Computer Science

BSc, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you want to become an expert programmer and learn more about the scientific foundations of computing.

Course Description

Do you enjoy programming, or are you convinced you would? Do you want to know how to talk to customers and clients, understand their needs, and be able to specify, design, build and test the software they need? How to work by yourself and also in teams? And do you want to know more about the scientific and theoretical foundations of the subject? If you want to do all these things, and also learn about the principles of coding, underpinning mathematics, mathematical models of computation, operating systems and networks, and professional skills, this is the course for you! 

Programming is fun! You no doubt have a huge range of devices such as a phone, laptop, tablet and so on; your car may have a navigation system, park itself, and have surround-space scanners; and you may be able to control your heating from a mobile device. All of these cool devices and systems work using program code. At the heart of coding such systems are state-of-the-art technologies including Android, C++, Haskell, Java, JavaScript, Python, PHP, Prolog and R, and program development environments such as Eclipse. On this degree course you will be taught to program in a selection of these languages, and have opportunities to learn and deploy others in project work. Programming will include mobile and web applications, and web and internet technologies. You will also encounter new styles of programming such as functional and logic-based languages.

The course covers methods for developing software, following rigorous engineering practices. You will learn how to plan and manage software architectures for practical large-scale development projects, while adopting an academic and rigorous approach which will support you throughout your career. Specifically you will learn how to understand customer requirements; specify, design and code a computer solution; and test and release your solution to your customer. You will learn about mathematical models of computation such as automata and register machines, and foundations of coding such as formal language theory.

Modules in computer architecture, operating systems and networking will cover essential aspects of modern computing systems, from personal computers and devices to world-distributed computation. And of course we will also cover databases and information systems. In the optional modules you can learn about a range of advanced topics including user interfaces, web technologies, mobile applications, internet security, distributed systems and applications, concurrency theory and programming paradigms.

Project work is seen as highly desirable by employers. In your second year group project you will learn the demands of working in a professional environment as you endeavour to deliver software that is often commissioned by a real client. In your final year, you will undertake an individual problem-based project, exercising your creativity and innovation to design and implement a software solution to the problem; you can also apply the scientific principles you learned. Previous projects have included 3-D games, mobile phone/tablet apps, security software, internet telephony, programming robots, sheet music editor, theorem provers and processor emulators. 

What's the difference?

Interested in a career in IT but not necessarily in the theoretical and scientific aspects? Try the BSc in Software Engineering. You will become familiar with common programming languages, and understand how computer systems help in analysing, managing, processing and communicating information, including large organisations.

Intrigued by computational phenomena, like why and how programming languages actually work? Want to know more about the processes and techniques through which new software systems can be built? The BSc in Computer Science is the course for you. Or, if you want to start your career at a higher level, or study for a PhD, try the MComp which is the BSc with an extra year on the end.

Or take the Major in Computer Science together with a Minor in Management Studies if you want to study computing with management, or together with any other compatible Minor. 


Key Facts
Typical offer
ABB
UCAS codes
G400, G401, G402
Start date
September 2018
Department
Informatics
Contact

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281
seadmissions@le.ac.uk

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 3887/2129
csadmin@mcs.le.ac.uk

Department of Informatics website



View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

Your excellent work could win you one of our academic prizes, which are sponsored by different companies and the BCS.

In the second-year group project you will get the experience of working in a software development team and delivering a solution to a real client.

The Students' Union Computing Society organises a range of events including educational talks and social outings.

You will have 24-hour access to general-purpose laboratories, containing fully-networked Windows/Liunx dual-boot PCs, and wireless access for laptops.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

The first year provides a solid grounding in the theories and technologies that underpin software engineering. We will cover Python and Java programming and program development environments (such as Eclipse) along with basic discrete mathematics for applications. You will also learn about the architecture of modern computers and foundations of computer science such as formal languages. 

Modules

After the first semester you may be able to transfer to the BSc in Software Engineering.

This is the same as the first year of the MComp.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

During your second year you will become an expert in all aspects of the software engineering process and apply your skills in a software engineering group project. In addition, you will learn about operating systems, networks, user interfaces, human-computer interactions, and functional programming or data analytics. In the second year project, you will be part of a team of students working together to develop software that has been commissioned by a real client. You will learn to work with, and manage, a team. Each team works within a teaching framework, broad enough to allow you to work flexibly and innovatively, but moderated to ensure that teams are performing and progressing. You will learn to prepare written reports, and give a group presentation (these are skills that employers rate very highly).

Core modules

Option modules

Plus your Software Engineering Project

This is the same as Year 2 of the MComp.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year in Industry or Abroad (optional)

Year in Industry or Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions or working in an industrial placement (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

NB. A year spent abroad or on an industrial placement still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

Year Abroad

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

The Department of Informatics at Leicester has links with several European universities, administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. During your second year at Leicester you will receive appropriate language training.

  • For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite 

We have links with the following universities:

The Department of Informatics also has links with some universities outside Europe. If you are receiving financial assistance from Student Finance your support will continue and you may also be eligible to apply for additional travel grants or scholarships. We have links with the following universities:

Year in Industry

An industrial placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of a working environment - and will normally be a paid position, more than offsetting the additional cost of the extra year. Industrial placements are limited and are awarded through a competitive selection process, based on your performance in your first year.

During your placement you will be visited by your personal tutor and will also come back to the University to give a brief presentation of your work experience. You will be provided with a log book to document your placement and will write a final report detailing your work, which will be assessed as part of your degree.

We provide excellent careers support, and our Industrial Advisory Board assists us in keeping our degrees fit for satisfying industrial needs. A year in industry is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the type of profession that you can choose after you graduate, and can also point you towards postgraduate studies that may help you strengthen the profile that you have identified for your career.

Your placement effectively begins in year two when you will be briefed in writing a CV, interview techniques and the procedures that you need to follow to obtain an industrial placement. In addition, a list of potential industrial partners who have taken students in past years will be provided to you.



Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

Your final year is an opportunity to specialise in the areas of computing that interest you. The third year project is a chance to follow your own interests in depth, with one-to-one supervision.

Core module

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

Then choose two option modules from:

Plus your Computer Science Project

This is the same as the Year 4 of the MComp.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Additional Information

Accreditation

All of our computing degrees are accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS).

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching in the Department of Informatics includes lectures and lab classes together with small group tutorials. Lectures include innovative software demonstrations as well as more traditional presentations.

State-of-the-art web-based materials, automated feedback and marking systems, on-line tests and electronic coursework submission all provide an excellent modern learning environment. Apart from project work, which is assessed by coursework only, most modules are assessed partly by coursework and partly by exam.

You will be assigned your own personal tutor who can provide advice about not just academic matters but also welfare concerns and careers development. You can see your personal tutor at any time by appointment or during office hours.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.

Overall workload

Typical workload hours for Informatics courses in 2016/17: 

Year 1: 29% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 348 hours
  • Independent learning: 852 hours

Year 2: 25% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 300 hours
  • Independent learning: 900 hours

Optional year abroad: If you're spending a year abroad, your contact will vary depending on the institution you're studying at. 

Final year: 17% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 204 hours
  • Independent learning: 996 hours

While your actual contact hours may depend on the option modules you select, the above information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities for each year of your course.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • numerical data skills
  • referencing sources

Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Entry Requirements

  • A/AS-levels: ABB. Two AS-levels considered in place of one A-level. General Studies accepted.
  • EPQ with A-levels: BBB + EPQ at grade B.
  • GCSE: Maths Grade B
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass relevant diploma with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Distinction.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 30.
  • BTEC Nationals: Full Diploma with D*D*D*

Other national and international qualifications considered.

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester. 

Second year entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous exam results.

Applicants are not normally interviewed, but an additional assessment test may be required. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the Department of Informatics. 

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in 2017

    • £9,250 in your first year. After 2017/18, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation (RPIX) and is subject to government regulations. (RPIX is a measure of inflation in the UK, equivalent to all items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.)
    • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year.
    • Year in Industry: your fee will be 15% of the full-time tuition fee that applies in that year. 

    Starting in 2018

    • TBC

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.

     

  • Starting in 2017

    • £18,855 per year
    • Year Abroad: your fee will be £4,713.75 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee.
    • Year in Industry: your fee will be £2,828.25 which is 15% of the full-time tuition fee. 

    Starting in 2018

    • TBC

    Scholarship 

    Department of Informatics Scholarships are available to international students. The scholarship is a reduction in your tuition fee and is based solely on your academic achievements and any exam results you get before starting your degree. All international applicants will be automatically considered for these scholarships; there is no application form to fill in. However, you must have applied by 31 August in the year you plan to start at Leicester.

Career Opportunities

Many of our modules feature external speakers who are able to give first-hand accounts of how the latest computing innovations are used in industry.

You will work on a project commissioned by a real client and gain an insight into the practices of design, implementation and professional project management. You will be taught how to specify, design and develop software systems, gaining the technical skills and insights that employers value very highly.

Graduates from the Department of Informatics have gone on to many different careers, whether working for large companies, such as Accenture, BAE systems, Bloomberg and LogicaCMG, or for small, innovative start-ups. You may go on to apply your knowledge directly as a software engineer or systems analyst – or you may apply your IT skills and problem-solving abilities in a related field such as finance, marketing or general business.

Careers

Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Computer Science BSc 3 years full-time G400 Apply Now
Computer Science with Year Abroad BSc 4 years full-time G401 Apply Now
Computer Science with Year in Industry BSc 4 years full-time G402 Apply Now
Course
Computer Science
Qualification
BSc
Duration
3 years full-time
UCAS Code
G400
Availability
Course
Computer Science with Year Abroad
Qualification
BSc
Duration
4 years full-time
UCAS Code
G401
Availability
Course
Computer Science with Year in Industry
Qualification
BSc
Duration
4 years full-time
UCAS Code
G402
Availability

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