Your typical week

Find out what life in the school is like by browsing through the variety of weekly activities you will be involved in here at Manchester.



For most course units the main method for delivering material is lectures. Each lecture is typically around 50 minutes long, and you will have approximately 10 lectures per week in the first year, depending on your degree programme. Course units in the first year are often core to most students and so more than 200 students can be attending. The way staff deliver lectures in the School varies considerably. Some lecturers put emphasis on innovative approaches to teaching, such as using interactive teaching aids such as clickers, whereas some use the traditional lecture-style approach. It is important you attend all your scheduled lectures in order to benefit from the lecture in order to fully understanding the material when you apply it practically in laboratories



Even though you will find lectures and laboratories run with large student numbers, you will receive help and advice in smaller groups (typically 6) under the guidance of your Personal Academic Tutor. The tutorial group meets for one hour each week in the tutor’s office, and the meeting offers you the opportunity to discuss issues in an open and friendly environment. The tutorials mainly concentrate on the first year team project, for which tasks are timetabled on a weekly basis, and is supported by our dedicated Moodle virtual learning environment. Tutorials are not like lectures -- it is the responsibility of the tutorial group, not the academic tutor, to drive them.



Some lectures take place in workshop format with several members of staff on hand to assist students with problem solving. All lectures and workshops are accompanied by specially prepared handouts and a range of study materials that are available on our dedicated online Blackboard system.

Examples classes

Example classes

Some course units in the first year have examples classes, rather than laboratories, associated with them. Here you will be given the opportunity to work through assigned exercises and problems in a classroom environment with the support of academic staff and postgraduate student teaching assistants.



Computer Science is a practical subject, as a consequence most course units will have some form of practical element. The School has extensive computer laboratories available for undergraduate students, which are also available for use outside of scheduled laboratory hours. Each lab is equipped with up to date PCs, 22” widescreen monitors, and run both Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems. Each course unit with a laboratory component will typically have a two-hour lab associated with it per week. Laboratories are staffed with both academic staff and student teaching assistants  (typically PhD students), in order to offer help and advice with the exercises. It is important that you prepare effectively for laboratories and use your time in the laboratory effectively.



The Peer-Assisted Study Scheme (PASS) is a student mentoring scheme in which undergraduate students in Years 1 and 2  gain help and advice from more experienced second and third year students, who have faced the same problems themselves during their academic career. PASS gives you the opportunity to meet more students in your School and discuss any problems you may be experiencing. Each week exercises will be handed out that complement material being covered in lectures, you will then work on these exercises in groups assisted by a PASS mentor who will offer help and advice. PASS sessions are extremely beneficial. The students being mentored learn to adapt their learning methods to suit the University environment, whilst PASS mentors gain invaluable communication and mentoring skills. There is one 1-hour PASS session each week run in our dedicated Collab teaching rooms.

Self study

Self study

You have approximately 20 hours of timetabled teaching activities each week. In addition to this we expect you undertake an additional 20 hours of self study (preparing for laboratories and examples classes, completing exercises, reviewing lecture material). Wednesday afternoons are left free in order for you to partake in other activities, such as sports or societies, or maybe get involved with student-led activities within the School.

Sample timetable

UG TimetableMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
09:00     Fundamentals of Computer Engineering (w2+) Fundamentals of Computer Engineering  
10:00     Fundamentals of Computer Architecture  
11:00     Object Oriented Programming with Java 1 First Year Team Project (w1-5,7-10,12) Object Oriented Programming with Java 1
12:00 Mathematical Techniques for Computer Science (w1-5,7-11) Mathematical Techniques for Computer Science PASS   Fundamentals of Computer Architecture (w3+)
13:00   Fundamentals of Computer Architecture (b)
Object Oriented Programming with Java 1 (a)
  First Year Team Project  
14:00 Object Oriented Programming with Java 1   Mathematical Techniques for Computer Science (w2-5,7-11)
15:00 Fundamentals of Computer Architecture     Object Oriented Programming with Java 1  
16:00 Fundamentals of Computer Engineering      


  • Lecture
  • Lab
  • Examples class
  • Workshop

This is an example of the type of timetable you might have as a first year student in the School of Computer Science.

▲ Up to the top