Human-Centred Systems MSc
This course is accredited by the British Computer Society for partial fulfilment of the academic requirement for Chartered IT Professional.
Scholarships and Bursaries
- UK/EU applicants - up to £2,000
- International (Non-EU) applicants - up to £2,000
- Loyalty Bursary Scheme for City University London graduates - up to £2,500
Find out more about these funding opportunities.
City University London's MSc Human-Centred Systems will equip you with the latest research, theories and techniques in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) with which to design, implement and evaluate interactive systems and technologies, including web-based information systems and applications, mobile devices and multi-touch tabletops. Its curriculum is based on leading-edge academic research to offer an intellectually stimulating course relevant to the workplace now and beyond. After attending this course, you will have excellent knowledge and skills for:
- Analysing requirements for systems that involve people and computers
- Designing for innovative interactive systems and technologies
- Creating Interaction design
- Conducting usability and accessibility evaluations
- Designing and evaluating systems to be inclusive
- Designing for collaborative work
- Undertaking and leading creative design activities
- Lead on user-centred design projects
- Creating an engaging user experience
Human-Centred Systems student works on innovative mobile app - MERSI
The app is being developed as part of the EU-funded Mirror project to support emergency workers to think creatively during training for maxi-emergencies, i.e. large-scale emergencies such as floods, forest fires and earthquakes. In April 2013 a new version of the app was evaluated by medical emergency workers for 48 hours during a large-scale flood simulation in the Cuneo Valley of Northern Italy. The app integrates information about medical procedures and guidance with creativity support and capabilities for recording, sharing and reflecting on new ideas to improve medical treatments in emergencies. This evaluation revealed the potential of the app in maxi-emergency situations.
Renato Fillinich, a student on the Human-Centred Systems Masters participated in the flood simulation as a member of the app development team. He deployed knowledge skills learned in modules about creativity, interaction design, and evaluating interactive systems to elicit feedback and refine the app design.
Computing and Information Systems Brochure
Download the PDF.
The minimum entry requirement is a good second class Honours degree from a UK university, a recognised equivalent from an accredited international institution or an equivalent professional qualification.We also consider previous professional and commercial experience as part of the entry requirements. Applicants should also have basic competence and familiarity with mathematics and good professional English.
Other Suitable Qualifications
INTO Postgraduate preparation Programmes
If you do not qualify for direct entry, our partner INTO City University London offers academic preparation programmes which focus on the skills you need. Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma in Science and Engineering at INTO City University London means guaranteed progression to this degree.
For those students whose first language is not English, one of the following qualifications is also required:
- IELTS: 6.5 (minimum of 6.0 in all four test components)
- TOEFL (internet based): 90
INTO English Language Programmes
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner, INTO City University London offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information.
City University London retains Highly Trusted Status from UKBA, enabling us to sponsor international students to study in the UK.
The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course at City, there are different rules for:
- Students on courses of more than 6 months
- Students on courses of less than 6 months
- Students on a pre-sessional English Language course
For more information see our main Visa page.
No prior exposure to the topics of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) or User-Centred Design (UCD) is necessary. The course will provide you with skills in designing and evaluating interactive systems and other types of computer-based systems in which people are a major element. You will acquire skills in advanced human-computer interaction design, requirements analysis and design, designing and conducting complex evaluations of new or existing software computing systems and expertise in designing and evaluating systems for people with disabilities and the elderly. You will benefit from being able to use the Interaction Lab, established originally with the support of the Vodafone UK Foundation. The Lab is equipped with the latest technologies including eye-trackers, interactive tabletops and setups to evaluate mobile devices.
7 Taught Core Module(s):
Practices and Theories in Interaction Design
- Demonstrate detailed understanding of the importance of usability and the consequences of poor usability for interactive systems
- Identify the theoretical foundations in cognitive psychology for human-computer interaction
- Critically evaluate a user-centred design process for interactive systems, including analysis, design and evaluation activities
- Understand and interpret HCI principles and guidelines, applying them to a variety of situations.
- Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the range of problems which arise in requirement engineering
- Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the state-of-the-art practices and leading academic research that are aimed at addressing the range of problems which arise in requirements engineering
- Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the differences between alternative requirements modelling techniques
- Apply start-of-the-art requirements methods and techniques to acquire, model and analyse requirements for complex systems.
Evaluating Interactive Systems
- Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the importance of usability evaluation
- Conduct effective usability evaluations using user-based and expert evaluation techniques, from choice of technique through to analysis of data
- Compare and contrast the weaknesses and strengths of the different evaluation methods.
