Dependable Software Systems – Erasmus Mundus (MSc) 2016 entry

The MSc in Dependable Software Systems is a two-year Erasmus Mundus programme offered by St Andrews in conjunction with Maynooth University in Ireland and Université de Lorraine Nancy in France. It provides students with the skills and in-depth technical understanding of the key concepts required to design and build dependable software systems.

Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Science (MSc)

Course duration

Two years full time

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in Computer Science or a related discipline. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.

Modules are taught in English; however, students who intend to study in France should have a minimum knowledge of French to help them in their day-to-day living. 

Tuition fees

EU: €4,500
Non-EU: €9,000

Application deadline

Application requirements

  • CV (using the European format)
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • two signed academic references (at least one from the institution you have graduated or will graduate from)
  • copy of your birth certificate or valid passport
  • proof of residence
  • personal statement
  • English language requirements certificate.
Applications for 2016 entry for this course have now closed, see which courses are available for the upcoming academic year.
Erasmus Mundus logo

The MSc in Dependable Software Systems is an Erasmus Mundus programme.

More information on the application process can be found on the Erasmus Mundus website.

Course information

Course highlights

  • Students study at two of the three following internationally recognised universities in computer science: University of St Andrews, National University of Ireland Maynooth and Université de Lorraine Nancy in France.
  • Students undertake a significant project including a wide-ranging investigation, leading to their dissertation which enables them to consolidate and extend their specialist knowledge and critical thinking.
  • Students gain the logical reasoning and problem-solving skills needed for a career in a software industry.
  • While at St Andrews, students have 24-hour access to excellent modern laboratories, provisioned with modern dual-screen PC workstations and group working facilities.

Teaching format

The Erasmus Mundus MSc in Dependable Software Systems is a two-year taught programme run jointly by computer science departments at the University of St Andrews, National University of Ireland Maynooth and Université de Lorraine Nancy in France.

Students study at two of the three partner universities. The MSc is awarded to students completing 120 ECTS; at each university, students accumulate 60 ECTS (equivalent to 120 St Andrews credits): 40 from taught modules over two semesters and 20 from project work during summer. Semesters 1 and 3 normally consist of foundational topics upon which students can build their specialisations, whereas Semesters 2 and 4 normally consist of specialised modules and project work. In both universities, students complete a dissertation research project. 

Teaching methods at St Andrews include lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical classes. Most modules are assessed through practical coursework exercises and examinations. Class sizes typically range from 10 to 50 students.

At St Andrews, all students are assigned an advisor who meets with them at the start of the year to discuss module choices and is available to assist with any academic difficulties during the year. A designated member of staff provides close supervision for the MSc project and dissertation.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


The following are Erasmus Mundus modules offered by the University of St Andrews. Find out more about the specific modules offered by the other universities

The modules in the St Andrews programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue.

Compulsory modules

  • Object-Oriented Modelling, Design and Programming: introduces and reinforces object-oriented modelling, design and implementation to provide a common basis of skills allowing students to complete programming assignments within other MSc modules.

and one or two of:

Optional modules

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and attendance may be limited (see the University’s position on curriculum development). Some modules may be compulsory for particular courses, with limited access for students enrolled on other programmes.

Students choose either two or three optional modules from the following list (up to two of these may be taken from second list). See the module catalogue for their descriptions.

Optional modules

Additional optional modules

The modules listed ran in the academic year 2015-2016 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2016 entry.

Take a look at the most up to date modules in the module catalogue.


Project work is a major aspect of this Masters programme, accounting for 33% of the total degree marks. Students complete a project at each of the two universities and submit a dissertation for examination at the end of each project. 

At St Andrews, the dissertation typically comprises: a review of related work; the extension of existing or the development of new ideas; software implementation and testing; analysis and evaluation. Students are required to give a presentation of their work in addition to the written dissertation.

Conferences and events

The School of Computer Science at St Andrews organises a regular programme of colloquia, talks and seminars by external and internal speakers from both industry and academia. The talks are aimed at bringing the diversity, excitement and impact of computer science from around the globe to staff and students within the School.

The St Andrews Computing Society (STACS) regularly organises hackathons and other events open to local and external participants, including MSc students. These are very popular events, often supported by industrial sponsors.

The Computer Science blog regularly publishers news and events.


The Erasmus Mundus programme hosts a number of scholarships. Students must apply before January 31 to be eligible.

Find out more about Erasmus Mundus scholarships.

After the MSc

Research degrees

Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere. 

An EngD programme in Computer Science is available from September 2016. This is a 4-year Engineering Doctorate involving an industrial partner and incorporating a 32-week taught component and a 170-week individual research component. Students who have already completed an MSc may be able to proceed directly to the individual research component of the EngD.

Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews. The School of Computer Science is highly rated for its theoretical and practical research in areas such as AI, symbolic computation, networking, distributed systems, human computer interaction, and systems engineering, and offers research opportunities leading to a PhD in Computer Science.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
The EPSRC offers a variety of research studentship funding in Computer Science.

PhD in Computer Science



Graduates of the Erasmus Mundus MSc will be equally suited to a career in research where they will develop new techniques for developing more dependable software, or a career in industry where they will develop dependable industrial strength software. Previous graduates have found employment at the following companies:

  • SAP, Ireland
  • JP Morgan, UK
  • Cigna, USA
  • Google, Ireland
  • Accenture, UK
  • Active Mind Technology, Ireland
  • IBM, Ireland
  • German Aerospace Centre (DLR).

Past students have also gone on to undertake a PhD at:

  • TU DELFT, Netherlands
  • TU München, Germany
  • University of Oxford, UK




School of Computer Science
Jack Cole Building
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9SX

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3253

Computer Science website

Erasmus Mundus MSc adviser 
Dr Juliana Bowles
School of Computer Science

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3253

Erasmus Mundus website

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB)