The University offers different entry requirements, depending on your background. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject-specific entry requirements as outlined on their pages.
- Standard entry grades:
- AAAAB, including A in Mathematics and a pass in one of the following: Biology (or Human Biology), Chemistry, Computing Science, Geography, Physics, Psychology.
- Minimum entry grades:
- AABB, including A in Mathematics and a pass in one of the following: Biology (or Human Biology), Chemistry, Computing Science, Geography, Physics, Psychology.
- Gateway entry grades:
- Applicants who have narrowly missed the minimum entry grades, but meet the University's contextual criteria, may be interested in one of the University’s Gateway programmes.
- Standard entry grades:
- AAA, including A in Mathematics and a pass in one of the following: Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science, Further Mathematics, Geology, Geography, Physics, Psychology.
- Minimum entry grades:
- ABB, including A in Mathematics and a pass in one of the following: Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science, Further Mathematics, Geology, Geography, Physics, Psychology.
- Standard entry grades:
- 38 (HL 6,6,6), including HL6 in Mathematics and SL5 in one of the following subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography, Geology, Physics and Psychology.
- Minimum entry grades:
- 36 (HL 6,5,5), including HL6 in Mathematics and SL5 in one of the following subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography, Geology, Physics and Psychology.
General entry requirements
All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.
SQA National 5 (B) in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:
- Computing science
- Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
GCSE (5) in English language or English literature, and one GCSE (5) from the following:
- Computing Science
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.
More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
Do I need to have studied this subject before?
No previous knowledge of computer science is required, but candidates are expected to have studied mathematics at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, or equivalent.
Alternative study options
Students interested in this course may also be interested in the following:
Direct entry to second year
Well-qualified school leavers may be able to apply for admission directly into the second year of this course.
It is possible to take Computer Science as a five-year Integrated Masters course, allowing you to graduate with a Master of Science.
Applicants who have narrowly missed the minimum entry grades but meet the University's contextual criteria may be interested in the Gateway to Science programme.
Computer science students can apply to participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. Computer science students are only able to study abroad for the full academic year (semester placements are not available). For information about study abroad options, please see the study abroad site.
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. Find out more about approved English language tests and scores for this course.
The BSc (Hons) in Computer Science is a four-year course offered by the School of Computer Science. The course is designed to ground you in both the theory and practice of computer science. You will learn to think and solve problems logically, understand the fundamental principles of how computing systems work, and be exposed to significant new technologies as well as teamwork.
In the first two years, you will learn the basic concepts behind computer science and several different programming languages.
Alongside computer science in the first year of your studies, you will be required to study at least one additional subject. In the second year, you can continue with this other subject or focus entirely on computer science. Find out more about how academic years are organised.
In third year, you will be introduced to the foundations of logic that are relevant to computer scientists, with an emphasis on automatic reasoning and decidability, and to theories of computation and complexity, including exploring Turing machines and pushdown automata.
You will apply software engineering concepts and practices to a substantial software engineering project as part of a team. This project runs through both semesters in third year and will prepare you for the workplace, where collaboration with others is essential.
In your final year, you will undertake a substantial software engineering project. You will design, specify and construct a medium-sized software system, or undertake a formal development and proof of such a system, under the guidance of a member of staff.
In addition to the compulsory modules, you will choose from a wide variety of advanced options. Examples of Honours topics can be found in the modules information below.
All Honours students have the opportunity to attend a reading party in their third year. The reading party takes place in a large country house in the Highlands where students will spend three days giving presentations, taking part in outdoor and indoor activities, and socialising with peers and staff.
The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure web page.
In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours), you will take the required modules in computer science alongside modules in at least one other subject.
Typically, you will take one or two computer science modules per semester during your first two years, and three to four computer science modules during your third and fourth year (known as Honours).
Students will take the following compulsory first-year modules:
- Object-Oriented Programming: provides an introduction to object-oriented modelling and programming using Java.
- Programming with Data: explores various aspects of data storage, processing and analysis.
Students will take the following compulsory second-year modules:
- Computer Systems: develops skills in programming in C, systems programming, digital logic and low-level computer organisation.
