POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION

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1 POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION Programme Title: Awarding Body: Institution: Final Awards: Intermediate Awards: Mode of Study: UCAS Codes: QAA Subject Benchmarks: MSc Computer Science Staffordshire University Faculty of Computing, Engineering & Sciences MSc Computer Science PgC/PgD Computer Science Full Time/Part Time/Distance Learning Not Applicable Master s Degrees in Computing 2011 JACS Code: Professional/Statutory Body: BCS The Chartered Institute for IT Date of Production: April 2013 Date of Revision: If you require this document in a larger text or a different medium please contact us. 1

2 EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME Develop masters-level knowledge and skills in Computer Science in context of employer-driven needs, emerging markets, and contemporary subject areas within the discipline. Extend knowledge and understanding of, and practical skills in, a range of advanced computer science topics. Develop academic and discipline-specific rigour through applied scholarship Build or strengthen domain-specific understanding and transferrable skills thus equipping graduates for a career in industry or academia Focus on depth of study, critical awareness and evaluation in selected areas of current research and advanced scholarship within the academic discipline of Computer Science. Develop and strengthen critical analysis, independent scholarship, and intellectual empowerment through a structured research-informed programme of studies in Computer Science and through research-informed teaching. Use the rigour of academic knowledge development and training to develop applied practical skills for construction of computer systems in real-world contexts. Provide a balanced programme of study, comprising computer science theory with the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience. Develop scholarly and professional skills within the professional, legal and ethical frameworks which govern the development of computing solutions To equip you, through independent learning at a postgraduate level, for further academic study, lifelong learning, and for personal & professional development Develop effective communication skills of value to academic, technical and professional environments. What is distinctive about this programme? The ubiquity of computer systems is unquestionable and the role of the Computer Scientist as the master of conceiving, developing, deploying, and managing those computer systems demonstrates the significance and value of that role. In choosing to study on this award, you will build upon previous undergraduate study in a number of specialist branches of Computer Science, and develop these areas to a Master s level of professional competence both in terms of depth of knowledge and applied skills. The MSc Computer Science covers a range of key subject areas that all sit within the spectrum of Computer Science. This spectrum enables study in the fields of Software Engineering, Computing & Computer Science, Networking Systems & Technologies, and Information Systems. Within these areas, you will have the opportunity to focus on and specialise in a particular subject area of interest, which 2

3 you can then develop even further by undertaking an associated dissertation. Other distinctive features: Research-informed teaching that is of direct value to industry, commerce and to you as an IT industry professional. Extensive choice of optional modules to allow you to tailor your award. MSc teaching expertise based on scholarship and research undertaken in our four Applied Research Centres. The chance to focus on a subject area of interest and the opportunity to develop this even further by undertaking an associated dissertation. Access to a wide range of facilities, including laboratories housing specialist computing equipment and software Opportunity to apply for an Industrial Placement (Internship), with assistance from of our placements team. 3

4 PROGRAMME OUTCOMES What will this programme teach me to do? At the end of your studies you should be able to: Knowledge & Understanding Develop specific focus and depth of critical understanding and interpretation in specific areas of Computer Science. Learning Develop and demonstrate full and competent ability in the approach, execution and critical synthesis of Computer Science theory and principles, and their value in realworld contexts. Enquiry Demonstrate the ability to conduct an independent study of scientific investigation, and on the basis of conclusions drawn, make appropriate recommendations to promote research-based changes in the field of computer science-related developments and application-specific contexts. Analysis Understand and demonstrate analytical powers of thought through critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of subject material and demonstrate an in-depth understanding and application of research styles and methods of inquiry relating to current and emerging fields of study in Computer Science. Problem Solving Use a principle-based approach to find and develop solutions within legal, ethical, and professional governance. Communication Convey, the educational experience and accrued knowledge & skills to academic and non-academic audiences, including its value in both an academic and commercial context. Application Adopt a critical lens in the application of Computer Science-related concepts and practice to academic and commercial contexts. Reflection Be able to fully identify and understand one s one intellectual capital in relation to Computer Science and its future value in the Knowledge Economy. 4

5 PROGRAMME STRUCTURE, MODULES AND CREDITS Programme Title: MSc Computer Science 3 Weeks Block 1 (12 weeks total) CESCOM Professional Development OR * CESCOM Research Methods L E V E L 7 Block 2 (12 weeks total) 3 Weeks CESCOM Professional Development OR * CESCOM Research Methods Block 3 CESCOM MSc Dissertation (60 Credits) (16 Weeks) * New Students starting in September must take CESCOM Professional Development. Continuing student re-joining in September must take CESCOM Research Methods. New Students starting in January must take CESCOM Professional Development. Continuing student re-joining in January must take CESCOM Research Methods OPTIONS: CE Programming for Web Applications CE Operational and Analytical Databases CE CyberCrime Forensic Analysis CE Digital Forensics Fundamentals CE Malware Analysis & Reverse Engineering CESCOM Media Editing and Multimedia Applications CESCOM Mobile Web and Multimedia 5

