Computing Science

BSc (Hons)


88% student satisfaction (the most recent National Student Survey)

Computers are everywhere. Not just the obvious home and office computers, but in every aspect of modern life: smart phones, smart microwaves, games consoles, automatic cash dispensers and air traffic control systems.

Our computing science course teaches you how to design, build and analyse such systems – in both theory and practice. Your training will encompass how computers work – programming them to make them do what we want and learning how they fit into their environment. Our graduates are highly sought-after within the industry.

We help our students to build a strong link with industry through 3-month summer placements and 1-year placements. Both of these are offered to third year students. Placement opportunities exists with local SME as well as large corporates. 

We're a small, friendly team with an 'open door' policy for students. Our computing labs have recently been upgraded and are fitted with state-of-the art PCs.

Key information

EU Applicants
The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2018 and 2019 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree.

  • UCAS: G400
  • Qualification: BSc (Hons)
  • Study methods: Campus based, Full-time, Part-time
  • Faculty: Faculty of Natural Sciences
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Dr Andrea Bracciali

University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA Scotland, UK

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BCS Educational Affiliate

The BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, is the foremost professional and learned society in the field of computers and information systems in the UK.

The Single Honours BSc course Computing Science gives full accreditation by the BCS for the educational requirement of Chartered Information Technology Professional (CITP) registration, which is the professional member level of the BCS, and partial accreditation for Chartered Engineer status. Further training and experience is required for full registration.

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
ABBB - one sitting.
AABB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
32 points

BTEC (Level 3):

Three-year Honours degree

SQA Adv. Higher:

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
35 points

Essential subjects:
To include Computing and relevant experience of Java or other programming languages.

Other qualifications

Year one minimum entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.
Advanced entry
Advanced entry may be possible with an HNC/D in Computing, dependent upon course content. Please consult our Advanced Entry pages for more information.

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Foundation Apprenticeships

considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Essential subjects:
As listed above or equivalent.

Additional information

Mathematics Standard Grade (3), National 5 (C), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent required.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those international students who do not meet the required academic and English-language criteria. This course offers a route to study at University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Science, Computing and Engineering to the required standard provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

More information on our English language requirements

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Alternative routes

Year 1

For entry to Year 1, Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Year 2

A Scottish HND in related subjects with BB in graded units in Year 2 can give direct entry to the second year of our degree courses.

Year 3

We have an Articulation Agreement with Forth Valley College in Computing Science (Software Development) with As in graded units to allow students direct entry to the Honours course in Year 3.

Fees and costs

Fees 2018/19

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 14,460
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £9250 – with a generous package of scholarship options

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for overseas undergraduates will be held at the level upon entry.

If you plan to commence your studies at the University of Stirling in January 2018, please note you will be subject to our 2017/18 fees. Please contact us for more information.

Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

There are three closely related computing degrees on offer at Stirling: BSc (Hons) Computing Science, BSc (Hons) Software Engineering and BSc (Hons) Business Computing. During the first three semesters students on all related courses are required to take the same core modules in Computing Science. Students take Computing Science plus two other subjects in Year 1.

The BSc (Hons) Applied Computing degree follows a different syllabus for semesters 1-4.

Semesters 1 - 3

You will take core modules encompassing study in the following areas:

  • Computational Thinking
  • Programming Using Java
  • Social and Professional Issues
  • Usability and Accessibility of Interfaces
  • Data Structures, Objects and Algorithms

In Semester 1, we understand that students have a variety of backgrounds, and we can adapt the course to suit your previous experience and qualifications. Students studying the Single Honours Computing Science degree are required to take a Mathematics module in Semester 1.

Semesters 4 - 8

The course in Semesters 4 – 8 comprises both core compulsory modules and optional advanced modules, giving you a chance to explore your particular interests.

After semester 6 we offer optional industrial placements. The 3-month summer placements take place June-August. The more substantial 1-year placement starts in September and runs to the end of August the following year effectively extending the length of the programme to 5 years. Both types of placements appear on the academic transcript, with the 1-year placement leading to a degree title of BSc Hons Computing Science with Industrial Placement.

Core modules include:

  • Software Engineering (involving group work)
  • Computer Systems
  • Managing Information
  • Databases: Principles and Applications
  • Multimedia and Human Computer Interaction
  • Communications and Networking

Optional modules include:

  • Computer Game Technologies
  • Computer Security and Forensics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Managing Information
  • Technologies for E-commerce
  • Telecommunications Systems and Services
  • Web Services
  • Information Systems
  • Computing and the Brain
  • Modelling for Complex Systems
  • Computing Science Industrial Summer Placement
  • Computing Science Industrial 1-year Placement

Honours students undertake an independent project in their final year. Typically this involves developing a major piece of software from initial requirements to final delivery.

Delivery and assessment

You will learn about Computing Science through lectures, small tutorial groups and most of all through laboratory work. Computing Science is taught as a very practical subject, and almost all modules include practical assignments. Typically these count for 50 percent of the assessment grade, with the remainder given to the examination.

For an Honours degree, the grades for all advanced modules taken in Semesters 5 – 8 are combined to give your final degree classification.


Year 1

  • Introduction to Computing Science
  • Programming and User Interface Design
  • Discrete Structures

Year 2

  • Data Structures, Objects, Algorithms
  • Systems I
  • Programming Language Paradigms
  • Managing Information

Year 3

  • Software Engineering I
  • Database Principles and Applications
  • Multimedia and Human Computer Interaction
  • Software Engineering II
  • Computer Game Technologies
  • Communications and Networking
  • Information Systems
  • Computing Science Industrial Summer Placement
  • Computing Science Industrial 1-year Placement

Year 4

  • Concurrent and Distributed Systems
  • Language Implementation
  • Computer Security and Forensics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Technologies for E-commerce
  • Telecommunications Systems and Services
  • Web Services
  • Computing and the Brain
  • Modelling for Complex Systems
  • Computing Science Project
  • Enterprise Portals

Combined degrees

Computing Science can be studied with:
CourseUCAS Code
French GR41
Mathematics G4G1
Philosophy GV45
Professional Education GX41
Professional Education/ Business Studies NX21
Professional Education/ Mathematics GX91
Spanish GR44

(For a Combined Honours degree the higher entrance requirements of the subjects usually apply.)

Learn more about studying these subjects

Related degrees

Business Computing; Applied Computing; Applied Mathematics; Software Engineering.

Modes of study

Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).

Find out more

Why Stirling?


In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 90 percent of the research in Computing Science & Mathematics was graded as ‘Internationally Excellent’, with the top five percent judged to be ‘World-leading’.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes applications from all countries.

Study abroad opportunities

You have the opportunity to study abroad through Stirling's well-established connections with several international universities.


Computing Science and Mathematics has strong links with Scottish industry through its Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) – with members from both Scottish and international industries such as IBM, HSBC and Adobe. Through the IAB we:

  • Maintain links with potential employers, giving students an insight into the types of job they may find and giving employers a chance to find the right employees now and influence what is taught in the future
  • Transfer knowledge and technology from the University to a wide user base
  • Make our research relevant to the user base
  • Collaborate with the user base on joint research and development projects

We offer 3-month Industrial Summer placements and 1-year Industrial Placements. Our placements allow students to practise their analytical and problem solving skills as well as their software design and implementation skills in an industrial setting. Besides differentiating themselves from their peers, students gain substantial experience in a commercial environment before they graduate making them highly employable.  

Academic Strengths

We are very active in research. We have funded research from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), from the European Community and from other sources.

We provide a stimulating and lively environment for all students.  Final-year Honours projects can be associated with active research projects.  Research areas of particular interest are Applied Formal Methods, Medical Informatics, Computational Intelligence, and Communications and Services.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

A Computing Science degree at Stirling will place you at the forefront of computing in a web-based world, giving you a broad range of skills, including the internet and web technologies, and experience in applications ranging from computer games, multimedia and internet telephony to e-commerce and biologically-inspired computing. Our industrial placements will ease your transition into the job market.

Graduates will be well-equipped to enter either the software industry itself or one of the many fields in which computer systems are extensively used and developed. Recent destinations for our graduates include KANA, Logica, Microsoft, British Telecom, Agilent (Hewlett Packard Ltd), Scottish Power, Adobe Systems Inc., and Silicon Graphics Inc.

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