Study overview

An overview of Informatics degrees and what each year of study entails.


The School offers a range of single honours degree programmes at undergraduate (four-year degree programmes) and postgraduate (one-year taught masters degree programmes) in:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognitive Science
  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering

There are also combined degrees with:

  • Mathematics, Engineering, Physics and Management; and,
  • A five-year integrated Masters in Informatics.

More information on the Degrees programmes we offer can be found online: Degree Programme Tables for School of Informatics

Undergraduate study overview

  • Study each year taught courses over two semesters totalling 120 credit points.
  • Usually 3-6 courses of 10-20 points in each semester.
  • Courses can involve lectures, tutorials, labs, exercises, reading, coursework.

Informatics year 1

Year organiser: Paul Anderson

Students on most Informatics degrees will take 40 credits Informatics + 40 credits Mathematics + 40 credits Outside courses.  The required maths and informatics courses for these students are:

  • Inf1-CL Computation and Logic (10 credits) S1
  • Inf1-FP Functional Programming (10 credits) S1
  • Maths: Introduction to Linear Algebra (20 credits) S1
  • Inf1-DA Data & Analysis (10 credits) S2
  • Inf1-OP Object-Oriented Programming (10 credits) S2
  • Maths: Calculus and it Applications (20 credits) S2

Students on the Cognitive Science degree take the following required course instead of one maths course, and also take courses in linguistics, psychology or philosophy:

  • Inf1-CG Cognitive Science (20 credits) S2

Students on other joint degrees will have varying requirements but will take a subset of the courses listed above along with courses from their other degree area.

Examinations for courses are normally held at the end of the semester in December or May.

Year 1 Handbook

Informatics year 2

Year organiser: Rik Sarkar

The second-year Informatics courses are

  • Inf2A - Processing Formal and Natural Languages (20 credits, S1)
  • Inf2B - Algorithms, Data Structures, Learning (20 credits, S2)
  • Inf2C-CS - Introduction to Computer Systems (10 credits, S1)
  • Inf2C-SE - Introduction to Software Engineering (10 credits, S1)
  • Inf2D - Reasoning and Agents (20 credits, S2)

Students on most Informatics degrees are required to take Inf2A, Inf2B, and at least one of Inf2C and Inf2D, along with the following two mathematics courses:

  • Discrete Mathematics and Mathematical Reasoning (20 credits, S1)
  • Probability with Applications (20 credits, S2)

Students who do not take all of the Inf2 courses also have 20 points of outside courses. Students on joint degrees (including Cognitive Science) may take fewer of courses listed above, but instead take some courses in their joint degree area.

Year 2 courses introduce more specialized content, and include assessed practical work as well as exams.

Exams are normally held at the end of the semester in December or May.

Year 2 Handbook

Informatics year 3

Year organiser: Christophe Dubach

The building blocks of the informatics degrees (including the combined degrees) are:
  • technical courses, most worth 10 credits
  • a group practical, the System Design Project (20 credits), and
  • individual practicals (AILP, SELP, CSLP) (10 credits)
  • the Professional Issues course (10 credits)

The System Design Project does involve a lot of work so be prepared for this.

You will take some subset of the above, subject to the constraints
that apply to your choice of degree.
It is your responsibility to check the Degree Program Table and ensure your course choice meets the your degree requirements!
Exams are normally held in May but check the DRPS for your individual courses in case this differs.

Informatics year 4

Year organiser: Mary Cryan

In the final year of undergraduate study, students have the opportunity to specialise, having covered much core material in previous years. Specialisation is available in the form of a wide range of course options and through the project/dissertation/thesis, which is undertaken on an individual's preferred topic, agreed with a supervisor.  This project, plus the advanced course options available, allow the students to build on their practical and foundational skills and even to apply those skills towards research.

The common feature of 4th year for all degrees based in the School of Informatics is the 40-point 4th year project (also known as the ug4 project).  Students on joint degrees such as BSc CS/Physics or BEng Electronics/SE may take their 4th year project in the partner department (Physics or Electronics in the examples above), but all the same those students will have some 40-point 4th year project (if taking the project in the Physics department, this would be split as two 20-point projects).  MInf students in their 4th year also have a 40-point project.  The distinguishing feature of the 4th year project is that it is an individual piece of work on a research topic specific to the individual student.  To ensure successful progress on the project, the student will have to manage the available time carefully; the project work and the final writing-up of the dissertation will require a certain amount of creativity and self-direction.

Exams are normally held in May but check the DRPS for your individual courses in case this differs.

Year 4 Handbook

Informatics year 5

Year Organiser: Mahesh Marina

UG5 students need to take courses worth 80 credit points with the other 40 points coming from the MInf Project Part 2 (MIP2). Note that UG5 students are allowed to take only Level 11 courses. Of the 80 credit points on courses that is required, at least 70 points should come from Informatics Level 11 courses (from among those listed in the MInf DPT); up to 10 credit points of that requirement can be met from an external Level 11 course.

Exams are normally held in May but check the DRPS for your individual courses in case this differs.

Year 5 Handbook

Taught MSc

Year Organiser: Paul Jackson

Taught MSc Handbook