BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Games Programming)

The course

UCAS code
4 years
Delivery type


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


Computer science underpins the modern world. It is a dynamic and rapidly growing area that seeks to create cutting-edge solutions that address today’s challenges.

Our accredited BSc (Hons) Computer Science focuses on constructing robust and usable systems and is designed to help you build the next generation of software tools and ground-breaking technologies that people will use and rely on every day.

As one of the first universities in the UK to offer undergraduate degree programmes in computing, we provide outstanding education in computer science, computer systems, software engineering and information systems.

Our expertise

The excellence of our Computer Science degree is certified by the highest levels of accreditation by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. 

The degree is delivered by renowned academics who are experts in their field and is strongly informed by cutting-edge research and close liaison with industry. 

We have very strong links with the computing industry and have representatives of more than 30 companies from the UK ICT sector on our Industrial Advisory Board, which advises on our curriculum to ensure your learning is tailored to employers’ needs.

Your learning environment

  • Heriot-Watt’s GRID (Global Research, Innovation and Discovery) is a ground-breaking facility to advance global research, innovation and discovery. 
  • GRID provides an innovative teaching and learning environment for our computing students. 
  • GRID is also home to our brand new VR Labs and Games Design Studio.
  • Our Edinburgh campus is also the base for the UK’s National Robotarium.
  • Enjoy research-led teaching by our enthusiastic staff 
  • Access the unique opportunity to explore new technology through our student equipment fund. This fund support students to purchase technology (either in hardware, data or software) to explore the usage of and code development for new platforms, as part of a taught course or as a personal project.

Study abroad, placement year and more

  • You can go on an Inter-Campus Transfer to study Computer Science abroad at our Dubai campus for one semester or more through Go Global. 
  • We have exchange agreements with the Australian National University in Canberra.
  • We offer a BSc (Hons) Computer Science with Diploma in Industrial Training which provides a year-long placement in the computing sector.
  • Our student equipment fund is an initiative to support students in purchasing technology (either in hardware, data or software) to explore the usage of and code development for new platforms, as part of a taught course or as a personal project. Recent purchases include Parrot AR.Drone 2.0s, Oculus Rifts and Raspberry Pi 2s.

Global College foundation pathway for Computer Science

If you do not meet the entry requirements for BSc (Hons) Computer Science, you might consider foundation study with Heriot-Watt Global College, where you can follow an accelerated pathway which will get you onto the second year of this degree.


We have been delivering BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT accredited programmes for more than 30 years.

The BSc (Hons) Computer Science is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Engineering Council, fully meeting the academic requirement for Incorporated Engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for a chartered engineer.

It is also accredited by BCS on behalf of the Science Council for the academic requirement for registration as a chartered scientist.

Course content

Year 1

In your first year of study you will cover programming, an introduction to computer systems, databases and discrete mathematics.

Year 2

In your second year of study in our BSc Computer Science degree you will continue with software design - both high-level architectural issues as well as algorithms and data structures. Topics from databases, internet, communications and mobility, mathematics and programming language design will also be covered.

Year 3

In your third year of study you will study topics such as artificial intelligence, graphics, operating systems as well as more formal aspects of computing. You will also undertake a group project.

Year 4

In your final year of study you will study advanced topics as well as undertaking a major individual project.

Discover Uni course data

Discover Uni provides data on each university's degree courses across a range of measures including student satisfaction, graduate jobs and salaries.


Work and study

This is what our BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Games Programming) students are doing 15 months after graduating:

  • 83% are working
  • 6% are studying
  • 4% are working and studying.


  • The average salary of students 15 months after graduating: £29500
  • The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course: £28000

Potential career paths

  • Information Technology professionals

Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements 

  • Highers ABBB (including Mathematics)
  • A-Levels BBC – ABB including Maths B
  • Int. Baccalaureate 28 points (with Mathematics at Higher Level 5)
  • BTEC DDM (including sufficient Mathematics)
  • HNC B in graded unit (including sufficient Mathematics)

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC (including Mathematics at B)
  • A-Levels BCC (including Mathematics at B)

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements

Year 2

  • Advanced Highers BBB (including Mathematics and Computing plus excellent Highers)
  • A-Levels ABB (including Mathematics and Computing)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 30 points (with Mathematics and Computing at Higher Level 6)
  • HNC A in graded unit (including sufficient Mathematics and Computing)
  • HND AB in graded units (including sufficient Mathematics and Computing)
  • BTEC DDM (including sufficient Mathematics and Computing)
  • Global College Successful completion of our Technology with Accelerator Programme

Those entering at Year 2 are expected to be proficient in a high-level programming language; Java is our preference. 

Additional information

  • Not studying mathematics or worried about meeting the mathematics requirement? Consider applying for BSc Computer Systems. In Year 1 of this degree it is possible to take two optional mathematics courses. Then, subject to good performance, a course transfer to BSc Computer Science for Year 2 onwards can be requested.
  • For all years, applications are welcomed from holders of non-school qualificationsmature candidates and overseas students.
  • If you do not see your qualifications here please contact us at
  • Please check that you meet our University-wide National 5/GCSE (or equivalent) English and Maths requirements.
  • To find out about the difference between the 3 and 4 year honours courses, please watch our video to help you decide which route is best for your qualifications and experience so far.

English language requirements

  • If English is not your first language, you have to show that your English is good enough to succeed on your course. Please see our English language requirements.


Tuition fees for 2024 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland International**
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £24,048

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.

** 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above). Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

  • Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View details about the Heriot-Watt University Bursary

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.