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MSc Human-Computer Interaction

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.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2019

Modes and duration
Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 3 years
Tuition Fees (2019/20)
UK/EU:
£11,060 (FT) £5,500 (PT)
Overseas:
£26,660 (FT) £13,340 (PT)
Application deadlines
All applicants
Open: 15 October 2018
Close: 15 March 2019

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.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

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: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Content

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is concerned with the design and use of computer technology, focusing on the interfaces between people and computers. Research in HCI observes the ways in which people interact with computers, and designs novel ways for people to interact with computers. As a field, Human-Computer Interaction is interdisciplinary, sitting at the intersection of engineering, behavioural sciences, and design.

Programme Aims

  • To understand the relevance and application of human physical, cognitive, social and affective knowledge to the design of interactive systems.
  • To analyse the user requirements for an interactive computer system or product.
  • To understand the influence of context of use on user‐system interaction.
  • To characterise a range of Human‐Computer Interaction and User‐Centred Design styles and apply these to software and hardware design.
  • To test and analyse user performance, preferences and experience in relation to human‐centred interactive systems.
  • To acquire a range of transferable skills and the independent learning ability to equip students for future positions in industrial, academic or consultancy environments.

Teaching Methods

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. Every student is allocated a personal tutor to monitor their achievement and wellbeing.

We have excellent links with industry partners. We put on a weekly seminar series for our MSc students where external speakers from industry present their work, discuss current issues in HCI and offer careers advice. We also run visits to consultancies and field sites, such as a London Underground Control room.

Assessment

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. This allows you to develop and demonstrate a broad range of skills that are valued by employers or useful for further study. You will complete an individual research project.

MSc Project

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. There is a broad range of topics and questions that might be considered, and you will work closely with your supervisor in selecting and carrying out your project. Project work is normally carried out on a full-time basis over a three-month period during the summer term. At the end of the project, you will write a dissertation. Many former projects have contributed towards publications at leading international conferences, such as the ACM SIGCHI conference. Please take a look at previous Distinction Projects.

Structure

The MSc HCI programme runs over a full calendar year, starting in September. For the MSc students complete two 30-credit core modules, four 15-credit option modules, and the 60-credit MSc Project.

Students can also study for a shorter time by completing our programme as a Post-Graduate Diploma (PGDip) or a Post-Graduate Certificate (PGCert). These programmes run for nine months, starting in September through to June. For the PGDip students complete two 30-credit core modules and four 15-credit option modules. For the PGCert students complete one 30-credit core module and two 15-credit option modules.

All of our students are registered in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences.

Detailed Module Descriptions

Detailed module descriptions can be found on the UCLIC website.

30 Credit Core Modules (First Term)

  • PSYCGI17 Interaction Design
  • PSYCGI21 Interaction Science

15 Credit Option Modules (Second Term)

  • PSYCGI10 Future Interfaces
  • PSYCGI15 Affective Interaction
  • PSYCGI16 Physical Computing & Prototyping
  • PSYCGI18 Human Factors for Digital Health
  • PSYCGI19 Persuasive Games
  • PSYCGI20 Accessibility & Assistive Technologies
  • PSYCGI22 User-Centred Data Visualisation

60 Credit MSc Project (Summer Term)

Structure

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2019

 
Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Degree Information

 

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.

Core modules
  • Interaction Science
  • Interaction Design
Optional modules
  • Accessibility and Assistive Technologies
  • Affective Interaction
  • Future Interfaces
  • Human Factors for Digital Health
  • Persuasive Games
  • Physical Computing and Prototyping
  • User-Centred Data Visualization
Dissertation/report

 

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.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Human-Computer Interaction MSc

Staff

    For more information about teaching and research staff in UCLIC please visit https://uclic.ucl.ac.uk/people

      Application

      Key Information

      Programme starts

      September 2019

       
      Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
      Location: London, Bloomsbury

      Application and next steps

      Applications

      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.

      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.

      Application deadlines
      All applicants
      31 January 2018

       

      Please note: Applications are assessed individually against our entry criteria in the order they are completed (including references) until the programme is full. Early application is strongly advised. Applicants who have worked or studied in a majority English speaking country for less than 2 years will be required to provide evidence of meeting the English requirement in the form of one of UCL's approved tests.

       

      For more information see our Applications page.

      Apply now

      Guidelines on completion of personal statement

      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). However, it is important that you put care into it, as it has an important role in the selection process. Note that 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.

      Guidelines for Personal Statements

      Ensure you have read the information below

      Guidelines on completion of personal statement

      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). However, it is important that you put care into it, as it has an important role in the selection process. Note that 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.

      Careers

      Key Information

      Programme starts

      September 2019

       
      Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
      Location: London, Bloomsbury

      Careers

       

      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.

      Employability

       

      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.

       
       


      The skills and knowledge you will gain through studying on our post-graduate programmes are highly valued by employers. Our graduates have gone on to work for companies such as Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Foolproof, and Thomson Reuters to name but a few. Others have gone on to study for PhDs and academic careers. We run careers events and have a jobs mailing list for recent graduates. You will also have access to UCL resources, such as the Careers Service and online vacancies boards. For more information see Graduate Destinations.

      FAQs

      Please go to our FAQs section which may answer some of your questions.

      Open Days

      Our open days for 2019 entry have passed.