MSc Computer Science (Negotiated Learning)

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

****** This programme is now closed to non-EU applicants, effective 22 March 2024. Please note, if you are non-EU and submit an application after this date, it will not be processed. ******

The MSc Computer Science (Negotiated Learning) is a uniquely flexible and innovative programme. It offers a negotiated learning model for students with an ICT background that allows you to customise your learning path and to tailor what you learn to your own specific needs and career aspirations. Module choices include several programming languages, cloud computing, bioinformatics, data mining, machine learning and information visualisation.
Once you are accepted onto the programme we will guide you through a student needs assessment to establish your prior experience, personal knowledge gaps and your career plans. You have the option to select modules with a very specific thematic focus or you may select modules from one of the pre-defined themes covered by the programme.

Course Highlights
Currently, there are approximately 100 module options offered in conjunction with other UCD Schools and Units including Business, Physics, Mathematics and Statistics, Psychology, Law and NovaUCD.

Download the UCD Science Graduate Taught Courses brochure (pdf)

  • The student has the opportunity to select modules, from a suite of diverse module offerings, that best align with their own individual needs and career goals. 
  • Over 80 Modules to choose from - see Negotiated Learning modules listed here

Careers & Employability

Previous graduates are in demand and among their recent career destinations are employers like Google, SAP, Intel, PayPal, Deloitte, Microsoft, Symantec, HMH, Vilicom, Murex, NYSE Technologies, Realex Payments, Version 1, Salesforce, Pfizer, Ericsson, and Intune Networks.
Recent graduates have secured roles in areas including: hardware design, software engineering & QA, data programming & analysis, commercialisation of technology, teaching & training, senior management & CEO roles, security & forensics consultancy, and bioinformatics R&D.

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The programme is attractive to industrial workers coming from related computer science and IT disciplines, and/or national and international students with relevant computer science undergraduate degree qualifications, who have specific workplace needs or requirements for continuing professional development.  

Once an applicant has accepted his/her place on the programme there is a student needs assessment for each individual student and the establishment of a negotiated learning contract between the School of Computer Science (represented by the Programme Director) with the student.

Students have the opportunity to negotiate a programme of learning that is tailored to their own career goals and requirements. Instead of there being a rigorous set of modules that each student must take, as is typical in standard taught MSc programmes, students can prefer to broaden their knowledge across a diverse cross-section of modules offered by Schools such as the UCD School of Computer Science, UCD School of Business, UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics and the UCD School of Information and Communication Studies. Students enrolling in this MSc are also provided with the opportunity to work on a specialised research task and/or work as part of a research group as part of this programme.

(i) Purpose
This programme aims to provide students with a wide range of specialist learning opportunities that can be selected in a bespoke manner to suit the individual skills and aspirations of the individual.  It can thus serve both as a form of extended continued professional development, as a means to upskill or to reorient a technical career.  The programme is also suited as a foundation for advanced research within IT. An extensive variety of learning pathways is offered, with many modules grouped into thematic streams, providing coherent clusters in specific technical areas.  
(ii) Education and subject description, professional values
It aspires to offer state of the art instruction in a very wide variety of technical subjects, leveraging the broad range of expertise available in the faculty of UCD.  For the student, it provides an opportunity to personally design a course of study that matches their specific goals.  Modules range over many technical specialities that are in high demand with employers. 
(iii) Learning outcomes
Students will select modules from a very broad list, and will therefore encounter many different kinds of instruction.  Many students will take part in group projects of a practical nature. The variety of modules on offer ensures that students can develop both technical skills and enhance their critical thinking. 
(iv) Approaches to teaching learning and assessment
Because of the variety of courses on offer, many different forms of evaluation may be used, including exercises, written assignments, programming challenges, literature reviews and end of module examinations.  The programme aspires to encourage the intellectual skills required to synthesise and integrate insights from many perspectives. 

  • Achieve competence across a broad range of foundational subject matter within the IT domain, while developing advanced expertise in one or two selected areas
  • Communicate technical work effectively to both a specialised and a general audience in word and in text, through writing and in public presentations
  • Develop an awareness of the current state of the art within their specific domain of expertise, including future prospects and opportunities
  • Develop the ability to assess and critique state of the art developments within their chosen filed.
  • Effectively marshall a variety of expert skills towards focussed goals within the student's chosen IT domain
  • Recognise and manage the theoretical diversity found within the many specialties within information technology.
  • Work effectively within a small team of specialists to achieve specific practical goals in solving problems within the IT domain and in cooperation with other stakeholders

No Modules to display for this Course

MSc Computer Science Negotiated Learning (T150) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 9300
nonEU    fee per year - € 29100

MSc Computer Science (T151) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 5010

***Fees are subject to change
Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

Internship Opportunities*
All students are offered the opportunity to undertake an internship during the programme. The following internships are examples of past placements: Amazon, SAP, Dell, Ericsson, HubSpot, Geowox, FoodMarble, HealthBeacon, Autodesk, Microsoft, Equifax, Groupon, Workday, Honeywell, Intel, Shutterstock
*Placements are secured through a competitive process and are not guaranteed.

  • This programme is intended for applicants with a Computer Science or ICT background. An upper second class honours degree, or the international equivalent in computer science or a related area or a minimum of three years’ relevant industrial work experience is required.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.
  • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

Graduate Profile

Ahmed Yawer, Equifax Technology
The programme was a huge step forward in my career. After the completion of the programme, I secured a full-time job as a programmer at Equifax Technology. The MSc Computer Science (Negotiated Learning) course gave me the freedom to pick the modules I wanted to study, so I was able to study what I loved and what I needed. 

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Computer Science (Negotiated Learning) FT (T150)
1 Years
Full Time
MSc Computer Science (Negotiated Learning) PT (T151)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised