Award Type and NFQ level : RESEARCH MASTERS (9)

CAO/PAC code : MHG04 (FT), MHG05 (PT)

CAO Points :

Typically, a MSc takes two years to complete (three years if taken part-time); at the end of the first year the student may have the option to transfer to the PhD register if they so wish subject to satisfactory progress.

The aim of the Structured MSc in Computer Science is to provide the student with an opportunity to carry out a significant body of research work with support from the teaching component of the programme. The programme will offer academic subjects to enhance their knowledge as well as transferable and generic skills that will add significantly to the MSc experience by broadening the skill base of the candidate.

The first step is to identify a potential supervisor. This involves deciding on a general research area that you are interested in and to contact a member of the department’s staff that is working in that area. The best approach is to look through the staff web pages and the list of Research Groups/Projects in the department.

Research postgraduates are typically (though not exclusively) funded during their research. Support varies depending on the source, but at best, funding can include payment of fees, a salary and travel expenses. Note that all funding programmes are highly competitive, and most are contingent on the applicant securing high marks in their primary degree.

Closing date
Research applications are generally accepted at any time

September (or other agreed time)

Applications are invited from students who have achieved high marks in their undergraduate degree. This is typically a first-class honours in Computer Science or a closely-related discipline, although students with a second class honours primary degree can also be considered.

Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

Minimum English language requirements:
Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study. For information about English language tests accepted and required scores, please see here. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and International applicants..

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850

Dr Adam Winstanley
Head of Department
Location-based services for environmental monitoring and public information systems; transport information systems; public transport tracking, monitoring and analysis software; journey planners optimised on multiple criteria; passenger information systems; graphics recognition using shape, context, and Statistical Language Modelling for recognition and validation of graphical objects; electric vehicle control systems.

Dr Aidan Mooney
Aidan Mooney’s primary research interests lie in the area of chaos theory, image processing, information hiding and watermarking. His interests in watermarking cover digital and audio watermarking and developing new techniques for secure trustworthy systems. He has special interest in the use of chaos theory to provide more secure watermark generation techniques within different domains.

Prof Barak Pearlmutter
Barak Pearlmutter’s primary technical interest is in systems that adapt: how to analyse them, how to understand them, how to build them. Because the most flexible and competent adaptive systems available is the nervous system, he is interested in artificial neural networks and computational neuroscience. He is most focused on the construction of novel architectures and algorithms that enable us to understand and attack previously unassailable problems, and to understand previously mysterious aspects of nervous system function.  A secondary interest of Prof Pearlmutter is in programming systems, especially advanced programming language design and implementation. One of his projects is to build a new efficient advanced programming language with novel constructs that allow many numeric algorithms and scientific computations to be expressed very clearly and succinctly.

Dr Charles Markham
Charles Markham is currently collaborating with the Engineering Department at Maynooth University to develop a brain computer interface based on optical tomography. The work involves developing accurate methods of photometry to allow blood oxygen levels to be measured and so infer brain activity. In collaboration with the Vision Groups, Institute for Technology. Blanchardstown and Maynooth University Dr Markham is developing a mobile computer vision system. This project has created interest from the National Roads Authority for road infrastructure management. The Vision Group (Maynooth University) is also investigating the use of sensor fusion to improve performance of pedestrian detection systems. Initial work has been carried out using a combined LIDAR and Vision System as part of the autotram project. Dr Markham has special interest in the design of novel imaging sensors. He has developed techniques for infrared imaging using coded apertures and wide-baseline stereo imaging methods to achieve a visual radar system.

Mr Dermot Kelly
Distributed Systems, the Internet and its application to the emergence of virtual societies, grid computing, e-commerce and database backed services, mobile internet services, multimedia delivery, collaborative applications, network centric games, virtual reality environments and remote monitoring and control. Entertainment Technology Systems for sound and lighting resources, analysing and synthesising, visualising and controlling these resources.

