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Distributed Computing Systems Engineering MSc

Course code


Start date


Subject area

Electronic and Computer Engineering

Mode of study

1.5 years full-time



UK / EU £9,370

International £19,280

Entry requirements


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This unique MSc in Distributed Computing Systems Engineering is delivered at the Technical Academy of Esslingen (TAE) in Germany and is hosted by the Electronic and Computer Engineering department at Brunel. It covers essential topics relating to distributed computing systems.

In recent years, cloud computing has evolved as a promising large-scale distributed computing infrastructure for scientists and engineers around the world to share resources on the internet including computers, software, data and instruments. Lots of data centres are available for people to use computing resources in a cost effective way. Recently big data is continuously receiving a significant effort from the industry facilitating data analytics in cloud hosted data centres.

On the course you’ll develop the advanced technical and professional skills necessary for an enhanced career in industry or research related to software engineering and distributed systems.

You’ll have access to specialist technical facilities where you’ll work on your lab exercises. The latest industry standard engineering software packages are available for you to use in modern computer laboratories.

During your studies, you will benefit from guest lectures delivered by industry professionals. You’ll participate in conferences and deliver poster presentations on your research work. This allows you to network and exchange ideas with experts in distributed and embedded systems.

Brunel’s MSc distributed computing systems engineering degree runs off-campus at the Technical Academy of Esslingen (TAE) in Germany full-time over 18 months. We are currently seeking accreditation with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

You can explore our campus and facilities for yourself by taking our virtual tour.

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Course content

You will study the taught modules full-time and then work on your dissertation project part-time. The dissertation is an advanced piece of research on a specific specialism of distributed computing systems.

This course can be studied 1.5 years full-time, starting in September.

Year 1

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Careers and your future

With expertise in key distributed computing and embedded systems, our graduates are highly employable, particularly in industries associated with the development of distributed and embedded systems.

They work is sectors such as software engineering, distributed systems, high performance computing, big data analytics, intelligent systems, and embedded systems.

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UK entry requirements

  • A 2:2 (or above) UK honours degree,or equivalent overseas qualification, in Computer Science; Computer Engineering; Computing and Information Systems; Electronic Engineering; or a related subject.
  • Other qualifications and relevant experience will be assessed on an individual basis.
  • Basic programming skills are required.
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EU and International entry requirements

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 51 (51 in all sub scores)
  • BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)
  • TOEFL: 79( min R18, L17, S20, W17)

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason. We offer our own BrunELT English test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options through our Brunel Language Centre.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

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Fees and funding



£9,370 full-time


£19,280 full-time

More information on any additional course-related costs.

See our fees and funding page for full details of postgraduate scholarships available to Brunel applicants.

Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase. 

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Teaching and Learning

Our distributed computing systems engineering degree is delivered by an expert team of multidisciplinary academic staff. Many are world-renowned researchers and they feed their active research into the course. There will also be guest lectures from our industrial partners and networking at conferences with key industry specialists.

Study will combine lectures, seminars, workshop sessions, computer simulation, self-study, and individual and group project work.

Should you need any non-academic support during your time at Brunel, the Student Support and Welfare Team are here to help.

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Assessment and feedback

Your progress will be assessed via assignments, presentations, technical analytical reports, group reports, exams and your dissertation.

Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.