BEng Computer Science
1. Awarding Institution: University of Edinburgh
2. Teaching Institution: University of Edinburgh
3. Programme Accredited By: see accreditation pages
4. Final Award: BEng Honours
5. Programme Title: BEng (Honours) Computer Science
6. UCAS Code: G401
7. Relevant QAA subject benchmarking: Computing
8. Mode of Study: Full time
9. Educational aims of programme:Computer Science is concerned with the understanding, design, implementation and use of computing systems ranging in complexity from the components of a single processor to computer networks as vast as the World Wide Web. It encompasses both hardware and software and embodies a wide variety of practical techniques supported by a strong foundation of theoretical understanding.
At Edinburgh, Computer Science is treated as a subset of the wider discipline of Informatics which also covers Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science. The Computer Science programme aims to develop well-rounded graduates with a high level of knowledge and skills across Computer Science, both practical and theoretical.
Each module in the Honours years is normally taught by a subject expert who is also undertaking related research, so research inevitably influences the courses. Students undertake a wide variety of practical exercises and projects which reinforce and build on lecture material. Communication skills, initiative, professionalism and the ability to work with others are developed as integral parts of the learning process.
Students taking single honours Computer Science/Software Engineering degrees all follow the same Informatics (and specially designed Mathematics) courses in their first two years, take a selection of the modules available in their third year (constrained to ensure that they obtain a broadly based education) and take an individual project and eight courses (chosen from a large pool) in final year, with the options of taking a course from outside the degree area, but within Informatics, and another from outside Informatics altogether. This means that all students have the opportunity to select courses from across almost all areas of the QAA Computing Benchmark and that 80% of the material they do study forms part of the Benchmark.
10. Programme Outcomes
The programme provides opportunities for learners to achieve the following outcomes:
(a) Knowledge and understanding
- have a knowledge and understanding of the principles of operation of computers from application programs down through system software to hardware
- have a knowledge and understanding of the principles of operation of computer networks
- understand the concept of abstraction and its importance in the design of computer based systems
- understand the nature of algorithms and their complexity
- understand the software development process
- understand the underlying mathematical concepts which allow computer scientists to reason about computers and computer based systems
- have an awareness of the social, professional, ethical and legal issues involved in the use of computing systems
(b) Intellectual skills
- the ability to specify and design computer based systems
- the ability to apply formal design procedures to the design of computer based systems
- the ability to derive an abstract representation of a problem from from its detailed description
- the ability to select an appropriate algorithm for the solution of a given problem
(c) Professional/subject/specific/practical skills
- the ability to develop and implement computer based systems
- the ability to use appropriate support tools during the development process
- the ability to operate computing equipment and software systems effectively
(d) Transferable skills
- the ability to deploy analytical and problem solving skills and to synthesise solutions
- the ability to work effectively as part of a development team
- the ability to communicate effectively through a variety of media including oral, visual, written, diagrammatic and on-line
- the ability to make effective use of learning materials and to acquire and apply knowledge from a variety of sources
11. Programme Structure and Features
For formal definitions, including details of compulsory and optional
course choices, consult the Degree Programme Table.
Consult the List of Informatics courses
to discover which courses belong to which subject area.
12. Entry Requirements
Please consult the current University Undergraduate Prospectus.
13. Degree Classification
The final degree classification is based equally on performance in third and fourth years. Degrees are classified according to the University's standard marking scale with boundaries at 70%, 60%, 50%, 40%. Students who fail final year can be awarded an Ordinary Degree on the basis of their third year marks.