Reports from student surveys, lecturer responses, and short introductory videos

This page presents feedback from students about their experience on Informatics courses, to help future students in their course choices. There are also responses from the lecturers and many short introductory videos for individual courses. Please note that lecturers regularly revise course content and presentation from year to year — often directly in response to exactly this feedback.

Do not redistribute or reuse this material without permission. If you would like another format or want to use it in your own publication then please contact the Informatics Teaching Organisation.

Feedback reports

The most recent feedback is from 2017/18, and covers 93 courses at all levels in the School of Informatics. Please note that not all courses run every year and course content changes from year to year. See the Course Index for current details of all courses offered.

The tables below bring together 1,235 individual submissions from students, gathered through an online survey at the end of each semester. Each course lecturer has been invited to write a response, and these are linked alongside the student feedback.

The published reports contain free-text responses by students about their experience of each course and recommendations to others planning their studies. Each course organiser receives this report as well as statistics on multiple-choice responses. All these reports, together with student feedback about individual members of teaching staff, are collected and sent to the Director of Teaching.

Please note that these are personal responses from individual students: some courses have a low response rate, and a small sample can be unrepresentative. To find out more about each course yourself, go to the index at http://course.inf.ed.ac.uk and browse the current course web pages.

Each year we remove responses that contain offensive language or otherwise breach the University Dignity and Respect policy. In 2018/19 there were three responses removed for offensive language, three more for other breaches of the Dignity and Respect policy, and two edited to remove personally identifying details. One course report has been withdrawn at the request of the lecturer. There was no other editing or selection of results before publication.

Notes on the tables

The word (new) after a lecturer name indicates a change in the staff teaching a course.

Courses are grouped by year taken. Note that many honours courses may be taken in a choice of years: these are listed as Year 3/4 or Year 4/5/MSc as appropriate.

Viewing each feedback report requires DICE authentication: you must have an School of Informatics user account to log in and download these.

We provide the introductory videos in both MP4 (MPEG) and OGV (Ogg) formats for different browsers

Year 1 courses (Level 8)

Course Name 2019/20 Lecturer 2018/19 Feedback Lecturer Response
Computer Programming Skills and Concepts Alexandru / Rajan report (Bradfield / Marina / Rajan)  
Informatics 1 - Cognitive Science Lucas / Keller  report (Lucas / Shillcock)
Informatics 1 - Computation and Logic NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Fourman)  
Informatics 1 - Data and Analysis Stark report (Stark)
Informatics 1 - Functional Programming NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Sannella)
Informatics 1 - Object-Oriented Programming Seeker  report (Hospedales)

Year 2 courses (Level 8)

Course Name 2019/20 Lecturer 2018/19 Feedback Lecturer Response
Informatics 2A - Processing Formal and Natural Languages Cryan / Cohen report (Longley / Cohen)
Informatics 2B - Algorithms, Data Structures, Learning Kalorkoti / Shimodaira report (Kalorkoti / Shimodaira)  
Informatics 2C - Introduction to Computer Systems Grot report (Grot)  
Informatics 2C - Introduction to Software Engineering Jackson report (Jackson)  
Informatics 2D - Reasoning and Agents Lascarides / Belle (new) report (Lascarides)
Discrete Mathematics and Mathematical Reasoning Etessami / Stirling report (Etessami / Stirling)  

Year 3 courses (Level 9)

Course Name 2019/20 Lecturer 2018/19 Feedback Lecturer Response
AI Large Practical NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Smaill)  
Automated Reasoning Fleuriot report (Fleuriot)  
Computer Architecture NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Grot / Nagarajan)  
Computer Design Topham report (Topham)
CS Large Practical NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Gilmore)  
Foundations of Natural Language Processing Lascarides / Thompson  report (Lascarides)
Introductory Applied Machine Learning Goddard

report (Goddard)

report (Distance Learning) (Goddard)


Introduction to Vision and Robotics


Hospedales / Herrmann (new)


report (Hospedales / Mistry)

report (Distance Learning) (Hospedales / Mistry)

Operating Systems O'Boyle report (O'Boyle)  
SE Large Practical NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Gilmore)  
System Design Project Webb  report (Hillston / Webb)

Year 3/4 courses (Level 10)

