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Scientific and Data Intensive Computing

Scientists and engineers are tackling ever more complex problems, most of which do not admit analytical solutions and must be solved numerically. Numerical methods can only play an even more important role in the future as we face even bigger challenges. Therefore, skilled scientific programmers are in high demand in industry and academia and will drive forward much of the future economy.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

One year programme which is also available part-time over two years.

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£10,860 (FT)
£5,435 (PT)
Overseas:
£28,930 (FT)
£14,730 (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 Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in mathematics, computer science, engineering, physical sciences or a closely related subject. The degree stream must contain at least one university level mathematics course.

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: Standard

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.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

This programme aims to provide a rigorous formal training in computational science to produce highly computationally skilled scientists and engineers capable of applying numerical methods and critical evaluation of their results to their field of science or engineering. It brings together best practice in computing with cutting-edge science and provides a computing edge over traditional science, engineering and mathematics programmes.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation/report (60 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Scientific and Data Intensive Computing.

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.

Core modules

Students choose six from the following:

  • Computational and Simulation Methods
  • Numerical Methods
  • Numerical Optimisation
  • Research Computing with C++
  • Research Software Engineering with Python
  • Techniques of High-Performance Computing
  • Machine Learning with Big-Data
  • Statistical Data Analysis

Optional modules

Students choose a further two optional modules. Options include a wide selection of modules across UCL Engineering and UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences.

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 20,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and hands-on programming and includes a variety of short programming projects, delivered as part of the taught component. Students are encouraged to participate in scientific seminars, for example, weekly seminars at the UCL Centre for Inverse Problems. Assessment is through examinations, assignments, small projects and the dissertation, including a computer programme.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

Students can be self-funded or find sponsorship from alternative sources, for instance via those shown on the UCL scholarships and funding pages.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Brown Family Bursary

Note:
This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
Value:
£15,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

We expect our graduates to take up exciting science and engineering roles in industry and academia with excellent prospects for professional development and steep career advancement opportunities. This degree enables students to work on cutting-edge real-life problems, overcome the challenges they pose and so contribute to advancing knowledge and technology in our society.

Employability

Students develop a comprehensive set of skills which are in high demand both in industry and academia: professional software development skills including state-of-the-art scripting and compiled languages; knowledge of techniques used in high-performance computing; understanding and an ability to apply a wide range of numerical methods and numerical optimisation; a deeper knowledge of their chosen science subject; oral and written presentational skills.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL has a global reputation for excellence in research and is committed to delivering impact and innovations that enhance the lives of people in the UK, across Europe and around the world. UCL is consistently placed in the global top 20 across a wide range of university rankings (currently 10th in QS World University Rankings 2019). Furthermore, the Thomson Scientific Citation Index shows that UCL is the second-most highly cited European university and 12th in the world.

Our wide-ranging expertise provides opportunities for groundbreaking interdisciplinary investigation. World-leading experts in the field and students benefit from a programme of distinguished visitors and guest speakers in many scientific seminars. In this way a network of collaborators, mentors and peers is created, which students can access in their future career.

This degree has been designed to balance professional software development and high performance computing skills with a comprehensive selection of numerical mathematics and scientific subjects, culminating in a scientific computing dissertation project. The dual aspect of a science and computing degree enables students to tackle real-life problems in a structured and rigorous way and produce professional software for their efficient solution.

Department: Physics & Astronomy

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?

This programme is suitable for students with motivated and inquisitive minds who have a background in science, engineering or a related subject, and a strong interest in computing. Some experience in programming is essential.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we access your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Scientific and Data Intensive Computing at graduate level
  • why you want to study Scientific and Data Intensive Computing at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020