MSc in Computer Science Degree (with English Language)


Program Description

Aimed at international students who use English as an additional language, this innovative combined course provides a tailored Masters programme for Computer Science students who wish to develop their English language proficiency within academic contexts.

All MSc degrees in the School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews can be studied with the English language. Students study over three taught semesters, and in addition to all the modules from their chosen Computer Science degree, they study modules in English for Academic Purposes and English for Computer Science 1 and 2.

One visa covers the full length of the programme.

Course options

Students with a degree in Computer Science or a related discipline, such as Information Systems or Engineering, can choose to study:

  • Advanced Computer Science
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Communication Systems
  • Software Engineering

Students who do not necessarily have a Computer Science background but are able to demonstrate proficiency in programming may choose to study:

  • Human-Computer Interaction

Students who do not necessarily have any prior knowledge of Computer Science, IT, programming, or management can choose:

  • Computing and Information Technology
  • Information Technology
  • Information Technology with Management


  • These programmes offer an innovative way to start your degree while also continuing to develop your knowledge of English.
  • You will study both Computer Science and English language modules – for credit – right from the start.
  • One visa covers the full length of the programme.
  • Students are guaranteed University accommodation for the length of the programme.
  • The University’s School of Computer Science is ranked first in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2019.

Teaching format

The taught portion of the MSc programme includes eleven modules: three related to English Language and eight specific to Computer Science. Class sizes typically range from 10 to 50 students.

Teaching methods include:

  • lectures,
  • seminars,
  • tutorials,
  • practical classes.

Most modules are assessed through practical coursework exercises and examinations.

All students are assigned an adviser who meets with them at the start of the year to discuss module choices and who 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 modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.

Semester 1

  • English for Academic Purposes: develops the academic competence required for writing, delivering presentations, participating in seminars, researching for and evaluating source material.
  • English for Computer Science 1: applies strategies learnt in English for Academic Purposes to specific computer science-based texts, and written and spoken tasks.
  • Object-Oriented Modelling, Design and Programming: introduces and revises object-oriented modelling, design and implementation up to the level required to complete programming assignments within other MSc modules.

Students on the Computing and Information Technology, Human-Computer Interaction, Information Technology, or Information Technology with Management programmes can choose to take the following module instead of 'Object-Oriented Modelling, Design and Programming'.

  • Programming Principles and Practice: introduces computational thinking and problem-solving skills to students who have no or little previous programming experience.

Semester 2 and 3

In Semesters 2 and 3, students will continue onto the appropriate Master’s degree. This will include:

  • English for Computer Science 2: further enhances the academic literacy of students on MSc programmes in the School of Computer Science.
  • A number of optional Computer Science modules, as specified by your specific programme.


During the third semester, students will work with staff to define and agree on a topic for the extended project. This extended project is written over the second summer of the degree and culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation. Dissertation projects may be group-based or completed individually, but students are assessed individually in either case.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma instead, finishing the course at the end of the second semester of study.

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

Entry requirements

  • A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
  • English language proficiency. IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component score (or equivalent).

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 or personal statement.
  • two original signed academic references.
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates.
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
Last updated October 2019

About the School

Founded in the fifteenth century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. St Andrews is a unique place to study and live. Nestled on the east coas ... Read More

Founded in the fifteenth century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. St Andrews is a unique place to study and live. Nestled on the east coast of Scotland, students may find themselves crossing golf-courses on their way to class, or jogging along the beach after dinner. Not only does the University have a world-class reputation, but it also offers a diverse range of social activities, including over 140 student societies and 50 sports clubs. Historic buildings are juxtaposed against the modern facilities, and the many student traditions truly make studying at St Andrews an unforgettable experience. Read less
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