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Maths and Computer Science building at sunset

The Department of Computer Science has been awarded the Athena SWAN Silver Award from Advance HE (Athena SWAN Charter), the national body that promotes equality in the higher education sector.

High ambition

The department was commended for its aim of striving to become known as the number one university in the UK for women to study computer science, with the report stating that the ambition is “great to see”.

Highlights and evidence

Some of the key highlights in the Department which led to receiving this Award include:

  • tripling academic staff from 18 in 2017, when they first became a standalone department.
  • going from 12% female academic members of staff in Academic Year 2017-18 to 25% in Academic Year 2023-24.
  • tripling the number of students since 2017 while also improving gender diversity (going from 12% female and other, to 21%.
  • a committed, varied plan to embed more initiatives aimed at addressing gender equality and diversity.

Direct benefits to staff

The Award acknowledges the Department’s efforts to advance gender equality in the Department and also reflects the commitment to fostering an inclusive, diverse environment. Importantly, this has also led to positive changes in policies and practices which will continue to improve the Department in the future. Benefits include:

  • significantly improved working environment, evidenced by annual surveys.
  • enhanced job satisfaction and retention rates.
  • a more supportive and inclusive workplace, fostering an improved sense of belonging and wellbeing.
  • opportunities for development plus professional growth and advancement through mentoring and training sessions.
    Encouraging valuable career development opportunities.

Committed to further improvement

While the Silver Award recognises the Department’s strong commitment to gender equality, they are committed to improving further. To do this, they will implement a Silver Action Plan.

Future actions focus particularly on the wellbeing and sense of belonging of Early Career Researchers, staff members with caring responsibilities, Professional Services Staff & Postdoctoral Researchers. 

More information

Hear more about the Computer Science Athena SWAN Silver Award in this Q&A with the Athena SWAN Lead, Dr George Koulieris.

Interested in studying with our Department of Computer Science? Explore undergraduate and postgraduate study opportunities.

Read about award-winning, trailblazing programme TechUPWomen, which takes women from underserved groups and retrains them into tech careers.

Explore the Department of Computer Science.

The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research. Learn more about this work taking place across the university