Computer Science (3 Years) [BSc]

By developing new applications in science, engineering and business, computer science is changing the world, and changing people’s lives. Our computer science course combines the study of software and hardware, and information and communication technologies, to equip you with the skills needed for a challenging and evolving career. The course is the most flexible that we offer and allows you to adapt your studies to reflect your developing, possibly changing, interests.

Core topics covered include object-oriented (Java) and imperative (C) programming paradigms, software development techniques, databases and computer architecture. You can mix these with general computing subjects such as graphics, networking and computer vision.

Course variants

You can study this course in the following variants:

UCAS course code: G400

UCAS institution code: M20

Degree awarded: BSc

Duration: 3 years

Typical A level offer: Grades A*AA including A* in mathematics.

Typical contextual A-level offer (what is this?): Grades AAA including Mathematics.

Course fees: Tuition fees for home/EU students commencing their studies in September 2019 will be £9,250 per annum. Tuition fees for international students will be £23,000 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate fees pages.

Scholarships/sponsorships:

All new UK/EU (home tuition fee) students, applying for first year entry, who achieve an A*A*A (including A* in mathematics) or equivalent will be awarded the Kilburn Entry Scholarship worth £1,000.

Well qualified international students will be considered for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences International Excellence Undergraduate Scholarships. For further details please see EPS International Excellence Undergraduate Scholarships .

Number of places/applicants: The School of Computer Science receives in the region of 2000 applications per year for 225 places across our undergraduate degree courses.

Contact email: ug-compsci@manchester.ac.uk

Contact telephone: 44 (0)161 275 6124

How to apply: Apply through UCAS .

Course description

Through the development of new applications in science, engineering, and business, Computer Science is radically changing the way in which we experience our world. This programme equips students with the skills needed to contribute to this exciting and rapidly evolving field.

Computer Science is our most flexible programme, allowing you to chose course units to reflect your developing and changing interests. Furthermore, a wide range of themes from across the discipline allow you to specialise in the second and third years.

You will gain not only knowledge and practical experience of the latest technologies, but also a grounding in the underlying principles of the subject. It is this combination of skills that enable our graduates to keep pace with this fast moving subject, and secure rewarding careers that can be pursued almost anywhere in the world.

Detailed programme and course unit information is available here

Special features

  • A broad and flexible programme that provides the freedom to choose from an extremely wide range of Computer Science topics. 
  • Equips students with skills that are in high demand from industry

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Manchester is committed to attracting and supporting the very best students. We have a focus on nurturing talent and ability and we want to make sure that you have the opportunity to study here, regardless of your financial circumstances. It is estimated that more than a third of our students will receive bursaries of up to £3,000 per year and many will be offered even more generous support. For further information, please visit the University scholarships and bursaries page.

Accrediting organisations

British Computer Society (BCS).

Career opportunities

Increasingly, employers are seeking graduates with high-level computing skills, and the ability to apply them in innovative ways to solve the problems facing their organisations. Opportunities exist in fields as diverse as finance, films and games, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, consumer products, and public services - virtually all areas of business and society.

Employers, from large multinational firms such as EA Electronic Arts , IBM and Microsoft to small local organisations, actively target our students, recognising that Manchester Computer Science graduates are equipped with the skills that enable them to excel in a whole host of positions, including many that are not traditionally associated with computing graduates.

What our students say

Nicolae Caprarescu, BSc Computer Science

'I believe that the course provides me with a very good overview of Computer Science as a discipline, but also goes into the appropriate level of detail within the individual modules. The modules combine both theoretical and practical sessions, making sure that you develop an excellent understanding of the topic.'

David Allardyce, BSc Computer Science

'The best thing about studying Computer Science is the involvement the School has had in computing history over the last fifty years, and the positive effects this has on the quality of teaching.'

Selected entry requirements

A level: Grades A*AA including A* in mathematics.  This should include Mathematics with a significant pure element (the Use of Mathematics or Core Mathematics does not satisfy this requirement).  General Studies is welcome, but is not normally included as part of the standard offer.

AS level: AS level results are not considered as part of the standard admissions process at The University of Manchester.

Unit grade information:

The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit information where available.  Like all other information provided by applicants this may be taken into consideration when assessing your application.  Unit grades will not normally form part of an offer conditions.

GCSE: Applicants must demonstrate a broad general education including:

5  GCSES at Grade  A/7 or B/6   (both numeric and letter grade) including:

  • mathematics (please note we do not accept Applied GCSE Mathematics courses e.g. WJEC Mathematics - Numeracy)
  • two science subjects from computer science, physics, chemistry, biology or science and additional science

English Language is required at GCSE level with a minimum Grade of  C / 4. GCSE English Literature will not be accepted in lieu of GCSE English Language.

