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G400 Computer Science BSc Undergraduate  2019


UCAS code G400
Degree BSc
Professional accreditation Accredited by the British Computer Society, the Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional. Accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for a Chartered Engineer. Accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Science Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Scientist. This programme is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for the award of Euro-Inf Bachelor Quality Label on behalf of EQANIE (European Quality Assurance Network for Informatics Education) as satisfying the outcomes of First Cycle Programmes specified by the Euro-Inf Framework Standards and Accreditation Criteria for Informatics Degree Programmes.
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 3 years
Location Durham City
Typical Offers A-Level
International Baccalaureate
Please also check Requirements and Admissions.
Alternative qualifications

Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 42498

Course Summary


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. All students undertake an elective module, which may be from elsewhere within the Department, Faculty or University. Students completing the first year will have had a thorough introduction to the fundamentals of computer science and to the principles, practices and methodologies that make computer science unique as 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 (double module) 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, computer networks, parallel and distributed computing, concurrency, data structures, algorithms and complexity, image processing, different programming paradigms, systems programming, security, human-computer interaction, aspects of artificial intelligence, and computer graphics. The topics undertaken 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
  • Software Methodologies
  • Theory of Computation

Year 3

A key element of the third year is the individual project (which is a double module). This is 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. At the end of the project, you will write a technical paper describing your findings. You are given a considerable amount of choice as to the subject of your projects; indeed, you can suggest specific projects themselves. In addition, you will get to choose the four other modules that you undertake in your final year. A wide range of modules is offered (many reflecting current research interests of staff) for example, previous modules have included: theoretical computer science, software and software systems, computing methodologies, applications and contemporary computer science (with the latter topic engaging with modern research within computer science that is highly relevant to current technological advances and applications). There is also the opportunity to follow specific modules offered such as a module involving the teaching of computer science in schools, giving an early taste of teaching computer science to those interested in pursuing it as a career or on other career pathways where a public understanding of science is required.


We review course structures and core content (in light of e.g. external and student feedback) every year, and will publish finalised core requirements for 2019 entry from September 2018.

Study Abroad

Computer Science is an international discipline and living and working in another country is a valuable addition to your CV and so.

We are part of the SOCRATES/ERASMUS and University Exchange programme, which encourages you to study for part of your course in a university worldwide. You can request to transfer onto the BSc Computer Science (with Year Abroad (G408) programme at the beginning of your second year and will spend the third year studying at another EU or worldwide university, and then return to Durham for your final year.

Further information on these study abroad opportunities can be found at here

Course Detail

To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University please click here.

Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme 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 programme, as you develop your knowledge and ability as an independent learner. In Year 1 you will take five core Computer Science modules which normally is 10 hours a week of lectures, and five two-hour practicals each week. You will also study an elective module selected from those offered by any Board of Studies 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 six two-hour 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.

Some 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 eight hours a week of lectures and depending on your choice of modules can have two hours of problem classes or practicals a week. You will undertake an individual project which is a detailed study of a particular area resulting in a significant piece of independent research. This project gives you the opportunity to pursue a chosen topic under the supervision of a member of academic staff with whom you will typically have a minimum of 11 hours of one-to-one supervisory meetings across the academic year. You will normally attend five hours of workshops which prepare you for this work.

Throughout the programme, all students have access to an Academic Adviser who will provide them 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.

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • Grade A in Mathematics at A level or equivalent is required
  • Typical IB score 38 to include 666 in higher level subjects.  Higher level grade 6 in Mathematics is required 
  • We accept BTEC qualifications minimum DDD but this MUST be accompanied by an A grade at A level Mathematics (or equivalent)
  • 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 Centre offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses 
  • We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking as part of our offer
  • 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.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Information relevant to your country

Fees and Funding

The tuition fees for 2019/20 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.

Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding 

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.

Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place:

Discover Durham Tours

Discover Durham tours offer a brief introduction to the University. The tour begins at one of our undergraduate colleges, where you will receive an introductory talk from a member of college staff, followed by a tour of the college by current students.

Overseas Visit Schedule

Department Information

Department of Computer Science


Our graduates are empowered to lead this process of societal and technological change in the decades to come.  Durham University offers Computer Science courses that are exciting, challenging and technologically relevant, covering topics from the foundations of how computers work and how to efficiently manipulate data, up to the state of the art, such as systems for image analysis, object tracking and DNA analysis or the mathematical exploration of the limits of computing.

There is continuing demand for high-quality Computer Science graduates, and our graduates embark on careers across a wide spectrum of
companies around the world.


  • 96% of our Computer Science students said they were satisfied overall with their course in the National Student Survey 2017 (sector-wide average 79%)
  • 95% of our graduates leave with excellent career prospects The Complete University Guide Graduate Prospect Score 2018
  • 4th in The Complete University Guide 2018.


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


The Department has recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment of offices and PC labs which provide students with modern state-of-the-art computing facilities. There are study areas within the Department where students can use their own laptops or lab-based machines; both here and also within colleges, a laptop can be used to access the Department and University resources through the University-wide computing network.