School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Computer Science

Do you want to understand how a computer really works? You'll gain technical skills in computational theory, software development on a variety of devices and platforms, database development, computer hardware and networking. In addition to the technical content, you'll acquire an awareness of social, legal and ethical aspects of the IT industry, ensuring that you are primed for the workplace.

In the 2016 National Student Survey, 76 per cent of students felt staff on this course were good at explaining things and 76 per cent felt that the staff made the subject interesting.

Other courses like Computer Science...

It's not too late to apply for 2018

Don’t worry if you’ve missed the UCAS January deadline. 

If you want to study with us in September 2018, contact us for advice about available spaces on this course.

Get in touch with our friendly admissions team on +44 (0)1752 585858 or email us at

The final deadline for UCAS applications is 30 June 2018.

Key features

  • We have strong connections with industry, including links with with Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Cisco, Intel, Apple, Nvidia and many more. We are a member of Microsoft Imagine (formerly DreamSpark) and the Oracle Academy, both of which enable our students to acquire free software to support their studies.
  • Distinguish yourself with a degree that has won the 2013 Guardian University Award for Teaching Excellence and that’s accredited by and entitles membership of the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT (MBCS). You may also gain registration as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP) and will partially meet the educational requirements for Chartered Engineering (CEng) registration.
  • Be inspired by the creativity that our practical, hands-on course nurtures. Our ‘learning through doing’ ethos means you’ll quickly achieve – several of our second year students are already publishing mobile apps for both the Apple and Android markets, including a paid app featured in the Guardian newspaper.
  • Learn from dedicated teaching staff, who are engaged in internationally significant research, are actively creating and developing applications, and have a wealth of industry contacts.
  • Lay strong foundations for a successful career, using our extensive industry links to secure a one-year work placement – giving you the vital industry experience and connections you’ll need when you graduate.
  • Receive a tablet PC and over £300 worth of free electronic textbooks, so you can join our interactive sessions and access a host of additional resource material.
  • Discover the many collaboration opportunities, which mirror the teamwork at the heart of the industry. In the second year, you’ll work in a team of developers on our integrating project, to create a complete system from concept to delivery – honing your professional and communication skills.
  • Immerse yourself in our modern and well equipped labs, which run industry standard developer tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio, NetBeans, Android Studio, Apple X-Code (Apple labs only) and much more. The labs are regularly updated and refurbished and they all have free, unlimited and very fast Internet access. As a member of the Oracle Academy, you’ll also enjoy access to the most current Oracle software. 
  • Benefit from our focused and relevant research, we work closely with the Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, which conducts leading research reputation in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, big data and robotics.  You will be offered practical and theoretical modules ranging from Machine Learning, computational theory and AI through to computer vision and parallel computing. You will have access to current AI and robotics platforms for final year projects on topics such as deep learning, cognitive robotics and big data.
  • Ensure you have the business, communication and personal skills employers are looking for, with our teaching programme that reflects the strong entrepreneurial spirit driving the computer industry.
  • Choose the subjects that interest you the most and are best suited to your career goals – whether it’s artificial intelligence or quantum computing. Our extensive range of modules currently includes computer security, software engineering for games development, graphics and mobile and humanoid robots.

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
    • BPIE111 Stage 1 Computing Placement Preparation

      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.

    • ISAD156 Databases: Analysis, Design and Development

      An introduction to the analysis and design concepts that are essential for developing and implementing database systems. The module will explore design concepts and procedures, such as principles of business rules, specifying requirements, data modelling, relational data modelling and SQL

    • NET111 Computer Systems

      This module is intended to provide a basic understanding of the operation of the hardware components of computer systems, including some low-level programming. The role of a typical multi-tasking operating system is also covered, memory management, process management and the filing system as is the need for security. Virtualisation is also covered. Finally, the module covers how to manage asynchronous programs safely.

    • SEC104 Cybersecurity and Networks

      Modern computing relies on networking and robust cybersecurity. This module is an introduction to Computer Networking and IT Security principles. Key networking concepts include routing and switching at all network levels and geographical scope, as well as wireless networks. Key areas of security include the underlying concepts and threats, as well as specific issues in security design of host systems and networks

    • SOFT152 Software Engineering

      Provides an intensive introduction to Software Engineering for those studying Computer Science or related courses where programming is a core and necessary component. The module includes coverage of problem solving involving abstraction and problem decomposition. At the outset implementation uses an imperative / structured programming approach, before moving onto Object Oriented and Event-driven methodologies.

    • SOFT153 Algorithms, Data Structures and Mathematics

      Data structures and algorithms lie at the heart of Computer Science as they are the basis for the 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.

    • SOFT165 Programme Introduction and Web Development

      This module provides an introduction for students to the concepts, modes of study and technical content relevant to their programme of study. It also provides a grounding in the basics of web development.

  • 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. We’ll continue to focus on your employability, introducing you to the wider issues faced by IT professionals and the legislation and ethics that guide the industry. 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
    • AINT252 Computation Theory and Artificial Intelligence

      This module provides students with an overview of a range of different paradigms for computing and computing theory and an introduction to theoretical principles and methods in artificial intelligence.

    • BPIE211 Stage 2 Computing Placement Preparation

      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.

    • ISAD251 Database Applications Development

      To introduce students to the concepts and issues concerning server-side applications interfacing multi-user, networked, relational databases and to providing a solid foundation in SQL.

    • ISAD260 User-Centred Interface Design

      This module aims to introduce students to the HCI principles, user-centred methodologies and ethical issues required for the design and evaluation of user-centred interfaces.

    • PRCS252 Computer Science Integrating Project

      This project provides an opportunity for students to draw together many of the threads of the Computer Science programme in preparation for their industrial placement and final year. Students work in teams to manage and complete a substantial project for a given scenario.

    • SOFT252 Object-oriented Software Engineering with Design Patterns

      This module aims to develop object-oriented software engineering principles and practices in including encapsulation, abstraction, aggregation and inheritance. It will introduce issues such as progression from analysis to design, implementation, testing and documentation and it includes the use of design patterns (proven solutions to common problems) and software quality principles for enhanced software development.

    • SOFT261 Embedded Programming and the Internet of Things

      This module aims to lift the lid of a computer and show how modern computers really work. A simple embedded microcontroller is used because such devices are simpler and feature prominently in the growing IoT sector. This includes issues relating to low level programming, multi-tasking and defensive programming techniques to mitigate against security vulnerabilities and exploits.

  • 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
    • BPIE330 Computing Related Placement (Generic)

      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. You’ll spend the rest of your time studying your optional modules, including machine learning and artificial intelligence, programming for games development, high performance computing, and how to process big data.
    Core modules
    • PRCO304 Computing Project

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

    Optional modules
    • AINT308 Machine Vision and Behavioural Computing

      Providing an advanced knowledge of artificial vision systems for interactive systems guidance and control, this module is underpinned by current theoretical understanding of animal vision systems.

    • AINT351 Machine Learning

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

    • AINT353 Brain-inspired Cognitive Systems

      The module develops an understanding at a systems level of how the brain performs the functions of vision, hearing and movement control, and how novel artificial cognitive systems might use brain-inspired sensory and motor mechanisms to achieve human-like levels of performance.

    • AINT355 Industry Engagement

      The module provides a contextual framework for developers seeking to release games, APPs, software products or compete in national events. Topics include creating and protecting intellectual property, product placement, revenue models and licensing, investment, social enterprise, and due diligence. The module includes industry case studies, a guest speaker program and opportunities for individual mentoring.

    • ISAD358 Advanced Databases and Data Management

      This module considers the challenges of and solutions for managing, processing, analysing, securing and interpreting large amounts of unstructured data within relational database environments.

    • ISAD362 Software Project Management

      To enable students to acquire a critical understanding of the management and methodological issues associated with software development.

    • LAW3239 Cybercrime: Issues and Regulation

    • NET302 Distributed Systems

      Distributed systems represent the type of networked computer applications that modern users rely on daily. They are characterised by running on multiple heterogeneous devices subject to failure, yet performing speedily and robustly and scaling to substantial size.

    • PRCO308 Work-based Learning

      With a view to improving student employability, this module provides the opportunity for students to apply their knowledge to a real world IT problem within an existing IT company or client organisation.

    • SOFT352 Client-side Web Scripting

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

    • SOFT354 Parallel Computation and Distributed Systems

      The module aims to develop skills in understanding and programming parallel and distributed computer system. It will provide an introduction to different parallel architectures, programming techniques and methodologies. Practical training will focus on HPC cluster and GPGPU architectures and programming techniques.

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:

BScComputerScience ProgrammeSpecification September2017 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.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff


A levels: A typical offer is 120 points from minimum of 2 A levels. Excluding general studies. GCSE English C/4 and mathematics grade B/6-5 If you have a grade C/4 in mathematics please contact admissions.

International Baccalaureate: 30 overall – English and mathematics must be included.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM.

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

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

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

 we will accept students onto year 2 or year 4.  Please contact us for further information.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £12,250 £13,000
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of 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.

Romanian Scholarship Scheme

Romanian nationals applying for an eligible undergraduate computing course starting in Sept 2018 will be awarded one of the following scholarships if they meet the conditions below:

  • Applicants scoring 9.5 in their Romanian Baccalaureate - one scholarship offering  20 per cent off the standard fee for three years, subject to maintain a minimum 60 per cent average during each stage of the course
  • Applicants scoring 9.0 in their Romanian Baccalaureate - five scholarships offering 10 per cent off  the standard fee for three years, subject to maintain a minimum 60 per cent average during each stage of the course

These awards are only open to Romanian nationals who have applied and received an offer from Plymouth by 15 May 2018

Applicants must also satisfy the English Language requirements which are either “3 elements at B2 standard and the other two at B1 from their English score in the Romanian Baccalaureate ” or an IELTS score of 6.0.

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

Careers in computer science

Do you want to design your own mobile apps? Or are you determined to work as a web developer?

Whatever your career goals, we’ll work with you to give you the support you need, preparing you to make a real impact in the computing and IT industry

Find out more about how we prepare you for your career

Facilities and resources

Our high-specification laboratories means you’ll enjoy access to a wide range of facilities across diverse specialisations – from networking to games development.

You’ll also benefit from your own tablet PC and eBook library – so your resources match your needs and ambitions.

Find out more about our facilities and resources

Free tablet PC and eBooks

You'll receive a tablet PC to give you access to additional resources to support your modules, such as podcasts, videos, eBooks and our iTunes U content.

Your eBook package worth over £300 covers core first year modules and can be downloaded to computer, laptop, iPad, iPhone and Android phone or tablet.

Computer Science students Dan Scott and Craig Banyard reflect on their stage 2 project

Pizza Heaven – making a pizza delivery system

Dan and Craig were tasked to create a fully integrated system for a made up pizza company, complete with mobile app for a delivery driver, desktop application for an administrator to add pizzas, drinks and sides to the website, a desktop application for a chef (to see when orders come through and monitor the status of the orders), and a website for customers to place their orders. 

A part of the brief was to also use an API (Application Programmable Interface) accessible via the web and to have all of the applications discussed in the video talk to the API to update the database, rather than the database directly. Primarily based in Java, Dan and Craig made their website in Java Server Pages, Desktop apps were both in Java, mobile app was done with Android and the API had to be created in ASP.NET as specified by the brief.

Dominic Youel – BSc (Hons) Computer Science

I believe that the University has given me a solid toolset – we study many commonly used programming languages, but this is only a part of it. Professionalism is a focus, as are the processes used to dissect a problem before writing any code.

Learn more about Dominic Youel

Hannah Kaye - BSc (Hons) Computer Science

I wasn't sure what exactly I wanted to do as a career before starting my degree. I enjoyed my artificial intelligence modules, so decided to specialise in this area.

I have been able to experience a wide range of modules. Also, the lecturers are always willing to help or answer questions

Find out more

Work placements

A ‘placement year’ is an excellent way to gain a competitive edge. It will set you up for when the graduation schemes launch and help you make better career decisions.

Kate Uzar gained important skills and career-defining experiences working for Nestle as a computer programmer.

Read more about Kate's journey, and how you can launch your own career

Studying computing at Plymouth

Hear the views of a student and see some of our facilities.

This short film can help you discover what it is like to study computing at Plymouth.

The Tamar Engineering Project

Funding and mentoring for high achievers who might not otherwise consider higher education as a route to a career in engineering.

Learn if you are eligible for this scholarship to study engineering at Plymouth University through the Tamar Engineering Project.

Successful applicants will receive:

  • £3,000 towards living costs per year of study
  • £1,500 course fee waiver per year of study
  • one-to-one mentoring from an industry expert.
Read more about the Tamar Engineering Project.

Potential High Achievers Scheme

In the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics we recognise that our students are the future of the growing computing and electronics industry. We know that our applicants will thrive in the hands-on environment we can provide, and we want to ensure our best applicants become our future.

The scheme is now open for students who have applied to study, from September 2018, a range of full-time undergraduate courses within the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics. We will be contacting applicants who are not only on course to achieve top marks but who have an outstanding personal statement, in order to offer them a chance to receive an unconditional offer immediately.

Find out more about the scheme.

Meet some of your lecturers