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MEng Computer Science (with a year in industry)

UCAS code Typical offer Length
I103 AAA - AAB (See full entry requirements) 5 years full-time
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York Computer Science student in class

Your year in industry will put you ahead in the race for jobs

Group of students working in the hardware lab in Computer Science

Learn the fundamentals of Computer Science

This course gives you a solid grounding in the study of both software (programs) and hardware (electronics) and how they integrate into the design of systems.

This variant includes a year in industry, so you can put what you have learnt in your degree into practice in a real workplace.

Course overview

I enjoyed the split between hardware and software and theory and practice, where concepts are presented from a theoretical perspective in lectures, then applied to problems in the lab.

Undergraduate James Stovold

James Stovold
MEng Computer Science with a year in industry

What this course involves

You gain a thorough grounding in the discipline in the first two years and you can then sharpen your focus on those areas that interest you by choosing modules and your individual project on topics covered by our world-leading research in the latest developments in Computer Science.

Choosing to study on a four-year Masters course gives you an extra year to study the topics that really interest you at a deeper level.

Your year in industry

Your year in industry is taken after your second year. You are supported by our dedicated Industrial Placement Coordinator, who is there to help you with your CV, give you interview tips, arrange interviews on campus, and visit you on placement to ensure everything is going well. Students who take a year in industry often find themselves ahead in the race for jobs after graduation and some even find a job with their placement provider before they graduate. You also get paid while gaining skills!
Find out more about the year in industry.

The fees for the year in industry are currently 15 per cent of the University's annual tuition fee.

Studying at York

Practical and project work receive a great emphasis throughout the course, and you will be guided through this in scheduled practical and teaching sessions in the Department’s state-of-the-art teaching laboratories. This is so you become an independent thinker, and you work more on practical coursework and an individual project as the course progresses.

Our laboratories are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can work on your projects, coursework or simply experiment at a time of day that suits you.

In this video, take a tour of our facilities - this is where you'll be taught and can access the labs:

http://youtu.be/-QDYp_lzDZo

You will have your own personal supervisor, who will meet with you regularly.They are available to help with any issues you may be having, academic or personal.

Our links with industry

We have fantastic links with industry within the Department, and this allows us to give you exposure to the latest developments in the real world, as well as in our research. You may work on projects that have been specified by companies such as IBM or BT, who will then take any solutions and could use them within their business.

We also take advice from our Industrial Advisory Board, who make sure that what we teach is up to date and relevant to today's workplace. This means that when the time comes for you to get a job, you will be able to adapt quickly in the workplace.

Accreditation

Logo from BCS (Chartered Institute of IT) showing our accredited status

This course is recognised by BCS the Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the educational requirement for Chartered IT Professional (CITP), CITP Further Learning and Chartered Engineer (CEng).

IET Accredited programmes logo

This course is recognised by Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) for the purposes of fulfilment of the educational requirement for CEng registration.

Find out more about what this professional accreditation means.

Course content

What you'll study

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ55Mvmk0HY

Your first year

Your first year contains essential fundamental material in Computer Science.  We also teach you how to increase your employability prospects, helping with your presentation style and exploring professional issues in Computer Science.

These are examples of current modules:

Your second year

Your second year continues the fundamentals of the discipline, and more specialist modules start to be introduced. You also undertake either a software engineering or hardware project.

Current modules are:

Your year in industry

You take your year in industry after the second year of your degree, and it is a recognised part of your degree.

We have excellent relationships with a strong portfolio of companies from large multinationals such as IBM and Airbus UK, to smaller companies such as YorkTest and Informed Solutions. 

Your year in industry gives you a chance to use what you have learned during your degree. As well as being paid a good salary, students who take a year in industry generally achieve better grades, develop a broader range of skills and are more attractive to future employers. Some students even find a job with their placement company before they graduate.

Your fourth year

There is more flexibility in your fourth year, and you can choose options from a range based on the latest research here at York: 

Your final year

You will undertake a large individual research project, a group project and five modules.