International Baccalaureate: 37 points overall, with 7,6,6 in Higher Level subjects, including 7 in Mathematics.

Alternative entry requirements

Scottish Advanced Highers: We normally require grade A in Highers Mathematics and grades AAAB in four further Highers subjects with a scientific bias.  The Highers must be taken in one sitting. 

Or:

Three Advanced Highers at grades ABB, including Advanced Highers Mathematics with grade A.  Two Highers in different subjects can replace one of the other two Advanced Higher subjects.

English Language not taken at Higher/Advanced Higher must have been achieved at SCQF level 5 (minimum National 5 grade C / Intermediate 2 grade C / Standard Grade 3). If a physical science has not been taken at Higher/Advanced Higher we require TWO science subjects at SCQF level 5 (minimum National 5 grades AB / Intermediate 2 grades AB / Standard Grade Credit level)

Welsh Baccalaureate: The University welcomes and recognises the value of the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate and this can be used in combination with two A level subjects including mathematics.  Our A level entry requirements are grades A*AA including A* in mathematics and the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate can be used to replace one of the other two A levels. 

European Baccalaureate: The University of Manchester welcomes applicants with the European Baccalaureate. Acceptable on its own or in combination with other qualifications, applications from students studying for this qualification are welcome and all applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

We require an average of 85% including a minimum of 85% in mathematics studied for at least 5 periods per week and assessed by a final written examination.  A scientific bias to the specialist subjects studied.

AQA Baccalaureate: The University recognises the benefits of the AQA Baccalaureate and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills.

In making offers, the University will focus on the three A Levels taken within the AQA Baccalaureate. Students need to check the standard A Level requirements for their chosen course.

The units of broader study, enrichment activities and the Extended Project are considered to be valuable elements of the AQA Baccalaureate and we would therefore strongly encourage students to draw upon these experiences within their personal statement.

Other international entry requirements:

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. Detailed information on our international entry criteria is available on the  School of Computer Science Website   

For general requirements not listed above see Accepted entry qualifications from your country

BTEC Extended Diploma: Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

We consider the National Extended Diploma for entry provided it is in IT or Engineering with grades DDM in combination with a grade A* in A level Mathematics.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma

We consider the National Diploma for entry provided it is in IT or Engineering with grades DD in combination with a grade A* in A level Mathematics.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma

We consider the National Foundation Diploma for entry in any subject provided it is in combination with two A levels including Mathematics.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Foundation Diploma with grade M plus two A levels at grades A*A including A* in Mathematics.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate

We consider the National Extended Certificate for entry in any subject provided it is in combination with two GCE A levels including Mathematics.  Our A level entry requirements are grades A*AA including A* in mathematics and the full National Extended Certificate can be used to replace one of the other two A levels.

OCR National Extended Diploma (18 units): Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Diploma (CTEC)

We consider the Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma for entry provided it is in IT or Engineering with grades DDM in combination with a grade A* in A level Mathematics.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Diploma (CTEC)

We consider the Cambridge Technical Diploma for entry provided it is in IT or Engineering with grades DD in combination with a grade A* in A level Mathematics.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Foundation Diploma (CTEC)

We consider the Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma for entry in any subject provided it is in combination with two A levels including Mathematics.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma with grades MM plus two A levels at grades A*A including A* in Mathematics.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Certificate (CTEC)

We consider the Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate for entry in any subject provided it is in combination with two A levels including Mathematics. Our A level entry requirements are grades A*AA including A* in mathematics and the full Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate can be used to replace one of the other two A levels. 

Access to HE Diploma:

Applications are considered on an individual basis, e.g. additional educational achievements, life experience and skills. Please contact the University for further information.  Our standard academic requirements include 60 credits with 45 at Level 3. Minimum of 30 credits should be with a Distinction grade (15 of which must be in mathematics), plus 15 credits with a Merit grade in a science-related subject.  Students are also required to have a grade A* in A-level mathematics with a pure element.

Cambridge Pre-U: We consider applicants offering Pre-U Principal Subjects, or a mix of Pre-U and A Level subjects, provided a minimum of three distinct subjects, including Mathematics, is taken.

Conditional offers will be set on an individual basis but are likely to include achieving grade D1-D3 in three Principal Subjects including a D2 in mathematics.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ): The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. Although the Extended Project will not be included in the conditions of your offer, we strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement and at interview. A number of our academic Schools may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Non-standard educational routes: If you are a student who has followed a non-standard educational route, e.g. you have been educated at home; your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course for which you are applying. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the specified academic entry requirements of the course. We will also require a reference from somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. If you are a home schooled student and would like further information or advice please contact the academic School for your chosen course who will be able to help you. 

Other entry requirements: Mature students are some of our most well-equipped learners, bringing skills and attributes gained from work, family and other life experiences.  Students come from a whole array of backgrounds, study every kind of course, undertake full-time and part-time learning and are motivated by career intentions as well as personal interest.  There is no such thing as a typical mature student at Manchester.  The application process is the same as for other prospective undergraduates.  If you require further clarification about the acceptability of the qualifications you hold please contact the academic School(s) you plan to apply to.  Further information for mature students can be found here ( http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/mature-students/ )

English language: All applicants to the University (from the UK and Overseas) are required to show evidence of English Language proficiency.  The minimum English Language requirement for this course is either:

  • GCSE English Language grade C/4 or;
  • IELTS Overall 6.5 (minimum of 6.0 in each component) , or;
  • An acceptable equivalent qualification.

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires that every student from outside the UK and the EU must show evidence of a minimum level of English Language in order to be granted a UK visa (Tier 4 visa) to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level. This level is often referred to as the 'B2 level'.

Additionally, our individual Schools may ask for specific English Language proficiency levels that are necessary for their academic programmes. In most cases these requirements are likely to be higher than the B2 level. Further information about our English Language policy, including a list of some of the English Language qualifications we accept, can be found  here .

Advice to applicants

Factors contributing to a successful application include:

  • past academic performance;
  • predicted academic performance;
  • enthusiasm for, and realistic grasp of, chosen degree programme;
  • evidence of interpersonal skills and non-academic interests/achievements.

How your application is considered

The basis of our offer made will be a combination of performance at interview, information on the UCAS form and your predicted academic performance (where applicable).

All promising applicants who are resident in the UK/EU and who apply before 15th January will be invited to attend a visit day, which includes an one-to-one chat with an academic member of staff.

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

If you have re-sat individual modules to improve your grades, we will consider your application according to the standard selection process. If you are planning to re-sit the final Year 13 examinations, or have already done so, the University will consider your application, but we may require further information in order to make an informed judgment on your application.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.  In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved.  We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should provide additional evidence of your suitability for the course. If you are applying through clearing you are required to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing the places will be subject to availability.

Teaching and learning

At Manchester we aim to provide a unique experience. Studying Computer Science with us will give you the chance to follow your academic curiosity and explore a fascinating subject.

A significant amount of your work will be project-based team work, tackling real problems. You will see how computer science is directly applicable to solving problems, across a broad range of areas.

The emphasis throughout is on independent learning, supported by regular meetings in small groups with personal tutors. You receive practical help and support from experienced staff and postgraduates, with leading experts guiding your learning and stimulating your interest. This approach is supported by conventional lectures and comprehensive on-line learning resources. We also provide excellent facilities, including specialist laboratories to support areas such as engineering and robotics.

Explore our teaching methods further on our website .

Coursework and assessment

Unseen examinations account for about 60% of the assessment . These assess your abilities in the selection and application of knowledge, problem solving, and the design and evaluation of software or electronics. Other assessment is mainly through laboratory-based coursework that provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of computer science of electronic principles by tackling specific problems on a more realistic scale, both individually and in groups.

The remaining assessment is through presentations and essays where, in particular, you demonstrate the transferable skills you have acquired. In the third and final year, the non-examination assessment is mainly made up of the practical project.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Course unit choices

The following table provides an indication of the typical choice of course units available to students studying Computer Science BSc (Hons).
For a detailed explanation of course units available to current students please refer to the options page of the School's intranet for current students.

Study year 1 course units

Students take a set of course units from the following list. Some units are compulsory and some are optional. Other external course units may be available. For full details of the see the options page of the School's intranet for current students.

Course unit codeTitle
COMP10120First Year Team Project
COMP11120Mathematical Techniques for Computer Science
COMP11212Fundamentals of Computation
COMP12111Fundamentals of Computer Engineering
COMP14112Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence
COMP15111Fundamentals of Computer Architecture
COMP16121Object Oriented Programming with Java 1
COMP16212Object Oriented Programming with Java 2
COMP18112Fundamentals of Distributed Systems

Study year 2 course units

Students take a set of course units from the following list. Some units are compulsory and some are optional. Other external course units may be available. For full details of the see the options page of the School's intranet for current students.

