Computing

Focus your study of computing on artificial intelligence in this professionally accredited, integrated Master’s degree.

Key information

Award

MEng

Duration

4 years

full-time

Minimum entry

Three A-level offer: A* A* A

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

18 : 1

Based on 2019 entry data

  • UCAS course code: G700
  • ECTS: 270
  • Start date: October 2021

Overview

Computing is a creative and wide-ranging subject that focuses on using sound underlying principles and logical thinking to design and build systems that really work.

You will learn how modern computer and communications systems function, and how they can be used and adapted to build the next generation of computing applications.

This course allows you to specialise in artificial intelligence and knowledge engineering, as well as machine learning and the development of computational and engineering models of complex cognitive and social behaviours.

Study programme

All of our Computing courses follow broadly the same structure for the first two years. Core Intelligent Behaviour Understanding Groupmodules give you an understanding of the basic concepts and principles of computing. We also provide a solid background in discrete mathematics (logic, sets, relations and grammars), which is the basic mathematics of computing, and classical mathematics and statistics relevant to applications engineering and management.

The central core of our courses has been designed to give you an overview of computing, an understanding of the basic concepts and principles, the ability to appreciate and to adapt to changes in technology, and practical experience in applied computing.

We place special emphasis on the fundamental principles underlying computing and on the engineering considerations involved in computing system design, implementation and usage. We will also introduce you to computing architecture and hardware, alongside the software that can exploit them.

You will attend laboratory and problem-solving classes, as well as completing project and design work throughout the course.

As the course progresses, you will study advanced techniques and modules, many of which draw on current research taking place in the Department.

At the end of your third year you will gain valuable skills and experience by completing an industrial placement.

Your study reaches Master’s level in the final year, with a wide choice of optional modules and a substantial individual project on a subject of your choice.

Transfer between courses

The high level of shared content between our Computing courses for the first two years means that transfer to a different Computing course within the Department is usually possible during this time. Transfers from Computing to Joint Mathematics and Computing courses are normally not possible and are dealt with on a case by case basis.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.

Structure

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about them.

Year 1

Core modules

  • Introduction to Computer Systems
  • Introduction to Databases
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Introduction to Computer Architecture
  • Computing Practical 1
  • Logic
  • Mathematics 1: Foundations
  • Program Reasoning
  • Graphs and Algorithms

Extracurricular

  • Advanced Programming
  • Programming Competition Training

Year 2

Core modules

  • Web Application Development Project
  • Algorithm Design and Analysis
  • Compilers
  • Computing Practical 2
  • Models of Computation
  • Networks and Communications
  • Operating Systems
  • Mathematics 2: Probability and Statistics
  • Software Engineering Design
  • Symbolic Reasoning

Extracurricular

  • Programming Competition Training

Year 3

Core modules

  • Software Engineering Group Project
  • Introduction to Machine Learning
  • Industrial Placement (first part)

Optional modules

  • Advanced Computer Architecture
  • Advanced Databases
  • Communicating Computer Science in Schools
  • Computer Vision
  • Custom Computing
  • Distributed Algorithms
  • Computer Graphics
  • Information and Coding Theory
  • Logic-Based Learning
  • Network and Web Security
  • Operations Research
  • Pervasive Computing
  • Robotics
  • Simulation and Modelling
  • Systems Verification
  • Type Systems for Programming Languages
  • Concurrency
  • Mathematics 3: Computational Mathematics
  • Performance Engineering
  • Computer Architecture
  • Business School modules (maximum one)

You also have the option of choosing the course below:

  • External course

Extracurricular

  • Programming Competition Training

Year 4

Core modules

  • Individual Project
  • Industrial Placement (second part)

Optional modules

Group 1
  • Advanced Robotics
  • Advanced Security in Smartphone and IOT Systems
  • Machine Arguing
  • Concurrent Processes
  • Probabilistic Inference
  • Mathematics for Machine Learning
  • Separation Logic: Local Reasoning about Programs
  • Machine Learning for Imaging
  • Deep Learning
  • Program Analysis
  • Natural Language Processing
Group 2
  • Advanced Computer Graphics
  • Advanced Issues in Object-Oriented Programming
  • Complexity
  • Computational Finance
  • Computational Optimisation
  • Cryptography Engineering
  • Principles of Distributed Ledgers
  • Privacy Engineering
  • Quantum Computing
  • Scalable Systems for the Cloud
  • Software Engineering for Industry
  • Software Reliability
  • High-Performance Computing for Engineers (external module from EEE)
  • Business School Modules (maximum one)
Group 3
  • Communicating Computer Science in Schools
  • External Course 4I
  • External Course 4II

Extracurricular

  • Programming Competition Training

Download the programme specification‌ [PDF] – this is the most up-to-date version available for this course. It may change for your year of entry. If/when changes to this course are approved by the College, we will update this document and the information on this course page.


