Informatics 2 comprises fives courses, with three running in the first semester and the remaining two being taught in the second semester . This document describes the rules, guidelines, etc. common to all courses.

Information specific to each course (syllabus, learning outcomes, lecture notes, etc.) can be found on its web page:

1. Degrees and degree requirements

Which informatics 2 courses are compulsory depends on the degree you are registered for. Please consult the Degree Programme Tables (DPT) for the full course requirements of each degree. Taking additional courses is encouraged, where possible, and will usually keep a wider range of options open in subsequent years.

2. Course Activities

Scheduled Inf2 classes run during the first and second semesters for 11 weeks. The degree exams for Inf2A, Inf2C are held at the end of the first semester, while the degree exams for Inf2B, inf2D are held at the end of the second semester. The precise dates of the exams are published by Registry.


There are three lectures per course per week for Inf2A, Inf2B, and Inf2D and two lectures a week for each of the Inf2C courses (you should consult the Informatics 2 web page for the schedule details). Whilst attendance at lectures is not obligatory, it is very strongly advised. Outlined lecture notes are available from the web-page for each course. Spare copies may be made available in the pigeonholes outside the ITO. Large print versions of all course materials are available on request. Students are expected to augment these with their own more detailed notes, gathered from lectures and going through the recommended reading material.

Clickers: Student clickers are available for collection from the main library at the foot of George Square. You should collect these as early as possible, otherwise you will be unable to participate fully in the lectures. More information about clickers can be found here.


Starting from the second or third week of each semester, there will be a weekly, one hour, small-group, tutorial session per course. Exercises will be assigned by lecturers approximately a week in advance,and the tutorial will normally be used for going over these.  Attendance is obligatory and will be recorded, so let your tutor know if you are ill or otherwise prevented from attending.


The arrangements for laboratory sessions for the Inf2 courses vary. There will always be scheduled lab time, every week, for each course with demonstrators available. However some of the labs will be "drop in" sessions, where you can work on your coursework and ask questions to the demonstrators, while others will be "formal" sessions, where you will be given hands-on introductions to various tools that are required for the course. Please check your course web page for room numbers and other details.


Coursework plays an essential part in the process of learning computer science skills and is one of the most enjoyable aspects of studying Informatics at the University. Each course will set out a number of assignments which contribute toward your course mark.

Note that the late coursework submission policy has been updated. See further information on coursework below.

Please see the individual course pages for details of these assignments. Also read further information on coursework below.

3. Inf2 staff

There is a separate page with the list of people involved with Informatics2.

4. Assessment

Requirements for passing the courses

All Informatics second year courses have the same requirements for passing. In order to pass each course you must satisfy all of the following requirements:

Examination resits and progression to Honours

Students who fail a course in December/May, may resit the exam in August. However, students who do not achieve the Honours standard in the first exam, may not attain Honours standard by taking the August exams. Such students may proceed to Honours courses only with special permission from the Head of School.

In order to proceed to Honours, you are normally expected to obtain a mark of at least 50% on each of the courses separately. Consult the Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study for the exact details of your particular course. This assumes, of course, that the prerequisite results in other subjects are also attained. The final decision about who is admitted to Honours is the responsibility of the Head of School.


There will be a separate degree examination for each course at the end of each Semester.

The degree examination is weighted at 75% and the coursework is weighted at 25% to get the combined total mark for the course.

Past Informatics exam papers can be found here and in the University library.

Assessed Coursework

A handout detailing the requirements of each assignment will be provided by the course lecturer. Each assignment should be submitted either on-line, using the submit program, or to the ITO (see the individual assignment handouts for details). All will be returned with comments and a mark approximately 2 weeks after the deadline. Note that all marks returned during the course are provisional and may be revised by the Board of Examiners.

Important Note We take plagiarism in coursework very seriously. Please read the Guidelines on Coursework and Plagiarism.

Late Coursework

Normally, you will not be allowed to submit coursework late.

