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Degree type


Course length

3 years full-time


Durham City

UCAS code


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Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level A*AA
International Baccalaureate 38

Course details

In a fast-moving world, computer science is the force behind the technological breakthroughs that have changed our lives for the better. The BSc (Hons) Computer Science has been designed to develop the fundamental knowledge and practical skills that are in demand across the sector.

You’ll explore a wide range of innovative technological applications such as machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, virtual and augmented reality and cybersecurity among others. Our close links with local high-technology industries along with national and international employers keep us up to date with changing priorities in the sector. This insight allows us to introduce new topics into the curriculum to keep in step with developments.

The course emphasises programming and mathematical skills from the start. The first year provides an introduction into the fundamentals of computer science and gives you a glimpse into some of the research that has enabled major technological advances in society.

As well as equipping you with academic knowledge, the curriculum develops the skills you’ll need to boost your career prospects. The Software Engineering module in Year 2 includes a team project in which you gain practical software development experience working with an external organisation.

You will be taught by passionate researchers with diverse areas of expertise such as artificial intelligence, data science, bioinformatics, high performance computing, graphics and fundamental algorithms. The Year 3 Individual Project is an opportunity to fully engage with the cutting-edge research being carried out in the department.

The BSc also offers the chance to apply to add a placement year or a year abroad to your degree, increasing the course from three years to four.

Course Structure

Year 1

Core modules:

Algorithms and Data Structures introduces the theory and practice of problem-solving in computing through the development of algorithms, and their associated data structures, for common computer science problems.

Computational Thinking explores the breadth of Computer Science and the ways in which different topics relate to one another. You will learn the importance of computation and computational thinking in the modern world and the impact it has on technology advances in different settings.

Computer Systems provides an understanding of the way in which modern computer systems (both hardware and software) can effectively represent, transport and manipulate data.

Mathematics for Computer Science introduces key concepts from linear algebra, calculus and mathematics, and explains their importance in the field of computer science.

Plus either Programming (Black) or Programming (Gold).

Year 2

Core modules:

Networks and Systems extends your understanding of the principles and practices of programming and using different computer systems. This module looks at distributed systems, networks, security and databases.

Programming Paradigms will broaden your view of programming and programming languages as well as aiding your understanding of the systems and procedures related to computer programming.

Theory of Computation introduces you to different models of computation and how they are related. You will learn the fundamental notions of computation such as ‘computable’ and ‘efficiently computable’ and the design and analysis of efficient algorithms.

Artificial Intelligence provides an understanding of some of the core problem-solving principles of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the role of AI in the real world.

Data Science introduces the techniques used for capturing, analysing, and cleaning data and explores the ways in which different types of information can be represented and processed. The techniques covered include probability and statistics, graphics and visualisation, and image processing.

Software Engineering provides a detailed understanding of the phases of the software development lifecycle, including the problems associated with each phase and how to identify best practice for their solution. This module includes a team software development project where you can work with an external organisation to gain practical software development experience.

Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a placement or year abroad)

The Individual Project is a substantial piece of research based on an area of computer science chosen in conjunction with a project supervisor. You research the subject independently and write a technical paper describing your findings.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Advanced Computer Systems
  • Algorithmic Game Theory
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computational Modelling in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Computer Science into Schools
  • Computer Vision
  • Cryptography
  • Deep Learning
  • Design of Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Human–AI Interaction Design
  • Multimedia and Game Development
  • Natural Computing Algorithms
  • Parallel Scientific Computing
  • Project Management
  • Recommender Systems
  • Reinforcement Learning
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality.

Additional pathways

Students on the BSc Computer Science can apply to be transferred onto either the ‘with Year Abroad’ or ‘with Placement’ pathway during the second year.  Places on these pathways are in high demand and if you are chosen your studies will extend from three years to four.


You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.


You will learn through a mixture of lectures, practical and problem-solving classes. Typically, lectures provide key information and identify the main areas for discussion while the practical sessions put into practice what you learn in the lectures.

You also undertake the Individual Project, a detailed study of a chosen topic under the supervision of a member of academic staff which results in a significant piece of independent research.

