Undergraduate study - 2023 entry
Open to the world

BSc Computer Science and Mathematics

UCAS code: GG14

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Informatics

College: Science and Engineering

Study abroad

Introducing BSc Computer Science and Mathematics

Mathematics forms the foundation of computer science. With the increasing scale of computing systems, and growing volumes of data, we are developing and using more sophisticated mathematical techniques every day.

This programme aims to give you a thorough understanding of mathematics and computing to allow you to operate at the cutting edge of:

  • computer and data science
  • machine learning
  • artificial intelligence

We offer a wide range of courses delivered by leaders in their field. You will have the flexibility to focus on the areas of computer science and artificial intelligence that interest you most.

Only apply to one Informatics programme 

We usually consider a maximum of two applications to programmes in the College of Science and Engineering as this helps ensure we make offers to as many students as possible.

However, if you are applying for an Informatics programme, due to high demand, we can only accept one application for a programme in this subject area. You can use your second application for any other Science and Engineering programme. 

Year 1

You will be introduced to basic principles of programming and computation.

You will:

  • study how information can be represented and processed in computer systems
  • learn fundamental techniques for managing data
  • solve problems using computer programs

This year also includes courses in the mathematics necessary for all areas of informatics.

Together, these form the foundations for more in-depth study of computation in future years.

Mathematics courses

Your mathematics courses build on your knowledge of pure mathematics and introduce you to the more rigorous ways of mathematical thinking required.

You will study:

  • Introduction to Linear Algebra
  • Calculus and its Applications
  • Proofs and Problem Solving

Some students will also take optional mathematics courses such as: Fundamentals of Algebra and Calculus, an introductory course, that provides extra preparation in key topics from advanced mathematics and supports your transition to university.

You can also choose option courses from various schools across the University.

Second year entry

The School of Informatics does not accept applications for second year entry to our programmes.

Year 2

You will build on Year 1, covering more advanced programming and data structures, together with the related mathematics.

You will develop a greater understanding of:

  • algorithms
  • learning from data
  • mathematics

From Year 2 you can use the MathsHub, a student-run social centre and work space.

Option courses include a variety of subjects from different schools across the University.

Year 3

Your studies will become more focused and you will have more choice in selecting specialised courses. We offer a range of options in:

  • computer science
  • artificial intelligence
  • relevant mathematics
  • other areas of informatics

Your coursework assignments will typically provide you with experience in:

  • practical work
  • independent problem solving
  • group work

Your exact curriculum depends on your chosen courses. Options offered in recent years include the following (and around 12 others):

  • robotics
  • computer security
  • machine learning
  • operating systems
  • computer networks
  • differential equations
  • complex variables

Mathematics courses

The School of Mathematics' honours courses provide an excellent grounding in advanced mathematics and prepare you for the options available later in your programme.

Each course contains a skills component. These enable you to develop valuable employability skills such as:

  • group work
  • presentation skills

Current optional mathematics courses include:

  • Financial Mathematics
  • Introduction to Number Theory
  • Statistical Computing

Year 4

You will choose from a large number of advanced courses in:

  • mathematics
  • artificial intelligence
  • computer science

This gives you the opportunity to build a portfolio according to your interests and career aspirations.

Year 4 includes an individual honours project, where you will learn to develop a viable project starting from a given topic. You will have a variety of choices in selecting your topic, with a supervisor to guide you.

Mathematics courses

The varied research interests in the School of Mathematics influence the course selection. Courses include:

  • pure mathematics
  • applied mathematics
  • statistics
  • operational research
  • financial mathematics
  • mathematical biology
  • mathematical education

Current mathematics courses include:

  • General Topology
  • Symmetry and Geometry
  • Stochastic Modelling
  • Entrepreneurship in the Mathematical Sciences

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 (2022/23)

Our facilities

You will have access to:

  • the University's extensive libraries
  • the University's computer facilities
  • the School of Mathematics’ facilities, MathsBase and MathsHub

Computer Science

You will be based in the School of Informatics with lectures, tutorials and classes held in Appleton Tower. The building provides: purpose-built facilities, and dedicated learning and teaching spaces all located in the University's Central Area.

You will have access to computer laboratories and quality software support.

The InfBase drop-in help desk is located in Appleton Tower. When access to the campus is restricted, InfBase operates as a virtual help desk.

InfPALS is run by Year 2 and 3 students as small study groups in Appleton Tower. When access to the campus is restricted they operate regular virtual meet-ups.

The Informatics Student Support Team is based within the Informatics Teaching Organisation in Appleton Tower.


In Year 1, mathematics classes typically take place in the University's Central Area. In later years, teaching will often take in the James Clerk Maxwell Building, located at the King's Buildings campus.

Please note: your subjects will be taught on different campuses from Year 2 onwards, and so you may need to travel between campuses for classes.

