The MSc programme consists of several integrated parts, which are detailed below.

  • Students select nine courses in the Autumn and Spring terms, most with lectures and associated coursework or laboratory work. At least six courses must be selected from a group appropriate to the specialism, including any compulsory courses. In addition, to make up the nine courses students choose three further options, either from the same group or from a supplementary list of courses, subject to possible timetable clashes.
  • Students complete an individual project in the Summer term, containing an element of original work, on a topic in their chosen specialist area.
  • Students may also freely attend any of the professional skills courses offered on the Imperial Graduate School's MasterClass programme.

Each course is timetabled for approximately 27 hours, either in the Autumn term (October - December), or in the Spring term (January - March), and students are expected to spend up to an additional 75 hours in independent study. It is usual that students on this programme study 4 or 5 courses in each term. All taught courses are examined by courseworks and a written examination. Autumn term courses are examined at the end of the Autumn term, in December, and Spring term courses are examined at the end of the Spring term, in March. The practical courses are examined by practical assignments, and in the case of Prolog by a laboratory-based test in January.

In week 1 of the Autumn Term all students attend a short introduction to Prolog and Matlab, regardless of their specialism. A knowledge of Matlab is recommended for several courses later in the year. For Prolog, students can proceed from the short introduction to the full Prolog practical course. Prolog (as covered by the full Prolog practical course) is a prerequisite for some later courses and recommended for others.

The choice of optional courses and projects available to students may, to some extent, be restricted by the schedule of lectures and the availability of staff. The list of options offered may be adjusted slightly from time to time.

The individual project is started at the end of the Spring term. The project is undertaken full-time leading to submission of a thesis in the middle of September. The project is expected to contain some element of original work. Students may wish to complement the foundational material of the first two terms with practical, applied work during the project. It is possible for a project to involve informal collaboration with one of the many industrial organisations with whom the Department has contacts, and a period of up to three months may be spent outside the College, as long as regular contact is maintained with the project supervisor. Details must be agreed beforehand with the Course Director.


Students must satisfy the examiners separately in two components:

  1. Written examinations and associated coursework or laboratory assignments for nine courses, to include taught courses, practical courses and any completed Individual Study Option (ISO) assessment.
  2. Completion of a dissertation based on the individual project.

The MSc degree is awarded with Pass, Merit or Distinction.