BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Software Engineering)
Our BSc Computer Science degree focuses on constructing robust and usable systems. As well as looking at cutting edge tools and techniques, it’s designed to help you build the next generation of software tools that other system constructors will use. The course aims to give a well integrated balance of theoretical underpinnings and practical experience, strongly informed by the research expertise of our academic staff.
All year 3 students take part in a year-long group project, where they co-operate in tackling a large, realistic problem. Year 4 students conduct a major, year-long, individual dissertation project.
You can take advantage of our international campuses by taking part in an Inter-Campus Transfer. This gives you the opportunity to study computer science at our Dubai campus for a semester or a year.
Why study computer science at Heriot-Watt University?
- 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. All our programmes are strongly informed by cutting edge research and close liaison with industry, and are delivered by renowned academics who are experts in their field.
- We are one of Scotland's most international universities: around a third of our students in Edinburgh are from outside the UK. We have exchange agreements with the Australian National University in Canberra. In addition, our BSc Computer Systems is offered at our Dubai campus, and Edinburgh students have the opportunity to apply to spend one or more semesters there via the Heriot-Watt's Go Global programme.
- We enjoy very strong links with the UK ICT sector, with representatives of more than 30 companies attending our Industrial Advisory Board. Much of our research is in collaboration with leading computing enterprises.
- All of our programmes are accredited by the British Computer Society.
- The Department of Computer Science enjoys substantial support from the EU, RCUK and industry for our research in intelligent systems, interaction, and rigorous systems. We are partners in the world class Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, and have cutting edge facilities for research into multi-processor systems. Much of our teaching is research led.
Careers in Computer Science
- artificial intelligence developer
- robotics engineer
- data scientist
- software developer
- site reliability engineer (SRE)
- security consultant
- development operations (DevOps) engineer
- cyber security analyst
- computer scientist
- application analyst
- applications developer
- game designer
- games developer
- programmer analyst
- e-commerce business analyst
- systems analyst
- technical support engineer
Links with industry
We have very strong links with the computing industry, with representatives of more than 30 companies attending our Industrial Advisory Board. Much of our research is in collaboration with leading computing enterprises and students really value our research-led teaching by our enthusiastic staff.
Student equipment fund
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.
The Computer Science Department has been delivering BCS-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’s also accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Science Council for the academic requirement for registration as a chartered scientist.
You will cover programming, an introduction to computer systems, databases and discrete mathematics.
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.
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.
You will study advanced topics as well as undertaking a major individual project.
More in-depth information on the content of the courses listed above, how they are assessed and the learning outcomes can be accessed via our current student portal.
Work and study
This is what our BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Software Engineering) students are doing 15 months after graduating:
- 75% are working
- 5% are studying
- 5% are working and studying.
In highly skilled work
- 95% of those are in highly skilled work 15 months after graduating.
- The average salary of students 15 months after graduating: £27500
- The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course: £25000
These are the most common jobs students go into 15 months after graduating:
- Information technology and telecommunications professionals
Standard entry requirements
- Highers ABBB (including Mathematics)
- A-Levels BBC (Including Maths at 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
- 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)
Those entering at Year 2 are expected to be proficient in a high-level programming language; Java is our preference.
- 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 qualifications, mature candidates and overseas students.
- If you do not see your qualifications here please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
|Status*||Scotland||England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland**||International***|
|Fee||Paid by SAAS||£9,250||£20,584|
* 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.
** 'Rest of the UK' (RUK) and Republic of Ireland students entering at Level 1 receive a fee waiver of one year's tuition fee. Normally this will be the final year, or a year during which students study abroad (either at a partnership institution, or at one of Heriot-Watt's overseas campuses).
*** '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.
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
Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree courses in 2021
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 students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:
- Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.