MEng Computer Science including Professional Experience

General

Program Description

From driving cancer research forward to accurately predicting the weather, Computer Scientists are powering progress. In fact, everything from social care to cybersecurity or even space travel relies on the talents of Computer Science graduates. We would say the sky is the limit, but we’re already well beyond that!

A degree in Computer Science teaches you to approach technical problems creatively. It also gives you the information and understanding to find ground-breaking solutions to the world’s emerging problems. The course will also equip you with the practical skills to approach the specification, design, construction and use of computer systems.

In an ever-changing technological climate, the Computer Science degree programme is constantly evolving to anticipate emerging digital breakthroughs. You will cover topics like machine learning, augmented reality and data analytics, but also receive a grounding in skills like hardware architecture, software engineering and simulation & modelling too.

Employer experience is paramount in this course, from day one you will learn from prospective employers about the ‘real world’ challenges. Industry placements, company-sponsored hackathons and project-based learning form a core part of the curriculum and vastly improve our graduate employability rates.

Highlights

Ranked in the top 175 in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020)

Industry Links

The School has links with over 500 IT companies both here and abroad, and benefits from the fact that there are more software companies located in Northern Ireland than any other part of the UK, outside of London. This benefits our students on many levels through providing industrial input into our degree content, summer and year-long placements and competitions organised by the companies.

Career Development

Our students are constantly given the opportunity to put theory into practice. Engagement with future employers is encouraged, from day one. For example, The School has links with over 500 IT companies both here and abroad, This benefits our students on many levels through providing industrial input into our degree content, summer and year-long placements and competitions organised by future employers.

Student Experience

Due to the high demand for Computer Science graduates, some 15–20 scholarships are available, including some sponsored by Civica, Citi and Liberty IT. All provide for a cash stipend each academic year, a guaranteed industrial placement, an opportunity for additional part-time work during the academic year, plus the opportunity of a permanent position on graduation.

Woman sitting at a desk in front of coding computer screen

Course Structure

These degrees aim to teach the fundamental principles of Computer Science, together with the necessary skills, tools and techniques to enable our graduates to embark on careers as professional software engineers or to become suitably qualified to undertake research in Computer Science. As with all of our courses, industrial engagement forms an integral part, balancing academic theory with practical learning.

Single Honours BEng/BSc students spend a year on a paid, full-time placement - the School has links with over 500 local, national and international employers, eg BT, Liberty IT, Asidua, Kainos (Belfast), IBM (England), Microsoft, Sun Microsystems (Dublin), Fujitsu (Japan) and Siemens (Germany), and students are assisted in obtaining placements.

The programme contains the following themes which may change due to the nature of the IT Industry and keeping up with industrial trends.

Year 1

  • Programming
  • Computer Architecture, Networks and Databases
  • Introductory Software Engineering
  • Rigorous Problem-solving

Year 2

  • Advanced Programming (including Java, C++ and Android)
  • Architecture and Networks
  • Data Structures, Algorithms and Programming Languages
  • Information Modelling
  • Computation Theory

Students on a sandwich programme will spend a year on a paid full-time placement. The School has links with over 500 local, national and international employers, eg BT, Liberty IT, Civica, Kainos (Belfast), IBM (England), Microsoft, Oracle (Dublin), Fujitsu (Japan) and Siemens (Germany), and students are assisted in obtaining placements.

Year 3

  • Placement Year

Year 4

  • Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Data Analytics
  • Advanced Computer Architecture
  • Concurrent Programming
  • Information System Security
  • Secure Software Design
  • Video Analytics and Machine Learning
  • Malware Analysis
  • Formal Methods
  • Computer Science Project

These advanced modules permit each student to tailor their skills towards one or more areas of computer science specialism.

Year 5

This four or five year extended degree has been established to provide a supply of particularly well-qualified graduates who will become industry leaders. It contains a blend of Computer Science and Software Engineering knowledge and skills, as well as skills in conducting state-of-the-art research. Students have the option of a year’s professional experience in the industry.

The first two years and much of Year 3 are common with the BSc/BEng degree. Transfer to the MEng is possible for selected students at the end of Stage 2, subject to performance.

Stage 4 themes include:

  • Algorithms: Analysis and Applications
  • High-Performance Computing: Principles of Parallel Programming
  • Advanced Machine Learning
  • Advanced Software Engineering
  • Computer Science Research and Development Project

Contact Teaching Hours

Large Group Teaching 9 (hours maximum)
9 hours of lectures
Personal Study 24 (hours maximum)
22-24 hours where we expect students to spend time on completing assignments, working on projects (individual or group), preparing for practical classes, alongside studying and reviewing taught material.
Small-Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial 6 (hours maximum)
6 hours of practical classes, workshops or tutorials each week

Career Prospects

Studying for a Computer Science degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by employers (local, national and international).

Employment after the Course

Studying for a Mathematics and Computer Science degree at Queen’s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including mathematics.

Although many of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in teaching, banking and finance, significant numbers develop careers in a wide range of other sectors. The following is a list of the major career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years:

  • Management Consultancy
  • Export Marketing (NI Programme)
  • Fast Stream Civil Service
  • Varied graduate programmes (Times Top 100 Graduate Recruiters/AGR, Association of Graduate Recruiters UK)

Employment Links

The School has links with over 500 IT companies, which benefits our students on many levels through providing industrial input into our degree content, summer and year-long placements and competitions organised by the companies.

Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's, you can have the opportunity to gain a wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world-leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Learning and Teaching

The School has a world-class reputation for research and provides excellent facilities, including access to major new research centres in Secure Information Technologies, Electronics, Communications and Information Technology and Sonic Arts. A number of modules on the course are closely linked to the research expertise of these centres and evolve and change rapidly to reflect some of the current, emerging and exciting developments in the field.

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high-quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.

The MEng in Computer Science provides a range of learning experiences which enable students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world-class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

  • E-Learning technologies
    The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is called CANVAS and may be associated with communication relating to lectures and assignments. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example, interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project-based work etc.
  • L Liberty IT and Asidua ScholarshipsThe Liberty IT and AsiduaScholarships at Queen's University (worth approximately £25,000) each support one student per year on the degree in Computer Science. These scholarships are tailored to high flying students capable of playing a leading role in the computing industry in the future. For further information visit the School website (www.qub.ac.uk/eeecs)
  • Lectures
    Introduce information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
  • Paid Placement Year
    A student taking the MEng in Computer Science (including Professional Experience) is required to spend a year gaining professional experience in the industry in a paid full-time post. Students are helped to obtain suitable places and the School has excellent links with over 500 local, national and international employers such as Microsoft, BT, Autonomy, Liberty IT, Asidua, Kainos, IBM, Fujitsu and Siemens.
  • Peer Mentoring
    Queen’s runs a peer mentoring scheme for Computing students – a group of students from all year groups (except the first year) are trained to provide support for the 1st year students, in terms of offering advice and guidance, organising social events etc. The School has an active body of EEECS Student Mental Health Ambassadors. The School also has a Computing Society (QCS – Queen’s Computing Society) who organise a range of activities, including social events and more formal activities such as industry lectures, for all Computing students. Charity games evenings are open to all computing students in the School.
  • Personal Tutor
    Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development
  • Practicals
    Where you will have significant opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. Comprehensive demonstrator support is provided.
  • Projects and teamwork
    A number of modules throughout the degree will use supervised projects as a means of enabling you to put your technical understanding into practice. The extensive use of team-based projects will provide you with the opportunity to develop skills widely used by employers. In the final year, you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology. You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you.
  • Self-directed study
    This is an important part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
  • Work placements
    Students taking the MEng in Computer Science undertake a work-placement after Stage 2. This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity.

Assessment

Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:

  • The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.

Feedback

As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
  • Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
  • Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.

Entrance requirements

A level requirements

  • AAB including Computing, Mathematics or Software Systems Development + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
    or
  • AAA including Chemistry, Digital Technology, GCE A-level ICT (not Single Award Applied ICT), Physics, Technology and Design or Double Award Applied ICT + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4.

Irish leaving certificate requirements

  • H2H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Mathematics
    or
  • H2H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Chemistry or Physics + Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • 34 points overall including 6,6,5 at Higher Level to include Higher Level Mathematics.
    or
  • 36 points overall including 6,6,6 at Higher Level to include Higher Level Chemistry or Physics.

If not offered at Higher Level/GCSE then Standard Level grade 4 in English would be accepted.

BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma

Relevant computing, engineering or scientific QCF Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits), with 160 credits at Distinction grade and 20 credits at Merit grade+ GCSE Mathematics grade C/4.

A relevant computing, engineering or scientific RQF Level 3 BTEC National Extended Diploma (1080 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)), with at least 900 GLH at Distinction grade (minimum 240 GLH to be externally assessed) and 180 GLH at Merit grade + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4

Graduate

A minimum of a 2:1 Honours Degree provided that subject-specific requirements are met

All applicants

Computer Science, Computing Information Technology and Software Engineering share a common core of modules in the first year, so students may, therefore, transfer between these degrees at the end of the first year, subject to meeting the normal progression requirements.

Further information

Applicants for the MEng degree will automatically be considered for admission to the BSc degree if they are not eligible for entry to the MEng degree both at initial offer making stage and when results are received.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for the English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes

INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) £4,395
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250
Other (non-UK) EU £4,395
International £20,800

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2020-21. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.

If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.  

Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.  

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Computer Science Including Professional Experience costs

Students may wish to become a student member of BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT - at an annual cost of £20, or £30 for four years (subject to change).

Students undertake a placement in year 3 and are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students may receive payment from their placement provider during their placement year.

How do I fund my study?

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.

Scholarships

Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students.

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Founded in 1845 as Queen's College Belfast, we became an independent university in 1908. Today, we are ranked in the top 173 universities in the world (QS World Rankings 2020), and a member of the Rus ... Read More

Founded in 1845 as Queen's College Belfast, we became an independent university in 1908. Today, we are ranked in the top 173 universities in the world (QS World Rankings 2020), and a member of the Russell Group of UK research-intensive universities, combining excellence in research and education with a student-centred ethos. Our inspiring alumni comprises outstanding scholars, Nobel Prize winners - such as Seamus Heaney and David Trimble - and influential leaders who are making an impact in Northern Ireland and across the globe. Our students enjoy being educated by world-leading academics working at the forefront of their disciplines and a significant investment in the student experience has resulted in high levels of student satisfaction. Read less