Dr Diarmuid O Donoghue
Dr Diarmuid O’Donoghue’s research is focused on Evolutionary Algorithms with Genetic Repair for constrained optimisation. We are exploring biologically inspired models of genetic repair that enforce constraints on the evolutionary search process. Of special interest is the genetic repair process proposed in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana (Nature 434, 505–509). This controversial finding asserts that plants repair genetic errors using a ‘cache’ of genetic information passed down from one of its ancestors. This repair process effects a type of non-Mendelian inheritance, challenging the assumption that underlies so much of natural and simulated evolution (for an accessible introduction to the natural repair process see here). Our work makes two distinct contributions. First we are developing very efficient general-purpose algorithms for solving constraint problems. Secondly, we are exploring the plausibility of the proposed repair mechanism through our computational experiments. Another of Diarmuid’s interests is in computational models of how people solve problems using analogical
comparisons. Algorithmic models are based on isomorphic structure mapping between the source and target analogs – represented as a pair of k-edge & j-node coloured graphs. We have also adapted these algorithms to recognise targeted structures in topographic maps, allowing the automatic identification of complex multi-polygon geo-spatial structures like schools and hospitals.

Mr John McDonald
John McDonald’s research interests lie in the areas of computer vision, image processing, pattern recognition, and visual simultaneous positioning and mapping. In the past he has worked on topics ranging from face recognition and facial expression analysis, to 3-dimensional and holographic image processing, and intelligent vehicle systems. More recently his work has focussed on visual positioning and mapping. This work can be divided into two lines of investigation: (i) building viewpoint independent descriptions of the appearance of a scene and then using those descriptions to recognise new images of that scene, and, (ii) using a live video stream from a mobile (e.g. handheld or robot mounted) camera to infer the 3D structure of the scene that the camera is viewing, and the movement of the camera within that scene. This second area is sometimes referred to as visual simultaneous localisation and mapping or vSLAM. Some of the applications of this research include life-long autonomous mobile robotics, augmented reality (i.e. virtual reality over live video streams), and visually assisted user navigation.

Dr James Power
James Power works with the Principles of Programming research group which specialises in the static and dynamic analysis of object-oriented programs and programming languages. We exploit a variety of techniques, such as parsing, bytecode analysis, software metrics, meta-modelling and program verification to model software systems in order to increase comprehensibility and reliability. Our work has applications in reverse engineering, program verification and validated forward engineering from design to code. We have a strong interest in the formal underpinnings of software technology, and much of our work has links with formal methods in program design and analysis.

Dr Joseph Timoney
Joseph Timoney’s field of research is Digital audio signal processing with an emphasis towards music technology and multimedia applications. Specifically, current work as part of the Music Technology Research Group is in the field of sound synthesis. Research is being carried out in emulations of the elements of analog subtractive synthesis for virtual-analog applications, physical modeling of acoustic instruments, and enhanced Phase Distortion synthesis. Other areas of interest are derived from all aspects of Timbral modeling. The outcome of this research is in the building of VST software instruments or standalone applications. At the moment the group has academic collaboration with the TKK in Espoo, Finland and commercial collaboration with the Irish-owned Future Audio Workshop. Another research strand is in the area of Gaelic speech synthesis and speech rhythm modeling using the perceptual centers of sounds. This work is in collaboration with the Department of Electronic Engineering, Maynooth University.

Dr Philip Maguire
Phil Maguire’s main research interests are in the area of cognitive science and artificial intelligence. In particular he is interested in computational linguistics, knowledge representation and reasoning.

Dr Philippe Moser
Philippe Moser’s research lies in the domain of algorithmic information theory, essentially finding the minimal representation of a piece of data such that it can be reconstructed into its original form with no information loss, recent work has focused on small memory compression algorithms and useful information extraction algorithms. Applications relate to the compression of XML documents, data stream compression, and gene recognition in bio-informatics.

Prof Ronan Reilly
Ronan Reilly’s main research interests are in the areas of visual perception and language understanding. His interest in vision research primarily relates to eye movement control in reading, which also conveniently combines a language dimension. His research in this area involves data collection using an eye tracking system, and the computational modelling of these data. More recently he has started to look at the application of my reading model to web usability analysis. Within the language area, he has a specific interest in alternatives to the currently dominant nativist accounts of language acquisition. Again, this work is underpinned by computational modelling. Prof Reilly has also been working on a theoretical approach to modelling cortical computation, which he refers to as ‘Cortical Software Re-Use’. The goal of this theory is to try to account for the construction of cognitive capabilities within a developmental and evolutionary framework.

