Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

BSc Computer Science and Physics

UCAS code: GF43

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Informatics

College: Science and Engineering


Introducing BSc Computer Science and Physics

This joint programme draws on Edinburgh's joint strength in computational physics and informatics.

You will develop a strong interdisciplinary background, covering relevant topics in both computer science and physics. You will have the chance to study topics that cross both fields, such as computational simulation of physical systems.


This programme is recognised by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of eligibility for Associate Membership.

Year 1

Year 1 introduces you to basic principles of programming, computation and physics. You will learn how data can be managed and processed in computer systems and used to solve problems.

This year also includes courses in physics and mathematics. Together these form the foundations of more in-depth study in future years.

Year 2

Year 2 builds on Year 1 to cover more advanced programming and data structures, together with relevant physics and mathematics.

You will develop a greater understanding of computer systems, algorithms and data structures.

Option courses include choices within mathematics and physics, and courses from a variety of different schools across the University.

Year 3

Your studies will become more focused and you will have more choice in selecting specialised courses in computer science, and advanced physics courses, according to your own interests.

Coursework assignments typically provide you with experience in practical work, independent problem solving, and group work.

Your exact curriculum depends on your selected courses.

Year 4

You will choose from a large number of advanced course options in computer science and physics to build a portfolio that matches your particular interest.

Year 4 includes an individual Honours project in either computer science or physics (or it may combine aspects of both). You will have a variety of choices in selecting your project. A supervisor will help to guide you in developing the project, starting from a given topic.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2020/21)

Our facilities

You will be based within the School of Informatics, with lectures, tutorials and classes held in Appleton Tower.

Appleton Tower provides purpose-built facilities, with dedicated learning and teaching spaces, all located in the University's Central Area.

You will have 24-hour access to computer laboratories and quality software support is available.

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical classes.

In later years you will spend more time working on projects that involve building computer systems from scratch, developing systems.

You will also carry out experimental work, or work on more theoretical topics with guidance from your supervisor.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by coursework assignments, larger projects, and exams. Some project work will be undertaken individually and some together with other students.

You will complete a large individual project in Year 4 (or Years 4 and 5 for MInf students).

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2020/21)

Our graduates have excellent career prospects in IT industry and beyond.

They comfortably secure roles such as:

  • Software engineer
  • Hardware engineer
  • App developer
  • Web developer
  • Programmer

Increasingly, graduates have also found work as data analysts/scientists, or business analysts in the financial sector.

Popular employers include:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Amazon
  • IBM
  • SkyScanner
  • Intel
  • ARM
  • Samsung
  • Keysight
  • RockStar North
  • RBS
  • JP Morgan
  • Citigroup

Other industries and professions that rely heavily on computing systems, including media (e.g. BBC), communications (Ericsson, Huawei), energy (British Gas) and medicine (Canon Medical Systems) are all potential employers for School of Informatics graduates.

Our school boasts a record number of startups & spinouts over the last ten years, including those set up by our alumni, such as Fanduel, Robotical or PlayerData.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA - AAAB (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAA - AAB.
  • IB: 37 points with 666 at HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 32 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: Mathematics at A and Physics at B. Advanced Higher Mathematics is recommended. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: Mathematics at A and Physics at B. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: Mathematics (from 2021, Mathematics: Analysis and approaches only) at 6 and Physics at 5. SL: English at 5.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BSc Computer Science and Physics

Additional costs



For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

More information

How to apply

School: Informatics

College: Science and Engineering