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Big Data and High Performance Computing with a Year in Industry

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What you'll need

If you studied any part of your degree in China, you’ll need to obtain a triage service number to submit with your application. There is a charge of £25 for this service.

You'll also need to submit:

  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

Our application process

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  • Submit your application
  • We'll email you to let you know we're processing your application
  • Track the progress of your application using the Postgraduate Application Tracker (we'll send you a link to the tracker)
  • We'll email you when a decision has been made
  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

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Master of Science

A Master of Science (MSc) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the sciences.

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Course overview

Gain hands-on experience of big data analytics, data mining and visualisation techniques using high-performance computer technology. This MSc is accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, and includes an extended industrial placement in a real-world environment.

Introduction

Big data is increasingly important in the contemporary business and IT world. For many public and private enterprises, analysis of large-scale data sets is critical to growth. This MSc will prepare you for employment in an IT industry where big data professionals are in high demand.

You’ll learn how to interrogate vast amounts of data and make informed insights from datasets that are too large to be readily processed using standard techniques.

In year one, we’ll provide an overview of the key algorithms, algorithmic approaches and software environments you’ll use when solving big data problems and explore data mining techniques. We’ll also guide you in how to plan and conduct research.

Hands-on programming experience with the latest multi-core and multi-processor platforms will ensure your expertise in big data is underpinned by knowledge of high-performance computing. Further opportunities to specialise and enhance your knowledge of algorithms, optimisation and machine learning are available through a range of optional modules.

In year two, you’ll undertake an industrial project in a real-world environment as part of an extended placement opportunity. While on placement, you’ll develop transferable skills and gain insight into the operations, products, practices and culture of the placement provider.

What you'll learn

  • Theoretical and practical aspects of programming for the latest multi-core and multi-processor platforms
  • Key algorithms, approaches and software environments for developing solutions to big data problems
  • Data mining techniques and challenges using real-world datasets
  • Application of visualisation methods to data mining
  • Research skills in computer science
  • Bio-inspired algorithms for optimisation and machine learning
  • How to model continuous and discrete optimisation problems
  • The benefits and weaknesses of selected algorithmic techniques
  • Algorithmic aspects of game theory
  • Neural networks for artificial intelligence
  • How to validate systems against safety specifications

Accreditation

The programme is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, the leading professional body for those working in IT. It is continually updated to reflect new technologies and trends.

Accreditations in detail

Accreditations

The programme is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, the leading professional body for those working in IT. It is continually updated to reflect new technologies and trends.

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Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

Compulsory modules

Research Methods in Computer Science (COMP516)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

In this module the students will learn and practise all the necessary skills needed to conduct independent research in computer science, including literature search, project management, presentation techniques, peer reviewing, writing skills and critical review of texts. They will also learn about the professional, legal, social and ethical framework of the IT industry. The module covers, e.g., planning and scheduling projects and drawing Gantt charts. Students shall also conduct a research project (including research, paper, literature review, or MSc project proposal, …) and use tools like EndNote and Zotero bibliography manager within MS Word and Latex.

Multi-Core and Multi-Processor Programming (COMP528)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This is a module to cover theoretical and practical aspects of parallel programming for multi-core architectures with the main focus on hand-on programming experience with latest multi-core and multi-processor platforms.

Big Data Analytics (COMP529)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module provides an initial overview of key algorithms and algorithmic approaches and corresponding software environments used when developing solutions to Big Data problems and explains how to use these to analyse data. A significant portion of statistics, some advanced AI approaches as well as key deterministic and hybrid algorithms are included to support the development of future data analytics and to understand how to develop stochastic, machine learning and hybrid algorithms that can exploit Big Data and can be applied to solve real life problems.

Data Mining and Visualisation (COMP527)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

The module covers a range of topics and techniques for analyzing data. Students will learn about different types of data mining problems, including classification, clustering, association pattern mining, and social network analysis, as well as algorithms to solve them.

Students will program selected data mining algorithms from scratch using Python. This hands-on approach will allow them to gain a deeper understanding of how the algorithms work and how they can be applied to real-world datasets. They will experiment with different datasets to see how the algorithms perform and learn how to interpret the results.

MSc Group Project (COMP530)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module is designed to allow students to consolidate work from the first semester by working as a programming team to realise a solution to a problem related to their programme of study.

Optional modules

Efficient Algorithms (COMP526)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Masters module on practical algorithms and data structures for large datasets.

