Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

BSc Computer Science and Mathematics

UCAS code: GG14

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Informatics

College: Science and Engineering

Introducing BSc Computer Science and Mathematics

Mathematics forms the foundations of computer science. With increasing scale of computing systems and growing volumes of data, more sophisticated mathematical techniques are being developed and employed every day.

This programme aims to give you a thorough understanding of both mathematics and computing to enable you to operate at the cutting edge of computer and data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. You will have the flexibility to focus on the areas of computer science or artificial intelligence that most interest you.

Year 1

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

You will learn how information can be represented and processed in computer systems, as well as fundamental techniques to manage data and solve problems using computer programs. The year also includes courses in mathematics necessary for all areas of informatics. Together these form the foundations of more in-depth study of computation in future years. You can choose option courses from various schools across the University.

The mathematics courses (Introduction to Linear Algebra; Calculus and its Applications; and Proofs and Problem Solving) will allow you to build on your knowledge of pure mathematics and will introduce you to the more rigorous ways of mathematical thinking required at university level.

Some students will also take the online mathematics course, Fundamentals of Algebra and Calculus. This introductory course provides extra preparation in key topics from advanced mathematics.

In addition to the above, the School of Mathematics also offers the optional mathematics course, Introduction to Data Science, where you will learn to collect and explore data, before using models and predictions in order to make rigorous conclusions.

You will receive support from the MathsBase, our popular walk-in help centre, and from our Mathematics Student Support Team. Year 1 students will also have the option of taking part in the peer-assisted learning scheme, MathPALs.

Year 2

You will build on Year 1, covering more advanced programming and data structures, together with related mathematics. You will develop greater understanding of algorithms, learning from data, and mathematics. 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, according to your own interests, from a range of options in computer science, artificial intelligence and relevant mathematics, as well as other courses in informatics.

Coursework assignments typically provide you with experience in practical work, independent problem solving, and group work. Your exact curriculum depends on your selected courses.

Options offered in recent years include courses in robotics, computer security, machine learning, operating systems, computer networks, differential equations, complex variables and around 12 others.

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

Each of these Honours courses contains a skills component, enabling you to develop valuable employability skills such as programming, group work and presentation skills through the curriculum.

Year 4

You will choose from a large number of advanced course options in mathematics, artificial intelligence and computer science to build a portfolio according to your interests.

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 project and a supervisor to guide you.

The mathematics course selection is influenced by the varied research interests in the School of Mathematics, and as a result they offer a large selection of courses in pure and applied mathematics, statistics, operational research, financial mathematics, mathematical biology and mathematical education.

You will be able to follow a programme that suits your particular interests and career aspirations.

Current mathematics courses include General Topology, Symmetry and Geometry, Stochastic Modelling and 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 (2020/21)

Our facilities

You will be based within the School of Informatics, with lectures, tutorials and classes held in Appleton Tower, which provides purpose-built facilities and 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.

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

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

In addition to the University's extensive libraries and computer facilities, you will have access to the School of Mathematics’ facilities across two campuses: MathsBase in the Central Area and MathsHub at King’s Buildings.

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, doing experimental work or working on more theoretical topics with guidance from your supervisor.

Year 1 mathematics lectures are usually interactive; lecturers use online voting systems and encourage small group discussion to improve your understanding of core material. Lectures in later years follow a more 'traditional' lecturing style, but do occasionally incorporate the voting system.

Lectures are also supported by workshops, our small-group teaching sessions. These sessions are to give you an opportunity to practise applying the concepts learnt in lectures, and develop your understanding further. You will work with 5-6 other students, and a tutor will be on hand to answer questions and support you.

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 your final year (or final two years 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. The vast majority make direct vocational use of their qualification in the IT industry. Increasingly however, our graduates also find work in the trades, industries and professions that rely heavily on computing systems, including media, communications, finance, energy and medicine.

The School of Mathematics regularly invites alumni back to the School to share their experiences with students and to showcase the breadth of careers available to graduates with backgrounds in maths.

There also are many opportunities within the School of Mathematics for you to develop your skills and enhance your CV. Share your love of mathematics by working with the wider community as a member of our Outreach Team; join our team of Student Ambassadors and enthuse prospective students; or apply for a project scholarship and work with a lecturer during the summer.

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: A*AA - A*AB.
  • 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: 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. Advanced Higher Mathematics is recommended. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: Mathematics at A*. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: Mathematics (from 2021, Mathematics: Analysis and approaches only) at 6. 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.

SQA, GCSE and IB

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 Mathematics

Additional costs

You should expect to purchase necessary textbooks for some compulsory and optional components of your programme.

Funding

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