If you have good reasons for needing to submit late, you must contact the ITO via the Support Form. Your request will be logged and passed on to the Course Organiser, who will then make a decision based on your reasons and any supporting evidence that you may have provided. Please note that you should not email the Course Organiser directly.

Note: Only in exceptional circumstances, e.g. illness that stopped you getting to email, would an extension be granted after a deadline has passed.

Any extension to an assignment deadline for a student must be approved by the Course Organiser, and the reason for the extension must be recorded by the ITO and your Director of Studies.

"Good reason" for an extension means something that, in the judgement of the member of staff responsible, would prevent a competent, well-organised, conscientious student from being able to submit on time. Examples include:

You should always inform your Director of Studies of any such thing that seriously affects your work, whether or not you ask for an extension as a consequence. If you prefer, you can choose to discuss details only with your DoS; s/he can advocate with other members of staff for you without going into details.

Note: Non-examples, i.e. things that will not be considered good reasons, include anything you could have planned for or avoided: difficult clusters of deadlines, attending social events, the demands of any job you undertake during semester, last-minute computer problems, loss of work through (your) backup failure, etc.

In general, you are expected to plan your time well and include contingency time. For example, if you expect a piece of work to take two days, you should begin it more than two days before its deadline.

Checking your coursework progress

In order to succeed in your studies you should keep up with the material of the course and make a good attempt at all the assessed assignments. The requirements stated above represent a bare minimum and do not indicate good progress. Your marks for each assessed practical assignment will be returned to you as soon as they are available so that you can (and indeed should) keep your own record.

For your convenience and as a means of helping you to check your progress, the ITO will do its best to collect the following information for you at just after half way through each half course and email it to your University sms account:

It is your responsibility to check your sms email account regularly.

5. Time Management

Time management makes the difference between enjoying Informatics 2 and not, and often between passing and failing, too. You are strongly encouraged to have a look at some slides of an Informatics talk by Perdita Stevens on the subject. We also recommend this talk given by Randy Pausch: Video and PDF of slides

6. Facilities and communication mechanisms


The School has a number of labs located in a number of buildings and open at various times. Please follow this link for a list of computing labs, access permissions and open times.

For location and times of Inf2 drop-in labs, please see the Inf2 top page.

You should already be familiar with the DICE system used in Informatics. You may want to refresh your memory by reading the Inf1 introduction to the system

Extensive documentation about the Informatics computing environment, including how to request technical support can be found here.

Communication mechanisms

The Inf2 web page will always contain up to date information about most aspects of the course. Please check it regularly for updates, especially if you miss a lecture. Students are also expected to check their email frequently.

Inf2 courses have their own newsgroups, under eduni.inf.cource.inf2[a-d]. You should check this several times a week, preferably every day, as there will often be notices concerning current assignments and running of the course.

If you have problems during the year, the following sources of help may be of use:

Course Administration Problems:
the course secretary or the ITO (Room 4.02 Appleton Tower. Tel: 0131 6509970)
Informatics 2-Related Academic Questions:
your tutor, teaching assistant or the appropriate lecturer.
General Academic Worries:
your Director of Studies.
Computing Problems:
complete the web-based support form - see the Informatics web pages
Financial Difficulties:
your Director of Studies, or the Advice Place, the Potterrow, 5/2 Bristo Square (6)50 9225.
Medical Problems:
University Health Service (6 Bristo Square (6)50 2777).
Personal Problems:
your Director of Studies, or the Advice Place, the Potterrow, 5/2 Bristo Square (6)50 9225.

If you have problems with staff or other students, or with some aspect of Informatics 1 organisation, contact:

the Class Representatives:
one or more student representatives are elected to represent each class. They pass feedback on to the School of Informatics and represent the course at Informatics Teaching Committee meetings.
the Course Organiser(s):
for problems with the course or for problems with lecturers, tutors, or demonstrators.
the Director of Teaching:
for problems with the Course Organiser.

