BSc single honours Computer Science 2018/19

Year of entry

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As the use of the internet, ‘big data’, simulation, and automation continues to grow, so does the need for computing scientists who can provide real solutions to real problems. This course has been designed around the demand for high performance computing in industry.

You will develop a comprehensive theoretical, practical and analytical skill set and learn how to combine theory with practical system design to find solutions to some of the biggest problems faced in the field of computing.

You will explore areas including:

  • computational mathematics
  • research methods
  • artificial intelligence and multi-tasking.

This course has been designed around the demand for high performance computing in industry. As the consumption of the internet, big data, use of simulation and automation in all forms continues to grow, so will the need for computing scientists who can provide real solutions to real problems.

This course provides the opportunity to develop a comprehensive theoretical, practical and analytical skill set using industrial tools to produce graduates of high calibre and appeal to industry.

Computer Science involves (amongst other things) software development, machine architecture, problem modelling and parallel computing. This includes utilising the theory of computation and practical system design to find solutions to some of the biggest problems faced in the field of computing.

This course is for you if you are attracted to all the high performance and technical aspects of computing; a keen interest in problem solving and have an underlying desire to work on the biggest and latest issues faced by the field of advanced computing. The aim of this course is to equip you with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to enter any area of industry that has a high performance compute requirement. 

You will study specialist computing science topics alongside the broader fundamental topics in computing. Each year will reinforce knowledge learnt in prior years building up expertise and skills required to become a computer scientist. You can expect to be well versed with the C#, C, BASH, MPI and SQL languages; as well as the design of algorithms that can understand data (intelligent) rather than simply process it.

Along with good programming and analytical skills you will also learn how to take advantage of using more than one computer (clusters) to solve even the largest or problems presented by any industry that relies on computational ability or the simulation of their field.

In the third year you will undertake a substantive piece of practical work in the form of an individual project. This allows you to demonstrate your capabilities across the whole range of activities that have been taught in the previous years as well as expanding into new elements of your own choosing.

Students on this programme can expect to go on a small number of optional trips such as the National Computing Museum at Bletchley Park. We also have a number of guest lecturers each year.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

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Year one

Core modules

Application Development

This module and develops your programming skills in the main development language, e.g. the C# programming language. You will develop graphical user interface applications that run in the Windows operating system. A strong emphasis is placed on high quality development that provides a strong foundation for future more advanced software development skills.

Computer Systems

Computer systems examines the underlying fundamentals of computer systems’ operations, including the number systems they use, how computer processors operate at a simple level and the relationship between different hardware components.

The Computing Professional

This module introduces you to the variety of roles there are in computing and some of the key skills required to work in those areas. You will also start to think about the ethical issues in the field of computing and start to develop your own ideas of appropriate responses to these. You will also start to look at some of the non­technical skills that are involved in computing such as team work, presentation and research.

Maths for Computing 

Math is the key stone for all technical and computationally expensive aspects of computing, it is the main driving force behind the advancement of computer architecture to date. This module will look at the fundamental aspect of mathematics and will demonstrate how they are used in modern computing via the C# programming language. You will learn the underlying theories, such as probability, linear algebra and calculus.

Principles of Software Development

We look at the basic ideas of software engineering – the processes that should be followed to go through to develop software solutions. You will also study the basic concepts of standard algorithms and data storage and the mathematics required to support this area.

Likely optional modules

Introduction to Programming

This is the first module of programming in the degree and teaches students who may have no prior programming experience some of the fundamental concepts in the area. You will work with two different programming languages – for example to develop Android apps using MIT App Inventor and traditional applications in the C# programming language.

E-commerce and Web Development

One area of computing that has grown enormously in the last fifteen years is that of e­commerce. Both business to business and business to consumer sales and marketing is now often done electronically using web sites and systems. This module looks at the concepts of e­commerce systems and looks at development of web sites using HTML 5/CSS and the use of content management systems (CMS) to produce end user informational websites.

Year two

Core modules

Computational Algorithms

This module deepens the theory learnt in math for computing module. In this module you will look further into the design, implementation and evaluation of advance algorithms used across the entire spectrum of computing, spanning simple string matching algorithms to NP hard problems.