- Demonstrate detailed understanding of the importance of inclusive design
- Illustrate and exemplify a professional awareness of the issues involved and potential approaches to be adopted in designing for diverse users
- Identify the theoretical foundations in cognitive psychology for human-computer interaction as they relate to inclusive design
- Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the state-of-the-art practices and leading academic research that are aimed at addressing the range of issues which arise in inclusive design.
Cognition and Technologies
Research, Methods and Professional Issues
1 Taught Elective module from the following list:
Creativity in Design
- Understand and support the role of creativity in interaction design.
- Learn and apply different types of creativity techniques in software design processes.
- Become familiar with and exploit different types of technologies for creative design.
- Practice and reflect on creativity techniques and technologies through project work.
Multimedia Design and Development
- Understand the conceptual basis of telemedicine and its role in medical decision-making and patient care
- Understand the technical issues surrounding telemedicine
- Knowledge of e-health technology
- Design of telemedicine systems
Read the full programme specification.
Teaching and Assessment
The course is assessed by a mixture of coursework and examination, plus a project dissertation. Students successfully completing seven core taught modules and the research project will be awarded a Master of Science (MSc) degree. All modules in this course are supported by the University's online learning environment. You will also benefit from the strategic alliance between City University London and the University of Uppsala in Sweden, which supports exchanges of teaching staff and students to enrich the learning experience.
The course is available full time (12 months) and part time (up to 28 months; daytime study).
Delivery of the modules is by a combination of lectures, online activities and interactive workshops and tutorials.
Students successfully completing eight modules and the dissertation will be awarded 180 credits and a masters level qualification. Alternatively, students who do not complete the dissertation but have successfully completed eight modules will be awarded 120 credits and a postgraduate diploma. Successful completion of four modules (60 credits) will lead to the award of a postgraduate certificate.
Each module is assessed through a combination of coursework and examination.
* Note re Postgraduate Certificate: This must include module INM 355 (Human-Computer Interaction Design) and at least one module from INM 314 (Advanced Human-Computer Interaction), INM 313 (Inclusive Design) or INM 315 (Evaluation of Systems).
|FULL-TIME study timetable: 2012/2013||PART-TIME study timetable: 2012/2013|
|Semester 1||YEAR 1, Semester 1|
|Interaction Design||Wednesday morning|
|Information Architecture||Wednesday afternoon||Information Architecture||Wednesday
|YEAR 1, Semester 2|
|Research Methods and Professional Issues||Friday afternoon||Cognition and Technologies||Thursday
|Evaluating Interactive Systems||Thursday afternoon|
|Semester 2||YEAR 2, Semester 1|
|Multimedia Design and Development||Wednesday morning||Requirements Engineering||
|Creativity in Design*||Wednesday morning||Research Methods and Professional Issues||Friday
|Inclusive Design||Wednesday afternoon|
|Cognition and Technologies||Thursday morning||YEAR 2, Semester 2|
|Evaluating Interactive Systems||Thursday afternoon||Multimedia Design and Development *||Wednesday morning|
|Inclusive Design||Wednesday afternoon|
* Option module: students can elect to take Creativity in Design, Telemedicine, or Data Visualisation instead of Multimedia Design and Development. Telemedicine and Data Visualisation are taught on Friday morning.
Read the full programme specification.
- Full-time EU: £9,000 (2013/14 fees)
- Part-time EU: £4,500 (per year) (2013/14 fees)
- Full-time Non EU: £13,500 (2013/14 fees)
- Part-time Non EU: £6,750 (per year) (2013/14 fees)
Scholarships and Bursaries
- Merit-based scholarships up to £1,500 available
- Loyalty Bursary Scheme available to City University London graduates.
Find out more about both of these funding opportunities.
School of Informatics postgraduate fees and funding information:
- Fees and funding information for UK and EU students
- Fees and funding information for international students
If a student leaves the University after commencing but before completing their course, the University reserves the right to charge the student the tuition / course fee for the full academic year (or full course for capacity limited post-graduate courses - up to a maximum of 2 years fees) in question. The student may be charged the full fee for that year or course as applicable unless the student is able to present justification to the University that exceptional and unforeseeable reasons for their withdrawal exist.
How to pay
The University has introduced an instalment payment scheme which is available to certain categories of students, including taught postgraduate students. For students following the normal academic year, the annual fee may be paid in two equal instalments: the first on registering, the second on 31 January. If you wish to pay your fees by instalment you must pay the first instalment at or before registration, by cheque or credit/debit card. You must also supply your bank details or credit card details for payment of your second instalment which will be deducted automatically from your bank or credit card account on 31st January.