In particular, if illness or some other problem prevents you from submitting any assessed work, or from attending lectures and tutorials for any length of time, please inform your Director of Studies, the Course Secretary and your tutor. Also, obtain a medical certificate from your doctor or Director and give it to the ITO: it will be considered when your work is being assessed.

Feedback mechanisms

Constructive feedback from staff or students is always welcome. Informal comments and suggestions can be made by anyone to the Course Organiser at any time. The classes elect Class Representatives, who act as a channel to the Course Organiser on class-wide issues.

More formally, Staff-Student liaison (SSL) meetings are held once per semester. Items for the agenda are submitted to either the Course Organiser or the Class Representative.

Complaints can be made confidentially: for example, if you complain to the Course Organiser about a lecturer/tutor/..., the Course Organiser will take the matter up with the member of staff without divulging your identity. If the member of staff concerned is the Course Organiser, you may address your complaint to the Director of Teaching.


InfBase supports student learning by providing a way of getting answers to questions when they are needed. For first and second years InfBase will be able to answer most things thrown at it. You can just drop-in on InfBase or arrange an appointment on the InfBase wiki. InfBase publishes all questions and answers on the InfBase wiki to form a growing repository of knowledge about courses.

7. Regulations and Guidelines

There are a number of on-line documents covering guidance and regulations on various aspects of the School and the University available here.

Coursework and Plagiarism

Coursework is an important component of INF2. As well as contributing to the final mark of each course, coursework plays an essential part in the process of learning computer science skills.

Because coursework contributes to your own individual assessment, it is essential that any work you submit is your own work. Of course it is perfectly acceptable to discuss general aspects of the coursework with other students, lab demonstrators, your tutor, and lecturers. However, you must not copy (or disguise) someone else's work presenting it as your own. If you do so, it will be treated as plagiarism and disciplinary action will be taken. The School of Informatics has its own guidelines on plagiarism in addition to those set out by the University. Please make sure to read the Informatics Guidelines on Plagiarism.

The University provides detailed guidance on plagiarism, including guidance on the avoidance of plagiarism. The official policy on plagiarism is set out in Section 14 of the Degree Exam Regulations.


The University has a Code of Practice on Personal Harassment and the School treats harassment seriously.

The University Computing Regulations point out that "the holding or distribution of any material which is defamatory, discriminatory, obscene or otherwise illegal or is offensive or calculated to make others fearful, anxious or apprehensive'' can result in legal proceedings, and the regulations permit the examination of computer files and emails in the investigation of such activities.

If you feel you are a victim of harassment, don't keep quiet - report the situation to your Director of Studies and/or the Course Organisers.

Academic problems or medical circumstances

If you find yourself experiencing special difficulties (for example, trouble coping with the workload of third year), you should approach your Director of Studies for guidance as soon as a problem becomes apparent.

If you experience a medical problem during the year, and if you believe it has either prevented you from completing your coursework satisfactorily or that it will impair your performance in the examinations, you should notify your Director of Studies.

Be assured that such matters are treated confidentially by everyone involved.


Appeals against the final mark awarded may be considered by the University where there are irregularities in the conduct of the assessment or the Board of Examiners did not have all available information at the time of assessment. Appeals in cases where the information was available but not given to the Board (for example, you broke your leg the week before the examination but didn't tell anyone until the results were published) are generally not considered. Tell your Director of Studies before the Board of Examiners if you feel there are factors that may have affected your performance.

Students are advised to consult their Director of Studies before initiating an appeal. An appeal must be submitted in writing to the Secretary to the University as soon as possible; only in exceptional circumstances are appeals considered more than three months after the results of an examination have been made known to the appellant.

Student records

The use by the university of personal details concerning students, and the use by students of personal details from on-line university records, university publications, and other sources, is governed by the Data Protection Act. An explanation of the responsibilities of staff and students with respect to the Data Protection Act 1998 can be found on-line at the The Records Management Section of the University of Edinburgh.


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