Welcome to the School of Computer Science at St Andrews! This handbook contains information relevant to all students studying in the School in session 2019-20. The bulk of the material is particularly aimed at students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules.

You should read the whole handbook, but you may wish to give particular priority to the summary of key points.

See also the induction materials for various classes:

As far as possible, this handbook avoids duplication of information available in other University publications, focusing instead on issues specific to this School. It should be read in conjunction with, in particular:

Wellbeing, Advice, and Support for Students

As a University of St Andrews student you are on a journey of learning.  The person you arrived as will be different from the one who leaves. This change will reflect the knowledge and skills you will gain, and the experiences you will have throughout your time here. It is unlikely that your journey will always be smooth, but dealing with the unexpected challenges you encounter along the way will help you develop the skills you need to make you a better scholar and better able to cope with life beyond university. Key areas to focus on during your St Andrews journey include:

  • Developing independence. This means that you actively seek out information, take charge of finding the right balance between your study and personal life and take responsibility for your behaviour, wellbeing and health.
  • Facing challenges. It’s perfectly normal to find things challenging in your academic studies and general student life. Some challenges may lead to disappointment or even failure. The important thing to remember is that you will be strengthened by these challenges, developing important life-skills such as problem-solving and resilience.
  • Being involved. As a student at St Andrews you are part of several communities, and you have the opportunity to become involved with them. You are part of the community within your academic school, part of the broader University community and part of the wider community of the St Andrews town. You are encouraged to make the most of the academic, social, societies and sports opportunities on offer as a way to positively build knowledge, skills, support networks, and physical and mental wellbeing.

For advice and support on student welfare, equality and diversity, or any issue, including academic, financial, international, personal or health matters, or if you are unsure of who to go to for help, please contact one of our Welfare Officers, Equality and Diversity Officers or the Advice and Support Centre, 79 North Street, 01334 462020, theasc@st-andrews.ac.uk, or via ask-a-question. The University’s Student Health Hub has an office located in the local community hospital, staffed by University staff and you can also find Essential Health Phone Numbers here.

CAPOD Resources

The University’s Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development (CAPOD) can provide additional input to help students develop the skills they need for their academic studies and beyond. There are three main ways:

  1. Academic skills: You can book a 1:1 appointment with one of the CAPOD PhD tutors to help you improve your study skills (e.g. note-taking, time management, essay writing) or mathematics and statistics skills. Over 300 students make use of this service each year. There is also a drop-in pod for study skills in the Library every Thursday afternoon and drop-in afternoons for maths and stats appointments, but please check the CAPOD website for those.

  2. Professional skills: CAPOD runs the Professional Skills Curriculum (PSC) which is a development programme open to all students. It is based around 11 key graduate skills which employers value. The skills are delivered via online workshops, lunchtime and evening lectures, and practical skills sessions. There is everything from leadership to resilience; influencing skills to public speaking; project management to networking. You are welcome to dip in and out of the programme as you wish, but if you complete a skills analysis, engage with 8 or more topics over an academic year and submit a reflective essay, you receive a certificate and your achievement is listed on your degree transcript. The PSC is endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management. Once you have achieved your PSC Award, you can opt to specialise in a PSC Plus award, and choose from a range of options including enterprise, IT Skills, communication, negotiation, teaching and consultancy. More details on the PSC website.

  3. IT skills: as part of the PSC, CAPOD runs a programme of IT workshops for undergraduate students, including sessions on digital wellbeing, using apps to help you learn, and curating digital content. You also have access to the Microsoft IT Academy which offers a range of online courses, from a suite of IT programmes, which you can access and work on flexibly. You also have the opportunity to self-study and sit exams for a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certificate which is a globally recognised IT qualification. Taking part in MOS is free of charge for students at St Andrews.

There is more information on the CAPOD webpages or in the CAPOD office (Hebdomadar’s Block, St Salvator’s Quad).

Back to top

Last Published: 18 May 2020.