Year in Computer Science

artificial intelligence

Computer Science is now a major factor in many businesses, professions and academic disciplines, as well as in everyday life. From practical ICT to profound principles of computation, a solid grounding in computer science can be an important factor in making the most of your career potential.

To respond to the demand from students, employers and the government for more education in computing, the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham offers a 'Year in Computer Science' (YCS). It allows students from non-computing disciplines the chance to gain in-depth knowledge of computing and enhance their work-based skills through the study of computer science.


In a degree with a 'Year in Computer Science', the additional year is undertaken in the penultimate year of your original honours degree. In the additional year you will study core computer science, and in your final year you will return to your home subject.

You can sign up to the YCS in the year of study before your intended penultimate ‘Year in Computer Science’. For example, if you are studying a 3 year programme, you would sign up in Year 2, study the YCS in Year 3, and return to your original programme in Year 4. You will need to fulfil all of the necessary entry requirements before being considered.

Once admitted, you will follow modules offered by the School of Computer Science and, for that year, all tutoring and monitoring requirements will become the sole responsibility of the School of Computer Science.


Essentially, you will study the following 120 credit compulsory modules:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Building Usable Software
  • Computer Systems
  • Data Structures, Algorithms and Databases
  • Software Workshop 1
  • Software Workshop 2

Module descriptions.

What are the entry requirements?

The Year in Computer Science is available to all students whom:

  • are studying any subject other than computer science;
  • achieve a point average of at least 55% in their second year of study and can provide evidence of their average in first year;
  • demonstrate their ability and enthusiasm for the course in their application.

It is advisable that applicants also hold Grade A/Level 7 in GCSE Mathematics or higher (or international equivalent).

Please note that whilst a conditional offer can initially be made, admission onto the YCS cannot be confirmed until the results of your current year examinations are released.

What do I get at the end of it?

Successful students will graduate with a degree in their home subject, with the addition of 'with a Year in Computer Science'. A full transcript of your marks for the year you spend with us will also be available to you and can be supplied to potential employers.

The Year in Computer Science is assessed on a pass/fail basis. Credits gained during the year will not contribute to the credits required for your main degree, nor will marks contribute towards your degree classification in the main subject. In this respect, the YCS is similar to a 'Year Abroad/in Industry' and for this reason the YCS should be considered an integral part of your degree.

What does it cost?

In terms of cost, the Year in Computer Science should be viewed simply as an additional year of study.

If you pay your own tuition fees, then you will have an extra year's tuition fee to pay. For those eligible, an additional year of study loan should be available to apply for - please contact the Student Loans Company to arrange this (confirming you wish to study an additional Year in Computer Science as part of your degree).

How do I apply?

Applications are now closed for 2023 entry.  Applications for 2024 entry will open in April 2024


For enquiries about the Year in Computer Science, please contact the Education Support Office at: