MSc Degrees

Study HCI at the University of Birmingham and learn about the underpinning theories, methodologies and practices of HCI.

students celebrating graduation


The discipline of Human Computer Interaction is about many things: It is about the interface that a system provides (and, therefore, is the most important and most complex component of most systems) but it is also about so much more.

We need to understand the people that use the systems and their abilities and constraints. We need to understand how to build systems that really work and also how to evaluate them.

We also need to be able to think creatively in order to build innovative solutions to new problems and emerging applications and domains – to be able to solve the problems of tomorrow's world rather than just those of today.

This course covers the underpinning theories, methodologies and practices of HCI. It includes specialist modules in application domains. Through course and project work your degree is intimately integrated into the research of the University's HCI centre.

Course Details

This is a one year, full-time course. In the first 8 months, students will spend half of their time studying taught modules. Here we will cover the core principles, theories, methodologies and application areas of the discipline.

There will also be an opportunity to take optional modules in areas such as Computer Security, Robotics or Nature Inspired Computation. The other half of your time will be spent on two mini-projects.

Here you will work one-to-one with one of our research-active staff to explore an area in great depth – analyzing the problem and existing solutions, developing new ideas and building or evaluating prototype systems.

Here you will develop your skills in analysis, research, and technology, and also in presenting and explaining your work clearly and effectively. The final four months will be spent extending the work of one of your mini-projects, again with expert one-to-one supervision.

The course will be taught through a variety of methods. There will be some small lecture classes, problem-based workshops and also one-to-one supervision. There will be some group work as part of the taught modules. There may be opportunities for some industry- based project work.

Perhaps most importantly, you will be part of a small, highly qualified group of students working closely with researchers within the HCI centre.

Semester 1 Semester 2 June-September
First semester mini project Second semester mini project Final year dissertation project
Research skills Core modules and options
Core modules


HCI spans all stages of the technological lifecycle from the conceptual planning required to design an interactive system, to evaluating the ways in which technology supports people's practices. The application of HCI is relevant to a number of industries including health care, games and entertainment and mobile communication.

Graduates of this degree will have the skills to take a wide range of roles in industry such as user experience, interactive design or information architecture. Through the course you will not only have become a specialist in HCI but also have built the skills of analyzing and researching new problems, of constructing creative and innovative solutions and of presenting and explaining your work clearly and effectively.

Explore the types of jobs you might end up applying for: