3 years full time
Please note: Courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.
This degree balances fundamental knowledge and practical application in order to provide you with both specialised and transferable skills that are greatly valued in the marketplace. The course emphasises from the start both programming and mathematical skills that allow in the later years engagement through your 'Individual Project' with cutting-edge research being done in the department.
You will take five computer science modules, which cover programming, the characteristics of computers and computing systems, and the mathematical foundations of the subject. You will also be introduced to the concept and philosophy of computational thinking and explore cutting-edge technological applications of recent research.
Once you complete the first year you will have had a thorough introduction to the fundamentals of computer science and to the principles, practices and methodologies that make computer science unique as a scientific subject. You will also have had a glimpse at aspects of computer science research that have enabled major technological advances in society.
- Computational Thinking
- Algorithms and Data Structures
- Computer Systems
- Mathematics for Computer Science.
You will study six modules covering a core set of topics. One module Software Engineering involves a team software development project and enables you to usually work with external organisations and gain practical software development experience.
Other compulsory topics include, for example, aspects of artificial intelligence including bias, machine learning, data science, cybersecurity, computer networks, parallel and distributed computing, concurrency, data structures, algorithms and complexity, image processing, different programming paradigms, systems programming, security, human-computer interaction and computer graphics.
The topics taken in the second year will prepare you with an excellent grounding in a wide range of fundamental subjects within computer science, ready for subsequent specialisation in your final third year. By the end of the second year, you should be in a position to make informed judgments as to which particular aspects of the subject you might wish to focus on.
- Networks and Systems
- Programming Paradigms
- Software Engineering
- Artificial Intelligence
- Data Science
- Theory of Computation.
A key element of the third year is the individual project (which you spend one-third of your time on). This is undertaken under the direct supervision of a member of staff and gives you the opportunity to tackle a specific computing task in much greater depth than is possible for other modules. At the end of the project, you will write a technical paper describing your findings. You are given a considerable amount of choice as to the subject of your projects; indeed, you can suggest specific projects themselves. In addition, you will get to choose the other modules that you undertake in your final year.
A range of modules is offered (many reflecting current research interests of staff) for example, previous modules have included: scientific computing, virtual reality, codes and cryptography, computer vision, deep learning, recommender systems, game development, computational modelling, computational complexity, game theory, bioinformatics, and advanced algorithms.
There is also the opportunity to follow a specific module involving the teaching of computer science in schools, giving an early taste of teaching computer science to those interested in pursuing it as a career or on other career pathways where a public understanding of science is required.
PlacementYou may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.
Computer Science is an international discipline and living and working in another country is a valuable addition to your CV. You can request to transfer onto the BSc Computer Science (with Year Abroad (G408) course at the beginning of your second year and will spend the third year studying at another EU or worldwide university, and then return to Durham for your final year.
Further information on these study abroad opportunities can be found here
The course is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, practical and problem classes. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular field of study and identify the main areas for discussion and debate among Computer Scientists. You will be introduced to both basic and advanced concepts, techniques and methods in Computer Science through lectures with associated written and multimedia presentations, and your knowledge and understanding are reinforced in practical and problem classes and through summative and formative assignments.
The balance of these types of activities changes over the course of the degree, as you develop your knowledge and ability as an independent learner. In Year 1 you will take five core Computer Science modules which is normally 10 hours a week of lectures, and five two-hour compulsory practicals each week. You will also study an elective module selected from those offered by other departments across the University. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and broaden your subject knowledge.
The balance starts to shift in Year 2 as you develop your abilities as independent learners. Lectures, typically 12 hours a week, still play an important role in supporting you in developing your knowledge and skills. Associated with the lecture series you will normally attend up to six two-hour optional practical classes a week. This move towards greater emphasis on independent learning continues in the third year with the basic material and techniques learned throughout Year 1 and 2 being applied and extended with material in Year 3 being at a much more advanced level.
Year 3 teaching is research-led and reflective of not only the research expertise of academic staff at Durham but also cutting-edge advances in industry. You will normally have eight hours a week of lectures and, depending on your choice of modules, occasional practicals. You will undertake an individual project which is a detailed study of a particular area resulting in a significant piece of independent research. This project gives you the opportunity to pursue a chosen topic under the supervision of a member of academic staff with whom you will typically have a minimum of 11 hours of one-to-one supervisory meetings across the academic year. You will normally attend five hours of workshops which prepare you for this work.
A level offer – A*AA including Mathematics.
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – D*DD and Mathematics A level at grade A (or equivalent) is required.
IB Diploma score – 38 with 766 in higher level subjects, including Mathematics.
In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:
- 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.
International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.
Fees and funding
Full Time Fees
|Home students||£9,250 per year|
|EU students||£28,500 per year|
|Island students||£9,250 per year|
|International students||£28,500 per year|
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
Of those students who graduated in 2018:
- 96% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes
Of those in employment:
- 100% are in a professional or managerial job
- Average salary of £35,250.
(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 www.graduateoutcomes.ac.uk)
The most significant developments in our society have come through amazing innovations in technology and the intelligent algorithms that drive those technologies.
Our Computer Science degrees balance fundamental knowledge and practical application in order to provide you with both specialised and transferable skills that are greatly valued in the marketplace. The courses emphasise from the start both programming and mathematical skills that in the later years allow engagement through the Individual Project with the cutting-edge research being done here.
For more information see our department pages.
- 95% of our graduates leave with excellent career prospects. The Complete University Guide Graduate Prospect Score 2020.
- 5th in The Complete University Guide 2021.
We have now moved into a purpose-built £40M new building at Upper Mountjoy in Durham, which is indicative of the major investment the University is making in Computer Science. The building will also include colleagues from Mathematical Sciences and will mean we can further develop joint teaching and research strategies.
The building has academic offices, offices for research staff and students, open-plan space for undergraduate students to work, breakout spaces to collaborate, labs, computer rooms and, of course, a café.
Learn more about our facilities and equipment.
The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!