Human Computer Interaction at UCA

UCA's MSc degree in Human Computer interaction will provide you with skills that bridge a number of creative industries - from games design, product design, service design, software design to even designing interactive information systems.

On this course you'll be introduced to the field of human computer interaction as both an academic and design discipline, and you'll combine applied projects with theoretical knowledge.

Initially, you'll learn about human perception and action as well as the role of emotion and how this relates to the design of interfaces. So, you'll cover vision and hearing as well as external senses such as touch, taste and smell, and internal senses. We will also look at the importance of short and long-term memory as well as context and situation awareness.

You'll also focus on design methodologies and how they relate to field of interaction design, from methods of understanding the problem space, to prototyping and evaluating your work. You'll explore tools that support wire-framing and techniques for rapid prototyping, and you'll also learn about walk-throughs, user testing and focus groups.

There will be the opportunity to explore ideas through short assignments, collaborative thematic work as well as your Final Major Project.

Along the way, you'll be taught and supported by our mix of academic staff and experienced industry professionals, in our extensive facilities with cutting-edge technologies. There will also be opportunities to network with other industry professionals and experts in your field as this course is focused on building your network and position within a fast-paced and competitive industry.

 

Course entry options

Select from the options below to find out more about the different study options available for this course:

What you'll study

What you'll
study

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Pre-Masters year. On this course you’ll prepare for postgraduate study with a mix of online and face-to-face learning that will give you the study skills required to complete a Master’s, and you’ll also improve your English for academic study.

Fundamentals of HCI
This unit introduces the field of Human Computer Interaction and covers topics such as cognition, role of emotion, design process, conceptual models, interface metaphors, requirements engineering, and evaluation methods. It also explores the role of a UX designer in practice and how this works as part of an agile software development team. 

Research Methods for Creative Technologies
You will learn to synthesise theoretical research methods and industry practices of interactive app evaluation to provide a critically informed and reflective toolset for analysing and critically assessing applications, interactive experiences, and their practice. 

You will also learn about a range of methods for analysing interactive applications on the level of their content and form and develop an understanding of qualitative methodologies for capturing and evaluating the interactive experiences of a diverse range of users. 

This unit aims to give you the analytical tools to not only interrogate and interpret existing applications and interactive experiences in written and verbal form, but to apply what they learn to their practice in a reflective report.

State of the Art
This unit will be split into two key areas. The first will be focused on qualitative and quantitative research, which forms a major part of the discipline of Human Computer Interaction. The second will involve a theoretical survey of the field, providing you with necessary language as well as highlighting key thinkers in this area. Another aspect of this unit will be a hands-on practice-based focus on experimenting with microcontroller and Arduino through a series of workshops and self-directed practical engagement.

A prototype for a physical computing project will be developed in conjunction with a clearly defined research methodology that aligns with qualitative and/or quantitative research methods.

HCI Lab
This studio-based unit is designed to be a stepping-stone to your investigations and interests, as well as a space for exploration and experimentation with alternative design processes and methodologies. It builds upon the previous units and as a studio class it delves into more detail regarding participatory design methods alongside a practical project with an external local community partner.

Professional Practice
In this unit, you can choose from two options:

A collaborative professional practice group project - This is expected to involve groups of students across the postgraduate portfolio collaborating on a project which may be based on an industry brief.

A creative business start-up option - This is being developed by the Business School for the Creative Industries which will also lead on the delivery. The Creative Startup component is based on active-reflective learning. A real-world practical business experience is at the core of the unit component, but it will also encourage you to adopt a critical and reflective approach to your work and specific behaviours.

Final Major Project
The Final Major Project is a culmination of your skills, passions and creativity as developed across your MA education. The final major project, and your role in it, should be ambitious but achievable, and framed by how you want to promote yourself as a Human Computer Interaction specialist.

Through this final project you will either utilise proposals you have been working on in other units or develop an entirely new proposal.

Alongside the project, you will be compiling a showreel of work to showcase your mini-projects and prototypes thus far. The unit and year will finish with an exhibition which celebrates the prototypes and projects completed for this unit and throughout the course. 

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Fees & funding

Fees & financial support

Tuition fees

  • 2024/25 entry: £10,500

Tuition fees

Tuition fees

  • 2024/25 entry (MSc): £18,000
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - Sept & Jan): £17,500
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - May): £8,750

Please note: the fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. For more detailed information about our course fees please see our fees and finance pages

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of scholarships and fee discounts available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

Current UCA students and alumni may be eligible for a tuition fee discount.

Financial support

There are lots of ways you can access additional financial support to help you fund your studies - both from UCA and from external sources. Discover what support you might qualify for please see our financial support information.

Additional course costs

In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials.

These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. 

Explore our gradshow

Each year, we’re privileged to be able to share our graduates’ incredible work with the world. And now’s your chance to take a look.

Visit the online showcase

Facilities

Our outstanding computer games studios have high-end PCs dedicated to games design with games systems and interactivity software including Maya, Photoshop and Substance, and Unity and Unreal games engines. There are also sound production studios, a Foley studio and pro tools suites. There is a modern library with a wealth of books, journals, special collections and online resources.

View 360 virtual tour

Games studios, UCA Farnham

Games studio, UCA Farnham

Sound studios, UCA Farnham

Library, UCA Farnham

Career opportunities

Career
opportunities

Graduates of this course can expect to leave with essential knowledge in design methodologies, human perception and action, context and situation awareness and the role that emotion plays in the development of modern design and experience. This can help graduates to progress and begin their career within several different roles.

These include:

  • UX researcher
  • Product designer
  • User Experience designer
  • Accessibility engineer
  • Front-End designer
  • Product manager

You may also wish to progress onto a PhD or MPhil research degree.

Entry & portfolio requirements

Entry & portfolio
requirements

MSc course

  • A good honours degree or equivalent qualification in a related discipline

and/or

  • Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

Consideration will also be given to applicants who can make a strong case for admission in relation to a particular project and can demonstrate their potential to satisfactorily complete the course.

Portfolio requirements

This course does not require a portfolio.

MSc course

The entry requirements will depend on the country your qualifications are from, please check the equivalent qualifications for your country:

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

This course does not require a portfolio.


MSc course with Integrated International Pre-Masters course

  • A recognised bachelor degree or 3 year diploma with a strong portfolio in a relevant subject.

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

For this course we will need to see your portfolio for review. We request students to prepare 3-5 pages portfolio showcasing your utilisation of computer skills within a creative field. Please highlight experiences that may have developed your creative or visual skills, problem-solving abilities, design thinking, or visual communication, even if they aren't directly connected to Human Computer Interaction. Further information will be provided once you have applied.


English language requirements

To study at UCA, you'll need to have a certain level of English language skill. And so, to make sure you meet the requirements of your course, we ask for evidence of your English language ability, please check the level of English language required:

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

Apply now

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you: