School of Mathematical & Computer Sciences Dept of Computer Science

PART A – SCHOOL INFORMATION Welcome and Introduction

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Welcome and Introduction

The term ‘Flexible, Distributed and Independent Learning’ is used to refer to educational provision leading to an award of Heriot-Watt University as the awarding institution, but delivered, supported or assessed through means which do not require the student to attend on-campus. This includes distributed learning delivered through an Approved Learning Partner, individual distance learning in which there may be little direct contact with staff and students on campus, and e-learning supported and, where relevant, accessed via the internet. Students may study using a mixture of on-and off-campus mechanisms.

Students in receipt of this handbook are studying through an Approved Learning Partner (an organisation/institution with which Heriot-Watt University has entered into agreement and which is charged with delivery of and learner support for a Heriot-Watt University programme of study to students) and should contact the Partner in the first instance for any academic query or assistance.
    1. Welcome from the Principal

I am delighted to welcome you as a student of Heriot-Watt University!

Heriot-Watt University has a well earned reputation as Scotland's most international and outward-looking University. With three campuses in Scotland (attended by a high percentage of students from across the world), a Campus in Dubai, a new Campus in Malaysia which is expected to open in September 2012 and Learning Partner institutions across the world, we have a vibrant and diverse learning culture which is unique and unmatched by other universities in the United Kingdom. We are keen to give our students the opportunity to develop an international dimension to their studies which will enhance their opportunities for future growth.
You are an important part of this global community and I very much hope you enjoy your time with us.
Professor Steve Chapman

Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Welcome from Head of School

"MACS is a flagship School of Heriot-Watt University, leading in research and research-led teaching. Its departments cover three areas - mathematics, actuarial mathematics and statistics, and computer science. For our students, MACS offers strong research and postgraduate courses and a wide range of high quality undergraduate courses. It has top research and excellent teaching ratings and is a lively international centre for leading-edge developments and exciting new courses".
Professor Philippe De Wilde, Head of School.

General Information about Heriot-Watt University and School

Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt University has four campuses, a parent campus in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland in the UK, two campuses in the north and south of Scotland, a Campus in Dubai, a new Campus in Malaysia which is expected to open in September 2012, as well as a number of overseas centres running University programmes. Heriot-Watt University’s mission is to provide students with the opportunity to study programmes which will enable them to contribute immediately to the economy and wellbeing of the region in which they choose to work. This ethos of “doing things that matter” stretches right back to the origins of Heriot-Watt in 1821, when programmes were run to suit the needs of developing industries in Scotland.
The web address is

School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences

The School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS) at Heriot-Watt is at the forefront of education in these fundamentally important disciplines.  It brings together the departments of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics, Computer Science and Mathematics, within which are offered a wide variety of taught courses and an array of relevant and innovative research options.

MACS has an excellent reputation and is highly rated for the quality of its research and teaching. In addition, the School has myriad links to international industry and offers excellent pathways into the many fascinating careers open to Mathematics and Computer Science specialists.  Computer Science lies at the heart of our technologically driven society, supporting everything from the largest corporate systems to the individual mobile device. Consequently, the range of career specialisms within the broad IT industry is quite staggering. At the same time, the technology is evolving so quickly that there is always a new challenge. Heriot-Watt ensures that graduates of the Computer Science department are armed with fundamental technical and business skills, allied to strong links with industry, to take full advantage of the career opportunities available.

Approved Learning Partners

Approved Learning Partners (ALPs) are educational institutions established in various countries around the world.
The main task of an ALP is to provide the necessary face-face teaching to complement the written course materials and ensure that their students are adequately prepared to sit the examinations successfully. Additionally, ALPs must also provide adequate learning facilities such as tutorial rooms, study areas, library and computing access, to a level approved by Heriot-Watt University.
ALPs are responsible for ensuring that students have a supported learning experience through access to tutorial support, representation, counselling and advice.
As ALPs are in direct contact with students, it is expected that students use their ALP to deal with all first level enquiries. However, the CS DL team aims to support ALPs as much as possible and will assist with queries as requested. Students can also contact the CS DL team by emailing the DL Administrator at
ALPs are monitored through a variety of methods, including the examination performances of their students and also from feedback received from their students (via anonymous Heriot-Watt University questionnaires, via Heriot-Watt University appointed student ambassadors at each ALP, or from comments received whilst Heriot-Watt University are visiting students at the ALP).

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