Computers

BScComputer Science

Why this course?

Computer Science demands and develops a challenging mix of skills and abilities. These include a deep understanding of the technology, creativity and imagination, logic and attention to detail, strong analytic and design skills combined with excellent communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team.

Our graduates not only understand new technologies but are able to influence their development.

All our courses have strong practical and theoretical foundations. They have a similar foundation in the beginning, making it possible to transfer between courses.

Transfer to MEng Computer Science is possible for students who perform well in Years 1, 2 & 3.

What you’ll study

You’ll learn foundation skills such as programming and in later years, subjects will include algorithms, databases and logic.

In Year 3, you’ll study more specialised areas such as new programming languages and in your final year, you’ll undertake a practical computing project.

Work placement

Employers have taken on students looking for summer placements from the end of Year 2 onwards. Such placements are not assessed and there's more flexibility regarding duration and the nature of the work.

Postgraduate study

This course can lead onto further study such as:

Major projects

Several companies work with us to develop student projects, either individual or group final-year projects that are suitable for both parties.

Projects are supervised by members of academic staff with individuals from the sponsoring organisation providing occasional advice and feedback.

Facilities

We have three large undergraduate teaching laboratories, plus a restricted-access laboratory (primarily for fourth and fifth-year students). There are printers in each main lab. All departmental machines are linked by a high-speed local area network and operate under a single network file system so you can access your files from any of our machines.

Student competitions

Charles Babbage Prize – Best Computer Science Project

The prize is awarded annually to the undergraduate student who completes the best project in computer science in that academic year.

The project must include practical computing and the assessors will take into account the originality and potential applications of the work.

Andrew McGettrick Prizes

Two prizes are awarded annually – one to a graduating Honours student and one to a graduating Integrated Masters student, for outstanding performance in his or her studies.

High Flyer Programme

Well-qualified applicants with appropriate A Levels and Advanced Highers will be admitted to the Faculty of Science prestigious 'High Flyer' Programme, which allows students to complete an Honours degree in three years and an Integrated Masters degree in four. If you are studying the relevant subjects you may receive a dual offer, specifying grades to direct entry to Year 2 as a High Flyer and also standard Year 1 entry.

Find out more about our High Flyer Programme.



Accreditation

Accredited by the British Computer Society, the Chartered Institute for IT, on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirements for Incorporated Engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for a Chartered Engineer.

Accredited by the British Computer Society, the Chartered Institute for IT, for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.

Accredited by the British Computer Society, the Chartered Institute for IT, on behalf of the Science Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Scientist.

Course content

Year 1

Classes cover foundation skills, such as programming and computer systems organisation and look at the concepts of computation and information. In addition, you’ll take a business technology class.

Machines, Languages & Computation
This class will help you achieve a broad knowledge of the essence of computation and computational systems, as embodied by the notions of computable functions, formal languages and recursion, logic and computability and abstract machines.
Information & Information Systems
This class will help you understand a broad knowledge of information systems and how information is created, used and disseminated within an information society.
Programming Foundations
This class will provide you with a solid foundation in the principles of computer programming. On completing this class you should have the necessary skills to be able to design, build and test a small system in a high-level language (Java in the current incarnation of the class).
Computer Systems & Organisation

Semester 1: you'll develop an understanding and appreciation of a computer system's functional components – both hardware and software, their characteristics, their interactions, and their fundamental role in the manipulation of data.

Semester 2: you'll further your knowledge of the design parameters of a typical computer system and the impact these have on the functionality, and implementation, of the hardware and software components.

Combinatorics for Computer Science 1
The aim of this class is to introduce the basic combinatorial tools of computer science, to train students in mathematical thinking and reasoning that is pertinent to computer science, and to present that reasoning in rigorous written text.
Topics in Computing 1
This class will help you to develop a broader perspective of computer science and to develop problem solving, team working, presentational skills, as well as personal and professional development skills.
Business Analysis & Technology

This class will help raise awareness of the real world problems encountered by industry that can be solved through Management Science methodology. You'll:

  • develop an understanding of the tools and techniques used by business analysts
  • highlight the integrative role of technology within organisations
  • demonstrate the dynamic nature of technology
Elective Class
In first year most students take an elective class, from a range of topics are offered, normally by other departments, to give a taste of other subjects and broaden your curriculum.

Year 2

Subjects covered include algorithms, databases, logic, the analysis and design of large systems, and how to ensure that the systems are usable. You’ll also undertake an individual programming project and further programming skills.

