MSc Human Computer Interaction

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Technology is ubiquitous in our everyday life. We have countless interactions whether it be through mobile apps, smart devices, or more traditional desktop systems. It is vital now more than ever that these interfaces are designed with a deep understanding of the user, their desires and needs as well as how these interfaces will impact society more widely.
The MSc in Human Computer Interaction combines core elements and skills to prepare you to work within user experience and human computer interaction. The programme is unique in Ireland, harnessing the world-class expertise in the School of Information & Communication Studies to explore the discipline of human-computer interaction (HCI), from a social science perspective.
The programme focuses on giving students the knowledge and skills to use social scientific approaches and theory to inform
1) the design of user-centred technology interactions and to
2) understand the effect that design and technology interaction has on people's behaviours, perceptions and emotions encapsulating both at an individual and a societal level.

Careers & Employability

Human Computer Interaction is a hugely diverse area, with key skills being applicable to a wide variety of domains and is complimentary to degrees from natural sciences, computer science, arts, business and law amongst others.
The MSc focuses on giving students the skills to understand and problem solve around user and societal issues facing us in an increasingly digital world.

Dublin is one of Europe’s digital hubs, with leading international technology companies such as Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Intel having a presence. These companies rely on HCI expertise when developing their interfaces, experiences and products.
Possible Jobs (Across the programme): User Experience Researcher; Interaction Designer; User Interface Researcher; Conversation Designer; Media Analyst; Digital Policy Expert; Quantitative Data Analyst; Product Designer; Ergonomic Specialist; PhD Research in HCI

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

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. Yes

Track 1: Communicative Interfaces
Options include: Media Production Cultures
Human Language Technologies
Topics in Digital Media & Comms
Communication Theory

Track 2: Interaction Science & User Research
Options include: Introduction to Cognitive Science
Research Experience
Human-Computer Interaction
Foundations of Info Studies

Track 3: Interfaces, Ethics & Society
Options include: People, Information & Communication
Data & Society
The Digital Self
Information Ethics

This programme will use a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials including self-directed and autonomous learning activities to introduce students to principles, theory, practice and critique, combining approaches from computer science and social sciences. Several modules will also utilise e-learning tools and online content and delivery. A core part of the programme will involve you using these knowledge and skills to conduct a cutting edge research project in the area of HCI.

All 3 Tracks experience the same 65 credit core modules, giving all a grounding across key skills and knowledge areas needed for a career in HCI. The different tracks allow students to specialize in specific areas, focusing on faculty specialisms at UCD

This programme introduces students to concepts, theory and practical techniques required for research and design in human-computer interaction. Students will learn how to:

  • Understand the theoretical and applied foundations of human-computer interaction
  • Critically engage with existing literature relevant to the field of HCI
  • Design and assess interactions with a user centered focus by conceptualizing designs and prototypes through engagement with target users and/or other stakeholders
  • Understand, plan, design and execute research focused on understanding interactions with and through technology
  • Apply this learning to specific technological, societal or individual contexts so as to influence and understand technology interaction.
  • Critique ideas, methods and theoretical propositions relevant to the field of HCI
  • Develop high quality research projects with the potential for further academic or industry career progression in HCI
  • Generate and analyze user data (both qualitative and quantitative) so as to identify and inform issues relevant to HCI.
  • Communicate HCI based findings and concepts both orally and written, using a variety of presentation methods (e.g. posters, group and individual presentation, essay, thesis report).
  • Communicate and collaborate in teams, taking responsibility for their work within the team and coordinating effectively on multidisciplinary challenges

MSc Human Computer Interaction (W521) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 9100
nonEU    fee per year - € 22600

***Fees are subject to change

This programme is intended for applicants with an undergraduate degree in any discipline.

An upper second-class honours NFQ Level 8 (or international equivalent) 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.

Dr Benjamin Cowan
Associate Professor
Programme Director

Benjamin completed his undergraduate studies in Psychology & Business Studies (2006) as well as his PhD in Usability Engineering (2011) at the University of Edinburgh. His research lies at the juncture between psychology, humancomputer interaction and communication systems in investigating how design impacts aspects of user behaviour in social, collaborative and communicative technology interactions. His recent research has focuses specifically on how theory and quantitative methods from psychological science can be applied to understand and design speech and language technologies as well as how we can design for habit change across of number of domains and contexts. Dr Cowan is the co-founder and co-director of the HCI@UCD group (, one of the largest HCI groups in Ireland and is a coPrincipal Investigator in the SFI funded ADAPT Centre.

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Human Computer Interaction FT (W521)
1 Years
Full Time

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