Computing

Focus on how software is engineered to form complex computing systems 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: G600
  • 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 focus on the way software is engineered to form complex computing systems.

Study programme

All of our Computing courses follow 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

Due to the shared core content in the first two years of all Computing degrees, it is usually possible to transfer to a different Computing course within the Department until the beginning of the third year. 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 wish to progress onto one of the MEng programmes in Year 3, you must achieve an overall average of 60% in your second year.

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
  • Reasoning about Programs
  • Graphs and Algorithms

Year 2

Core modules

You will undertake all core modules listed below.

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

Optional modules

You will also choose one of the following modules.

  • Introduction to Model-based Artificial Intelligence
  • Mathematics 3: Computational Techniques

Year 3

Core modules

  • Software Engineering Group Projects
  • Advanced Databases
  • Industrial Placement (First Part)
  • Advanced Databases
  • Network and Web Security

Your I-Explore module offers you choices from a range of subjects hosted outside of the department. You will be taught alongside students from other courses with options including business, management and many more.

The Industrial Placement does not contribute to your final degree classification.

Optional modules

You will also choose a total of four optional modules from the list below. Between two and four of these will be from Group A, with the remainder from Group B. At most, one of these can be from the Business School.

Group A
  • Concurrency
  • Simulation and Modelling
  • Performance Engineering
  • Distributed Algorithms
Group B
  • Systems Verification
  • Logic-Based Learning
  • Computer Vision
  • Computer Graphics
  • Custom Computing
  • Computer Architecture
  • Communicating Computer Science in Schools
  • Advanced Computer Architecture
  • Robotics
  • Pervasive Computing
  • Operations Research
  • Information and Coding Theory
  • Type Systems for Programming Languages
  • Introduction to Machine Learning
  • Business School Modules

Year 4

Core modules

  • Individual Project
  • Industrial Placement (Second Part)
  • Software Reliability
  • Software Engineering for Industry

Optional modules

You will also choose a total of five modules from the list below. Between three and five of these will be from Group A, with the remainder from Group B. At most, one of these can be from the Business School.

Group A
  • Scalable Systems for the Cloud
  • Privacy Engineering
  • Advanced Security in Smartphone and IoT Systems
  • Principles of Distributed Ledgers
  • HighPerformance Computing for Engineers (external module from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
Group B
  • Separation Logic: Local Reasoning about Programs
  • Concurrent Processes
  • Cryptography Engineering
  • Machine Learning for Imaging
  • Advanced Computer Graphics
  • Computational Finance
  • Advanced Robotics
  • Complexity
  • Software Reliability
  • Deep Learning
  • Program Analysis
  • Advanced Issues in Object Oriented Programming
  • Machine Arguing
  • Software Engineering for Industry
  • Computational Optimisation
  • Quantum Computing
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Probabilistic Inference
  • Mathematics for Machine Learning
  • Business School Modules

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
  • In-class problem solving
  • Personal supervision of project work

Assessment

You can expect the following assessment methods:

  • Programming exercises
  • Online programming tests
  • Written coursework
  • Computer-based coursework
  • Written examination
  • Computer-based examinations
  • Software demonstrations
  • Group working
  • Written reports
  • Research summaries
  • Oral presentations

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.

Balance of assessment

 Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Coursework 10% 10% 7.5% 9%
Examination 84% 57% 42.5% 50%
Practical 6% 33% 50% 41%
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number
 

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 test 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 join us for a series of online activities. 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.

Online activities may include:

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

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.

Home rate of tuition

2021 entry

£9,250 per year.

For each subsequent year, you should expect and budget for your tuition fee to increase 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 2022 will apply to fees for the academic year 2022–2023.

Whether you pay the Home fee depends on your fee status. Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status. Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

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 confirmed that EU students who begin a course in the 2020–21 academic year (until the end of July 2021) will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

Students from the EU, other EEA country and/or Switzerland starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate, and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note this does not apply to Irish students or students with Citizens Rights benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively.

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

Overseas rate of tuition

2021 entry

£33,750 per year.

For each subsequent year, you should expect and budget for your tuition fee to increase 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 2022 will apply to fees for the academic year 2022–2023.

Whether you pay the Overseas fee depends on your fee status. Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status. Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

EU/EEA students

The Government has confirmed that EU students who begin a course in the 2020–21 academic year (until the end of July 2021) will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

Students from the EU, other EEA country and/or Switzerland starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate, and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note this does not apply to Irish students or students with Citizens Rights benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively.

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

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: G600
  • 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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There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to universities. We've put together this information in a dedicated section of our website.Makerspace

Read our terms and conditions for these areas: