Studying HCI

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is concerned with the design and use of computer technology, focusing on the interfaces between people and computers. Research in HCI observes the ways in which people interact with computers, and designs novel ways for people to interact with computers. As a field, Human-Computer Interaction is interdisciplinary, sitting at the intersection of engineering, behavioural sciences, and design.

Programme Aims

  • To understand the relevance and application of human physical, cognitive, social and affective knowledge to the design of interactive systems.
  • To analyse the user requirements for an interactive computer system or product.
  • To understand the influence of context of use on user‐system interaction.
  • To characterise a range of Human‐Computer Interaction and User‐Centred Design styles and apply these to software and hardware design.
  • To test and analyse user performance, preferences and experience in relation to human‐centred interactive systems.
  • To acquire a range of transferable skills and the independent learning ability to equip students for future positions in industrial, academic or consultancy environments.

Teaching Methods

Our modules use a combination of lectures and practical activities. Activities are often structured around individual or group projects, such as the evaluation of a system or the creation of a prototype. Every student is allocated a personal tutor to monitor their achievement and wellbeing.

We have excellent links with industry partners. We put on a weekly seminar series for our MSc students where external speakers from industry present their work, discuss current issues in HCI and offer careers advice. We also run visits to consultancies and field sites, such as a London Underground Control room.

Assessment

Modules are assessed through a mixture of coursework and exams. Coursework is varied and includes design portfolios, presentations, videos, reflective reports, and online peer learning tasks as well as more traditional academic essays. This allows you to develop and demonstrate a broad range of skills that are valued by employers or useful for further study. You will complete an individual research project.

MSc Project

The MSc project gives you the opportunity to conduct research in the area of Human-Computer Interaction under the supervision of a member of UCLIC staff. There is a broad range of topics and questions that might be considered, and you will work closely with their supervisor in selecting and carrying out your project. Project work is normally carried out on a full-time basis over a three-month period during the summer term. At the end of the project, you will write a dissertation. Many former projects have contributed towards publications at leading international conferences, such as the ACM SIGCHI conference. Please take a look at previous Distinction Projects.

Structure

The MSc HCI programme runs over a full calendar year, starting in September. For the MSc students complete two 30-credit core modules, four 15-credit option modules, and the 60-credit MSc Project.

Students can also study for a shorter time by completing our programme as a Post-Graduate Diploma (PGDip) or a Post-Graduate Certificate (PGCert). These programmes run for nine months, starting in September through to June. For the PGDip students complete two 30-credit core modules and four 15-credit option modules. For the PGCert students complete one 30-credit core module and two 15-credit option modules.

All of our students are registered in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences.

Detailed Module Descriptions

Module descriptions are for the current academic year and may be subject to change.

30 Credit Core Modules (First Term)

15 Credit Option Modules (Second Term)

60 Credit MSc Project (Summer Term)

Timetable Information

Timetable Overview
UCL Term Dates

Computing Requirments

You will need a laptop computer that you can bring with you to some classes for lab work, group-work and experiments. We find most students already have a device that will be suitable - see below for guideline requirements.
• Windows Laptop running Windows 7 or 10.
• Macintosh Laptop running OSx 10.9 or later

Careers

The skills and knowledge you will gain through studying on our post-graduate programmes are highly valued by employers. Our graduates have gone on to work for companies such as Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Foolproof, and Thomson Reuters to name but a few. Others have gone on to study for PhDs and academic careers. We run careers events and have a jobs mailing list for recent graduates. You will also have access to UCL resources, such as the Careers Service and online vacancies boards. For more information see Graduate Destinations.