The course consists of 75% coursework and 25% research.
The coursework is shared with BCS (Hons) and BSc (Hons) in Computer Science.
Students (full-time or part-time) must pass 6 subjects. Students can take one 600-level subject as part of their coursework. They can also take up to three 300-level subjects. A student can also ask the Honours Coordinator's permission to take a relevant 400-level subject outside the Department. Assessment consists of written assignments, oral presentations and written examinations.
As well as advancing the student's knowledge of computer science, the Postgraduate Diploma is intended to introduce students to the world of research. Part way through their first semester, students will select a supervisor and project from a list of topics that academic staff have indicated they are willing to supervise. These projects involve a search of the relevant literature, some investigation or application by the student, and preparation of a final written report summarising the results of the investigation and its relation to other work in the area. Students are required to present a written summary of their project proposals towards the end of their first semester, and to give a final oral presentation of their research shortly after the deadline for theses. The thesis should not exceed 12,000 words. The thesis contributes 25% towards the final mark. The thesis will be examined by the supervisor and two other members of academic of staff. Guidelines for marking will be made available to students.
The Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering holds regular seminars; attendance at these is required for Postgraduate Diploma students. Other talks may also be recommended by the teaching staff; these, too, are considered to be part of the course.