Reports from student surveys and lecturer responses

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. 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 2018/19, and covers 90 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 1,312 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 eight responses removed for offensive language, two more for other breaches of the Dignity and Respect policy, and 47 responses 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 One course report has been withdrawn at the request of the lecturer.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.

Year 1 courses (Level 8)

Course Name 2019/20 Lecturer 2018/19 Feedback Lecturer Response
Computer Programming Skills and Concepts NOT RUNNING 2019/20 report (Alexandru / Rajan)  
Informatics 1 - Cognitive Science Hennig (new) / Lucas / Keller  report (Lucas / Keller / Shillcock)
Informatics 1 - Data and Analysis NOT RUNNING 2019/20 report (Stark)  
Informatics 1 - Introduction to Computation Yorsten (new) / Fourman / Wadler report (Fourman / Sannella / Wadler)  
Informatics 1 - Object-Oriented Programming

NOTE: new version of course

running in 2019/20

report (Seeker)

Year 2 courses (Level 8)

Course Name 2019/20 Lecturer 2018/19 Feedback Lecturer Response
Informatics 2A - Processing Formal and Natural Languages NOT RUNNING 2019/20 report (Cryan/ Cohen)
Informatics 2B - Algorithms, Data Structures, Learning Shimodaira report (Kalorkoti / Shimodaira)  
Informatics 2C - Introduction to Computer Systems Grot report (Grot)  
Informatics 2C - Introduction to Software Engineering Alexandru (new) report (Jackson)  
Discrete Mathematics and Mathematical Reasoning Etessami / Yorsten (new) report (Etessami / Stirling)  

Year 3 courses (Level 9)

Course Name 2019/20 Lecturer 2018/19 Feedback Lecturer Response
Automated Reasoning Fleuriot report (Fleuriot)  
Computer Design NOT RUNNING 2019/20 report (Topham)  
Foundations of Natural Language Processing Lascarides / Cohen (new) report (Lascarides / Thompson)
Informatics Large Practical Gilmore (new) / Jackson (new) report (Andreadis)
Introductory Applied Machine Learning Williams / Storkey (new)

report (UG) (Goddard / Williams / Andreadis)

report (PGT) (Goddard)

report (Distance Learning) (Goddard)

Introduction to Vision and Robotics



report (Hospedales / Herrmann)

report (Distance Learning) (Hospedales)

Operating Systems Leather (new) report (O'Boyle)  
System Design Project Webb / Tonneau (new) report (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 / Kohlweiss)  
Compiling Techniques Dubach report (Dubach)  
Computer Communications and Networks Marina  report (Marina)  
Database Systems Guagliardo report (Guagliardo)  
Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science Bradfield (new) / Sun  report (Heunen / Sun)  
Professional Issues S. Anderson  report (S. Anderson)  
Software Design and Modelling Stevens report (Stevens)
Software Testing Rajan report (Rajan)  

Year 4 courses (Level 10)

Course Name 2019/20 Lecturer 2018/19 Feedback Lecturer Response
Honours Project (Informatics) TBC report (Sannella)  
MInf Project (Part 1) TBC report (Sannella)

Year 4/5/MSc courses (Level 11)

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

report (Nikolic)

Advances in Programming Languages Stark report (Stark)  
Algorithmic Foundations of Data Science Sun report (Sun)  
Algorithmic Game Theory and its Applications Etessami report (Etessami)  
Automatic Speech Recognition Bell (new) report (Renals / Shimodaira)  
Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers   Kiayias report (Kiayias)  
Compiler Optimisation  NOT RUNNING 2019/20 report (Leather)  
Computational Complexity Guo report (Guo)
Computer Algebra NOT RUNNING 2019/20 report (Kalorkoti)  
Computer Animation and Visualisation  Komura (new) report (Starke)  
Extreme Computing Seeker / Bhatotia  report (Seeker / Bhatotia)  
Human-Computer Interaction Constantin (new) / Vaniea (new) report (Glowacka)

Internet of Things Systems, Security, and the Cloud

Patras report (Patras)
Introduction to Modern Cryptography Zikas  report (Zikas)  
Introduction to Quantum Computing Wallden report (Wallden)  
Machine Learning Practical Andreadis / Bilen  report (Renals / Andreadis / Bilen)  
Machine Learning & Pattern Recognition Murray / Onken (new) report (Murray)
MInf Project (Part 2) Pain (new) report (Sannella)  
Natural Computing TBC

report (Herrmann)

report (Distance Learning) (Herrmann)


Natural Language Understanding, Generation, and Machine Translation

Lopez / Lapata (new) / Keller (new) report (Lopez / Sennrich)

Performance Modelling

Hillston report (Hillston)
Parallel Programming Languages and Systems TBC report (Cole)
Principles and Design of IoT Systems  Arvind report (Arvind)  
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)  
Types and Semantics for Programming Languages NOT RUNNING 2019/20 report (Wadler)  

Usable Security and Privacy

Vaniea report (Vaniea)  

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) NOT RUNNING 2019/20

report (P. Anderson)

report (Distance Learning) (P. Anderson)

Accelerated Natural Language Processing Goldwater / Cohen  (new) report (Goldwater / Thompson)  

Advanced Topics in Foundations of Databases

Pieris report (Pieris)  
Advanced Vision Fisher

report (Fisher)

report (Distance Learning) (Fisher)

Artificial Intelligence, Present and Future

Fleuriot report (Fleuriot / Smaill)  

Bioinformatics 1

Simpson  report (Armstrong / Simpson)  
Bioinformatics 2 Simpson  report (Armstrong / Simpson)  
Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Series report (Series)  
Case Studies in Design Informatics 1 Wolters / Pain (new) report (Wolters)  
Case Studies in Design Informatics 2 Wolters / Lee (new) report (Wolters)  
Data Mining and Exploration Onken report (Onken)
Decision Making in Robots and Autonomous Agents  Ramamoorthy report (Ramamoorthy)  
Image and Vision Computing  Sevilla-Lara (new)

report (Hospedales)

report (Distance Learning) (Hospedales)

Informatics Research Review Franke / Constantin (new) report (Franke)  
Informatics Project Proposal Franke  / Constantin (new) report (Franke)  
Introduction to Research in Data Science  Storkey report (Storkey)  
Msc Dissertation Mayr report (Mayr)  
MSc by Research Thesis (Data Science) TBC report (Lopez)  
Music Informatics Smaill report (Smaill)  
Neural Computation Series report (Hennig / Series)
Neural Information Processing NOT RUNNING 2019/20 report (Hennig)
Probabilistic Modelling and Reasoning Gutmann report (Gutmann)  
Reinforcement Learning Albrecht  report (Andreadis / Albrecht)  
Robot Learning and Sensorimotor Control Mistry report (Mistry)  
Robotics: Science and Systems


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

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