Back to the list of undergraduate courses

BSc (Hons) Computer Science and Mathematics

UCAS code Typical offer Length
GG41 AAB - ABB (See full entry requirements) 3 years full-time
Apply now

Received an offer?

Log in to You@York to track your application
The Computer Science building next to the Ron Cooke Hub

Study in the newest Computer Science facilities in the UK

Two students discussing Computer Science

Develop skills that will be invaluable to employers

Student receiving personal teaching from a Computer Science academic

Benefit from our high staff to student ratio with easy access to academic staff

Computer Science has Mathematics at its foundation, and the study of the two complementary subjects allows you to study topics core to both disciplines whilst gaining an insight into how the two disciplines intersect.

You study both subjects equally, and the skills you gain from both courses will make you highly employable across a range of industry sectors.

Please note: for our combined courses with Mathematics, we require a Grade A in A Level Mathematics.

Course overview

I use the programming, software development and problem-solving skills that I learnt during my York degree on a daily basis. It is very rewarding to think that the technical skills I learnt at university could give benefit to society.

Small picture of alum Mark Dunning

Mark Dunning
BSc Computer Science and Mathematics 2003, now works at Cancer Research UK

Why study Computer Science and Mathematics?

Both Computer Science and Mathematics underpin much of modern science and technology, and so their combined study gives you an understanding of both disciplines.

The term 'computer' originally referred to a person who performed numerical calculations, and today's computers are, in essence, very efficient number-crunching machines, capable of performing tasks of startling complexity.

Mathematics pervades Computer Science - from designing and analysing efficient computer programs to developing formal proofs that a piece of software does what was intended. This is especially important, for example, if the software is being used to fly a plane.

Increasingly Computer Science is also being used to find solutions to mathematical problems. Computers have been used to solve long-standing mathematical problems, as computers can be a way to visualise complex numerical data, search for solutions and make number manipulation much faster.

What the course involves

You will gain an equal and thorough grounding in Computer Science and Mathematics in your first two years, introducing the fundamental concepts in both subjects, whilst gaining an insight into the interplay between the two. You can then choose to weight your studies towards either subject, or keep the split the same. Your final year project can be in either subject.

Studying at York

Practical and project work receive a great emphasis throughout the course, and you will be guided through this in scheduled practical and teaching sessions in the Department’s state-of-the-art teaching laboratories. This guiding in your first year is intended to give you the help you need to become an independent thinker, as you work more on practical coursework and your individual project as the course progresses.

Our laboratories are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you are able to work on your projects, coursework or simply experiment at a time of day that suits you.

Take a video tour of our facilities - this is where you'll come for teaching and to use the labs:

http://youtu.be/-QDYp_lzDZo

You will also have your own personal supervisor, who will meet with you regularly. They will be available to help with any issues you may be having, academic or personal.

Our links with industry

We have fantastic links with industry within the Department, and this allows us to give you exposure to the latest developments in the real world, as well as in our research. If you choose to take your project in Computer Science, you may work on projects that have been specified by companies such as IBM or BT, who will then take any solutions and could use them within their business.

We also take advice from our Industrial Advisory Board, who make sure that what we teach is up to date and relevant to today's workplace. This means that when the time comes for you to get a job, you will be able to adapt quickly in the workplace, due to our principled and current teaching.

Opportunities to study abroad

The University operates a worldwide exchange programme that allows students to pursue international interests; there are links with a number of universities in North America, Asia and Australia.  The exchange year replaces an academic year in York, and you can apply in January of your first year.

Course content

What you'll study

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ55Mvmk0HY

Your first year

Your first year contains essential fundamental material in programming and computer architectures. You will also learn about the mathematical and theoretical foundations of computer science.  We also teach you how to increase your employability prospects, including helping with your presentation style and exploring the professional issues in Computer Science.

These are examples of the modules we currently teach in our first year of Computer Science and Mathematics:

In Mathematics, you take 60 credits of modules that run during the entire teaching year:

  • Calculus
  • Algebra
  • Mathematical Skills I: Reasoning and Communication

Your second year

Your second year continues teaching you the fundamentals of both disciplines, and more specialist modules start to be introduced.

