MSc in Computer Science
The MSc in Computer Science is now open for applications for entry in 2018-19.
The MSc in Computer Science at Oxford has been designed to teach a range of advanced topics and a carefully selected core of foundational subjects to graduates of computer science and other numerate disciplines.
As an advanced Master's degree, we accept entrants to the course whose background will have a strong mathematical element, and who have also undertaken programming tasks, and wish to find out more about the ideas and principles. Experienced programmers in industry and commerce will be motivated by the need for formal methods to overcome the problems of unreliable and inadequate software, or may wish to extend their understanding by studying new programming and development paradigms. Recent graduates in Computer Science will want to learn more about specialised topics that are taught on the course, or develop an improved understanding of the underlying mathematics of computing. Graduates in Mathematics, Science and Engineering will want to apply their training in the context of a rigorous application of the fundamental techniques of Computer Science.
During the 2019/20 academic year, four DeepMind Computer Science Scholarships will be awarded to students wishing to pursue a Master’s degree in Oxford’s Department of Computer Science. They are open to individuals who are ordinarily resident in the UK and who belong to one or more of the following groups: identifying as female, BME, or from households with traditionally low progression to higher education. The scholarship programme will play a key role in enabling Oxford to widen participation in the subject at graduate level. There is no separate application process for this scholarship: to be considered, please submit your application for graduate study by the January deadline for the course. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically considered for these scholarships. Selection is expected to take place by the end of April 2019. Please see the Standard scholarship selection terms for more information about the application and selection process.
About the course
The MSc in Computer Science at Oxford has been designed to teach a range of advanced topics and a carefully-selected core of foundational subjects to graduates of computer science and other numerate disciplines.
As in other branches of applied mathematics and engineering, improvements in the practice of programming require determined and meticulous application of methods of mathematical understanding, calculation and proof.
Recognising this, this full-time, twelve-month MSc has been designed to teach the mathematical principles of specification, design and efficient implementation of both software and hardware.
The MSc is designed to combine theory and practice. It teaches the advanced techniques and ideas that are being developed in application domains (such as graphics, visualisation, and computer security) and the rich and diverse theories that underpin them. These include models of computation and data, and mathematical analysis of programs and algorithms.
The course aims:
- to provide the foundation for a professional career in the computing-based industries, including telecommunications, process control, business-, mission-, and safety-critical fields;
- to enhance the skills of a professional who is already working in one of these industries;
- to provide a foundation for research into the theory and practice of programming and the design of computer-based systems;
- to present knowledge, experience, reasoning methods and design and implementation techniques that are robust and forward-looking.
The Department of Computer Science is committed to the development and application of effective theory based on realistic practice, and some of the modules were developed through consultation and collaboration with industry. The department believes that only by the interplay of theory and practice can you be trained properly in such a rapidly advancing subject. Practice alerts us to real contemporary problems - theory is a shield against professional obsolescence.
You and other entrants to the course will come from a variety of backgrounds. If you are an experienced programmer in industry and commerce, you are motivated by the need for formal methods to overcome the problems of unreliable and inadequate software, or wish to extend your understanding by studying new programming and development paradigms. You may be a recent graduate in computer science and will supplement your knowledge with the kind of sound mathematical basis which is not always found in undergraduate courses. If you are a graduate in mathematics, science or engineering, you will apply your training in the context of a rigorous application of the fundamental techniques of computer science.
You will develop knowledge and understanding of a formal disciplined approach to computer science, a range of relevant concepts, tools and techniques, the principles underpinning these techniques and the ability to apply them in novel situations. On subsequent employment, you will be able to select techniques most appropriate to your working environment, adapt and improve them as necessary, establish appropriate design standards for both hardware and software, train colleagues and subordinates in the observance of sound practices, and keep abreast of research and development.
The academic year is split into three terms of eight weeks but work on the MSc course continues throughout the year and is not restricted just to term time.
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