durham computer science entry requirements

Last Updated on July 29, 2023

Durham University Computer Science is one of the best in the UK. This Information Technology degree at Durham University is a course that aims and helps those who are eager in computer science. Your future career will be guaranteed to be brilliant if you take up this degree.

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Computer Science - Durham University

durham computer science entry requirements

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Please note: Courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.

Typical offers

A LevelA*AA
International Baccalaureate38

Course details

Our Computer Science degrees balance fundamental knowledge and practical application in order to provide you with both specialised and transferable skills that are greatly valued in the marketplace. The course emphasises from the start both programming and mathematical skills that allow, in the later year’s engagement through the ‘Individual Project’ with cutting-edge research being done in the department.

Year 1

You will undertake five computer science modules, which cover programming, the characteristics of computers and computing systems, and the mathematical foundations of the subject. You will also be introduced to the concept and philosophy of computational thinking and explore cutting-edge technological applications of recent research. You will undertake an elective module, which will be from elsewhere within the Faculty or University.

Once you complete your first year you will have had a thorough introduction to the fundamentals of computer science and to the principles, practices and methodologies that make computer science unique to a scientific subject. You will also have had a glimpse at aspects of computer science research that have enabled major technological advances in society.

Compulsory modules:

  • Programming
  • Computational Thinking
  • Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Computer Systems
  • Mathematics for Computer Science.

Year 2

You will study six modules covering a core set of topics. One module Software Engineering involves a team software development project and enables you to usually work with external organisations and gain practical software development experience.

Other compulsory topics include, for example, aspects of artificial intelligence including bias, machine learning, data science, cybersecurity, computer networks, parallel and distributed computing, concurrency, data structures, algorithms and complexity, image processing, different programming paradigms, systems programming, security, human-computer interaction and computer graphics.

The topics taken in the second year will prepare you with an excellent grounding in a wide range of fundamental subjects within computer science, ready for subsequent specialisation in your final third year. By the end of the second year, you should be in a position to make informed judgments as to which particular aspects of the subject you might wish to focus on.

Compulsory modules:

  • Networks and Systems
  • Programming Paradigms
  • Software Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Science
  • Theory of Computation.

Year 3

A key element of the fourth year is the advanced project (which you spend half of your time on), and the preparation for it begins already in the third year. In the compulsory project preparation module, you will work on essential research skills including researching a topic, writing, and presenting, and will begin preparation specific to your own advanced project. In the fourth year, the project will be undertaken under the direct supervision of a member of staff and gives you the opportunity to tackle a specific computing task in much greater depth than is possible for other modules. In the third year, you will work on developing the project from a proposed theme. You are given a considerable amount of choice as to the subject of your projects; indeed, you can suggest specific projects yourself. In addition to preparing for your project, you get to choose the other modules that you undertake in the third year.

Year 4

You will now undertake the advanced project that you prepared for in Year 3 (you will spend half of your time on the project). It is possible that the resulting research might be published in a journal or at a conference, possibly as a prelude to a postgraduate degree in Computer Science. Just as in the third year, you will get to choose the other modules that you undertake in the fourth year; again, just as in the third year, there is a range of modules offered, including more advanced versions of some of the third-year modules and further topics which have, in recent years, included blockchain, cryptocurrencies, natural language processing, learning analytics, probabilistic methods, network analysis, and automated reasoning.


You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.

Study abroad

Computer Science is an international discipline and living and working in another country is a valuable addition to your CV. You can request to transfer onto the MEng Computer Science with Year Abroad (G407) programme at the beginning of your second year and after your second or third year of study in Durham will spend a year studying at another EU or worldwide university, and then return to Durham for your penultimate or final year


The course is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, practical and problem classes. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular field of study and identify the main areas for discussion and debate among Computer Scientists. You will be introduced to both basic and advanced concepts, techniques, and methods in Computer Science through lectures with associated written and multimedia presentations, and your knowledge and understanding are reinforced in practical and problem classes and through summative and formative assignments.

The balance of these types of activities changes over the course of the degree, as you develop your knowledge and ability as an independent learner. In Year 1 you will take five core Computer Science modules which is normally 10 hours a week of lectures, and five two-hour compulsory practicals each week. You will also study an elective module selected from those offered by other departments across the University. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and broaden your subject knowledge.

The balance starts to shift in Year 2 as you develop your abilities as independent learners. Lectures, typically 12 hours a week, still play an important role in supporting you in developing your knowledge and skills. Associated with the lecture series you will normally attend up to six two-hour optional practical classes a week. This move towards greater emphasis on independent learning continues in the third year with the basic material and techniques learned throughout Year 1 and 2 being applied and extended with material in Year 3 being at a much more advanced level.

Year 3 teaching is research-led and reflective of not only the research expertise of academic staff at Durham but also cutting-edge advances in industry. You will normally have up to ten hours a week of lectures (alongside the project preparation work) and, depending on your choice of modules, occasional practicals.

Year 4 involves an even more significant amount of self-study than in Year 3. Again, you are expected to drive your own learning and your progress is monitored and supported by weekly individual project supervision for your research and development advanced project. Less emphasis is placed on supervised practical work but this reduction of supervised learning time enables you to better direct and evaluate your own learning. Learning at this level is geared towards critical, independent and innovative thinking.

