HCI Masters in the UK - City University vs. University of York

13 Feb 2010 - 7:38pm
1 year ago
14 replies
5233 reads
MissK
2010

Hello,

I recently got offers from City University and the University of York
to pursue an MSc in HCI.

I am really torn between which university to attend because both seem
to have excellent masters programs. Does anybody have any experience
or feedback regarding the two programs and universities?

http://www.cs.york.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught-courses/msc-hcit/
http://www.soi.city.ac.uk/pgcourses/hcs/index.html

Any advice will be appreciated!

Thanks,
k

Comments

14 Feb 2010 - 4:35am
John Gibbard
2008

I got both my undergrad and postgrad from York. It's an incredible
University, a beautiful city and the Dept. of Psychology and the
Dept. of Computer Science are both world class. I would recommend
them without hesitation.

In fact, I'm delighted to see they're running a pure HCI masters as
mine was in Information Processing which was a little more computer
science than I'd have liked.

Best of luck choosing, please do let me know what you decide.

J.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=49361

18 Feb 2010 - 6:31pm
John Keane2
2008

I'm currently doing the MSc Human-Centred Systems at City. I'm in the first year of a two year part-time course.

I'm really enjoying the course and experience - I'm really glad I chose to do it and chose to do it at City. Excellent facilities, super teachers.

So, following on from John's York recommendation above, here's a recommendation for City University. Looks like you can't go wrong! All the best making your decision!

J

18 Feb 2010 - 9:39pm
MissK
2010

Thank you both so much for your answers.

I have also been accepted to UCL so now i'm even more confused.

I like the fact that both York and City have technical components but
I don't think that's the case for UCL, which seems to be more theory
based. But UCL is one of the top universities in the world, and
although that is appealing, I'm not convinced that it should be the
main factor. The course content is the most important, followed by
whether the university is reputable...and I know York is great for
compsci.

I think I need to sit down and ask myself what I really want from the
course. With 6 years of web development/UI experience, does it really
matter if the has a programming aspect or not? I need to figure out
exactly what i'm looking for in the degree.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=49361

3 Mar 2010 - 4:04am
LiTEFOX
2010

Hello MissK, I'm actually having your same issue. Although Its reputation, UCL offers a theory based course and I'm looking for a more practical and Business-oriented one like City's HCS. I was wondering if you already came out with a decision, It would be helpful for both exchanging some infos.

3 Mar 2010 - 10:12pm
ethanucsb
2010

I got the masters in HCI at UCL, and I found it to be particularly practical.  Someone else mentioned that there isn't much of a programming component involved, but it gives practical instruction in usability, user research, design, and other HCI topics.  It has a theory component, even the theory aspect is useful and applicable.   It depends on what you want to do professionally whether you want a programming component, but I would be surprised if you would learn particularly useful programming skills in addition to all the important HCI concepts that you haven't already gained in your 6yrs of experience.  If I had it to do over again, I would definitely still go to UCL.

Ethan

26 Mar 2010 - 3:11pm
bozou
2008

I agree with Ethan. I completed my HCI degree in UCL and now I am a well seasoned UX professional in the industry. UCL (UCLIC) offers very solid theory / academic foundation, with the advantage of its excellent Psychology department and Computer Science department. On the other hand, the program at UCL was also very close to industry. During my time at UCLIC, I have had plenty of chances to take part in usability testing, user centred design and rapid prototyping. UCL as one of the best universities in the world, also attracts students from all over the world with a rich diversity of cultural and industry backgrounds, which becomes part of the learning experience.

I also happen to be a City University alumni, so I have to say City University is as well excellent. However, I still would recommend UCL for the HCI programme since it well deserves its world renowned status.

Hope this helps.

Bo

On 4 March 2010 07:08, ethanucsb <contact@ixda.org> wrote:

I got the masters in HCI at UCL, and I found it to be particularly practical.  Someone else mentioned that there isn't much of a programming component involved, but it gives practical instruction in usability, user research, design, and other HCI topics.  It has a theory component, even the theory aspect is useful and applicable.   It depends on what you want to do professionally whether you want a programming component, but I would be surprised if you would learn particularly useful programming skills in addition to all the important HCI concepts that you haven't already gained in your 6yrs of experience.  If I had it to do over again, I would definitely still go to UCL.

Ethan

(((P
19 Feb 2010 - 8:49am
Nick de Voil
2009

If by "technical" you mean programming, then it's correct to say
the UCL course doesn't have a technical component in any of the
taught modules, apart from some computer-based
experimental/statistical work in the cognitive science module. The
research dissertation (which counts for 2/3 of the degree) can
certainly have a programming element.

