Course details

Study options

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

UK/EU fee

£630 per 20 credits* (2018/19)

International fee

£13,500 for the full programme (2018/19)

UCAS code

MG6AD

Course level

Postgraduate

Qualification

MSc

Start dates

January, September

Location

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

You will study three modules to achieve the Postgraduate Certificate and the remaining three to achieve the Postgraduate Diploma.

The modules are organised into three categories:

Development

You will study modules such as:

Mobile Software Design and Architecture 

This module looks at 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.

Mobile Software Development

We will explore the underlying software principles associated with development for a closed architecture such as Apple's iOS devices. Many applications are now ported from a closed system to an open one and vice-versa. These are active development areas out of which new techniques are emerging so the research aspect of your studies is very important.

User Experience

You will study modules such as:

Mobile user experience issues 

You will deepen your understanding of the interface and interaction between user and device. Again, this is an active area of research within the industry. This module represents a combination of theory and practice in its approach.

Client-Side Development 

This highly practical module looks not only at the production of client-side code but also at the generation of client-side code (i.e. from a server). The technologies and techniques that are used to produce and generate the user experience in a browser require mobile issues to be considered too. This area is quite new so approaches, standards and techniques are still emerging.


These modules can be studied in any order, but there are advantages to studying theories first. Similarly, understanding how the different user experiences are produced has its own advantages.

Infrastructure

You will study modules such as:

Network Architecture and Security

This module provides insights into the infrastructure that enables mobile devices to interact with servers and services.  It also looks at the protocols and APIs that make it possible to interact with other mobile devices.

Emerging Architectures 

A more theoretical module, Emerging Architectures covers a rapidly emerging phenomenon – and active area of research – that is expected to revolutionise software development operating environments. In-depth knowledge of mobile device software development will be an integral part of the skills toolkit for any cloud computing professional who hopes to compete in the jobs marketplace.

Development

You will study modules such as:

Mobile Software Design and Architecture

This module looks at 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.

Mobile Software Development

We will explore the underlying software principles associated with development for a closed architecture such as Apple's iOS devices. Many applications are now ported from a closed system to an open one and vice-versa. These are active development areas out of which new techniques are emerging so the research aspect of your studies is very important.

User Experience

You will study modules such as:

Mobile user experience issues

You will deepen your understanding of the interface and interaction between user and device. Again, this is an active area of research within the industry. This module represents a combination of theory and practice in its approach.

Client-Side Development 

This highly practical module looks not only at the production of client-side code but also at the generation of client-side code (i.e. from a server). The technologies and techniques that are used to produce and generate the user experience in a browser require mobile issues to be considered too. This area is quite new so approaches, standards and techniques are still emerging.

These modules can be studied in any order, but there are advantages to studying theories first. Similarly, understanding how the different user experiences are produced has its own advantages.

Infrastructure

You will study modules such as:

Network Architecture and Security

This module provides insights into the infrastructure that enables mobile devices to interact with servers and services.  It also looks at the protocols and APIs that make it possible to interact with other mobile devices.

Emerging Architectures

A more theoretical module, Emerging Architectures covers a rapidly emerging phenomenon – and active area of research – that is expected to revolutionise software development operating environments. In-depth knowledge of mobile device software development will be an integral part of the skills toolkit for any cloud computing professional who hopes to compete in the jobs marketplace.

Independent Scholarship

This is a 60-credit module involving research and development of innovative mobile tools, products and/or services. The aim is to give you the opportunity to become a UK leader in some aspect of mobile software development.

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

2018/19 Fees (August 2018 - July 2019)

 Full-timePart-time
UK/EU

£630 per 20 credits*

£630 per 20 credits*

International

£13,500 for the full programme

N/A

*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.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out moreFind out more

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out moreFind out more

Scholarships and bursaries

We also offer a number of funding opportunities for all International students, including discounts, scholarships and bursaries.

Find out moreFind out more

How to apply

UK/EU students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

International students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

Information for international applicants

Applying for a postgraduate degree

Careers

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.

Contact details

EnquiryEmailPhone
Course: Carlton McDonald (Programme Leader) E: c.g.mcdonald@derby.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1332 591708
Admissionsaskadmissions@derby.ac.uk+44 (0)1332 591167
Generalmarketing@derby.ac.uk+44 (0)1332 590500

† 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.

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.