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: A*AA-AAA

Course fees: Tuition fees for home/EU students commencing their studies in September 2017 will be approximately £9,250 per annum. Tuition fees for international students will be £21,000 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate fees pages.


All new UK/EU (home tuition fee) students, applying for first year entry, who achieve an A*AA (A* in maths) 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 1700 applications per year for 225 places across our undergraduate degree courses.

Contact email:

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-AAA including 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.

Unit grade information: The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit grade information which, like all other available information, will inform the consideration of applications.  Unit grades will not normally form part of offer conditions, except for Mathematics programmes.


Five academic subjects at grades A and B, or grades 6 and 7 in the newly reformed GCSEs in England, 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.

Key Skills qualification: The University warmly welcomes applications from students studying the Key Skills qualification. However, as the opportunities to take these modules are not open to all applicants, currently this is not an essential requirement of the University.

International Baccalaureate: 38-37 points overall, with 7,6,6 - 6,6,6 in Higher Level subjects, including Mathematics.

Alternative entry requirements

Irish Leaving Certificate: Grades A1A1A2A2A2-A2A2A2A2B1 in higher level academic subjects including Grade A2 in higher level mathematics and a scientific bias to the subjects studied.

Scottish Highers: AAAAB-AAABB, including grade A in Higher Mathematics and a scientific bias to other subjects studied. The Highers must be taken in one sitting. Minimum of five grade 1s and 2s in academic subjects at Intermediate 2 including English, Mathematics and a Physical Science.

Scottish Advanced Highers: Grades AAA in three Advanced Higher level subjects including mathematics and a science subject.

Welsh Baccalaureate:

The non-mathematics A-level subject can be replaced with a pass (grade A) in the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Core. Please see the section on A-Levels for relevant subject specific requirements.

European Baccalaureate: An average of 85-82% including a minimum of 82% in mathematics. Mathematics must have been studied for at least five periods per week and a final written examination must have been taken. A scientific bias to the specialist subjects studied (as measured by the hours per week).

AQA Baccalaureate: Applicants taking the AQA Baccalaureate should note that this is an acceptable qualification for entry, however offers will be conditional on achievement in the A levels within the qualification rather that the overall Baccalaureate award.

Other international entry requirements: We welcome applications from highly qualified students from across the world. Detailed information on our international entry criteria is available on the School of Computer Science Website 

BTEC Extended Diploma: Grades DDM-DMM from an IT diploma along with a grade A in GCE A-level mathematics with a pure element.

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 40 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.

Advanced Placement tests: The University welcomes applicants with the AP qualification. Such applications will be considered on an individual basis.

Cambridge Pre-U: We welcome applications from students who are studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma.  Conditional offers will be set on an individual basis but are likely to include achieving grade D3 - M2 in three Principal Subjects including mathematics.

Advanced/Progression Diploma: A grade B overall in the IT or Engineering Advanced diploma partially fulfils entry requirements.  Students are also required to have a grade A in A-level mathematics with a pure element.

Non-standard educational routes:

If you have followed a non-standard educational route and have been, for example, educated at home, your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course to which you applied. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the academic entry requirements as specified for the course. We will also require a reference which should be written by somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. Please refer to UCAS for further information: UCAS reference guidelines

Other entry requirements:

Return-to-learn students are those who have had a substantial period away from any formal learning. Often such learners have pursued careers or raised a family. The University understands that students come from many different backgrounds, with varying qualifications, careers and skills, but they often bring to their studies a high degree of motivation and experience.

The University recognises that standard selection measures and procedures may not enable these learners to demonstrate fully their suitability for their chosen course. Where appropriate, admissions officers will seek and consider alternative evidence in order to give such learners equivalent consideration. Where they deem this alternative evidence meets entry criteria fully the learner will not be required to meet the standard academic entry requirements.

English language:

GCSE English grade C, or grade 4 in the newly reformed GCSEs in England, IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in individual components, TOEFL 100 ibt with no less than 23 in individual components.

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).

Interview requirements

All promising applicants who are resident in the UK/EU and who apply before 15th January will be invited to attend an interview.

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.


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:

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
COMP23420Software Engineering
COMP25111Operating Systems
COMP26120Algorithms and Imperative Programming
COMP21111Logic and Modelling
COMP22111Processor Microarchitecture
COMP24111Machine Learning and Optimisation
COMP28411Computer Networks
COMP24412Symbolic AI
COMP25212System Architecture
COMP27112Computer Graphics and Image Processing
COMP28112Distributed Computing
COMP28512Mobile Systems
UCIL20021Leadership in Action
UCIL20022Leadership in Action
UCIL20282The Information Age
UCIL20882An Introduction to Current Topics in Biology

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)
COMP31111Verified Development
COMP32211Implementing System-on-Chip Designs
COMP33511User Experience
COMP33711Agile Software Engineering
COMP36111Advanced Algorithms
COMP37111Advanced Computer Graphics
COMP38411Cryptography and Network Security
COMP33812Software Evolution
COMP34412Natural Language Systems
COMP35112Chip Multiprocessors
COMP37212Computer Vision
COMP38512Digital Wireless Communication and Networks
COMP34120AI and Games
COMP38120Documents, Services and Data on the Web
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
UCIL20021Leadership in Action
UCIL20022Leadership in Action
UCIL20282The Information Age
UCIL20882An Introduction to Current Topics in Biology
▲ Up to the top