MEng Computer Science (Human Computer Interaction) / Course details
Year of entry: 2021
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Computer Science - and more specifically Human Computer Interaction (HCI) - is radically changing the way in which we experience our world through the development of new applications in science, engineering and business. HCI is concerned with optimising the interaction between computer systems and their human users, at the intersection of computer science, behavioural sciences and social science. Here at Manchester we equip you with the skills needed to contribute to this exciting and rapidly evolving field. We provide you with the highest level of education in understanding and improving future generations of user interfaces and interactions, up to and including specialisation in advanced topics. Our course attempts to delve much deeper than other HCI related courses, in that key course units are delivered by specialists in their field, from neurophysiology to advanced social network analysis, from complex software engineering and application development to qualitative research design and methods - and everything in between.
Your first year will give you a comprehensive, broad-based foundation from which to choose your area of specialisation. You will gain not only knowledge and practical experience of the latest technologies, but also a grounding in the underlying principles of the subject. CS(HCI) is a flexible programme, allowing you to choose course units to reflect your developing and changing interests. Furthermore, a wide range of themes from across the discipline allow you to specialise in the third year. It is this combination of skills that enable our graduates to keep pace with this fast moving subject, and secure rewarding careers that can be pursued almost anywhere in the world.
Graduates from the HCI programme will not only come out with the fantastic technical skills which all of our Computer Science graduates have, they will also have the scientific skills that they need to understand people.
They will be able to monitor, observe and analyse human behaviour as people interact with systems and then use this knowledge to feed back into the software development process essential details into how the system should behave.Caroline Jay / Lecturer
- Allows you to plan, design, develop, and evaluate all aspects of interactive systems, device interfaces, and interaction scenarios.
- All topics are taught by experts in their field, and students attend course units from Neuroscience, Social Science, and the Statistics Unit giving them cross-disciplinary experience.
- All required Advanced Mathematics is taught as part of the course.
- Course units and themes of relevance to Human computer Interaction include: Fundamental to Advanced Human Computer Interaction, HCI Methodology, Software Engineering and Agile Design, Statistics and Advanced Statistical Analysis, Advanced Social Network Analysis, Human Motor and Sensory Systems, Human Learning, Memory and Cognition.
- You have access to all the core Software Engineering units and all the additional HCI specific units only available to specialist HCI students.
- You can specialise very quickly allowing a more detailed view of HCI than on other courses.
- The course equips you with skills that are in high demand from industry.
Teaching and learning
At Manchester we aim to provide a unique experience. Studying Computer Science with us will give you the chance to follow your academic curiosity and explore a fascinating subject.
A significant amount of your work will be project-based team work, tackling real problems. You will see how computer science is directly applicable to solving problems, across a broad range of areas.
The emphasis throughout is on independent learning, supported by regular meetings in small groups with personal tutors. You receive practical help and support from experienced staff and postgraduates, with leading experts guiding your learning and stimulating your interest. This approach is supported by conventional lectures and comprehensive on-line learning resources. We also provide excellent facilities, including specialist laboratories to support areas such as engineering and robotics.
Explore our teaching methods further on our website .
Coursework and assessment
Unseen examinations account for about 60% of the assessment . These assess your abilities in the selection and application of knowledge, problem solving, and the design and evaluation of software or electronics. Other assessment is mainly through laboratory-based coursework that provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of computer science of electronic principles by tackling specific problems on a more realistic scale, both individually and in groups.
The remaining assessment is through presentations and essays where, in particular, you demonstrate the transferable skills you have acquired. In the third and final year, the non-examination assessment is mainly made up of the practical project.
Course unit details
Over the first three years, all students follow the same course and reach the same level of study, thus providing the grounding for careers in industry and for postgraduate study. The first year establishes a strategic overview of the main areas of Human Computer Interaction and introduces the underlying science and mathematics. Second , third and fourth years develop the key knowledge and understanding necessary to enter industry, or postgraduate study.
Course content for year 1
Introduces you to HCI and computer science in general, as well as software engineering. You will also gain the basic knowledge and skills that are applicable to all areas of interaction engineering such as object oriented programming, distributed systems, statistical analysis, and mathematics. Further, you will gain basic knowledge and skills that are applicable to all branches of computer science, such as: mathematics; programming; and distributed systems. You will also be introduced to the fundamental principles of Human Computer Interaction and Interactive systems.
Team-working is an important part of the first year which includes a year-long team project culminating in the demonstration and examination of a fully working team application. This project sets the context for HCI design and development and enhances your awareness of current issues.
Course units for year 1
|Excitable Cells: the Foundations of Neuroscience||BIOL10832||10||Mandatory|
|First Year Team Project||COMP10120||20||Mandatory|
|Fundamentals of Computer Architecture||COMP15111||10||Mandatory|
|Research Methods & Statistics||PSYC10100||20||Mandatory|
|Introduction to Cognition||PSYC10431||5||Mandatory|
|Brain & Behaviour||PSYC11222||10||Mandatory|
|Sensation & Perception||PSYC11322||5||Mandatory|
Course content for year 2
Course units for year 2
|Motor Systems for Human Computer Interaction||BIOL22332||10||Mandatory|
|Sensory Systems for Human Computer Interaction||BIOL22341||10||Mandatory|
|Software Engineering 1||COMP23311||10||Mandatory|
|Software Engineering 2||COMP23412||10||Mandatory|
|Perception and Action||PSYC21112||5||Mandatory|
|Essentials of survey design and analysis||SOST20022||20||Mandatory|
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Course content for year 3
Course units for year 3
|Third Year Project Laboratory||COMP30040||40||Mandatory|
|Enterprise Management for Computer Scientists||MCEL30031||10||Mandatory|
|Managing Finance in Enterprises for Computer Scientists||MCEL30032||10||Mandatory|
|Advanced Social Network Analysis||SOST30022||20||Mandatory|
|How to Make a Brain||BIOL21451||10||Optional|
|Clocks, Sleep & the Rhythms of Life (E)||BIOL31681||10||Optional|
|Learning, Memory & Cognition (E)||BIOL31692||10||Optional|
|The Internet of Things: Architectures and Applications||COMP32412||10||Optional|
|Agile Software Engineering||COMP33712||10||Optional|
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Course content for year 4
The final year enhance the contents of the equivalent three-year BSc programmes with:
- a) an increase in the depth and range of computing related subjects studied;
- b) additional studies in subjects such as management, law, accounting and health and safety;
- c) an 8 week industrial project;
- d) a group business feasibility study.
The enhancements enable you to develop an in-depth specialist knowledge across a range of computing subjects, including some covered by the MSc in Advanced Computer Science. They also allow you to understand the business skills you need to develop and manage a successful business exploiting computing technology. Graduates from the MEng programme will be equipped with the higher level skills needed for the top jobs in business or research.
Scholarships and bursaries
The University of Manchester is committed to attracting and supporting the very best students. We have a focus on nurturing talent and ability and we want to make sure that you have the opportunity to study here, regardless of your financial circumstances.
For information about scholarships and bursaries please visit our undergraduate student finance pages .
- Newly refurbished computing labs furnished with modern desktop computers, available with Linux and Windows
- Access to world leading academic staff
- Collaborative working labs complete with specialist computing and audio visual equipment to support group working.
- Over 300 Computers in the Department dedicated exclusively for the use of our students.
- Access to a hardware library, with top of the range equipment, including drones, robots and oculus rifts.