Coronavirus information and guidance

Gateway to Computer Science 2020 entry

The Gateway to Computer Science provides an alternative entry route, with built-in additional support, for Scottish students who meet some or all of the University's widening participation criteria. 

In this programme, you will study some modules alongside first-year Computer Science students, and some modules unique to the Gateway course. These modules will focus on introducing relevant topics in computer science and mathematics, and other transferable skills.

After completing the first year, you will progress from the Gateway programme to the second year of the Computer Science BSc or Computer Science MSci degree programmes. 

UCAS code

  • I100 (Gateway BSc)
  • I101 (Gateway MSci)

Course type

Gateway programme

Course duration

One year full time

  • Start date: 7 September 2020

After successful completion of year one, students will progress directly into year two of the Computer Science BSc or Computer Science MSci programmes. 


Typically, candidates for Gateway to Computer Science are Scottish domiciled students who have narrowly missed the standard entry requirements due to external factors. 

Students who are not applying straight from school should apply directly to the course of their choice or contact to discuss the available options.

Candidates for Gateway programmes should meet some, if not all, of the following contextual criteria: 

International applicants are not eligible for the Gateway programme; the University instead offers an International Foundation programme for Science which can also lead to a degree in Computer Science. 

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.

Entry requirements

Typical academic entry requirements could be one of the following:

  • SQA Highers: BBBB in relevant subjects, including B in Mathematics and a pass in one of the following:
    • Biology (or Human Biology)
    • Chemistry
    • Computing Science
    • Geography
    • Physics
    • Psychology.

Offers will be determined on individual applications and the course being studied. Offers will take into consideration contextual admissions information as well as academic performance.

Minimum grades at Highers, Advanced Highers or HNC qualifications can be taken over more than one sitting. 

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No prior knowledge of Computer Science is needed for the Gateway to Computer Science programme. However, you should have studied Mathematics (B or above) at Scottish Highers or equivalent. 

How to apply

Potential applicants should first email the Admissions team at who will confirm if you are eligible to apply.

You are encouraged to also contact the School of Computer Science before submitting your application; applicants will normally be invited to visit the School before offers are made.  

You should then apply through UCAS.


St Andrews students must meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.

Course information

The Gateway to Computer Science is a one-year course run by the School of Computer Science. Students on this programme will have the opportunity to progress into the second year of the Computer Science BSc or Computer Science MSci degree programmes.

Students will build on their studies from school by taking first-year level modules in Computer Science along with specially designed Gateway-only modules. 

The Gateway-only modules introduce and reinforce relevant computer science, mathematics and transferable skills. Students will benefit from a highly supportive learning environment and small class sizes. These modules have been designed to encourage group work and will provide a forum for student-led exploration of a variety of computer science topics.

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.

Find out more about studying computer science at St Andrews.


In order to pass the Gateway to Computer Science programme, you must take three compulsory modules along with a range of optional modules.

Compulsory modules

  • Object-Oriented Programming: covers problem-solving skills, programming basics and object-oriented concepts, modelling and programming.
  • Programming with Data: explores various aspects of data storage, processing and analysis. 
  • Computer Science Skills: develops academic and transferable skills in problem-solving, team-working, information retrieval and analysis, and study skills.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.


Teaching format

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:

  • Lectures: 72 to 170 students
  • Labs: up to 100 students
  • Tutorials: 6 to 7 students

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 resources
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

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.

In addition to your studies, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

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.


Most Computer Science modules are assessed by at least 40% coursework, with the rest of assessment made up by written examinations.

Coursework could include programming assignments and projects, design exercises, and problem sheets.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.

The School of Computer Science aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks.

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 visit the common reporting scale web page.

Online visiting days

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join one of our online visiting days to learn about the town, find out about our courses and talk to University staff.


Upcoming online visiting days:

  • Wednesday 30 September 2020
  • Wednesday 7 October 2020
  • Wednesday 14 October 2020
  • Wednesday 28 October 2020
  • Wednesday 4 November 2020


Tuition fees for 2020 entry

2020 fees are not available yet for this course. More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year. 

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships, including the entrant bursary and accommodation award.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of Computer Science may be interested in joining the following student societies:

  • Computing Society (STACS) provides a social group for people interested in computers or who are looking to undertake projects involving computing. Events include hackathons, talks on computer topics, and socials.
  • Gaming Society meets regularly to play and discuss a variety of video games, ranging from retro and handhelds to modern PC and console gaming.
  • Saints Engineering Group promotes the development of engineering skills for STEM fields and completes yearly engineering projects, some of which involve developing software and artificial intelligence. 

The School of Computer Science is situated in the Jack Cole and John Honey Buildings on the western edge of town, and most lectures and tutorials will take place here. The buildings host both traditional lecture theatres as well as specialised rooms equipped with computer workstations. As a student, you will have all-hours access to teaching labs which provide a vibrant environment that supports individual and group work.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh makes it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.


University of St Andrews
St Katharine's West
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2346

School of Computer Science website


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).