Current second year modules in Computer Science are:

In Mathematics, you take the following module which runs during the entire teaching year:

  • Pure Mathematics

In addition, in the Autumn Term you take: 

  • Linear Algebra
  • Vector Calculus

Your final year

Once you reach your final year, you can choose to weight your studies more towards Computer Science or Mathematics. You will undertake an individual final year project in the subject you choose, which will involve a lot of self-study, rather than scheduled teaching time.

Examples of current third year modules in Computer Science are:

Those marked with * have a closer connection to Mathematics.

In Mathematics, you choose from the following example optional modules:

  • Algebraic Number Theory
  • Character Theory
  • Number Theory
  • Metric Spaces
  • Introductory Fluid Dynamics
  • Introduction to Dynamical Systems
  • Quantum Mechanics I
  • Introduction to Partial Differential Equations
  • Differential Geometry
  • Galois Theory
  • Lebesgue Integration
  • Topology
  • Applications of Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Intermediate Fluid Dynamics
  • Biological Fluid Dynamics

Your final year project

You will be able to choose from a large list of projects, or define your own topic according to your interests, in either Computer Science or Mathematics.

Some recent examples of final year projects are:

  • A parallel neural network software system
  • York Extendible Testing Infrastructure (YETI): Improving the Java binding
  • A graph editor for LaTeX
  • Simulating continuous time quantum walks on graphs
  • Solving Soduku with Boolean SAT
  • Finding what's most likely using integer programming
  • Financial forecasting
  • Binary code translation from register to stack based code 

Note: We add to and update our programmes on a regular basis. The modules being taught may therefore be subject to change. 

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct;
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work;
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts;
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.

Teaching

How you'll be taught

At York, Computer Science is taught in a broad and principled way, where you cover theory as well as practice. We encourage you to develop your professional competence as well as your intellectual adventure.

You'll split your time between the Departments of Computer Science and Mathematics, so you'll experience different types of teaching and assessment. Find out more about the Department of Mathematics.

How will my contact hours be spent?

A typical week will involve about 16 hours of scheduled teaching time. Our courses are based on series of one-hour lectures with associated laboratory sessions, programming classes and tutorials. 

Throughout the course, you will have a personal supervisor responsible for guiding your studies. In addition to any timetabled sessions, you will meet with your supervisor regularly, and you can also go to him or her at any time, should you have any issues, academic or personal. There are problem classes to help you put learning from lectures into practice and one-to-one weekly project supervisions in your final year.

However, much of the required learning is achieved outside the scheduled timetable. This can be through working in the labs, which are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or through reading recommended materials or working through problems. Consequently, students are expected to be self-motivated, self-disciplined and willing to learn outside regular classes.

Your contact hours in the first year are higher than subsequent years, as we teach the fundamentals of the subject. As you progress through the course you will develop your skills to become a more independent learner. In your final year you will be working on your individual project in addition to timetabled activity;  you will be allocated a project supervisor, with whom you will have regular meetings in addition to timetabled sessions. You can go to your project supervisor for support and advice regarding your project.

Is the teaching in Mathematics different?

For most modules, lectures are the main mode of teaching, complemented with small tutorial groups with your Maths personal supervisor. This is to help you review lecture material, discuss assignments, and develop your skills in understanding, creating and presenting mathematical arguments.

Non-core modules are supported by additional weekly seminars, small classes typically of around 20 students. Seminars and lectures continue through the second and third years, with problem classes or seminars, and some modules have practical computer classes.

University maths is full of new concepts and requires more time spent assimilating these - more 'thinking time' - than school maths.  Therefore an important part of studying mathematics is independent study and practising problem sheets. Of course, if you have any difficulties, you can always approach lecturers and your personal supervisor for help.

How you'll spend your time

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars408 hours
(34%)
312 hours
(26%)
216 hours
(18%)
Independent study792 hours
(66%)
888 hours
(74%)
984 hours
(82%)

Careers

Careers and employability

Join a Computer Science department with one of the highest employability rates in the UK. Nine out of every ten of our graduates get work or go into further study within six months of leaving York.

Information technology is a rapidly expanding field, creating demand for computer scientists and software engineers across a broad section of employers, so the skills you develop here will make you attractive to many organisations.

Many of our graduates are employed by software and electronics industries, but the continuing expansion of the use of computers in commercial and financial operations means that you will be able to find employment in other industries - and here your sharpened numeracy and analytical skills will have prepared you well.

Here's some idea of which industry sectors our graduates choose to work in:

Industry sectors of jobs our graduates gain when they leave York

Read some profiles of our past students, to find out how their degree from York helps them to do jobs in organisations as diverse as Mars and Cancer Research UK.

A Computer Science degree from York prepares graduates for the workplace at all levels. They keep up with emerging trends and prepare graduates to adapt quickly, so we find that graduates from York are able to integrate with Amadeus easily.

Jeffrey Hau
HR Business Partner, Amadeus

Skills for the workplace

Most importantly, you learn how to think and gain a broad understanding of all of the essential scientific principles, engineering techniques and practices in Computer Science. This allows you to be flexible and adapt quickly in any field that you wish to go into. More specifically, we can identify four main skill areas as follows:

  • The ability to approach problems analytically, and to design structured solutions. Laboratory modules will help you to develop skills of data analysis, design and implementation. You will also be introduced to a wide range of modern software development tools and techniques.
  • Research skills. Throughout the course you will be given opportunities to learn research skills. These culminate in a major final year project where you will research a problem, identify the key issues, produce a critical assessment of the relevant literature, and generate a new solution.
  • Management skills. You will have the opportunity to learn about the techniques, concepts and theories used in project management, and gain experience of putting them into effect.
  • Communication skills. Communication skills are invaluable. You will have the opportunity to develop these skills throughout the programme, through, for example, oral and written presentations, in both formal and informal settings. At the end of the course, you will be confident and competent in communicating your knowledge and skills to a wide range of audiences.

Find out more about how York can help make you more employable 

Assessment

How you'll be assessed

We use a variety of assessment techniques throughout your course. This allows you to practice different techniques, from report writing and presentations through to closed examinations.

Here's a few examples of what you might experience:

  • When you undertake your final year project, you will be expected to produce a large report, as well as an oral presentation of your project.
  • Our Skills for Computer Scientist module is there to help you develop your employability skills, and so assessed work includes presentations, essay writing and developing your career plan.
  • Your first year programming module, Theory and Practice of Programming, includes a timed, closed programming assessment, where you must code in an exam setting.
  • Other modules include mini exams throughout the year which contribute to your final mark.

These different assessment techniques allow us to get the best out of you, and you will not be disadvantaged by being assessed in just one way.

Each modules has information on how it is assessed. Click through each one on the Course content tab for more details.

Feedback on assessments

The Department really cares about its students and has done a lot to improve the course and listen to feedback while I’ve been here.

 Undergraduate Alex Chow

Alex Chow, MEng Computer Science with Embedded Systems Engineering

We're working hard on how we provide feedback to our students. Ways that we do this are to provide exam review sessions, where you can come and see your marked assessment and ask an academic member of staff any questions about the way it has been marked. We also provide electronic feedback to students, which is given alongside the marks you receive. We also have a Board of Examiners, to which any student can apply to if they feel that they wish to take queries about their assessments further.

We also ask our students for feedback on the course and assessments at the end of each year. This feedback helps to improve and modify what we do to help meet the needs of you, the student.

Will I be assessed differently in the Department of Mathematics?

In Mathematics, the majority of your modules are assessed by examinations, complemented by weekly or fortnightly individual assignments to assess your progress in each module. This allows you to practise the maths and gain valuable feedback before the formal assessment takes place.

Lecturers provide feedback in a variety of forms, according to the needs of the specific module. It may consist of written feedback, in-class discussion, model answers, or online responses to questions posted on the module discussion board.

Assessment arrangements

We will make reasonable adjustments for any students with disabilities. For more information, take a look at the disability support services within the University.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams85%87%58%
Coursework7%8%34%
Practical exams8%5%8%

Applying

How to apply

null

When your place at York is confirmed, you'll be sent a free Raspberry Pi. Then you can take part in our Challenge!

See what last year's Challenge was like, and watch a video of the proceedings

All applications must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

We will make all of our offers in terms of grades - we will not use tariff points in your offer.

All of our offers will require a grade B or above in A-Level Mathematics (or equivalent qualification).

Tips on applying

Please put as much information as you can on your UCAS form. This will help us to process your application as soon as possible.

We do not require our students to have any programming or computing experience, but if you have, you should mention this in your personal statement - whether it be working with hardware, software or applications. We are interested to know why you want to study Computer Science for the next few years, so let us know what interests you about the subject. We may also ask you about this at interview.

Bear in mind that we are interested not only in what you have done, but, even more, in what you are going to do. Put information in your application that tells us how you are going to make use of your opportunity at University and after graduation.

