Computer Science -Building


The vision of the department of Computer Science is to be internationally leading on teaching and research in Safe, Ethical and Secure computational systems. The foundation for this vision is our decades of pioneering systems safety and real-time and distributed systems research. York is now internationally leading in the safety of artificial intelligence and machine learning, including the roles of these technologies in supporting autonomous systems and robotics, mixed-criticality systems and Digital Twins.

I am pleased to invite you to apply for one of our three complementary professorial posts: Chair in Safety Science, Chair in Systems Safety and Chair in Real-Time and Distributed Systems (RTDS).

These appointments are key to the department’s future success, capitalising on our track record and recent investments amounting to over £40M:

  • The Assuring Autonomy International Programme (AAIP) focusing on safety assurance of robotics and autonomous systems
  • Lifelong Safety Assurance of AI-enabled Autonomous Systems (SAINTS) a Centre for Doctoral Training focused on AI Safety
  • The Institute for Safe Autonomy (ISA) which provides extensive lab facilities to support research and engagement with industry and regulators
  • The System Across Scales Lab that focuses on the next generation of Cyber-Physical Systems including Internet of Things

In these appointments, we are looking for enthusiastic leaders who can bring innovation and diversity that complements and develops our existing strengths. We also want people who can maintain and enhance our real world relevance through new links with industry, regulators and policy makers in the areas of safe AI and autonomy, and real-time and distributed systems.

Professor Paul Cairns, Head of Department

Paul Cairns - Head of Department


The Department of Computer Science  is a vibrant research-driven community of 55 academic staff, 67 teaching staff and 37 research associates delivering an excellent education to 840 undergraduates, 285 Masters and 209 PhD students in a range of innovative and internationally recognised research-led programmes.

The Department has a very strong international research record, and the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results ranked York’s Computer Science 9th overall in the UK, with 100% of our academic staff rated as “world leading” or “internationally excellent”. These results are confirmation of the Department’s longstanding global reach and real-world significance, affirming us as one of the best departments in the country for nurturing excellent research that achieves economic, social and cultural impact. All aspects of our impact and environment were judged to be of world-leading or international standard.

The Department has long-standing links and strategic partnerships with industry and funders, including with several global organisations, small and medium sized enterprises, and major charities. The Department is also highly regarded for its Continuing Professional Development courses, delivering high quality specialist teaching both on and off-site.

Computer Science Foyer


We have an established reputation for conducting fundamental and empirical research into the development and engineering of safe, ethical and secure computational systems for the amelioration of human life and conditions.

Computer science profoundly influences most industries – from healthcare to gaming to security. At the University of York we understand the extensive reach of computer science research and the interdisciplinary nature of many of the problems computer scientists tackle.

The Department collaborates with industry, charities and policy makers, as well as scientific communities nationally and internationally to respond to global challenges.

Our core research strengths reflect our expertise and understanding of interdisciplinary computer science research, and is centred around nine groups:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Automated Software Engineering
  • Cyber Security and Privacy
  • High Integrity Systems
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Non-Standard Computing
  • Real-Time and Distributed Systems
  • Software Engineering for Robotics
  • Vision, Graphics and Learning


Additionally, the Department collaborates across disciplines and with industry to tackle major global challenges, via these research centres:

  • Assuring Autonomy International Programme (AAIP)
  • Lifelong Safety Assurance of AI-enabled Autonomous Systems (SAINTS) a Centre for Doctoral Training focused on AI Safety
  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI)
  • Institute for Safe Autonomy (ISA)
  • Quantum Communications Hub
  • YorRobots

The Department’s particularly strong partnerships in interdisciplinary research sit under the themes of Technologies for the Future; Risk, Evidence and Decision Making; and Health and Wellbeing.

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Undergraduate Students
UG Workshop
ISA Building
York Global Initiative for Safe Autonomy
Berrick Saul Building
Institute For Safe Autonomy


Founded on principles of excellence, equality and opportunity for all, the University of York opened in 1963 with just 230 students. In 2023 it is the home of more than 20,000 students across more than 30 academic departments and research centres.

Our vision is to be a university for public good and our strategy is built around our commitment to meeting four strategic objectives which are:

- Deliver curiosity-driven and action-orientated research
- Provide education that empowers
- Create a community without limits
- Demonstrate local commitment on a global scale

For further information on the University of York and our Vision of a University for Public Good, please see:

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Our Vision
Our university emerged from a campaign in this city in the 1940s and 1950s to ‘contribute to the amelioration of human life and conditions.’ Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion is more important - and urgent - than ever, and so is at the heart of our 2030 Strategy.

Our Commitments
As a university that exists for public good, through purposeful action we are committed to equality of opportunity. Engendering inclusivity, and nurturing an environment where our students and staff can study, work and live in a community which fosters a sense of belonging, reflects our values and drive for demonstrable change.

What we gain from diversity is immeasurable. Our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy, which  we developed in partnership with our staff and student communities, describes our commitment to create an inclusive environment where everyone can make a positive contribution to university life, the city, region and beyond.

We are committed to recruit and retain a more ethnically diverse staff and student community; to create an accessible and inclusive campus, and embed the values and behaviours of  inclusive responsibility and leadership.

We want to appoint colleagues who not only share our vision and purpose, but who have a genuine commitment to inclusivity in research, education, and partnerships. We see equality, diversity, and inclusion as critical to deliver on our extraordinary founding principles for the advancement of equity, diversity and inclusion for all.

Will you join us on this journey?

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People fall in love with York the moment they visit. Internationally acclaimed for its rich heritage and historic architecture, York’s bustling streets are filled with visitors from all over the world. Within its medieval walls you will find the iconic gothic Minster, Clifford’s Tower and the Shambles just a few of the many attractions.

But it’s not all about our past. The city's entering an exciting period of its history as it explores the opportunities redevelopment of large parts of the city centre provides.

Living in York
York is an ideal place to raise a family, with a great range of high-performing schools, both state and independent. We are also rated the safest city-based university in the UK (Complete University Guide Top 15 Universities in England and Wales with Low Crime Levels 2022). Whether you choose to live close to the city, in one of the  surrounding villages or further afield, you will find a wide range of housing within a comfortable distance of York and the University.

Great location
Great rail and transport networks also connect you with other major cities in the UK. York is only a short train ride away from Leeds (20 minutes), Manchester (1.5 hours), London (2 hours) and Edinburgh (2.5 hours). We are also close to major road links including the M1 and M62.

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Current Jobs

Director of Strategic Programmes
(Assuring Autonomy & AI)
Closed for applications

Chair in Safety Science
Closed for applications


Chair in Real-Time and Distributed Systems
Closed for applications

Chair in Systems Safety
Closed for applications

We particularly welcome applications from female candidates, and candidates from minority ethnic backgrounds, who are under-represented in senior academic roles at the University.

Informal enquiries may be directed to Paul Ellison (HR Recruitment Adviser)