Take a virtual tour

Take a closer look at all our facilities on the University’s Virtual Visit site.

Virtual Visit

Study abroad

In Year 3, you may have the option to study abroad through the University's international exchange programme.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

You will be taught by leaders in their field through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • practical classes

In later years, you will spend more time working on projects that involve:

  • building computer systems from scratch
  • developing systems
  • doing experimental work
  • working on theoretical topics with guidance from your supervisor

Mathematics teaching

Year 1, mathematics lectures are usually interactive; lecturers use online voting systems and encourage small group discussion to improve your understanding of core material.

In later years, lectures follow a more 'traditional' lecturing style but occasionally include the voting system.

Mathematics lectures are supported by small group teaching workshops. These sessions give you an opportunity to apply the concepts you learn in lectures and develop your understanding. You will work with five to six other students, with a tutor on hand to support you and answer questions.


Students in the School of Informatics have access to services that support their learning, particularly in the beginning of their degree.

InfPALS is a peer support service for Year 1 students focusing on material covered in courses but also general topics related to informatics.

InfBase is a drop-in help desk for Year 1 and 2 students to get additional tutoring and support with their courses.

You will also be invited to join:

  • CompSoc, a tech society which offers a varied programme of events
  • ProgClub, to get more practical programming experience

Pastoral support is offered by the Informatics Student Support Team.

You will also receive support from the MathsBase, our popular walk-in help centre, and from our Mathematics Student Support Team.

In Year 1, you will have the option of taking part in the peer-assisted learning scheme, MathPALS.

How will I be assessed?

In the School of Informatics you will be assessed by:

  • coursework assignments
  • larger projects
  • exams

You will undertake some project work individually and some with other students.

You will complete a large individual project in your final year.

Mathematics assessments

In your first and second year, mathematics has mainly ‘open book’ exams, where you can use your textbook and notes. This allows you to concentrate on understanding and using the ideas and concepts involved, instead of memorising procedures.

Most mathematics courses have regular assessments, both written and online, so you can get feedback on your progress. These typically count for a small part of your course grade.

After first year, some courses are assessed entirely by coursework - usually reports or presentations.

Our graduates have excellent career prospects. The vast majority make direct vocational use of their qualification in the IT industry.

Increasingly, graduates also find work in industries and professions that rely heavily on computing systems:

  • media
  • communications
  • finance
  • energy
  • medicine

Popular employers

Popular employers include:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Amazon
  • IBM
  • SkyScanner
  • Intel
  • Samsung
  • ARM
  • Nvida
  • Keysight
  • RockStar North
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • J.P. Morgan
  • Citigroup

Start-ups and spinouts

The School of Informatics boasts a record number of start-ups and spinouts over the last ten years, including those set up by alumni, such as:

  • Unicorn company, FanDuel
  • Robotical
  • PlayerData
  • Speech Graphics

We often invite alumni back to share their experiences and showcase the range of careers available to graduates.

Careers Service

We support you to recognise the wealth of possibilities ahead, at University and after graduation. Our award-winning Careers Service plays an essential part in your wider student experience at the University and provides:

  • tailored advice
  • individual guidance and personal assistance
  • internships and networking opportunities (with employers from local organisations to top multinationals)
  • access to the experience of our worldwide alumni network

We invest in your future beyond the end of your degree and studying at the University of Edinburgh will lay the foundations for your future success.

Careers Service

Enhance your CV

Both Schools offer many opportunities to develop your skills and enhance your CV. For example:

  • share your love of mathematics or informatics by working with the wider community by getting involved in outreach projects
  • join our team of Student Ambassadors and enthuse prospective students
  • apply for a project scholarship and work with a lecturer during the summer (School of Mathematics only)

You will be able to access the School of Mathematics' weekly employability events including:

  • presentations from industry employers
  • alumni career showcases
  • useful workshops to help you prepare for applying to internships, jobs and further study

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAAA - AAAB (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: A*A*A* - A*AB.
  • IB: 43 points with 777 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: A*BB.
  • 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. Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics. Advanced Higher Mathematics is recommended. Your Mathematics qualifications must have been achieved no more than two academic years prior to entry. National 5s: English at C. (Revised 2 May 2022 to include requirement for recent study of Mathematics.)
  • A Levels: Mathematics at A*. Your Mathematics qualifications must have been achieved no more than two academic years prior to entry. GCSEs: English at C or 4. (Revised 2 May 2022 to include requirement for recent study of Mathematics.)
  • IB: HL: Mathematics (Analysis and approaches only) at 6. Your Mathematics qualifications must have been achieved no more than two academic years prior to entry. SL: English at 5. (Revised 2 May 2022 to include requirement for recent study of Mathematics.)

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
  • 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: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 54 in each component.

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, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

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 Mathematics

Additional costs

You should expect to buy the necessary textbooks for some components of your programme.


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