Accessibility statement

Abstract circuit board

MSc in Computer Science (by research)

Unleash your curiosity and develop key skills to support a career in academia, industry, consultancy or research.


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Apply for this course

A research degree gives you the opportunity to complete a piece of original research with expert guidance from world academics.

Contact us

Postgraduate Research Admissions Team

Department of Computer Science

Study for your Masters by research in a dynamic and challenging department, where academic rigour and excellence is at the heart of everything we do. You will have the opportunity to work with leading academics and be part of our community of scholars. 

We welcome applicants who share our vision and want to undertake innovative and exciting research as part of our academic community. Join researchers from across the globe, who are pushing the boundaries of their fields within the discipline of Computer Science.

UK Students: If you're starting a postgraduate course from September 2022, you may be entitled to a UK Government Masters Loan. Find out more about Masters Loans

Your research

As a Masters by Research student, you can choose a specific research project and work with a greater degree of independence than on a taught masters course. The focus of your work will be an independent research project, and we will provide training which will equip you with skills in a wide range of research methods to support your growing expertise.

During your course, your academic progress will be assessed through a range of methods, including formal and informal meetings, written work, seminars and presentations. Your research will culminate in a thesis of up to 50,000 words, which is expected to display a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of the issues within your academic discipline. 


Woman standing in front of screen presenting seminar

Supervisors play a fundamental role in supporting you throughout your programme. Your supervisor or supervisory team is responsible for helping you to manage your research, giving you expert guidance throughout your studies.

You will have at least one meeting with your supervisory team every six to seven weeks. At these meetings, your supervisor(s) will give you detailed feedback on the work you present and will help you make plans for your next steps.

You will also interact with your supervisors and colleagues across the Department at research seminars, conference events and informal gatherings.

Find a potential supervisor

See how your interests align with our research. Find out more about our staff and identify a potential supervisor.

Find a supervisor


Being a research student isn't just about producing a piece of academic work. You will also benefit from a balanced programme of training which will enhance your career prospects. 

The Department of Computer Science and your supervisor will help you obtain the skills that are specific to your subject or research area. In addition, there are mandatory courses in broader research-related skills that you must complete in your first year, and further training is provided by the University on a wide range of topics.

Taught modules

In your first year, you will complete mandatory training courses which will help you refine your research ideas and begin your investigations:

  • Research Integrity (a compulsory module which you must pass in order to progress)
  • Becoming an Effective Researcher
  • Information Security Awareness

Department seminars

The Department offers you the opportunity to attend seminars presented by leading scientists and practitioners from around the world, giving you the chance to expand your knowledge and to meet others working in similar academic disciplines.  

We also encourage you to get involved in student-led seminars. Arranged by the research students themselves, these seminars offer a great training opportunity to learn from your fellow students and to present your work to your peers.

Researcher development

Throughout your course, you will have access to training and events provided by the University's Research Excellence Training Team, who will help you develop your professional skills and career profile. A range of training opportunities are available in the following areas:

  • Research Management and Leadership
  • Community and Wellbeing
  • Partnerships, Collaborations and Civic Engagement
  • Professional Development and Employability
  • Public Engagement and Communication

Course location

Computer Science Building and Ron Cooke Hub 218 x 145

Our Research students are based in the Department of Computer Science on Campus East, either in our lakeside home in the Computer Science Building or in the Ron Cooke Hub which is located next door.

We will provide you with a laptop connected to the University network, and you will have 24/7 access to your desk and workspace.

We have modern, well-equipped research labs with a specialist in-department team which will support your hardware and software requirements while you are studying for your Masters. 

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

The Masters in Computer Science (by research) is intended for students who already have a good first degree in Computer Science or a related field.

For entry to the Masters programme, you should have (or expect to obtain) a 2:1 or equivalent in Computer Science or a related discipline.

We are willing to consider your application if you do not meet our entry requirements; for example, if you have relevant work experience. However, you must satisfy us that your knowledge in Computer Science or a related field is appropriate for research study at Masters level in your subject area of interest.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of your ability. We accept the following English language qualifications:

  • IELTS: 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each component
  • PTE Academic: 55, with no less than 51 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 169, with no less than 162 in each component
  • TOEFL: 79, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Pass in all components
  • Duolingo: 100, minimum 90 in all other components

Find out more about English Language requirements for research degrees


How to apply

Find a potential supervisor

You should find a potential supervisor in our Department whose area of research overlaps with yours. We encourage you to contact them to discuss your research proposal before you apply. Please identify the name of your potential supervisor in your application.

Please visit our Find a Supervisor webpage to help you identify research topics. You may also find it helpful to take a look at our webpages which explain more about the core research strengths of the Department of Computer Science here at the University of York.

If you have any questions or need any further information, please contact

Submit your application

We require you to submit the following documents:

Your research proposal needs to outline the nature of your proposed study and give some indication of how you will conduct your research. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure that you and your potential supervisor(s) have matching research interests. You may wish to use this Research Proposal Tempate (MS Word , 9kb) to help you structure your proposal.

Your proposal can build on your chosen supervisor's area of work and may be prepared with the help of your chosen supervisor. It should be about 500 to 1,000 words in length, in English and in your own words.

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

After you have applied, you can track the status of your application and view any official correspondence online. If you have applied for an advertised scholarship, decisions on funded places may take a little longer.


If we are impressed by your full application, personal statement and references, we will invite you for an interview.

Due to restrictions because of Coronavirus (Covid-19), all interviews are currently being held online using Zoom, Google Meet or Skype. In the future, however, we hope to invite students based in the UK to the Department for their interview. For students based outside the UK, interviews will continue to be conducted online.

The interview panel will be made up of your potential supervisor(s) and another independent academic. During your interview, it is important that you demonstrate an understanding of your chosen topic and its supporting theories.


Apply for this course


Related links