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A Guide to Application Development Courses

Application development is the branch of computer science and information technology that is concerned with adapting and progressing the way we access online information and platforms. There are new technologies being developed and released at an alarming rate, and with mobile phones and tablets set to overtake laptops and desktop computers as the main way we access the online world, the applications and services need to keep up with the latest requirements. Businesses are starting to understand the untapped potential of the online world to a greater extent, meaning that the demand for those who have an advanced expertise is high.


A masters degree in application development will take your existing web design and development knowledge and build on it. You will have opportunities to construct applications and learn how to adapt systems to tackle issues such as security, usability and accessibility. As well as learning the technical requirements of building an application, you will develop your understanding of the legal and practical tasks and necessities that come along with it.

Your degree will be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical and computer laboratory sessions. You may be presented with the opportunity to take part in a work placement, but this is dependent on your institution.


Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise throughout your degree. This specialisation can influence the area in which you choose to work after you have graduated. Common specialisations include:

  • Information Security
  • Software Development
  • Web Application Design and Development
  • Information Systems
  • Mobile Application Development
  • User Experience (UX)

If your degree requires you to write a dissertation or submit a major research project, this will give you the chance to further explore a favoured area of application development.

Accreditation and certification

The accreditation of an application development masters degree will depend on where you choose to study. Typically, you can expect to be awarded a Master of Science (MSc), a Master of Computing (MComp), or a Master of Computer Science (MCompSci). The award title you gain will be influenced heavily by the country in which you study, as different countries have different accreditation systems.

Some courses may be accredited by a professional body. In the UK, this may be the British Computing Society (BCS), for example.

Timeframe and further studies

Generally, a masters degree in application development will take one to two years when studied full-time. If you wish to study part-time, your degree could last up to 4 years. The duration will depend on the institution you choose to study at, as they can set their own timeframes.

Once you have completed your masters degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a Master of Philosophy (MPhil), or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Other options include professional and executive academic qualifications, or professional qualifications gained through your workplace.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for an application development masters degree will depend on the institution for which you are applying. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on your undergraduate degree results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, such as computer science, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.

Although most universities do not list this as a requirement, it is recommended that you are familiar with at least one programming language prior to starting your degree. This will give you a headstart on your learning and assessments.

You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their application development programmes.

  • UK – 5.5 IELTS
  • US – 2.5 GPA

Funding your studies

Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.

You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.

Career options

Application development graduates will find that there are many career opportunities available to them. Due to the demand for industries to keep up with the online world, there will be job roles in many different fields, and not all necessarily directly related to computer science and information technology. Roles might include project manager, information systems manager, database administrator, multimedia programmer, IT security analyst, and games designer and developer. As well as working for a business, you also have the option to start your own company, and work as a consultant, helping organisations with a wide variety of IT tasks.

Degrees in Application Development Masters in Application Development

Highlighted courses in Application Development

Bachelor Software Development BSc

IU International University of Applied Sciences Germany

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Software Engineering BEng

Gisma University of Applied Sciences Germany

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Mobile Application Development Short Course

Birkbeck, University of London United Kingdom

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Bachelor of Information Technology (Mobile Application Development) Bachelor Degree

University of South Australia Australia

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Computer Game Applications Development BSc (Hons)

Abertay University United Kingdom

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Web & Mobile Applications Development Associate Degree

Fulton-Montgomery Community College United States

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View all courses in Application Development

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