The MSc in Advanced Systems Dependability is a two-year Erasmus Mundus programme offered by St Andrews in conjunction with Maynooth University in Ireland and Université de Lorraine Nancy in France. It provides students with the skills and in-depth technical understanding of the key concepts required to design and build dependable software systems.

The Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters in Advanced Systems Dependability is a two-year taught programme run jointly by computer science departments at the University of St Andrews, Maynooth University and Université de Lorraine Nancy in France.


  • Students study at two of the three following internationally recognised universities in computer science: University of St Andrews, Maynooth University and Université de Lorraine Nancy in France.
  • Students undertake a significant project, including a wide-ranging investigation, leading to their dissertation which enables them to consolidate and extend their specialist knowledge and critical thinking.
  • Second-year students may be eligible to take on a six month industrial or research placement (working on industrially-sponsored research in a company or university research laboratory).
  • Students gain the logical reasoning and problem-solving skills needed for a career in the software industry.
  • While at St Andrews, students have 24-hour access to excellent modern laboratories, provisioned with modern dual-screen PC workstations and group working facilities.

Teaching format

Students study at two of the three partner universities. Semesters 1 and 3 normally consist of foundational topics upon which students can build their specialisations, whereas Semesters 2 and 4 normally consist of specialised modules and project work. In both universities, students complete a dissertation research project. In semester 4, students may be eligible for an industrial or research placement.

At St Andrews, teaching methods include lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical classes. Most modules are assessed through practical coursework exercises and examinations. Class sizes typically range from 10 to 50 students.

All students will be required to complete a Post Entry Language Assessment (PELA) on arrival at the University of St Andrews. Based on their performance in this assessment, students will be advised to attend targeted support sessions during the year to improve language and academic skills. This assessment is required, but will not count towards the final degree classification.

You will also be assigned an advisor who meets with you at the start of the year to discuss module choices and is available to assist with any academic difficulties during the year. A designated member of staff provides close supervision for the MSc project and dissertation.


The following are Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters modules offered by the University of St Andrews.

The modules in the St Andrews programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.


Students take the following compulsory module:

  • Object-Oriented Modelling, Design and Programming: introduces and reinforces object-oriented modelling, design and implementation to provide a common basis of skills allowing students to complete programming assignments within other MSc modules.

and then follow one of the following themes:

  • Software Engineering: on completion of this theme, students will have gained skills and experience in the application of general software engineering principles and practice, software architecture, and critical systems engineering. Students will be prepared to apply their learning in the research and development of highly dependable software systems.
  • Artificial Intelligence: on completion of this theme, students will have gained skills and experience in the application of this key, state-of-the-art topic in the field of dependable software. Students will be prepared to apply their learning into artificial intelligence in the research and development of software systems that use AI to achieve high levels of dependability in poorly specified or highly changeable environments.
  • Data Science: on completion of this theme, students will have gained skills and experience in data-intensive systems, data mining, and knowledge discovery as applied to dependable software systems. Students will be prepared to apply their learning in the research and development of highly dependable, data-intensive software systems.


Students choose either two or three optional modules from the following list (up to two of these may be taken from the second list).

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students.

Optional modules

  • Artificial Intelligence Practice
  • Artificial Intelligence Principles
  • Critical Systems Engineering
  • Data Ethics and Privacy
  • Data-Intensive Systems
  • Information Visualisation
  • Interactive Software and Hardware
  • Knowledge Discovery and Datamining
  • Language and Computation
  • Machine Learning
  • Practice of Computer Communication Systems
  • Principles of Computer Communication Systems
  • Software Architecture
  • Software Engineering Practice
  • Software Engineering Principles

Additional optional modules

  • Constraint Programming
  • Information Visualisation
  • Logic and Software Verification


Students who do not enrol in an industrial or research project will be required to do a dissertation instead. Project work is a major aspect of this Masters programme, accounting for 33% of the total degree marks. Students complete a project at each of the two universities and submit a dissertation for examination at the end of each project.

At St Andrews, the dissertation typically comprises:

  • a review of related work,
  • the extension of existing or the development of new ideas,
  • software implementation and testing,
  • analysis and evaluation.

Students are required to give a presentation of their work in addition to the written dissertation.


Students in their second year may be eligible to do an industrial or research placement which accounts for 60 credits accounting for 50% of the total degree marks.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.


Graduates of the Erasmus Mundus MSc will be equally suited to a career in research, where they will develop new techniques for developing more dependable software, or a career in an industry where they will develop dependable industrial-strength software.

Previous graduates have found employment at the following companies:

  • SAP, Ireland
  • JP Morgan, UK
  • Cigna, USA
  • Google, Ireland
  • Accenture, UK
  • Active Mind Technology, Ireland
  • IBM, Ireland
  • German Aerospace Centre (DLR)

Past students have also gone on to undertake a PhD at:

  • TU DELFT, Netherlands
  • TU München, Germany
  • University of Oxford, UK

Entry requirements

  • A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in Computer Science or a related discipline. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
  • English language proficiency.
  • Modules are taught in English; however, students who intend to study in France should have a minimum knowledge of French to help them in their day-to-day living.

The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Application requirements

  • CV (using the European format).
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates.
  • two signed academic references (at least one from the institution you have graduated or will graduate from).
  • copy of your birth certificate or valid passport.
  • proof of residence.
  • personal statement.
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).


The Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters programme hosts a number of scholarships. Typically, students must apply before 31 March to be eligible.

Program taught in:

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Last updated April 8, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 9, 2019
2 years
- Tuition fees for this course are set by the Erasmus Mundus programme
Aug 12, 2019
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 9, 2019
End Date
Sep 30, 2021
Application deadline
Aug 12, 2019

Sep 9, 2019

Application deadline
Aug 12, 2019
End Date
Sep 30, 2021