Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 Year, Part-time: 3 Years

UK/EU fee

£850 per 20 credits* (2019/20)

International fee

£14,250 for the full programme (2019/20)

Course level




Start dates

January, September


Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

Course description

Whether you aspire to work for a leading mobile software or games company or whether you are considering launching your own mobile software business, this MSc will prepare you for a successful career.

A new era for app development

Mobile devices are now prevalent across the world due mainly to the vast range of software that makes them essential accessories in the information age. Software allows these devices to be many things: a satellite navigation system, an Internet browser, a personal information assistant, a calendar, a compass, a flash light, a barcode scanner or a games console.

The ease with which software can be written for, and marketed, on mobile devices has contributed to their widespread adoption and growth. Manufacturers without hundreds of apps are struggling to survive against open (Android) platforms which have revolutionised the way in which software is developed and deployed for mobile devices.

Our MSc Mobile App Development is ideal if you want to make the most of the exciting opportunities that exist to produce cutting-edge applications for the dominant mobile device platforms.

Logging into a world of career opportunities

There is a growing demand for computing professionals who not only know and understand the design and development of mobile software apps, but also appreciate how they can be integrated into business environments to help organisations achieve competitive advantage and operational efficiency.

This requires knowledge of the techniques, technologies, tools and emerging standards for mobile software development, interface design, and the integration and exploitation of mobile devices in corporate and commercial networks – especially their role in emerging network architectures.

An impressive set of skills

You will cover crucial issues relating to Android development, interface design principles, emerging computer network architectures and security. In addition, we give you the chance to research exciting areas of mobile technologies, tools and techniques and to disseminate your own ideas and developments in these areas.

The course culminates in a development project to produce innovative software drawing on what you have learned. You will have the chance to focus on your chosen specialisation of mobile software design, development, entrepreneurship or distribution.

You will decide on the area on which you want to concentrate, and you will benefit from the support of a supervisor who will provide the academic advice you need to produce a masters level project.

What you will study

This course is made up of three stages – Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc.

For the Postgraduate Certificate, you will study three modules from the list below. 

Mobile Software Design and Architecture

This module covers open systems versus closed systems. The emphasis is on the development of software for Android devices using the Android Development Kit, and AppInventor for rapid prototyping.

Emerging Architectures and Security

This rapidly emerging phenomenon, particularly clouds, is expected to revolutionise software development operating environments. You will gain indepth knowledge of mobile device software development which will be an integral part of your career as a cloud computing professional.

Studying at Masters Level and Research Methods

Develop the skills you will need to plan and execute a research project at masters level. You will gain an understanding of research design and methodological enquiry.

Mobile Software Development

During this module, you will look at the underlying software principles associated with development for a closed architecture, eg iOS. Many applications are now ported from
a closed system to an open one and viceversa. These are active development areas which can give rise to new techniques.

Mobile and Client-Side User Experience

Investigate the concepts and technologies involved in the design and implementation of client-side scripting for web pages that run on mobile devices. You will explore the
issues and challenges with developing and designing a highly effective user experience.

Entrepreneurial Management

Expand your personal development goals, skills and learning to successfully implement entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and innovation strategies. You will learn turn your
apps into a successful business.

For the Postgraduate Diploma, you will need to study all six modules listed under Postgraduate Certificate.


Independent Scholarship

During this triple module, you will research and develop innovative mobile tools, products or services. You will present your findings and solution in the form of a masters-level dissertation that you can use to demonstrate your ability to apply your learning in an independent and rigorous fashion.

Learning from Professional Engagement on Placement (Work-Based Learning)

Undertake a work-based project in a computing organisation, where you’ll reflect on the practical and technical learning achieved during your employment.


Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

The assessment strategy includes a mix of formative and summative assessments – from the development of research strategies to the step stage process of the Research Project.

The overall balance of assessment within the programme is approximately 60% written work, 30% project work and reports and 10% presentations.

Entry requirements

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees (August 2019 - July 2020)


£850 per 20 credits*

£850 per 20 credits*


£14,250 for the full programme


*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Additional costs and optional extras

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarship

We're offering a £2,000 scholarship for all eligible international students studying a full-time postgraduate taught programme (PGT). Terms and conditions apply.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply


The MSc Mobile App Development paves the way for you to pursue a variety of careers including designing, developing, porting or maintaining mobile device software. With the additional focus this course places on entrepreneurship, you will be in an ideal position to either head a department or set up your own business.

There are many applications that will benefit small, medium and large companies that are yet to be written (or ported) for the mobile device. As the explosion in apps for Android platforms continues, you will have the opportunity to become one of the first to market in a number of niche areas, developing your own successful business.

Programme leader

Carlton McDonald

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.