Optimisation (COMP557)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module is an in-depth tour over optimisation methods applied for various optimisation models. These methods are extensively used in both academic and industrial practices.

Machine Learning and BioInspired Optimisation (COMP532)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module teaches you about bio-inspired algorithms for optimisation and machine learning. The algorithms are based on reinforcement learning, DNA computing, brain or neural network models, immune systems, the evolutionary version of game theory, and social insect swarm behaviour such as ant colonies and bee colonies. These techniques are extremely useful for searching very large solution spaces (optimisation) and they can be used to design agents or robots that have to interact and operate in dynamic unknown environments (e.g. a Mars rover, a swarm of robots or network of satellites). The idea of learning optimal behaviour, rather than designing, algorithms and controllers is especially appealing in AI.  ​

Safety and Dependability (COMP524)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

Safety and Dependability will cover techniques for the validation of systems against formal specifications. In a first part, safety specifications (something bad never happens) using the Hoare calculus and safe abstraction are covered. A second part refers to termination (something good eventually happens), exploiting well foundedness. In a third part, Markov chains and decision processes are studied, extending the qualitative safety and termination problems from the first part to qualitative/probabilistic properties, and extending them to a simple probabilistic specification language, PCTL. As part of the module, the ability of formulating (probabilistic) models as Markov chains and decision processes are taught, as well as the use of of-the-shelf tools like PRISM or IscasMC for their analysis.

Reasoning About Action and Change (COMP525)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

The module introduces the student to the use of logic as a tool for specifying the desired behavior of hardware, software and artificial intelligence systems, and for checking whether a given system does indeed behave as desired. The module enables the student to gain familiarity with a set of techniques which are critical in contemporary industrial applications and in academic research. It consists of 30 lectures and 10 practical sessions.

Algorithmic Game Theory (COMP559)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module focuses on algorithmic aspects of game theory.  A main focus of this module is on the computational aspects in the design of mechanisms and auctions.  as part of the module, the students learn about Googles sponsored serarch auctions, which is one of the most successful targeted advertising systems today.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Year in industry

If you are interested in studying this programme without the year in industry placement, it is available as a standard MSc. Completing this programme without the year in industry usually takes one year when completing full-time.

View Big Data and High Performance Computing MSc

To spend a year in industry, you'll need to secure a placement with an organisation. If you're unable to find a placement, you'll continue with the standard version of the course without a year in industry.

Your experience

The Department of Computer Science is housed in a grade II listed building which has been extensively refurbished for 21st century needs and challenges and provides state-of-the art equipment and high-speed communication links.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

An exciting place to study Computer Science

  • You will be taught by some of the best researchers in the field. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, the research output of our department was ranked 5th in the UK. This research expertise shows through in our teaching
  • We teach in state-of-the-art PC and Mac laboratories running a variety of different operating systems, as well as iOS and Android tablets to encourage creativity and innovation within a stimulating environment in which to work and study
  • Our programmes are continually updated to reflect new technologies and trends.

Careers and employability

The programme is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.

Designed to address a skills gap in the employment market, this MSc will enable you to apply your skills working with big data and your knowledge of high performance computing to real-world challenges.

The MSc has been developed, and is delivered, in close collaboration with the Hartree Centre in Daresbury, near Warrington. Hartree operate the UK’s largest supercomputer, capable of a thousand trillion calculations per second. They collaborate with both industry and the research community to help UK businesses and organisations explore and adopt supercomputing, data science and artificial intelligence technologies.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

Potential roles working with big data include:

  • Data analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Mathematical modeller
  • Database administrator
  • Machine learning engineer
  • Statistician.

The transferable skills you develop will also prepare you for a variety of other roles across the IT industry, while your expertise working with data will mean you’re well suited to potential PhD study.

87% of Computer Science students find their main activity after graduation meaningful.

Graduate Outcomes, 2018-19.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £12,400
Year in industry fee £2,500
International fees
Full-time place, per year £28,800
Year in industry fee £5,800
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.


Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re a new international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of up to £5,000 off your tuition fees.

This includes £2,500 if you have a first-class degree, or equivalent qualification, and £2,500 if you’re from a Commonwealth country.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

Completed your undergraduate degree, or studied as an undergraduate exchange student, at the University of Liverpool?

You could get a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off the tuition fees for this course from September 2024 entry.

