University of Stirling Computer Science

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University of Stirling Computer Science

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.

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

General entrance requirements apply
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:
Course UCAS 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.)