Computing Networks

The computer networks module introduces you to the theories and practical deployment of computer networks to enable more than one computer to communicate to share both data and processing. Students will be introduced to the OSI and TCP/IP models of network operation.

Developing Database Systems with SQL

This module looks at the concepts and theories behind the use the relational database model and how this is practically implemented in the Oracle Relational Database Management System using the SQL language. Oracle is the world’s most popular database management system by market share.

Object-Oriented Programming

Object­oriented programming continues the software programming stream from year 1 by looking at a way of thinking about problems and development of solutions – using the class and object model. Continuing the use of the main programming language from year 1 (typically C#) the module deepens your knowledge of how to use the power of this development language.

Research Methods

Research methods looks at how we can research new areas in computing. You will be given a range of tools to glean data, such as interviews, questionnaires and experimentation. You will also be given the analysis tools to make sense of the data collected, such qualitative and quantitative statistics. By the end of the module you will have produced a fully articulated research proposal.

Software Engineering

This module deepens the knowledge and understanding of how we go about building software in a controlled and measured way. At the end of the module you will have produced a fully articulated project proposal for your third year Individual Project, which forms a compulsory part of year three.

Year three

Core modules

Advanced Programming

Advanced Programming looks at some very modern and complex techniques used in computer programming. Again, you will use the C# language, but will also be exposed to other programming languages in order to experience the full range of methods for software development. You can expect to look at a number of ‘patterns’ and study such areas as serialisation of objects to persistently store them and the use of reflection.

Individual Project  (20 or 40 credit)

This module is the culmination of your learning experiences on the entire course. You will, under the guidance of a supervisor, undertake a piece of focussed research. This will build on work completed elsewhere on the course by an in-depth study of one aspect of such work or by the exploration of a new area.

Intelligent & Parallel Computing

This module looks at how a computer can model and understand data in abstract form. You will gain knowledge on how to transition your solutions from simply processing data to understanding it. This module will cover cutting edge techniques such as machine learning, probabilistic modelling, classification and ports it into the realm of parallel processing. You will learn how to implement solutions to work across multiple computers (clusters) in concert to accommodate even the most demanding algorithms that exists; for example, working on big data processing and artificial intelligence.

Operating Systems

This module looks at the operation and underlying operations of the operating system in the use of modern, large­scale computer systems. You will gain an understanding of how resources are managed by the operating system by looking at these in theory and the actual operation in systems such as Windows and Linux.

Likely optional modules


Cryptology is the study of codes and ciphers. These are highly important in the computer environment to protect information from malicious attack or unintended release. You will study the operation of modern computer­based ciphers and other cryptographic mechanisms, which when combined can form protective protocols for a number of computer and everyday problems.

Human-Computer Interaction

Human-­Computer Interaction looks at the interplay between the human user of a computer system and the computer system itself in order to maximise its effectiveness. You will study a number of theories of good design of computer systems and will deploy these in the design of your own interfaces. Further, once designed or implemented you will learn techniques for evaluating the effectiveness of the interfaces in order to improve them.

Placement in Industry or Commerce

The placement module is a flexible module that allows you to gain experience and put your knowledge into practice outside the university classroom setting. This can be done over the summer before your third year of study as a block of work; during your third year on a given number of hours each week; or some combination in agreement with the organisation and University.

You will be required to pass all your second year modules of study at first attempt; have a good overall average and must gain your placement place to be eligible to take this module. You will be given assistance in identifying and applying for placements.

Recent Advances in Computer Networks

This module deepens your understanding of computer networking by looking at a number of more recent mechanisms for computer networking, such as mobile networks and the latest versions of the TCP/IP protocols. This will enable you to make the most effective use of networking hardware to create distributed systems.

Examples of roles that graduates of this course could consider include working as a software developer or consultants in any industry that exploits the use of processing and understand data such as, the intelligence services, financial sector, healthcare, large internet corporations or any other sectors where there is a heavy element of research by simulation.

