Bristol is one of the leading universities for the study of computing. Whilst giving students an understanding of the foundations of the subject, we are proud of the symbiosis between our teaching and internationally leading research.

Computing is an interdisciplinary subject, with historical roots in mathematics, physics, electronics, psychology and neuroscience; the interplay between these areas is still very much in evidence today. You will see this diversity within the courses here - Bristol students experience it first-hand from the staff, whose range of interests include:

  • quantum computing;
  • microprocessor design;
  • biological computing; and
  • wearable computers.

For some, the attraction is:

  • creativity: designing and making things, from programs to electronic products;
  • intellectual challenges: solving problems and finding ways to understand complex phenomena both natural and artificial;
  • computing's direct relevance to the real world and its importance in many other areas of society.

Computing provides a route to many different career paths, and our graduates have a wide choice in the kind of work they do. Our courses provide a balance between leading-edge topics such as:

  • high performance computing
  • cryptography;
  • artificial intelligence;
  • software development;
  • system design and animation

Our  students profiles give a taster of what our graduates say and the jobs they have gone on to do.

Your choice of course and university is an important decision. This prospectus will give you a brief overview of Bristol's computing courses and what it is like to study here. If you have any further questions, please see our website or contact our Admissions Team who will be only too happy to help.

Industrial collaboration

Together with the Department of Electronic Engineering, the Department carries out a number of projects through 3CR, a University Innovation Centre initially funded by the DTI but now self-supporting. 3CR is a non-profit company with many Industrial partners including:

Inter-faculty collaboration

The Department is involved in University-wide research themes. These are a University of Bristol strategy to help focus strategic investments into areas in which Bristol is, or can be, world-leading. In particular, we are heavily involved in driving the agendas behind:

  • Exabyte Informatics aims to bring together all the researchers in the university looking at the handling, storing and processing of large amounts of data.
  • Neuroscience aims to bring together all the researchers looking into the form and function of the brain.
  • Nanoscience and Quantum Information aims to unite the university's work in small scale phenomena, as exemplified by the processing of quantum information.
  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems is a focus for work in systems which act under their own control, as exemplified by our robotics work.
  • Information Processing in Biological Systems brings together the university's work in genomics, biologically-inspired computing and other areas in which biologists can inspire and be inspired by the processing of information.

Academic collaboration

We currently collaborate with numerous academic organisations in the UK and around the world, including:

SET squared partnership

SETsquared logoSET squared is a UK partnership with the Universities of Bath, Southampton and Surrey and the associated international partnership with San-Diego.  The Bristol SETsquared Centre is the University of Bristol’s award winning business incubator that operates within the wider partnership.

WUN partnership

WUN logoWUN Partnership with a number of leading international Universities, such as Bergen, Urbana-Champaign, Nanjing, Washington State and Wisconsin at Madison.


Funding for our research comes from a variety of sources including EPSRC, ESRC, AHRC, SSRC, MRC, EU, DTI and Industry.

We are committed to interdisciplinary academic research and applied research with industrial partners. To this end, we have pursued a strategy of employing energetic new staff with interests in areas such as neuroscience, quantum information, robotics, and biologically-inspired computing.

In Bristol, we are fortunate in that our nearby industry includes:

The activities of each of our research groups involve visiting industrial staff.

Bristol computing graduates are highly regarded; not only by computing-related employers, but also in other sectors of industry, commerce and the professions.