Computing Science

MSci Computing Science

The MSci Computing Science degree at Robert Gordon University has been designed to create modern Software Developers who can use their knowledge and skills to create solutions to real-world problems. This 5-year course results in a Master’s level qualification with a key feature being the year-long industrial, research or study abroad placement.

You will learn to develop software across a number of modern platforms including desktop, mobile, web and embedded systems, and gain skills in a variety of modern programming languages. You will be able to adapt to the changes and challenges that working with cutting-edge technology brings, and design and test secure software systems, all in our custom-built teaching labs.

The course will provide you with the creative and adaptable skillset, and confidence that the computing industry needs.

Top modern university in Scotland for Computer Science (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022)

This course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • On Campus

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date


Course Length

5 years

Year 1

You will take part in a multidisciplinary Foundation Year to understand the breath of subjects offered by the School, to form a community of practice beyond your course, and to be equipped with the right technical knowledge for the more advanced years of your course. In your first year, you will get to grips with the fundamentals of programming devices, as well as the basics of problem solving and modelling. On this course, you get to kickstart your practical, technical, and professional development with advanced software development practices. You can shape your Foundation Year with the subjects you want to study - so you will also get a choice between creative digital graphics techniques, or an introduction to networking.

Year 2

You will study modules that reflect a variety of target devices in modern computing, including advanced software development techniques, dynamic web development, database systems, embedded systems and computer networks. You will learn how to address the professional, legal, social and ethical aspects of computer science.

Year 3

You will study more advanced programming concepts including modern programming paradigms and software engineering, and develop new skills in areas such as web security, operating systems and mobile application development.

Year 4

You will undertake the unique MSci placement year. This stage allows you to choose to take one of three routes depending on your future career aspirations;

  • An industrial placement: working for a company in the field of computing, applying your learning to a real company and developing new industry based skills.
  • Study abroad: where you will advance your skills at one of our specialist international partner institutions.
  • A research placement: where you will join one of the university research teams working on a real piece of cutting-edge research.

Year 5

The MSci year develops advanced skills in Artificial Intelligence and programming techniques, gain an insight into the latest trends in computer science research, develop skills in security and understand human computer interaction. Finally, you will apply your knowledge and skills to a large, self-directed master’s project.


We have on campus and virtual events to help you find out more about study, student experience and future career paths.



Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.

Detailed module information

Learning Methods

You will be taught using a combination of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, tutorials and practical sessions.

Lectures with 30-100 students last no more than an hour and allow theoretical aspects to be explained. One-hour tutorials will discuss more complex materials with smaller groups of 5-20 students.

Practical sessions form the majority of our teaching. These sessions of around 30-100 students, allow you to gain hands-on experience of the techniques demonstrated. These sessions last 2-3 hours and in addition to the academic leading will have a number of additional demonstrators to help and offer advice throughout.

Activity Summary

Year 4

  • Lectures - 40 students per group, 4 hours per week
  • Seminars - 40 students per group, 5 hours per term
  • Tutorial - 8 - 12 hours per week
  • Project Supervision - 1 - 5 students per group, 1 hour per week
  • Demonstration - 1 per term
  • Practical class or workshop - 40 students per group, 8 - 12 hours per week

How long is an MSci Computing Science course?

A Computing Science degree can be completed over 5 years.

Independent Study

Students are expected to make use of time outside the course contact hours to further explain their knowledge of the subject area. This will include material provided as additional reading by the modules and independent research and development for project based assessments.

Staff Delivering on This Course

The majority of the staff on this course are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

Staff on this course feature regularly in the Universities annual STAR awards. In the last 4 years this has included Lecturer of the Year (twice), continued excellence (twice), personal tutor of the year and a number of certificates of recognition.

Many of the staff on the course are research active and are involved in a number of industry facing applied research projects in the areas of AI, data science, IOT and cyber security.


Typically students are assessed each year:

Year 1

  • 2 set exercises
  • 4 practical skills assessment

Year 2

  • 2 written exams, typically for 2 hours
  • 1 report
  • 1 set exercise
  • 3 project outputs
  • 2 practical skills assessments

Year 3

  • 4 written exams, typically for 2 hours
  • 4 project outputs
  • 2 practical skills assessment

Year 4

  • 4 written exams, typically for 2 hours
  • 1 dissertation
  • 5 project outputs


We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.


Academic Support

The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

Online Learning & Support

All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on campus or by online learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

Study Skills Support

The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.



The MSci industrial placement module represents work-based learning at an appropriate placement partner company. Students on this module will be able to undertake a twelve-month period of paid work placement in a professional business/industrial environment. The period of supervised work placement, which precedes the final year of the MSci course will provide an important initial experience of professional practice and enhance the undertaking of further study by providing a realistic contextual awareness.

Students on the MSci either take an industrial placement, a research placement or study abroad period.

Study Abroad

The MSci study abroad module represents learning gained whilst with an equivalent exchange with partner institution.

Students who take this route will undertake the equivalent on 2 terms of study at one of the School’s partner institutions offering modules at the equivalent of SCQF level 10. Currently this includes universities in Finland, Belgium, Malta and The Netherlands. The period of international study, which precedes the final year of the MSci course, will not only allow the students to experience learning in another country but will also provide the opportunity to develop knowledge and learn technical skills not currently taught at RGU.

Job Prospects

The computing industry has always been a rapidly changing environment. In recent years, the rate of change within the industry has increased with the rise of artificial intelligence, data analytics, and processing technologies. These now established growth areas have introduced new development practices and approaches that require graduates to be much more resilient and adaptable to disruptive changes in the industry, which will be emphasised in the new modules taught on the course. The emerging data reliant fields of EdTech, FinTech, and HealthTech are primarily driving these changes.

Is Computing Science a good career choice?

The importance of Computing Science and coding skills in particular is even more evident when looking at the general digital industries sector. The major proportion of available jobs comes directly from computer programming and related fields. This growth has continued over the last 4 years with jobs in this area increasing by 18% since 2014.

The number of jobs in the UK Digital sector has risen 17% in the last 6 years, nearly twice the UK average growth rate of 9% (DCMS 2018). This growth is expected to continue into the future. The UK government is supporting this growth with a number of funding initiatives and strategic interventions including R&D funding, emergent technology support and supporting digital business and start-ups.


What are the entry requirements for a MSci Computing Science course?

Standard Entry Requirements

  • SQA Higher: ABBB and two further passes to include English and Maths at National 5 grade C or above if not held at Higher.
  • SQA Advanced Higher Year 2 Entry: BB to include either Computer Science or Maths. English at National 5 grade C or above if not held at Higher.
  • GCE A Level Year 1 entry: BBC to include either Computer Science or Maths plus an additional numerate subject. English at GCSE grade 5/C is required if not held at A Level.
  • GCE A Level Year 2 entry: ABB to include Computer Science and Math. English at GCSE grade 5/C is required if not held at A Level.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Higher: H2H2H2H3 and two further passes to include English and Maths at grade O3 or above if not held at Higher.
  • IB Diploma Year 1 entry: 29 to include a pass in Standard Level English and Maths at grade 4 or above if not held at Higher Level.
  • IB Diploma Year 2 entry: 32 to include Math and another numerate subject at higher level pass. Standard Level English at grade 4 or above if not held at Higher Level.

Minimum Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirements for widening access applicants are:

  • SQA Higher: BBB/BBCC and two further passes to include English and Maths at National 5 C if not held at Higher.

Alternative Qualifications

We welcome applications from those with equivalent qualifications to those stated, including SVQs/NVQs, access programmes and overseas qualifications. Applications from students with non-standard qualifications or work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Advanced Entry

Entry to year 2 of this programme is not available until 2020. Applicants who are interested in applying for advanced entry will be considered on an individual basis.

International Students 

International students who do not meet our direct entry requirements for this course can gain additional entry points through our International College at Robert Gordon University.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or an equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.


Academic Year 2022-2023

Scottish Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 5 years Year 1 £1,820
Year 2 £1,820
Year 3 £1,820
Year 4 £1,820
Year 5 £1,820

Rest of UK Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 5 years Year 1 £6,750
Year 2 £6,750
Year 3 £6,750
Year 4 £6,750
Year 5 £6,750

EU Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 5 years Year 1 £6,750
Year 2 £6,750
Year 3 £6,750
Year 4 £6,750
Year 5 £6,750

International Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 5 years Year 1 £17,150
Year 2 £17,150
Year 3 £17,150
Year 4 £17,150
Year 5 £17,150

Academic Year 2021-2022

Scottish Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 4 years Year 1 £1,820
Year 2 £1,820
Year 3 £1,820
Year 4 £1,820

Rest of UK Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 4 years Year 1 £6,750
Year 2 £6,750
Year 3 £6,750
Year 4 £6,750

EU Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 4 years Year 1 £6,750
Year 2 £6,750
Year 3 £6,750
Year 4 £6,750

International Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 4 years Year 1 £16,650
Year 2 £16,650
Year 3 £16,650
Year 4 £16,650

Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

Student Funding

If you are a Scottish resident you are not liable to pay fees and should apply to SAAS for funding.

Students from other parts of the UK should visit the appropriate website:

Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:

Widening Access Accommodation and Welcome Pack Offer

If you are applying to RGU for September 2022 and meet widening access criteria, you may qualify for free accommodation in your first year of study, along with our welcome pack to support your transition to university. Find out if you are eligible:


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:


Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Service and we'll do our best to help.

Get in touch

Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

University Wide Facilities

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