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Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses 2018/19>Computer Science (BSc/BEng)

BEng/BSc (Hons) Computer Science

Study both software and hardware and learn how to integrate your knowledge into the design of systems in one of our widest ranging courses.

Year of entry: 2018
Show year of entry: 2019

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB-ABB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£20,910 per year (2018/19)

This course will give you a broad knowledge base of both coding (software) and electronics (hardware) across the discipline. You'll learn how to integrate these into the design of systems and become a confident and competent Computer Scientist.

Our challenging and stimulating course will allow you to experience a wide range of topics relating to Computer Science through a combination of both practical, theoretical and project work through the duration of the course. You'll benefit from our state-of-the-art facilities and a supportive teaching environment to emerge with a skill set which is well rounded and desirable to employers.

We have fantastic links with industry, and this allows us to give you exposure to the latest developments in the real world, as well as in our research. You may work on projects that have been specified by companies such as IBM or BT, who will then take any solutions and could use them within their business.

Our Industrial Advisory Board helps to steer our courses to make sure that what we teach is up-to-date and relevant to today's workplace. This means that when the time comes for you to get a job, you will be able to adapt quickly in the workplace, due to our principled and relevant teaching.

The content of the course is the same for the BSc as well as the BEng, and you get to decide which qualification you leave with when you successfully complete the course - meaning if you are going into an environment where one of the qualifications might be more valued, you can opt to choose that one.


This course is accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.

This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Find out more about what this professional accreditation means.

Course content

We place great emphasis on both practical and project work throughout the course, and you will be guided through this in scheduled practical and teaching sessions in the Department’s state-of-the-art teaching laboratories. Your first year is intended to give you the help you need to become an independent thinker. You'll work more on practical coursework and your individual project as the course progresses.

In the latter stages of the course you'll have the flexibility to choose modules and individual projects that are on topics relevant to you and your aspirations. You'll study within our world-leading research environment and learn from academics who are at the cutting edge of the latest developments in Computer Science.

You’ll take 120 credits per year as part of this course.

Year 1

Your first year contains essential fundamental material in programming, computer architectures and human-computer interfaces. You will also learn about the mathematical and theoretical foundations of computer science. We also teach you how to increase your employability prospects, including helping with your presentation style and exploring the professional issues in Computer Science.

Examples of modules we currently teach in our first year include:

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

Your second year continues teaching you the fundamentals of the discipline, and more specialist modules start to be introduced. You also choose to undertake either a software engineering or hardware project.

Examples of current second year modules are:

Year 3

Once you reach your third year, there is more flexibility, and you can choose optional modules from a wide range based on the latest developments in the discipline and research here at York.

Examples of current third year modules include:

You will also undertake a large, individual research project in Year Three. This, together with the compulsory preparatory module, will form 41% of your mark for Year Three.

Your individual research project

You will be able to choose from a large list of projects, or define your own topic according to your interests.

Some recent examples of individual research projects are:

  • Models of safety-critical Java programs
  • Computation with molecules
  • Creating believable avatar animations in Second Life
  • 3D shape retrieval
  • Machine learning of spontaneous gestures
  • Finding comets in solar images
  • Using the web to solve crossword puzzles
  • A Flash-based animation engine for ZLive
  • Tuple-Spaces using the Google Data API

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Apply computational thinking to problems they encounter, using skills in problem analysis, representation and abstraction, and in algorithm selection, at different scales in complex situations, and drawing on the foundations of computer science.
  • Adapt to new technologies, languages, paradigms, terminologies and models as they become available, being confident in using advanced techniques and tools in their practice.
  • Design and build computer-based systems to serve the needs of users, with the most appropriate combination of software and hardware, by applying the theory and practice of programming and software engineering, while making effective use of the variety of physical implementations on which that software may be running.
  • Engineer solutions to problems in which computation forms a significant part, by using skills from the whole breadth of Computer Science across all parts of the development lifecycle, with deeper skills in chosen areas.
  • Make immediate and effective contributions as part of multidisciplinary teams in industry, consultancy or education, by managing workloads, optimising resources and meeting deadlines, using experiences from team projects.
  • Communicate with technical and non-technical stakeholders about complex computational problems and their solutions in a clear and organised manner.
  • Operate as responsible Computer Science professionals, by maintaining awareness of key legal and ethical issues, appreciating how computers and technology can impact on society, and by continuing to expand and deepen their knowledge through critical engagement with the discipline.








