Computer Science

Employers like our graduates' distinctive blend of core skills and specialist knowledge, and their ability to work individually and in a team.

View all Computer Science courses

Computing is the key technology for all aspects of 21st century life. Everybody is touched by computers, either directly through work and home use of desktop systems, mobile devices, media players and toys, or indirectly through the multiple public and private agencies that depend on computers to deliver services to us.

Computers are at the heart of computing, but our philosophy is that computing is fundamentally about people using computers. We aim to develop the highly trained experts who will build and organise the computer-based systems that everybody else uses. Practical activity is carefully integrated into all our courses.

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.

Computer Science and Computer Systems students at Heriot-Watt can take advantage of our international campuses by taking part in an Inter-Campus Transfer. This gives you the opportunity to study at our Dubai campus for a semester or a year.

Furthermore, our courses offer the chance of a year-long industrial placement.

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.

Skills gained

  • The ability to design sound computer-based solutions to real-world problems
  • A strong foundation in contemporary computer science theory and practice
  • Specialist knowledge in a focused field
  • Experience of group and individual project work
  • Highly marketable qualification for employment in industry or for research.

Teaching and assessment

Learning methods include:

  • lectures
  • small group tutorials
  • group activities, and
  • laboratory work.

Assessment is by a combination of continuous assessment and end-of-course examinations.

Professional recognition and exemptions

The Computer Science and Software Engineering degrees are accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS) and the Engineering Council. The degrees give full exemption from BCS examinations and the Software Engineering degree completely fulfils the CEng academic requirements.

Key information

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