Frequently Asked Questions
MSc in Computer Science

Info for prospective students:

  • Is it possible to hold a part-time job while completing the M.Sc. programme in Computer Science at Trinity College Dublin?

    Some students do opt to work part time while undertaking the programme, however, the M.Sc. programme is quite intensive and requires the satisfactory completion of a substantial amount of coursework as well as a dissertation project. Undertaking any other substantial commitment while taking the M.Sc. programme is not recommended and will not be considered when awarding marks.
  • When are Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity terms?

    Traditionally the academic year at Trinity is divided into three terms:

    • Michaelmas term (12 weeks of teaching, September - December) - sometimes referred to as Semester 1
    • Hilary term (12 weeks of teaching, January - April) - sometimes referred to as Semester 2
    • Trinity term (April - July); please note that students work on dissertations till end of August.


    The exact dates of the terms differ from one academic year to another, information is posted at the following link when available:
    TCD Academic Year Structure

    Taught modules on this degree programme take place in the first 2 terms (Michaelmas and Hilary). Exams take place generally before the start of Hilary term (December) and in Trinity Term (May). The MSc research Dissertation takes place throughout the year with full-time work being completed in Trinity term and the subsequent summer months.

  • How many places are available on the MSc Computer Science?

    We plan to accept 120 students next year, distributed across the strands. For some strands, where individual specialized equipment is required, we may need to cap numbers.

  • What is the closing date for applications?

    The Data Science strand under the M.Sc. in Computer Science opens for applications on November 1st 2023. The closing date for applications for the Intelligent Systems, Future Networked Systems and Augmented and Virtual Reality strands is 31st July 2024. Please note that students are processed in order of application and popular course options can fill up quite early. Further details are available on the Applications page of the website.
  • How do I make an application to the MSc programme in Computer Science at Trinity College Dublin?

    Applications for this course should be made online through Postgraduate Admissions.

    Guidelines on how to complete the application form as well as the additional documents that must accompany an application are also available from the Graduate Admissions Office. Please give yourself plenty of time to obtain the transcript of your academic results to date, the copies of your degree certificates, and the academic references that must accompany your application. Further details are available on the Applications page of the website.

  • I don't have a degree in one of the disciplines mentioned in the course brochure, can I still make an application for a place on the M.Sc. programme in Computer Science at Trinity College Dublin?

    Other than in exceptional circumstances, applicants for the MSc programme should have an upper second class honors degree , or better, in computing, information technology or another numerate discipline such as engineering, mathematics, statistics, or physics. In general, we expect all applicants to have substantial programming experience preferably, though not necessarily, including exposure to object-oriented programming (in a language such as C++ or Java). Some experience of concurrent (i.e., multi-threaded) programming and computer graphics programming would also be useful.

  • Is it possible to take the MSc programme in Computer Science at Trinity College Dublin on a part-time basis (e.g. evening or weekend attendance)?

    Unfortunately, it is not possible to take the MSc Programme on a part-time basis - it is a full-time day course that runs for one full year and is quite intensive. The course is very hands-on and features significant lab work, using specific hardware. Currently this precludes us from making the course available on any other basis.
  • Is it possible to take the MSc programme in Computer Science at Trinity College Dublin on a distance learning basis?

    Unfortunately, it is not possible to take the MSc Programme on a distance learning basis - participation in the programme involves working closely with both the teaching staff and other students, including participation in a number of team-based projects. The course also involves significant lab work in dedicated lab facilities which would be difficult to reproduce remotely. For these reasons we do not offer the course in this manner.
  • What financial assistance is available to students taking the MSc programme in Computer Science at Trinity College Dublin?

    There are a number of scholarships that all PG students/applicants in TCD can apply for at the following link:
    In particular, the following are relevant for our students but please note that there are limited places and they are competitive
    • E3 Balanced Solutions for a better world scholarship
    • Global excellence postgraduate scholarship
    • Government of Ireland scholarship
  • English is not my first language, what language requirements are there for those whose first language is not English?

    The language of instruction and communication, on this programme is English. All students on the course are required to write and present in English, and will, by the end of the course, be required to produce works of a publishable quality.

    All applicants whose first language is not English must provide a certificate of English Language competence as detailed on the applications page. PLEASE NOTE that this is required even if it is the case that an applicant has been educated in the medium of English.

    If your undergraduate education has not been wholly in the English language, it is highly recommended that you consider taking one of the English for Academic Practice (EAP) courses offered in TCD. See:

  • What is the tuition fee for the MSc Computer Science at Trinity College Dublin?

    Details of the course fees are contained in the Applications page of this website.
  • What are the rules for determining whether an application is considered to be an E.U.(European Union) application or a non-E.U. application?

    As approved by Board on the 3rd of December 2003, applications for admission are classified as E.U. applications or non-E.U. applications. An E.U. application is one made by a person who fulfils one or more of the following criteria:
    • who is ordinarily resident in the E.U. and who has received full-time further or higher education in the E.U. for three of the five years immediately preceding admission; or
    • who is ordinarily resident in the E.U. and has worked full-time in the E.U. for three of the five years immediately preceding admission; or
    • who holds a passport from an E.U. state and has received full-time further or higher education in the E.U. for three of the five years immediately preceding admission.
    Applications from children of (a) E.U. Government officials living abroad, (b) semi-state officials who are on assignment in countries outside the E.U., (c) volunteer development workers, and (d) certain E.U. officials as approved by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs are treated as E.U. applications. All other applications are considered to be non-E.U. applications. Students who have had periods of residence outside the E.U. are required to provide documentary evidence for their claim for E.U. fee status. This evidence must be presented with the application. A student's registered status (E.U./non-E.U.) cannot be changed during a programme for which s/he has registered. Note that full-time education in the E.U. does not by itself constitute ordinary residence.
  • What is an upper second class honors degree?

    An "Upper Second Class Honors degree" (or II.1) corresponds to an overall mark of at least 60% overall aggregate degree mark in an Irish or UK university. For international degrees, equivalent grades are obtained based on for each individual country.
  • Is it possible to take the course starting in April rather than September?

    No. The MSc programme commences in September of each year and runs for one full year until August of the following year. Each module runs only for a set number of weeks during the year and is not repeated. Thus students can only be admitted to the course in September of each year.
  • What are the requirements for applying for the MSc Computer Science?

    There are a number of requirements that must be satisfied in order to apply for the MSc programme in Computer Science. These are outlined here:
    • An upper second class honors (or greater) in an appropriate undergraduate degree .
    • Appropriate competence in the English language (spoken and written).
    • Submission of the required evidence of residency and educational transcripts.
    • Evidence of ability to program in C, C++ or Java (we may ask you to take a test to confirm this)
    In general, in order to successfully complete the MSc Computer Science programme, candidates should have excellent software development and programming skills in an object-oriented programming language; should have aptitude for mathematics ; and should have some knowledge or experience in the material covered in the strand. For example in the Augmented and Virtual Reality strand - a number of options modules assume students have sat a third level module in introductory 3D computer graphics and have programmed using a graphics API such as OpenGL, DirectX, XNA etc.
  • When will I know if I have secured a place on the MSc programme?

    Applications should expect to receive a decision or be invited for a programming test about 4 weeks after submission of all required documents including transcripts, references and Certificate of English Competency (where applicable). Note that if there are delays in response time, it is often due to missing documents.
  • What kind of laptop do I need to bring?

    The college provides software and networking support for PCs and Macs. If your course requires particular hardware and specialized software, this will generally be provided for you in labs or as a service in the Cloud. Because of this, your choice of laptop is largely a personal one. Many students opt for Windows-based laptops or Apple Macs, but a variety of tablet computers are also in use and linux is a popular choice with students. Under the current covid-19 situation, students are advised to ensure they have a reasonably current

Please Note that this is a summary provided for the benefit of prospective students. The specific rules may change slightly from year to year and students are expected to familiarise themselves with the Rules set out in the TCD College Calendar and Course Handbook, which will be made available to students accepted for places on the course.

  • When does teaching on the M.Sc. programme begin for the next academic year?

    Teaching on the M.Sc. programme for the academic year usually begins in early to mid-September (candidates who are offered a place will be notified formally of the exact date). There will be a number of orientation events organised in the School and College which may fall in the week preceding the start of term. Some of these will be of particular relevance to new students to the College.
  • How many hours of classes are there each week?

    The M.Sc. programme entails approximately twenty contact hours per week (including lectures, tutorials, seminars, and laboratory classes) during the two teaching semesters. All modules require students to complete considerable further coursework and study in their own time beyond these timetabled hours.
  • How much time should I expect to spend completing coursework beyond that spent in class?

    This is a highly coursework focussed course with an emphasis placed on students both gaining experience with a wide variety of technologies but also aimed at students building a personal portfolio of work which is typically of great benefit when applying for employment in industry. On average, during teaching term, we expect students to spend at least as much time outside of class working on coursework as they spend in classes. This will be taken up with specific coursework, assigned reading material and research. The level of independent work increases after the end of the 2nd term when all lectures finish. At this time students are expected to be working full-time on their dissertations.
  • How do I choose a dissertation topic?

    Dissertation topics are suggested by the teaching staff who are active in the respective area of the MSc strands. Students are, of course, welcome, and indeed encouraged, to suggest topics of their own. Projects should in any case be self-contained and related to the strand topic. The goal is that the results of dissertation projects should be of a publishable standard (for examples of publications by previous students on our MSc degree programmes in the School, see THIS LINK) and could potentially be submitted to appropriate international conferences and journals on completion.

The following is a list of useful links elsewhere on the general TCD website

  • When should students plan to arrive before term begins

    We recommend you plan to arrive on campus at least two weeks in advance of the start of teaching. This will allow you to attend the college orientation sessions and to make sure you have accomodation, registration and other formalities attended to before teaching begins.

  • What if my arrival is delayed due to visa processing

    If you are delayed due to unavoidable reasons, you will be permitted to join up to 2 weeks after the start of teaching term. However the onus and responsibility will be on you to catch up with any missed work during this time. Late arrival cannot be used as an excuse for poor performance nor a basis for any academic appeals.

  • Is there any information available on arranging accommodation

    The TCD Accommodation Advisory provides some help and advice to help students find accommodation. The office also has a Postgraduate Accommodation Network page, whereby you can meet other Postgraduate Students looking for accommodation and possibly team up in your search. This page is also where current and former Postgrads post accommodation opportunities. Mode details at:

  • Are there any recommended academic preparations before I join the course

    Each strand will have some assumptions on the material students have covered in their undergraduate programs. To help you prepare, we have assembled some helpful links:

    If your undergraduate education has not been wholly in the English language, it is highly recommended that you consider taking one of the English for Academic Practice (EAP) courses offered in TCD. See:

Info for current and past students:

  • When is the graduation ceremony for the course? When can I get my official degree parchment?

    Graduation is organised centrally by TCD's Graduation team.

    The MSc in Computer Science graduation ceremonies usually take place in Spring (usually April). Due to Covid-19, there may be some changes in timing and format. The Graduation team will update all students closer to the time. If students are abroad it is possible to receive the degree in Absentia

    Please note that there are separate arrangements for conferral of PGDip awards.

    More details:
    OR Contact:

  • How can I get an official transcript of my results?

    Provisional results are published online after the end of each semester. Formal transcripts can be requested, after the annual meetings of the Court of Examiners (typically in June and October), by emailing a request to

More details of the course for currently registered students is available at: