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Theoretical Computer Science 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:

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  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

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  • 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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Related courses

There are sixteen courses related to Theoretical Computer Science with a Year in Industry that you might be interested in.

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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

Explore the world of computational game theory, where computer science and economics collide, and receive a grounding in algorithmic techniques and optimisation methods and models on this MSc. You can specialise in areas including microeconomics, e-commerce and data mining prior to an extended industrial placement in a real-world environment.

Introduction

This MSc immerses you in theoretical computer science, with a particular focus on computational game theory, where computer science and economics intersect. This is an area of rapid growth where skilled professionals are in high demand.

In year one, you’ll receive a comprehensive introduction to computational game theory, focus on algorithmic aspects of game theory in depth, and be guided in how to plan and conduct research in computer science. Exploring the computational aspects of the design of mechanisms and auctions, you’ll also examine optimisation methods and their application to various optimisation models.

Optional modules include opportunities to work with large datasets, specialise in the design and analysis of algorithms, discover the essentials of microeconomic theory, or investigate e-commerce technologies.

In year two, you’ll undertake an industrial project, that’s research or application oriented, in a real-world environment as part of an extended placement opportunity.

This will enable you to demonstrate project management skills and complete a dissertation while also gaining experience in an industrial work environment. While on placement, you’ll develop a range of skills and knowledge and benefit from insights into the operations, products, working practices and management culture of the placement provider.

Who is this course for?

This programme is aimed principally at graduates who either plan to become high-profile professionals working in the IT industry or those who plan to continue to a research degree in this cutting-edge research area. This programme may also be appropriate for those professionals who are already in IT-related employment and wish to broaden and deepen their knowledge.

What you'll learn

  • An understanding of the notion of a game, its solutions, concepts and applications
  • Algorithmic aspects of game theory
  • How computational game theory, computer science and economics intersect
  • Contemporary application of algorithmic paradigms
  • How to model continuous and discrete optimisation problems
  • Key research methods in computer science
  • How to design and analyse advanced discrete algorithms
  • Essentials of microeconomic theory
  • An understanding of all aspects of software safety and dependability
  • Research issues in data mining
  • Privacy, security, encryption and other technologies behind e-commerce

Accreditation

Please note that this course is pending accreditation by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

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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

Introduction to Computational Game Theory (COMP323)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module is an introduction to the area of algorithmic game theory, which is a novel area in the intersection of economics and computer science. It provides tools for dealing with and analysing problems related to applications motivated by the Internet. Examples involve various Internet auctions and e-commerce systems, like, Google’s sponsored search, Ebay auctions, recommendation systems, etc.

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.

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.

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.

Optional modules

Efficient Algorithms (COMP526)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

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

Knowledge Representation (COMP521)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module introduces formalisms to reason about knowledge and information. One such formalism is epistemic logic, where one can explicitly represent of what an agent (robot, human, system) knows about the world or about others, as in "I have sent a message, how do I know that it has been received, and that the receiver knows I know this?"

Microeconomic Analysis (ECON915)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module aims to provide an understanding of the essentials of microeconomic theory. This includes understanding what is meant by rational choice and how it can be used to predict what choices agents will make in different contexts. Students will also understand how markets work and what causes markets to fail.

Advanced Algorithmic Techniques (COMP523)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module aims to teach basic algorithmic methods for design and analysis of algorithms.

Advances in Theoretical Computer Science (COMP555)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module equips students to work at the cutting edge of research in a selected topic in theoretical computer science. Students work with primary research literature to summarize and contextualize results in an area of their choice. They will further practice to present and explain research-level results in theoretical computer science to computer scientists outside of the specific subfield.

Computational Intelligence (COMP575)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

​Biologically inspired optimisation and introduction to neural networks for artificial intelligence.

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.

Multi-Agent Systems (COMP310)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

Multi-agent systems have emerged as one of the most important areas of research and development in information technology in the 1990s. A multi-agent system is one composed of multiple interacting software components known as agents, which are typically capable of co-operating to solve problems that are beyond the abilities of any individual member. Multi-agent systems are important primarily because they have been found to have very wide applicability, in areas as diverse as industrial process control and electronic commerce. This module will begin by introducing the student to the notion of an agent, and will lead them to an understanding of what an agent is, how they can be constructed, and how agents can be made to co-operate effectively with one another to solve problems.

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.

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.

Cloud Computing for E-Commerce (COMP315)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module will provide an introduction to cloud computing. It will cover physical cloud infrastructure (data-centres, networks and servers), and the software stacks that run on it (containers, micro-services, orchestration and web frameworks).
During the course, students will assemble their own cloud-based application, which will be a webpage with a scalable micro-service-based backend.

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 Theoretical Computer Science 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

This MSc equips you with an in-depth understanding of theoretical computer science. There is particular focus on computational game theory, a subject at the intersection of computer science and economics, which has seen a rapid growth in recent years. There is a significant skills shortage in this area and high demand for skilled professionals.

Whether you’re a recent graduate seeking a career in the IT industry, plan to continue your studies and pursue a research degree, or you’re already an IT professional in related employment, this programme will enhance your knowledge and immerse you in current developments.

We’ll prepare you for senior technical and managerial positions in the profession, as well as providing a strong foundation for potential PhD research.

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

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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

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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

Previous graduates have progressed into a variety of roles which include:

  • IT consultant
  • Enterprise risk consultant
  • Network optimisation engineer
  • Data analyst
  • Information analyst
  • Business analyst
  • IT implementation and support analyst
  • Customer service adviser
  • Software developer
  • Software engineer
  • Sales and marketing
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist.

Many of our graduates also choose to continue their studies and embark on PhD research.

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/

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 a subject area closely related to computer science or mathematics, or the intersection of these two subjects.

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 B
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
International Baccalaureate

Standard Level 5

TOEFL iBT 88 or above with minimum scores in components as follows: Listening and Writing 17, Reading 17, Speaking 19.
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C4-6
Hong Kong use of English AS level C

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 Theoretical Computer Science 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.