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Study a graduate program in computer science

What will I study on a graduate computer science program?

Want to know how your mobile phone works or why your laptop manages to play music, load Facebook and send an email at the same time? A graduate degree in computer science will help you to find out. 
 
Computer science programs normally combine two strands:
  • Algorithms – the basic theory behind computer functions
  • Applied work – Programming language and its application
As a postgraduate, you will already be expected to have some experience and knowledge of programming languages and computer functions. A graduate program in computer science will expand on this knowledge and allow you to specialise in a particular field or language.

A growing field of computer science is app development for mobiles and tablet computers and many new postgraduate programs focus modules on this area. Expect to develop your technical knowledge, mathematical skills and analytical mind.

Length of program

The length of a computer science graduate program depends on where you study. Masters programs last the following duration in each country:
  • UK – One year full time/two year part time
  • US – 1-3 years
  • China – 2-3 years
  • Canada – 1-2 years

Entry requirements

Knowledge of programming systems is vital if you want to study a computer science graduate program, so an undergraduate degree related to computer science or IT is normally required. As technology develops at such a rapid pace, the fashionable programmes change almost yearly, so keep up to date with the latest trends before applying for a course.

If you choose to study somewhere with a different first language from your own, you may have to take a language test before you are admitted.

Career development

The term IT professional encompasses hundreds of specialisms from the design and programming of computer systems, through testing, maintenance and support, training of users; and software or hardware sales. You might choose to work exclusively with software, hardware, or applications development.

Computer science graduates normally work as part of team of IT professionals rather than individually. After finishing you computer science program, first job roles normally involve simple programming and algorithms. You can expect to progress to management roles as you gain experience.

The type of company you could be employed by is as varied as business itself, but the majority of positions are with blue chip companies in the financial services, hi-tech, telecoms and retail sectors.

Fees and funding

The cost of computer science graduate programs varies widely from country to country and university to university. Remember that fees depend on whether you are a home, EU or international student. As a guide, expect to pay the following in these countries per year:
  • UK - £4,500 - £17,000
  • USA - $5,000 - $30,000
  • Germany  €2,000 - €5,000
  • Canada - $4,000-8,000
  • China – RMB 21,000-24,000

What to do next

If you would like more information about studying a graduate program in computer science, fill out our Free Application Service and we'll get in touch with information tailored to your needs, including some great courses in this area.