Published: 29 May 2018

A week in the life of a computer science student

From Android programming to learning Italian, Chris Dueck describes the average week in the life of a first year computer science student.

Chris Dueck


The following timetable is a general example – for the latest module information, visit the Computer Science subject page and select your degree programme.


9am – Foundations of Computing II lecture – This is essentially about the maths behind many aspects of computer science. There’s a lot of calculus, but it’s well worth knowing

12pm – Lunch. I sometimes also like to take a stroll around the campus lake

1pm – Foundations of Computing II tutorial - Following on from the morning lecture it’s time to try some practice questions to build understanding

2pm – Software Engineering lecture – This module is what takes you from knowing how to program to being able to design, implement, test and deliver a working product to an end user

7pm – Dinner time!


9am – Data Structures and Algorithms lecture – A lecture about different types of data structures and algorithms. It’s interesting to see how you can find the best and fastest algorithm for a task based on its complexity

11am – Foundations of Computing II lab - This lab is usually some more practical exercises and questions building on the knowledge gained from yesterday’s lecture

1pm – Lunch time! Tuesday is the busiest day of my week, so I like to chill on campus for a while before the next lab

2pm – Mobile Computing lecture – A lecture on Android programming and application development. This is one of my favourite topics as you learn a lot about how mobile apps work and how to program them for yourself in Java

5pm – Software Engineering lecture – A follow up on yesterday’s lecture, giving some insight into the lab later in the week

7pm – Time to cook dinner and relax after a long day. As I don’t have any major deadlines this week, the pressure isn’t too intense and I’m able to enjoy my evenings


10am – Mobile Computing lab – A chance to get programming and experiment making all kinds of apps. The University provides us with android tablets to test and debug the code

12pm – Head home for lunch

2pm – Working on my assignments at the library

5pm – Italian class – As a Surrey student, I get to learn a language as part of the GGA (Global Graduate Award) alongside my studies for free

9pm – A night out with the housemates! Every Wednesday is ‘Citrus’ at the Union nightclub Rubix, which is a lot of fun!


11am – Software Engineering lab – A practical lab session involving some programming as well as some aspects of design and documentation

1pm – Time for lunch and squeezing in some revision before the next lab!

2pm – Data Structures and Algorithms lab – A chance to implement the data structures and algorithms I’ve learnt about previously

7pm – Rock climbing at Surrey Sports Park with my housemates followed by relaxing and socialising at home


No Lectures or Labs!

1pm – Lunch time

3pm – Meet up with course mates at the library to finish off our assignments. Working together can be really helpful

5pm – Some time to revise for my upcoming in-semester test

9pm – Meeting up with housemates for a night out at Rubix for ‘Flirt’


10am – Fry-up breakfast (Perfect for recovering from the night before!)

1pm – Cycle to Tesco to get my weekly shopping done

3pm – Take a walk around Guildford town centre with some friends. There’s always plenty to see and do

7pm – Cook dinner and relax with some TV


10am – Breakfast and a morning walk

12pm – Unfortunately, it’s time to do my washing at the campus laundrette!

7pm – Ordering a pizza with the lads for a chilled night in to end off the week

(The above timetable is one student’s University timetable in one week of an academic year. Timetables will vary according to the choices of modules undertaken, and the University’s timetable structure, and will also vary from programme to programme.)


Outside of lectures and library sessions, there’s lots to do during your free time at Surrey.

Campus life

The Students’ Union lies at the heart of campus life. With over 100 sports clubs and societies on offer, it’s bursting with opportunities for you to discover new interests, have fun and make friends. The Union nightclub, Rubix, is a popular choice for nights out, and our beautiful lakeside campus has plenty of places to get a coffee, drink or bite to eat.

Ten minutes to town

The campus is also a short ten-minute walk from Guildford town centre, home to over 70 pubs, bars and restaurants. From ice skating at Guildford Spectrum to watching a film at the Odeon, Guildford has plenty to offer when you’re looking for a well-earned break from your studies.

Further afield

From London to the coast, discover some of the places our students like to visit during their free time at University.

Learn more about our computer science degrees and read what our students have to say about life at Surrey to discover why we were ranked 5th in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2017


Explore our programmes in Computer Science.

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