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 mathematics.

Course fees: Tuition fees for home/EU students commencing their studies in September 2018 will be announced once confirmed by the UK government. As a guide, the 2017 tuition fees were £9,250 per annum for home/EU students, and are expected to increase slightly for 2018 entry. Tuition fees for international students will be £22,000 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 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 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:

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 points overall, with 7,6,6 in Higher Level subjects, including Mathematics.

Alternative entry requirements

Irish Leaving Certificate: Grades H1 in five higher level academic subjects, including Grades H1 in higher level mathematics and applied mathematics.

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:

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.  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 mathematics and the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate can be used to replace one of the other two A levels. 

European Baccalaureate: 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 welcomes and recognises the value of the AQA Baccalaureate, but offers will be conditional on the A level subjects within the qualification rather than the overall Baccalaureate award.

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 or with alternative grades DDD 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 or an alternative of grades D*D 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 Mathematics or an alternative of grade D in combination with grades AA at A level including 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 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 or with alternative grades DDD 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 or an alternative of grades D*D 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 Mathematics or an alternative of grades DM in combination with grades AA at A level including 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 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 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 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 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.

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 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.

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
COMP28411Computer Networks
COMP22712Microcontrollers
COMP24412Symbolic AI
COMP25212System Architecture
COMP27112Computer Graphics and Image Processing
COMP28112Distributed Computing
COMP28512Mobile Systems
BMAN10011Fundamentals of Management
BMAN10621BFundamentals of Financial Reporting
BMAN20811Managing Business Operations
BMAN20821New Product Development and Innovation
BMAN21061Introduction to Management Information Systems
UCIL10221Science and the Modern World
UCIL20001Leadership of Learning
UCIL20021Leadership in Action
UCIL20031Leadership in Action Online Unit
UCIL20181Science, the Media and the Public
UCIL20331From Cholera to Aids: A Global History of Epidemics
UCIL21301Communicating with Confidence
UCIL22301Curating Culture
UCIL22501Global Citizenship and Sustainability
BMAN10252Fundamentals of Technological Change
BMAN10552Fundamentals of Finance
BMAN10612Business Economics
BMAN10632Fundamentals of Accounting
BMAN20242Introduction to Corporate Finance & Financial Instruments
BMAN20792Technology Strategy & Innovation 1
BMAN20832Marketing
BMAN20842Organisations and Emploment
BMAN21012Global Contexts of Business and Management
UCIL20022Leadership in Action
UCIL20032Leadership in Action Online Unit
UCIL20092The Crisis of Nature: Issues in Environmental History
UCIL20102Multilingual Manchester
UCIL20282The Information Age
UCIL20882An Introduction to Current Topics in Biology
UCIL21002Leadership of Learning
UCIL21102Diverse Britain in a Globalising World
UCIL21202Bioethics: Contemporary Issues in Science and Biomedicine
UCIL21302Communicating with Confidence
UCIL21402Innovation for a Sustainable Society
UCIL21802Body Health and Welbeing
UCIL21902Humanitarian Challenges in an Unequal World
UCIL24002The Art of Enterprise
UCIL25002The Digital Society
UCIL29002Physics & The Grand Challenges of Today

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 1
COMP37111Advanced Computer Graphics
COMP38411Cryptography and Network Security
COMP33812Software Evolution
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
BMAN20811Managing Business Operations
BMAN30010Management and Technology
BMAN30021Marketing
BMAN30022Strategy
BMAN30042Human Resource Management
BMAN30202Cases in Digital Transformation
BMAN30982Project Organisations: Management & Strategy
BMAN30991The International Management of Knowledge & Technology
BMAN31212Investment Economics and Innovation
BMAN31752Consumers and Markets
BMAN31842People Management and Change
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
UCIL20181Science, the Media and the Public
UCIL20282The Information Age
UCIL20331From Cholera to Aids: A Global History of Epidemics
UCIL20882An Introduction to Current Topics in Biology
UCIL21002Leadership of Learning
UCIL21102Diverse Britain in a Globalising World
UCIL21202Bioethics: Contemporary Issues in Science and Biomedicine
UCIL21301Communicating with Confidence
UCIL21302Communicating with Confidence
UCIL21402Innovation for a Sustainable Society
UCIL21802Body Health and Welbeing
UCIL21902Humanitarian Challenges in an Unequal World
UCIL22301Curating Culture
UCIL22501Global Citizenship and Sustainability
UCIL24002The Art of Enterprise
UCIL25002The Digital Society
UCIL29002Physics & The Grand Challenges of Today
UCIL30832Madness and Society in the Modern Age
UCIL32511From Baker Street to CSI
UCIL33201Climate Change and Society
▲ Up to the top