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Computer Science

An advanced computer science degree course that leads directly to a postgraduate qualification

I100UCAS code 4yrsfull time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

The MEng Computer Science programme will provide the advanced knowledge that you will require in order to facilitate the development of computer solutions. The course focuses on applications in industry throughout, and it will ensure that you are able to adapt to any scenario that you find yourself working in after you have graduated.

The difference between this course and our BSc (Hons) Computer Science course is that, as well as specialising in more advanced topics, you will also complete a group industrial project. The MEng qualification is also well suited to students who wish to pursue careers in academic and industrial research.

What will I experience?

The course will be a mix of theory and practical work in topics such as:

  • Data warehousing and mining
  • Advanced programming concepts
  • Web Development
  • Computer Security
  • Computer systems and networking
  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Advanced software engineering

What opportunities might it lead to?

MEng is an integrated postgraduate qualification. While the entry requirements of the course are slightly higher than undergraduate degrees in general, you’ll end up with a postgraduate level qualification and a head-start in the job market.

You’ll not only benefit from the opportunity to extend your skills and develop specialist knowledge with the tutors, facilities and fellow students that you’ll have become familiar with, but, unlike other postgraduates, you’ll qualify for student loans to support you throughout your studies.

Hassana Sadiq

I chose to study Computer Science at Portsmouth because the University is well known for its high teaching standards, modern facilities and diverse culture. Applying as an international student, I was confident settling in would be pretty easy.

Hassana Sadiq, BSc (Hons) Computer Science

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Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
4 years full time, 5 years sandwich with work placement

120-136 points to include a minimum of 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include Mathematics, plus two relevant subjects. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications


UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*

This course is not eligible for Government Postgraduate Loan

International students
2017/18 entry: full time: £14,400 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 5566
School of Computing
Programme specification


Computing and Creative Technologies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Hands-on, practical work and real-life learning, which is transferable to future careers
  • Modern facilities and access to the latest technology including numerous computer labs, TV studios and a motion capture suite
  • Approachable lecturers who have experience and contacts in the industry

Browse all courses in Computing and Creative Technologies

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

In the first year we aim to supply you with the central skills and knowledge that you will need as a computer scientist. The areas covered will include programming, computer systems and networks.

You will specifically focus on the following areas:

  • introductory programming
  • computer architecture
  • foundations of the web
  • network fundamentals
  • database design and development

Year two

There’s a selection of topics covering more advanced aspects of your first year. You’ll also have the opportunity to specialise in particular areas of interest, such as computer graphics, and developing web-based systems.

You will specifically focus on the following areas:

  • software engineering
  • data structures and algorithms
  • advanced programming concepts
  • mathematical foundations of computer science
  • operating systems and networks

Year three and four*

In your third year, you will specifically focus on the following areas:

  • distributed systems and parallel programming
  • theoretical computer science
  • neural networks and genetic algorithms
  • advanced networks
  • fuzzy logic
  • data warehousing and mining

In your final year, you will carry out a group industrial project utilising the skills learned during your course and your areas of interest within computer science.

You will also focus on the following topics:

  • computer vision
  • advanced programming skills for the Web
  • computer security

**This course is also available as a 5-year sandwich (work placement)


Here at the University, we aim to provide a lively and modern learning environment. During this course you will experience a mixture of lectures, tutorials, laboratory and project work. While lecture classes can be large, the more personal approach of seminars and tutorials offer more one-to-one support from our expert academics.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 26% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 74% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 20% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 80% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 17% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 83% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year four students: 13% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 87% studying independently and 0% on work placement


We assess you in ways that encourage a deeper understanding and allow you to develop your skills including through:

  • multiple choice tests
  • essays
  • written exams
  • mini projects
  • presentations
  • review articles
  • supervised work sessions

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 33% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 67% by coursework
  • Year two students: 67% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 25% by coursework
  • Year three students: 35% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 65% by coursework
  • Year four students: 28% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 64% by coursework
Jim Briggs

Tutor's view

Jim Briggs

Computer Science has grown from being a small subset of mathematics into a fully-blown complex discipline of its own. Even a four-year course can barely do the subject justice, but this one goes much of the way to prepare students for a long and successful career in the development of information technology solutions. We provide up-to-date course content and highly-interactive teaching; all you need to bring is commitment and passion for learning!

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Specialist Software and Equipment

A full range of industry software will be available for you to use in the computer labs, supported by multi-platform network suites offering a variety of operating systems. You’ll have a range of excellent resources at your fingertips including:

  • mobile computing lab to develop Android and iOS apps
  • pervasive computing lab for high performance computing
  • usability lab including eye tracking equipment
  • Linux and Windows systems
  • forensics lab with industry standard forensic tools

Tutor Centre

A one-stop academic help and support resource for all School of Computing students. Need help understanding your assessments? Want to talk to someone about your project or about that programming problem? This is the place to go.

Maths Café

Drop in any time and get one-to-one help with that tricky maths or stats problem. With handouts on key topics to take away and computer-aided learning packages, we can get the problem solved and help you improve your numeracy skills.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Darren Hale, BSc (Hons) Computer Science student 2013

A special feature is the ability to take a year out in industry between year two and three which really helped further develop skills learnt from my course.

Darren Hale, BSc (Hons) Computer Science student 2013

Budgeting for your studies

There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

On graduating from this course, you’ll be fully equipped to take your first steps towards a career in the technical computing environment. Possible employers include multinationals down to the smallest computer companies including software houses, communications companies, data warehouses and many other types of organisation.

It’s also fairly common for our graduates to be snapped up by the employer they worked for in their placement year. Others continue their study at both MSc and PhD levels, specialising further in areas such as artificial intelligence, parallel and distributed systems, and healthcare informatics.

Overall you will be well qualified for many of the major computing graduate programmes or employment in varied fields of the computing industry.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • business continuity analyst
  • software engineer
  • web developer
  • systems analyst
  • computer programmer

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

On this course you have the option to do a year UK or overseas placement with companies such as IBM or smaller organisations. This is a great opportunity to gain real-world perspective and exciting opportunities.

Our team at the Student Placement and Employability Centre (SPEC) ensures you have access to a range of volunteering and work experience opportunities. We also offer support during your year-long industrial placements, and provide support for the different types of application processes.

Here are some examples of the roles our students have secured for their placements:

  • Software Engineer at Xerox
  • Developer at Cranfield University
  • Associate Software Engineer at Accenture

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

Richard Morris, BSc (Hons) Computer Science student 2013

The course has really changed my life massively. Not many people can say that they've gone from working as a lifeguard to working for the biggest pharmaceutical company in the world at managerial level within four years.

Richard Morris, BSc (Hons) Computer Science student 2013

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