Computer Science BSc

Year of entry

2025 course information

Open Days 2024

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UCAS code
G400
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAA (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
ABB
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Two students sat a computers in a lab at the University of Leeds.

Computer science is a dynamic and fast-moving area of study which opens opportunities in many different industrial sectors. Developments in computer science are radically changing the way that we interact with each other, process data and make decisions.

Successful computer scientists are not only skilled programmers, but they are also highly creative thinkers and problem-solvers who are adept at handling complex information. From commerce to healthcare, AgriTech to government – computing touches every industry, everywhere. That’s why computer scientists are in demand in a variety of sectors, often at the forefront of new technological developments and creating the solutions of tomorrow.

Studying computer science at Leeds will equip you with the core technical and problem-solving skills to tackle current and emerging challenges in this fast-changing field. Alongside technical skills such as algorithm design, problem solving and practical programming, you'll develop a raft of vital workplace skills such as collaborative working and project management. You'll also be taught in our purpose-built hub for students and academics – the Sir William Henry Bragg Building – which is home to world-leading research and specialist teaching facilities right here on campus.

If you want to be challenged, to work in multidisciplinary teams, solve global and emerging challenges and have a portable and highly sought-after skill set then studying computer science is a great option. The topics you’ll study reflect the latest developments in computer science, equipping you with the key knowledge, skills and experience you need to begin your career in this highly valued profession.

Why study at Leeds:

  • Our globally-renowned research feeds directly into your course, shaping your learning with the latest thinking in areas such as algorithms and complexity, artificial intelligence, computational science and engineering, biomedicine & health and distributed systems and services.
  • Experience expert teaching delivered by a programme team made up of academics and researchers who specialise in a variety of computing areas.
  • Access excellent facilities including two custom-built teaching laboratories containing high-specification Linux machines and a range of collaborative and quiet study spaces.
  • Enhance your career prospects and give your CV that competitive edge before you graduate with our industrial work placement opportunities. Our close industry links have given previous students the chance to work at — and build professional relationships with — organisations such as Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.
  • Gain invaluable life experience and advance your personal development with our exciting study abroad programmes, spanning across universities worldwide.
  • Make the most of your time at Leeds by joining CompSoc, where you can meet like-minded peers and enjoy a variety of social, professional and academic events including Hackathons, community outreach and professional networking. CompSoc also host sports teams and academic support groups.

Accreditation

Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.

The School of Computing at Leeds has a successful history of delivering courses accredited by the British Computing Society (BCS). This means our computer science courses have consistently met the quality standards set by the British Computer Society (BCS).

As we are reviewing our curriculum, we are currently seeking reaccreditation from the BCS for accreditation of full Chartered IT Professional (CITP) and partial Chartered Engineer (partial CEng).

Course details

In this course, you'll develop industrially relevant skills which will aid you in a successful career of your choosing. You'll gain a fundamental understanding of computer hardware, software engineering and the underpinnings of mathematical principles. Alongside, you'll also have opportunities to develop critical thinking and creative skills that'll transfer into your career once you graduate.

You'll develop your commercial and industrial awareness by completing real-world problem-solving tasks and build up a portfolio of work to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in analysis, communication and teamwork to prospective employers.

Throughout this course we work closely with you to develop personalised learning plans to ensure you are progressing towards the goal of becoming an outstanding computer science graduate ready to apply your skills.

This course will develop you into a well-rounded computer scientist with an awareness of the global challenges and opportunities available to you, ready for a challenging and rewarding career and equipped to continue learning to stay at the cutting edge of developments.

You'll also study computing ethics as part of your course. This is taught using real-life case studies, with input from specialist ethicists as well as your tutors and lecturers. The team responsible for the ethics taught in computing has produced educational material used to stimulate debate in class about topics such as ethical hacking, open-source software and the use of personal data.

Each academic year, you'll take a total of 120 credits.

Course Structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read Computer Sciences BSc in the course catalogue.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Programming – 40 credits

Programming involves the systematic design, development, testing and maintenance of computer programs and applications, utilising programming languages, algorithms and structured methodologies to create efficient and reliable software solutions.

Covering foundational programming skills, data structures, algorithms and data modelling, you’ll acquire the fundamental knowledge needed to construct efficient and well-structured software. Through hands-on exercises and theoretical instruction, the module cultivates proficiency in programming practices, algorithmic thinking and the systematic design of software solutions, laying the groundwork for a deeper understanding of software engineering principles essential for your future career.

Building our Digital World: Computer Systems and Architecture – 40 credits

A computer system is a combination of hardware and software components that work together to process data, perform tasks and execute programs. This module introduces the foundations and intricacies of computer systems, covering fundamental aspects such as hardware architecture, networking principles and operating systems.

This module provides a comprehensive understanding of how computers function at both the hardware and software levels. Through theoretical concepts and practical applications, you’ll develop proficiency in assembling and troubleshooting computer systems. Furthermore, the module introduces key networking principles, enabling you to comprehend data transmission and connectivity. The module introduces computer system design from an engineering viewpoint, exploring topics of security, reliability and general performance.

Theoretical Foundations of Computer Science I – 40 credits

Computer science, at its foundation, is a mathematical and engineering discipline. This module lays the foundation of the mathematical and theoretical concepts in computer science. This module equips you with a set of core knowledge and skills that will enable you to view real-world problems algorithmically and apply rigorous mathematical approaches to solve them.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Software Engineering – 40 credits

Software engineering involves the systematic design, development, testing and maintenance of computer programs and applications, utilising programming languages, algorithms and structured methodologies to create efficient and reliable software solutions.

This module establishes the fundamental principles of a systematic approach to software engineering. Through hands-on experiences, you’ll gain proficiency in contemporary software engineering practices whilst also developing an understanding of the subject. This module fosters practical experiences in engineering analysis and design, shedding light on the societal impact of engineering. It serves as a cornerstone, equipping you with the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful career in the dynamic field of computer science.

Beyond the Core: Advanced Hardware, Operating Systems and Parallelism – 40 credits

Explore in more depth the foundations and intricacies of computer systems, focusing on the role of the operating system, network applications and network protocol.

This module explores the purpose and role of operating systems and networks, allowing you to attribute feature and design decisions to performance and security characteristics. Throughout the module, emphasis is placed on the integration of operating systems and networking concepts, preparing you to navigate the landscape of contemporary IT environments.

Theoretical Foundations of Computer Science II – 40 credits

Build on the foundations of mathematical and theoretical concepts in computer science to develop the ideas into more complex application domains. You’ll further develop techniques and transferable skills in areas like problem solving that will help you tackle real-world challenges, applying mathematical approaches to solve them.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Professional Innovation and Enterprise – 20 credits

Gain a holistic understanding of professional conduct, legal considerations and ethical practices in the tech industry. You’ll be equipped with vital commercial awareness and insights into professional issues, preparing you for successful integration into the workforce. With an emphasis on ethical decision making and legal responsibilities, you’ll gain a nuanced understanding of the broader implications of your work, fostering a well-rounded approach to your roles as a future computing professional.

Individual Project – 40 credits

This individual project is the culmination of three years of computer science studies and provides the opportunity for you to demonstrate a mastery of the subject. You’ll engage in a comprehensive exploration of engineering analysis and design, honing your skills in problem formulation, solution development and critical evaluation. This module emphasises the practical application of computer science theories to solve complex, contemporary issues, fostering creativity and independent thinking.

You’ll focus on a chosen problem, employing rigorous research methodologies and leveraging engineering techniques to propose innovative solutions.

Optional modules

Please note: The modules listed below are indicative of typical options and some of these options may not be available, depending on other modules you have selected already.

High Performance Computing – 20 credits

Take a comprehensive look at the architecture, storage and programming models integral to the world of advanced computing.

You’ll cover both homogeneous and heterogeneous computing systems and explore developments in both hardware and modern programming schemes to program shared and distributed CPU, GPGPU and other accelerators.

The module will also cover the role of high-performance computing in various application domains.

Artificial Intelligence – 20 credits

Build hands-on experience with the design, implementation and evaluation of artificial intelligence systems, together with the underpinning theory. The module is divided into several topics addressing key areas of artificial intelligence. The topics will reflect research strengths in the School and prepare you to embark on projects within the artificial intelligence domain.

Computer Graphics – 20 credits

People interact with graphics daily. Computer graphics technology is ubiquitous in the modern world and is at the heart of computer games and film production. It is also extensively used in engineering, medicine and sciences.

This module covers the core concepts of rendering. It starts with techniques to manipulate and create images and then moves on to techniques behind 3D graphics. It explains modern graphics APIs and how programmers can use these to interface with today's very powerful GPUs.