Examples of current modules:

  • Adaptive & Learning Agents
  • Critical Systems
  • Evolutionary Computation
  • Functional Programming Technology
  • Model-Driven Engineering
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Topics in Privacy & Security
  • Quantum Computation
  • Software Measurement
  • Systems Architecture

Your final year project

You will be able to choose from a large list of projects, or define your own. Recent examples are:

  • Creating believable avatar animations in Second Life
  • 3D shape retrieval
  • Machine learning of spontaneous gestures
  • Finding comets in solar images
  • Using the web to solve crossword puzzles
  • A Flash-based animation engine for ZLive
  • Tuple-Spaces using the Google Data API

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct;
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work;
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts;
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.

Teaching

How you'll be taught

At York, Computer Science is taught in a broad and principled way, where you cover theory as well as practice, and hardware (electronics) as well as software (programs), and how they integrate in the design of systems. We encourage you to develop your professional competence as well as your intellectual adventure.

How will my contact hours be spent?

A typical week will involve about 16.5 hours of scheduled teaching time. Our courses are based on series of one-hour lectures with associated laboratory sessions, programming classes and tutorials. 

Throughout the course, you will have a personal supervisor responsible for guiding your studies. In addition to any timetabled sessions, you will meet with your supervisor regularly, and you can also go to him or her at any time, should you have any issues, academic or personal. There are problem classes to help you put learning from lectures into practice and one-to-one weekly project supervisions in your final year.

However, much of the required learning is achieved outside the scheduled timetable. This can be through working in the labs, which are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or through reading recommended materials or working through problems. Consequently, students are expected to be self-motivated, self-disciplined and willing to learn outside regular classes.

Your contact hours in the first year are higher than subsequent years, as we teach the fundamentals of the subject. As you progress through the course you will develop your skills to become a more independent learner. In your final year you will be working on your individual project in addition to timetabled activity;  you will be allocated a project supervisor, with whom you will have regular meetings in addition to timetabled sessions. You can go to your project supervisor for support and advice regarding your project.

What about my year in industry?

Your year in industry is spent fully within the organisation with whom you have taken a placement. You will be required to work full-time in office hours, and you will have your own industrial supervisor. Your supervisor is there to ensure you get the most out of your year in industry and will oversee your work.

Our Industrial Placements Coordinator is also there to make sure that you are happy in your placement and are getting the most out of it you can. He will visit you on placement and is easily contactable by phone or email, should you have any issues on your year in industry.

What difference does studying for an MEng make?

The four year course means you are able to study at a greater depth more topics in Computer Science. This includes the latest cutting-edge research from our own academics, giving you an insight into what is happening in the discipline today.

Due to the nature of this more in-depth study, you are required to achieve a higher average mark across your modules in order for you to progress on the course.

Assessment

How you'll be assessed

We expose you to real-world problems through industrial placements and collaborative projects to help you develop your employability skills.

Dimitris Kolovos, Lecturer in Computer Science

Dimitris Kolovos, Lecturer

We use a variety of assessments throughout your course. This allows you to practice different techniques, from report writing and presentations to closed exams. It also means you are not disadvantaged by being assessed in any one way.

Here's a few examples:

  • If you choose a hardware project in your second year, your assessment includes a live demonstration of your project, which counts towards your final mark.
  • In your first year, you will complete a log book detailing your work in the hardware sessions.
  • When you undertake your final year project, you will be expected to produce a large report, as well as an oral presentation of your project.
  • Our Skills for Computer Scientist module is there to help you develop your employability skills, and so assessed work includes presentations, essay writing and developing your career plan.
  • Your first year programming module, Theory and Practice of Programming, includes a timed, closed programming assessment, where you must code in an exam setting.
  • Other modules include mini exams throughout the year which contribute to your final mark.

How we assess your year in industry

Your year in industry is a recognised part of your degree, and so you will be expected to demonstrate that you have increased your competence in a number of areas. You will be able to access your placement organisation's opportunities for training and career development.

You will produce a development plan and a learning journal, which will show how far you have achieved your goals. You will develop a number of skills that are very important in the workplace, and this assessment will show how this has been achieved.