Dr Rosemary Monahan
Rosemary’s research is concerned with the development of reliable software systems. She works with the Principles of Programming research group which specialises in the static and dynamic analysis of object oriented programs and programming languages. Her research interests are in program verification and in particular, the verification of data refinement within an object-oriented setting. Current research includes collaborations on Data Refinement with Prof J Morris at Dublin City University, on the Spec# Programming System with the Research in Software Engineering (RiSE) group at Microsoft Research, Redmond, on Event B with MOSEL Research Group, LORIA and on verifying safety critical properties of PLC’s with TramPower UK.

Dr Susan Bergin
Dr Susan Bergin is a member of the Centre for Telecommunications Value-Chain Research and the Institute of Microelectronics and Wireless Systems. Her research interests include data mining, text mining, machine learning, statistical analysis and related software development. Many of her projects are related to the wireless domain and often involve very large parametric test and quality datasets.

Dr Stephen Brown
Primary research interest is in embedded networking systems, with Sensor Networks being my current focus. Additional interests are in performance of embedded systems, distributed & networked systems, Software Engineering, Testing, Software Engineering Education.

Dr Tom Dowling
Theory and practice of cryptography and cryptanalysis. Information warfare. Java and Perl based implementation of cryptographic protocol and systems. Smart card development and integration. Numerical computing. Developing computer based simulations of algebraic constructs. Theory and application of Elliptic curves over finite fields and extension fields. Performance analysis of elliptic curve algorithms. Computer forensics and network security protocols and tools.

Mr Tom Lysaght
Mr Lysaght received his BA degree in Music and Mathematical Physics in 1984, his HDipEd in 1991 and his MCompSci from Maynooth University in 1996. He is currently finishing a PhD in Computer Science at Maynooth University and is a permanent member of the Department of Computer Science’s lecturing staff. Mr Lysaght’s main research area is sound analysis and synthesis, particularly the area of timbre morphing with applications in the area of synthesis and composition. He uses the Wigner Distribution as his time-frequency representation for timbre and develops signal processing techniques for morphing. This research is carried out in collaboration with Dr Victor Lazzarini of the Music Department and Dr Joseph Timoney of the Computer Science Department at Maynooth University.This group of researchers regularly publish papers in the area of signal processing techniques for audio applications.

Mr Thomas Naughton
Thomas Naughton has research interests at intersections of computer science, optics, and biology. In the field of optical information processing, he is interested in the processing and analysis of three-dimensional scenes encoded in digital holograms and computational complexity analysis of analog optical computing architectures.
At the intersection of computer science and biology, he is interested in biocomputation (computing with molecules) and bioinformatics (for example, applying distributed computing to genome analysis). At the intersection of all three areas, he is interested in novel digital holographic three-dimensional imaging modalities for living cells and bioorganisms, and designing image analysis tools for the resulting data.

Potential MSc students should decide on a general research area that they’re interested in, and then contact a member of the department’s staff that’s working in that area. The best approach is to look through the staff web pages and the list of Research Groups/Projects in the department – these can be found at

Research students can also register to work jointly with the Department of Computer Science and one of the following MU research institutes: National Centre for Geocomputation, An Foras Feasa, the Hamilton Institute and the Innovation Value Institute. Please see the entries for these institutes for more details of the research topics available.

Course Duration: 2 years full-time, 3 years part-time

On completing an MSc in Computer Science the graduate has a number of options open to them. They can continue to build their career as a researcher in academia or pursue a career in the technology industry.

Other possibilities include working in scientific research administration or a hightech start-up environment. The experience and discipline gained from completing an MSc in Computer Science also can open other avenues outside of Computer Science where these skills are prized.

Online application only

PAC Code
MHG04 Full-time
MHG05 Part-time

The following information should be forwarded to PAC, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway or uploaded to your online application form:

Personal Statement.

Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for all non-Maynooth University qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed. Non-Maynooth University students are asked to provide two academic references and a copy of birth certificate or valid passport.

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