Computer Science Degree (with English Language) (MSc) 2020 entry

Aimed at international students who use English as an additional language, this innovative combined course provides a tailored Masters programme for Computer Science students who wish to develop their English language proficiency within academic contexts.

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Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Science (MSc)

Course dates

  • Start date: 20 January 2020
  • End date: August 2021 (official end date to be confirmed)

If you started a Computer Science with English Language programme in January 2019, you can find information about 2019 entry on the 2019 Computer Science with English Langauge page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

18 months; the degree is taught over three semesters starting in January. One visa covers the full length of the programme.

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 Honours (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in Computer Science. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

English language proficiency. IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component score (or equivalent). See English language tests and qualifications.

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

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Tuition fees

2020 fees have not yet been set for this course. For the 2019 fees, please check the fees webpage.

Application deadline

1 November 2019. To maintain staff-student ratios, the School reserves the right to stop accepting applications once the programme is full. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV or personal statement
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course information

All MSc degrees in the School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews can be studied with English language. Students study over three taught semesters, and in addition to all the modules from their chosen Computer Science degree, they study modules in English for Academic Purposes and English for Computer Science 1 and 2.

Course options

Students with a degree in Computer Science or a related discipline, such as Information Systems or Engineering, can choose to study:

Students who do not necessarily have a Computer Science background but are able to demonstrate proficiency in programming may choose to study:

Students who do not necessarily have any prior knowledge of Computer Science, IT, programming, or management can choose:


  • These programmes offers an innovative way to start your degree while also continuing to develop your knowledge of English.
  • You will study both Computer Science and English language modules – for credit – right from the start. 
  • One visa covers the full length of the programme.
  • Students are guaranteed University accommodation for the length of the programme.
  • The University’s School of Computer Science is ranked first in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2019.

Teaching format

The taught portion of the MSc programme includes eleven modules: three related to English Language and eight specific to Computer Science. Class sizes typically range from 10 to 50 students.

Teaching methods include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • practical classes.

Most modules are assessed through practical coursework exercises and examinations. 

All students are assigned an adviser who meets with them at the start of the year to discuss module choices and who is available to assist with any academic difficulties during the year. A designated member of staff provides close supervision for the MSc project and dissertation.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2018–2019 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2020 entry.

  • English for Academic Purposes: develops the academic competence required for writing, delivering presentations, participating in seminars, researching for and evaluating source material.
  • English for Computer Science 1: applies strategies learnt in English for Academic Purposes to specific computer science-based texts, and written and spoken tasks.
  • Object-Oriented Modelling, Design and Programming: introduces and revises object-oriented modelling, design and implementation up to the level required to complete programming assignments within other MSc modules.

Students on the Computing and Information Technology, Human Computer Interaction, Information Technology, or Information Technology with Management programmes can choose to take the following module instead of 'Object-Oriented Modelling, Design and Programming'.

  • Programming Principles and Practice: introduces computational thinking and problem solving skills to students who have no or little previous programming experience.

In Semesters 2 and 3, students will continue onto the appropriate Master’s degree. This will include:

  • English for Computer Science 2: further enhances the academic literacy of students on MSc programmes in the School of Computer Science.
  • A number of optional Computer Science modules, as specified by your specific programme. 

During the third semester, students will work with staff to define and agree a topic for the extended project. This extended project is written over the second summer of the degree and culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation. Dissertation projects may be group-based or completed individually, but students are assessed individually in either case.  

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma instead, finishing the course at the end of the second semester of study.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date list of modules in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Upcoming postgraduate visiting days:

  • Wednesday 13 November 2019

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Virtual events

Find out more about studying at St Andrews, why it's unique and what it will do for your future.

Upcoming virtual events:

  • Friday 15 November at 3.15pm (UK time)
  • Friday 22 November at 9.15am (UK time)
  • Friday 29 November at 3.15pm (UK time)
  • Thursday 5 December at 9.15am (UK time)
  • Thursday 12 December at 3.15pm (UK time)


Contact information

School of Computer Science
University of St Andrews
Jack Cole Building
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9SX

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3253

Computer Science website

Web page update

The MSc in Computer Communication Systems is no longer offered for the 2019-2020 academic year and has been removed as an option for the Computer Science Degree (with English Language) MSc. 


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).