I-Explore

Through I-Explore, you'll have the chance to deepen your knowledge in a brand new subject area, chosen from a huge range of for-credit modules.

All of our undergraduate courses include one module from I-Explore's wide selection. The module you choose will be fully integrated into your course's curriculum and count as credit towards your degree.

Find out more about I-Explore

Professional accreditation

This course is professionally accredited by IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) and BCS (the Chartered Institute for IT).

Achieving a professionally accredited integrated Master's degree (MEng) means that you have satisfied the first step to becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng) in your chosen field by satisfying the educational requirements of professional registration. To gain Chartered status, you will need to demonstrate your ability to meet additional graduate level competences described in the Engineering Council's UK-SPEC

A CEng is a highly respected qualification earned by professionals working in engineering, which can lead to higher earning potential and better career prospects.

Professional registration also brings international recognition of your qualification, which is particularly useful for students preparing for a career abroad.

Our professional accreditation agreements with IET and BCS are renewed every five years, and our current agreements are due to be renewed for students beginning this course from the 2023–24 (IET) and 2024–25 (BCS) academic years.

Associateship

As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI) on completion of this course.

The City and Guilds of London Institute is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Imperial College London in 1907.

Find out more about our Associateships.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You can expect the following teaching methods:

  • Lectures
  • Class-based tutorials
  • Small-group tutorials
  • Laboratory-based teaching
  • Problem-solving classes

Assessment

You can expect the following assessment methods:

  • Individual projects
  • Group projects
  • Laboratory tests
  • Individual and group coursework
  • Individual and group laboratory work
  • Written reports
  • Oral presentations
  • Written examinations

Summer internships

You will have the opportunity to apply for summer internships from the first year. Internships often lead to industrial placement opportunities for MEng students and job offers for BEng students.

Staff expertise

The Department of Computing is among the largest in the country when it comes to the number of teaching and research staff. We strongly value the quality of our teaching and you can expect to be taught by experienced teachers as well as well-known leading researchers from across the various fields of computer science.

The focus is on individual attention and you will receive a personal tutor to advise you throughout your degree. The Department places importance on small group teaching which allows you to pose plenty of questions aiding your personal development. Later in your degree, individual and group projects are supervised by a dedicated member of teaching staff.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions.

Discover Uni compares things like student satisfaction and what graduates do after they finish the course.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

A-levels

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2021 entry is A*A*A overall, to include:

  • A* in Mathematics
  • A*, A in two other subjects

Further Mathematics is preferred but not essential.

ICT, Business Studies, General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.


Recommended subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Further Mathematics
  • Physics
Useful subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • Electronics
  • English Literature
  • History
  • Languages
  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology

Recommended and useful subjects are those that the Department deems to be very useful knowledge foundations to undertake a computing degree at Imperial. The department may still consider applicants with other subject combinations.


Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made to at least 80% of A-level applicants for 2019 entry:

  • Three A-level offer: A*AA
  • Four A-level offer: A*AAA

For 2021 entry, our typical offers may also include A* A* A for applicants taking three A-levels.

Typical offers include STEP requirements.


Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

The practical endorsement is part of the reformed English linear A-levels.


Additional Mathematics support

Our new A-level Mathematics online course covers a range of key topic areas to help you gain a deeper understanding of the skills and techniques required to succeed in your A-level Mathematics exams.

This optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus with the aim of developing your thinking skills, fluency and confidence.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is available free of charge via the EdX website. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

International Baccalaureate

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2021 entry is 39 points overall, to include:

  • 7 in Mathematics at higher level
  • 7 in another relevant subject at higher level

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made to at least 80% of IB applicants for 2019 entry was 42 points.

Typical offers include STEP requirements.


Mathematics Higher Level for award in 2021

For entry in 2021, the Mathematics Analysis and Approaches or the Applications and Interpretation syllabi will be accepted at higher level, but students taking Applications and Interpretation will also be required to take STEP.


Additional Mathematics support

We have recently launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Advanced Placements

The grades detailed below are the minimum requirements for students offering only Advanced Placements as their exams for entry to Imperial.

If you are studying a High School Diploma that is accepted by Imperial alongside Advanced Placements, requirements may apply to both your Diploma and Advanced Placements.

Please consult our country index to check whether we accept your High School Diploma programme for admission.

Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5 to include:

  • 5 in Calculus BC
  • 5 in two other subjects

Additional Mathematics support

We have recently launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Selection process

Assessing your application

Admissions Tutors consider all the evidence available during our rigorous selection process and the College flags key information providing assessors with a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances relevant to the applicant. Some applicants may be set lower offers and some more challenging ones.


Post-application open day and interview

Applicants demonstrating sufficient potential will be invited to complete an online admissions test, which will test their logical, reasoning and problem-solving skills. No prior preparation is required for the test. The test will include a practice session, and should not take more than 90 minutes.

The test must be taken on a computer with an internet connection.

