Computer Science @ University of St Andrews

University of St Andrews crest

Teaching facilities

  • Academics in robes with Vint Cerf
  • Lecture on web technologies
  • First year lecture
  • MSc students in the lab
  • MSc students in the lab
  • Undergraduate tutorial
  • Lecture
  • MSc students enjoying a sunny day
  • MSc students at the summer BBQ
  • First year students in a lab-based exercise class
  • MSc students in the snow after November graduation
  • MSc students after graduation
  • Undergraduate students after summer graduation
  • Blue sky thinking
  • Lecture
  • The Jack Cole building
  • Staff discussion

Our courses are structured around an integrated combination of formal lectures, hands-on practical work, and small-group tutorials.


We use a variety of lecture venues. Some lectures take place in a room equipped with workstations to allow lecturing to be interspersed with practical exercises. Other lectures are delivered in larger, more traditional lecture theatres in neighbouring buildings, or in our modern small-group meeting rooms for more specialised Honours modules with smaller class sizes.

Practical Work

We aim to give our students experience of a wide range of computing platforms, so various hardware and operating systems are used at different stages of the degree programme. The current laboratory provision is described below, although the details change every year or so as equipment is modernised. Students have 24 hour keycard access to teaching labs. Students have access to a wired and wireless network throughout the School and wireless access across the University campus.

The School provides a number of services for each student such as file storage, web publishing, ssh hosts and web accessible version control and these are accessible from all of the lab workstations and externally. All of our lab workstations are connected to the JANET network via gigabit Ethernet. Multi-function printers are available in all of our labs. Each desk in our student labs is provided with a power socket for charging laptops and other mobile devices.

While our labs are well-equipped with powerful and up-to-date PC workstations we also provide students with desk space where personal laptops can be used. Additional monitors, keyboards and mice are provided for use with personal laptops. The labs are arranged to support group working while also providing private spaces for individual work. There are a number of whiteboards on the walls and the labs contain group-working and social areas with large LCD screens.

Lab demonstrators on-hand at a lecture with practical elements A lecture in the Honey Teaching lab Students working during a lab-based exercise class

Undergraduate tutorial First year lecture Examples in a lecture

Jack Cole Student Lab

The Cole Student Lab is located in the School of Computer Science, Jack Cole building on the North Haugh. The lab is for use by all taught undergraduate and postgraduate students, providing a vibrant environment that supports individual and group work. This lab were most recently refreshed in the summer of 2014 currently contains PCs running Windows and Linux and each workstation has dual 24" LCD screens while the group working spaces are equipped with 60" LCD LED screens.

Two dual-screen workstations Seating and posters Students working in the lab

Students working in the lab Students working in the lab Lab workstations

Social space Group working tables

John Honey Student Lab - The Philip Lee Laboratory

The John Honey Student Lab is also known as the Philip Lee laboratory, in memory of a former Computer Science student. This laboratory, located in the John Honey building, is a quiet working space for students enrolled on any of the School's taught degree programs. This lab was refreshed in the summer of 2015 and contains PCs running Windows and Linux and each workstation has dual 24" LCD screens.

Lab workstations Lab workstations The Philip Lee laboratory Lab workstations Lab workstations


Weekly tutorials are held for level 1 and level 2 modules, typically with 5-7 students in a group. These usually take place in small-group meeting rooms in the Jack Cole building. At Honours level bi-weekly tutorials are the norm.

Social Space

We encourage students to interact socially, since we think that the opportunity to discuss material informally among peers is a valuable part of the learning process. Often this takes place in labs; the coffee area in the Jack Cole building also provides a place to take a break away from a computer screen. Students have 24-hour access to both buildings. Drinks and snacks are available from vending machines.

Jack Cole social area

Our Location

The School is based in the Jack Cole and John Honey buildings on the North Haugh. See the University town map or a map of St Andrews