Whilst we do not specifically require you to have studied Computing at A-level, we are delighted to accept students with this qualification and would encourage you to apply. We also recommend the new OCR or AQA GCSEs in Computer Science/Computing, so that you can gain a grounding in the principles of Computing, though this is also not an admissions requirement to any of our degrees.

Your offer and visiting York

If we receive your application form and are impressed by your grades, personal statement and references, we will recommend you for an offer. You will also be given the opportunity to attend an optional interview.

The interview is not part of your offer, and you do not need to attend. However, if you choose to attend and you perform well at interview, your offer may be reduced by one A-Level grade or equivalent. Please note, irrespective of your performance at interview, the Department will recommend that the University makes you an offer.

The interview will be a one-to-one session with a member of our academic staff, to discuss your motivation for studying Computer Science and your aptitude for the subject. Find out more about our Open Days and Applicant Visit Days.

In the case of applicants living outside the UK, a decision will be made based on their application.

Transfer between courses

We encourage you to apply for the course you are interested in, but you can transfer between courses (except for joint honours degrees) at any time until the end of the first year.

Entry requirements

A levels

For MEng courses:  AAA - AAB including an A-level in Mathematics. 

For BEng/BSc courses:  AAB - ABB including an A-level Mathematics.

An A-level in Mathematics is an absolute requirement for all our courses. Your other two A-levels can be any subject.

For our joint Computer Science and Mathematics course, you must achieve an A in A-level Mathematics.

Whilst we do not specifically require you to have studied Computing at A-level, we are delighted to accept students with this qualification and would encourage you to apply.

We also recommend the new OCR or AQA GCSEs in Computer Science/Computing, so that you can gain a grounding in the principles of Computing, though this is also not an admissions requirement to any of our degrees.

GCSEs

From applicants who have taken GCSEs, we look for a good range of subjects, including GCSE English Language at grade C or above.

We also require a qualification in a physical science; for example, a GCSE at grade C or above in Physics or Double Science.

International Baccalaureate

For MEng courses:  overall grade of 36 - 35 points, with a grade 6 in Mathematics at Higher Level. 

For BEng/BSc courses:  overall grade of 35 - 34 points, with a grade 6 in Mathematics at Higher Level. 

You should have at least some basic qualification in Physics. This could be at a level one or two years earlier than your school-leaving qualification; but a qualification as part of your school-leaving qualification would provide an even more useful preparation.

The ideal preparation would be Physics at HIGHER level; but it would still be very useful to you at STANDARD level. Nevertheless, we do not require it to be part of your IB, provided you have studied physical science earlier in your school career.

Evidence of English language ability is also required from applicants whose first language is not English and who have not been taught predominantly in English.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

For MEng courses:  AA - AB in Advanced Highers, including Mathematics, plus AAAAA - AAAAB at Higher Level.

For BEng/BSc courses:  AB in Advanced Highers, including Mathematics, plus AAAAB - AAABB at Higher Level. 

For joint courses with Mathematics, we will ask for A in Mathematics in all cases. 

Our GCSE requirements can be satisfied by any combination of Scottish Standard and Higher level qualifications.

Irish Leaving Certificate

For MEng courses:  AAAAAB - AAAABB at Higher Level, including A1 or A2 in Mathematics.

For BEng/BSc courses:  AAAABB - AABBBB at Higher Level, including A1 or A2 in Mathematics. 

For joint course with Mathematics, we will ask for A1 in Mathematics in all cases. 

BTEC

BTEC National Extended Diploma (Level 3)

For MEng courses: Grades DDD, plus a grade A in A-level Mathematics.

For BEng/BSc courses: Grades DDD - DDM, plus at least a grade B in A-level Mathematics.

Please note that, for all applicants studying the BTEC National Extended Diploma, we will also require an A-level in Mathematics. The grade required for MEng and BEng/BSc courses is listed above. For joint courses with Mathematics, we will require a grade A in A-level Mathematics. 

We will consider applicants with a National Certificate (BTEC National Diploma) if they also hold a grade A in A-level Mathematics. In the first instance, you should contact the Department to discuss your application with details of your BTEC course.

Our A level Mathematics requirement may be waived if you have obtained Distinctions in BTEC National Extended Diploma papers in Mathematics with a sufficiently rigorous approach, and sufficient content at an appropriate level. If this is the case, then the A-level requirement will be waived and our requirement will be Grades DDD for the Extended Diploma.

