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Computer Science - Negotiated Learning

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MSc in Computer Science is a flexible, innovative programme which builds on the established portfolio of CS graduate taught courses but is customised to individual student needs and their prior learning experiences.

The student has the opportunity to select modules, from a suite of diverse module offerings, that best align with their own individual needs and career goals.

Over 100 Modules to choose from - see School of Comptuer Science webpage

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The programme is attractive to industrial workers coming from related computer science and IT disciplines, and/or national and international students with relevant computer science undergraduate degree qualifications, who have specific workplace needs or requirements for continuing professional development.

Once an applicant has accepted his/her place on the programme there is a student needs assessment for each individual student, approval of prior/experiential learning, and the establishment of a negotiated learning contract between the School of Computer Science (represented by the Programme Director) with the student.

Previous graduates are in demand and among their recent career destinations are employers Google, SAP, Intel, PayPal, Deloitte, Microsoft, Symantec, HMH, Vilicom, Murex, NYSE Technologies, Realex Payments, Version1, Salesforce, Pfizer, Ericsson, and Intune Networks. Recent graduates have secured roles in areas including: hardware design, software engineering & QA, data programming & analysis, commercialisation of technology, teaching & training, senior management & CEO roles, security & forensics consultancy and bioinformatics R&D.

Entry requirements

•This programme is intended for applicants with a Computer Science or ICT background. An upper second class honours degree, or the international equivalent in computer science or a related area or a minimum of three years' relevant industrial work experience is required.

•Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

Number of credits


Further enquiries

Contact Name: Rosemary Deevy
Contact Number:+353 (0)1 716 2909

Subjects taught

The M.Sc. consists of 90 credits: 60 credits obtained through classes (modules) and an individual research project worth 30 credits. A broad set of module offerings are provided, drawn from several schools within UCD. A provisional list of modules is available

Incoming students will discuss and agree their module choices with an advisor at their Student Needs Advising session before the start of Semester 1. Incoming students must therefore be on the UCD campus one week before lectures begin, in time for induction day (September 5, 2016).

Modules are grouped into thematic streams, and ordered by semester. This is to help you in selecting a coherent group of modules. You do not have to choose all modules within one stream. Many modules do not belong to any stream, and some may be listed in more than one stream. They are grouped into a "miscellaneous" stream.

Most modules on this page ( are grouped into thematic streams. There are five such streams: Data Science, Cloud Computing, Software Engineering, Forensics and Security, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science. There are, in addition, many modules listed under "miscellaneous" that do not comfortably fit into this loose thematic grouping.

We present modules organised into thematic streams in order to assist students and advisors in module selection. There is no requirement that students pick modules only within a stream, and there is no objection at all to picking modules from several streams and mixing them freely with the miscellaneous modules.

In the Data Science stream alone, there is an additional opportunity. Students who select [insert conditions here] will be awarded an additional Diploma Supplement in addition to their master's degree. This supplement is a certification that a coherent group of modules in the specific field of Data Science were completed. Diploma supplements are not available for any other module combinations.


Students complete a 30 credit research project. This requirement can be met in three ways.

Most students will take part in Team Software Development Project that runs from the end of May to the middle of August. Within this project, students will learn to work together towards a concrete project goal, including requirements specification and negotiation with stakeholders, prototyping, applying a variety of technologies and methodologies, evaluation, demonstration and presentation. Most project teams will use a combination of Django and Python in development. Typically, there will be one contact session per week.

Some students will earn their 30 credits through an industrial internship. A limited number of internships with large industrial partners will be advertised, and places will be awarded based on competitive applications. Some internships can be expected to be extended beyond the three months required for the Negotiated Learning programme.

Some students will design and execute stand-alone projects under the supervision of individual members of staff. This option is not available to all students, because of the heavy supervision demands. Arrangements for one-on-one supervision must be made by the student and must have the agreement of the supervisor.

Further information on all three options will be given during Induction Day, on September 05, 2016.


The degree programme can be completed on a full time basis in 12 months, or it can be spread over two years on a part-time basis. Part time students take approximately half as many modules as full time students each semester. Most part-time students will complete their research project in the Summer of their second year.

While the programme offers some modules with evening classes, and some modules that are mainly taught online, these options are limited, and it is not normally possible to complete this degree without substantial regular attendance at day time lectures and practicals on campus in UCD.

Application date

The following entry routes are available:
MSc Computer Science (Negotiated Learning) FT (T150)
Duration 1 Years
Attendance Full Time
Deadline Rolling

MSc Computer Science (Negotiated Learning) PT (T151)
Duration 2 Years
Attendance Part Time
Deadline Rolling *

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake:2018/2019 September

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