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The Virtual MPhil is a Computing Department project aimed at a new Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme designed to provide a supportive, professional-oriented structure within which advanced IT knowledge and related research skills and methods can be acquired.

The new degree, available from October 2009, is offered for part-time study at a distance, supported by a range of technologies for online study, supervision and assessment. The programme is particularly relevant to students who intend to go on to study for a PhD, as well as to IT professionals seeking to enhance knowledge and skills, particularly when research and scholarship are a significant part of their work. In being part-time and at a distance, the programme is especially suited to the needs of the working professional.


The ultimate aim of the project is the creation of a vibrant online research community for Computing, supported by a rich and flexible Virtual Learning Environment (VLE): rich to encompass the many processes of research; flexible to meet different user needs, preferences and attitudes to technology.

Students, supervisors and their research collaborators come together through the VLE, bringing their expertise and know-how to the community. They are organised around research themes to facilitate peer collaboration alongside the traditional student-supervisor relationship.