Big Data and High Performance Computing MSc

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months   Part-time: 24 months
  • Programme start: Autumn 2021
  • Entry requirements: The minimum entry requirement is a 2:1 honours degree (or above) in Computer Science or a closely related subject.
Big Data and High Performance Computing msc


The MSc Big Data and High Performance Computing provides students with an in-depth understanding of big data analysis and processing using high performance computing technology. This MSc programme enables students to gain a sought after qualification in areas of computing in great demand worldwide. 

logo BCS Accredited by the British Computer Society, The Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.

Big data is commonly described as data that is so large that it cannot be readily processed using standard techniques. Our current global ability to collect data is such that “big data” sets are becoming common-place.

The most obvious example of this is the exponential growth of the World Wide Web; however there are many public and private enterprises where the analysis of large-scale data sets is critical to growth. Although significant computer power exists, the necessary skills-base is lagging behind the technology.

There is an employment gap looming in the field of big data, especially in the context of the skills required with respect to the application of High Performance Computing (HPC) capabilities to address big data problems.

The MSc Big Data and High Performance Computing programme is designed to address this skills gap and provide those completing the programme with the ability to efficiently address big data and HPC challenges. Together with our growing industrial contact and engagements, this places our graduates in a prime position for future employment. 

This programme is also available as Big Data and High Performance Computing with a Year in Industry MSc.

The programme is organised as two taught semesters followed by an individual project undertaken over either the summer or, if desired, during the following year of study. Within each semester students study a number of modules adding up to 60 credits per semester (120 in total). This will be followed by a project dissertation, also 60 credits, making an overall total of 180 credits.

Case study: Dominic Stevenson

"It’s hard to pinpoint the best thing in the Department as there are many! There’s the friendly staff who are always willing to help, access to Hartree High Performance Computers, weekly extracurricular seminars by (visiting) lecturers to explain interesting research and it is also ranked top in the UK for 4* and 3* research in the REF rankings. There are many brilliant qualities."

Read Dominic's full case study

Why Computer Science?

Excellent partnerships

The MSc in Big Data and High Performance Computing programme has been developed, and operates, in close collaboration with the STFC Hartree Centre at Daresbury. The Hartree centre is underpinned by £37.5 million off Government investment and hosts the UKs premier supercomputing environment. The Department of Computer Science at Liverpool provides for a wide range of Big data, HPC and related skills and experience. This partnership means that this programme is unique and unrivalled. The partnership also ensures that students completing the programme have a ready route into employment facilitated by commercial contacts provided as part of the individual project element of the programme, which will in most cases is conducted with respect to real commercial requirements.

State of the art teaching and research

MSc Students who pursue their postgraduate study within the Department of Computer Science at the University of Liverpool will be an integral part of a department that is internationally renowned for its advanced research and teaching. The Department came seventh nationally in the 2008 research assessment exercise.

The Department of Computer Science is organised into four main research groups:

  • Agents
  • Algorithmics
  • Logic and Computation
  • Economics and Computation

Together these groups provide a critical mass of expertise equal to the most complex challenges in Computer Science, within a setting that offers world-class research facilities and support.


You will be taught by lecturers who are internationally known for their research. The MSc in Big Data and High Performance Computing is offered full-time on-campus.

The taught components of the programme offer a choice of contemporary computing topics, a strong theoretical basis and the opportunity to gain sound practical and critical analysis skills. The programme can be taken in the form of a single year (12 months) of study with the individual project being undertaken over the summer months, or alternatively the project can be undertaken in the following academic year.


The department is based on the main University of Liverpool campus, close to the city centre, in a spectacular Grade II listed building that offers a comfortable working environment with excellent research, study and computing facilities. You'll also enjoy the full support of our friendly tutors and technical teams so you can get the best from your time here.


Computer Science is located in the grade II listed Ashton and Holt buildings (see Campus Map‌), with state-of-the-art equipment. 

The computing resources include an extensive integrated network of workstations running the Linux operating system and the X-Windows graphical interface, together with a large number of PCs running Microsoft Windows. Staff and students have easy access to high quality laser printing facilities and a range of specialist software.