This advanced Master's programme in Mobile Application Development prepares you to develop applications for these devices, equipping you to become a highly skilled professional for the Mobile Industry with the latest skill set.
The programme combines technology, interface design and application development for mobile platforms, with a particular emphasis on developing iPhone and iPad apps and creating apps with high usability and reliability.
On completion of the course, you will have gained skills in the latest technologies in this rapidly expanding and developing field.
About the School of Engineering and Digital Arts
The School of Engineering and Digital Arts successfully combines modern engineering and technology with the exciting new field of digital media.
Established over 40 years ago, the School has developed a top-quality teaching and research base, receiving excellent ratings in both research and teaching assessments.
The School undertakes high-quality research that has had significant national and international impact, and our spread of expertise allows us to respond rapidly to new developments. Our 30 academic staff and over 130 postgraduate students and research staff provide an ideal focus to effectively support a high level of research activity. There is a thriving student population studying for postgraduate degrees in a friendly and supportive teaching and research environment.
We have research funding from the Research Councils UK, European research programmes, a number of industrial and commercial companies and government agencies including the Ministry of Defence. Our Electronic Systems Design Centre and Digital Media Hub provide training and consultancy for a wide range of companies. Many of our research projects are collaborative, and we have well-developed links with institutions worldwide.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Engineering and Digital Arts was ranked 21st in the UK for research intensity.
An impressive 98% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international excellence.
The MSc begins in late September and finishes in September of the following year, and consists of approximately six months of coursework followed by a short period reserved for examinations and a four-month project.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
|Modules may include||Credits|
EL880 - HCI For Mobiles
Introduction to mobile and ubiquitous computing
Human computer interaction and user centred design
Contextual user research: persona, scenario analysis, contextual inquiry, logging, diary analysis
Information architecture: process and practice
High and low fidelity prototyping techniques for mobile applications
User and expert evaluation techniques: cognitive walkthrough, user testing
Mobile design principles and guidelines
Sociability design in a mobile context
Accessibility and inclusive design
Future developments of mobile interface technologies
An assessed 2000 word essay critically reviewing literature on a specific aspect of mobile interface technologies.
DESIGN DOCUMENT (80%):
Design document of a handheld mobile interactive system, which includes user research (methods and analysis/results) (25%), low and high fidelity prototype (30%), user testing (methods and analysis/design recommendations) (25%).Read more
EL881 - Android Application Design
This module is concerned with the design, implementation and testing of applications for the Android operating system. Students will work at all stages of the development life-cycle from inception to testing, whilst considering usability and device capabilities for a mobile application capable of meeting a functional specification. Key topics include:
Android SDK: frameworks, classes and design patterns. MVC.
User interface elements: activities, fragments, views, UI design patterns.
Data persistence: Android SQLite, preferences, file storage.
Multitasking: AsyncTask, Services
Networking: HTTP communication, use of web services.
Mobile Sensing: location and sensing framework.
Multimedia: audio, image, and video handling.
Ubiquitous and mobile computing: concepts and challenges.
Two-hour scheduled workshop sessions provide students with the opportunity to reinforce their understanding of the concepts introduced in the lectures and to practice using the SDK.
Students also develop an app of their own choosing as a mini-project. This together with a report on the development process is assessed.Read more
EL882 - iPhone Application Design
This module is concerned with the design, implementation and testing of applications for the iPhone. Students will work at all stages of the development life-cycle from inception to testing, whilst considering usability and device capabilities for a mobile application capable of meeting a
functional specification. Key topics include:
Objective-C and Cocoa: frameworks, classes and design patterns. MVC.
IPhone SDK: XCode IDE, iPhone simulator, Interface builder, Welcome App
User interface elements: views, scrolling, labels, alerts, toolbars, text, web views. Example apps.
View controllers, navigation controller, tab bar controller, table views.
Dealing with Data: CoreData.
Gesture and Touches.
Audio, video and the MediaKit.
Device APIs: location, accelerometer, compass, battery life.
E-commerce with the iPhone.
Two-hour scheduled workshop sessions provide students with the opportunity to reinforce their understanding of the concepts introduced in the lectures and to practice using the SDK.
Students also develop an app of their own choosingRead more
EL883 - Mobile Web Development
Mobile platforms: RIM, iOS, Windows Phone, Android. Developing for Android.
Building Web Services with PHP.
Mobile information architecture. Content adaptation techniques
Mobile web development: HTML5, CSS3 using device features
Mobile web work flow: wire frames, mock-up creation, HTML markup, page design. W3C mobile web application best practices..
Mini-project create a marketing web site for a mobile application.Read more
EL884 - Mobile Application Design Project
A mobile application will be developed for a platform agreed between the student and the supervisor either in an industrial context or within the School.Read more
EL885 - Research Methods and Project Design for Mobile Apps
CO871 - Advanced Java for Programmers
This module provides for well-qualified computer science students entering the MSc programme from a range of backgrounds. These students will have good programming skills but will not necessarily have used Java or another object-oriented language extensively. This module seeks to ensure that students have the Java and object-oriented design skills necessary for the rest of their programme.Read more
CO881 - Object-Oriented Programming
This module provides an introduction to object-oriented programming using the popular Java language. It is designed for beginners who have not studied computer programming before. By the end students will be able to develop simple programmes using Java. (Note that students with substantial prior experience of programming take module CO871 Advanced Java for Programmers instead.)
. Computer architecture, operating systems and application software.
Software development tools (editors, compilers, etc)
The wider software development process
Programming paradigms and languages
The concept of algorithms
Sequences of statements and order of execution
Classes, objects and packages (what they are and how to use them)
Primitive data types, variables and expressions
Methods and parameters
Control structures (selection, repetition)
Input and output
Coding style and inline documentation
Online documentationRead more
EL890 - MSc Project
A major practical system will be developed either in an industrial context or within the department. There are no formal lectures - students will undertake the work in their own time under the regular supervision of a member of the academic staff and, where appropriate, industrial collaborators.Read more
Teaching and Assessment
The project module is examined by a presentation and dissertation. The Research Methods and Project Design module is examined by several components of continuous assessment. The other modules are assessed by examinations and smaller components of continuous assessment. MSc students must gain credits from all the modules (180 credits in total). For the PDip, you must gain at least 120 credits in total, and pass certain modules to meet the learning outcomes of the PDip programme.
This programme aims to:
- educate graduate engineers and equip them with advanced knowledge of the technology required to deliver applications and web content to mobile devices
- produce high-calibre designers versed in modern interaction design methodology who are able to develop mobile applications with high usability
- provide you with proper academic guidance and welfare support
- create an atmosphere of co-operation and partnership between staff and students, and offer you an environment where you can develop your potential
- to strengthen and expand opportunities for industrial collaboration with the School of Engineering and Digital Arts.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- standards, design principles and practices for the mobile web
- interface technologies and principles of interaction design and usability for mobile applications
- current standards, processes and technologies to support mobile communications
- structured programming techniques for embedded and mobile systems
- the development of the e-commerce market place and principles
- project management techniques relevant to the mobile application development industry.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- the ability to integrate web and mobile technologies
- the ability to develop information architectures for the mobile web
- the ability to take into consideration accessibility, sociability and other issues when designing mobile applications
- the ability to analyse a problem and develop a system-level specification, based on an understanding of the interaction between the component parts of the system
- the ability to design and develop software solutions based on a system-level specification, taking into account economic factors, risks and benefits
- the integration of information and data from a variety of sources to develop new software solutions.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- the ability to use software development kits (SDK) to develop mobile and embedded applications
- the ability to devise tests of a software and/or hardware system through experiment or simulation and to critically appraise the results
- the ability to design mobile applications with high usability by effective integration of user interface elements in a SDK
- the ability to carry out user research and technical searches when developing mobile and embedded applications
- the ability to apply management techniques to the planning, resource allocation and execution of a project
- the ability to prepare technical reports and presentations.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- the ability to generate, analyse, present and interpret data
- use of information and communications technology
- personal and interpersonal skills, working as a member of a team
- an ability to communicate effectively (in writing, verbally and through drawings)
- the ability for critical thinking, reasoning and reflection
- the ability to manage time and resources within an individual and group project
- the ability to learn effectively for the purpose of continuing professional development.
We have developed the programme with a number of industrial organisations, which means that successful students will be in a strong position to build a long-term career in this important discipline.
The School of Engineering and Digital Arts has an excellent record of student employability. We are committed to enhancing the employability of all our students, to equip you with the skills and knowledge to succeed in a competitive, fast-moving, knowledge-based economy.
Graduates who can show that they have developed transferable skills and valuable experience are better prepared to start their careers and are more attractive to potential employers. Within the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, you can develop the skills and capabilities that employers seek. These include problem solving, independent thought, report-writing, time management, leadership skills, team-working and good communication.
Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 96% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2015 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.
Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we offer many opportunities for you to gain worthwhile experience and develop the specific skills and aptitudes that employers value.
All students are provided with a personal MacBook Pro for the duration of the course. Additionally, the School is equipped with leading-edge PC workstations running industry standard software.
As a postgraduate student, you are part of a thriving research community and receive support through a wide-ranging programme of individual supervision, specialised research seminars, general skills training programmes, and general departmental colloquia, usually with external speakers. We encourage you to attend and present your work at major conferences, as well as taking part in our internal conference and seminar programmes.
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include: IEEE Transactions; IET Journals; Electronics Letters; Applied Physics; Computers in Human Behaviour. Details of recently published books can be found within our staff research interests.
Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.
A 2.2 or higher honours degree in engineering, multimedia, scientific, computing or similar discipline. Programming skills are highly desirable.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.
English language entry requirements
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Need help with English?
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
The Group’s activities cover system and component technologies from microwave to terahertz frequencies. These include photonics, antennae and wireless components for a broad range of communication systems. The Group has extensive software research tools together with antenna anechoic chambers, network and spectrum analysers to millimetre wave frequencies and optical signal generation, processing and measurement facilities. Current research themes include:
- photonic components
- networks/wireless systems
- microwave and millimetre-wave systems
- antenna systems
- radio-over-fibre systems
- electromagnetic bandgaps and metamaterials
- frequency selective surfaces.
The Intelligent Interactions group has interests in all aspects of information engineering and human-machine interactions. It was formed in 2014 by the merger of the Image and Information Research Group and the Digital Media Research Group.
The group has an international reputation for its work in a number of key application areas. These include: image processing and vision, pattern recognition, interaction design, social, ubiquitous and mobile computing with a range of applications in security and biometrics, healthcare, e-learning, computer games, digital film and animation.
- Social and Affective Computing
- Assistive Robotics and Human-Robot Interaction
- Brain-Computer Interfaces
- Mobile, Ubiquitous and Pervasive Computing
- Sensor Networks and Data Analytics
- Biometric and Forensic Technologies
Behaviour Models for Security
- Distributed Systems Security (Cloud Computing, Internet of Things)
- Advanced Pattern Recognition (medical imaging, document and handwriting recognition, animal biometrics)
- Computer Animation, Game Design and Game Technologies
- Virtual and Augmented Reality
- Digital Arts, Virtual Narratives.
Instrumentation, Control and Embedded Systems
The Instrumentation, Control and Embedded Systems Research Group comprises a mixture of highly experienced, young and vibrant academics working in three complementary research themes – embedded systems, instrumentation and control. The Group has established a major reputation in recent years for solving challenging scientific and technical problems across a range of industrial sectors, and has strong links with many European countries through EU-funded research programmes. The Group also has a history of industrial collaboration in the UK through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.
The Group’s main expertise lies primarily in image processing, signal processing, embedded systems, optical sensors, neural networks, and systems on chip and advanced control. It is currently working in the following areas:
- monitoring and characterisation of combustion flames
- flow measurement of particulate solids
- medical instrumentation
- control of autonomous vehicles
- control of time-delay systems
- high-speed architectures for real-time image processing
- novel signal processing architectures based on logarithmic arithmetic.
