Computer Science BSc (Hons) – 2017 entry

The lectures here are organised very well, both in terms of theory and practical work, and really help me gain a valuable understanding of the modules.

Since starting here I feel I’ve learnt to work effectively under pressure by prioritising my work, and have tremendously improved my communication and interpersonal skills which I’ll hopefully continue to do so in the future too.

What you'll study

Computers are fundamental in every walk of life, from business and government to the media, medicine and research.

Our strong portfolio of programmes, coupled with fantastic teaching, lets you break new ground and make the most of opportunities we receive living in a digital age.

Computing specialists develop the web, create new mobile platform applications and identify innovative business solutions.

The best computing specialists understand the capabilities of the most powerful technologies and how to harness them effectively to meet an enormously varied range of real-world situations.

Programme overview

Equipping you for a career at the forefront of innovation in software technologies, our Computer Science programme provides you with the balance of knowledge and skills you will need to design and implement software and systems to a professional standard.

You will gain a thorough understanding of the principles and concepts underpinning computing systems, enabling you to analyse and resolve issues with today’s software programs and provide a foundation for designing the next generation of computational systems.

The course offers study modules covering a wide range of topics including object-oriented programming, artificial intelligence, mobile computing and computational mathematics, using languages and tools such as Java, C++, Android, SQL, Python, MATLAB, assembler and specialist hardware such as Arduino microcontrollers.

You will also gain the vital mathematical skills for analysing, validating and verifying these systems.

An example project

Demonstrating how these techniques can be applied in the real world, one recent project by a final-year student developed a system for detecting events on CCTV footage.

The prototype implemented a computational intelligence engine to detect events in a scene, integrating a number of complex sub-systems including segmentation, classification, tracking, event detection, persistent searchable storage and a web interface to allow an end user to search for events.

The project achieved success by combining the techniques and principles of artificial intelligence, computer vision, and pattern recognition and mathematical modelling. You have the opportunity to get stuck into projects like this at the University of Surrey.

Read about the experience of Computing and Information Technology students Irina Tsyganok and Nicholas Elia.

New Engineering for Health courses

Our pioneering Engineering for Health programmes will be available to undergraduate students from 2017 and aim to address the challenges faced by the UK’s healthcare service. Discover more about our Engineering for Health project, which is designed to produce graduates who will drive the future of healthcare.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 1 offers a broad base, with much of the content common across the three programmes. By the end of Year 1, our aim is that you will have developed good practical skills and be proficient in the programming language Java, using industry-standard tools.

You will have a broad base from which to build during subsequent levels. We will also develop your understanding of the foundations of computing and the design and analysis of computational systems.

Developing professional awareness is incorporated from the beginning of your studies with the inclusion of lecturers from industry. You will be introduced to topics specific to your specialist pathway.

During Year 1, you will also participate in CV workshops and receive support in order to prepare for internships and placements.Core Modules:

Compulsory Modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Year 2 develops and deepens your understanding of the core areas and focuses in more detail on developing your specialist skills and knowledge, for example, in intelligent systems and web technologies.

Many Year 2 modules will equip you with strong teamwork, communication and presentation skills. Employers see these personal development skills as giving you an added value in addition to your technical competence, and they will help give you a head start in the job market.

These skills will be particularly useful should you choose to undertake a Professional Training year.

Compulsory Modules:

Professional Training placement (optional)

A Professional Training placement with an employer is available on our programmes, organised and supported by the Department. Every year sees our students taking up placements at a wide range of companies, in a broad variety of roles.

Companies that have participated in the scheme include:

  • IBM
  • Eli Lilly
  • Microsoft
  • Accenture
  • Nokia
  • BAE Systems Detica
  • Research In Motion

At the end of the Professional Training placement, many students receive offers of graduate employment from their placement employers, which means you can focus on completing your programme without worrying about the graduate recruitment cycle, a concern for most of today’s graduates.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

During Year 3, you will undertake an individual project that contributes approximately one third of the marks for the year, together with a range of optional modules.

The project gives you the freedom, and is your opportunity, to explore a topic of your choice in greater depth. It may build on an interest that was awakened during your Professional Training year or during another part of your degree programme.

It is also your chance to get involved in some of the cutting-edge research that we undertake in the Department.

Modules in Year 3 reflect recent advances in computer science and are influenced by the Department’s research interests. These are particularly intellectually stimulating for our students.

Modules are continually kept up-to-date to meet emerging industrial challenges. During Year 3, students also have the opportunity to get involved in career preparation workshops.

Core module:

Compulsory module:

Optional modules:

Professional recognition

Our Computer Science and Computing and Information Technology degrees are accredited by the British Computer Society, The Chartered Institute for IT, through to 2021 for fully meeting the academic requirements for registration as:

As an integral part of our Professional Training year and as an entry point to the Skills Framework for the Information Age, students document their experiences on the way to their professional membership of BCS using the BCS Professional Development Scheme.

Professional Training

The experience and skills gained on placement really do equip our students for success, and their enhanced job prospects can be seen in our outstanding employment record.

Many students continue their collaboration with their placement employers by basing their final-year project on work related to their placement. This results in a project with a strong industrial focus that can demonstrate their ability to apply their academic knowledge to real-world problems.

The Professional Training year counts towards the experience required for professional membership of the British Computer Society (BCS).


Teaching styles vary, from large group lectures to small group tutorials, computing laboratories and drop-in sessions for programming.

You benefit from an integrated range of learning methods ranging from tutorials, case studies, projects and coursework, to practical and discussion classes, including the use of interactive voting handsets.

In the early stages of the programmes, the methods of teaching and assessment aim to ensure the acquisition of techniques and relevant knowledge. This includes practice in finding information and deciding whether it is relevant or not.

The methods adopted in Year 3 are influenced by the need to broaden and deepen the knowledge that you have gained at the earlier levels and to develop the higher order skills that you will need as a professional.  

Our modules incorporate lectures from industry, such as Accenture’s participation in Year 1 Professional Studies, and involvement from EDF Energy and Allianz in Managing Information Systems in Year 3.

This helps you appreciate that what is being taught is also being used in industry and why it is relevant to industry and research.

Year coordinators are available to help with any problems or questions concerning your degree programme, or personal matters, throughout your period of study at the University.

They provide support to discuss your exam results, your options and any other academic advice you require.


You will be formally assessed through examinations and by coursework. Examinations take place at the end of each semester on the modules studied during that semester. The assessments we use are tailored to what is being taught.

For example, we strongly believe that practical examinations are more appropriate for Java programming. To ensure that you are fully prepared for your assessments, we provide plenty of practice with diagnostic tests throughout Year 1.

This helps you check that you are on the right lines and that you understand the material. This support is essential to develop your ability to learn.

Marks from Year 2 onwards count towards your final degree grade, forming the basis of your award.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 4 per cent personal tutorial/small group teaching
  • 1 per cent medium group teaching
  • 23 per cent large group teaching
  • 72 per cent studying and revising in your own time

Career opportunities

Computing skills are the foundation of numerous professional careers in many dynamic sectors, such as technology, business, finance, health and the games industry.

Our programmes are designed to prepare you to work at the cutting edge of computing and its applications, and our graduates can take many routes into rewarding careers.

Employers are increasingly seeking people with a broad range of skills that encompass management and leadership, as well as technical ability. Our programmes produce graduates with this well-rounded skillset of strong academic knowledge and Professional Training.

Our students are highly regarded in many areas of business and industry. Information technology, the focus of one of our degrees, combines business and computation skills that are particularly in demand across the world.

Computer Science, Information Technology and Software Development graduates will be highly sought after for a wide range of roles, including within the software, consumer electronics, telecommunications and security industries.

Former Surrey students are now involved in all areas, from software development and building simulation systems to devising IT strategies and managing organisations.

Recent employers include:

  • Eli Lilly
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • McLaren Automotive
  • Accenture
  • BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
  • The Foundry
  • Thomson Reuters

Graduate prospects

Our combination of technology, industrial relevance and professional training means that our graduates are among the most employable of any university.

Recent graduates have entered employment in roles such as:

  • BAE Systems
  • Accenture, Technical Solutions and Business Consultant
  • Altius Consulting, Junior Consultant
  • Credit Suisse, Technical Analyst
  • Deloitte UK, IT Security Consultant
  • GlaxoSmithKline, Global IT Strategy Analyst
  • IBM, Foundation Business Consultant
  • Microsoft, Consultant

Global opportunities

You may wish to consider spending your Professional Training year working in another country. Students have worked at Movilitas in Germany or Pfizer in the USA. If you work in another part of Europe you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.

This is an excellent opportunity not only to acquire valuable work experience but also improve or learn another language.

It may also be possible to spend one semester of your second year abroad at one of our partner universities in the USA (Central Florida) or Canada (Brock in Ontario).

Discover where our global opportunities can take you.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



An A-Level in Maths is required.

We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking in our offers.

Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 Credits at Merit.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

74 per cent

International Baccalaureate

34 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers ABB/Scottish Highers AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AB

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE in Maths at B/5 or above and English at C/4 or above are required.

(or international equivalent – see relevant country page).

Mathematics A-level required for A-level and BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma.

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BSc (Hons) 3 Years G400 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 Years G401 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Professional Training Placement

Professional Training placement at the Department of Energy and Climate Change

Professional Training placement students talk about their experiences at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

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