School of Computing

Student Handbook

Student Handbook

Your Responsibilities

This Student Handbook provides information essential to all students.

The list below is a guide to what, at the very least, you should do to make progress on any of our Computing Science courses.

Meet with your Personal Tutor 

Meet with your personal tutor when you first arrive. Meet with them at least once more in your first semester

After this, you have to meet with your tutor at least once per semester

You can also contact them at any point if you've any questions or problems.

Attend lectures, tutorials and practicals

You have to keep you attendance up. You can check your timetables online

Check your email daily

Your University email is our main way of contacting you. Check it every day.

Meetings and deadlines

It's your responsibility to know dates and times for your:

  • assessment deadlines
  • meetings
  • exams

Hand in work on time

Make sure you hand in assignments and course work on time. If you submitted your work late without good cause, you'll be charged a penalty fee.

Report any problems

Let us know of any difficulties which affect your performance. Tell your tutor about anything that might have an effect on your studies.

Student conduct

Familiarise yourself with our student conduct guidelines. These will tell you what we expect from you, and what you can expect from staff members. 

Make sure your details are up to date on the Student Self Service Portal. We need to have your current local and home addresses and telephone numbers.

Read our guidelines on student safety.

Key Dates

Find out the key dates for undergraduate and postgraduate students. You must be available during all term time periods and examination periods.

Terms and semesters

Autumn Term

Monday 25 September - Friday 15 December 2017

Spring Term

Monday 8 January - Friday 16 March 2018

Summer Term

Monday 24 April - Friday 15 June 2018

Semester One

Monday 25 September 2017 - Friday 26 January 2018

Semester Two

Monday 29 January - Friday 15 June 2018

Semester Three

Monday 18 June - Friday 21 September 2018


Semester One includes a week of induction and registration, 12 teaching weeks, and two examination weeks.

Semester Two includes 12 teaching weeks and three examination weeks.

You have to be in attendance during every term, and for all teaching and examination weeks during the semesters.


Your dissertation and project work will run across the summer months. The deadline date for your dissertation will be the last Friday in August.

Exam dates

Most examinations are scheduled at the end of Semester One (January) or Semester Two (May/June).

If you don't pass first time, you might have to do resits at the end of August.

Semester 1

Monday 16 January 2017 – Friday 27 January 2017 (including Saturday 21 January)

Semester 2

Monday 22 May 2017 – Friday 9 June 2017 (including Saturday 27 May and Saturday 3 June)


Monday 21 August 2017 – Friday 1 September 2017 (including Saturday 26 August)

Examination results

Examination results are published following the meeting of the relevant Board of Examiners. Normally the results are available within a couple of working days of the Board of Examiners meeting. Students in the School of Computing will receive an email telling them when their results are available via NESS and/or the S3P system*. Undergraduate Stage 1 students will be required to attend a meeting with their tutor to collect their Semester 1 exam results.

Dates of Boards of Examiners in the School of Computing 2017-18

MSc Progression Boards:

  • MSc ACS, CSR, Cloud - Monday 26th March 2018
  • MSc Bioinformatics programmes - Tuesday 27th March 2018
  • MSc Games Engineering - Tuesday 10th April 2018
  • MSc Computer Science - June 2018.

All Undergraduate programmes in the School of Computing:

Monday 25th June 2018.

 *Note: some students taking modules in the School of Computing are administered by other Schools who will have different dates for their Boards of Examiners meetings.

Students who are deemed to have failed examinations by the Board of Examiners are required to take resit exams.

In the School of Computing, teaching week 6 of Semester 1 is termed "Employability Week". Employability week was established to give you a chance to consolidate your understanding of lecture material and catch up on your coursework as well as attend a series of events aimed at helping you find a placement or a job on graduation. Employability week is not half-term, and is not a holiday week. You are expected to remain at the University.

During employability week, the School of Computing does not run the normal timetabled lecture sessions, for all CSC undergraduate modules (CSC1xxx, CSC2xxx, CSC3xxx, CSC6xxx). However, practical/lab classes and some tutorial sessions may run as normal, and you may have other commitments during this week (e.g. Stage 2 team project meetings, Stage 3 project presentations). Some modules may also wish to use the timetabled lecture slots to go over material, but not to present any new material. You will need to check with each Module Leader to determine what is happening for each module's practical/lab/tutorial/lecture sessions. If you are taking modules from other Schools, it is very likely that those modules will be continuing as normal. You must not miss normal lectures if they continue during week 6.