Course Name 2019/20 Lecturer 2018/19 Feedback Lecturer Response
Algorithms and Data Structures Mayr report (Mayr)  
Computational Cognitive Science Lucas report (Lucas)  
Computer Security  Arapinis / Kohlweiss  report (Arapinis / Vaniea)  
Compiling Techniques Dubach report (Dubach)  
Computer Communications and Networks Marina  report (Lee)  
Database Systems Guagliardo report (Guagliardo)  
Elements of Programming Languages NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Cheney)  
Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science Heunen / Sun  report (Bradfield)  
Professional Issues S.Anderson  report (Fourman / S.Anderson)  
Software Testing Rajan report (Rajan)  

Year 4 courses (Level 10)

Course Name 2019/20 Lecturer 2018/19 Feedback Lecturer Response
Honours Project (Informatics) Sannella report (Sannella)
Intelligent Autonomous Robotics NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Webb)  
MInf Project (Part 1) Sannella report (Sannella)

Year 4/5/MSc courses (Level 11)

Course Name 2019/20 Lecturer 2018/19 Feedback Lecturer Response
Advanced Databases TBC

report (Guagliardo)

Algorithmic Game Theory and its Applications Etessami report (Etessami)  
Adaptive Learning Environments 1 NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Pain)  
Automatic Speech Recognition Renals / Shimodaira report (Renals / Shimodaira)
Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers   Kiayias report (Kiayias)  
Compiler Optimisation  Leather report (Leather)  
Computer Animation and Visualisation  Starke / Komura report (Komura)
Computer Graphics NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Bilen / Subr)  
Computer Networking NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Marina)  
Distributed Systems NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Sarkar / Sun)  
Extreme Computing Seeker / Bhatotia  report (Heafield)
Human-Computer Interaction Glowacka  report (Vaniea)  
Introduction to Modern Cryptography Zikas  report (Kiayias)  
Introduction to Quantum Computing Wallden report (Wallden)  
Machine Learning Practical Renals / Andreadis / Bilen  report (Renals)
Machine Learning & Pattern Recognition Murray report (Murray)
Machine Translation NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Sennrich)
Natural Language Understanding NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Lopez)  
Parallel Architectures NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Nagarajan)  
Performance Modelling Hillston report (Hillston)
Parallel Programming Languages and Systems Cole report (Cole)
Principles and Design of IoT Systems  Arvind report (Arvind)  
Randomness and Computation Cryan report (Cryan)
Software Architecture, Process, and Management S.Anderson report (S.Anderson)  
Secure Programming Aspinall report (Aspinall)
Social and Technological Networks Sarkar report (Sarkar)  
Text Technologies for Data Science  Magdy report (Magdy)  
Topics in Natural Language Processing NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (Cohen)
Types and Semantics for Programming Languages Wadler report (Wadler)

Year 5/MSc courses

Most MSc study is at Level 11. However, MSc students may take up to 30 credit points of Level 9 and Level 10 courses. Those are listed in the sections above for Year 3 and Year 4; except for the MSc-specific Introduction to Java Programming which appears here.

Course Name 2019/20 Lecturer 2018/19 Feedback Lecturer Response
Introduction to Java Programming (level 9) P.Anderson

report (P.Anderson)

report (Distance Learning) (P.Anderson)


Accelerated Natural Language Processing Goldwater / Thompson  report (Goldwater / Glowacka)
Advanced Vision Fisher

report (Fisher)

report (Distance Learning) (Fisher)


Bioinformatics 1

Armstrong / Simpson  report (Armstrong / Hennig)
Bioinformatics 2 Armstrong / Simpson  report (van Rossum / Hennig)
Categories and Quantum Informatics Heunen report (Heunen)
Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Series report (Series)  
Case Studies in Design Informatics 1 Wolters report (Wolters)  
Case Studies in Design Informatics 2 Wolters report (Hill)  
Data Mining and Exploration Onken report (Onken)
Decision Making in Robots and Autonomous Agents  Ramamoorthy report (Ramamoorthy)  
Image and Vision Computing  Hospedales report (Hospedales)  
Informatics Research Review Franke  report (van Rossum)
Informatics Project Proposal Franke  report (van Rossum)
Introduction to Research in Data Science  Storkey report (Storkey)  
Neural Computation NOT RUNNING 2018/19 report (van Rossum)  
Neural Information Processing Hennig report (Hennig / van Rossum)
Pervasive Parallelism  Cole report (Cole)
Probabilistic Modelling and Reasoning Gutmann report (Gutmann)  
Reinforcement Learning Albrecht  report (Andreadis)
Robot Learning and Sensorimotor Control Mistry report (Vijayakumar / Mistry)  
Robotics: Science and Systems


report (Li / Vijayakumar)  
The Human Factor: Working with Users  Wolters / Bach  report (Wolters)

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