Course guide for UG1

Guide to Year 1 courses and selection of outside courses

Course Selection

We will register you automatically for the compulsory courses that are required for your degree and you may also need to select some outside course(s) to make up the 120 credits required for the year. You can find the selection forms for your programme further down this page for your action. It is important that you select your courses as soon as possible so that we can allocate you to tutorial and lab groups in good time for the start of the new session.  Please read the following guide before making your selection.

Update, 31 August. Recording of course selection session now available:

UG Optional Course Selection Session

BSc Computer Science and Physics or BSc Computer Science and Management Science

If you are on the BSc Computer Science and Physics or BSc Computer Science and Management Science programme, all courses in the first year are compulsory and you can skip to the section on checking the timetable of your courses below.

Compulsory and core courses

The courses listed below are compulsory for most Informatics students; Computer Science and Physics students take other compulsory maths courses.

  • Semester 1:

    • INFR08025 Informatics 1 - Introduction to Computation (Informatics Acronym: INF1A)

    • MATH08057 Introduction to Linear Algebra

  • Semester 2:

    • INFR08029 Informatics 1 - Object Oriented Programming (Informatics Acronym: INF1B)

    • MATH08058 Calculus and its Applications (not applicable to BSc Cognitive Science)

The following course is compulsory for BSc Cognitive Science students, and is a common choice for an outside course for other Informatics students:

  • Semester 2:

    • INFR08020 Informatics 1 - Cognitive Science (Informatics Acronym: INF1-CG)

The courses "Informatics 1 - Introduction to Computation" (INF1A) and "Informatics 1 - Object Oriented Programming" (INF1B) are "core" courses. The formal course requirements for your degree are set out in the Degree Programme Tables (DPTs), which you can find in the University's Degree Regulations and Programme of Studies (DRPS) website.

Degree Regulations and Programme of Studies (DRPS)

As well as having a University course code, all Informatics courses have an acronym, which Informatics staff and students often use to refer to the course. However, staff and students in other schools may not be familiar with our acronyms. A convenient way of finding all Informatics courses (including their acronyms) is the full sortable list of Informatics courses.

Full list of Informatics courses

Choosing outside courses

Links to course choice forms for our degree programmes are below. The course choice form for your programme leads you through the process of choosing outside courses. The form includes suggestions of courses commonly taken by Informatics students. It also asks questions about your level of maths, to check if you would benefit from taking Fundamentals of Algebra and Calculus, an introductory course in University Mathematics covering topics not covered in the previous education of many incoming undergraduates on degrees involving Mathematics.

In general, your outside courses must be at level 7 or level 8, and you must have fulfilled any prerequisites. A full load of courses is 120 credits and the expectation is that you will take 60 credits per semester in order to ensure that you are not overloaded in either semester.  Permission to deviate from this will only be given where a strong rationale can be provided, please discuss this with your Student Adviser in the first instance.  There are various tools to help you view course options:

  • List of common outside courses: A document put together yearly by one of the lecturers in Informatics which lists some of the more common choices for 1st and 2nd year options.

  • Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study (DRPS): Click through to this year's DRPS to browse all courses across the University.

  • PATH: A support tool with a nicer interface for choosing optional courses, checking your timetable, and building your degree programme. You need to be logged into MyEd to use PATH.

There is general University guidance on how to choose courses, including how to use PATH.

University Guidance on how to choose course options

Checking the timetable of your potential course choices

It's important to attend all the course activities available: lectures, tutorials or workshops, and labs. Some outside courses will have lectures and other activities that clash with Informatics activities. In order to avoid timetable clashes you can check what your selected course timetable would be by using the Course Timetable Browser tool. In the link to the Course Timetable Browser compulsory courses for Informatics students are selected, along with the common optional course Informatics 1 - Cognitive Science. (Students on the BSc Cognitive Science programme do not need to take Calculus and its applications).

Course Timetable Browser Tool

  • Note that the Course Timetable Browser will show lecture activities for the whole class where everyone is expected to attend, and will show every option for group activities such as tutorials and labs; you are not expected to attend every option. You will be assigned to a particular group later, after your course choice is added to your student record. For most courses you will be able to change your group if you need to find a better fit for your timetable.
  • Note that some large classes have two optional time slots for the same lecture. For example, in Semester 1, Introduction to Linear Algebra has lectures at 12:10 and 13:10 on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. You attend only one of these lectures each day.
  • Other large classes appear to have two lectures running simultaneously. For example, in Semester 1, Informatics 1 - Introduction to Computation has a Lecture and a Lecture/Overflow running at 14:10 on Mondays and Tuesdays, 11:10 on a Thursday and 14:10 on a Friday. The lecture is streamed to the Lecture/Overflow location in case the Lecture is full.
  • Check the campus location of your choices shown in the Course Timetable Browser to make sure you have no "travel clashes". Classes are held both in the Central area campus and the King's Building's campus, which are about 30 minutes apart on foot, 15-20 minutes by bike, or around 20 minutes on the shuttle bus. If you have an activity on one campus directly after an activity on the other, you will miss part of at least one activity.

The University Timetabling Unit has more information on student timetables, including how to change your tutorial group:

Student Timetables

Course Choice Support

A number of sources of support are available as you make your course choices:

  • Optional Course Selection Session – these are information and Q&A sessions. You are invited to attend a group session around the time the course enrolment forms are made available. A link to recording of the 2023 Course Selection Sessions will appear below.
  • Individual Advice – if you have further questions after attending a course selection session and reading the guidance in the form, you can contact your Student Adviser for advice.  They are available on Level 6 of Appleton Tower or via email: .

UG Optional Course Selection Session

Course Selection Forms

Please click on the relevant box below to show the course selection form or instructions for your programme. Some courses are very popular, so we will ask you for first, second and third choices of outside courses.

Checking your Courses and Timetable

Once we have processed your form, we will register you in line with your first, second or third choices, as available.

You are responsible for checking your online student record through MyEd to confirm that your course choices are accurate and up-to-date. You can view your timetable in MyEd: ‘Timetables’ can be found in the 'Studies’ tab, under the ‘My Course’ column (on the left hand side).


Course Changes

Requests to change your course selection should be discussed with Student Advisers in September or January.

  • The deadline for Semester 1 course changes is the end of week 2 of Semester 1. If you wish to make any course changes for Semester 1, please email your Student Adviser as soon as possible, and before the end of week 2. After this date we cannot change your Semester 1 courses.

  • The deadline for Semester 2 course changes is the end of week 2 of Semester 2. If you wish to make any course changes for Semester 2, please email your Student Adviser as soon as possible, and before the end of week 2. After this date we cannot change your Semester 2 courses.