M.Sc. Human-Centred Systems

City University London | London , United Kingdom
This course is delivered by the internationally renowned Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design (HCID) and is suitable for those with a wide variety of backgrounds in either academic or practical computing.



This course is delivered by the internationally renowned Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design (HCID) and is suitable for those with a wide variety of backgrounds in either academic or practical computing.

City University London's MSc Human-Centred Systems will equip you with the latest research, theories and techniques in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) with which to design, implement and evaluate interactive systems and technologies, including web-based information systems and applications, mobile devices and multi-touch tabletops. Its curriculum is based on leading-edge academic research to offer an intellectually stimulating course relevant to the workplace now and beyond. After attending this course, you will have excellent knowledge and skills for:

  • Analysing requirements for systems that involve people and computers
  • Designing for innovative interactive systems and technologies
  • Creating Interaction design
  • Conducting usability and accessibility evaluations
  • Designing and evaluating systems to be inclusive
  • Designing for collaborative work
  • Undertaking and leading creative design activities
  • Lead on user-centred design projects
  • Creating an engaging user experience

Related news

Human-Centred Systems student works on innovative mobile app - MERSI

The app is being developed as part of the EU-fundet Mirror project to support emergency workers to think creatively during training for maxi-emergencies, i.e. large-scale emergencies such as floods, forest fires and earthquakes. In April 2013 a new version of the app was evaluated by medical emergency workers for 48 hours during a large-scale flood simulation in the Cuneo Valley of Northern Italy. The app integrates information about medical procedures and guidance with creativity support and capabilities for recording, sharing and reflecting on new ideas to improve medical treatments in emergencies. This evaluation revealed the potential of the app in maxi-emergency situations.

Renato Fillinich, a student on the Human-Centred Systems Masters participated in the flood simulation as a member of the app development team. He deployed knowledge skills learned in modules about creativity, interaction design, and evaluating interactive systems to elicit feedback and refine the app design

  • This course is offered as a 1-year full-time or a 2-year part-time MSc.
  • This course is limited to a maximum of 30 students in 2012/13 to ensure a staff-student ratio that can enable high-quality tuition and teaching.
  • You will be taught by academic staff in City University London's Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design.
  • Teaching and dissertation work can take place in the Interaction Lab, our on-site usability lab equipped with eye-tacking equipment, screen capture software, mobile testing station, a Micorsoft Surface and more.
  • No prior exposure to the topics of human-computer interaction (HCI) or user-centred design (UCD) is necessary. A background in practical or academic computing is helpful but not strictly necessary. Programming experience is not required.
  • Upon graduation, you will be equipped for careers as usability and accessibility specialists, user experience consultant, interaction designers and information architects. The course is also excellent preparation for doctoral (PhD) study.
  • This course is accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS). Graduates from the course are exempt from the BCS Certificate, Diploma and Diploma Project.

Detailed Course Facts

Tuition fee
  • EUR 10700 Year (EEA)
  • Full-time EU: £9,000 (2013/14 fees)
  • Part-time EU: £4,500 (per year) (2013/14 fees)
  • Full-time Non EU: £13,500 (2013/14 fees)
  • Part-time Non EU: £6,750 (per year) (2013/14 fees)
Start date
Duration full-time 12 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time
Intensity Flexible

Course Content

Course Content

No prior exposure to the topics of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) or User-Centred Design (UCD) is necessary. The course will provide you with skills in designing and evaluating interactive systems and other types of computer-based systems in which people are a major element. You will acquire skills in advanced human-computer interaction design, requirements analysis and design, designing and conducting complex evaluations of new or existing software computing systems and expertise in designing and evaluating systems for people with disabilities and the elderly. You will benefit from being able to use the Interaction Lab, established originally with the support of the Vodafone UK Foundation. The Lab is equipped with the latest technologies including eye-trackers, interactive tabletops and setups to evaluate mobile devices.

Course Structure

7 Taught Core Module(s):

Practices and Theories in Interaction Design

  • Demonstrate detailed understanding of the importance of usability and the consequences of poor usability for interactive systems
  • Identify the theoretical foundations in cognitive psychology for human-computer interaction
  • Critically evaluate a user-centred design process for interactive systems, including analysis, design and evaluation activities
  • Understand and interpret HCI principles and guidelines, applying them to a variety of situations

Requirements Engineering

  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the range of problems which arise in requirement engineering
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the state-of-the-art practices and leading academic research that are aimed at addressing the range of problems which arise in requirements engineering
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the differences between alternative requirements modelling techniques
  • Apply start-of-the-art requirements methods and techniques to acquire, model and analyse requirements for complex systems

Information Architecture

  • Use and analyse Web traffic data
  • Understand theories and models in search, metadata and users' information-seeking behaviour
  • Design website organization and navigation schemes
  • Create key design documents in the IA process
  • Understand content management and e-commerce systems
  • Create system specifications
  • Understand the role of databases

Evaluating Interactive Systems

  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the importance of usability evaluation
  • Conduct effective usability evaluations using user-based and expert evaluation techniques, from choice of technique through to analysis of data
  • Compare and contrast the weaknesses and strengths of the different evaluation methods

Inclusive Design

  • Demonstrate detailed understanding of the importance of inclusive design
  • Illustrate and exemplify a professional awareness of the issues involved and potential approaches to be adopted in designing for diverse users
  • Identify the theoretical foundations in cognitive psychology for human-computer interaction as they relate to inclusive design
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the state-of-the-art practices and leading academic research that are aimed at addressing the range of issues which arise in inclusive design

Cognition and Technologies

  • Explain different approaches to user-centred design, design lifecycles, and evaluation of interfaces, usability and terminology used in human-computer interaction
  • Discuss the perceptual and cognitive capabilities of users and how these influence use of interfaces
  • Undertake analyses of planned or existing interfaces with techniques such as GOMS and Task Analysis
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the state-of-the art practices and leading academic research that are aimed at addressing the range of Human-Computer Interaction issues

Research, Methods and Professional Issues

  • Research activity in terms of the effectiveness of its approach and implementation
  • Understand and apply a range of research methodologies such as inductive and deductive reasoning, explanation and prediction in the evaluation of published research
  • Recognise and use a range of secondary data sources when performing a research task
  • Communicate effectively with individuals and groups using a range of media
  • Evaluate the legal, ethical and professional dimensions of typical information professions and information industry practices

1 Taught Elective module from the following list:

Creativity in Design

  • Understand and support the role of creativity in interaction design.
  • Learn and apply different types of creativity techniques in software design processes.
  • Become familiar with and exploit different types of technologies for creative design.
  • Practice and reflect on creativity techniques and technologies through project work.

Multimedia Design and Development

  • Demonstrate the importance of planning in a multimedia production environment and some of the tools and techniques used e.g. storyboarding and navigation charts; evaluate techniques used to capture, edit, store and present multimedia data, in particular images and movies
  • Demonstrate competencies in the use of a widely used multimedia authoring tool e.g. Macromedia Flash; evaluate the issues involved in multimedia delivery on the World Wide Web
  • Use a multimedia scripting language to add further interactivity to their applications

English Language Requirements

TOEFL iBT® test (read more)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The UK government confirmed new requirements for secure English language testing for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more


For those students whose first language is not English, one of the following qualifications is also required:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum of 6.0 in all four test components)
  • TOEFL (internet based): 90

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

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