Duration: 1 year full time or 2 years part time
Institution code: R72
UK fees*: £4,712
International/EU fees**: £26,300
Computer Science (MSc by Research)
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. Placed within the top 25% of Computer Science departments nationally for research quality, 95% of our research is assessed as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF, 2021).
You’ll specialise in one of our 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.
- Select from six research disciplines, each led by our expert academics.
- Benefit from strong industry ties, with close proximity to ‘England’s Silicon Valley’.
- Graduate with a Master's degree by research offering excellent graduate employability prospects.
From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.
Teaching & assessment
The Computer Science Masters by Research is assessed on the chosen research project/dissertation worth 180 credits, the centrepiece of the course, consisting of a sizeable structured piece of individual research in an area associated with one of the six research disciplines – Machine Learning, Constraints, Discrete Optimisation, Programming Languages and Compilers, Bioinformatics, Intelligent Agents and Multi-Agent Systems. This is submitted within 52 weeks of the start date.
You will also take a mandatory taught course worth 20 credits which has teaching/labs over an 11-week term (either Autumn or Spring). This is assessed by coursework and examination in May and must be passed in order to qualify for the MSc award. Optional taught course(s) may also be attended as extra-curricular (includes examination and credits) or audit mode (attend informally, no assessment or credits).
Computer Science, Economics, Mathematics, Physics, or other subjects that include a strong element of both mathematics and computing.
Normally we require a UK 2:2 or relevant industry experience. Candidates with relevant professional qualifications in an associated area will also be considered. Please note that this is not a taught degree programme. Applicants for Computer Science (MSc by Research) should use the Application for a Postgraduate Research Programme form, not the form for Taught Masters programmes.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All Postgraduate Research degrees (i.e. PhD and Masters by Research) require:
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
- TOEFL iBT: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.
- Duolingo: 120 overall, 135 in Literacy, 135 in Production and no sub-score below 100.
Your future career
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 such as British Aerospace, Microsoft, Amazon, and American Express.
- Strong industry ties help to provide placement and networking opportunities with some of the country’s leading institutions.
- Our on-site Careers and Employability Service will provide you with support and careers guidance throughout your studies
Fees, funding & scholarships
Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £4,712
EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £26,300
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year.
All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Please be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree (if longer than one year’s duration). This means that the overall cost of studying the course part-time will be slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year.
** This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25. Find out more
*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.
We adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the UKRI website.