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M.Sc. in Interactive Entertainment Technology

Frequently Asked Questions - Syllabus FAQ


This FAQ answers questions relating to the syllabus, modules, courseware and assessment.

Please Note that this is a summary provided for the benefit of prospective students. The specific rules may change slightly from year to year and students are expected to familiriase themselves with the Rules set out in the TCD College Calendar and Course Handbook, which will be made available to students accepted for places on the course.


1. When does teaching on the M.Sc. programme begin for the next academic year?

Teaching on the M.Sc. programme for the academic year usually begins on the second last or last week of September (candidates who are offered a place will be notified formally of the exact date). There will be a number of orientation events organised in the School and College which may fall in the week preceding the start of term. Some of these will be of particular relevance to new students to the College.


2. How many hours of classes are there each week?

The M.Sc. programme entails approximately twenty contact hours per week (including lectures, tutorials, seminars, and laboratory classes) during the two teaching semesters. All modules require students to complete considerable further coursework and study in their own time beyond these timetabled hours.


3. How much time should I expect to spend completing coursework beyond that spent in class?

This is a highly coursework focussed course with an emphasis placed on students both gaining experience with a wide variety of technologies but also aimed at students building a personal portfolio of work which is typically of great benefit when applying for employment in industry.

On average, during teaching term, we expect students to spend at least as much time outside of class working on coursework as they spend in classes.  This will be taken up with specific coursework, assigned reading material and research.  The level of independent work increases after the end of the 2nd term when all lectures finish.  At this time students are expected to be working full-time on their dissertations.


4. How do I choose a dissertation topic?

Dissertation topics are suggested by the teaching staff as well as by companies who are active in the area of interactive entertainment technology. Students are, of course, welcome, and indeed encouraged, to suggest topics of their own. Projects should in any case be self-contained and related to interactive entertainment technology. The goal is that the results of dissertation projects should be of a publishable standard (for examples of publications by students on other MSc degree programmes in the School go here) and be submitted to appropriate international conferences and journals on completion.


5. How many modules must be taken to complete the degree?

Each student takes 30 ECTS of core modules and 30 ECTS of optional modules. The taught core modules are as follows (note that the offering of modules may change from year to year):

  1. Numerical Methods and Advanced Mathematical Modelling 1 & 2 - 10 ECTS

  2. Software Engineering for Distributed Systems - 5 ECTS

  3. Software Engineering Individual Project - 5 ECTS

  4. IET Group Project - 10 ECTS

The optional taught modules are (each student chooses 30 ECTS of these, with 15 in each semester):
  1. Data Communications - 5 ECTS

  2. Data Communications and Networks Practical- 5 ECTS

  3. Graphics & Console Hardware - 5 ECTS

  4. Real-time Rendering - 5 ECTS

  5. Artificial Intelligence in Interactive Entertainment Technology - 5 ECTS

  6. Autonomous Agents - 5 ECTS

  7. Real-time Animation- 5 ECTS

  8. Real-time Physics - 5 ECTS

  9. Vision Systems - 5 ECTS

  10. Augmented Reality - 5 ECTS

In addition each student also undertakes an individual dissertation worth 30 ECTS and is required to attend a seminar series (counted as a single module) which includes various short courses (including research methods). In total therefore, each student takes 60 ECTS of taught modules plus 30 ECTS of the research dissertation making a total of 90 ECTS to complete the MSc program.

6. What happens if I fail 1 or more modules?

You are not permitted to submit a dissertation unless you have successfully passed all required modules (including the group project) in the first attempt and acheived 50% overall average in the 60 ECTS taught component of the program, which takes place in Term 1 and 2.   At the discretion of the Examiner's Board you may be permitted to re-sit the exam or re-submit the required coursework in any failed modules for the award of a Post Graduate Diploma.

In order to be eligible for award of the degree students must have passed all modules and submitted their dissertations by the required date. 


7. What happens if I fail my dissertation?

You must receive a passing mark in the dissertation in order to be eligible for the award of the degree.  Students who fail to achieve a passing grade in the dissertation or who fail to submit a dissertation by the required date may, at the discretion of the Examiner's Board, be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science.

Students who have, for whatever reason, failed to achieve the degree award by the end of the academic year will not be eligible to re-submit or to re-register as a postgraduate student on the same programme.


8. What is entailed in completing a dissertation for this MSc Programme?

The dissertation represents a significant body of work to be completed individually by each student on the MSc Programme. Each student will select a research topic and will spend a majority of their time from May to August working on this research. This research is expected to be novel and should contribute in some way to the state of the art. The dissertation is expected to include publishable material of a quality suitable for publication at an appropriate workshop or conference.

Each student will be assigned a supervisor who will advise them during the dissertation research. It is expected that the student will contribute at a minimum 750 man hours to the dissertation, which takes place part-time during the teaching term and full time over the four summer months after the May examination period (approximately 4 months). In addition, time will be required to prepare / organise / deliver the following:

  • Minimum of three presentations on their work and associated progress

  • Meetings with Project Supervisors

  • Attendance at Research Seminars, where applicable

  • Attendance at Project Management / Research Methodology Workshops, where applicable.

During the course of their dissertation, the student will have to meet specific deliverable deadlines which will be detailed at the start of the process.


9. How is the dissertation marked?

The dissertation is marked in the same manner as any dissertation submitted at MSc level within Trinity College.  The student is required to submit a completed printed and hard-bound dissertation report which should adhere to the guidlines for such reports as defined by the School and University.  In addition, each student will prepare a presentation to be delivered during a short oral exam.  The report and presentation will be reviewed by 2 independent examiners who will be in attendance during the oral exam. 
The dissertation will be awarded either a pass or a fail grade by the external examiners.  Each year, 1 dissertation will be selected as the Best Dissertation.