Interaction Design and Computing MSc
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific entry requirements
The course is open to computer literate graduates with a good first degree (minimum Second Class Honours) or equivalent in a related discipline such as graphic design, computer science, digital imaging or journalism. Alternatively you may have in-depth work experience in a related field, or already be employed in the sector and are undertaking the programme to further enhance your career plans. The relevance of your first degree or industrial experience and suitability for the course will be usually determined by interview and, where relevant, portfolio. If English is not your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5.
This course has been designed to produce hands on professionals with a broad range of career possibilities in the digital economy, either working as designers, developers, managers or starting an enterprise.
This sector is expanding rapidly in all areas, with major social media companies now trading on the stock exchange with revenues of billions of dollars and applications like WhatsApp selling for $19 billion. Companies are spending billions on their online and digital strategies, on mobile optimised websites, applications and content like videos, the demand for skilled professionals who can deliver these strategies continues to grow.
The course has been designed to address the needs of these emerging areas, and ensure graduates can adapt to the changing needs of the sector. We have excellent links within the multimedia industry, and many companies and experts have visited the Faculty in previous years to give presentations, including MPC, Sky, Apple and Adobe as well as companies looking to recruit students after finishing the Masters. The Multimedia MSc hosts teachertrainingvideos.com, a comprehensive repository of freely accessible multimedia training videos to which the teaching team have been significant contributors to the site over the last few years. This site has become one of the biggest Open Educational Resources (OER) sites for multimedia on the internet and was funded by JISC.
The course emphasises the key multimedia principles, theories and concepts, as well as exposing you to the industry standard languages and tools including scripting languages, HTML, AJAX, and Xcode. You will examine a number of areas, including human computer interaction and the user experience, project management, web development, scripting for interactivity, and analytics. The course will enable you to develop the knowledge and skills required in a number of careers as well as preparation to continue to a PhD.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
This module gives you a broad understanding of the planning and organisation that goes into developing a product. You will work with a real client, taking the process right through from an initial pitch to the execution of a prototype, providing you with practice in many of the key tools and concepts used in project management.
MULTIMEDIA SCRIPTING FOR INTERACTIVITY
You will develop and implement an interactive application, using an industry standard development environment and object-oriented scripting language. You will organise and plan the production of the prototype, with an emphasis on the approach taken to coding.
The project is an extended piece of supervised independent work relevant to the field. This can be either undertaken as a work-based project or on a topic proposed by the student or faculty.
RESEARCH METHODS AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
You will strengthen your skills for the research and industry needs of the course, the final project, and for your future career and study. The module guides your personal development plan towards the professional requirements of the discipline, and covers methods of critical evaluation, gathering and analysing information, and preparing and defending a project proposal.
USER-CENTRED INTERFACE DESIGN
The module will explore the foundations of user-centred interface design and the user experience through applied theory. You will be introduced to the importance of the Human Computer Interaction discipline, and the need to consider both the cognitive and interaction perspective. Building from this you will explore related issues such as design, interaction, globalisation, accessibility and navigation.
DIGITAL EDITING AND MOTION GRAPHICS
You will explore areas related to the creation of motion graphics, and gain an overview of non-linear editing techniques using industry standard tools from Adobe and Apple.
IPHONE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
You will gain the necessary knowledge and practical experience to develop applications for native platforms through this module. It will give you the skills to produce applications that take advantage of the underlying hardware features of contemporary mobile devices, such as smartphones and multitouch surfaces, location features, and natural gesturing though combination of accelerator and touch surfaces
PERVASIVE COMPUTING AND INTERACTIVE SYSTEMS
The module is designed to give you a theoretical and practical background to the development of immersive environments for various platforms, using industry standard toolkits. You will focus particularly on the algorithms, theories and design of new digital media, and their application to multi-platform environments such as mobile interfaces, pervasive games, web applications and web logs (blogs), interactive installations, interactive museum guides, and virtual and augmented environments.
You will focus on the foundations of modern web development languages and environments, with an emphasis on efficient client-side development as well as an overview of database connectivity. You will also focus on emerging standards including HTML5.
WEB ENABLE DATABASE APPLICATION
The module offers a study in the field of server-side and client-side scripting, and you will be presented with techniques for creating dynamic web pages, while a server-side language will be covered to the depth required for implementing functional applications. The module aims to examine alternative methods for the development of dynamic web applications; to equip you with the ability to analyse, evaluate and implement web-based business applications; to provide an introduction to using a server-side language for the development of web applications; and to enable you develop a theoretical and practical knowledge of the W3C.
WEB MARKETING AND ANALYTICS
The module focuses on the fundamental concepts and strategies of web and digital marketing, and will develop your critical knowledge and skill of the current technologies and techniques used including SEO, analytics and Buzz Web 2.0 marketing.
Graduates may find employment in digital agencies, corporate environments (marketing, communications, IT and training), educational institutions, the media and film industry, and in entertainment. Possible roles include mobile app and web developer, project/production manager, web analytics analyst, and user experience designers. We have excellent links with the multimedia industry (particularly in education), and previous graduates have been employed by companies such as 2Simple, 20:20 Media, Moving Picture Company, Oxford University Press, and Tiscali. Successful graduates may also apply for a research degree in a relative area.
Length of course
One year, full-time or two to three years, part-time.
Central London (Cavendish)
The teaching team includes:
- Ashif Tejani, Course Leader, Principal Lecturer
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. We place as much emphasis on gaining skills relevant to the workplace as on learning the academic discipline that you are studying.
Obtaining a placement, part-time or vacation job while you study will provide you with extra cash and help you demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for.
In London, there is a plentiful supply of part-time work - most students at the University of Westminster work part-time (or full-time during vacations) to help support their studies.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation. You can use our comprehensive Online Vacancy Service to find part-time, placement, voluntary and graduate opportunities.
Our website provides comprehensive information covering topics such as events, job searching, CVs and applications. We organise presentations, networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations to help you with your career planning.
Our careers consultants are experienced personal development trainers and offer a range of self-development workshops to improve your job seeking strategies, to enhance self-confidence and provide self-marketing techniques.
We offer support for students and recent graduates to obtain volunteer placements and also for those interested in developing their enterprise skills.
We can help you to:
- Find part-time / vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- Explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- Plan your career development
- Identify your career options
- Market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and interviews.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your faculty registry and can help you to find a suitable placement as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
Career options in your subject area
We offer targeted careers information for this course. View the range of careers options that are available to you after you graduate:
Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support including subject specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.