UCL Department of Computer Science


Section 1: Introduction


Welcome messages from UCL’s President and Provost, and the Computer Science Head of Department, and information about the scope and purpose of the Student Handbook.

1.1.Provost's welcome

Dear students,

To those of you who are returning, welcome back. To those of you who are new, congratulations for choosing UCL as your university. Great minds don’t think alike and the reasons for your choice will be unique to you. But there are certain features of a UCL education that are constant, whatever your programme.

Through our Connected Curriculum, we seek to give you the opportunity to learn by participating in research and enquiry at all levels of study. You will be stretched intellectually, your programmes enriched by world-leading researchers pushing the boundaries of knowledge. You will have access to excellent digital and physical learning resources as well as a taught curriculum that makes our graduates so employable.

This doesn’t mean that your journey will be the same as everyone else’s. You can shape UCL and your experience within it. Take our university-wide surveys and make your voice heard. Become a ChangeMaker or an Academic Representative and work in partnership with academics to make your programme of study even better.

You’ll also have opportunities to learn outside your degree programme. Participate in our Global Citizenship Programme, exploring ways of addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges in the two weeks of summer term following exams. Get involved with amazing volunteering opportunities (coordinated by the Volunteering Services Unit) and make a difference locally. Investigate opportunities for entrepreneurship through UCL Innovation and Enterprise.

UCL is first and foremost a community of great minds. You are a valuable member of that community. I hope you will take every opportunity to shape your time here, so that your experience is the best possible.

Professor Michael Arthur

UCL President and Provost

1.2.Head of Department's welcome

Welcome to UCL Department of Computer Science.

Congratulations on joining a thriving department at a very exciting time for our subject. I trust you will find your study time with us inspiring and enriching, and you are looking forward to contributing to our future success.

We pride ourselves on excellence in research and teaching, but we are also a lively, friendly and inclusive community of undergraduates, postgraduates, research students and staff; so we hope you can engage with the department’s activities and feel part of it.

Being a student at UCL gives you unparalleled opportunities; our industry exchange programme is the largest of its kind anywhere, and our Faculty’s Enterprise organisation offers the chance to win start-up funding for students seeking to start their own business, so we encourage you to use our expertise to help you plan for the future after your degree

UCL Computer Science enjoys a rich history – we established the first connection to the precursor of the Internet outside the US – and we continue to create innovative technologies that change lives with computers. I am delighted that you can be part of this and I wish you all the best for your time at UCL.

Professor John Shawe-Taylor

Head of Department

1.3.About this handbook

The Computer Science Student Handbook for is intended to provide students with key information regarding the department and their programme of study. It includes details of academic requirements, notification and explanation of codes, regulations, policies and procedures, as well as the other aspects of University life – sources of help and support, student representation, social opportunities, and facilities and resources available.

Where information is available via UCL’s central webpages (www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students) or in the overarching Academic Regulations (www.ucl.ac.uk/srs/academic-manual), which all students should familiarise themselves with, this has been summarised but not replicated in full. Instead, links are given to the relevant materials so that students can be sure they are accessing the most up to date information.

Students should be aware that in some cases departmental and faculty rules override the default rules specified in the Academic Regulations. Those students who take modules owned by other departments should ensure they also refer to the Handbook, or equivalent, for those departments.


The information contained in the Student Handbook is partially prescribed by UCL’s Academic Regulations (www.ucl.ac.uk/ srs/academic-manual/c6/core-programme-information.) The sections and sub-sections marked ‘Centrally Provided’ are based on standard text which applies to all UCL students, with other content provided by the department.

The department has made significant effort ensure the information presented in this document is comprehensive and correct, however no guarantee can be given that it will not be amended during the academic year. Any changes will be made to the digital version of this document, which will be made available via the Computer Science web page, along with a changelog.

Further information:

Please report any corrections to David Howells (d.howells@ucl.ac.uk.)