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Degree type

MEng

Course length

4 years full time

Location

Durham City

UCAS code

G406

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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.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level A*AA
BTEC D*DD
International Baccalaureate 38

Course details

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 course emphasises from the start both programming and mathematical skills that allow, in the later year's engagement through the 'Individual Project' with cutting-edge research being done in the department.

Year 1

You will undertake 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. You will undertake an elective module, which will be from elsewhere within the Faculty or University.

Once you complete your 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 to a scientific subject. You will also have had a glimpse at aspects of computer science research that have enabled major technological advances in society.

Compulsory modules:

  • Programming
  • Computational Thinking
  • Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Computer Systems
  • Mathematics for Computer Science.

Year 2

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.

Compulsory modules:

  • Networks and Systems
  • Programming Paradigms
  • Software Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Science
  • Theory of Computation.

Year 3

A key element of the fourth year is the advanced project (which you spend half of your time on), and the preparation for it begins already in the third year. In the compulsory project preparation module, you will work on essential research skills including researching a topic, writing, and presenting, and will begin preparation specific to your own advanced project. In the fourth year, the project will be 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. In the third year, you will work on developing the project from a proposed theme. You are given a considerable amount of choice as to the subject of your projects; indeed, you can suggest specific projects yourself. In addition to preparing for your project, you get to choose the other modules that you undertake in the third year.

Year 4

You will now undertake the advanced project that you prepared for in Year 3 (you will spend half of your time on the project). It is possible that the resulting research might be published in a journal or at a conference, possibly as a prelude to a postgraduate degree in Computer Science. Just as in the third year, you will get to choose the other modules that you undertake in the fourth year; again, just as in the third year, there is a range of modules offered, including more advanced versions of some of the third-year modules and further topics which have, in recent years, included blockchain, cryptocurrencies, natural language processing, learning analytics, probabilistic methods, network analysis, and automated reasoning.

Placement

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

Study abroad

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 MEng Computer Science with Year Abroad (G407) programme at the beginning of your second year and after your second or third year of study in Durham will spend a year studying at another EU or worldwide university, and then return to Durham for your penultimate or final year.

Further information on these study abroad opportunities can be found here

Learning

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 up to ten hours a week of lectures (alongside the project preparation work) and, depending on your choice of modules, occasional practicals.

Year 4 involves an even more significant amount of self-study than in Year 3. Again, you are expected to drive your own learning and your progress is monitored and supported by weekly individual project supervision for your research and development advanced project. Less emphasis is placed on supervised practical work but this reduction of supervised learning time enables you to better direct and evaluate your own learning. Learning at this level is geared towards critical, independent and innovative thinking.

Throughout the course, you will have access to an Academic Adviser who will provide you with academic support and guidance. Typically you will meet with your adviser once or twice per term, in addition to which all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘drop-in’ basis.

Entry requirements

A level offerA*AA 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 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

Full Time Fees

Tuition 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

Career opportunities

Computer Science

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)

Department information

Computer Science

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.

Rankings

  • 95% of our graduates leave with excellent career prospects. The Complete University Guide Graduate Prospect Score 2020.
  • 5th in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Staff

For a current list of staff, please see the School's web pages.

Facilities

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.

Apply

Find out more:

Use the UCAS code below when applying:

Apply

G406

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

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