School of Engineering, Computing 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.

This degree has a strong emphasis on practical skills which are extremely useful in the workplace. This provides an opportunity to accelerate your career. An optional, but strongly recommended, placement year is an opportunity to gain industrial experience and enhance your CV. Recent placement providers for our students include: the BBC, the Met Office, Microsoft, the National Physical Laboratory and Nestlé.

Opportunities available...

A course specific scholarship scheme is available: for more information see the 'Fees, costs and funding' section below.

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Excellence Schemes:  we may make you a personalised offer if you are a strong candidate - visit our webpage for details.

Pre-register for Clearing

If you are yet to make an enquiry to study with the University of Plymouth and are interested in securing a place for September 2020, you can pre-register for Clearing to receive priority treatment on results day.

Read our Clearing advice

Key features

  • We have strong connections with industry, including links with Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Cisco, Intel, Apple, Nvidia and many more. We are a member of Microsoft Imagine (formerly DreamSpark) which enable our students to acquire free software to support their studies.
  • Distinguish yourself with a degree that’s accredited by and entitles membership of the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT (Subject to approval). 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 expertise.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Benefit from our focused and relevant research, we work closely with our Big Data Group and our 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.

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.

    • BPIE111 - Stage 1 Computing Placement Preparation
    • COMP1000 - Software Engineering 1
    • COMP1001 - Computer Systems
    • COMP1002 - Cyber Security & Networks
    • COMP1003 - Algorithms, Data Structures and Mathematics
    • COMP1004 - Computing Practice

  • 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.

    • BPIE211 - Stage 2 Computing Placement Preparation
    • COMP2000 - Software Engineering 2
    • COMP2001 - Information Management & Retrieval
    • COMP2002 - Artificial Intelligence
    • COMP2003 - Computing Group Project
    • COMP2004 - Embedded Programming and the Internet of Things
  • 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.

    • BPIE330 - Computing Placement

  • 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.

    • COMP3001 - Parallel Computing
    • COMP3003 - Machine Learning
    • COMP3000 - Computing Individual Project
    • COMP3002 - Alternative Paradigms
    • COMP3004 - Advanced Computing & Networking Infrastructures

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 Hons 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.

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: 30 overall 

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: 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.

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

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2020 2021
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £13,800 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) £770 To be confirmed
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.

The Plymouth Computing Scholarship

Up to £1,000.

Students can obtain a computing scholarship of up to £500 by gaining two A grades at A level. This is awarded to home/EU applicants who put us as their firm choice before the 1 August 2020. The computing scholarship can also be obtained by students who have put us as their first choice and have acquired three D* at BTEC level (this needs to be an IT and Computing related BTEC). The scholarship is paid during the first semester of the 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 international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Connecting the theory to digital practice

Johnathan Mawdsley, BSc (Hons) Computer Science student

In this ever-expanding, constantly changing industry, there is always something new going on.

I run a student team that aims to connect students to mentors in the South-West digital tech industry. As a director of Industry Buddies, we have designed and developed a web-app that allows students and mentors to sign up and connect with each other.

Get to know Johnathan and how he is connecting people through ideas

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.

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

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 computing and engineering.

Learn if you are eligible for this scholarship at the University of Plymouth 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.

Meet some of your lecturers

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