6 CESCOM Multimedia Research CESCOM Information System Management & Strategy CESCOM IT Infrastructure CESCOM Project & Change Management CESCOM Location Aware Mobile Application Development * CESCOM Advanced Android Application Development * CESCOM Android Application Development CESCOM Application Development for ios Devices * CESCOM Enterprise Mobility CESCOM Mobile Computing and Wireless * CESCOM Database Design & Development CESCOM Engineering Internet Applications CESCOM Enterprise Applications * CESCOM Information Systems Analysis Modelling & Design CESCOM Knowledge Management * Students need to satisfy the necessary pre-requisite. Distance Learning mode. When studied in distance learning mode, a maximum of 2 modules will typically be studied per teaching block. The distance-learning delivery mode of this award is such that you will be prescribed a study programme as indicated in the diagram below. The option modules will be distance-learning versions of a subset of the option modules shown above. Block 1 (12 weeks) CESCOMD Professional Development CESCOMD Research Methods L E V E L 7 Block 2 (12 weeks) Block 3 (12 weeks) Block 4 (12 weeks) 6

7 Block 5 (16 weeks) CESCOM MSc Dissertation (60 Credits) Potential Awards: Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) comprising a total of 60 credits from any of the modules listed above including any required core modules. Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) comprising PG Cert plus a total of 60 credits from any of the modules listed above including any core modules. MSc (180 credits) total of 180 credits from any of the modules listed above including the MSc Dissertation and Core Modules. Progression: In order to progress to the Industrial Placement (Internship) you must have passed at least 45 credits. In order to progress to the MSc Dissertation you must have passed at least 105 credits. 7

8 HOW WILL I BE TAUGHT AND ASSESSED? and Learning A substantial variety and range of teaching and learning strategies are used on this award. These take the form of class attendance (for on-campus students), directed reading, independent reading (this is very strongly encouraged), electronic delivery of learning material, computer simulations, discussions with supervisors, practical work, problem solving, working with peers in group activities, working with people in industry, undertaking literature reviews and critically appraising published work, giving presentations, being interviewed, report writing, industrial visits and seminars. This variety of methods is designed to encourage you to become an independent learner so that you can continue to increase your knowledge even after you finish the course (and thus is contributes to your employability). and learning within the University is supported by electronic distribution of information and course management through the Blackboard virtual learning environment. Each module within the Faculty has a presence on Blackboard. This allows you to engage in your studies in a structured, directed and flexible manner. The system also provides a means of formal and informal communication between students and lecturers through discussion forums. Many of the modules on the MSc have been developed to make full use of this facility and are used as exemplars of good practice. The information on Blackboard is in support of, and not as a replacement for, attendance at taught classes each week attendance is a requirement (for on-campus students). For distance-learning students the Blackboard VLE will be the primary vehicle for delivery. As a distance-learner you will be expected to use and regularly engage with Blackboard as part of your studies, and to work through the module material provided at the suggested pace and in accordance with the Learning Activity Plan for each module. On-line, telephone and support will be provided as necessary. This allows you to engage in your studies in a structured, directed and flexible manner. You will also approach your studies from both practical and theoretical perspectives; and also learn from the range of assessment activities that you will be subjected to. These activities include delivering presentations, engaging in interviews, recording logbooks, programming, and report writing. You will receive both written and verbal feedback on these activities from tutors to assist you in further developing your skills. The substantial range of facilities available within the Faculty and the University, contribute to generating a research/academic community environment and culture that impacts favourably on MSc students. However, the resource that influences the learning of students most on these awards is probably the staff - their approach to supporting you, their specialist subject knowledge, and their knowledge of appropriate specialist texts and other support material that can contribute to your learning. Thus, we believe in, and practice, Research Informed. 8

9 Assessment Assessment serves two purposes. Firstly it gives you the opportunity to demonstrate that you have successfully understood the information you have been given. Secondly, and most importantly, assessment is also a continuation of the learning process. Revision for examinations and writing reports allows you to practice what you have been taught and the feedback received from the lecturer can further direct you to enhance your knowledge and skills further. Modules on the course are assessed by a mixture of coursework (written and practical work) and by examination. The coursework is designed to assess practical skills and problem solving ability whereas the examination will focus more on assessing knowledge and understanding. Some modules aim to teach practical applied skills and so may be assessed entirely by coursework - this might include laboratory work, report writing and presentations. It is recognised that peer-group support is an important part of the overall learning process so you may be occasionally encouraged to work in small groups where appropriate, and in this case the work may be assessed as a group. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Entry Requirements (including IELTS score) What qualifications would I need to join this programme? The entry requirements for the award are normally: An Undergraduate Honours degree (grade 2.2 or above) in a related Computing discipline from a UK University or the international equivalent. You must be able to demonstrate a good standard of English. A minimum score of IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands) or an equivalent qualification is required for this award. Applicants with appropriate experience will also be considered provided you satisfy the University that you are capable of responding to the challenge of postgraduate study. Disability Statement Staffordshire University operates a policy of inclusive teaching and learning to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to fulfil their educational potential. Details about how to apply to have your needs assessed can be found at: AWARD SPECIFIC INFORMATION Assessment of the programme will be undertaken in accordance with the University awards regulations. Students are encouraged to undertake a suitable Computer Science-related work placement lasting up to a maximum of 1 academic year. This placement must be completed before the student starts the MSc Dissertation. The placement is zero 9

10 credit rated and so does not contribute to the final award. Further information about the award can be found in the relevant Student Handbook and on the University Website. This includes information about optional modules, student support, and academic regulations. ==================================== 10

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