To save disappointment, we should point out that any Mathematics module described as 'for IT' is unlikely, on its own, to be an acceptable mathematical preparation for our programmes.

You would find Electronics, Electrical Engineering or Physics the most useful preparation among your other modules.

You should also have at least some basic qualification in Physics. This could be GCSE Double Science (or single Physics); but a qualification as part of your BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma would provide an even more useful preparation.

 

BTEC HNC Diploma (Level 4) or HND Diploma (Level 5)

For MEng and BEng courses:  We ask for the HNC Diploma or HND Diploma with Distinctions in most papers, and Merits in all those papers that are not Distinctions, plus a grade A in A-level Mathematics.

Our A-level Mathematics requirement may be waived if you have obtained Distinctions in a number of HNC or HND papers in Mathematics with a sufficiently rigorous approach, and sufficient content at an appropriate level. To save disappointment, we should point out that any Mathematics module described as 'for IT' is unlikely, on its own, to be an acceptable preparation for our programmes.

You would find Electronics, Electrical Engineering or Physics the most useful preparation among your other modules.

You should have at least some basic qualification in Physics. This could be GCSE Double Science (or single Physics); but a qualification as part of your HNC or HND would provide an even more useful preparation.

European Baccalaureate

For MEng courses:  an overall average of 85% - 80% with a Mathematics (FIVE-period) by written examination result of 85%.

For BEng/BSc courses:  an overall average of 80% - 75% with a Mathematics (FIVE-period) by written examination result of at least 75%.

For joint courses with Mathematics, we will ask for a result of 85% in Mathematics in all cases. 

You should have at least some basic qualification in Physics. This could be at a level one or two years earlier than your school-leaving qualification; but a qualification as part of your school-leaving qualification would provide an even more useful preparation. The ideal preparation would be Physics as part of your EB. Nevertheless, we do not require it to be part of your EB, provided you have studied physical science earlier in your school career.

Evidence of English Language ability is also required from applicants whose first language is not English and who were not taught predominantly in English. This requirement can be satisfied by obtaining 65% in English in the EB.

Other qualifications

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma

For MEng courses:  pass with D3/D3/D3 - D3/D3/M2 in principal subjects including Mathematics.

For BEng/BSc courses:  pass with D3/D3/M2 - D3/M2/M2 in principal subjects including Mathematics. 

For joint courses with Mathematics, you will be required to achieve D3 in Mathematics in all cases.

 

Open University

We welcome applications offering a mix of OU, A level, and other appropriate qualifications. Applicants can use appropriate Open University (OU) courses to fulfil some or all of our A-level subject requirements.

The 30 credit courses Essential Mathematics 1 (MST124) and Essential Mathematics 2 (MST125) can be taken to replace our Maths A-level requirement. You must take both courses and achieve at least 85% (Distinction) in both.

Please note that we require Mathematics as your main qualification: from the OU (as above) or as an A level, or equivalent.

The Mathematics courses stated above replace just one of our normal A-level requirements. You may have some further OU or other qualifications, or some A-levels, or some relevant work experience, or a mixture of all of these. Please get in touch with us to discuss your individual circumstances.

We might, depending on your individual case, require some evidence of a background in physical science, such as at GCSE. The OU course S104 Exploring Science (60 points at Level 1) is an excellent introduction to the culture of science. It is very broad, and we would encourage any potential applicant to consider taking it.

As a preparation for our courses, the OU course Exploring Science does not cover Electronics to any significant extent. We would therefore recommend that you also look at textbooks for GCSE Physics, or for an AS-level Electricity or Electronics module, or for an Electrical or Electronic vocational (technical) qualification.

Other qualifications are accepted by the University. Please contact Undergraduate Admissions.

English Language Requirements

If your first language is not English, and you have not been taught predominantly in English, you will need to offer a suitable qualification in English language.

Find out more about our English Language requirements

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature candidates and will assess any application on its own merits. However, we still expect you to have an appropriate background in Mathematics. We recommend that you contact us for an informal discussion before you apply.

Any questions?

Contact our admissions team:

Admissions Tutor:

  • Dr Will Smith

Admissions Administrators:

  • Mrs Dominique Pickering
  • Mrs Catherine Smith

cs-ug-admissions@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 325412

More about York