As a graduate of the course, you also will be able to use your analytical and process development skills in other new business areas.

You will also have a strong grounding for further study on specialist Masters or Research (MPhil/PhD) programmes. This degree will stand you in good stead to work towards professional qualifications with a number of commercial providers and also those of the British Computer Society and the Institution of Engineering & Technology.


The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £11,500
Part-time * £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2018/19 only. Please read the 2018/19 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2018/19 tuition fees and mid-course year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Field Trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc)

We run several part-funded optional trips per year. Students are expected to pay a share of the overall cost: Typically in the order of £10-£20 per trip for UK regional trips. These are payable two weeks or more in advance of the trip. Fee will cover part of the travel and entry fee (if any).

Food and drink are not included. We are hoping to run optional trips further afield in the UK or abroad. A larger student cost may be required for these trips.

Travel and Accommodation costs for Placements

Students on the Industrial Placement module in Year 2 will be expected to self-fund all travel, accommodation if required, and subsistence costs. However this has usually been subsidised by the placement providers.

Text books

Some modules require a purchase of a text book. Text books in computing can cost between £10 and £70 per book. Other modules will use either free books or students will use a number of different books from the library.

DBS / Health Checks

Not required unless required for a placement. Students will bear any costs associated with these checks although some checks may be paid for by the placement providers.

Clothing / Kit

Not required, unless required for placement, where the student will be responsible for these costs, unless essential Health and Safety requirements, where the placement partner organisation will bear the costs.

Social Events

We do not charge for programme social events at the start and end of each year. Other social events may make a small charge of £15 or less to cover costs.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Student Steven Dodds was awarded a BCS scholarship award worth £25,000 in 2015 to take up a PGCE in computing.

You can expect 12 hours per week contact time in the first two years and 10 hours a week in year three with additional time for classes and supervisions for your individual study. In year one you will also have optional peer tutor sessions when students in years two or three assist you with your work.

Approximately half the hours each week will be formal lectures and half will be seminar or workshop based. Feedback on work undertaken so far may also form part of lecture or other sessions in the week.

You should expect to spend approximately 12­-30 hours a week of additional time to get the most out of the formal teaching sessions and to do assessments.

Academic input

You will be taught by a combination of principal lecturers, senior lecturers, lecturers and university instructors. Many staff members are Members or Fellows of the British Computer Society or similar professional organisations. A number of staff members have worked in industrial or commercial software development as well as having teaching and research careers.

Dr Abhaya Induruwa, principal lecturer, who specialises in the field of networking and mobile computer forensics, is an inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame (2014) for his role in developing research and Internet deployment in Sri Lanka.

You will be assessed largely by coursework, though some modules will also have examinations or class tests. Coursework is mainly practically­oriented with appropriate theoretical elements to ensure a well­rounded education. Assessments are generally individual, with group work in some modules where this matches the approaches used in industry.

We use coursework assessment methods based on their suitability for specific modules. Formative feedback is provided formally in year one and during the year three individual study, and informally in workshops and seminars. Methods of assessment used include production of software artefacts, project plans and diaries, essays, reports, ‘investigation­based’ presentations, oral presentations, individual studies/projects, poster presentations, online assessment, logs, examinations and time constrained assignments.

We have a “Makerspace” lab open to computing students that contains PC Computers, Arduino and Raspberry Pi micro­computer development systems and a 3D printer. Students can use these technologies on week days, evenings and weekends. A networking and server room will also be available for use during certain modules for student operations.

Out of hours access is available to some computing labs specifically for computing students.

Several of the academic staff are members of the British Computer Society (BCS) and some staff are also linked to the Engineering Council through Chartered Engineering status (CEng, or Eur. Ing.).


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

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For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000


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Fact file

UCAS course code

  • I104 Computer Science

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time


  • September 2018

Entry requirements

  • A typical offer would be 96-120 UCAS Tariff points.

    Requirement for Numerate A level or equivalent as part of this – E.g. Maths, Physics, Computer Science. More entry requirement details.



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Last edited 29/06/2018 09:42:00

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Last edited: 29/06/2018 09:42:00