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  1. Human-Computer Interaction Design
  2. 2017

MSc Human-Computer Interaction Design

This course provides students with advanced knowledge, industry-valued skills and new design perspectives, empowering them to succeed in a User Experience (UX) career.

Key Information

Start date

September 2017


Full-time: 12 or 16 months
Part-time: 28 months

Full-time course will be 12 months if not taking internship option, 16 months if taking internship.

See more about duration


Full-time: £9,000

Part-time: £4,500 per year


Full-time: £15,000

Part-time: £7,500 per year

Who is it for?

This course is for people who share our ethos of wanting to design technology that meets user needs - interactive systems that are useful, easy-to-use and engaging. It is for people who get frustrated when they interact with unnecessarily complicated Websites, mobile apps or other interactive systems and think 'I want to be able to improve this.' It is for people that want to design technology based on an understanding of users' needs and to ensure that the products they and others design meet those needs. We welcome students who share this user-centred ethos.


This course will equip you with the latest academic research, theories and techniques in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), User Experience (UX), usability and Interaction Design and encourages you to think about design in new ways - recognising that there are many 'right' ways to design interactive systems.

You will gain a mix of theoretical and practical knowledge, along with the necessary skills and experience to create engaging user experiences. You will study modules that cover the entire user-centred design and evaluation process; from understanding user needs, to designing interactive systems that meet those needs, to evaluating the usability of those (and existing systems) through user research.


British Computer Society

This course is accredited by BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT. On successful completion of the course, students will have partly fulfilled the academic requirements for Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

  • An upper second class honours degree in any subject, the equivalent from an international institution or three-plus years of UX-related industry experience
  • A practical background in computing technologies is useful, but not essential
  • Previous experience in Human-Computer Interaction or User Experience Design is not necessary
  • Programming experience is not necessary.

INTO City, University of London

Don't meet the entry requirements? INTO City, University of London offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare you for study at City, University of London. You'll learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry. To prepare for this degree course, learn more about the Graduate Diploma in Informatics.

Kaplan International College London

City works in partnership with Kaplan International College (KIC) London to provide preparatory courses for international students. Pre Masters courses at KIC London offer comprehensive support to students wishing to complete their postgraduate study at City. Progression to this degree is guaranteed if you complete the KIC London Pre-Masters course at the required level.

English requirements

For overseas students whose first language is not English, the following qualification is required:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (minimum of 6.5 in all four test components)

Due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

English language programmes

Don't meet the English language requirements? INTO City, University of London offers English language programmes to help prepare you for study at university. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to degree courses.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Applications to study the MSc Human-Computer Interaction Design for the 2017/18 academic year have now closed as all places have been filled. Application information for the 2018/19 academic year will be published in September 2017.

Contact information for the Postgraduate Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7040 0248

Over 90% of students are employed within six months of graduating.
Our course offers a healthy balance of theory and practice, with a strong focus on real-world applications.
Our course offers unique modules that cover the entire user-centred design process.

More about fees

If a student leaves City after commencing but before completing their course, City 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 that exceptional and unforeseeable reasons for their withdrawal exist.

How to pay

City 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 31st 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.


Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

Benefits of the course

Academic staff, alumni and students discuss the benefits of the MSc Human-Computer Interaction Design at City University London.


After the taught part of the course is completed, you will have the opportunity to partake in a six month internship which gives you valuable work experience and increases your employability. 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.

Learn more about internships in Industry at City.

Recent internship companies

Academic facilities

You will benefit from the use of the City Interaction Lab - a combined commercial and research lab, where we have undertaken UX consultancy for prestigious companies including Virgin Atlantic. The lab is fitted with the latest technologies including a usability testing suite, mobile testing station, eye-tracker, interactive tabletop, brain interaction technology, 3D printer and more. We employ student consultants on some projects, providing the opportunity to work on real client projects.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply

Teaching and learning

The course is delivered by distinguished academics from City University London's Centre for HCI Design, who all have a passion for user-centred design. Industry professionals also participate in teaching and learning - by giving guest lectures, running practitioner tutorials and even by providing feedback on students' design outputs and input into module content, ensuring that students learn the knowledge and skills most valued by industry.


The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, online activities and interactive workshops and tutorials. It is assessed in a variety of ways, including:

  • Examinations (which focus on applying HCI theory in realistic situations)
  • Coursework (which range from written reports and essays, to posters, presentations and design documentation - e.g. wireframe prototypes). A range of both group and individual courseworks are set during the course. Group courseworks are often centred around realistic design projects
  • Independent research project (dissertation). The independent project allows students to conduct original research on an HCI topic of their choice
  • Each of these account for around one-third of the total course assessment. However, the exact balance varies according to the chosen elective module.


You will study seven core modules and one elective module that cover the entire user-centred design and evaluation process. Modules are delivered through a combination of lectures, online activities and interactive workshops and tutorials. These include sessions delivered by guest lecturers from industry. Full-time students spend eight hours/week in lectures and four hours/week in seminars/tutorials. Part-time students spend half this time in classes. Overall workload is around 36 hours/week for full-time and 18 hours/week for part-time students.

You will also undertake an independent Research Project, for which our module on Research Methods and Professional Issues will prepare you.

A series of optional, but recommended, practitioner tutorials supplement the taught modules. These include talks, workshops and field trips. Previous tutorials have featured HCI/UX practitioners from prestigious companies including Foolproof, Futureheads and eBay.

Taught Core Modules

Interaction Design (15 credits)

You will…

  • Appreciate the importance of good usability and User Experience for the design of interactive systems
  • Develop an understanding of important Interaction Design paradigms (e.g. User-Centred Design, Participatory Design, Contextual Design)
  • Apply HCI principles and guidelines to the design of a wide variety of interactive systems
  • Carry out user research, conceptual and detailed design and evaluation as part of the user-centred design process
  • Engage with seminal and cutting edge HCI research.

Creativity in Design (15 credits)

You will…

  • Understand the importance, nature and roles of creativity in design projects
  • Select and deploy different creativity techniques and methods in user-centred projects
  • Master creativity processes, techniques and tools in design work.

Information Architecture (15 credits)

You will…

  • Design the structural foundation of digital information environments, such as Websites and apps, to allow users to find the information they need and find it easily
  • Understand theory of how to organise, structure and label digital information to support user navigation and information-seeking
  • Create models and prototypes to drive the user-centred design of digital information environments (e.g. domain models, sitemaps, wireframes)
  • Develop skills in evaluating information architectures from a user perspective.

Evaluating Interactive Systems (15 credits)

You will…

  • Understand and apply a range of techniques for evaluating usability, including user-based and expert evaluation techniques (e.g. User Testing, Guerrilla Testing, Heuristic Evaluation)
  • Compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of different evaluation methods and associated methods of data collection
  • Develop skills for evaluating the broader User Experience, beyond usability.

Inclusive Design (15 credits)

You will…

  • Develop skills for designing and evaluating accessible and inclusive interactive systems for a diverse range of users (e.g. children, older users, users with disabilities)
  • Develop an understanding of theoretical foundations in Cognitive Psychology as they relate to inclusive design
  • Apply international accessibility standards and guidelines (e.g. WCAG 2.0, Section 508) to the design of inclusive interactive systems.

Cognition and Technologies (15 credits)

You will…

  • Understand the role of cognition on user behaviour when using interactive systems
  • Analyse complex interactions from a cognitive perspective
  • Design novel interactive systems based on an understanding of cognitive theories.

Research Methods and Professional Issues (15 credits)

You will…

  • Acquire and develop skills for planning and carrying out independent, original research (which you will later apply when completing your Masters dissertation)
  • Select appropriate quantitative and qualitative techniques for data collection and analysis and justify your selections
  • Develop approaches to finding, interpreting, and use existing academic research as a basis for research
  • Explore the legal, ethical and professional implications of HCI research and use this knowledge to inform your research.

Taught Elective modules

Web Application Development (15 credits)

You will…

  • Develop a detailed understanding of the core components of Web-based applications
  • Create Web applications that incorporate dynamic and engaging front-end user interfaces
  • Understand the importance of security and data access in Web applications.

Data Visualisation (15 credits)

You will…

  • Understand and apply techniques for the visual presentation of data to support user exploration and understanding
  • Create engaging data visualisations to reveal the structure in data sets
  • Develop programming skills to support the development of interactive graphical applications for visualisation.

Telemedicine (15 credits)

You will…

  • Develop an understanding of the fundamentals of e-health technologies and providing healthcare at a distance
  • Design interactive systems to support medical decision-making and patient care
  • Apply standards and guidelines to the design of healthcare systems.

Technological Innovation and Practice (15 credits)

You will…

  • Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to understand technology-based innovation and the processes through which you can manage it
  • Integrate market, technological and organizational considerations in developing and appraising possible innovations
  • Understand the challenges and opportunities that new technologies offer to innovate and disrupt business.
  • Alumni
    City gave me the valuable tools & knowledge required to work closely with stakeholders in order to work out a design engineered for their future users
  • Student
    The course combines individual and team work and employs a healthy mix of theory and practice, which really helps to understand and apply the concepts and approaches.
  • Student
    I appreciate the receptiveness of the teachers - they are passionate and extremely willing to help. Doing your Masters can be intimidating - they make it much less stressful and overwhelming.
  • Student
    The curriculum of the MSc Human-Centred Systems is interesting and robust. The lecturers are also very well regarded in their respective domains.
  • Alumni - Senior UX Consultant
    My course at City provided me with hands-on experience and connections within the UX industry to get me started on the right foot.
  • Student
    I love having access to academics who are actively working with the latest technology and carrying out cutting edge research
  • Academic expert
    Senior Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction working in the School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering.

Career prospects

City alumna Emily shares her experience of studying the Human-Computer Interaction Design MSc at City University London and how undertaking this postgraduate course has helped her in her career.

This course empowers students to succeed in a variety of User Experience (UX) roles in leading digital agencies, business consultancies, IT companies and commercial/government organisations.

Roles include:

  • UX Designer/Consultant
  • User Researcher
  • Information Architect
  • Accessibility Specialist.

There is an increasing need for specialists with a deep knowledge of Human-Computer Interaction design. As the industry continues to expand, there is no better time to become a Master in this field. The course is also an excellent starting point for those wanting to pursue a PhD in HCI.

94.1% of graduates in employment or further study six months after completing the course

Applications to study the MSc Human-Computer Interaction Design for the 2017/18 academic year have now closed as all places have been filled. Application information for the 2018/19 academic year will be published in September 2017.

Contact information for the Postgraduate Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7040 0248

Contact details

Programmes Office (room A302)

Request a prospectus

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.