next start
The MSc professional project (T847)

Plus a further 30 credits from List D, or any 30-credit module at OU Level 3 or above.

You should note that the University's unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you. Note, in particular, you can only count the credit from one of the following modules towards a single qualification: Research project (T802) or The MSc professional project (T847).

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.

Comment

On completion
On successful completion of the required modules for the qualification you can be awarded an MSc in Computing or if you have completed the modules required for a specialist study route you will be awarded either the MSc in Computing (Information Security and Forensics) or the MSc in Computing (Software Engineering). You will be entitled you to use the letters MSc Comp (Open) after your name. The degree will be classified as pass or distinction.

You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.

Credit transfer
If you have already completed some successful study at postgraduate level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this Open University qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible as it may affect your choice of OU modules. If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete your qualification with us.

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!