Staff research interests
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Dr Jim Ang: Senior Lecturer in Multimedia/Digital Systems
Human computer interaction; usability and playability design; computer game studies and interactive narrative; social computing and sociability design; virtual worlds; online communities and computer-mediated communication.View Profile
Professor John Batchelor: Professor of Antenna Technology
Design and modelling of multi-band antennas for personal, on-body and mobile communication systems; passive RFID tagging/sensing and skin mounted transfer tattoo tags; reduced-size frequency selective structures (FSS and EBG) for incorporation into smart buildings for control of radio spectrum.View Profile
Ania Bobrowicz: Senior Lecturer in Digital Arts
Human-computer interaction; computer-mediated communication; feminism and art history.View Profile
Mr David Byers Brown: Senior Lecturer
Animation; digital visual effects; directing.View Profile
Professor Farzin Deravi: Professor in Information Engineering, Head of School
Pattern recognition; information fusion; computer vision; image processing: image coding; fractals and self-similarity; biometrics; bio-signals; assistive technologies.View Profile
Professor Michael Fairhurst: Professor of Computer Vision
Image analysis; computer vision; handwriting analysis; biometrics and security; novel classifier architectures; medical image analysis and diagnostics; document processing.View Profile
Professor Steven Gao: Professor of RF/Microwave Engineering
Space antennas; smart antennas; microwave circuit and systems.View Profile
Professor Nathan Gomes: Professor of Optical Fibre Communications
Optical-microwave interactions, especially fibreradio networks; optoelectronic devices and optical networks.View Profile
Dr Richard Guest: Reader in Biometric Systems Engineering, Deputy Head of School
Image processing; biometrics technologies including usability, cybermetric linkages and standardisation; automated analysis of handwritten data; document processing.View Profile
Dr Sanaul Hoque: Lecturer in Secure Systems Engineering
Computer vision; OCR; biometrics; security and encryption; multi-expert fusion and document modelling.View Profile
Professor Gareth Howells: Professor in Secure Electronic Systems
Biometric security and pattern classification techniques especially deriving encryption keys from operating characteristics of electronic circuits and systems.View Profile
Dr Benito Sanz-Izquierdo: Lecturer in Electronic Systems
Antennas and microwaves.View Profile
Dr Peter Lee: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
Embedded systems; programmable architectures; high-speed signal processing; VLSI/ASIC design; neural networks; optical sensor systems and applications; image processing using VLSI.View Profile
Dr Gang Lu: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Instrumentation
Advanced combustion instrumentation; visionbased instrumentation systems; digital image processing; condition monitoring.View Profile
Dr Gianluca Marcelli: Lecturer in Engineering
The understanding of complex systems, in particular, biological and financial systems; using mathematical modelling such as molecular simulation, Brownian dynamics and network theory.View Profile
Mr Robert Oven: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
Modelling of ion implantation processes and ion diffusion into glass for integrated optic applications.View Profile
Dr Konstantinos Sirlantzis: Senior Lecturer in Intelligent Systems
Pattern recognition; multiple classifier systems; artificial intelligence techniques; neural networks, genetic algorithms, and other biologically inspired computing paradigms; image processing; multimodal biometric models; handwriting recognition; numerical stochastic optimisation algorithms; nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory; Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods for sensor data fusion.View Profile
Dr Les Walczowski: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
The development of dynamic web applications, mobile applications and e-learning technology.View Profile
Winston Waller: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
Design for test; analogue and digital VLSI design; medical applications of VLSI and low power voltage circuit design.View Profile
Dr Chao Wang: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Systems
Optical communications; microwave photonics; biophotonics.View Profile
Professor Jiangzhou Wang: Professor of Telecommunications
Modulation; coding; MIMO; mobile communications; wireless sensor networks.View Profile
Dr Xinggang Yan: Senior Lecturer in Control Engineering
Nonlinear control; sliding mode control; decentralised control; fault detection and isolation.View Profile
Professor Yong Yan: Professor of Electronic Instrumentation; Director of Research
Sensors; instrumentation; measurement; condition monitoring; digital signal processing; digital image processing; applications of artificial intelligence.View Profile
Dr Paul Young: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
Design and modelling of microwave and millimetrewave devices and antennas, especially substrate integrated waveguides and smart antennas.View Profile
The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
|Mobile Application Development - MSc at Canterbury:|
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact email@example.com
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