- Foundations of Computation: introduces fundamental algorithms, data structures and ideas about formal languages at the heart of modern software.
In third year, computer science students must take the following three compulsory modules:
- Logic and Reasoning: covers the foundations of logic that are relevant to computer scientists, with an emphasis on automatic reasoning and decidability. Topics include propositional and predicate calculus, various proof techniques, and Goedel's incompleteness theorem.
- Computational Complexity: introduces Turing machines, non-determinism and pushdown automata, followed by study of decidability, simulation and the Halting Problem.
- Software Engineering Team Project: gives a broad overview of software engineering, presenting the fundamental aspects as a collaborative professional activity including its concerns and approaches. Students apply these concepts and practices to a substantial software engineering project as part of a team.
In fourth year, you must take the following compulsory module:
- Major Software Project: allows students to undertake a substantial software engineering project using professional development techniques. Each student designs, specifies and constructs a medium-sized software system, or undertakes a formal development and proof of such a system, under the guidance of a member of staff.
In addition to the compulsory modules in your Honours years, you will choose from a wide variety of advanced options, including modules in topics such as cyber security, software engineering and computer graphics.
In your final Honours year, you will also have the option to choose from a variety of modules at Masters level, providing advanced training in computer science in topics such as machine learning, data ethics and information visualisation.
Here is a sample of Honours modules that have been offered in previous years:
- Advanced Communication Networks and Systems
- Artificial Intelligence
- Component Technology
- Computer Architecture
- Computer Graphics
- Computer Security
- Concurrency and Multi-Core Architectures
- Constraint Programming
- Data Communications and Networks
- Data Encoding
- Distributed Systems
- Human Computer Interaction
- Logic and Software Verification
- Operating Systems
- Programming Language Design and Implementation
- Signal Processing: Sound, Image, Video
- Video Games.
The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.
Computer science at St Andrews allows you to study in a friendly and intimate environment. Small group teaching will put you on a first-name basis with internationally renowned researchers and teachers.
Computer science classes are taught using a variety of teaching methods in addition to traditional lectures, with an emphasis on personal and small-group teaching.
Typical class sizes:
- First year: lectures 66 to 181, labs up to 100, tutorials 6 to 8
- Second year: lectures 95 to 154, labs up to 100, tutorials 6 to 8
- Honours: lectures, labs and tutorials 13 to 133.
When not attending lectures, tutorials and computer labs, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:
- working on individual and group projects
- using library and online resources
- preparing coursework assignments and presentations
- preparing for examinations.
Most computer science modules are assessed by at least 40% coursework, with the rest of assessment in the form of written examinations. Project modules are assessed entirely by coursework.
The School uses a range of forms of assessment for the coursework component. For example, these could include programming assignments and projects, design exercises, essays, and problem sheets.
Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.
The School aims to provide feedback on every assessment within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments.
Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of computer science. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of tutorials and demonstrations in laboratory classes, as well as assessment of coursework, under the supervision of the module leader.
You can find contact information for all computer science staff on the School of Computer Science website.
The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.
Tuition fees have yet to be set.
England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland
Channel Islands, Isle of Man
EU and overseas
More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.
Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.
Funding and scholarships
Joint Honours degrees
You can take Computer Science as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.
Special joint degree notes
- Normally, for joint degree programmes, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. Select the joint option above to see the entry requirements.
- The joint option with Psychology can also be taken as a degree programme with British Psychological Society accreditation.
In taking a joint degree, you are required to take core modules in all of your subjects. Find out more about joint degrees.
A degree in computer science will allow you to enter into technical, academic, financial or commercial posts. Most companies and organisations are heavily invested in computer systems, and this has created a demand for many different specialisations in computer technology.
Graduates from computer science go on to find careers as:
- business analysts
- systems architects and analysts
- software developers
- testers and verifiers
- technical writers
- IT trainers and user advisers
- project managers.
Many computer science graduates undertake further study, here or elsewhere. The University offers a range of options including MSc, EngD and PhD-level degrees.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
What to do next
Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.
We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online or in-person visiting days.
- +44 (0)1334 46 3253
- School of Computer Science
Jack Cole Building
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