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Home > Courses > Courses for 2017 > Postgraduate > Computer Science by Research
More in this section Computer Science

Computer Science by Research MSc

UCAS code
Year of entry 2017
Course Length
1 year full time
2 years part time
Department Computer Science »

Computer Science is a broad and ever-expanding discipline, providing ample scope for students seeking to carry out original scientific research. Study Computer Science by Research at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll select from one of six research disciplines in order to take your first steps towards a scientific research-based career. 

You’ll study in a department renowned for the quality of its research publications, with the Royal Holloway Department of Computer Science ranked 11th in the UK  (Research Excellence Framework 2014). You’ll specialise in one of six research areas as you work towards your own unique individual project, studying under the guidance of an expert in your chosen field.

Strong graduates with a Computer Science background and students with professional experience will gain advanced, research-specific skills and academic knowledge to take forward into further study or their graduate careers. You’ll become a part of a lively research culture and a highly supportive staff network.

The Royal Holloway Department of Computer Science benefits from close proximity to the M4 corridor – also known as ‘England’s Silicon Valley’ – providing students with excellent networking, placement and collaboration opportunities. Follow your passion for Computer Science and graduate with a bright future in research. 

  • Study in a highly-regarded department, ranked 11th in the UK for the quality of its research publications (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • Select from six research disciplines, each led by expert academics.
  • Benefit from strong industry ties, with close proximity to ‘England’s Silicon Valley’.
  • Graduate with a Masters degree by research offering excellent graduate employability prospects.
  • Tailor your learning with a wide range of engaging optional modules.

Core modules

Research Project

Research Techniques

One of the following strands

Machine Learning


Discrete Optimisation

Programming Languages and Compilers

Bioinformatics (Biological Sequence Analysis)


Students must take up to two half-unit taught courses as required by the Programme Director in consultation with the Supervisor. These will provide the necessary background for the research project for those students without the necessary previous experience.

Assessment will be based primarily on the chosen research project, the centrepiece of the course, which counts for 75% of the total mark for the MSc. It will consist of sizeable, structured piece of individual research. The project itself will normally be in a research area associated with the strand that the student has followed during the first term. The other 25% of the total mark is based on coursework and a presentation.

Entry criteria:

A minimum of a 2:1 UK honours degree in a relevant subject or overseas equivalent.

Relevant professional qualifications and relevant experience in an associated area.

English language requirements:

IELTS and TOEFL scores for non-native English speaking applicants.


International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

Students from overseas should visit the International pages for information on the entry requirements from their country and further information on English language requirements. Royal Holloway offers a Pre-Master’s Diploma for International Students and English language pre-sessional courses, allowing students the opportunity to develop their study skills and English language before starting their postgraduate degree.

 Additional information:

Please note that this is not a taught degree programme. Applicants for the Computer Science (MSc by Research) should use the form Application for a Postgraduate Research Programme, not the form for Taught Masters' programmes.

Computer Science by Research at Royal Holloway, University of London has been designed for students to take their first steps towards an academic career, further postgraduate study or a role in a research-focussed organisation.

You’ll gain valuable research skills and broaden your academic knowledge, making you a strong candidate for PhD study as well as an attractive prospect for employers in a variety of fields. Our recent alumni have gone on to enjoy rewarding careers in organisations including Amazon, Microsoft, British Aerospace and more.

  • 90% of Royal Holloway graduates in work or further education within six months of graduating.
  • Strong industry ties help to provide placement and networking opportunities with some of the country’s leading institutions.
  • On-site College Careers Service provides help and support for students. 

Home and EU and students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £4,195

Overseas students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £14,200

Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

*The tuition fees given above apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis.  Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata tuition fee and information is available from the Royal Holloway Student Fees Office on Student-Fees@rhul.ac.uk. All fees are likely to rise annually in line with inflation, but by no more than 5 per cent per year.

For further information, please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

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