If your UCAS application and online test performance indicates that you are likely to satisfy our requirements, you will be invited to the department to attend an interview day. This enables us to get an impression of your motivation, your suitability for the course and your potential for success in an engineering career. Equally importantly, it gives you a chance to find out more about the courses and about Imperial in general.

The interview day consists of:

  • a welcome presentation from the Admissions Tutor
  • a guided tour of the facilities at the Department and College
  • demonstrations of undergraduate projects
  • a 1-1 interview with one of our lecturers

We prefer all applicants to attend an interview day in person, but where there are reasons as to why this would not be possible, alternative arrangements such as Skype may be considered on a case by case basis. Reasonable circumstances of not being able to attend an interview day may include interview days clashing with exams or other important school dates, financial considerations, or time constraints in applying for a visa.


Pilot admissions schemes (Home students)

From 2020 entry, we will be using information about our applicants in a number of new pilot admissions schemes, to consider the wider context of Home students from groups underrepresented at the College.

More about pilot admissions schemes

Foundation programmes

A foundation course is a one-year preparation course, designed for international students, which leads to undergraduate programmes in the UK. Foundation programmes are normally for school-leavers who have studied a non-British curriculum but wish to pursue a degree at a UK university.

Foundation programmes are offered by many UK universities, but only two would be considered for entry to Imperial: 

  1. UCL’s Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for Science and Engineering (UPCSE), and 
  2. Warwick’s International Foundation Programme (IFP) in Science & Engineering

UCL UPCSE

A year-long programme for international students whose school leaving qualifications do not allow them direct entry to UK universities. Students must complete four modules across the year – two compulsory and two elective modules:

ModuleStatus
Research and Academic Skills: Science and Society Compulsory
Academic English Compulsory
Biology Elective
Chemistry Elective
Mathematics Elective
Physics Elective
Information correct at time of publishing, but subject to change
Summary of the table's contents

To be considered for admission to the Department of Computing, international students studying UCL UPCSE must achieve:

  • 80% overall
  • 80% Mathematics + Biology, Chemistry or Physics

Warwick IFP Science and Engineering

A year-long programme for international students whose school leaving qualifications do not allow them direct entry to UK universities. 

To be considered for admission to the Department of Computing, international students studying Warwick IFP Science and Engineering must achieve:

  • 80% overall
  • 80% Mathematics + one other elective

To meet these requirements, students should choose from the following IFP pathways:

  • Life Sciences 
  • Computer Science 
  • Mathematics & Statistics 
  • Economics 
  • Physical Sciences 
  • Engineering 

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students who apply for this course.

For more information about the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), please see the International Student Support website.

View our terms and conditions on visas.

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2021 entry

The fee for Home students is controlled by the UK government and has not been confirmed for the 2021-22 academic year.

As a guide, the Home rate of tuition for the 2020-21 academic year was £9,250.

Please note that the fee you pay may increase annually by an amount linked to inflation and approved by Parliament under the Student Fees (Inflation Index) Regulations 2006 – currently the measure of inflation used is the RPIX.

Government funding

If you're a Home student, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government to cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of your course.

You can also apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs.

EU/EEA students

The government has not confirmed whether the finance arrangements for EU students starting university in 2021 will remain the same following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. This includes whether they will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition and have access to the Tuition Fee Loan.

We will update these pages when the government has confirmed finance arrangements.

Find updates on the implications of ‘Brexit’ and Imperial and the European Union.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2021 entry

The fee for Overseas and Islands students is controlled by the College and has not been confirmed for the 2021–22 academic year.

As a guide, the Overseas and Islands rate of tuition for the 2020–21 academic year was £31,750.

You should expect and budget for your tuition fee increasing each year by an amount in line with inflation. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPIX) value, taken from April in the calendar year in which the academic session starts. For example, the RPIX value in April 2021 will apply to fees for the academic year 2021–2022.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

Most Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across different accommodation options.

Read our rough guide to university spending in London.

Careers

Our degrees open the door to a wide range of careers. Some of our graduates join large software companies, while some go on to work for smaller companies; quite a few have started their own businesses. Some go into management consulting or enter the accountancy profession; others take up careers in corporate strategy and marketing; some become business analysts in investment banks or stockbrokers; while others follow a career in research.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • Software Engineers, Apple, Google and Amazon
  • Technical Analyst, JP Morgan
  • Software Developer, BAE Systems
  • PhD student, Imperial College London
  • Managing Director, Introversion Software

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: G700
  • UCAS institution code: I50

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can view this course on the UCAS website.

Application deadlines

All applications, other than those which include choices for medicine at Imperial, must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2021 for entry in October 2021.

The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2021 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2020.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed and submitted your application through UCAS’s online Apply service, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

Contact us

Computing students

Got a question?

T: +44 (0)20 7594 8267 / +44 (0)20 7594 8278
E: doc-ugadmissions@imperial.ac.uk

Department of Computing

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