It was while doing my B. E. in Information Science that I first came across the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). While my undergraduate programme was strictly technical, I liked how HCI seemed to be the perfect amalgamation of topics I was keen about—computer science, mathematics, psychology, design and logic.
When it was time to pursue higher studies, I found the MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies programme offered at York to be perfect. It adopts a holistic approach ensuring students get a thorough understanding of HCI from an academic perspective while keeping up-to-date with industry best practice. I also liked that the programme focused on inculcating all aspects of HCI skills including but not limited to programming, conducting ethnographic research and carrying out statistical analyses. The module which involved seminars presented by industry practitioners was the cherry on the cake!
I work as a Junior Information Architecture / User Experience Consultant at a digital agency based in Liverpool. In a nutshell, my job involves: researching projects and suggesting user interface solutions, conducting usability tests and expert reviews, creating functional specifications and persona-based user journeys, and producing user experience guidelines and documentation.
In all honesty, I apply more or less everything I studied at York in my day-to-day job—right down to writing succinct yet effective project reports. I am particularly grateful for the work I got to do on my final MSc project. That was when I ascertained that my calling was in conducting usability tests and reporting them.
I would highly recommend anyone contemplating studying at York’s Department of Computer Science to go for it! Not only is there a healthy balance between work and play, a master’s programme at York offers practical training that can be directly applied in the industry. To speak from personal experience: my MSc was awarded in mid-November; I received my job offer in early December; my résumé and portfolio comprised work I had done at York. I would certainly suggest giving a Computer Science degree at York a strong consideration.
The HCI faculty are exceptional in their field of expertise. Furthermore, they are very friendly, approachable and always willing to provide guidance. The lecturers and professors are all well-versed with not only the latest in academia but also in industry practice which is especially beneficial when it comes to helping you decide what your next step after MSc should be.
Moving beyond the department, the new Heslington East campus is vast with a pleasant landscape making it a joy to work there. I hold fond memories of socialising with friends at the Ron Cooke Hub and working on my final project in the study pods.
The university has numerous clubs and associations covering all your hobbies and needs. There are many trips, inside and outside York, held throughout the academic year. I got the chance to travel to Newcastle, Cambridge, Oxford, Durham and Edinburgh all within my first three months at York!
The city of York is absolutely lovely--mixing old world charm with modern facilities and the people are amiable. While the city centre is very close to the campus, the village of Heslington is located adjacent, with the main road of the village between the East and main campus. All in all, the campus is very accessible and all basic amenities are nearby.
Find out more about HCI at York
- MSc in Human-Centred Interactive Technologies
- Human-Computer Interaction research group at York
- The latest HCI research - studying Streetfighter to find out more about immersion in video games