Computer-science-570x320

BSc single honours Computer Science with foundation year 2019/20

Year of entry

*Subject to validation

This course offers you an alternative pathway to access degree level study in Computing. The course is designed to improve your Computing discipline knowledge, including programming. In addition, the course will equip you with the skills you need to study at undergraduate level and will inform your choice of degree.

The programme will:

  • introduce you to the discipline of Computing, including programming concepts
  • inform your choice of degree specialism in Computing
  • provide you with the study skills needed for a degree-level course
  • allow you to apply academic knowledge and skills to real world technical challenges.

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.

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

more info

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.

Core modules

Year 1

Application Development (20 Credits)

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 (20 Credits)

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 (20 Credits)

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 non­ technical skills that are involved in computing such as team work, presentation and research.

Maths for Computing (20 Credits)

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 (20 Credits)

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.

Year 2

Computational Algorithms (20 Credits)

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 (20 Credits)

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 (20 Credits)

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 (20 Credits)

Object oriented 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 (20 Credits)

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 (20 Credits)

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 3

Advanced Programming (20 Credits)

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 Study (20 or 40 Credits)

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 in­depth study of one aspect of such work or by the exploration of a new area.

Intelligent & Parallel Computing (20 Credits)

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 (20 Credits)

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

Year 1

Introduction to Programming (20 Credits)

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.

E­commerce and Web Development (20 Credits)

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 e­ commerce 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 3

Cryptology (20 Credits)

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 computer based ciphers and other cryptographic mechanisms, which when combined can form protective protocols for a number of computer and everyday problems.

Human ­Computer Interaction (20 Credits)

Human­Computer 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 (20 Credits)

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 (20 Credits)

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.

Fees

The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £6,575 £8,500
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £11,900
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 2019/20 only. Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 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

CategoryDescription
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

CategoryDescription
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.

Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical labs. You will typically have around 12 contact hours per week. Labs will often emphasise working in small groups to enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures and place theory into practice. 

You will also have regular scheduled meetings, in addition to the above contact hours, with an assigned academic personal tutor, which is your first point of contact for assistance to your undergraduates needs.

Your actual contact hours depend on the option modules you select.

Independent learning

When not attending timetabled sessions it is expected you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars. Your module leader will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class.

For your final year individual study (dissertation), you will undertake independent research and will be assigned a supervisor; who will guide you through your first substantial and independent work through regular scheduled meetings.

Overall workload

Your overall workload typically consists of 12 contact hours and an additional 25 hours of independent learning. In addition, there may be field trips.

For each 20-credit module, your study time will about 10 hours a week plus work on assessments or preparation for examinations. Assessments would normally be expected to take approximately 50 hours for an assignment worth 50% of a 20 credit module. A similar amount of preparation and revision time  would be expected for an examination worth 50% of a 20 credit module.

Academic input

The team consists of highly qualified academics. They have a range of expertise and experience.

All our team members hold Doctoral or professional qualifications (e.g. Member of the British Computer Society or Eur. Ing.). You can find out more about the current teaching on our webpage (https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/social-and-applied-sciences/law-criminal-justice-and-computing/staff/home.aspx). You should note members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate students assist in some teaching and assessing some modules. However, experienced academics teach the majority of lectures and seminars.

The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments which count towards your final mark. Each module normally contains two piece of course work.

Assessment methods include written class tests and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, production of software, presentations and your final year project.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some

extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework is as follows:

Year 1
  • 90 per cent coursework
  • 10 per cent written class tests.
Year 2
  • 100 per cent coursework.
Year 3
  • 100 per cent coursework.

Feedback

You will receive feedback on all assessments and we aim to provide you with feedback within 10 working days of hand-in.

You must pass the current year (obtain an average of 40%) in order to progress any subsequent year.

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.). 

UK/EU

Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us

International

Full-time study

Need some help?

UK

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

Email: courses@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000

EU/International

Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • G408 Computer Science with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10

Length

  • 4 years full-time including a Foundation Year

Starts

  • September 2019

Entry requirements

Location

School

More about

Last edited 09/10/2018 15:18:00

Save, Print or Share this page

Connect with us

Last edited: 09/10/2018 15:18:00