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Masters in Computer Engineering

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Computer EngineeringA Masters in Computer Engineering is a postgraduate course with a vocational focus. Students should finish their masters program well prepared to work in the computer industry, having studied both the theory and practical side of this ever-expanding field. Most universities offer a number of learning options, if you apply to take the course full time you will complete the qualification in a year. However, some people choose the part-time option, in which case it will usually take two years. Some provision is made for the inevitable disparity between the previous experience levels of each student. However, the course will be aimed at encouraging each student to develop their existing talents, providing them with the knowledge they need to compete in this fast-paced and evolving industry.

Reasons to study an MSc Computer Engineering

Students choose to study MSc Computer Engineering because it is offers a high level of practical content. The course focuses on both sides of the industry; meaning you should graduate with a comprehensive understanding of both hardware and software. You will be ideally positioned to work on the most cutting edge and innovative of technologies, smart phones, computer generated film effects and even tertiary industries like vehicle manufacture. In the more interactive modules, you will gain the ability to target a gap in the market - then design, program and produce a gadget from scratch for mass production.

If you wish to continue your studies even further, this course is the ideal springboard. A PhD in Computer Science will be a viable option on graduating from the masters, giving you the opportunity to pursue more detailed research projects.

Postgraduate Computer Engineering courses – the lowdown

Postgraduate courses in this field will often include a placement in industry and on-the-job training will almost certainly form one of the modules. As well as this there will also be more standardised learning, consisting of the usual lectures and tutorials.

Most postgraduate computer engineering courses at UK universities have three compulsory units; these include an introduction to the subject and your final project. The thesis will be undertaken with guidance from a postgraduate supervisor who will have relevant experience and be able to monitor your progress.

Aside from this, students are given a choice of at least six further unit options, from these they can choose three to specialise in. Modules are usually created to be independent of one another, with very little cross over in the syllabuses. This means that students can choose a bespoke learning path to benefit their potential career or professional development.

Masters in Computer Engineering study modules

Here is a selection of areas that computer engineering postgraduate programs will cover:

Digital design: The modules in postgraduate computer engineering programs are designed to enhance its application in the world of industry. Students will usually look at digital design, including the creation of 3D imagery as used in film production, web design and the manipulation of digital images. There will be a chance to study embedded systems – these are the small programs that work within larger technical structures. The course should also cover digital processors which are used at the core of an embedded system. These tiny components are an essential feature in most of the smart devices we use today. A comprehensive understanding of these is vital for reducing the end product in size and cost, not to mention improving the unit’s functionality and accuracy.

Gaming: Most universities offering a Masters in Computer Engineering will offer a module on the extremely popular area of gaming, including the creation of interactive environments online. This will incorporate a more detailed exploration of 3D rendering and virtual reality platforms.

Natural language processing: Another optional unit may be focussed on natural language processing, it will look at technologies that use speech and how an audience receives these. Students will be taught how to transfer text to speech, considering its practical use in various computerised voice recognition services.

Image analysis: Another popular area of study in computer engineering is image analysis. This looks at how a computer interprets a small visual stimulus and is becoming as important as how it processes far larger amounts of data. Presently a computer is not able to match the nuances and capabilities of a human eye, but nevertheless this is a growing area of interest for app designers, medical professionals and retailers alike.

Software workshops: As part of the course, many institutions will run software workshops for students with less computing experience. You will be introduced to the key aspects of the MSc in Computer Engineering, before going on to select specialist modules in the latter semesters.

Postgraduate Computer Engineering programs

To be considered for an MSc Computer Engineering at a UK university you will need a first degree, usually with a grade of 2.2 or above. If you are coming from abroad and your first degree is not from an English speaking university, you will often need to take an English test, or produce an English language certificate.

Computer Engineering graduate case study

Postgraduate programs in computer engineering are exciting and interesting, as well as useful for future career development. One student who graduated from Liverpool Hope University said of his course, “at this level you are testing not only your technical ability, but your ability to be critical, analyse current academic research, and handle research design and investigation.”

Funding your MSc Computer Engineering

Aside from self financing, MSc Computer Engineering funding can come from specific scholarships. These can be paid for by research councils whose work includes Computer Science, or a charitable trust with links to the technological world. Also, many universities have fostered links with industry, on request they can provide students with details of potential employers who may be willing to fund your course. If you accept this kind of financial aid, there will often be conditions applied. Your benefactor may wish to make use of your newly acquired skills after you have finished the course, but it is rare that they will expect to be repaid.

Computer Engineering salaries

Computer Engineering salaries vary greatly depending on the employee’s level of experience. As a general rule, graduates can expect to go into their first post at between £25,000 and £30,000 per year. However, this can rise closer to £50,000 for more senior positions and for managers, earnings of £75,000 are normal. Bear in mind Computer Engineering salaries like those of any other profession are affected by your location. City jobs tend to pay well, whilst more rural companies will have less to offer in terms of remuneration.

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