Fees and funding

The fees and funding figures below are for 2019 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year.

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £20,910

Additional costs

There are unlikely to be any mandatory additional costs associated with the course, although you may want to set aside £200 for optional photocopying and personal stationery over the duration of the course.

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.


We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

We have a number scholarship opportunities available for students in 2018/19, including three IBM scholarships.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

REF 2014

Following the 2014 REF, our research was assessed 7th overall in the UK, 5th for impact and 6th for environment by THE.


Our staff are at the cutting edge of their fields and we maintain strong links with industry.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

A typical week will involve about 15-20 hours of scheduled teaching time. Our courses are based on a series of one-hour lectures with associated laboratory sessions, programming classes and tutorials.

Throughout the course, you will have a personal supervisor responsible for guiding your studies. In addition to any timetabled sessions, you will meet with your supervisor regularly, and you can also go to them at any time should you have any issues, academic or personal. There are problem classes to help you put learning from lectures into practice and one-to-one weekly project supervisions in your final year.

You will also undertake learning outside of the scheduled timetable. This can be through working in the labs, which are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or through reading recommended materials or working through problems. Consequently, you'll need to be self-motivated, self-disciplined and willing to learn outside regular classes.

As you progress through the course you will develop your skills to become a more independent learner. You'll also spend time working on your individual research project later on in the course, in addition to timetabled activity; you will be allocated a project supervisor, with whom you will have regular meetings in addition to timetabled sessions. You can go to your supervisor for support and advice regarding your project.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars420 hours360 hours204 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.


Built to the highest specifications, the Department is packed with cutting-edge facilities housed in a modern, self-contained building.

The Department houses four software and two hardware laboratories which you will be able to use depending on the topic of your third year project. These facilities are professional grade and used by our research teams so, depending on your interests, you'll get first hand exposure to these environments.

Our Interaction Labs provide excellent facilities for research and teaching in human-computer interaction. The Interaction Labs consist of an Accessibility and Usability Lab and a Games Research Lab, both of which are stocked with the latest technologies.

Our Real Time Systems Lab is the main research and development facility for the Real Time Systems research group. Inside the laboratory is a range of high-performance computers, custom hardware like FPGAs, robots, and various industrial machinery.

The Computer Vision group have a darkroom laboratory which enables us to conduct experiments in controlled illumination conditions and a second laboratory which includes a commercial 3D scanner. 

Our Robotics Laboratory is a purpose-built laboratory used for various robotics research projects and teaching. Within it, there is a dedicated student working area, with workstations and electronics bench equipment, alongside the main 80m2 robotics arena. The arena features a 5.5m high ceiling allowing drone experiments to take place as well as ground-based robots. Special tracking systems are installed to allow positional data of the robots to be extracted. There is also a workshop area with CAD, soldering and 3D printing facilities.

Find out more about our facilities, including a video tour showing our labs, teaching and research spaces.

Teaching location

The Department of Computer Science is based on Campus East. The majority of your teaching will take place in the department, with additional teaching taking place at other locations on Campus East.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

We use a variety of assessment techniques throughout your course. This allows you to practice different techniques, from report writing and presentations to closed exams. It also means you are not disadvantaged by being assessed in any one way.

Here's a few examples:

  • Modules with a practical project element often include a live demonstration of your project, which counts towards your final mark.
  • In your first year, you will complete a log book detailing your work in the hardware sessions.
  • When you undertake your individual research project, you will be expected to produce a large report, as well as an oral presentation of your project.
  • Our Skills for Computer Scientists module is there to help you develop your employability skills, and so assessed work includes presentations, writing a blog and developing your career plan.
  • Your first year programming module, Theory and Practice of Programming, includes a timed, closed programming assessment, where you must code in an exam setting.
  • Other modules include mini exams throughout the year which contribute to your final mark.
  • In the first year module, Human Aspects of Computer Design, students are given the opportunity to conduct an experiment on an aspect of interaction design.

We provide exam review sessions, where you can come and see your marked assessment and ask an academic member of staff any questions about the way it has been marked. We also provide you with electronic feedback, which is given alongside the marks you receive. We also have a Board of Examiners, to which any student can apply if they wish to take queries about their assessments further.

We also ask our students for feedback on the course and assessments at the end of each year. This helps to improve and modify what we do to help meet the needs of our students.


Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams56%62%52%
Practical exams33%30%8%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Careers and skills

The move towards a digital economy creates demand for computer scientists and software engineers across a broad section of employers, so the skills you develop here will make you attractive to many organisations. Most of our graduates go into the field of IT/Computing, followed by Financial Services, some undertake further study (eg PhD) and others go straight into industry (for example working for IBM, BAE Systems etc).

Many of our graduates are employed by software and electronics industries, but the continuing expansion of the use of computers in commercial and financial operations means that you will be able to find employment in other industries - and here your sharpened numeracy and analytical skills will have prepared you well.

Read some profiles of our past students and find out how their degree from York helps them to do jobs in organisations as diverse as Mars Inc and Cancer Research UK. Other companies that York graduates have gone on to work for include BAE Systems, Morgan Stanley, G Research, Thales, the Civil Service, M&G Investments, Ubisoft, Rapita Systems, Sky, BT, Raspberry Pi, IBM, JP Morgan, Hut Group and Automaton Games.

Computer Science graduates can expect to earn nearly £40,000 after five years in employment (Longitudinal Education Outcomes Dataset).

Career opportunities

  • Computer Programmer
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Business Analyst
  • Research Scientist
  • Network Manager
  • IT Systems Manager

Transferable skills

At York, you will gain a broad understanding of all of the essential scientific principles, engineering techniques and practices in Computer Science. This allows you to be flexible and adapt quickly in any field that you wish to go into. More specifically, we can identify four main skill areas as follows:

  • Analytical skills. The ability to approach problems analytically, and to design structured solutions. Laboratory modules will help you to develop skills of data analysis, design and implementation. You will also be introduced to a wide range of modern software development tools and techniques.
  • Research skills. Throughout the course you will be given opportunities to learn research skills. These culminate in a major final year project where you will research a problem, identify the key issues, produce a critical assessment of the relevant literature, and generate a new solution.
  • Management skills. You will have the opportunity to learn about the techniques, concepts and theories used in project management, and gain experience of putting them into effect.
  • Communication skills. Communication skills are invaluable. You will have the opportunity to develop these skills through, for example, oral and written presentations, in both formal and informal settings. At the end of the course, you will be confident and competent in communicating your knowledge and skills to a wide range of audiences.

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels

AAB - ABB including an A level Mathematics.

An A level in Mathematics is an absolute requirement for all our courses. Your other two A levels can be any subject.

For our joint Computer Science and Mathematics course, you must achieve an A in A level Mathematics.

Whilst we do not specifically require you to have studied Computing at A level, we are delighted to accept students with this qualification and would encourage you to apply.

We also recommend the new OCR or AQA GCSEs in Computer Science/Computing, so that you can gain a grounding in the principles of Computing, though this is also not an admissions requirement to any of our degrees.

