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User Experience Engineering

MSc

For most companies, understanding the complex web of relationships between people, technology and design - the 'user experience' – is vital in acquiring the competitive edge. Especially when considering the development and production of technology based devices and services. MSc User Experience Engineering brings together knowledge and skill sets into a single programme focused on the user experience where computing technology is the heart of the devices and services.

Closing date: For entry Sept 2014, apply before 18th July 2014, if you need a visa to study in the UK

Why study MSc User Experience Engineering at Dundee?

The importance of human computer interaction and good interface design is increasingly recognised as the key to the future of successful software development. User-centric software and hardware are evolving at a phenomenal rate and becoming ever more important in product design as technological breakthroughs drive innovation in products.

At the University of Dundee we provide students with the knowledge skills and support necessary to become move into a career in user experience engineering. The University of Dundee is at the forefront of computing and as such you will have the opportunity to learn from leading researchers.

What's so good about MSc User Experience Engineering at Dundee?

This course is designed to:

  • Give you a Masters-level postgraduate education in the knowledge, skills and understanding of user experience research and implementation in the domain of computing and technology.
  • Enable you to acquire advanced knowledge and skills in the professional procedures necessary to ensure that user experience research and requirements-gathering is both valid and actionable in technology implementation contexts.
  • Enable you to understand and engage with contemporary debate about the role, ethics and utility of user experience research in commercial and other settings.
  • An additional aim for overseas students is to provide you with educational and cultural experiences which are unique to the UK.

Our facilities

You will have 24-hour access to our award winning and purpose-built Queen Mother Building. It has an unusual mixture of lab space and breakout areas, with a range of conventional and special equipment for you to use. It's also easy to work on your own laptop as there is wireless access throughout the building.

Postgraduate culture

The School of Computing maintains a friendly, intimate and supportive atmosphere, and we take pride in the fact that we know all of our students - you're far more than just a matriculation number to us. We have a thriving postgraduate department with regular seminars and guest speakers.

Related courses

Teaching & Assessment

This course is taught by staff in the School of Computing and colleagues in Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

The start date is September each year. The MSc course lasts for 12 months and the PGDip lasts for 9 months.

How you will be taught

The programme will be delivered principally by a mix of traditional lectures, study of academic background texts, lab and studio based practice sessions, and field and project based learning. These will be supplemented by seminars and workshops on key areas of practice

What you will study

The course will be taught in 20 credit modules plus a 60 credit dissertation. Students will be required to complete 180 credits for the award of the MSc (including 60 credits for the dissertation). Students completing 120 credits (without the dissertation) will be eligible for a Postgraduate Diploma.

Semester 1 (Sept-Dec)

  • Computing the User Experience (20 Credits) - understand the set of factors that can affect the experience that users have when engaging with technology/computing based devices and services. These factors will be explored from the perspective of the usage in context, candidate technologies and social and institutional issues.
  • Elective Module - one from:
    • Internet and Computer Systems
    • Software Development
    • Software Engineering
    • Agile Engineering
    • Technology Innovation Management
    • Secure e-Commerce
    • Computer Graphics
    • Computer Vision
    • Multimedia Audio
    • International Marketing
  • Eye Movements & Cognition (10 Credits)
  • Quantitative Methods (10 Credits)

Semester 2 (Jan-Mar)