  • £1,500 tuition fee discount for eligible UK University of Liverpool graduates
  • £2,500 tuition fee discount for eligible international University of Liverpool graduates.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

Postgraduate taught and research students from Chile are eligible for this scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

The University, in partnership with Chevening, is delighted to offer this generous scholarship to students who are studying a master’s programme and who have future leadership potential. Please note that there is a fee cap applied to MBA programmes that requires applicants to cover any additional tuition costs over £18,000. You will still receive all additional allowances.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

The University of Liverpool has an agreement with CONACYT to support postgraduate taught and research students from Mexico.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

20% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate taught and research programmes. Must be Mexico national.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US and another is available for a postgraduate research student to undertake a three to six month research stay from the US

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

Up to ten awards are available for Masters or Research students from Mexico in receipt of FUNED loans. The award gives students a 20% reduction in fees for all applications received.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

The University is able to offer competitive scholarships for both postgraduate taught master’s and research programmes.

HRM Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

The University is able to offer one award to a new postgraduate taught master’s student from Thailand.

The scholarship is open to all subjects offered as a one-year taught master’s programme.  However, priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with HRH Princess Sirindhorn such as science, IT, medicine, the arts, geography, history and languages.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

Residents of State of Guanajuato, Mexico, wishing to study at postgraduate taught and research levels are eligible for this scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US to cover the cost of tuition fees. Another, to the value of £20,000, is available for Doctoral study visit: https://www.marshallscholarship.org/

Scottish Power Scholarships

  • Home students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

The Scholarships Programme is designed to train top-calibre professionals in the energy sector, who are capable of contributing to the development of a sustainable energy model that meets the energy needs of society and promotes environmental protection. The scholarships are for graduates and final-year students who have a permanent right to work in the UK after graduation.

The scholarships are for graduates and final-year students who have a permanent right to work in the UK after graduation.

The following subjects are eligible:

-Energy and Power Systems MSc (Eng)
-Advanced Mechanical Engineering MSc
-Environmental Assessment and Management MSc
-Environmental Sciences MSc
-Microelectronic Systems MSc (Eng)
-Telecommunications and Wireless Systems MSc (Eng)
-Big Data and High Performance Computing MSc
-Geographic Data Science MSc
-Sustainable Civil and Structural Engineering MSc

Scottish Power have confirmed that they will consider MSc degrees within the themes they have specified and may consider applications from applicants to other programmes if they have relevant undergraduate experience linked to the themes.

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

Postgraduate taught and research students from Turkey are eligible for this scholarship, see the Turkish Ministry of Education website https://meb.gov.tr/ for more information.

University of Liverpool Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

The three awards available cover full tuition fees, visas and support for accommodation and living expenses.

This scholarship is open to support people who have recognised status as either refugees or are under humanitarian protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention. This status must be held outside of the UK.

The scholarship is open for all postgraduate-taught programmes, excluding medicine, dentistry, veterinary and nursing.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

The University of Liverpool will award five University of Liverpool International College students, who achieve the highest academic excellence (minimum 75%) in their UoLIC Pre-Master’s programme, the prestigious UoLIC Excellence scholarship.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

University of Liverpool International College recipients of the Kaplan awards will receive the £3,000 Progression Impact Scholarship, deducted from first-year tuition fees, on successful progression to their UoL degree programme.

To be eligible for our Impact Progression Scholarships, students must apply for one of the Kaplan Impact Scholarships demonstrating their commitment to making an impact across issues of importance to the University and Kaplan. Themes include:

Sustainability
Women in STEM
Community
Career Focus (Employability)

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for China

  • International students
  • China

Details are:
1 (one) Full scholarship
2 (two) £10,000 scholarships
5 (five) £5,000 scholarships
10 (ten) £1,000 scholarships
All scholarships will be awarded after the formal registration at the University and will take the form of a fee waiver.

Please note: This scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarships or bursaries provided by the University.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

You will normally need a 2:1 honours degree, or above, or equivalent. This degree should be in computer science or a closely related subject.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, you could be eligible for a Pre-Master’s course. This is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. It’s a specialist preparation course for postgraduate study, and when you pass the Pre-Master’s at the required level with good attendance, you’re guaranteed entry to a University of Liverpool master’s degree.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language. International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component below 5.5
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
International Baccalaureate

Standard Level 5

INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Big Data and High Performance Computing with a Year in Industry MSc

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.