Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is concerned with the design and use of computer and mobile technology, focusing on the interfaces between people and systems. This interdisciplinary degree programme sits at the intersection of engineering, behavioural sciences, and design. It combines academic rigour with practical and professional skills highly valued by employers.
Modes and duration
Tuition Fees (2021/22)
- £12,500 (FT) £6,250 (PT)
- £31,200 (FT) £15,600 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
A minimum of an upper second-class degree in computer science, psychology or ergonomics or a minimum of an upper second-class degree in a computer science-, psychology-, or ergonomics-related field (e.g. interface design, business IT, product design). Account will be taken of any relevant practical or work experience.
Attention must be given to the instructions in writing the personal statement.
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Advanced. Students who have worked or studied in country considered by UCL to be majority English speaking for less than 3 years must provide evidence in the form of a UCL approved test.
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
- About this degree
Students develop an understanding of the relevance and application of human physical, cognitive, social, and affective knowledge to the design of interactive systems. They learn to analyse and test user performance, preferences and experience in relation to human-centred interactive systems. Students will be able to characterise and apply a range of human-computer interaction and user-centred design styles.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two compulsory 30-credit core modules, four 15-credit optional modules and a 60-credit research project.
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months or flexible up to three years is offered) consisting of two compulsory 30-credit core modules and four 15-credit optional modules.
A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), full-time three months or flexible up to two years is offered. This consists of one 30-credit core module and 30 credits of optional modules.
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Human-Computer Interaction. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Human-Computer Interaction. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Human-Computer Interaction.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Links to module descriptions are to the current (2019-20) academic year.
The MSc project gives you the opportunity to conduct research in the area of human-computer interaction under the supervision of a member of UCLIC staff. A broad range of topics and questions are offered and you will work closely with your supervisor in selecting and carrying out your project. Many former projects have contributed to publications at leading international conferences, such as the ACM SIGCHI conference.
- Teaching and learning
Our modules use a combination of lectures and practical activities. Activities are often structured around individual or group projects, such as the evaluation of a system or the creation of a prototype. Modules are assessed through a mixture of coursework and exams. Coursework is varied and includes design portfolios, presentations, videos, reflective reports, and online peer learning tasks as well as more traditional academic essays.
We estimate that full-time students spend 35 - 42 hours per week on their studies. In Terms one and two, 12-16 hours per week are spent on teaching related actvitities. The remainder of the time is independent study. Over the summer students can expect up to 12 hours of supervision for their project.
Students may be encouraged to submit work to conferences as part of taught modules. Where students are successful we normally provide up to £500 support for conference registration, travel and accomodation costs. Depending on conference location the full cost may be higher than this and students who attend will need to meet those additional costs. Attendance at conferences is optional.For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accomodation and living costs.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Our graduates are employed by technology multinationals, start-ups, government agencies, consultancies and in academia. They take up roles such as User Experience (UX) Researchers, Interaction Designers, Usability Specialists and Information Architects. Many progress to senior roles within a few years of graduation.
This degree is highly regarded by our colleagues in industry. Along with developing HCI research skills, the programme allows students to demonstrate skills in presenting, writing and collaboration that are valued by employers. We have a large network of alumni working in London and across the world. Many of them are involved with our industry speaker series and careers events, and they regularly send opportunities to our jobs mailing list for recent graduates.
- Why study this degree at UCL?
This programme is taught by the UCL Interaction Centre (UCLIC), a world leading Centre of Excellence in Human-Computer Interaction, working collaboratively with industry and the research community. UCLIC, and before it the UCL Ergonomics Unit, have provided training in this field for over thirty years. We have excellent links with industry partners, offer students a weekly industry speaker series and run visits to consultancies and field sites.
Our modules use a combination of lectures and practical activities. Activities are often structured around individual or group projects, such as the evaluation of a system or the creation of a prototype. Assessments are varied and include design portfolios, presentations, videos and reflective reports as well as academic essays and exams.
The MSc research project allows students to undertake cutting-edge research in human-computer interaction. Many former projects have been published and presented at leading international conferences.
- Applications and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £120 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is suitable for students with appropriate backgrounds in psychology, computer science, or a closely related discipline who wish to develop skills to equip them for future positions in industrial, academic or consultancy environments in the field of human-computer interaction.
- All applicants
- 12 March 2021
Notes: Applicants who have worked or studied in a majority English speaking country for less than three years will be required to provide evidence of meeting the English requirement in the form of one of UCL's approved tests.
References should be recieved no later than 2 weeks after the closing date.
Applications that meet the minimum entry requiremetn will be reviewed together after the closing date.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
- Guidance on personal statements
Applicants for the MSc/PGDip/PGCert in Human-Computer Interaction are expected to complete a personal statement that accompanies their application form. Your personal statement, together with your qualifications, experience and references, will help us to select applicants. The personal statement need not be long (two sides of A4 paper maximum) - we value students who are able to write in clear and concise English. Your motivation and interest in HCI is fundamental to this course. Below are specific points for you to address. Please structure your personal statement accordingly. You may add additional information as you see fit.
1. Describe your interest in the subject and in this MSc/PgDip/PgCert programme. Looking at the modules on the programme, which ones interest you most and why? If you are enrolling in the MSc programme, do you have a particular research project in mind? Are there other reasons why you are applying to this course?
2. Briefly describe your future plans and commitment to the subject and how completion of this MSc/PgDip/PgCert programme will help you obtain your career goals.
3. Describe how your work experience or studies have prepared you for this course.
4. You do not need to include a Portfolio. However, if you wish to do so please include it in the same file as either your CV or your Personal Statement. A Portfolio does not replace a personal statement.
- Open Days
We will be taking part in Faculty of Brain Sciences Online Open Days - date tbc.
For further information please contact the UCLIC Senior Teaching & Learning Administrator.