Course unit codeTitle
COMP23111Fundamentals of Databases
COMP23311Software Engineering 1
COMP23412Software Engineering 2
COMP25111Operating Systems
COMP26120Algorithms and Imperative Programming
COMP21111Logic and Modelling
COMP22111Processor Microarchitecture
COMP24111Machine Learning and Optimisation
COMP22712Microcontrollers
COMP24412Symbolic AI
COMP25212System Architecture
COMP27112Computer Graphics and Image Processing
COMP28112Distributed Computing
COMP28512Mobile Systems
BMAN10011Fundamentals of Management
BMAN10621BFundamentals of Financial Reporting
BMAN20821New Product Development and Innovation
BMAN21061Introduction to Management Information Systems
UCIL10201Language, Mind and Brain
UCIL10221Science and the Modern World
UCIL20001Leadership of Learning
UCIL20021Leadership in Action
UCIL20031Leadership in Action Online Unit
UCIL20111Core Themes in Animation and Visual Culture of Post War Japan
UCIL20211Are we alone?
UCIL20331From Cholera to Aids: A Global History of Epidemics
UCIL21301Communicating with Confidence
UCIL21331Becoming an inspirational individual
UCIL22001Essential Enterprise
UCIL22501Global Citizenship and Sustainability
UCIL24141Science, Technology and Democracy
ULBS20011Intro to British Sign Language S1
ULCH20021Post-intermediate Chinese - first semester
ULGE10021Introductory German
ULIT10011Beginners' Italian
BMAN10252Fundamentals of Technological Change
BMAN10552Fundamentals of Finance
BMAN10612Business Economics
BMAN10632Fundamentals of Accounting
BMAN20242Introduction to Corporate Finance & Financial Instruments
BMAN20792Technology Strategy & Innovation 1
BMAN20832Marketing
BMAN21012Global Contexts of Business and Management
UCIL20022Leadership in Action
UCIL20032Leadership in Action Online Unit
UCIL20092The Crisis of Nature: Issues in Environmental History
UCIL20102Multilingual Manchester
UCIL20112Mental Health
UCIL20122AI: Robot Overlord, Replacement or Colleague?
UCIL20282The Information Age
UCIL20882An Introduction to Current Topics in Biology
UCIL21002Leadership of Learning
UCIL21202Bioethics: Contemporary Issues in Science and Biomedicine
UCIL21302Communicating with Confidence
UCIL21802Body, Health and Well-Being
UCIL22002Essential Enterprise
UCIL23302Science and Civilisation in East Asia
UCIL24002The Art of Enterprise
UCIL25002The Digital Society
UCIL29002Physics & The Grand Challenges of Today
ULBS20012Introduction to British Sign Language - Part 1
ULBS20022Introduction to British Sign Language - Part 2
ULAR10010Beginners' Arabic
ULAR10020Elementary Arabic
ULAR11010Beginners' Arabic
ULAR20110Intermediate Arabic
ULAR20210Pre-intermedite Arabic
ULAR21110Intermediate Arabic NC
ULCH10200Beginners' Mandarin Chinese
ULCH20020Post-intermediate Mandarin Chinese
ULCH20110Pre-intermediate Mandarin Chinese
ULDU10010Beginners' Dutch
ULDU20010Intermediate Dutch
ULFR10010Beginners' French
ULFR11010Intermediate Business French
ULFR20010Intermediate French
ULFR20020Post-intermediate French
ULFR20030Further French
ULFR20110Pre-Intermediate French
ULGE10010Beginners' German
ULGE20010Intermediate German
ULGE20020Post-Intermediate German
ULGE20030Further German
ULGE20110Pre-intermediate German
ULGE30022Introductory German (A1.1 ) - Enhanced
ULHB10030Beginners' Hebrew
ULHB20030Intermediate Hebrew
ULIT10010Beginner's Italian
ULIT20010Intermediate Italian
ULIT20020Post-Intermediate Italian
ULIT20110Pre-Intermediate Italian
ULIT30010Beginners' Italian
ULJA10010Beginners' Japanese
ULJA11010Beginners' Japanese
ULJA20010Intermediate Japanese
ULJA20020Post-intermediate Japanese
ULJA20110Pre-Intermediate Japanese
ULJA21010Intermediate Japanese
ULKR10010Beginners' Korean
ULPT10010Beginners' Portuguese
ULRU10010Beginners' Russian
ULRU20010Intermediate Russian
ULSP10010Beginners' Spanish
ULSP10050Beginners Spanish (Fast track)
ULSP20010Intermediate Spanish
ULSP20020Intermediate Spanish
ULSP20030Further Spanish
ULSP20110Pre-Intermediate Spanish

Study year 3 course units

Students take a set of course units from the following list. Some units are compulsory and some are optional. Other external course units may be available. For full details of the see the options page of the School's intranet for current students.