You’ll build a small real-time 3D application from scratch as part of the module, allowing you to showcase your abilities.

Fundamental Algorithms for Scientific Computing – 20 credits

Explore a selection of important classical and modern algorithms in scientific computing. You'll work in groups through structured tasks to develop solutions incrementally approaching state-of-the-art implementations, simultaneously developing an appreciation of their power and efficacy.

Distributed Systems – 20 credits

This module provides a comprehensive overview of the principles and practices underlying the design and implementation of distributed computing systems. Explore the fundamentals of distributed systems architecture, cloud computing models and contemporary platforms/frameworks. You’ll gain insights into the challenges and solutions associated with distributed computing, preparing you to design scalable, resilient and efficient applications in today's dynamic computing landscape. This module equips you with the knowledge to navigate the complexities of distributed systems and leverage cutting-edge technologies for seamless integration and interoperation.

Cyber Physical Systems – 20 credits

Learn the engineering concepts underlying cyber-physical systems as a technology and as a subject of study. The module is focused on modelling, design and analysis of cyber-physical systems, which integrate computation, networking and physical processes.

Algorithms and Complexity – 20 credits

There are practically important computational problems that can be solved in principle, but there are no efficient algorithms known. This intractability is formalised in the theory of NP-completeness. To cope with such problems in practice, we have to compromise. This module considers two approaches – fixed parameter algorithms and approximation algorithms.

Compilers Design and Optimisation – 20 credits

Explore the art and science of building compilers and enhancing program efficiency. This module provides a comprehensive understanding of compiler design principles and explores optimisation techniques. You’ll embark on a hands-on journey, constructing a compiler from the ground up. Through practical projects and theoretical insights, participants master the intricacies of translating high-level programming languages into executable code, while also implementing strategies to optimise the performance of the generated programs. By the end of this module, you’ll be equipped with essential skills for software development and system optimisation.

Learning and teaching

In the School of Computing, you'll be part of a large and welcoming learning community where academic staff and your fellow students work collaboratively together. Our expert academic staff bring a wealth of industrial and research experience meaning you'll have awareness of the forefront of developments when you graduate.

You'll be joining a diverse community of computer scientists from a range of backgrounds, where you'll be encouraged to share your experiences with and to learn from others in order to develop a university culture where our differences are our strengths. Our research feeds directly into our teaching, meaning you'll learn about the very latest developments in your subject while gaining the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of your graduate job.

To help you benefit from our expertise, you'll be engaged in a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical labs, complemented by online learning resources and project-based learning. This mix of activities will develop you into a flexible and agile learner, suitable for keeping up with the fast pace of development in graduate careers. The approach is inclusive by design, and you'll be supported to develop the skills to best benefit from each type of activity.

Our personal tutorial system will provide you with academic and pastoral support. You'll be assigned to an academic personal tutor who will mentor you throughout your studies at Leeds. Everyone will have a different set of experience, interests and motivations for studying the subject, and your personal tutor will help you to understand what these are and how you can best leverage your experiences to make the most of your time at Leeds.

Specialist facilities

You’ll study in the Sir William Henry Bragg Building which offers a wealth of facilities to support your learning. It has two custom-built teaching laboratories containing high-specification Linux machines – sufficient to complete all work asked of you on our programmes. In addition, the Sir William Henry Bragg Building houses our state-of-the-art research laboratories which are used by our internationally leading researchers and postgraduate students – and are available to students as part of their final year individual project.

There's also a number of social and collaborative study spaces which are available for you to use whenever the building is open. Whether you require a quiet place to work, or you thrive being in a busy stimulating environment there is a space suitable for you.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

You'll be assessed using a variety of methods which are chosen to emulate real-life tasks or activities you are likely to encounter in a graduate career. This may include time-constrained assessments, laboratory practicals, reports, problem-solving worksheets, projects and presentations.

Where possible, assessment is designed to be contemporary with recent events and developments in computer science – making them interesting and relevant.

We use summative assessment, which contributes to your degree outcome, as well as formative assessment, which does not contribute to your degree outcome but provides an indication of performance. This combination allows you to become comfortable with the style of assessment and allows us to provide targeted additional support where it is required. Your work will be assessed by a member of academic staff who’ll provide feedback on what you did well, areas of improvement and stretch goals. This feedback may be in written or verbal form.

Our assessment approach is designed to be inclusive by default, however, we also make reasonable adjustments where required.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA including Mathematics or Computing. Grade B (6) or above in GCSE Mathematics is required if no Mathematics A-level is taken.

Where an A-level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.

Excludes A-level General Studies or Critical Thinking.

GCSE: English Language at grade C (4) or above, or an appropriate English language qualification. We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.

Extended Project Qualification and International Project Qualification: Whilst we recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, we do not currently include them as part of our offer-making. We do, however, encourage you to provide further information on your project in your personal statement.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, 30 credits with Distinction (including an appropriate number of Mathematics modules) and the remaining 15 credits with Merit or above.

BTEC

D*D*D with Distinctions in all Mathematics units. Mathematics units must include Further Mathematics. This unit may be optional on your BTEC but is it required by the Faculty.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, D3 including Mathematics.

International Baccalaureate

18 points at Higher level to include 5 in HL Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or 6 in HL Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation or 5 in HL Computing. If only Computing is offered from the IB, Grade B or above in GCSE Mathematics (or equivalent) is required.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H1 H2 H2 H2 H2 H2, including Mathematics.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AA at Advanced Higher level, including Mathematics or Computing, and AABBB at Higher level.

Other Qualifications

IT or Engineering Diploma: A (plus A or above in Mathematics or Computing in A-level).

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds A Level offer: ABB, including an A in Mathematics or Computing. Grade B (6) or above in GCSE Mathematics is required if no Mathematics A-level is taken.

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a Studies in Science with a Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each section. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.


Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

Fees

UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £29,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Applying

Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.

Admissions guidance

Read our admissions guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.

What happens after you’ve applied

You can keep up to date with the progress of your application through UCAS.

UCAS will notify you when we make a decision on your application. If you receive an offer, you can inform us of your decision to accept or decline your place through UCAS.

How long will it take to receive a decision

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses. For applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline, UCAS asks universities to make decisions by mid-May at the latest.

Offer holder events

If you receive an offer from us, you’ll be invited to an offer holder event. This event is more in-depth than an open day. It gives you the chance to learn more about your course and get your questions answered by academic staff and students. Plus, you can explore our campus, facilities and accommodation.

International applicants

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students.

We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Read about visas, immigration and other information here.

If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Computing

Contact us

School of Computing Undergraduate Admissions

Email: ugcomp@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

There’s a wealth of excellent job opportunities for graduate computer scientists – making it easy for you to choose your ideal career.

Our graduates are sought after for their technical knowledge, industrial and commercial awareness, independence and proactiveness. Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 5 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2024, High Fliers Research.

From start-ups to international organisations and non-governmental organisations, the computing industry is always looking for computer science graduates to realise the next opportunity.

Our graduates find employment across a range of sectors including:

  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Government agencies
  • Education
  • Media
  • Technology
  • Consultancies
  • Finance (& Finance Technologies)
  • Public Authority
  • Retail
  • Research & Development

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Through the School of Computing’s extensive set of industrial contacts, you'll have the opportunity to network with local, national and international companies. The School has close links with regional employers who focus their recruitment efforts on the School.

Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.

You'll be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.

You'll also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.

From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.

The University of Leeds and the South-West Jiaotong University have established a Joint School in Chengdu, China. There is an opportunity for you to complete a study abroad year at the Joint School in Chengdu without extending your duration of study.

This course offers you the chance to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year between years 2 and 3 which will extend your studies by 12 months.

Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you'll be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

A placement year is a great way to help you decide on a career path when you graduate. You’ll develop your skills and gain a real insight into working life in a particular company or sector. It will also help you to stand out in a competitive graduate jobs market and improve your chances of securing the career you want.

Benefits of a work placement year:

  • 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and internationally.
  • Build industry contacts within your chosen field.
  • Our close industry links mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers.
  • Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice in a work-based setting.
  • Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in this industry.
  • Enhance your employability.

If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you'll be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title on your final degree certificate to demonstrate your added workplace experience to future employers.

With the help of our dedicated Employability team and your academic personal tutor, you can find the right placement for you which will allow you to gain experience and will align with your future career aspirations.

Here are some examples of placements our students have recently completed:

  • Arm
  • HP inc UK
  • GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development
  • UK Research & Innovation
  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Amazon
  • PwC

Find out more about Industrial placements.

Alumni profile: Dr Rafael Papallas

Working on projects with multinational companies, I built important technical skills and created lasting connections that I maintain to this day.
Find out more about Dr Rafael Papallas's time at Leeds