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G400 Computer Science BSc Undergraduate  2018


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 2498

Course Summary


Year 1

All students undertake five computer science modules, which cover programming, the characteristics of computers and computing systems, and the mathematical foundations of the subject. Students are also 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 School, 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. They will also have had a glimpse at aspects of computer science research that have enabled major technological advances in society.

Compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Programming
  • Computational Thinking
  • Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Computer Systems
  • Mathematics for Computer Science

Year 2

Students study six modules covering a core set of topics. One module software engineering (double module) involves a team software development project and enables students to work with external not-for-profit or voluntary organisations within the region and gain practical software development experience. Other compulsory topics include, for example, computer networks, parallel and distributed computing, concurrency, data structures, algorithms, theory of computation, data compression, different programming paradigms, systems programming, , human computer interaction, aspects of artificial intelligence, and computer graphics. The topics undertaken in the second year prepare students with an excellent grounding in a wide range of fundamental subjects within computer science, ready for subsequent specialisation in their final third year. By the end of the second year all students are in a position to make informed judgments as to which particular aspects of the subject they 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 students the opportunity to tackle a specific computing task in much greater depth than is possible for other modules. At the end of the project, students write a technical paper describing their findings. Students are given a considerable amount of choice as to the subject of their projects; indeed, students can suggest specific projects themselves. In addition, all students get to choose the four other modules that they undertake in the third year. A wide range of modules is offered (many reflecting current research interests of staff) covering a variety of aspects of, 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.

Study Abroad


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

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

Study Abroad

Department of Computing Sciences

We are part of the SOCRATES/ERASMUS programme, which encourages students to study for part of their course in a university of another EU country. Students taking the European variant of our Computer Science courses (this option is not available on the MEng) will spend the third year studying at another EU university, and then return to Durham for their final year.

We also offer the possibility to complete the third year of the MEng programme at a world-leading university abroad. Overseas Exchange programmes are currently available with:

  • National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • University of Hong Kong (HKU)
  • Canada (University of British Columbia (UBC), McMaster University, Queen’s University, University of Calgary)
  • Boston College, USA
  • Australia (University of Western Australia, University of Melbourne)
  • University of Otago, New Zealand.

Computer science is an international discipline and living and working in another county is a valuable addition to your CV.

Course Detail

To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University in 2016 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. Students are introduced to both basic and advanced concepts, techniques and methods in Computer Science through lectures with associated written and multimedia presentations, and their 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 students develop their knowledge and the ability as independent learners. In Year 1 students take five core Computer Science modules which normally is ten hours a week of lectures, and five two hour practicals each week. Students also study an elective module selected from those offered by any Board of Studies across the University. Outside timetabled contact hours, students are also expected to undertake their own independent study to prepare for their classes and broaden their subject knowledge.

The balance starts to shift in the Year 2 as students develop their abilities as independent learners. Lectures, typically twelve hours a week, still play an important role in supporting students in developing their knowledge and skills. Associated with the lecture series students 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 within academic staff at Durham but also cutting-edge advances in industry. Students normally have eight hours a week of lectures and depending on their choice of modules can have two hours of problem classes or practicals a week. Students undertake an individual project which is a detailed study of a particular area resulting in a significant piece of independent research. This project gives them the opportunity to pursue a chosen topic under the supervision of a member of academic staff with whom they will typically have a minimum of eleven hours of one-to-one supervisory meetings across the academic year. Students normally attend five hours of workshops which prepare them for this work.

Throughout the programme, all students have access to an Academic Adviser who will provide them with academic support and guidance. Typically a student will meet with their 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
  • 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
  • Typical IB score 37 to include 666 in higher level subjects.  Higher level grade 6 in Mathematics is required 
  • 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 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 2018/19 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:

Campus Tours

Overseas Visit Schedule

Department Information

Department of Computing Sciences


The most significant developments in our society over recent decades have come through amazing innovations in technology and the intelligent algorithms that run those technologies.
Our graduates are empowered to lead this process of 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.

We have strong links with industrial partners and our Software Development for Business degree offers you the opportunity to spend a year on placement in industry, applying the skills you have learnt and gaining the kind of experience that will make you stand out from the crowd.

  • 96% of our Computer Science students said they were satisfied overall with their course in the National Student Survey 2016 (sector-wide average 82%).
  • 100% of our Computer Science graduates secured graduate-level employment within six months of graduating (The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2016).
  • 7th in The Complete University Guide 2016.

The School 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 School 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 School and University resources through the University-wide computing network.


Changes to Computer Science (2018)

Date Change
Update to contact details

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