Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

Subject area: Computer Science (Informatics)

Why choose Computer Science (Informatics) at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We are consistently highly ranked for research and teaching in Computer Science and Informatics, coming 20th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016.

  • Informatics students come from diverse backgrounds and enjoy a strong community that will support you in your studies and extra-curricular activities.

  • With a range of more than 60 specialist courses, we will work with you to choose a programme of study that fits your needs and interests.

Study abroad

The courses here not only prepare me for the professional aspect of my future career but also provide the crucial soft skills for success. I definitely feel the University of Edinburgh focuses on both, and in the right amounts.

Tomas Langer BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate
Tomas Langer BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate

Informatics is the study of information, computation and communication in artificial systems such as computers, and in natural systems such as brains, genes and living cells.

We offer programmes in computer science, artificial intelligence, software engineering, cognitive science and in informatics, which draws on all of these disciplines.

Studying at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics will provide you with a good foundation in computer science and will offer a new perspective on ways that computational thinking can be applied to different settings.

You will develop a solid scientific understanding, and the practical skills required to analyse, design, implement and maintain computer-based systems in any setting.

Our MInf programme allows you to study up to masters level as an undergraduate. You will take advanced courses, study subjects in depth and choose from a broad range of topics.

Joint degree programmes

For most joint programmes you choose courses evenly between subjects. This includes BSc Computer Science and Management Science taught jointly with the University's Business School. However, we also have programmes which include a smaller number of management courses from the University's School of Engineering: BEng Artificial Intelligence with Management, BEng Computer Science with Management, and BEng Software Engineering with Management.

Year 1

You will be introduced to the fundamental principles of computation and programming, and you will learn how information can be represented and processed in computer systems. For most of our programmes you will study mathematics courses in calculus and linear algebra, in addition to courses from a wide range of subjects across the University.

Year 2

You will cover topics in formal and natural language processing, algorithms and data structures, computer systems, software engineering, reasoning and agents. The particular combination of topics depends on your chosen programme. For most of our programmes you will also study discrete mathematics and probability, and select other courses of your choice.

Year 3

Your studies will become more focused, with a choice of up to eight courses specific to your programme, chosen from a range of around 20, together with individual practical work and a large-scale group project.

Year 4

You will build a portfolio of between six and 10 specialised courses, chosen from a range of around 35 that match your particular interests. In this period you will undertake an individual research project and write a dissertation on your chosen topic

Year 5

See Year 4 (MInf only).

Are there additional costs?


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.


You will have opportunities to gain a placement within the University and with international companies.

Study abroad

Opportunities to study abroad are available in this subject area.

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.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by coursework assignments and exams. You will undertake a group project in your third year and an individual project in your final year (or final two years for MInf students).

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.