Advanced Programming

This class will further your skills in object-oriented programming, provide knowledge of key abstract data types along with their implementation and usage, and to provide experience in the development of larger scale software and an introduction to design.

Your main goal is to be able to develop larger programs with specialized data structures and utilizing APIs from a specification, and being able to ensure and show how the system they developed matches the specification.

Topics in Computing 2
This class will help you to develop further their perspective of computer science and to enhance your problem solving, team working, and presentational skills.
Combinatorics for Computer Science 2
The aim of this class is to introduce the combinatorics of discrete objects that are ubiquitous in theoretical computer science, namely graphs and relations. For both these objects, the overarching aim is to develop your skills in mathematical thinking and reasoning, and to be able to present that reasoning in rigorous written text.
Logic & Algorithms
This class will equip you with the tools to model and measure computation. To build on the module Machines, Languages and Computation, and develop further understanding of the mathematical foundations of computation. To foster an analytical and empirical appreciation of the behaviour of algorithms and the use of abstract data types.
User & Data Modelling
This class will provide you with a critical appreciation and understanding of how to model user activities and the data to support them, together with how to implement systems and databases to support user activities.
Computer Systems & Architecture
This class will allow you to develop a deeper understanding of typical computer architectures and their instruction sets and the complex tradeoffs between CPU clock speed, cache size, bus organisation, number of core processors, etc, that influence their design and have a fundamental impact on their performance.
Professional Issues in Computing
This class will ensure you're aware of the legal, social, ethical and professional issues commensurate with the practice of Information Systems Engineering.
Elective class
In second year most students take an optional class, from a range of topics are offered, normally by other departments to give a taste of other subjects and broaden your curriculum.

Year 3

You’ll study more specialised areas such as communications, how new programming languages can be designed, the variety of internal machine architectures, artificial intelligence, graphics, and the technologies behind web-based applications. You’ll also take part in a large group-based software development project.

Compulsory classes

Building Software Systems

This class will extend and deepen your understanding of the analysis, design and implementation of software systems; to provide further experience in the activity of designing and implementing non-trivial systems; and to enable you to demonstrate practical competence in a group environment.

Your goal is the development in a group setting of significant systems from scratch aiming not just at any solution but a good solution, and to be introduced to more general Software Engineering topics.

Computer Systems & Concurrency

This class will allow you to develop a deeper understanding of highly concurrent hardware and software systems. The class will also further your knowledge of the need for, and the design and implementation of, those other vital hardware and software components of a concurrent system, namely multiprocessors and their interconnections, operating systems and networks.

The interactions between many of these components will be investigated by means of significant practical work that consolidates the lecture content in the context of: (i) multiprocessor architectures, (ii) concurrency, (iii) protection and security and (iv) networked and concurrent applications. Software developed in appropriate programming languages will form the basis of much of the practical work thus enabling the student to enhance their software design and implementation skills in this domain.

Optional classes

Functional Programming

Pre-requisites: Basic programming skills, as might be gained by taking the class Programming Foundations or a similar introductory programming class.

To aim is to provide you with skills in basic functional programming and experience in integrated deployment of those skills.

Mobile App Development

Pre-requisites: Advanced Programming

You should gain a good understanding of the issues in developing for mobile environments, approaches to handling these issues and skills in developing for a widespread mobile platform.

Foundations of Artificial Intelligence

Pre-requisites: Advanced Programming, Logic & Algorithms.

This class will help to give you a broad appreciation of the scale and nature of the problems within Artificial Intelligence and to a detailed understanding of some of the fundamental techniques used to address those problems.

Web Applications Development

Pre-requisites: Advanced Programming, User & Data Modelling.

This class will give you an understanding of the technologies used in the development of N-tier Internet-based applications.

Programming Language Definition & Implementation
The aim of this class is to provide familiarisation with the definition of programming language syntax and semantics, and the translation of these definitions into an implementation of a programming language.

Year 4

Compulsory class

Individual Project
This class will allow you to demonstrate practical and documentary competence. You'll also be expected to give a demonstration of your work.

Optional classes

In fourth year, you'll undertake a major individual practical project, along with four classes chosen the options below.

Software Architecture & Design

This class aims to:

  • enable you to understand the challenges of advanced software design and the issues associated with large-scale software architectures, frameworks, patterns and components
  • develop your understanding of the tools and techniques that may be used for the automatic analysis and evaluation of software
Advanced Functional Programming
This class will provide you with further skills in functional programming and an appreciation of the mathematical structures which underpin powerful general programming concepts and techniques.
Theory of Computation
Building on the previous material in software development, you'll extend and formalise your abilities in the area of computational complexity.
Information Access & Mining
This class will allow you to understand the fundamentals of information access and information mining. The class will cover a range of techniques for extracting information from textual and non-textual resources, modelling the information content of resources, detecting patterns within information resources and making use of these patterns.
Embedded Systems
This class allows you to undertake the design and development process for embedded (dedicated) computer systems in relation to the environment in which they operate and to know how to integrate embedded hardware, software, and operating systems to meet the functional requirements of embedded applications.
Digital Forensics
This class allows you to understand issues associated with the nature of cybercrime, digital evidence, detection methods and proof, in a variety of digital forensic contexts, including computers, networks and portable digital devices.

Assessment

Your knowledge and understanding, intellectual, practical and transferable skills are tested through unseen written exams, laboratory submissions, coursework and project reports and presentations.

Learning & teaching

Learning and teaching methods aim to help you gain knowledge and understanding as well as the development of intellectual skills (problem-solving and critical evaluation skills), practical skills (designing and implementing a software system, team-working skills) and transferable skills (investigative skills, presentation skills, report-writing skills, time management skills, independent learning skills).

Knowledge and understanding is gained through lectures and supported in tutorials or laboratories, and individual and group project work. You’ll be encouraged to read and research independently to help broaden your understanding of the subject.

You’ll develop intellectual skills through weekly laboratory or tutorial exercises. You’ll be set challenging problems while further coursework and group and individual projects will help you enhance your skills.

You’ll learn practical skills through lectures, tutorials, laboratory, coursework and project work.

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.

Highers

Year 1 entry: AAAB or AABBB (Maths B, Computing Science or equivalent recommended) 

Year 2 entry: grades as above, including Advanced Higher Maths and Computing Science at AB/BA and three other Higher subjects at ABB

A Levels

Year 1 entry: BBB (Maths B, Computing recommended)

Typical entry requirements: ABB

Year 2 entry: ABB (Maths and Computing AB/BA) 

Typical entry requirements: AAA

International Baccalaureate

34 (Maths HL5, Computer Science recommended) 

HNC/HND

Year 1 entry: relevant HNC, A in Graded Unit, Maths modules or Maths Higher recommended

Year 2 entry: relevant HND, AA in Graded Units, Maths modules or Maths Higher recommended 

Additional information

  • Deferred entry not accepted
  • Offers may be made at above minimum requirements

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.

You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

  • 2016/17 - £1,820

Rest of UK

  • 2016/17 - £9,000

International

  •  2016/17 - £13,900

Additional fees 

Course materials & costs 

There is no charge for lecture notes or equipment.  Students are supplied with 500 free print units - but must purchase any additional units.  However, most coursework is submitted electronically.  

Books are recommended, but not a compulsory purchase.  The department ensures that the University library is stocked with copies of textbooks.  

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

If you’re from England, Wales or Northern Ireland you may be able to apply for help to pay your tuition fees and living costs from your local funding body.

We also have a few bursaries on offer for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

International Students (Non UK, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.

Careers

Demand for our computer science graduates is high and employment opportunities are varied, with good earning potential. You can choose from a career in software development, consultancy and business analysis.

Career opportunities are not limited to technology. The problem solving, creative and personal skills, you’ll develop are of benefit in their own right and much sought after by employers in other industries.

How much will I earn?

According to figures from the DLHE survey 2012/13,the average UK salary  across the regions for computer science and IT subjects the range was £16,880 to £29,690. The upper range exceeds that for all full-time first degree graduates, which was £18,615 to
£22,785.

With experience, web developers can earn up to £38,500, software engineers up to £49,000, while project managers can earn up to £75,000.*

*Information is intended only as a guide

Contact us

Apply

How to apply – 10 things you need to know

  1. All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
    Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
  2. It costs £12 to apply for a course
    The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
  3. The deadline is 15 January each year
    This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.
  4. You might be asked to attend an interview
    Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
  5. It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
    Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
  6. There’s three types of offer
    • unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
    • conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
    • unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
  7. You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer
    Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.

    You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.

    You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
  8. You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
    If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body. However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
  9. We welcome applications from international students

    Find out further information about our entry and English language requirements.

    International students who don’t meet the entry requirements, can apply for our pre-undergraduate programmes.

    There’s also an online application form.

    For further information:
  10. Here’s a really useful video to help you apply

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