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MScDistributed and Networked Systems (Year in Industry)

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The digital revolution is increasing the power, scope and importance of computer systems at a rapid pace. Software-enabled systems are everywhere, with Distributed and Networked Systems underpinning the economy, society and infrastructure. Study Distributed and Networked Systems with a Year in Industry at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll gain detailed knowledge of the principles, methods and techniques required for developing systems including sensor and actuator networks, cyberphysical systems, patient-centred healthcare and disaster recovery systems.

This flexible programme has been developed for graduates with a background in Computer Science or Engineering, giving you the chance to further hone your knowledge and skills. A wide range of optional modules lets you tailor your learning to your own strengths and interests, including Information Security, Data Analysis and Online Machine Learning to choose from.

You’ll study in a department renowned for the quality of its research and you’ll have the chance to contribute to this leading research culture through your Individual Project. Your studies will help to develop transferable skills and knowledge including open source and cloud tools for scalable data storage, contemporary network management technologies, relational databases and microcontroller devices.

The skills you’ll develop as a student of Distributed and Networked Systems will make you a highly employable candidate in a number of different fields. You’ll graduate in a strong position to progress to PhD study, while Royal Holloway’s proximity to the M4 corridor – also known as ‘England’s Silicon Valley’ – offers excellent opportunities to enjoy a rewarding year in industry with one of the country’s top tech organisations.

Programme structure

Year 1
Interconnected Devices
In this module you will learn about the applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) in society, the components of typical IoT systems and the trends for the future. You will be exposed to IoT design considerations, constraints and interfacing between the physical world and IoT devices. You will develop an understanding of the Arduino platform and how it works in terms of the physical board, the libraries and the IDE (integrated development environment). You will elarn how to program the Arduino via C/C++ code and how to access the pins on the board via the software to control external devices. Finally, you will gain hands-on experience in plugging shields into the main Arduino board to perform other functions such as sensing and actuating.

Advanced Distributed Systems
The module cover the fundamental principles of building modern distributed systems, for example in the context of the Internet of Things (IoT), focussing in particular two central components of the IoT reference architecture-cloud infrastructure and wireless networking. The module will discuss major challenges found in these environments (such as massive scales, wide distribution, decentralisation, unreliable communication links, component failures and network partitions) and general approaches for dealing with these. Topics covered will include abstract models (such as the synchronous and asynchronous distributed computing models, models for wireless networks); algorithmic techniques (such as distributed coordination, fault-tolerant design of distributed algorithms, synchronization techniques); and practical case studies. You will also have an opportunity to implement various components of a realistic distributed system through a series of formative coursework assignments, lab practicals, and a final project.

Wireless Sensor and Actuator Networks
This module combines lectures focussing on the algorithms and the protocols behind wireless sensor and actuator networks (WSANs) with lab classes that focus on how to build wireless sensor and actuator networks for a variety of applications. You will learn about the critical design factors for WSANs, the protocal stack, models and algorithms for WSANs, routing protocols and more advanced open research problems, such as topology control and mobility. The practical classes will cover how to design and build wireless sensor networks and intelligent interactive devices with the ZigBee wireless networking protocol.

Year 2
You will spend this year on a work placement. You will be supported by the Department of Computer Science and the Royal Holloway Careers and Employability Service to find a suitable placement. This year forms an integral part of the degree programme and you will be asked to complete assessed work. The mark for this work will count towards your final degree classification.

Individual Project

Optional modules
In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Career opportunities

Graduates in Distributed and Networked Systems with a Year in Industry at Royal Holloway, University of London can expect excellent employability prospects in a variety of expanding fields. You’ll gain a desirable Masters qualification from a highly-regarded department, and develop a range of transferable skills to take into the workplace. A year in industry also provides the opportunity to gain valuable experience and to develop industry connections to take into your future career.

Our proximity to the M4 corridor – also known as ‘England’s Silicon Valley’ – provides excellent networking opportunities with some of the country’s top technology institutions. The Department of Computer Science is also located close to Royal Holloway’s on-site College Careers Service, providing you with help, support and advice on your future career and further postgraduate study.

Apply now!
Application start
Aug 1, 2018
Application deadline
Aug 1, 2018 23:59
Europe/Tallinn time

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States