It's an excellent course - happy to answer any questions about it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=49361

19 Feb 2010 - 10:25am
John Keane2
2008

For the avoidance of doubt, if technical=programming, then the City course doesn't have any formal technical/programming component. If technical=practical, the City course certainly has a strong practical theme: each module is examined by a combination of written paper and practical coursework, and any study of HCI theories is always complemented by practical application and consideration of those theories.

3 Mar 2010 - 9:51am
Christine Fitts
2009

I'm just finishing up my MSc in Human-Centered Systems from City University.  It was a great experience, and definitely a combination of theoretical and practical.  I found that I learned as much from my cohorts as I did from my professors.  We were an eclectlc group, ranging from recent uni grads to people like me with 10-20 years experience in the industry.  The friendly push-pull between the academics and practitioners was unexpected but very valuable to the experience.  

The program itself grew out of requirements engineering and systems development.  It is now evolving to be a lot more driven by pure HCI and inclusive design, and they're adding a creativity/design element as well.  I think it brings together a lot of interesting perspectives on approaching HCI.

I had to move the NY after the coursework finished, and my thesis was supervised from a distance.  They were really flexible and understanding about that.

Hope this helps!

Christine

 

15 Apr 2010 - 8:14am
MissK
2010

thank you everyone for all the advice...it has really helped with my decision, which was an extremely tough one!

The final choices were UCL and York and I have decided on UCL. I went back and forth on both countless times because I think both are really, really strong programs. Both seems to have strong practical components too.

The thing I love about York is that it places an emphasis on reserach methods and you'd be able to conduct your own research, which, in my opinion, would be most useful in the professional field. There is definitely a lack on good usability research in the profession. York also has a module on Requirements Engineering, which I feel is an essential knowledge to be a good usability specialist. I love the fact that there are only 30 students in the course, compared to 60+ at UCL.

But I chose UCL for 3 reasons:

1. The reputation as one of the top 5 universities in the world.

2. I felt that UCL covers a wider range of topics such as Design, Ergonomics.

3. Better job prospects in London for student jobs!

Having made my choice though, there are things that I would change about the UCL program. For example, the fact that there are over 60 students in the course may take away from the best masters experience. Also, I wish UCL courses like Requirements Engineering and more research based courses. Viewing usability specialist roles, those are required skills.

Still, being an international student planning to go back to Canada/USA, I feel that the UCL degree would be better recognized. But I think if I lived in the UK, i probably would've went with York for the reasons I stated above.

Thanks again everyone and I'm looking forward to London!!!

29 Apr 2010 - 6:00pm
Cruth
2010

Hi all.

 

MissK are you serious? There are 60+students each year  on the UCL course? Where did you get that from? Because in their 2008 newsletter (UCLIC homepage) it’s written “UCLIC's teaching programme accepts about 30 students per annum, with backgrounds in psychology, computing and design disciplines”.

I know that there are some part-time students so it might be about 45 students not 60 (unless they have increased the number of accepted students recently or everybody is doing it part-time)

 

Anyways, I myself got accepted for the course and will be starting it in September. However, my background is in psychology (well actually I’ll be graduating in July) and have no professional experience whatsoever.

19 May 2010 - 2:46pm
MissK
2010

Actually, I got that figure from one of the professors teaching an HCI module at UCL. However, I'm not certain whether that includes part time students. I think 45 is a lot too, considering most of the HCI masters courses i've looked at accept no more than 30. Well, I'm going there regardless because there are other aspects of the course which are great.

3 Jul 2010 - 12:16pm
sshamsud
2010

I'm seeking for help. I got offers from Kingston University and University of York.

I feel University of  York's course modules are better than Kingston University . However, I'm trying to find with KU's professor to confirm whether the modules that thought in KU are same as UoY. 

If more or less the modules are same then I go for KU, because its fees are lesser and the admission process too quite easy.

Can anyone tell me which University is better and why :)

 

 

26 May 2013 - 4:54pm
bolts221
2009

Hi everyone,

I'm curious about the accreditation for the MSc program at City University London. Their website says the course is "accredited by the British Computer Society for partial fulfillment of the academic requirement for Chartered IT Professional." As I'm not familiar with accreditation in the UK, could someone tell me what this means and how it is viewed in industry? "Partial fulfillment" sounds a bit skeptical and I'm not sure if it would be seen as less reputable.

Thanks!

Joe

Syndicate content Get the feed