Feedback on assessments

The department really cares about its students and has done a lot to improve the course and listen to feedback while I’ve been here.

 Undergraduate Alex Chow

Alex Chow, MEng Computer Science with Embedded Systems Engineering

We're working hard on how we provide feedback to our students. We provide exam review sessions, where you can come and see your marked assessment and ask an academic any questions about the way it has been marked. We also provide you with electronic feedback, which is given alongside your marks. We also have a Board of Examiners, to which you can apply to if you wish to take queries about assessments further.

We also ask for feedback on the course and assessments at the end of each year. This helps to improve and modify what we do to help meet your needs.

Assessment arrangements

We will make reasonable adjustments for any students with disabilities. Take a look at the University disability support services.

Careers

Careers and employability

Join a Computer Science department with one of the highest employability rates in the UK. Nine out of every ten of our graduates get work or go into further study within six months of leaving York.

Information technology is rapidly expanding, creating demand for computer scientists across a broad section of employers, meaning the skills you develop here will make you attractive to many organisations.

Many of our graduates are employed by software and electronics industries, but the continuing expansion of the use of computers means that you will be able to find employment in other industries, and your sharpened numeracy and analytical skills will help here.

Here's some of the industry sectors our graduates work in:

Pie chart of industry sectors of Computer Science graduate employment

Read some profiles of our past students, to find out how their degree helps them in organisations as diverse as Mars and Cancer Research UK.

How will your year in industry help?

Your year in industry gives you a chance to put into practice what you have learnt, as well as developing softer skills, such as team working, time management and communication. This work experience is very attractive to potential employers, and many students find they secure an offer of a job before they graduate.

We have a close relationship with the Department of Computer Science at York. We are able to give students an insight into IBM careers and advice on skills and applying for jobs.

Peter Thomas
IBM Lab Lead, York

Skills for the workplace

You will learn how to think and gain a broad understanding of all of the essential principles, techniques and practices in Computer Science, allowing you to be flexible and adapt quickly in any workplace. Four main skill areas you develop are:

  • The ability to approach problems analytically, and design structured solutions. Laboratory modules help you to develop skills of data analysis, design and implementation.
  • Research skills. You develop these throughout, culminating in a major final year project where you will research a problem, identify key issues, produce a critical assessment of the relevant literature, and generate a new solution.
  • Management skills. You have the opportunity to learn about the techniques, concepts and theories used in project management, and gain experience of using them.
  • Communication skills. You develop these skills throughout, through, for example, oral and written presentations, in both formal and informal settings. On graduation, you will be confident and competent in communicating with a wide range of audiences.

Find out more about how York can make you more employable 

Applying

How to apply

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When your place at York is confirmed, you'll be sent a free Raspberry Pi. Then you can take part in our Challenge!

See what last year's Challenge was like, and watch a video of the proceedings

All applications must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

We will make all of our offers in terms of grades - we will not use tariff points in your offer.

All of our offers will require a grade B or above in A-Level Mathematics (or equivalent qualification).

Tips on applying

Please put as much information as you can on your UCAS form. This will help us to process your application as soon as possible.

We do not require our students to have any programming or computing experience, but if you have, you should mention this in your personal statement - whether it be working with hardware, software or applications. We are interested to know why you want to study Computer Science for the next few years, so let us know what interests you about the subject. We may also ask you about this at interview.

Bear in mind that we are interested not only in what you have done, but, even more, in what you are going to do. Put information in your application that tells us how you are going to make use of your opportunity at University and after graduation.

Whilst we do not specifically require you to have studied Computing at A-level, we are delighted to accept students with this qualification and would encourage you to apply. We also recommend the new OCR or AQA GCSEs in Computer Science/Computing, so that you can gain a grounding in the principles of Computing, though this is also not an admissions requirement to any of our degrees.

Your offer and visiting York

If we receive your application form and are impressed by your grades, personal statement and references, we will recommend you for an offer. You will also be given the opportunity to attend an optional interview.

The interview is not part of your offer, and you do not need to attend. However, if you choose to attend and you perform well at interview, your offer may be reduced by one A-Level grade or equivalent. Please note, irrespective of your performance at interview, the Department will recommend that the University makes you an offer.

The interview will be a one-to-one session with a member of our academic staff, to discuss your motivation for studying Computer Science and your aptitude for the subject. Find out more about our Open Days and Applicant Visit Days.

In the case of applicants living outside the UK, a decision will be made based on their application.

Transfer between courses

We encourage you to apply for the course you are interested in, but you can transfer between courses (except for joint honours degrees) at any time until the end of the first year.

Entry requirements

A levels

For MEng courses:  AAA - AAB including an A-level in Mathematics. 

For BEng/BSc courses:  AAB - ABB including an A-level Mathematics.

An A-level in Mathematics is an absolute requirement for all our courses. Your other two A-levels can be any subject.

For our joint Computer Science and Mathematics course, you must achieve an A in A-level Mathematics.

Whilst we do not specifically require you to have studied Computing at A-level, we are delighted to accept students with this qualification and would encourage you to apply.

We also recommend the new OCR or AQA GCSEs in Computer Science/Computing, so that you can gain a grounding in the principles of Computing, though this is also not an admissions requirement to any of our degrees.

GCSEs

From applicants who have taken GCSEs, we look for a good range of subjects, including GCSE English Language at grade C or above.

We also require a qualification in a physical science; for example, a GCSE at grade C or above in Physics or Double Science.

International Baccalaureate

For MEng courses:  overall grade of 36 - 35 points, with a grade 6 in Mathematics at Higher Level. 

For BEng/BSc courses:  overall grade of 35 - 34 points, with a grade 6 in Mathematics at Higher Level. 

You should have at least some basic qualification in Physics. This could be at a level one or two years earlier than your school-leaving qualification; but a qualification as part of your school-leaving qualification would provide an even more useful preparation.

The ideal preparation would be Physics at HIGHER level; but it would still be very useful to you at STANDARD level. Nevertheless, we do not require it to be part of your IB, provided you have studied physical science earlier in your school career.

Evidence of English language ability is also required from applicants whose first language is not English and who have not been taught predominantly in English.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

For MEng courses:  AA - AB in Advanced Highers, including Mathematics, plus AAAAA - AAAAB at Higher Level.

For BEng/BSc courses:  AB in Advanced Highers, including Mathematics, plus AAAAB - AAABB at Higher Level. 

For joint courses with Mathematics, we will ask for A in Mathematics in all cases. 

Our GCSE requirements can be satisfied by any combination of Scottish Standard and Higher level qualifications.

Irish Leaving Certificate

For MEng courses:  AAAAAB - AAAABB at Higher Level, including A1 or A2 in Mathematics.

For BEng/BSc courses:  AAAABB - AABBBB at Higher Level, including A1 or A2 in Mathematics. 

For joint course with Mathematics, we will ask for A1 in Mathematics in all cases. 

BTEC

BTEC Extended Diploma (or National Diploma) (Level 3)

For MEng courses:  Grades DDD, plus a grade A in A-level Mathematics.

For BEng/BSc courses:  Grades DDD - DDM, plus at least a grade B in A-level Mathematics.

Please note that, for all applicants studying the BTEC Extended Diploma, we will also require an A-level in Mathematics. The grade required for MEng and BEng/BSc courses is listed above. For joint courses with Mathematics, we will require a grade A in A-level Mathematics. 

We will consider applicants with a National Certificate (BTEC Diploma) if they also hold a grade A in A-level Mathematics. In the first instance, you should contact the Department to discuss your application with details of your BTEC course.

Our A-level Mathematics requirement may be waived if you have obtained Distinctions in BTEC level 3 Extended Diploma papers in Mathematics with a sufficiently rigorous approach, and sufficient content at an appropriate level. If this is the case, then the A-level requirement will be waived and our requirement will be Grades DDD for the Extended Diploma.

To save disappointment, we should point out that any Mathematics module described as 'for IT' is unlikely, on its own, to be an acceptable mathematical preparation for our programmes.

You would find Electronics, Electrical Engineering or Physics the most useful preparation among your other modules.

You should also have at least some basic qualification in Physics. This could be GCSE Double Science (or single Physics); but a qualification as part of your BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma would provide an even more useful preparation.

 

BTEC HNC Diploma (Level 4) or HND Diploma (Level 5)

For MEng and BEng courses:  We ask for the HNC Diploma or HND Diploma with Distinctions in most papers, and Merits in all those papers that are not Distinctions, plus a grade A in A-level Mathematics.

Our A-level Mathematics requirement may be waived if you have obtained Distinctions in a number of HNC or HND papers in Mathematics with a sufficiently rigorous approach, and sufficient content at an appropriate level. To save disappointment, we should point out that any Mathematics module described as 'for IT' is unlikely, on its own, to be an acceptable preparation for our programmes.

You would find Electronics, Electrical Engineering or Physics the most useful preparation among your other modules.

You should have at least some basic qualification in Physics. This could be GCSE Double Science (or single Physics); but a qualification as part of your HNC or HND would provide an even more useful preparation.

European Baccalaureate

For MEng courses:  an overall average of 85% - 80% with a Mathematics (FIVE-period) by written examination result of 85%.

For BEng/BSc courses:  an overall average of 80% - 75% with a Mathematics (FIVE-period) by written examination result of at least 75%.

For joint courses with Mathematics, we will ask for a result of 85% in Mathematics in all cases. 

You should have at least some basic qualification in Physics. This could be at a level one or two years earlier than your school-leaving qualification; but a qualification as part of your school-leaving qualification would provide an even more useful preparation. The ideal preparation would be Physics as part of your EB. Nevertheless, we do not require it to be part of your EB, provided you have studied physical science earlier in your school career.

Evidence of English Language ability is also required from applicants whose first language is not English and who were not taught predominantly in English. This requirement can be satisfied by obtaining 65% in English in the EB.

Other qualifications

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma

For MEng courses:  pass with D3/D3/D3 - D3/D3/M2 in principal subjects including Mathematics.

For BEng/BSc courses:  pass with D3/D3/M2 - D3/M2/M2 in principal subjects including Mathematics. 

For joint courses with Mathematics, you will be required to achieve D3 in Mathematics in all cases.

 

Open University

We welcome applications offering a mix of OU, A level, and other appropriate qualifications. Applicants can use appropriate Open University (OU) courses to fulfil some or all of our A-level subject requirements.

The 30 credit courses Essential Mathematics 1 (MST124) and Essential Mathematics 2 (MST125) can be taken to replace our Maths A-level requirement. You must take both courses and achieve at least 85% (Distinction) in both.

Please note that we require Mathematics as your main qualification: from the OU (as above) or as an A level, or equivalent.

The Mathematics courses stated above replace just one of our normal A-level requirements. You may have some further OU or other qualifications, or some A-levels, or some relevant work experience, or a mixture of all of these. Please get in touch with us to discuss your individual circumstances.

We might, depending on your individual case, require some evidence of a background in physical science, such as at GCSE. The OU course S104 Exploring Science (60 points at Level 1) is an excellent introduction to the culture of science. It is very broad, and we would encourage any potential applicant to consider taking it.

As a preparation for our courses, the OU course Exploring Science does not cover Electronics to any significant extent. We would therefore recommend that you also look at textbooks for GCSE Physics, or for an AS-level Electricity or Electronics module, or for an Electrical or Electronic vocational (technical) qualification.

Other qualifications are accepted by the University. Please contact Undergraduate Admissions.

English Language Requirements

If your first language is not English, and you have not been taught predominantly in English, you will need to offer a suitable qualification in English language.

Find out more about our English Language requirements

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature candidates and will assess any application on its own merits. However, we still expect you to have an appropriate background in Mathematics. We recommend that you contact us for an informal discussion before you apply.

Any questions?

Contact our admissions team:

Admissions Tutor:

  • Dr Will Smith

Admissions Administrators:

  • Mrs Dominique Pickering
  • Mrs Catherine Smith

cs-ug-admissions@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 325412

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