A Level Requirements
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see all requirements
Full time 3 Year(s)
Computer science is a dynamic discipline with a wide range of applications, and our Study Abroad programme allows you to broaden your academic and cultural horizons in another county. As a result, our graduates are highly sought after in industry.
Our Computer Science programme is accredited by the British Computing Society (BCS) and the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), and provides you with the knowledge and skills required to become a computing professional. You will learn to work effectively in a professional software and systems development environment.
This programme will develop your self-confidence and expose you to new cultures and new ways of learning, while delivering a broad yet rigorous grounding in computer science. You will gain cutting-edge knowledge through both theoretical and practical learning approaches, and will develop a range of well-rounded professional and technical skills through state-of-the-art equipment and expert teaching offered at the School of Computing and Communications.
In the first year, you will receive a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental principles of the discipline, combined with their modern day application. Throughout your study, you will gain skills and experience from a range of modules, including Software Development, Information Systems, and Digital Systems. Taking a practical approach to education, you are encouraged to build and analyse systems and software, as well as work with end user feedback to refine and adapt solutions.
Your second year will be spent at one of our partner institutions in Europe, USA, Canada or Australia, where you will be motivated by topics that become progressively deeper and develop specialised skills. This will provide you with the opportunity to gain valuable experience of a different social and academic environment, while broadening your professional network.
Returning to Lancaster for your final year, you will have the opportunity to explore a range of well-constructed and enriching optional modules, as well as undertaking an individual project. In this project you will work closely with one of our academics, allowing you to use and further develop the skills acquired throughout your degree.
MSci Hons Computer Science (with Industrial Experience)
During your degree, you may choose to move to our MSci Computer Science (with Industrial Experience). This programme includes a fourth year and will present you with a range of integrated industry placement activities, allowing you to gain valuable real-world experience as part of your study.
We offer an excellent range of learning environments, which include traditional lectures, laboratories and workshops. We are also committed to providing timely feedback for all submitted work and projects.
Assessment varies across modules, allowing students to demonstrate their capabilities in a range of ways, including laboratory reports, essays, exercises, literature reviews, short tests, poster sessions, oral presentations, and formal examination.
A Level AAA
Required Subjects A level Mathematics or Computer Science grade A
Computing A Level We are committed to encouraging the adoption of the new A level Computing curriculum. Students applying with an A level in Computing will receive favourable consideration.
GCSE Mathematics grade B, English Language grade C
IELTS 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 36 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects including 6 in Mathematics HL or Computer Science HL
BTEC May be accepted alongside A level Mathematics or Computer Science
Access to HE Diploma Not typically accepted
We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.
Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of Lancaster's degree programmes are flexible, offering students the opportunity to cover a wide selection of subject areas to complement their main specialism. You will be able to study a range of modules, some examples of which are listed below.
This module demonstrates the fundamental building blocks, mechanisms and concepts found in all digital systems. Students will learn about the workings of a processor; how memory works; and the architectures of classical and contemporary computers. It also shows students how programming languages are turned into something a computer can understand. In providing a strong insight into these fundamental operations, students are encouraged to develop new ways of thinking and to develop abstract thought.
Students will gain an understanding of the key features and components of digital systems, including low level components such as registers and adders, and how these can be controlled through the use of programming techniques. They will develop the skills to work with different logic constructs and number systems, in particular, binary logic. The relationship between applications software, systems software and hardware will be considered and students will also develop an applied understanding of the c programming language.
This module provides students with an insight into the importance and relevance of the principles of computer science. Gaining the essential knowledge needed for analysing and characterising the efficiency of algorithms and computer programs, students learn how to make the right design choice when implementing computer programs to optimise efficiency for given design parameters.
Students also study the role and characteristics of data structures, and they gain an understanding of the continuing importance of classical algorithms in computer science.
The lectures in this module are supported by seminars and practicals, so that students can develop the ability to work efficiently both independently and in small groups.
There are three main aspects to this module. Firstly, students will study the design and implementation of data handling technology. They will learn about the structure and characteristics of relational databases and their contemporary alternatives, and about the common languages and functions for constructing, populating and querying valid information systems.
Secondly, the module looks at systems analysis and design. Alongside the study of information systems design, students will learn about the use of data in a business and social context, including data collection, validation and presentation. They will learn how to handle multiple constraints, working with people and machines, system thinking and basic cost/benefit analysis.
Finally, the module tackles the important professional and ethical issues of computers in society. Students will gain an understanding of the legal implications of holding personal data, the role and effects of censorship, malware and spam, privacy and surveillance, internet operations, and governance. This will enable students to construct and critique ethical arguments around human and technological requirements and appropriate design solutions.
Computer programming is a highly practical skill in our quickly developing world. In this module students develop the skills expected of a principled computer programmer as they learn how to write, analyse, debug, test and document computer programs. Students will be introduced to both the C and Java programming languages, two of the most widely used languages in the world. They will learn about best practice of day-to-day techniques associated with software development and gain an understanding of the software development cycle. Learning about the challenges faced by software developers in addressing scalability and complexity in computer software, students will be able to work independently to develop moderately complex computer programs.
The creative industries are often concerned with how an experience will be provided to a user through a product or service. User experience can and should be incorporated into the design of the software product life cycle and this module provides students with an awareness and basic understanding of contemporary platforms for user centred application.
The module focuses on the different stages of the design process such as creating prototypes, software, hardware, interaction design, graphical design, and evaluation.
This module introduces the fundamental theories and applications of mathematical tools related to communication systems and signal processing techniques. Students will become familiar with both practical implementations, such as in mobile communications, and common applications, such as in speech, image and video processing.
Throughout the module, students will learn about analogue and digital processing, including sampling, quantisation and coding. They will be introduced to analogue and digital modulation methods, and take part in discussions about trade-offs among bandwidth, data rate and signal power. Basic time and frequency domains will be explained and students will study signal processing concepts and methods that are closely related to communications systems.
The module provides students with a broad range of knowledge and skills necessary for a professional career in the field of data communication.
Students will gain an introduction to fundamental concepts in artificial intelligence and learn about current trends and issues. Topics such as Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Decision Making (DM) and Decision Making Under Uncertainties, and Probability Theory are all explored throughout the course. Artificial Intelligence offers experience in supervised and unsupervised machine learning, neural networks and decision trees. Multivariate methods, and clustering and classification approaches are taught and there is an introduction to evolutionary algorithms, phenotypes, genotypes and fundamental genetic operators. Programming languages suitable for intelligent systems, such as Scheme and Prolog are investigated and students are made familiar with the applications of artificial intelligence.
This module sees an awareness of the requirements of artificial intelligence systems in general, and in the context of computing and communications systems. Through knowledge based, probabilistic and logical systems, the module provides students with an awareness of competing approaches and a broad grounding in artificial intelligence. Additionally they will understand and critically analyse artificial intelligence techniques used in modern computers and mobile devices.
Students are offered an understanding of the fundamental principles underpinning modern distributed systems and practical implementation using JAVA RMI. They will explore indirect communication, group communication and non-functional aspects in distributed systems such as scalability, fault-tolerance and dependability. Applications and services such as distributed file systems and Google infrastructure are investigated in the module and students benefit from a practical development of distributed systems using Java RMI, J2EE and associated tools and techniques. Through this, the module examines distributed systems design, security and Java RMI, the Java Messaging Service, Java Groups and component architectures such as Fractal and Enterprise Java Beans (EJB).
Students will expand their problem solving skills and increase their current programming skills, allowing them to successfully develop distributed applications and services. They will explore the client-server model of distributed systems, RPC/RMI and physical and logical security and protection mechanisms. Study of practical tools and techniques currently available in distributed programming and engaging in discussions of key non-functional properties, with an insight into current research issues in the distributed systems community is also featured.
Providing an introduction to formal languages, grammars, automata and how these concepts relate to programming in terms of compilers and the compilation process, students will learn about syntax and semantics, phrase structure grammars and the Chomsky Hierarchy as well as processes such as derivation and parsing. The module focuses on grammar equivalence and ambiguity in context free grammars and its implications. There is exploration of the relationship between languages and abstract machines. Students are presented with the concept of computation alongside Turing’s thesis, alternative models of computation and applications of abstract machine representations. There are further introductions to the compilation process including lexical analysis and syntactic analysis.
By the end of this module, students will understand the relation of programming languages and the theory of formal languages. They will possess an essential understanding of the compilation process for a high-level programming language. Students are encouraged to engage with theoretical aspects of computer science to compliment practical skills in other parts of their degree. There are links to other disciplines such as linguistics, and the course explains the challenges of compilation in the context of software development and computer science.
Covering a range of topics, including asset identification and assessment, threat analysis and management tools and frameworks, students will become familiar with attack lifecycle and processes, as well as risk management and assessment processes, tools and frameworks. The module covers mitigation strategies and the most appropriate mitigation technologies and offers knowledge on assurance frameworks and disaster recovery planning. There is also an opportunity to learn about infrastructure design and implementation technologies and attack tree and software design evaluation.
Students will gain an understanding of the different ways in which an IT professional can make effective decisions when securing an IT infrastructure. The course will make them aware of the tools, frameworks and models that can be used to identify assets, threats and risks, before selecting the most appropriate strategies to manage the exposure that IT infrastructure faces in the light of this analysis. The module builds on their skills with a practical examination of the mechanisms by which IT infrastructures are attacked.
Students produce a substantial individual project, involving the principled design, implementation and evaluation of a substantial piece of software, experimental software or theoretical work. A wide selection of topics are posted by potential supervisors for students to choose from, with the requirements of the degree scheme, the student’s interests and the supervisor’s area of expertise all play a role in project allocation.
Bi-weekly guidance is offered in the form of a one-on-one setting from supervisors to ensure the required level of academic achievement and rigour is maintained for the duration of the project.