  • Strategic Information Design (20 Credits) - uncovering actionable insights from user research is useless unless you can communicate the results of that research effectively. This module provides you with an introduction to issues involved in strategically managing information design in business and design settings.
    or
    Research Methods (20 Credits)- experimental design requires researchers to understand the context of the research being undertaken and being able to apply appropriate methods to measure and compare data. This module aims to provide students with an understanding and knowledge of research methods relevant in the context of computing.
  • Research Frontiers (20 Credits) - Students select a total of four units from available units which currently include:
    • Accessibility & Computing (AC)
    • Applied Computational Intelligence (ACI)
    • Constraint Programming (CP)
    • Games (G)
    • Intelligent Agents (IA)
    • Aspects of Assistive Technology (AT) and Augmentative and Alternate Communication (AAC)
    • Interactive Systems Design (ISD)
    • Space Systems (SS)
    • What Computer Eyes Can Do (CE)
    • Eye Gaze Tracking
  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) (20 Credits) - the aim of this module is to provide you with a broad introduction to human-computer interaction through study of the components, both human and machine, which make up interfaces and the ways in which they interact, illustrating this with examples of good and bad practice. When you have finished the module you will have a broad understanding of: design criteria for good human-computer interfaces, choice and evaluation of interface technology, physical, sensory and cognitive human capabilities, interactive computing and usability engineering methods, and human-computer interface testing.

Semester 3 (Apr-Sept)

  • Research Project or Field Project (60 Credits) - this module will provide you with a professional level experience of specifying, conducting and presenting a substantial piece of user experience research.

Please note that some of the modules in the programme are shared with other masters programmes and some of the teaching and resources may be shared with our BSc programme. These joint classes offer a valuable opportunity to learn from, and discuss the material with, other groups of students with different backgrounds and perspectives.

How you will be assessed

Assessment will be a mix of continuous or coursework assessments and exams, with group and individual projects assessed by set deliverables and final presentation.

Depending on the background and aspirations of the students, the practice of team industry-based thesis work and team assessment currently practiced in the MSc in Design Ethnography or the conventional individual thesis will be employed in this programme.

Careers

This programme is intended to enhance the employability of graduates in the following ways:

  • For technologists and computing professionals, this programme should build their skills in implementing technology that are appropriate to the needs and wishes of users in the relevant usage context
  • For human factors specialists, this programme should build their understanding of the fit between users and technology and should enhance their methodology skill set when exploring beyind the understanding of the human factors towards the deployment of appropriate or enhanced user experiences.
  • For design specialists, this programme should build their skills in marrying technologies and materials to the requirements of users and in blending this within appropriate aesthetics.
  • For UX team managers this programme should enhance their insights and give them practical experience of the skill sets of all members of their teams in order to direct their work so as to optimize the user experience within real business and technical constraints.
  • For all professionals, this programme should enhance their ability to communicate the impact of the user experience investigations on their work and the impact of their work on the user experience, not only within the UX team but also to other business functions such as senior management and marketing.

Entry Requirements

EU and International students visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country.

Entry to the MSc requires a degree in Computing, Information Technology, or related title, Psychology, Usability Engineering, HCI or Interaction Design or related title with a grade equivalent to at least a Class 2.2 Honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent qualifications.

IELTS of 6.0 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English. Please check our Language Requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English Language courses.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes and Foundation Programme(s) which are designed to prepare you for university study, the 24 week and 10 week programmes provide additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and 0.5 IELTS respectively. Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer. The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 to 1.5 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

Fees and Funding

Academic Year Home/EU Overseas
2014-15
(inc Jan 2015)
£3,800 £13,250

Sources of Funding

Information about the School of Computing scholarships can be found on the School of Computing scholarships webpage.

Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.

Living Costs

  • Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
  • Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
  • As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.

Your Application

How to Apply

Apply online via UKPASS

You must read the information regarding how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.

Programme Director

Dr Nick Hine
School of Computing
University of Dundee
Nethergate
Dundee
DD1 4HN
Scotland

Telephone: 01382 388 826 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 388 826 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 385 509 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 385 509 (from outside the UK)

Email: nhine@computing.dundee.ac.uk

Admissions Contact

Postgraduate Admissions
Admissions and Student Recruitment
University of Dundee
Nethergate
Dundee
DD1 4HN
Scotland

Telephone: 01382 384 384 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384 384 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 385 500 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 385 500 (from outside the UK)

Email: postgrad-admissions@dundee.ac.uk