Computer Science is housed in a purpose-built learning environment containing lecture and seminar rooms, open-plan workspace, breakout spaces to collaborate, labs and computer rooms.


Modules are assessed via a combination of coursework and end-of-year examinations.

Many modules are weighted as 66% examination and 34% coursework, though some modules are 100% exam and others 100% coursework. This not only helps to support a wider range of learning styles but is more appropriate for the type of work you are expected to undertake, for example writing software code or working on mathematical ‘pen and paper’ type exercises.

The final-year Individual Project is assessed by a scientific report along with an oral presentation.

Entry requirements

A level offerA*AA including Mathematics.

Contextual offer – AAB including Mathematics.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended DiplomaD*DD and Mathematics A level at grade A (or equivalent) is required.

IB Diploma score38 with 766 in higher level subjects, including Mathematics.

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • We also consider other level 3 qualifications, including T-levels.

  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. For more information contact our Admissions Selectors.
  • If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Programme offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses. 
  • If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.

Science A levels

Applicants taking Science A levels that include a practical component will normally be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A levels with an English examination board.

Alternative qualifications

International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.

English language requirements

Country specific information

Fees and funding

The tuition fees for 2025/26 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.

The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.

The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Computer Science

Studying at one of the top universities in the UK for employability, Durham graduates have excellent job prospects and are highly sought after. Our close links to the concentration of high-technology industries in the North East, and national and international employers, keep our courses at the forefront of new developments.

Computer Science graduates are valued in a wide range of FinTech and banking roles. They are equipped with transferable skills such as solving problems and analysing data that are important across many industries, from healthcare and management consulting to media and communications, among many others.

Many of our graduates have gone on to work as software engineers, analysts, consultants, programmers and developers. Some have founded their own start-ups, work in leading software companies, high-technology consultancies, the Civil Service, GCHQ, banking and finance, retail, engineering, the communications and IT industry. Examples of high-profile employers include BAE Systems, Google and BT.

Of those students who graduated in 2020-21:

  • 96% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 100% are in high skilled employment
  • With an average salary of £34,750

(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here

Department information

Computer Science

Computers, and the algorithms running on them, are an integral part of every aspect of society, industry and the economy. Our courses combine innovative technological applications and hone the critical, independent thinking skills that will help you be a part of future innovations.

The most significant developments in our society have come through amazing innovations in technology and the intelligent algorithms that drive those technologies. A degree in Computer Science from Durham will allow you to become one of the drivers of this change as we give you both a deep understanding of the fundamentals of computation and a knowledge of the latest emerging technologies.

You will be taught by passionate researchers with diverse areas of expertise, such as artificial intelligence, data science, bioinformatics, high-performance computing, graphics and fundamental algorithms.

Our close links with local high-technology industries along with national and international employers, keeps us at the forefront of developments across the sector and allows us to adapt the curriculum to reflect these developments.

We offer flexible pathways to suit your interests and career goals, with the chance to work in industry on placement or study abroad. Whether you choose to follow the BSc or MEng course, our qualifications balance fundamental knowledge, with emphasis on programming and mathematical skills from the start, and practical applications, providing you with both specialised and transferable skills that are greatly valued by employers.


  • Ranked Top 10 for Computer Science in The Guardian University Guide 2024
  • Ranked 4th in The Complete University Guide 2024

Research Excellence Framework

  •  97% of research outputs are world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021).


We have recently moved into a £40m, purpose-built building at Upper Mountjoy, in the picturesque and historic city of Durham. It is home to open-plan areas, breakout spaces to collaborate, labs, computer rooms and a café. An innovative feature of the building is the Hazan Venture Lab which is run by Careers and Enterprise and is dedicated to student enterprise and entrepreneurship. The building also houses colleagues from Mathematical Sciences, enhancing the opportunities to develop joint teaching and research strategies.

We have extensive hardware including several local and regional supercomputers for High-Performance Computing (HPC), a GPGPU-driven supercomputer, primarily used for data analysis and machine learning, and visualisation and robotics labs. We also host additional local kit which we use to give students and researchers a safe environment to prototype solutions, explore novel technologies before they hit the market, or to design new solutions.


Find out more:

Use the UCAS code below when applying:



The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) handles applications for all undergraduate courses.

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