In the School of Computing, teaching week 12 of each Semester is termed "Revision Week". Revision week was established to give you a chance to consolidate your understanding of all the material you have learnt in that Semester in preparation for the end of Semester exams. Revision week is not half-term and is not a holiday week. You are expected to remain at the University. During Revision Week, the School of Computing will run some or all of the normal timetabled lecture sessions as "Revision lectures". These lectures will go over material from the module, but not present any new material. You will need to check with each Module Leader to determine what is happening for each module's practical/lab/tutorial/lecture sessions.


Find out who you are the key contacts at the School.


The Head of the School has overall responsibility for degree programmes. 

Head of School - Professor John Fitzgerald

Deputy Head of School - Dr Alan Tully

Director of Excellence, Learning and Teaching -  Dr Marie Devlin

Director of Postgraduate Studies - Dr Phillip Lord 

Learning and Teaching Manager (also the School contact for appeals/academic queries) - Mrs Alex Barfield

Senior Tutor and Placements Coordinator - Dr Steve Riddle

Transition Officer - Ms Laura Heels

Deputy Transition Officer - Mr Jordan Barnes

Technical support

For technical or PC issues in School of Computing clusters contact


Degree Programme Directors (DPDs) are responsible for specific degree programmes. Stage Coordinators support the Undergraduate DPD.

DPD Undergraduate Programmes - Dr Neil Speirs

Stage 1 Coordinator - Ms Laura Heels

Stage 2 Coordinator - Dr John Colquhoun 

Stage 3 Coordinator - Professor Chris Phillips


Degree Programme Directors (DPDs) are responsible for specific degree programmes.

DPD MSc Computer Science - Dr Ellis Solaiman

DPD MSc Computer Security and Resilience - Dr Steve Riddle

DPD MSc Computer Game Engineering - Dr Graham Morgan

DPD MSc Cloud Computing - Dr Paul Ezhilchelvan

DPD MSc Advanced Computer Science - Dr Jason Steggles

DPD MSc Bioinformatics - Professor Neil Wipat

DPD MSc Neuroinformatics - Professor Neil Wipat

DPD MSc Synthetic Biology - Professor Neil Wipat

DPD MSc Computational Systems Biology - Professor Neil Wipat


DPD PhD and iPhD - Dr Phillip Lord 


Find out how to access your timetable online.

Use the student timetables website to access your timetable.

Check the website regularly. Your timetable is likely to change, especially at the beginning of each semester.

The website will give you information on how to:

  • read your timetable
  • find your way around campus
  • locate teaching rooms and buildings
  • link your timetable to your smartphone

You can also download the University's student timetable guide (PDF: 705 KB)


Find out what the Student Self-Service Portal (S3P) is for, and how you can access it.

Use the Student Self Service Portal (S3P) to:

  • register on your programme of study
  • keep your personal details up to date
  • pay fees online
  • produce standard documents to confirm your status (eg for council tax purposes)
  • confirm module choices 
  • report an absence to the School

Get more information about S3P.

Note: Students are sent a separate S3P password via email before they arrive at the University; this is only for the Self Service Portal and not for the main University IT facilities. If you do not have a user name and password for S3P, report to your school for more information.

How to log in

You can log in to S3P via this link. 

S3P does not use your campus log-in details. You will need your campus username and a different password.


The University has introduced attendance monitoring of some timetabled sessions. This helps us to support your academic progress.

We want to make sure that you succeed on your course. The University has attendance structures in place to help you.

Your responsibilities

You have to keep to the terms of the Student Charter. You have to attend all your timetabled sessions on time. 

When it comes to grades, your attendance can help you. In borderline cases, Boards of Examiners are more likely to favour candidates who demonstrate commitment by a good record of attendance.  

See the University attendance guidelines more information on attendance requirements.


If you are unable to attend for any reason, you should notify your personal tutor

You'll have to hand in a notice of absence form, and any necessary evidence. You can do this through S3P. 

If you have a significant number of absences, this means that you are not making ‘satisfactory progress’.

Action may be taken under the University General Regulations. This could result in termination of your programme of study.

International students

We have a legal obligation to monitor attendance of international students. We have to report any student who is not attending to the UK Border Agency.

You also need approval for vacations or plans to leave the UK in the summer period.  Your plans may have implications for your visa.