Image of supercomputer

MEngComputer 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 degrees courses have strong practical and theoretical foundations. Our courses have a similar foundation in the beginning, making it possible to transfer between courses.

What you’ll study

Year 1

Classes cover foundation skills, such as programming and computer systems organisation and look at the concepts of computation and information. Small-group tutorials cover personal and professional development issues. In addition, you’ll take a business technology class and an elective class.

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 a further business technology class.

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 undertake a large group-based software development project. MEng students also study the legal aspects of computing.

Year 4

MEng students undertake a major individual practical computing project under the guidance of a member of staff, along with four final-year classes chosen from a range of specialist options.

Year 5

MEng students undertake a significant group project under the supervision of a member of staff. This project may use the industrial experience gained in the placement. In addition there is a further selection of specialist classes.

Industrial placement

Between Years 3 & 4/or Years 4 & 5, you'll undertake a 12-week paid industrial placement, working as part of a software systems development team. The placement may be in the UK or abroad.

Major projects

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

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


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 their 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.


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 requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

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

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 fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Scientist.

Course content

Year 1

Compulsory classes

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.

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.
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.
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

Year 2

Compulsory classes

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.

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.
Managing Business Processes and Information Systems

This class aims to provide you with an understanding of the key issues in the management of business processes and information systems within the wider context of the advent of the information/knowledge economy, including:

  • mapping & modelling of business processes
  • business process measurement and improvement
  • business process implementation
  • enterprise resource planning (ERP)
  • company-wide IS.

The class will also provide you with the opportunity to use an industry-standard ERP system to explore practical solutions to problems of business process integration.

Elective classes

You should choose one of the following classes.

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.

Year 3

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.

Compulsory classes

You should choose four of the following 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.

Programming Language Definition & Implementation

The class will provide familiarisation with the definition of programming language syntax and semantics, and the translation of these definitions into an implementation of a programming language.

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.

Internet Law


An increasing part of our everyday life and activities is realised online where information is constantly created and distributed influencing our political, social and economic conditions.

The extensive uptake of new digital information technologies and particularly, the Internet, has also resulted in expanding our legal universe. New laws are being created, the application of older laws being challenged and reconfigured and, unavoidably, new legal challenges are arising due to conflicts of regulatory decisions with technological advances.

The aim of this class is to address the basic issues arising from the advent of the Internet and related digital technologies. You'll become familiar with important legal developments that have taken place in the last 20 years.

Year 4

Compulsory classes

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.
Industrial Placement 1

The placement enables you to experience the application of aspects of your degree course in an industrial context and the group work which such experience requires.

You will normally do a three month placement between third and fourth year (Industrial Placement 1). In addition you may elect to take a second placement between fourth and fifth year (Industrial Placement 2).

Elective classes

You should pick four of the following classes.

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.

Year 5

Compulsory class

Group Project

The aim is to give you "real-world" experience in team working and group project management by participating in a sustained and significant group-based project within the CIS domain. Working in project teams of three or four, you're expected to convert a given specification into an appropriate deliverable. Following initial liaison with supervisors, the student team is primarily responsible for all aspects of the project development including initial research, planning, design, implementation and reporting to supervisors.

This class presents you with the opportunity to consolidate and enhance your technical skills, and also develop generic softer skills such as team working, negotiation, budgeting, sourcing and purchasing, project planning and management, and communication.

Elective classes

You should pick four of the following classes.

Industrial Placement 2

100% by presentation. The placement is assessed on the basis of a short presentation made to staff and fellow students at the start of the year. The presentation will be marked by two assessors from the department.

Advanced Topics in Software Engineering

The class will introduce you to a selection of recent advances in software engineering, along with some of the challenges and outstanding problems.

The detailed aims of the class are:

  • To make you aware of key aspects of current software engineering research
  • To familiarise you with the state-of-the-art in terms of what problems can be solved and what are the current exciting challenges
  • To develop the necessary skills to allow you to contribute to the software engineering research community
  • To equip you with the skills and background to appreciate the contributions to software engineering research across the full range of material presented at the key international conferences in the field
Designing Usable Systems

To develop research level understanding of the design of interfaces for newly emerging technologies and computing domains such as ubiquitous and mobile computing, universal access and collaborative displays.

Distributed Information Systems

This class will help you to gain an extended understanding of the deep technical issues underlying information systems in the particular context of distributing content over the world-wide web.

Mobile Software and Applications

The aim of this class is to develop an understanding of the underpinning theories, paradigms, algorithms and architectures for building software applications to function in mobile computing environments.

Information Systems Architecture

This class aims to:

  • develop your enterprise-level analytical skills to allow you to contribute to the analysis and design of information system architecture (ISA)
  • develop an understanding of methodological due process and best practice for ISA development
  • develop an understanding of the challenges and critical success factors of ISA development
Information Retrieval & Access

This class aims to give a detailed examination of the field of information seeking and retrieval, the study of how people search for information and the sources, services and systems that can be used to help people access information.

Business Analytics

This class aims to:

  • develop a critical awareness of the range of tools being marketed under the label "decision support" or more generally "business intelligence" (BI)
  • provide an understanding of the key algorithms and techniques which are embodied in business intelligence solutions
Computer Security

This class aims to develop an in-depth understanding of the nature of security in the contexts of computers, information and networks.


Your knowledge and understanding, intellectual, practical and transferrable 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

Required subjects are indicated following typically accepted grades.


Standard entry requirements

Year 1 entry: AAAA or AAABB (Maths B, Computing Science recommended)

A Levels

Year 1 entry: BBB (Maths B, Computer Science recommended)

Typical entry requirements: ABB

International Baccalaureate

36 (Maths HL6, Computer Science recommended)


Entry is to BSc (Honours) Computer Science or BSc (Honours) Software Engineering in the first instance

Additional Information

  • Deferred entry not accepted

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 academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

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


  • 2019/20: £1,820

Rest of UK

  • 2019/20: £9,250

Assuming no change in Rest of UK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2017/18, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and Integrated Masters courses); MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on Integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.


  • 2019/20: £16,800

University preparation programme fees

International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

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

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.

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.


Demand for our Computing Science graduates is high and employment opportunities are varied, with good earning potential. You can choose from a career in research, software development, consultancy and business analysis, with companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, Logica and Kana.

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?

The average salary of graduates in full-time work is £25,000. However, your earning potential will depend on your job and the industry you work in.

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.*

Where are they now?

88% of graduates are in work or further study.

Recent job titles include:**

  • Net Developer
  • Application Developer
  • Associate Software Developer
  • Computer Sortware Technician
  • Graduate Application Developer
  • Graduate Software Developer
  • IT Consultant
  • IT Support/Business Analyst
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Programming
  • Technical Consultant
  • Web Designer

Employers include:

  • Agile Solutions
  • Amor Group
  • Aperta
  • Atos
  • Baillie Gifford
  • Bridgefall
  • BT
  • Burns Stewart Distillery
  • Cohaesus
  • Depthhub Ltd
  • E Waste Solutions
  • Equator
  • GCHQ
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Hewlett Packard
  • IBM
  • JP Morgan
  • Kana Software
  • Kawa Kana
  • Kelvin Connect
  • Memex
  • Molhoim
  • National Australia Bank
  • Olympus
  • Sciencesoft Ltd
  • Stream Communications

*Information is intended only as a guide

**Based on the national Destination of Leavers Study 2012/13, 2011/12 (aggregated data)

Contact us


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.

    Applications are still welcome from international students (non-EU) and those living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  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 decision
    • 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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