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G406 Computer Science MEng Undergraduate  2018


UCAS code G406
Degree MEng
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 4 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.

Year 4

Students will again undertake a significant individual project (this time a triple module). This gives students the exciting opportunity to take their third-year projects even further, if they wish, possibly so that the resulting research might be published in a journal or at a conference, and possibly as a prelude to a postgraduate degree in Computer Science. However, for students who do not wish to continue with the topic of their third-year project, there is the opportunity to do another substantial piece of work in an entirely different area of computer science (again, of their choosing). Just as in the third year, students get to choose the three other modules that they undertake in the fourth year; again, just as in the third year, there is a wide range of modules offered, including advanced versions of some of the third-year modules.

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 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 penultimate or final year.

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 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 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 also 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 typically 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.

Year 4 involves an even more significant amount of self-study than in Year 3. Again, students are expected to drive their own learning and their progress is monitored and supported by eleven hours of individual project supervision for their research and development advanced project, and approximately eight hours of problem classes associated with each chosen module. Less emphasis is placed on supervised practical work but this reduction of supervised learning time enables students to better direct and evaluate their own learning. Learning at this level is geared towards critical, independent and innovative thinking.

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 38 to include 666 in higher level subjects.  Higher level grade 6 in Mathematics is required
  • 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

Full Time Fees

EU Student £9,250.00 per year
Home Student £9,250.00 per year
Island Student £9,250.00 per year
International non-EU Student £23,100.00 per year

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

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding 

Career Opportunities

Department of Computing Sciences

Of thse students who graduated in 2016:

  • 82% are in paid employment or further study 6 months after graduation

Of those in employment:

  • 100% are in graduate level employment
  • Median salary £29,750

(Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2015/16 graduates. The DLHE survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation. Full definitions for the DLHE Record can be found here:

Our graduates leave with excellent career prospects, demonstrated by our Graduate Prospect score for 2018 being 95%.With a variety of placement and development opportunities available during your time here, you are able to customise your experience and work with sought after companies.

Professional accreditation

Both the BSc Computer Science Programme and the BSc Software Development for Business have been re-accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT satisfying the educational requirement for Chartered IT Professional (CITP) and partial fulfilment of the educational requirement for the Chartered Scientist (CSci) and Chartered Engineer (CEng) registration.

Our MEng programme has also been accredited for satisfying the educational requirement for Chartered IT Professional (CITP) and in partial fulfilment of the educational requirement for the Chartered Scientist (CSci) registration.

Work experience & placements

A number of unique work placements are available to students during their time with us with a range of sought after companies - from BAE Systems Applied Intelligence to Data Interchange and Waterstons, who regularly recruit students.

Placements usually occur over the summer vacation, between second and third year, and third and fourth, although we are regularly approached by organisations requesting our students for projects year round. Summer 2017 sees out students holding summer internships in organisations such as: Adobe Research in San Francisco, Dell in Shanghai, Google in Dublin, TripAdvisor, Sky, Amazon, Ericsson, Microsoft, London Stock Exchange plus many others.

Some students choose to stay with us over the summer and become part of a research team. If this is your preference there are BP and Nuffield awards as well as college scholarships available for summer placements in the university to help support you. This provides you with a taste of what it is to conduct research full time, excellent preparation for your final year research project.

Employment development opportunities

The University's Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre (CEEC) works extremely closely with ust to ensure that current students, and graduates, receive information and vacancies relevant to your needs.

CEEC also offer innovative talks to make sure you receive the most relevant and up to date advice about professions in the field of Computer Science.

Computer Science at Durham continues to work closely with the Department of Engineering, and the Industrial Partnership Committee (IPC), which connects us to approximately 30 industrial partners from organisations with local, national and international footprints.

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 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.


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


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.