Msc by research

1. Introduction

A research degree is awarded primarily on the basis of a thesis embodying the results of a research project and any coursework topics (when necessary) or other formal studies required by the University and the School of Computer Sciences to be undertaken during the candidature period.

The degree can be pursued under the supervision of at least one academic staff of the school. Under this mode of study, the candidate is required to complete a thesis within a stipulated time period. Usually, full-time candidates for M.Sc. complete their thesis in 12 - 18 months and for Ph.D. in 30 - 40 months.

Current research and development activities are organised under three research clusters:


COM11 – Enterprise Computing
01 Service Science and Innovation
02 Management of Information Systems (MIS)
03 Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
04 IT Operations and Management
05 Technopreneurship

COM12 – Software Engineering
01 Service Systems Engineering (SSE)
02 Software Analysis and Design Patterns
03 Software Productivity and Quality
04 Value-Based Software Engineering
05 Sustainable and Evolutionary Software Systems

COM13 – Social and Sustainable Computing
01 Social Informatics
02 Computer Ethics
03 Collaborative Computing
04 Information Evaluation
05 Usability Engineering

COM14 – Multimedia Computing
01 Virtual Reality and Animation
02 Multimedia Retrieval, Processing and Analysis
03 Distributed Multimedia and Multimedia Communication
04 E-Learning
05 Multimedia Tools and Applications 



COM21 – Computational Intelligence
01 Intelligent System Techniques
02 Scheduling/Timetabling/Planning
03 Evolutionary Computing
04 Collective Intelligence
05 Brain Inspired Computing

COM22 – Computer Vision and Image Processing
01 Image Analysis
02 Semantic Image and Video Knowledge Extraction
03 Image Retrieval
04 Multimodal Integration

COM23 – Visual Computing
01 Data Visualisation
02 Information Visualisation
03 Knowledge Visualisation
04 Computer Graphics
05 Visual Analytics
06 Virtual Environment

COM24 – Language and Knowledge Engineering
01 Natural Language Processing
02 Automated Translation
03 Speech Recognition
04 Speech Synthesis
05 Semantic Web Search
06 Text Summarisation
07 Health Informatics
08 Knowledge Management and Engineering
09 Data Mining



COM31 – High Performance Computing
01 Distributed Systems
02 Parallel Tools and Applications
03 Cluster and Multicore Computing
04 Grid Computing
05 Peer-to-Peer Computing
06 Parallel Sequence Analysis Algorithms
07 Parallel Structure Prediction Algorithms
08 Concurrency Theory in Biology
09 Parallel Biological Data Mining

COM32 – Networks
01 Embedded System
02 Wireless and Mobile Computing
03 Quality of Service
04 Network and Communication Protocols
05 Network Modeling
06 Wireless Sensor Networks

COM33 – Information Security
01 Network Security
02 Malware
03 Cryptology
04 Steganography
05 Data Privacy and Preservation
06 Security Management
07 Digital Forensic

Note:- The above may serve as a guide for applicants to choose his/her title and research field.


2. Admission Requirements

Applicants should possess the following:

  • A BSc degree in Computer Science/ Information Technology or equivalent or
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering/ Electrical Engineering/ Computer Engineering (60% of the core component must be Computer Science related) with
  • A minimum CGPA of 2.75 or equivalent.
  • Degrees awarded by local/ private institutions of higher learning, including those awarded under any collaborative/ franchising schemes with local or foreign partners must be accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA).


3. Language Requirements

(Applicable for International Applicants Only)

  • A minimum score of 35 in Internet-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) ; OR
  • A minimum score of 5.0 in IELTS (International English Language Testing System); or
  • A minimum score of 154 in Cambridge English Advance (CAE); or
  • A minimum score of 154 in Cambridge Proficiency Advance (CPE); or
  • A minimum score of 36 in Pearson Test of English (PTE); or
  • English is the candidate's mother tongue or National Language; or
  • The candidate graduated from an Institution of Higher Learning in which the medium of instruction at Bachelor and Master level is English; or
  • English courses offered by British Council (The level of qualification and the relevant courses are to be identified by the University Postgraduate Studies Council ); or
  • English courses from selected Malaysian public/private University or institution (The level of qualification and the relevant courses are to be identified by the University Postgraduate Studies Council)


4. Duration

  • Full-time: Min 1 year / Max 3 years
  • Part-time: Min 2 years / Max 5 years 


5. Fees

School of Computer Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM Penang, Malaysia
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