For general information:
Postgraduate Admissions AdministratorTel: +44 (0)1904 325404
Fax: +44 (0)1904 325599
For informal discussion:
Professor Helen PetrieTel: +44 (0)1904 325672
Fax: +44 (0)1904 325599
Full Time - This course is only available full time.
8 assessed modules - Plus a six person-month project to be undertaken either at York or on site in industry.
The MSc in Human-centred Interactive Technologies aims to provide participants with a thorough grounding in the design and evaluation of interactive technologies of all kinds, from the perspective of the human user(s). It is aimed at graduates with a first degree in a computing discipline who wish to develop knowledge and skills in this area before undertaking industrial work or further academic study in this area. However, we will also consider applicants who have significant, relevant work experience since graduating, if you do not have an appropriate computing degree.
The unique emphasis of the MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies course is on developing an understanding of users capabilities and requirements, including users with particular requirements (such as older and disabled users, or users in a diversity of cultural settings) and developing a range of techniques to work with these users to produce interactive technologies that best suit their capabilities and requirements.
The course has two key aspects:
You can choose to apply for one of our internships, which will begin once your course has finished. Find out more about the scheme.
The MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies course is currently being offered as a full-time MSc, running for 12 months from the start of the academic year in October.
The first half of the course is taken up by taught modules. Each of the MSc HCIT modules comprise a mixture of lectures, problem classes and practical classes, plus a significant amount of personal study time. In the second half of the course, students undertake an individual research project under the supervision of a member of staff.
The lecturers are all exceptional. They are very approachable and the group dynamic lends itself well to extending teaching beyond the classroom. Informal chats outside of class have helped me to put abstract ideas into focus and I have always felt that the lecturers treat us as peers rather than students.
MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies
A fundamental objective of the course is to provide students with a sound theoretical knowledge and practical experience of the skills essential to the design and evaluation of interactive technologies.
In particular, having completed the course students will be able to understand theories of the design of interactive technologies and critique individual technologies from a theoretical viewpoint; (a) choose appropriate methods for empirical investigations for the design, prototyping and evaluation of interactive technologies, including both quantitative and qualitative methods; (b) plan and undertake a range of empirical investigations of existing or proposed interactive technologies at all stages of the development lifecycle, (c) analyse, draw conclusions from and present the results of such investigations; and (d) conduct a range of expert and theoretical analyses of interactive technologies to investigate their usability, accessibility and appropriateness for different user groups.
Graduates completing the course will be equipped to play leading and professional roles related to the designed and evaluation of interactive technologies in industry, commerce, academia and public service. The MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies is also intended to provide a route into a PhD or research in this rapidly expanding field.
Full-time taught postgraduate courses run for 12 months from the start of the academic year in October. Students on these courses are expected to be in attendance at York for the full 12 months, except for when the Department is closed. Please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Administrator for more details.
When you are awarded the MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies, you will automatically meet some of the conditions for professional engineering status in the UK, as follows:
This course is recognised by the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, in partial fulfilment of the educational requirement for Chartered Engineer (CEng) registration.
This course is also recognised by Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) for the purposes of partial fulfilment of the educational requirement for CEng registration.
|Module Title||Term||Short Description|
|Understanding Users||Autumn||The psychological theories underlying human-computer interaction.|
|User Centred Design
||Autumn||Introduces students to the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). This field covers all aspects of people's interactions with digital systems.|
|Qualitative Research Methods: Design Ethnography||Autumn||An introduction to qualitative research methods that can be used in the design and evaluation lifecycle of interactive systems.|
|Quantitative Research Methods||Spring||An introduction to experimental design and statistics as used in HCI and computer science for the evaluation of interactive systems, for experimental evaluation of algorithms and for research into HCI and computer science.|
|Advanced Research Methods for Human-Centred Interactive Technologies||Spring||Methods specific to research in interactive technologies, including eyetracking, contextual inquiry and cognitive modelling.|
|Advanced Topics in Interactive Technologies
||Spring||A broad range of topics reflecting the cutting edge of research and development of interactive technologies such as inclusive design and accessibility, domestic technology and cultural diversity.|
||Spring||Skills to design, implement and evaluate a web site.|
|Project Preparation||Summer Term & Vacation||You choose your project in the previous term (March), from those marked as suitable for your degree on the list of projects available. PPC is essential preparation time for this project.|
|Project - Human-Centred Interactive Technologies
||Vacation||A substantial, independent research project building on the taught course. The deliverable is a dissertation.|
You will have a personal tutor and will be part of a tutorial group, usually comprising of five or fewer students. Your personal tutor provides academic and pastoral advice throughout your course. When you undertake your individual project, you will be allocated a supervisor within your area of interest, so your supervisor may then change.
All taught modules on the MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies are examined by open assessments. The assessment paper is published at the end of the week of teaching, and you will be required to submit your answers typically four weeks later. This type of assessment allows you to engage with the research literature and gives us the chance to assess your practical skills.
Once you have successfully completed the taught modules, you will undertake an extensive individual project. Here you will work on an indentified cyber security topic, and document the results in a report. Additionally, you will be required to precis the project report in a conference style paper.
Assessments will take place at various times during the year. Practical exercises, reports and other forms of open assessment will be due either during the course module or just after its completion.
Timescales, Modules and Project Descriptions may be subject to change.
You can also choose to apply for one of our internships, which begin after you have completed your individual project. Find out more about the scheme.
The dissertation project undertaken by students over the summer is carried out individually, which might involve collaboration with another organisation. A collaborative project is still supervised by a member of the Department.
Projects are worth 50% of the total mark for the MSc.
Examples of previous projects include:
Typically, you will have achieved at least an upper second class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a computing-related discipline.
We are willing to consider applications from those who do not fit this profile. We will, for example, consider applicants who do not have an appropriate qualification but have appropriate industrial experience.
In particular, please take note of the supporting documents we need to see in order to be able to make a decision about your application. You are also required to nominate two referees, of which at least one should be from your current employer or place of study.
You can apply through our online application system (SELECT).
While there is no official closing date for applications, it is important to apply as early as possible.
Did you know that we offer our MSc students a continuation scholarship? Should you decide to stay and study for a PhD after you graduate, you could be eligible to have your fees paid. Check out the details of the award.
This course, like all others in the University, welcomes students of all backgrounds and circumstances.
If English is not your first language, or your first degree was not taught in English, then you will need to have attained a suitable language qualification no more than two years before the start of the course.
The University's Postgraduate Study webpages will tell you more about the English language requirements for graduate students.
This course takes students from a wide range of backgrounds, so these notes are intended to help you feel "up to speed" when you arrive.
You will be joining a Computer Science department, so we assume that you have some technical skills in programming and web design. This does not mean that we think you should be able to knock together a data-driven website in Flash in an afternoon, but that you at least know the basics of what a program is. A good introductory programming book is:
There are lots of books on HTML. This one has all the basics you will need:
Of course, there are loads of web tutorials that you might find useful as well.
You will probably already have some Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) skills, but just so you know, our favourite HCI text book is:
We basically assume that you have read this book and know its content quite well by the time you start the course. It will be referred to in several modules as well.
Other good background books to read are:
Due to the intensive nature of the course, students are required to be in York during the following periods:
However, it should be noted that the MSc is full time and it is assumed that students are working whether or not they are in full attendance.
Discussing my time at York and my MSc in my Capgemini interview was a definite advantage, as it put me a step ahead of the rest.
Here at York, we're really proud of the fact that more than 97% of our postgraduate students go on to employment or further study within six months of graduating from York. We think the reason for this is that our courses prepare our students for life in the workplace through our collaboration with industry to ensure that what we are teaching is useful for employers.
So where do our students go once they leave York?
Improve your employability prospects by applying for one of our internships, which begin after you have completed your individual project. Find out more about the scheme.
The Home Lab is located in the Department of Computer Science here at York, and is part of the Centre for Usable Home Technology. As a students studying the MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies, you will have access to the Home Lab throughout your studies.
The Home Lab has two main purposes:
Some examples of products tested in the Home Lab include:
The appropriation of games technology
Mainstream games technology can be appropriated for serious purposes such as re-habilitation. Our demo shows how the Nintendo Wii can be used to allow a seated patient to gain confidence through balance games.
Fingerprint Door Lock
Using fingerprints as a way of proving one's identity used to be seen only in spy films, but there are now affordable and reliable applications such as the fingerprint door lock we have in the Home Lab. The doorlock has great value for people with learning difficulties. These people have little difficulty learning how to use the lock and it circumvents any issues around forgetting, losing or, as in one instance, giving away the door key. Supplied by Access Automation.
The appropriation of mobile technology
Apps for smart phones and tablets such as the iPad also present opportunities for caring purposes. One product includes an app to record your blood pressure as measured with a home testing kit. Readings are colour coded and can be sent to a doctor with just one button press.