About our research

Whilst computers are now commonplace, there are still significant challenges at the heart of the discipline, including novel forms of computation, e.g. quantum and biologically inspired, and development and assurance of large-scale systems. However, many of the challenges are interdisciplinary, and in the interaction of computing with other technologies; in recognition of this the Department has joint appointments with Biology and Electronics, and working links with disciplines as diverse as Mathematics, Medieval studies and Psychology.

The Department of Computer Science at York carries out fundamental research which is setting the agenda in the discipline; it also works extensively with industry, translating research results into usable solutions. Increasingly the Department's work is interdisciplinary.

Our REF results

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 results ranked York's Computer Science:

  • 7th overall in the UK;
  • 5th for impact;
  • 6th for environment.

This result confirms the long-standing global reach and real-world significance of our research and makes us one of best Departments in the country for nurturing excellent research by staff and research students alike. All aspects of our impact and environment were judged to be of world-leading or international standard. 

Head of Department Professor Jim Woodcock: "York Computer Science has always aimed to give excellent support for the production of great research that excites the academic community and has profound real-world effect. The REF 2014 results confirm our outstanding research achievements to date. Our staff and students' creativity, expertise and enthusiasm will allow us to build on this success over the coming years."

Research group structure

We currently have ten research groups within the Department, covering the following areas:

  • Advanced Computer Architectures
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Enterprise Systems
  • Games
  • High Integrity Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Non-Standard Computation
  • Programming Languages and Systems
  • Real-Time Systems

For more information about our research groups please visit the research groups page.

Research links

The department has active research links with other York departments, including Biology, Chemistry, Electronics, Environment, History, Mathematics, Medieval Studies and Psychology. We work within interdisciplinary groups within the University, including the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis (YCCSA), and from this we are able to play a part in multi-disciplinary teaching and PhD programmes with other departments at York.

The Department also has wider interdisciplinary links, playing a major role in several important national and international research programmes and initiatives, collaborating with both academic institutions and industry. 

The University has maintained a consistent policy of investing in Computer Science. This can be seen in our move to the campus expansion at Heslington East, where we are now housed in purpose-built accommodation. Our state-of-the-art facilities help to promote interdisciplinary work further, including housing the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis, of which some of our academics are a part.

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