There is also the option for project collaboration with an external partner such as a company. Students taking this route can expect an additional external supervisor and a co-ordinator from the InfoLab21 Knowledge Business Centre. The external supervisor’s role is to provide the required information on the business context of the external partner information.
Once completed, students will have developed a coherent proposal for a complex computing, IT or Creative Industries related project, undertaken the research required for such a project, applied theoretical concepts and practical skills and write up a coherent technical report that accurately documents the project.
Information for this module is currently unavailable.
Students taking this module will be exposed to a small number of current computer science related topics from different subject areas. These areas will be introduced through a lecture covering the general aspects of the area, however the main topical exposure will happen through seminar style in-depth study of specific parts of the subject area. This will include guided reading, a written seminar essay, presentation of the results in plenary and a discussion of the findings within the seminar group. Through this the students will further deepen their skills in carrying out research, present their work in written, graphical and verbal form (which is related to SCC205 Professional Skills & Research Methods) and to discuss the research work with experts and their own peers.
The subject areas contributing to the seminars will come from SCC’s different thematic strands and will include natural language engineering, policy based network resilience, eye-tracking for ubiquitous computing applications, and a focus on energy aware control and sensing in home environments. Students will conduct independent and in-depth research into an advanced topic of computing or communications reflecting current topical and research issues, and will be required to apply research skills to specific subject areas, present the results of their finding in front of a peer group and supervisor, as well as lead a guided discussion on their chosen subject area. The module aims to familiarise students with a variety of current and topical areas in computer science and communications that provide an additional and more in-depth perspective on subject areas taught throughout second and third year.
During the course of the module, students will be expected to research a complex technical topic related to their studies, including analysing, structuring, summarising, documenting and presenting their findings in front of a large group. They will gain topical knowledge and skills related to the subject areas of the seminars and will learn with and from their peers the specific topical areas of the seminars. The module will enable students to produce a coherent document describing their research findings on a complex technical or research topic, present technically intricate issues in a coherent manner, and discuss and defend their position on a specific topic within a seminar group.
Students will become familiar with a range of issues surrounding the structure, design and deployment of contemporary, large scale and high performance web based services and infrastructures. They will gain the ability to identify barriers to high performance and take a heuristic approach for achieving the best website performance through caching, locality and the use of content delivery networks and cloud hosting. An understanding of the use of analytics, metrics, A/B and multivariate testing will be gained. Through the use of programming toolkits, story tagging and content aggregation, along with XML stores, linked data and RDF students will create responsive web design, including mobile devices, tablets and touch interaction.
By the end of the module, students will have a comprehensive knowledge of using metrics and quantitative data to identify a variety of performance problems. They will be able to use and interpret data analytics, as well as understanding agile web development methodology and how to identify quality processes and provide support for accessibility and internationalisation. Students will conduct weekly experimental lab tasks designed to complement and reinforce lectures, giving both a theoretical knowledge and practical experience in range of topics.
The course looks at how digital media is encoded, compressed and presented in a computerised environment and how media content can be processed in order to provide more information about it, automatically annotate or classify it, or make it easier to find or handle. The module exposes various discussions in all aspects from the basics of human perceptions over media presentation, coding and digitisation and compression to advanced media processing. Students are encouraged to understand the underlying mathematical principles and how they are being used within coding and different media processing schemes. Fundamental module types such as images, audio and video will be covered in the module.
Students will gain an understanding of how digital media is encoded in the digital domain: how they are presented on computers, laptops, smartphones and other devices. The basic principles of automatic content processing and how additional information can be generated through processing video, audio and images will be learnt.
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster visit our Teaching and Learning section.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Computer science is a vast but specialised subject; as a result, our degree equips you with the technical and professional skills necessary to apply yourself to a broad range of careers. Our graduates have gone on to work with major technology companies such as IBM, Google, BBC, and BAE, while others have chosen to take their software design, development and management skills to SMEs, or have set up their own technology-centric businesses. Many of our computer scientists also elect to study for MSc or PhD qualifications.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, you also graduate with the relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2018/19 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2017 were:
Some science and medicine courses have higher fees for students from
the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. You can find more details here:
Lancaster University's priority is to support every student to make the most of their life and education and we have committed £3.7m in scholarships and bursaries. Our financial support depends on your circumstances and how well you do in your A levels (or equivalent academic qualifications) before starting study with us.
Scholarships recognising academic talent:
Continuation of the Access Scholarship is subject to satisfactory academic progression.
Students may be eligible for both the Academic and Access Scholarship if they meet the requirements for both.
Bursaries for life, living and learning:
Students from the UK eligible for a bursary package will also be awarded our Academic Scholarship and/or Access Scholarship if they meet the criteria detailed above.
Any financial support that you receive from Lancaster University will be in addition to government support that might be available to you (eg fee loans) and will not affect your entitlement to these.
For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page
Please note that this information relates to the funding arrangements for 2017, which may change for 2018.
Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews.
Average time in lectures, seminars and similar
Average assessment by coursework