The study of computing science is wide-ranging; from programming and engineering large software systems, to the design and evaluation of human-computer interfaces, algorithms, computer and network systems, and information retrieval and storage systems.
Our students have a wide range of previous experience in programming, including none at all. Unusually at university level, we accommodate these differing experience levels in first year by offering alternative routes to ensure that whatever your background, you will enjoy a stimulating curriculum.
You will also study two other subjects of your choice in year 1: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
Year 1 (Faster route)
Faster route entrants study 20-credits of specifically designed material giving you an introduction to human-computer interaction, databases and hardware systems. You will also study, in conjunction with students in Year 2 of the traditional curriculum, Java programming, object-oriented software engineering, data structures & algorithms, algorithmic foundations, and information management. Progression to honours/MSci (Years 3, 4 and 5) is concomitant with those progressing through the first two years of the standard four or five-year curriculum. Please note that the Faster Route programme does not give you the flexibility to progress to honours in any discipline other than Computing Science or Software Engineering.
In your second year you will study Java programming, object-oriented software engineering, data structures and algorithms, algorithmic foundations, computer systems and information management.
You will also study one or two other subjects in year 2: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
Years 3, 4 and 5
If you successfully complete the courses in first and second years, you may move on to Honours (years 3 and 4). You will cover the essential aspects of computing science in breadth and depth by the end of third year. In fourth year you will specialise in chosen areas. Together with team projects and a substantial individual project, the programme provides excellent preparation for professional computing scientists.
Computing Science can be taken as an MSci, which includes an additional year. Students on the MSci programme follow the BSc Honours degree programme up to the end of their fourth year of study. This is followed in fifth year by additional advanced modules and a substantial research-oriented project.
There is a substantial emphasis on programming in first year, which we view as a fundamental skill. We also provide a broad introduction to other key areas of the subject, including computer systems, databases, and human–computer interaction.
We provide our students with excellent work experience opportunities. You may be able to work throughout the UK as well as in Europe and the USA. Organisations who have employed our students include: IBM, Amazon, Memex, Real Time, Google, Reuters, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley.
Computing Science students who wish to study abroad usually do so during their second year and we have exchange agreements in place with a variety of internationally leading universities across Europe. You can also spend a year abroad in North America, Australasia or at strong universities in any other country.
Our recent graduates have been employed by
- Codeplay, software engineer
- JP Morgan, software developer
- Standard Life, system analyst
- Morgan Stanley, system analyst
- Hewlett Packard, software engineer.
Honours graduates are eligible for membership of the British Computer Society and, after relevant industrial experience, they can apply to become Chartered IT Professionals.
Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2014
Highers: AAAA or AAABB (including Mathematics and one other science subject) in first sitting = unconditional offer. Higher Mathematics at grade C will be accepted together with Higher Computing Studies or Information Systems at grade B.
Applicants who achieved AAAB or AABBB at their first sitting may receive a conditional offer dependent upon them attaining enough Highers and/or Advanced Highers to bring their total attainment to six or more Highers/Advanced Highers by the end of their second sitting. Two Sciences (see subject specific requirements above), at minimum grades of A/B, if not attained at first sitting, will be required.
Additional offers MAY be made to applicants who achieved between ABBB and AABB (including two science subjects) at their first sitting. A decision re these applications will be made in March 2014 once all applications have been reviewed.
A-levels: AAB including one, preferably two, science subjects. A Level at B or above in Mathematics.
Applicants will receive an offer conditional on attaining AAB. Applicants who achieve AAB are guaranteed entry. Applicants who achieve grades less than AAB but higher than BBB will be considered for entry once all results have been received and reviewed in August 2014.
IB: A minimum of 34 points is required to be considered for an offer. Actual offers will specify subjects and grades to be attained at Higher Level.
Accepted Science subjects:
- Computing Studies
- Environmental Science
- Human Biology
- Information Systems
- Managing Environmental Resources
- Science (Double Syllabus)
Specially tailored faster route BSc and MSci programmes in Computing Science that allow students to qualify with a BSc or MSci one year faster are available for applicants with exceptional qualifications who are dedicated to pursuance of a formal qualification in Computing Science.
A levels: AAA including A in Computing. A level Mathematics is also expected, usually at grade B or above.
Advanced Highers: AAA including A in Computing. Applicants must also have achieved AAAB or AAABB (including Mathematics and another science subject) at their first sitting of Highers.
IB: 38 points overall with 6,6,5 at higher level including Computing Science and Mathematics
HND Computing: Software Development with AA in the graded units. Plus either Higher Mathematics at grade B or above OR Mathematics for Computing 1 and 2 Modules.
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): B minimum
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): C minimum
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
my academic qualifications are below the requirements?
Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please contact the Language Centre.