GCSEs From applicants who have taken GCSEs, we look for a good range of subjects, including GCSE English Language at grade 4 (C) or above. We also require a qualification in a physical science; for example, a GCSE at grade 4 (C) or above in Additional Science or in Physics.
BTEC Grades DDD - DDM, plus at least a grade B in A level Mathematics. If you are studying the BTEC National Extended Diploma, we will also require an A-level in Mathematics. We will consider applicants with a National Certificate (BTEC National Diploma) if they also hold a grade A in A level Mathematics. Please contact the Department to discuss your application. Our A level Mathematics requirement may be waived if you have obtained Distinctions in BTEC National Extended Diploma papers in Mathematics with a sufficiently rigorous approach, and sufficient content at an appropriate level. In this case, then the A level requirement will be waived and our requirement will be Grades DDD for the Extended Diploma. Any Mathematics module described as 'for IT' is unlikely, on its own, to be an acceptable mathematical preparation for our courses. You should also have at least some basic qualification in Physics. This could be GCSE Double Science (or single Physics), but a qualification as part of your BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma would provide an even more useful preparation. BTEC HNC Diploma (Level 4) or HND Diploma (Level 5) We ask for the HNC Diploma or HND Diploma with Distinctions in most papers, and Merits in all those papers that are not Distinctions, plus a grade A in A level Mathematics. Our A level Mathematics requirement may be waived if you have obtained Distinctions in a number of HNC or HND papers in Mathematics with a sufficiently rigorous approach, and sufficient content at an appropriate level. You would find Electronics, Electrical Engineering or Physics the most useful preparation among your other modules. You should have at least some basic qualification in Physics. This could be GCSE Double Science (or single Physics); but a qualification as part of your HNC or HND would provide an even more useful preparation.
Cambridge Pre-U Pass with D3/D3/M2 - D3/M2/M2 in principal subjects including Mathematics.
European Baccalaureate An overall average of 80% - 75% with a Mathematics (FIVE-period) by written examination result of at least 75%. For joint courses with Mathematics, we will ask for a result of 85% in Mathematics in all cases. You should have at least some basic qualification in Physics. This could be at a level one or two years earlier than your school-leaving qualification; but a qualification as part of your school-leaving qualification would provide an even more useful preparation. The ideal preparation would be Physics as part of your EB. Nevertheless, we do not require it to be part of your EB, provided you have studied physical science earlier in your school career. Evidence of English Language ability is also required from applicants whose first language is not English and who were not taught predominantly in English. This requirement can be satisfied by obtaining 65% in English in the EB.
International Baccalaureate Overall grade of 35 - 34 points, with a grade 6 in Mathematics at Higher Level. You should have at least some basic qualification in Physics. This could be at a level one or two years earlier than your school-leaving qualification; but a qualification as part of your school-leaving qualification would provide an even more useful preparation. The ideal preparation would be Physics at HIGHER level; but it would still be very useful to you at STANDARD level. Nevertheless, we do not require it to be part of your IB, provided you have studied physical science earlier in your school career.
Irish leaving Certificate H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3- H2,H2,H3,H3,H3,H3, including H2 in Mathematics.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AB in Advanced Highers, including Mathematics, plus AAAAB - AAABB at Higher Level.
Other qualifications

Open University: 

We welcome applications offering a mix of OU, A level, and other appropriate qualifications. Applicants can use appropriate Open University (OU) courses to fulfil some or all of our A level subject requirements.

The 30 credit courses Essential Mathematics 1 (MST124) and Essential Mathematics 2 (MST125) can be taken to replace our Maths A level requirement. You must take both courses and achieve at least 85% (Distinction) in both.

Please note that we require Mathematics as your main qualification: from the OU (as above) or as an A level, or equivalent.

The Mathematics courses stated above replace just one of our normal A level requirements. You may have some further OU or other qualifications, or some A levels, or some relevant work experience, or a mixture of all of these. Please get in touch with us to discuss your individual circumstances.

We might, depending on your individual case, require some evidence of a background in physical science, such as at GCSE. The OU course S104 Exploring Science (60 points at Level 1) is an excellent introduction to the culture of science. It is very broad, and we would encourage any potential applicant to consider taking it.

As a preparation for our courses, the OU course Exploring Science does not cover Electronics to any significant extent. We would therefore recommend that you also look at textbooks for GCSE Physics, or for an AS level Electricity or Electronics module, or for an Electrical or Electronic vocational (technical) qualification.

Mature students: We welcome applications from mature candidates and will assess any application on its own merits. However, we still expect you to have an appropriate background in Mathematics. We recommend that you contact us for an informal discussion before you apply.

English language

If your first language is not English, and you have not been taught predominantly in English, you will need to offer a suitable qualification in English language.

Find out more about our English Language requirements


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

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Department of Computer Science

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