School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Computer Science

UCAS tariff 112 - 120
UCAS course code G407
Institution code P60
Duration 3 years (+ optional placement)
Course type Full-time
Location Plymouth

Technology has revolutionised the way we live, build, work, shop, learn and even access medical  care. On this forward-looking degree, you’ll get hands-on skills across a range of topics including coding, algorithms, database and software development, cyber security, networks and social, legal and ethical aspects of IT.

You will study advances in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, virtual reality and smart devices for our homes. You can enhance your CV with a work placement with well-known brands and industry leaders such as the  BBC, the Met Office, Microsoft, the National Physical Laboratory or Nestlé to open up a wide range of career possibilities.

Computer Science
Call our Clearing hotline: 0333 241 6929

Contact us today to discuss your options and secure your place on one of our courses with vacancies this September.

Find out more about Clearing

Careers with this subject

It used to be considered its own industry. As we enter a fourth industrial revolution, computing is going to be impacting every part of society and feeding into every industry.

Nathan Clarke, Professor of Cyber Security & Digital Forensics


Keeping pace with emerging and evolving technologies is one of our biggest challenges. Artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, blockchain, robots and drones, the list goes on. New and optimised technologies and systems will continue to shape a modern and progressive society.

Our aim is to set you up with the skills and mindset to thrive in your career, even if your job doesn't exist yet.


What can you do with a computing degree?

Key features

  • Project work starts from week one
    Through large individual and group projects, you will graduate with a large portfolio of evidence for potential employers. Our practical focus means that you will create tangible assets, which showcase your technical skill and innovative mind-set.

  • Get a head-start in the industry
    The agile methodology – which is a common approach to development – is inherent during your project work. You will mirror the industry when collaborating with other students to create a complete system from concept to delivery.

  • Benefit from our strong industry connections
    Our students have a track record for securing high-quality placements and jobs at large companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Cisco, Intel, Apple, Nvidia and many more. From year one, we support you to find and prepare for a placement year at a leading company.
  • Make use of cutting-edge facilities
    When our new engineering and design facility is launched, students in engineering, science and the arts will have access to a range of specialist equipment and innovative laboratories.

  • Learn to solve real problems
    Even without completing an optional placement year, there may be opportunities to make a difference to real businesses by creating useful applications or by providing consultancy for clients.

  • Gain professional accreditation
    Distinguish yourself with a degree that is accredited by, and entitles membership to, the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

    You may also gain registration as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP) and will partially meet the educational requirements for Chartered Engineering (CEng) registration.


Course details
  • Year 1

  • In your first year, you’ll engage with the foundations of computer science from programming to algorithms and mathematics. We’ve structured the curriculum to accurately reflect the industry and its many areas of specialisation. You’ll study programming techniques, database development, how to capture requirements and what happens inside a computing operating system. A hands-on course from the outset, you’ll benefit from a number of practical workshops as well as preparing for your third year work placement.

    Core modules

    • Stage 1 Computing Placement Preparation (BPIE111)

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • Software Engineering 1 (COMP1000)

      This module exposes students to the principles of software design and construction. The basics of constructing source code to solve a problem will be introduced, exposing students to common control structures alongside concepts such as types and generics. Major programming paradigms such as object orientation and functional programming are introduced. Additionally, key software development tools and methods are explored.

    • Computer Systems (COMP1001)

      This module provides students with an underpinning knowledge of how computers work. Topics include low-level systems and representation of data, operating systems, and an introduction to subjects such as virtualisation, parallelism, state and communications. Students will learn how operating systems manage processes and scheduling, and how memory management works.

    • Cyber Security & Networks (COMP1002)

      Modern computing relies upon networking and robust cyber security. This module provides an appreciation of their core enabling technologies, discussing how they can be applied. Key networking topics include routing and switching, as well as wireless networks. Key areas of security include underlying concepts and threats, and exploring security technologies that can be applied to enable defence in depth.

    • Algorithms, Data Structures and Mathematics (COMP1003)

      Data structures and algorithms lie at the heart of Computer Science as they are the basis for an efficient solution of programming tasks. In this module, students will study core algorithms and data structures, as well as being given an introduction to algorithm analysis and basic Mathematics for Computer Science.

    • Computing Practice (COMP1004)

      This module applies problem-based learning to provide students with the ability to identify problems and derive appropriate and considered solutions. A focus will be given to the early stages of the software development lifecycle to develop the skills of eliciting requirements whilst considering operational and technical trade-offs. The module will culminate in the creation of a simple yet complete software solution.

  • Year 2

  • In the second year, you’ll build on the knowledge you’ve already acquired, engaging with new subjects that will help you identify possible career paths. Students will explore artificial intelligence and machine learning. You will learn how to navigate different processor architectures with low level programming for IoT devices. An integrating project combines all the skills you have learnt so far, and allows you to undergo a full software lifecycle, starting with a concept and ending with a product.

    Core modules

    • Stage 2 Computing Placement Preparation (BPIE211)

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed build on the Level 1 module (BPIE111) and to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • Software Engineering 2 (COMP2000)

      Students’ understanding of software engineering is expanded by introducing a range of topics that instil best practice. Students will learn how to implement faster software using parallelism and consider aspects of human-computer interaction. Object-orientation and functional programming are revisited, while event-driven programming is introduced. Common design patterns used in the construction of software are introduced.

    • Information Management & Retrieval (COMP2001)

      This module introduces students to the fundamental concepts for graphical representation, information management, database systems and data modelling. The capture, digitisation, representation, organisation, transformation and presentation of information is explored using conceptual and physical data models.

    • Artificial Intelligence (COMP2002)

      This module provides students with an introduction to the principles of artificial intelligence and the methods used in that field. Topics covered include search and optimisation, knowledge representation and reasoning, and machine learning. Students will gain experience of modelling and simulation, and will apply analytical tools to evaluating results, and will consider the ethical implications of the introduction of AI.

    • Computing Group Project (COMP2003)

      Knowledge gained in earlier stages of the computing programmes is consolidated and integrated into a substantial project. Students work in teams, champion professional roles, design and develop a software solution for a given scenario. The project integrates and expands upon software development stages covered on the course (project management, analysis, design, construction, communication, security and/or networking).

    • Embedded Programming and the Internet of Things (COMP2008)

      Learn about embedded microcontrollers, work with different processor architectures and develop embedded software. The use of hardware peripherals, interrupts, multi-tasking and defensive programming will be explored and students will use programming strategies to optimize the execution time, energy consumption and memory size of their programs. The use of embedded programming within IoT applications is considered.

  • Optional placement year

  • This year you’ll do your industry placement – which you’ve been preparing for over the past two years – aided by our network of industry contacts. This extensive training period allows you to learn within a professional context, giving you the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills in the real world, as well as learning from those around you. Over 48 weeks you’ll gain experience and confidence, as well as a host of contacts – all essential in readying you for employment on graduation.

    Core modules

    • Computing Related Placement (Generic) (BPIE330)

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich course, undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for you to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two years of study and to prepare for the final year and employment after graduation. Please note this placement is optional but strongly recommended.

  • Final year

  • You’ll now be ready to demonstrate all that you’ve learned over the past three years by undertaking a substantial problem-solving individual project focused on a specific area of personal interest, or one that relates to your intended career. Students will explore computational problem solving with GP-GPUs and expand upon machine learning knowledge to analyse real datasets and control real-time systems. Cloud computing is examined to understand the deployment and performance of Internet services.

    Core modules

    • Computing Project (COMP3000)

      The Computing Project provides an opportunity to tackle a major computing related problem in an approved topic area relevant to the programme of study.

    Optional modules

    • Parallel Computing (COMP3001)

      This module develops an understanding of problems in Computer Science which take advantage of general-purpose computing on GPUs. It provides practical methodologies to reformulate problems in terms of hardware architecture, graphics primitives and high-performance computing concepts, as supported by the most recent GPUs. It develops the skills to implement parallel solutions with common GP-GPU computing languages.

    • Alternative Paradigms (COMP3002)

      Imperative programming and related “classic” machines like finite state or Turing machines dominate the field of computing. This module aims to expose students to ways of thinking about computational problems that go beyond mainstream imperative styles (e.g., functional and declarative programming) and to ideas and workings of and behind unconventional and upcoming computing paradigms (e.g. quantum or neural computing).

    • Machine Learning (COMP3003)

      This module introduces machine learning, covering unsupervised, supervised and reinforcement learning from a Bayesian perspective. This includes theory behind a range of learning techniques and how to apply these representations of data in systems that make decisions and predictions.

    • Advanced Computing and Networking Infrastructures (COMP3004)

      This module introduces the infrastructures of the future Internet and cloud, both moving towards virtualisation and softwarisation, and describes how they underpin the development and deployment of multimedia Internet applications and services. Topics include virtualisation and cloud; services and applications; Software Defined Networking, and Network Function Virtualisation; load balancing, performance and resilience.

    • Full-Stack Development (COMP3006)

      This module explores the production of dynamic web applications with a particular focus on the web environment. Key elements such as object oriented and event-based development, asynchronous client-server communication and distributed content representation are explored through practical production. The production of a working system uses dynamic web frameworks such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript/jQuery.

    • HCI, Usability and Visualization (COMP3007)

      This module has three main objectives. The first objective is to enhance the students understanding of the topic of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). The second is to emphasise the crucial role of user feedback in the software development life cycle. The final objective is to exemplify this grounding in HCI and usability evaluation using the application area of Information Visualization.

    • Big Data Analytics (COMP3008)

      The key objective of this module is to familiarise the students with the most important information technologies used in manipulating, storing and analysing big data. Students will work with semi-structured datasets and choose appropriate storage structures for them. A representative of recent non-relational trends is presented—namely, graph-oriented databases.

    • Security Operations & Incident Management (COMP3010)

      This module will examine the incident management and the role it plays within modern information security systems. It will introduce key concepts in the analysis of network traffic for signs of intrusions, as well as the process of responding to computer incidents including the identification and analysis of malicious code.

    • Ethical Hacking (COMP3011)

      Understanding the security and vulnerabilities of IT systems is critical in their protection. This module seeks to develop the knowledge and skills to undertake penetration testing of systems. A range of passive and active offensive techniques will be taught, alongside an in-depth understanding of the legal and ethical issues surrounding such activity.

    • Digital Forensics & Malware Analysis (COMP3012)

      This module examines the procedures, tools and techniques utilised within the field of digital forensics. It will introduce an understanding of the methodology deployed in the handling of digital evidence, the volatility of data and maintaining the integrity of data. Knowledge and skills will be developed of tools and techniques to examine and analyse forensic data across differing computing platforms.

    • Games Graphics Pipelines (COMP3015)

      This module develops core programming skills for game developers, targeting specific elements of graphics pipelines; rendering, shading and optimisation for varied platforms such as AR (mobile) VR and XR platforms. The module focuses on specific skills required to develop tools/solution for emerging game technologies.

    • Immersive Game Technologies (COMP3016)

      This module introduces the concepts and programming techniques for high performance real-time graphics using a relevant graphical API. A bottom-up view of graphical programming is taken, excluding the use of game engines and high-level prototyping tools. Students also learn transferrable skills: programming in an un-managed environment, tools programming, programming for physical interfaces and/or sensors.

    • Computing Project Management (COMP3017)

      This module provides the opportunity for students to acquire a critical understanding of the management and methodological issues associated with Software Development. 

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Computer Science programme specification 3429

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

112 - 120

Applicants exceeding our entry requirements may be eligible for an offer under our Computing Excellence Scheme.

GCSE: English C/4 and mathematics grade B/5. If you have a grade C/4 in mathematics please contact admissions team.

A levels
: A typical offer is 112-120 points from minimum of 2 A levels in any subject. Excluding general studies. 

International Baccalaureate: 27-30 overall 

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DMM-DDM – science related subjects: IT, Humanities, Engineering, Software Development, IT Practitioners, Business, Computing, Science (GCSE English C/4 and mathematics grade B/5. If you have a grade C/4 in mathematics please contact admissions team).

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information, we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All Access courses: 33 credits at merit and/or distinction and to include at least 12 level 3 credits in mathematics with merit. Including a minimum of GCSE English and Mathematics grade C/4. If mathematics not included please contact the admissions team at admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

T level: Merit to Distinction depending on the Mathematics units studying within the T level pathways.

Other qualifications will be considered individually; please contact us for information.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Note: we will accept students onto year 2 or year 4.  Please contact us for further information.
Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,600 £16,300
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

The Plymouth Computing Scholarship

Students can obtain a Computing Scholarship of up to £1,000 by gaining two A grades at A level - that is £500 for each of the two A grades at A level. This is awarded to home applicants who put us as their firm choice before 1 August 2022. The full Computing Scholarship can also be obtained by students who have put us as their first choice by that date and have acquired three D* grades at BTEC level (this needs to be an IT and Computing-related BTEC). The scholarship is paid during your first year.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Additional fieldwork and equipment costs.

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.


Find out more at plymouth.ac.uk/upic or contact our team at info@upic.plymouth.ac.uk

  • @ We ranked 26/106 for student satisfaction in the 2022 National Student Survey
  • @ Our computing courses have all been re-accredited by the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT
  • @ In the latest REF (Research Excellence Framework) almost 90% of our research was rated internationally recognised or world leading

Preparing coders, creators and developers for work

<p>Student Lucinda builds apps for tablets. Lucy currently does a lot of volunteering and tech jams and code clubs to support younger people.<br></p>

"We regularly have students securing placements and jobs at FTSE 100 companies. There is a perception that only students from red brick universities go to these places. It simply is not the case – our students are massively competitive and win these placements as well." 

Professor Nathan Clarke
Deputy Head of School (School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics)

The placement year taught me how to interact with different people throughout the company at differing levels and how to approach conversations to get the maximum amount of information out of them.

Richard Imms, BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate, Senior Machine Learning Engineer at Just Eat

Placement years: use your knowledge in the workplace

New engineering and design facility

"The building will provide a state-of-the-art setting to inspire the engineers and designers of tomorrow, making it the ultimate place to bring together students, academics and industry in an environment that not only benefits them but also society as a whole." – Professor Deborah Greaves OBE
Situated on the western edge of our city centre campus, the landmark new facility will provide a home for the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics and additional space for the School of Art, Design and Architecture .

<p>New Engineering and Design Facility</p>

Learn from researchers and lecturers who are developing applications

Benefit from our industry expertise and study a course that is influenced by our innovative research. Study theoretical and practical modules, which cover a range of topics:

  • machine learning
  • computational theory
  • artificial intelligence
  • computer vision
  • parallel computing.

Shutterstock image, close up of hand using a touch screen to access data

Research-informed teaching

Meet our expert teaching staff

*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni is updated annually in September.