MSc in Scientific Computation


Program Description

Study the design, analysis and application of numerical algorithms, which are capable of harnessing the power of high-performance computers to simulate complex, real-life events.

  • Year of entry: 2020
  • Duration: 1 year full-time
  • Mode of study: Full-time
  • Entry requirements: 2:2 (or international equivalent) in mathematics or a closely related subject with a substantial mathematics content; some experience with computer programming would be useful
  • IELTS: 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in each element)
  • UK/EU fees: £9945
  • International fees: £19980
  • Start date: September
  • Course location: University Park
  • School/Department: Science, Mathematical Sciences


Key facts

  • Gain the theoretical and the practical skills you’ll need for your future career
  • Choose from a broad range of optional modules focussing on computational science, mathematical medicine and biology, or industrial mathematics
  • Learn the real-world application of scientific computation

Benefit from an industry-engaged course, with regular talks and workshops from industry partners and academics from the University of Nottingham

Scientific computation is an increasingly important discipline which lies at the interface between mathematics, science and engineering. Whether you are interested in fundamental scientific research or technical career in industry, expertise in scientific computation is an invaluable asset.

The mathematical and computational skills required, not only lead to active research fields in their own right but also provide pathways to a diverse range of potential applications, covering the whole breadth of science and engineering. Examples include weather prediction, modelling flow and combustion in a jet engine, and developing optimal treatment strategies for cancer.

Research in the School of Mathematical Sciences

Our research activities are organised under seven main research groups.

This course is primarily linked to the Scientific Computation research group. We also have contributions from the Centre for Mathematical Medicine and Biology and the Industrial and Applied Mathematics group.

We are ranked in the top 10 nationally with mathematical sciences for research power and market share according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. Our breadth of research means we can offer modules that explore the different mathematical disciplines.

Course structure

What you will study

All students take the core modules. These provide both the theoretical foundations which underpin the design and mathematical analysis of numerical algorithms and the practical skills required to implement them as efficient and robust computer programs.

The optional modules have been selected to broaden your knowledge of scientific computation and of the mathematical models to which it can be applied.

Three streams are suggested in the list of optional modules:

  • Computational Science focuses on the formulation and analysis of fundamental algorithms from the perspectives of both mathematics and computer science.
  • Mathematical Medicine and Biology augments the core material with the development and analysis of models in biomedical mathematics.
  • Industrial Mathematics/Continuum Mechanics draws on the expertise of the Industrial and Applied Mathematics research group in modelling and analysing problems in fluid and solid mechanics.

Other skills that you should develop during the course include the ability to think logically and critically, problem-solving expertise, competence in programming and the use of appropriate software, and effective communication of results.

Research project

In the summer, you will undertake a 60 credit research project under the supervision of a member of academic staff. This is your chance to work independently and develop a project that can contribute to the research of the school.

Past project titles have included:

  • Phase-field modelling of tumour growth
  • Numerical computations of patterns of cortical activity in neural field models
  • Moving mesh finite elements
  • Office Space Optimisation

Most projects are supervised by academics in the School of Mathematical Sciences. However, some students have done projects working with supervisors in the School of Computer Science.


  • Computational Applied Mathematics
  • Introduction to Finite Element Methods
  • Scientific Computing and C++
  • Scientific Computation Dissertation


Students must also take 60 credits of optional modules. We suggest that these are restricted to one of the three streams below.

Stream one: Computational Science
  • Advanced Techniques for Differential Equations
  • Advanced Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Linear and Discrete Optimisation
  • Software Engineering Management
  • Simulation and Optimisation for Decision Support
  • Parallel Computing
Stream two: Mathematical Medicine and Biology
  • Applied Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Mathematical Medicine and Biology
  • Topics in Biomedical Mathematics
Stream three: Industrial Mathematics/Continuum Mechanics
  • Advanced Fluid Mechanics
  • Advanced Techniques for Differential Equations
  • Applied Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Elasticity
  • Fluid Dynamics

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.

Teaching methods and assessment

We aim to provide you with a broad set of analytical and computational skills, along with exposure to a range of application areas of both academic and industrial relevance, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the subject.

The course comprises 180 credits, split between 120 credits of core and optional taught modules and a 60-credit research project.

Taught modules are in the form of lectures and computer practical sessions, and assessed using a combination of coursework and examinations.

Seminars and industrial speakers

We run academic seminars where invited speakers, either from other universities or from the school, present their research. We also organise talks by speakers from industry and business to help inform you about possible career options. Recent talks have been given by people from PwC and credit card company CapitalOne, and also experts in the fields of energy supply and machine learning methods in algorithmic trading.

Careers and professional development


This course offers a solid grounding in modern scientific computation that will prepare you either for a career in industry or for research in an area where computational methods play a significant role. You will gain experience of the type of problems encountered by academic and industrial researchers, both via taught courses and project work.

Average starting salary and career progression

100% of postgraduates in the School of Mathematical Sciences secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £30,800, with the highest being £60,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Careers support and advice

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students whatever your course, mode of study or future career plans.

You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate. Expert staff will help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Fees and funding

Additional costs

As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies which you would need to factor into your budget.

Scholarships and bursaries

School scholarships for UoN UK alumni

For 2020-21 entry, 10% Alumni scholarships may be offered to former University of Nottingham graduates who have studied at the UK campus.

Government loans for masters courses

Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

The Faculty of Science undertakes world-class research spanning wide-ranging topics including quantum physics, plant genomics, human imaging, sustainable chemistry, neuroscience, mathematical modellin ... Read More

The Faculty of Science undertakes world-class research spanning wide-ranging topics including quantum physics, plant genomics, human imaging, sustainable chemistry, neuroscience, mathematical modelling and beyond. We work closely with industry on the training of the next generation of scientists and collaborate worldwide to ensure our research has a major societal impact. The Faculty of Science comprises seven schools and has strong links with the School of Life Sciences and School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. Schools from within the faculty also collaborate with those from the University's other faculties to form various research centres and research institutes. Read less
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