Throughout the course, you will have access to an Academic Adviser who will provide you with academic support and guidance. Typically you will meet with your adviser once or twice per term, in addition to which all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘drop-in’ basis.

Entry requirements

A level offerA*AA including Mathematics.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended DiplomaD*DD and Mathematics A level at grade A (or equivalent) is required.

IB Diploma score38 with 766 in higher level subjects, including Mathematics.

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. For more information contact our Admissions Selectors.
  • If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Programme offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses.
  • If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.

Science A levels

Applicants taking Science A levels that include a practical component will normally be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A levels with an English examination board.

Alternative qualifications

  • Other UK qualifications
  • EU qualifications
  • International qualifications

Fees and funding

The tuition fees for 2022/23 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.

The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.

The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities.  Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Department of Computer Science

Of those students who graduated in 2018:

  • 96% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 100% are in a professional or managerial job
  • Average salary of £35,250.

Department information

Department of Computer Science

The most significant developments in our society have come through amazing innovations in technology and the intelligent algorithms that drive those technologies.

Our Computer Science degrees balance fundamental knowledge and practical application in order to provide you with both specialised and transferable skills that are greatly valued in the marketplace. The courses emphasise from the start both programming and mathematical skills that in the later years allow engagement through the Individual Project with the cutting-edge research being done here.

Homepage » Durham CompSoc

durham computer science ranking


Durham’s University College was founded in 1832 before it was granted a Royal Charter in 1837 by King William IV, making it Durham University.

It is a Russell Group institution with a staff count of over 3,000, more than 30 per cent of whom are of non-UK origin. Symbolic of its international approach, the university welcomes over 4,500 international students from 156 countries worldwide.

Durham University attracts around 17,500 students of all levels. Roughly 21 per cent of its student body are of non-UK origin, and with staff and students combined, around 150 countries and nationalities are represented.

The university is made up of three faculties: arts and humanities, science and social science, and health. It comprises 16 colleges with 25 departments and schools that come together to offer over 200 undergraduate and 130 postgraduate courses, as well as research programmes.

The Durham University estate is spread across two campuses and spans around 227 hectares of land. The estate is home to part of a UNESCO world heritage site (in recognition of Durham’s historical and architectural importance) and comprises several listed buildings,

The main campus is in the city of Durham, where 14 of the 16 colleges and most of the academic schools are located. The Queen’s campus is in the town of Stockton-on-Tees, around 30 miles from Durham, which was established in 1992 and is located on the river Tees.

Sport is a key aspect of student life at Durham where the majority of students regularly participate in one or more sports.

The Durham University alumni community is known as Dunelm and include the England cricketer Andrew Strauss, founder of the Eden Project, Tim Smit, and the journalist Sir Harold Evans.

  • 95% of our graduates leave with excellent career prospects. The Complete University Guide Graduate Prospect Score 2020.
  • 5th in The Complete University Guide 2021.


For a current list of staff, please see the School’s web pages.


The Department has recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment of offices and PC labs which provide students with modern state-of-the-art computing facilities. There are study areas within the Department where students can use their own laptops or lab-based machines; both here and also within colleges, a laptop can be used to access the Department and University resources through the University-wide computing network.

English Language Requirements

Durham has a long and proud history of welcoming overseas students from countries across the globe.  To make sure you can benefit fully from the unique learning experience available at Durham it’s important that you can demonstrate competency in the English language at the level required for the course you want to study. 

Recognised English language tests 

If English is not your first language, then you must provide evidence of your ability in spoken and written English.  Durham accepts a number of tests and qualifications as evidence of meeting its English language requirements.   

Other English language qualifications 

If for any reason the recognised English Language tests are not available to you, we also recognise a number of other qualifications as meeting our English language requirements.   

English language levels required 

Find your subject to find the level you will need to achieve in the test you are taking for entry to pre-sessional by department and level of study. 

Pre-sessional English Language requirements 

We offer 6, 10 and 20 week pre-sessional English courses for Durham University offer holders who may need to boost their English language skills before taking up their place with us.   

Exemptions for Postgraduate applicants 

If you’ve already studied a degree, which was taught in English, then you may not need to take an additional English language test.   

Durham University - Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science - tga

durham computer science modules

List Modules By Department

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Arts and Humanities

Centre for Foreign Language StudyAll 1    
Classics and Ancient HistoryAll 123  
Durham Centre for Academic DevelopmentAll 12   
English StudiesAll 123  
HistoryAll 123  
Modern Languages and CulturesAll  23  
Modern Languages and Cultures (Arabic)All 123  
Modern Languages and Cultures (Chinese)All 123  
Modern Languages and Cultures (French)All 123  
Modern Languages and Cultures (German)All 123  
Modern Languages and Cultures (Italian)All 123  
Modern Languages and Cultures (Japanese)All 123  
Modern Languages and Cultures (Russian)All 123  
Modern Languages and Cultures (Spanish)All 123  
Modern Languages and Cultures (Visual)All 123  
MusicAll 123  
PhilosophyAll 123  
Placement YearAll   3  
Theology and ReligionAll 123  

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