Computer Science

Computer scientists are at the heart of societal change. Our undergraduates benefit from a thorough grounding in the subject, the opportunity to work with industrial mentors, and an emphasis on project work.

Industry expertise

Demonstrate your skills in projects involving real-world clients. Many of our courses are accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

Outstanding support

Benefit from a £2.7 million investment in collaborative computer labs, and access to a dedicated industrial mentor.

Develop video games

Every year, third-year MEng Computer Science students work in teams to create state-of-the-art computer games, which are showcased at our annual Games Day.

Computer Science at Bristol

At Bristol, you will be taught by internationally renowned experts with a passion for computer science. You can study topics such as high-performance computing, machine learning, cryptology and artificial intelligence. You will also develop skills in software development and system design, and gain important transferable skills in teamwork, communication and enterprise.

We work closely with industry, enabling you to gain knowledge from leading companies, work with industrial mentors and spend time with them on internships. The department awards several industry-sponsored prizes to exceptional students. Each year several client-led products are developed and released by computer science students.

You will develop your analytical skills and get experience devising practical solutions for real-world challenges during a range of individual and group projects that you will co-create with leading academics.

Our teaching facilities include a new collaborative lab, designed for flexibility and usability and equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology and Linux machines. It's a brilliant addition to our modern building, which also houses the popular Hackspace – a creative space for hacking, making and crafting – and a large atrium that's a hive of activity.

The faculty's Industrial Liaison Office matches every student with an industrial mentor and assists with internships and industry placements.

On my course there are a few special moments where something really clicks and suddenly I feel like I'm completely in my element. I love being in this city. Different parts have very different vibes but all within walking distance – it makes it feel more like a home.

Catt, BSc Mathematics and Computer Science

Career prospects

Four people are sat around a laptop having a discussion in a teaching room.

There is strong and growing demand for computer science skills. Our courses provide a balance between leading-edge topics and technical and transferable skills such as teamwork, communication and entrepreneurship. This means Bristol graduates have a wide range of career opportunities and a high earning potential.

Typical career routes include:

  • Software, products and services
  • IT and commerce
  • Media
  • Startups
  • Postgraduate study.

Find out more about these career routes.

15 months after graduating, 95% of BSc Computer Science students were in work or further study, and 100% of those working were in highly skilled jobs. The average salary after 15 months for Bristol computer science graduates is £32,000, which is £6,000 more than the UK average (Graduate Outcomes survey, 2017/18 graduates).

Our graduates are highly regarded by employers such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Logica and Cisco.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

A student wears a virtual reality headset

Our degrees first teach the core concepts underpinning computer science before allowing you to choose from a wide range of advanced computer science topics.

In year one, you will study the fundamental core skills and knowledge underpinning computer science: all three major programming paradigms; algorithmics; the mathematics integral to computer science; computer architecture; and software tools.

You will gain experience of implementing these techniques in supervised practical classes and individual assignments, solving problems using a variety of programming languages. This will quickly build up your analytic and programming abilities, enabling you to adapt easily to new programming languages and paradigms.

In year two, you will take classes introducing major areas within computer science, including theoretical and data-driven computer science and the relationship between computer science and society.

You will also gain experience working on a practical project in collaboration with a real-world client such as Hewlett Packard or the Environment Agency, before specialising in areas of computing that are of interest to you for the rest of your degree.

Bristol, tech city

Red lights in the evening at We the Curious in Millennium Square, Bristol.

Bristol is a UK 'top digitech city' (TechNation 2018) and the University is part of SETsquared, the 'world's best university business incubator' (UBI Global, 2017–19).

A concentration of high-technology industries in and around Bristol offers unparalleled opportunities before and after graduation, such as scholarships, summer placements, industrial seminars and exclusive employment opportunities.

We keep our courses relevant thanks to our strong links with local employers working in software development, animation, microelectronics, games and communications, as well as other industries with significant computer users such as financial services.

Computer Science

Computer science continues to revolutionise our society. Our department's mission is to better understand and drive this forward through excellence in research and education.

Computer science is subject that combines fascinating intellectual challenges with practical problem-solving skills that are in demand. Studying computing at Bristol gives you the skills and knowledge to be an influential part of the future.

Why study Computer Science at Bristol?

At Bristol you will learn from staff at the forefront of research. You will work on real-world projects, with industry mentors, in a department that emphasises theoretical rigour, practical application and innovation.

Our degrees provide you with a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of computer science and their application.

Choice and discovery underpin our courses. You design your degree from a diverse and evolving set of optional units after completing a set of core units in early years.

Project work is central; you will work in teams on real-world applications, focusing on your individual project in your final year. We work closely with industry, enabling you to gain knowledge from leading companies, work with industrial mentors and spend time with them on internships.

We value enterprise and creativity and we give you opportunities to excel in a range of areas, from social enterprise projects to starting your own business. The department awards several industry-sponsored prizes each year to exceptional students. Each year several real-world, client-led products are developed and released by computer science students.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Our degree programmes are especially suited to creative and mathematical students with a strong interest in working in a fast moving, demanding and rewarding profession. You will have problem-solving skills and will enjoy learning the detail of how things work, as well as the innovation required to make them better. You will be hard working, enjoy a challenge and desire a varied degree with direct relevance to many areas of society.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Our teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes, group work and online resources. Independent study is also expected, combining lecture notes with textbooks and other materials. You will be allocated a personal tutor who will support your progress and give you advice throughout your degree. Assessment is by exams, coursework and project work throughout each academic year.

What are my career prospects?

Computing provides a route into many different career paths, giving our graduates a wide range of options for the kind of work they go on to do. Our courses provide a balance between leading-edge topics and technical and transferable skills, such as teamwork, communication and entrepreneurship.

Many of our students apply their knowledge by starting their own businesses supported by the department. Our graduates are highly regarded by employers such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Logica and Cisco.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.


Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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