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Master of Informatics (MInf)

Master of Informatics Degree Programme Table

1. Awarding Institution: University of Edinburgh

2. Teaching Institution: University of Edinburgh

3. Programme Accredited By: see accreditation pages

4. Final Award: Master of Informatics (MInf)

5. Programme Title:Master of Informatics

6. UCAS Code: G500

7. Relevant QAA subject benchmarking: Computing

8. Mode of Study: Full time

9. Educational aims of programme:

Informatics is the study of the structure, behaviour, and interactions of natural and engineered computational systems. It studies the representation, processing, and communication of information. It has computational, cognitive and social aspects. The central notion is the transformation of information - whether by computation or communication, whether by organisms or artifacts. Understanding informational phenomena - such as computation, cognition, and communication - enables technological advances. In turn, technological progress prompts scientific enquiry. The science of information and the engineering of information systems develop hand-in-hand. Informatics is the emerging discipline that combines the two. In natural and artificial systems, information is carried at many levels, ranging, for example, from biological molecules and electronic devices through nervous systems and computers and on to societies and large-scale distributed systems. It is characteristic that information carried at higher levels is represented by informational processes at lower levels. Each of these levels is the proper object of study for some discipline of science or engineering. Informatics aims to develop and apply firm theoretical and mathematical foundations for the features that are common to all computational systems.

The principal aims of the degree are to:

  • develop graduates possessing a thorough understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of Informatics and of their interrelationships
  • equip students with advanced scientific, engineering and analytical skills from across the breadth of Informatics
  • provide a programme of study that benefits from our research strengths across the School of Informatics
  • enable students to develop communication skills, initiative, professionalism and the ability to work independently as well as with others
  • provide graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary for their professional careers or for postgraduate study.

10. Programme Outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for learners to achieve the following outcomes:

(a) Knowledge and understanding

  • understand the concept of abstraction and its importance in the representation, processing, and communication of information
  • understand the principles and mechanisms underlying various kinds of intelligent processes
  • understand some of the underlying mathematical concepts used to reason about computers and computer-based systems
  • understand how to represent and reason about knowledge in a computer
  • have an awareness of the philosophical issues that arise within Informatics
  • have a knowledge and understanding of the principles of operation of computers from application programs down through system software to hardware and of computer networks
  • describe and explain the main theoretical, empirical and modeling approaches to understanding cognitive agents (both natural and artificial)
  • understand how to deal more effectively with natural intelligence using Informatics tools and techniques
  • understand the key aspects of the software development process
  • have an awareness of the social, professional, ethical and legal issues involved in the use of computing systems
  • have an awareness of key issues in Informatics that will continue to challenge researchers in the future

(b) Intellectual Skills

The ability to:

  • specify and design intelligent and traditional computer-based systems, using formal design procedures where appropriate
  • identify problems requiring a combination of techniques from across Informatics
  • derive abstract representations and formulate appropriate solutions for problems
  • understand theoretical ideas and how they are realised in practice using computers

(c) Professional/subject/specific/practical skills

The ability to:

  • apply the methodologies (formal, empirical and computational modelling) employed by the disciplines that contribute to Informatics
  • develop and implement intelligent and traditional computer-based systems
  • use support tools from across Informatics during the development process
  • formulate appropriate assessment criteria and evaluate computer-based systems
  • operate computing equipment and software systems effectively

(d) Transferable skills

  • deploy logical, analytical, and problem solving skills and to synthesise solutions
  • show self-direction and time management skills when working independently
  • work effectively as part of a team
  • provide and accept peer evaluation
  • communicate effectively through a variety of media including oral, visual, written, diagrammatic and on-line
  • make effective use of learning materials and to acquire and apply knowledge from a variety of sources.

11. Programme Structure and Features

For formal definitions, including details of compulsory and optional course choices, consult the Degree Programme Table. Consult the List of Informatics courses to discover which courses belong to which subject area.

12. Entry Requirements:

Please consult the current University Undergraduate Prospectus.

13. Degree Classification

In keeping with the University's template for Integrated Masters degrees, the final degree classification is based on performance in years 3, 4, and 5, in the ratio 20:40:40. Degrees are classified according to the University's standard marking scale with boundaries at 70%, 60%, 50%, 40%. Students who fail final year can be awarded an Ordinary Degree on the basis of their performance in year 3.