Undergraduate study - 2019 entry

Subject area: Computer Science (Informatics)

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

  • We’re ranked 14th in the world and 4th in the UK in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 by Subject for computer science.

  • Design-influenced courses are now available to all our students, thanks to a partnership with Edinburgh College of Art to create design informatics masters programmes.

  • Our Bayes Centre for Data-Driven Innovation, Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security, and Robotics Centre, and our links to national initiatives such as the Alan Turing Institute, offer you opportunities to get involved in world-leading research that is transforming our world.

  • We have strong links with industry. In 2017, our prize sponsors included FreeAgent, Google, IBM, JP Morgan, Microsoft and Morgan Stanley.

  • Our MInf, five-year integrated masters programme, is a unique opportunity to build expertise in how to use information to transform our world.


I was looking for a university that was ranked one of the best in my field of study and had an international-friendly environment. The University of Edinburgh accomplished all of this.

Conrad Cardona 2nd year BSc (Hons) Computer Science & Mathematics
Conrad Cardona 2nd year BSc (Hons) Computer Science & Mathematics

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 includes 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.

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.

Year 2

You will build on Year 1, covering more advanced programming and data structures, together with related mathematics. Courses offered will develop greater understanding of software development, decision making, learning from data, and the internals of computers or computer systems. Option courses are available from various schools across the University.

Year 3

Your studies will become more focused and you will have more choice, selecting specialised courses according to your own interests from a range of options that depend on your programme. 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 to build a particular portfolio or expertise of your interest. This 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 when selecting your project and a supervisor to guide you.

Year 5

For MInf students, similar to year 4, you will take further advanced courses and continue to develop your project.

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.

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, 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).

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.