Welcome to the Department of Computer Science. Computer Science as a subject is constantly evolving and continues to revolutionise a wide range of human activities. The department's mission is to anticipate and drive these developments via scholarship, teaching and research. Our aim is to provide an education in Computer Science that will retain its value throughout a graduate's career, in the presence of rapid technological changes.

The Department currently has about 40 academic staff, 45 research staff, 100 PhD research students, 150 MSc students and 300 undergraduate students. Many of our academic staff are international leaders in their field, working on cutting edge research areas. This has led to new research themes being developed, which underpin our innovative teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. We take pride in our graduates who will be well equipped to become future leaders in their professions.

We hope your time in Bristol will be stimulating, enjoyable and rewarding.


The Department is situated, as part of the Merchant Venturers School of Engineering, in the Merchant Venturers Building near the centre of Bristol. The School brings together research in computing, communications and electronics. The Department hosts the University's Centre for IT and Law, it leads the University's activities in Exabyte Informatics, plays a leading role in High Performance Computing and contributes to the Bristol Robotics Lab, a joint venture with UWE.


The Department continually invests in new equipment to support teaching and research. The department runs a high speed network connecting 90 workstations in the computing laboratories to web, mail and file servers, allowing access from mobile users and users in student halls. Our computing laboratories are renewed about every three years. In addition to the main laboratories, we have laboratories with specialist equipment, for example a motion platform and a wearables laboratory.


The curriculum is regularly being revised to match the needs and demands of both the students and their future employers. Last year we substantially revised our undergraduate courses in Computer Science, and our joint courses in Mathematics and Computer Science, and Computer Science and Electronics. As well as the basics of software, electronics, theory and transferable skills, the courses revolve around the themes of Intelligent Systems, Security and Cryptography, High Performance Computing, Computer Architecture, Data Mining, and Content. We aim to develop both theoretical and practical capabilities and we have a number of industrial partners and visiting staff who provide us with a window onto the industrial world and a basis for real-world projects. Our courses are accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS) and/or the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

In our four year MEng programmes we have included substantial project work which will provide opportunities for industrial projects or for involvement in the Department's research. If you would like to find out more about the Department's research activities you may like to consult the Department's research web pages.

In addition to our undergraduate programmes, we run a very successful postgraduate Computer Science Conversion MSc, as well as Advanced MSc courses in Machine Learning, in Internet Technologies with Multimedia or Security, and in Microelectronics Design

New Initiatives

We have been very active over the last few years and have set up several new research projects and initiatives. Major achievements in the last couple of years include:

Industrial Links

The Bristol region has one of Europe's largest concentrations of high technology industry. Computers, communications and microelectronics are well represented, alongside digital media, computer games and electronic commerce. As well as hosting many research and product development centres of major global companies, the region has a rapidly growing number of innovative new companies.

The Computer Science Department has close relationships with many of these organisations via collaborative projects, staff secondments and visiting industrial staff. It has recently introduced several mechanisms for developing and supporting entrepreneurial students and staff, and aims to play a significant role in the development of high-technology industry in the region. Indeed a number of our students have gone on to, form or be associated with, various small start-up companies in the region.

In addition we are now working together with our industrial partners to develop our postgraduate research programmes within our major research groups, and recent years have seen a significant increase in our PhD student population.

The Department is a rich source of knowledge and experience. We are committed to creating the best possible opportunities for learning, research and future employment in one of Britain's liveliest cities.

Faculty and University

This handbook is informal and doesn't specify rules and regulations in precise detail. For such details, please read the Faculty handbooks and University documentation.