Computing MSc

Apply Online

Students must apply via one of the following online application forms:-

To apply for the full time course click apply now

Course starts: 14 September 2020Apply now

If you are applying for the part time route, click apply now.

Course starts: 14 September 2020Apply now

Apply now

Make the transition to a career in computer science, where salaries in the sector are over a third higher than the national average. Develop the necessary skills to undertake a Masters-level project and gain expert understanding of the processes and knowledge that are needed to design, implement and support an IT system.

Register your interest


Do you want to work in the IT sector, but don’t have the formal qualifications to make the transition? This conversion course is designed for those whose first degree is not related to computing, but who now want to move into the industry. It is designed to fit the current needs of employers with topics that include software development, networks, database systems and web development. You will explore the fundamentals of computer science as well as the basic architecture of a modern-day computer system.

Learning alongside other graduates in non-computing disciplines, together you will rapidly extend your knowledge and experience of fundamental computing concepts which are applicable to your future career.

By the end of the course, you will have an expert understanding of the processes and knowledge that are needed to design, implement and support an IT system. You will also be able to make a significant contribution to IT research activities as well as to team-based IT projects.

Why us?

  • This conversion course allows you to change the direction of your career, enabling you to gain a qualification in a new area
  • Partially meets the academic requirements for registration as a Chartered IT Professional with the British Computer Society
  • Flexible study options: both full-time and part-time study modes are available, allowing you to balance your studies with your life and work commitments
  • There is a strong employability focus with strong links with companies in the region, and our modules are created in collaboration with employers so you graduate with the key skills and knowledge to make an immediate impact in your career

Course structure

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, group work, research, discussion groups, seminars, tutorials and practical laboratory sessions. Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working.

Assessment methods include individual written reports and research papers, practical assignments and the Masters project.

Modules on this course include:

  • Foundations of Computer Science (30 credits)

Study the formal methods of logic, deduction and reasoning which provide the foundations on which the field of computer science was built. Starting with the birth of counting systems in the pre-Christian era and transitioning through to the present day, explore several key themes including number theory, algorithms, Boolean algebra, logic, state machines, sets, functions, graphs and trees. Explore current research themes, including an understanding of social, ethical and legal issues in computing and develop your research skills for critical understanding and writing.

  • Software Development (30 credits)

Gain significant skills in building complex object oriented software artefacts while using a range of software engineering methodologies. Define common programming paradigms and the role that software plays in a computer system. Use an industry standard language and development environment (C#, python). Understand how to design, build and develop computer software. Examine a range of appropriate conceptual design tools in order to effectively specify, visualise and document your software.

  • Computer Architectures and Networks (30 credits)

Examine the basic architectures of a modern day computer system. Study the various functions and operations of all the key principle hardware and software elements as well as looking at the many different types of computer systems available. Get inside real computers and see how the various components and subsystems operate. Examine the fundamentals and concepts behind computer communications including networking hardware (routers, switches, servers, firewall devices, network physical and logical addressing, network topologies, network structured design, configuration and troubleshooting, protocols, local and wide area network technologies. Learn the fundamentals of securing networks.

  • Database and Web Information Systems Development (30 credits)

Learn basic web design principals and emerging trends in web development. Use a variety of web mark-up languages to create pages containing formatted text, hyperlinks, images, lists and tables. Study web page design and the use of CSS to control type and layout of pages. Explore the use of multimedia to add animation, video and sound. Design and develop both traditional and web-based information systems using relational and advanced database technology. Cover fundamental topics of databases including data models, database selection, database design, security, integrity, transaction management, database performance, client-server and web-based database architectures, and advanced database topics such as database security, Big Data systems, data warehousing, NoSQL systems.

  • Computing Masters Project (60 credits)

Develop a practical deliverable and investigate an area of academic research through the support of a sponsor for example: an IT strategy; an investigative study; a technically challenging artefact (e.g. a feasibility study, design, implementation, re-engineered solution); or undertake a theoretical review based on a novel research question (provided by a research active member of staff). Underpin the project with a literature review that is a conceptual framework of your study - a systematic synthesis of concepts, assumptions, expectations, beliefs, and theories that supports and informs your research. 


Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

  • Our outstanding IT facilities include the David Goldman Informatics Centre, which has hundreds of computers so it’s easy to find a free workstation with the software you need.

    We are an accredited Cisco Academy and have two laboratories packed with Cisco networking equipment including routers, switches, terminals and specialist equipment for simulating frame relay and ISDN links.

    We host high-performance computing platforms, including a Big Data machine and a High Performance Computing Cluster system, for concurrent processing of complex computational tasks. We also have the equipment and licences for our own public mobile cellular network.






    IT facilities for computing, networks and big data
  • Some of the most important sources for computing students include:

    • British Standards Online, which offers more than 35,000 documents covering specifications for products, dimensions, performance and codes of practice
    • Association of Computing Machinery digital library, which includes full-text articles from journals as well as conference proceedings
    • Science Direct, which offers more than 18,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier
    • Archives of publications from Emerald, including over 35,000 full-text articles dating back to 1994 on a range of subjects including technology
    • Business Source Elite from EBSCO Publishing, which covers hundreds of journals and includes articles on topics such as e-commerce and information management
    Library Services for computing
  • Map and directions


Sunderland’s outstanding IT facilities include the David Goldman Informatics Centre, which has hundreds of computers so it’s easy to find a free workstation with the software you need.

We are also an accredited Cisco Academy and have two laboratories packed with Cisco networking equipment.








Entry requirements

This course is for applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree in a discipline related to computing. We usually require at least a 2:2 honours degree in any discipline. We will also consider applicants with other backgrounds and experience. We expect you to have basic IT skills.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements

Fees and finance

The full-time annual tuition fee is:

  • £6,500 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £13,000 if you are from outside the UK / EU

Part-time fees are £361 per 10 credits.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

Use our scholarships calculator to see what you may be entitled to.

Scholarships calculator

You are viewing entry requirements for visitors from United States. Not from United States? Change your country preferences.

This information was correct at the time of publication.

Student at the graduation ceremony


This course features relevant work experience that will enhance your skills, build up a valuable network of contacts and boost your employability.

Career options

On completing this course you will be equipped as a skilled professional with essential up-to-date knowledge in computer networking and mobile communication technologies. You will also have advanced knowledge of systems development, including web-based and database systems development.

Our graduates have gone on to work in roles such as PHP Web Developer, Solutions Developer and JavaScript Developer, while others have continued their studies and undertaken PhDs and other research degrees.

Potential employment includes roles in:

  • Internet and systems development
  • Database administration and development
  • User systems analysis and support
  • Technical computing knowledge management
  • Technical support
  • Consultancy
  • Research and education

As part of the course, you will undertake a project solving a real world problem. These projects are often sponsored by external clients and we encourage and support you to find your own client and sponsor.

Meet the students

  • I never expected the warm welcome I received when I arrived at the University of Sunderland.
    Network Systems graduate, Muhammad Adil

    Muhammad Adil

  • Studying at the University of Sunderland has improved my career prospects.
    Sarah Heanan Square

    Sarah Heanan

Meet the team

Sign up to receive more information

Sign up to receive emails about your subject area.

Keep me up to date relating to my interest in the University of Sunderland via:

You may unsubscribe at any time.

Oops! You've not opted in to receiving other useful information about the University of Sunderland.

Using Your Personal Information
The University of Sunderland is collecting this data in order for you to receive information on your chosen subject(s). Your information will be stored securely in our Customer Relationship Management system which is provided by a 3rd party and used only for the administration and provision of this information. Should you choose to opt in to further communications we will also use your information to facilitate other useful marketing information based on your preferences. Further information on how your data is stored and used can be found in our Privacy notice - marketing.