Further details about the payment of fees
Please Note - Applicants who already hold a HE qualification and are applying for another HE course at an Equal or Lower Level Qualification (ELQ)
UK/EU students who already hold a Higher Education qualification and are applying to start another Higher Education course at an equivalent or lower level (ELQ) should note that they will have to pay higher fees for their course from 2009/10 onwards. The exact fee will vary by course. You are advised to contact your admissions officer to discuss the fees.
The new rules and regulations have been introduced by the Government and not City University London. The Government instructed the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to withdraw institutional funding for ELQ students (both Home and EU) - those studying for an equivalent or lower level qualification. This means that UK Universities will no longer receive any government funding to support Home/EU ELQ students. The additional fee for students has been introduced by City University London to help recover some (but not all) of the withdrawn funding. If you already hold an MA qualification, this means that you are classed as an ELQ student.
Internships offer an exceptional opportunity to make you stand out in a competitive job market place. We have extensive experience in helping students to secure placement employment in the IT industry.
More information on Internships in Industry.
What our students say:
The MSc program in Human-Centred Systems at City has thoroughly prepared me for a competitive role in the industry. I am currently on an internship at Fluent Interaction, working as a User Experience Consultant. The theoretical and practical skills that I picked up throughout the program have proved to be useful at my new role. Above all, however, the wide array of students at the university, along with the knowledgeable and approachable instructors have enriched my postgraduate education in a way that I did not expect. I would not have gotten this far without their guidance at every step of the way.
Shamil Parbhoo - MSc Human-Centred Systems. Internship - Fluent Interaction.
Current trends indicate that there is an increasing need for computer scientists and software developers with a broader knowledge of computer-based systems and their design. In particular, companies involved in designing interactive systems (e.g. websites design, e-learning applications, multimedia design companies) are looking for graduates with an understanding and appreciation of the human elements in design.
The degree aims to provide you with skills and knowledge that can lead you in obtaining positions in HCI consulting companies, big companies that are in need for HCI expertise for evaluating their interactive systems, and in general in design companies that appreciate the need of incorporating HCI and people issues in the design of interactive systems. Examples of possible positions are: Usability and Accessibility specialists, Interaction Designers, Information architects.
Typical services offered by our graduates are the development and evaluation of highly usable and accessible interactive systems (e.g. websites, multimedia), setting up and running usability studies of software prototypes with users, managing the introduction of new software into organisations.
The MSc is also good starting point for students who wish to study for a PhD in the areas of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW), and Software Engineering (SE) with a focus on people in the design process.
The programme is offered by the Centre for HCI Design which has significant research and service expertise in engineering requirements for socio-technical systems (i.e. business and other systems that have a major human component) and interaction and product design for all, in particular disabled and elderly users. Research and service-rendered opportunities have expanded rapidly in this area in the last 4 years. For example, the UK's Disability Discrimination Act requires organisations to develop software-based products that are accessible and usable by all, thus creating a new market for software developers sensitive to all people's needs. Recent EU initiatives place the citizen at the centre of Europe's technological society, again requiring software developers to have a greater awareness and skill set to hand people's requirements. This increasing demand has been reflected in both increased research contract and service-rendered income to the Centre, and more frequent requests for training and education courses to disseminate the Centre's expertise more widely. In a related initiative, the Centre is currently developing its Interaction Laboratory within the University - a space designed both to support its research activities and to be available to outside organisations.
This course will enable you to...
After the successful completion of the course candidates may consider a PhD degree, towards an academic/research career.
Find out more about City University London
MSc in Human Centred Systems
Please read through the application guidance notes before you apply.
You should submit your application by one of the following two methods:
1. Completing the online form; or
2. Completing a hard copy of the application form and sending this to the address below.
Please ensure you include your supporting documentation with your application. If you are applying online you should note that confidential references are only acceptable as originals sent in signed and sealed envelopes by post to the address below. References attached as supporting documentation to an online application cannot be considered.
International students: it is important you submit your application to us in sufficient time for you to arrange your visa before the start of the course.
You will be able to attach electronic copies of your supporting documents. However, you will be required to submit your confidential references in hard copy (in signed and sealed envelopes) to the address below, together with any supporting documents you do not attach when applying online.
You can download and print off the paper application form here.
Alternatively, to receive an application pack in the post please contact the Programmes Office:
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7040 0248
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7040 0233
Please send your completed paper application form, together with supporting documents, to:
School of Informatics
City University London
London EC1V 0HB