Looking for an integrated masters programme that will set you apart from other computer science undergraduates and set you on course for a high-level career? This five-year MSci programme offers a thorough grounding in computer science and allows you to specialise in distributed and networked systems, as well as gaining hands-on skills and experience during a coveted year in industry. You will also have the chance to showcase your abilities in an extended final year project. It is particularly recommended if you want to progress to postgraduate study or a specialist career in artificial intelligence or related fields.
Distributed and networked systems underpin the proliferation of sophisticated, software-enabled systems that are changing the way we live and communicate in the 21st century. You will learn all about the new generation of connected devices such as smart homes, smart cities, smart cars, smart meters, as well as how to store and analyse complex data, and how to build and maintain networks and distributed systems. You will also study the Internet of Things, one of the newest and most transformative areas of computer science.
Our progressive curriculum has been developed in consultation with industry, with a modular structure that gives you the flexibility to tailor your degree to your own interests. You will learn from leading researchers in the field, and your studies will be underpinned by a solid grounding in the fundamentals of computing and application development. From the outset you will be experimenting with programming games, robots, Gadgeteer kits, Subversion, JUnit testing, Scrum-based Agile software and more, in our well-equipped laboratories.
We are a highly respected, research-focused department with a friendly approach and award-winning teaching. We offer a summer work placement programme and a dedicated personal adviser to guide you through your studies. You will also be welcome to join our thriving Computing Society. We are one of only seven departments in the UK to hold the Athena SWAN bronze award for our commitment to increasing female participation in computer science. We are also ideally located in the famous M4 corridor and enjoy close links with many of its leading technology companies. If you are unable to complete your year in industry you will have the option of transferring onto our four-year integrated masters programme.
- The BCS has distinguished our teaching of Software Engineering as ‘Best Practice’.
- You will be taught by staff with extensive industrial experience, three of whom are certified Scrum Masters.
- You will learn to master the process of software engineering, from initial client meetings through to delivery.
Teaching & assessment
We firmly believe that how we teach you is at least as important as what we teach, and we know the importance of giving you the time and space to experiment and put theory into practice. We encourage you to use your creativity, both in project teams and independently, and to have fun while you learn. We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, small-group tutorials, supervised computer lab classes and problem-solving sessions. You will also be expected to complete guided independent study and group work. Our programming and software engineering teaching is very hands-on, allowing you to learn at your own pace, whatever your previous level of experience. You will also attend laboratory classes on games and robotics in year 1, giving you the chance to develop real applications with imagination and creativity from the outset. During your year in industry, our careers tutor will visit you twice and keep in touch with your host to monitor your progression.
We are proud of our award-winning teaching. Professor Dave Cohen won a College Excellence Teaching Prize for the re-design of our second-year software engineering courses, and he was shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award for Most Innovative Teacher of the Year. The British Computer Society (BCS) has distinguished our software engineering teaching as an exemplar of 'best practice' in computer science education.
Assessment is through a mixture of examinations and coursework. Most course units have a two or three-hour written examination taken at the end of the year in which they are taught, but around half of your final award will come from assessed coursework, which could include project reports, essays, oral presentations and practical work submissions. Your year in industry forms an integral part of the degree programme and you will be asked to complete assessed work that will count towards your final degree.
Required subject: Computer Science or Mathematics or Physics.
At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9-4 including English and Mathematics.
Please note that for students taking the BTEC Extended Diploma, GCSE Mathematics is also required at minimum grade B or 6.
A Levels: ABB-BBB
Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A - levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. Socio - economic factors which may have impacted an applicant's education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants. Read more about what we look for here.
Other UK Qualifications
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
We accept the following internationally-recognised English language qualifications:
- Pearson Test of English
- Cambridge ESOL
Your future career
Our integrated masters graduates are highly employable, with a depth of knowledge and practical skills that set them apart from BSc students. Year in industry degrees are also highly valued by employers because they give you the chance to gain first-hand experience of the world of work and to apply your learning to real-world scenarios. Our students have enjoyed placements in software companies such as Apple, Microsoft or Symantec, as well as in a range of other sectors, including finance and consulting. Many have been offered permanent jobs in the same company at the end of their placements, to take up after their graduation.
After five years of studying you will have an enviable set of skills and an in-depth knowledge of your chosen field. You will be confident at developing large and complex systems, working with all kinds of software, solving technical problems, managing projects, writing reports, and analysing complex information. Your coursework will have honed your team working, critical thinking, data handling, coding, communication, time management and self-motivation skills. You will have the flexibility to adapt to changes in technology, to innovate, and to critically evaluate the implications of exploiting new technologies. And you will have the skills to manage projects from conception through to delivery, with technical precision and professionalism.
We work closely with partners in industry who advise us on our curriculum, to ensure that it keeps pace with the latest market needs and trends. This means our graduates are up-to-speed with all the latest developments and technologies in software engineering. We run jobs fairs and a short-term work placement scheme, and your personal adviser and the campus Careers team will be on hand to offer advice on career opportunities. We also maintain strong links with our alumni, who can often provide advice, contacts and networking opportunities.
In recent years, our computer science graduates have launched careers in everything from network systems design and web development, to business management and finance. They work in organisations such as Logica, Amazon, American Express, Apple, Bupa, Capita, CGI-Logica, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, and Symantec, among many others.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9250
International students tuition fee per year**: £17500
Other essential costs***: Costs incurred during your year in industry will vary depending on the nature and location of the placement. For further information please contact the Department of Computer Science.
*The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations, and for students starting a degree in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 for that year. The UK Government has confirmed that EU students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018/19 will pay the same level of fee as a UK student for the duration of their degree.
**Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and conditions.
***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.