Course unit codeTitle
COMP300403rd Year Project (Single Honours 40 Credits)
COMP32211Implementing System-on-Chip Designs
COMP33511User Experience
COMP33711Agile Software Engineering
COMP36111Advanced Algorithms 1
COMP37111Advanced Computer Graphics
COMP38411Cryptography and Network Security
COMP34412Natural Language Systems
COMP35112Chip Multiprocessors
COMP36212Advanced Algorithms 2
COMP36512Compilers
COMP37212Computer Vision
COMP32412The Internet of Things: Architectures and Applications
COMP34120AI and Games
COMP38120Documents, Services and Data on the Web
BMAN20242Introduction to Corporate Finance & Financial Instruments
BMAN20792Technology Strategy & Innovation 1
BMAN20821New Product Development and Innovation
BMAN20832Marketing
BMAN21061Introduction to Management Information Systems
BMAN30010Management of Knowledge and Innovation
BMAN30021Marketing
BMAN30022Strategy
BMAN30042Human Resource Management
BMAN30202Cases in Digital Transformation
BMAN31212Investment Economics and Innovation
MCEL30001Tools and Techniques for Enterprise
MCEL30002Tools and Techniques for Enterprise
MCEL30022Interdisciplinary Sustainable Development
MCEL30031Enterprise Management for Computer Scientists
MCEL30032Managing Finance in Enterprises for Computer Scientists
UCIL20001Leadership of Learning
UCIL20021Leadership in Action
UCIL20022Leadership in Action
UCIL20031Leadership in Action Online Unit
UCIL20032Leadership in Action Online Unit
UCIL20092The Crisis of Nature: Issues in Environmental History
UCIL20102Multilingual Manchester
UCIL20111Core Themes in Animation and Visual Culture of Post War Japan
UCIL20112Mental Health
UCIL20122AI: Robot Overlord, Replacement or Colleague?
UCIL20211Are we alone?
UCIL20331From Cholera to Aids: A Global History of Epidemics
UCIL21002Leadership of Learning
UCIL21202Bioethics: Contemporary Issues in Science and Biomedicine
UCIL21301Communicating with Confidence
UCIL21302Communicating with Confidence
UCIL21331Becoming an inspirational individual
UCIL21802Body, Health and Well-Being
UCIL22001Essential Enterprise
UCIL22002Essential Enterprise
UCIL22501Global Citizenship and Sustainability
UCIL23302Science and Civilisation in East Asia
UCIL24141Science, Technology and Democracy
UCIL29002Physics & The Grand Challenges of Today
UCIL30232Health, Development and People
UCIL30832Madness and Society in the Modern Age
UCIL30832Madness and Society in the Modern Age
UCIL32011From Sherlock Holmes to CSI
UCIL33201Climate Change and Society
ULAR20110Intermediate Arabic
ULAR20210Pre-intermedite Arabic
ULAR21110Intermediate Arabic NC
ULBS20011Intro to British Sign Language S1
ULBS20012Introduction to British Sign Language - Part 1
ULBS20022Introduction to British Sign Language - Part 2
ULCH20020Post-intermediate Mandarin Chinese
ULCH20021Post-intermediate Chinese - first semester
ULCH20110Pre-intermediate Mandarin Chinese
ULCH30030Advanced Mandarin Chinese
ULDU20010Intermediate Dutch
ULFR20010Intermediate French
ULFR20020Post-intermediate French
ULFR20030Further French
ULFR20110Pre-Intermediate French
ULFR30010Beginners' French - Enhanced
ULFR30022Introductory French - Enhanced
ULGE20010Intermediate German
ULGE20020Post-Intermediate German
ULGE20030Further German
ULGE20110Pre-intermediate German
ULGE30010Beginners' German Enhanced
ULGE30021Introductory German
ULGE30022Introductory German (A1.1 ) - Enhanced
ULGE30030Advanced German
ULHB20030Intermediate Hebrew
ULIT20010Intermediate Italian
ULIT20020Post-Intermediate Italian
ULIT20110Pre-Intermediate Italian
ULIT30010Beginners' Italian
ULJA20010Intermediate Japanese
ULJA20020Post-intermediate Japanese
ULJA20110Pre-Intermediate Japanese
ULJA20112Pre-intermediate Japanese
ULJA21010Intermediate Japanese
ULRU20010Intermediate Russian
ULSP20010Intermediate Spanish
ULSP20020Intermediate Spanish
ULSP20030Further Spanish
ULSP20110Pre-Intermediate Spanish
ULSP30010Beginners Spanish (Enhanced)
ULSP30022Introductory Spanish (Enhanced)
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