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Cloud Computing

Course overview

(MSc) Master of Science
Cloud Computing
University of Essex
University of Essex
Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full-time or part-time
MSC G42512

A degree with an overall 2:1.

IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

External Examiners

Dr Rong Qu
The University of Nottingham
Associate Professor

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2015/16

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 CE901-7-SU MSc Project and Dissertation Core 60
02 CE805-7-SP Cloud Technologies and Systems Compulsory 15
03 CE816-7-AU High Performance Computing Compulsory 15
04 CE708-7-AU Computer Security Compulsory 15
05 CE709-7-SP Converged Networks and Services Compulsory 15
06 CE902-7-FY Professional Practice and Research Methodology Compulsory 15
07 CE903-7-SP Group Project Compulsory 15
08 OPTION FROM LIST Optional 15

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

MSc Cloud Computing is a programme of study designed for graduates with a first degree in computer science.

Its main aims are:

To prepare students for careers in advanced research and/or development environments by extending their knowledge and skills in the specialisation of cloud computing

To develop the students' ability to make a critical evaluation of the theories, techniques, tools and systems used in cloud computing

To enable students to contribute to future developments in their field by providing them with an understanding of recent advances and current research activity

To develop the students' ability to undertake research by providing appropriate resources and guidance in their use

To develop the students' ability to make an effective contribution to team-based activity to encourage students to adopt an investigative approach and develop autonomous study skills in order to assist their continuing professional development

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Theory : current and emerging concepts, principles and theories relevant to cloud computing and the supporting areas of computer science
A2 Techniques : methods, tools and enabling technologies used in, or arising from, cloud computing and the supporting areas of computer science
A3 Applications : established and potential applications of techniques developed within cloud computing and the supporting areas of computer science
A4 Professional Issues : legal and ethical issues relating to the present and future use of technology developed within cloud computing and the supporting areas of computer science
Learning Methods: Lectures are the principal method of delivery for the concepts and principles involved in A1 - A4.

Students are also directed to reading from textbooks, academic papers and material available on-line.

Understanding is reinforced by means of exercise classes, discussion groups, laboratories and assignments.

Knowledge of a particular topic, chosen by the student from within his/her areas of specialisation, is gained in CE902 through a staff led literature search which forms the basis for weekly group discussions.

Individual supervision of the summer project and dissertation provides further support for the development of those areas of knowledge relevant to the student's chosen topic.
Assessment Methods: Achievement of knowledge outcomes is assessed primarily through unseen closed-book examinations and marked coursework.

Understanding of professional issues (A4) is assessed by MCT during the course of the term.

The assessment of the CE902 essay includes specific allocation of marks for the breadth and depth of the knowledge gained during the study of the chosen topic.

An assessment of the understanding of principles and implementation techniques forms part of the overall assessment of the summer project and dissertation.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Evaluate and apply critical judgement to the theories and techniques that relate to cloud computing and the supporting areas of computer science
B2 Analyse problems and recognise opportunities to apply advanced specialised techniques to their solution
B3 Construct informed and reasoned arguments, descriptions and proposals that incorporate advanced specialised knowledge.
B4 Interpret the contents of articles and other sources, and form a critical judgement of their relative importance and relevance to an area of study
Learning Methods: The basis for intellectual skills is provided in lectures, and they are developed by means of recommended reading, guided and self directed study, assignments and project work.

B1 is developed through exercises and exposure to a range of systems software.

B2 is a key element of most assignments and central to the group project.

In CE902, the acquisition of B3 and B4 is supported by lectures about research methodology and report writing, and further developed during tutor led group discussions.

Skills B1 - B4 are all required for the successful completion of the summer project, and are developed in the course of individual supervision.
Assessment Methods: Achievement of intellectual skills B1 and B2 is assessed primarily through unseen closed-book examinations, marked assignments and project work.

The assessment of the CE902 essay includes specific allocation of marks for use of original sources (B4), clarity of description and originality (B3).

An assessment of the extent to which students have developed skills B1 - B4 forms part of the overall assessment of the summer project and dissertation.

C: Practical skills

C1 Make effective use of a range of theories, techniques, programming languages, operating systems, design support tools and development environments.
C2 Specify, design, implement, test and document a cloud-based system
C3 Work as a member of a development team, contributing to the planning and execution of a shared design and implementation task of a cloud-based system
C4 Propose, plan, undertake and report a self-directed individual programme of investigation, design and implementation in the area of cloud computing
Learning Methods: Practical skills are developed in exercise classes, laboratory classes, assignments and project work.

C1 is developed through exercises and exposure to a range of systems.

Various aspects of C2 are acquired in design, programming and other assignments, and further developed in group and individual project work.

C3 is developed in the group project, CE903.

C4 is developed during the supervision of the summer project and dissertation.
Assessment Methods: Achievement of practical skills is assessed through marked coursework, project reports, oral presentations and demonstrations of completed systems.

An assessment of the extent to which students have demonstrated practical research skills (C4) forms part of the overall assessment of the summer project and dissertation.

D: Key skills

D1 Communicate effectively in written reports and oral presentations using appropriate terminology and technical language
D2 Retrieve information using search engines, browsers and catalogues; use appropriate IT facilities to prepare and present technical reports in various formats (documents, oral presentations)
D3 Use mathematical techniques in the processes of analysis and desig
D4 Analyse complex problems and design effective solution
D5 Organise activity and manage time in a programme of self-directed study
Learning Methods: D1 is developed through a range of reports, including the dissertation which uses D2 to support this outcome.

D3 and D4 are developed through assignments and problems set within modules.

D5 is acquired through a group project (CE903).

D6 is developed in CE902 that encourages reflective learning and is put into practice in the group project (CE903) and dissertation work.
Assessment Methods: Assessment is through a range of assignments, written reports and oral presentation within the teaching modules and dissertation.

In particular D5 is assessed within the group project (CE903), D6 is assessed within the dissertation and CE902


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: