BSc single honours Computer Science with foundation year 2020/21

Year of entry

This course offers you an alternative pathway to access degree level study in Computer Science. The course is designed to improve your computing discipline knowledge, including programming and mathematics. 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 first year of this course (Foundation Year) will:

  • Introduce you to the discipline of computing, including programming concepts and mathematics
  • 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

Great news!

We’re building a new £60m Science, Engineering, Technology and Health facility on our main campus in Canterbury, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our students. We’re planning to open Building 2 in September 2020, with building work now well underway.

90% of our most recent Computing students were satisfied with the teaching quality of their course

National Student Survey 2018

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.

Our course has been developed to ensure that you cover the fundamentals before you select specialisms to study the last year of the degree.

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

more info

The main emphasis of Computer Science is finding advanced solutions to problems that need solutions and seeking new opportunities to use advanced techniques and knowledge. You will develop the theoretical, practical and analytical skill sets used by computer scientists in Year 1. You develop programming capability and a deeper understanding of the specialist mathematics used in large-scale parallel systems and Artificial Intelligence. You will also look at some of the ethical issues in computing and the skills sets required in the workplace with a view to developing these.

Work experience

You may opt to take a third year placement module, providing you meet the requirements of the module. This allows you to put your classroom knowledge into practice.

We have also offered a number of paid summer student internships open to students to apply for. A previous opportunity involved two students who undertook a development internship with us to look at the production of a prototype healthcare system. This was used to demonstrate the capability of such a system to surgical teams in Kent.

During this course, you 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. 

Year 0 – Foundation Year:

Semester 1

Working with Software (20 Credits)

Build a good grounding in the software we use every day in computing to document and to capture information about computer systems, including video editing packages. 

Working with Computer Hardware (20 Credits)

This module introduces you to the basics of how electronic and logical systems create computer hardware and to develop simple systems using such things and Arduino and Raspberry Pi computers.

Programming Concepts (20 Credits)

On this module you will learn some basics of computer programming using a language such as Python – how to write simple programs and to test these to ensure that they are working properly. 

Semester 2

Advanced Mathematics (20 Credits)

This module will build your knowledge to meet the entry level requirements for the BSc (Hons) Computer Science. This module includes elements from the national curriculum common to all ‘AS’ and ‘A’ level specifications and additional topics including: logical proof and reasoning; indices and logarithms; calculus and its application to kinematics, representation using matrices and vectors and set theory and its relationship to probability theory.

Computing in Society (20 Credits)

This module investigates the role of computing in society and how computing can affect the society we live in. For example we may look at how computer technology has enabled the casualization of labour through platforms such as Uber, Deliveroo, changed the shape of the high street with companies such as Amazon and the way we communicate and inform ourselves about the world with social media organisations such as Facebook. 

Programming Project (20 Credits)

This programming project module provides you with the opportunity to consolidate your learning from other course modules such as; Programming Concepts, Working with Hardware and Working with Software.  The project learning will adopt the Conceive, Design and Implement (CDIO) model of learning to support your and your peers learning and application to solve the problem typically sourced from local industry. Also, providing you the opportunity during foundation year to contribute to local industry through your project.

Year 1

Semester 1

Introduction to C# (20 Credits)

This module introduces you to C# programming language and the Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The module is an initial module in computer programming and will assume no prior knowledge of programming. This module provides support for the Design and Implement elements of the CDIO module.

Mathematics for Computer Science (20 Credits)

This module aims to provide a foundation in applied mathematics covering the areas of: graph theory, probability theory, linear algebra and pure mathematics such as calculus and number theory. The first section of the module will examine a range of standard topics as follows: basic statistics; sequences and series; set theory; difference equations, calculus; complex numbers and graph theory. The second part of teaching will examine more pervasive ideas through for example the application of probability theory, linear algebra and special topics such as game theory which combines a range of mathematical concepts.

Fundamentals of Computer Systems (20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to the base concepts of the binary computer through interaction with small devices such as the Raspberry Pi and programming these to work with external hardware devices. You will examine its components, its operation and basic elements of data storage.

Semester 2

Application Development (20 Credits)

On this module you will increase your capability to develop simple C# solutions to problem situations. This will cover more complex programming concepts as well as concepts of Graphical User Interface development and design and linking C# systems to file store and database systems.

Ethics, Professionalism and Employability in Computing (20 Credits)

This module aims to give a good understanding of ethical, professional and employability issues you will encounter when embarking on a career in computing. The module will focus on the kind of roles available to computer professionals and discuss the choices required, both in general and with regard to the degree modules that might best guide you into a particular career. You will have the opportunity to research and explore the knowledge required for your chosen career and be encouraged to discuss the ethical and professional issues relating to these areas.

Software Lifecycle Group Development Project (20 Credits)

To develop your understanding of the fundamental concepts of software engineering you will work through a project in teams to develop a piece of software. You will work through the software life-cycle tasks to developing a computer-based solution to meet specific user requirements through the development of a simple system. You will also develop your understanding of what is required for good team formation and operation.

Year 2

Semester 1

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. You will also consider the concepts of the ethics of untested software and Intellectual property rights in the software industry and how this may affect their own software development careers.

Database Enhancement Group Project (20 Credits)

This project module aims to give you practical appreciation of the fundamental issues involved in designing, implementing and testing a small relational database application in a multi-user environment using an industry-standard database management system. You will be taking an existing database and making improvements to this while understanding the modelling concepts and theory to understand database systems.

Software Engineering (20 Credits)

This module provides you with an opportunity to understand the basic methodologies, tools and techniques involved in creating comparatively small software systems. The module aims to provide you with the ability to effectively use one of the industry used software development frameworks such as Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) and its embedded tools to create a full application starting with a scenario of a small project idea and ending with full deployment of a solution application. 

Semester 2

Web Development Project (20 Credits)

This module aims to provide students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to understand and construct interactive websites.  The focus will be on client-side and server-side design and implementation enabling students to appreciate the role of various network architectures and system configurations. This module provides support for all elements of the CDIO model.

Networking and Operating Systems (20 Credits)

This module introduces the basic principles of operating systems and you will undertake practical exercises on basic administrative tasks. You will also be introduced to the fundamental aspects of Computer Networks. Key aspects such as the design, construction and operation of Local and Wide Area Networks, and the layered protocol architecture are covered. The module aims to reinforce the taught material using physical equipment and software tools in a laboratory environment.

Artificial Intelligence Computing (20 Credits)

This module presents Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a coherent body of ideas and methods connected to underlying theories about intelligent computer systems. You will explore this through problem-solving paradigms, logic and theorem proving, search and control methods and machine learning.

Optional Year in Industry

The year in industry allows you to develop your knowledge and skills in a business or industrial setting. This allows you to build up the practical skills desired by employers and to demonstrate your capabilities on your CV.

Year 3

Semester 1

Individual Project - Part A (20 Credits)

The individual project you with an opportunity to individually manage, analyse, design, program and test a good quality, reliable and maintainable significantly sized system using a specified software development life cycle/development methodology, again, of your own choice in a timely fashion. You will work largely on your own, with guidance and some input from a supervising member of academic staff. The module requires the development of a significant sized software artefact and production of a formal report describing and critically appraising its development. The software artefact must meet a clearly identified real-world need, ideally for, a clearly identified business/customer/organisation/end user.

Programming Frameworks and Languages (20 Credits)

The module introduces special purpose frameworks used for special types of applications, such as web applications with special languages such as CodeIgniter for PHP. Selenium as Testing Framework will be overviewed. JavaScript framework, Bootstrap, jQuery, ExpressJs, and NodeJS will also be introduced. Ruby on Rail will also be covered, where the Framework Rail is used for the development of web applications such as Twitter.

High Performance Computing (20 Credits)

This module aims to convey a theoretical understanding of High Performance Computing (HPC) and its practical application to science and engineering. The HPC hardware architectures and the parallel programming techniques will be explored in detail and evaluated in the context of distributed systems and client server modelling. This will convey the importance of HPC architectures and parallel programming approaches when considering optimal solutions to complex problems.

Semester 2

Individual Project- Part B (20 Credits)

You will continue your work on your Individual Project that you started in the first Semester.

Advanced Operating Systems (20 Credits)

This module provides a theoretical overview of the key concepts underpinning the design of modern operating systems. This theoretical knowledge will be used, critically analysed and applied to real-world uses of operating systems. Understanding of the underlying inter-process operation of operating systems will be looked at via shell scripting. The overall structure of an operating system will also be covered, i.e. the layered model, virtual machines, client-server, etc. The module will also consider the user’s view of an operating system in terms of process control, file manipulation, device and information maintenance and the user interface/API.

Advanced Databases and Big Data (20 credits)

This module uses the Conceive Design Implement Operate (CDIO) educational framework utilising software engineering fundamentals within the context of conceiving, designing, implementing and operating a complex value-added real-world database system. The module follows on directly from the Year 2 Database Enhancement Group Project module. It aims to consolidate/extend the practical and analytical skills required to carry out more advanced logical/conceptual database design and explores alternative ways of modelling data. It also aims to keep you abreast of recent developments in the field; particularly in the storage and effective use structured Big Data.

On successful completion of this degree you will be strongly prepared for a role in system support and development. Having learned about development and maintenance of computer equipment and infrastructure, as well as supporting users of systems, you will be able to fit into a commercial IT environment. Our graduates are able to use their analytical and process development skills in other business domains.

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.


The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £7,050 £9,910
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £13,000
Full-time - placement year * £1,850 N/A
Part-time - years 1-3 * £4,625 N/A

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

* The tuition fee of £9,250  / £13,000  / £1,850  / £4,625 relates to 2020/21 only. Please read the 2020/21 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2020/21 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

CategoryIs the cost Included in the tuition fee?Is the cost an additional cost to students?
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) The costs of Field trips are not included in the Tuition fee unless the trip is a compulsory element of the module. Yes, unless the Field trip is a compulsory element of the module.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  This varies depending on the Course - please refer to individual course webpages for further information about additional costs of travel and accommodation for placements.

This varies depending on the Course - please refer to individual course webpages for further information about additional costs of travel and accommodation for placements.

Purchase of own text books

No – students are expected to purchase their own text books. Yes – students are expected to purchase their own text books.

Data & Barring Service (DBS) Checks

This varies depending on the Course - please refer to individual course webpages for further information. This varies depending on the Course - please refer to individual course webpages for further information.

Occupational Health Checks

This varies depending on the Course - please refer to individual course webpages for further information. This varies depending on the Course - please refer to individual course webpages for further information.
Professional Body registration No - students are expected to pay for their own Professional Body registration, if applicable. Yes - students are expected to pay for their own Professional Body registration, if applicable.
Travel to other sites No – students are expected to pay for the cost of any travel to other University sites, however a mini bus service is provided free of charge between Old Sessions House and Polo Farm / Hall Place in Canterbury. Visit the shuttlebus webpage for more information. Yes - students are expected to pay for the cost of any travel to other University sites, however a mini bus service is provided free of charge between Old Sessions House and Polo Farm / Hall Place in Canterbury. Visit the shuttlebus webpage for more information.
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons the cost is included in the tuition fee (a maximum of one set of clothing provided per student). Further information can be found on course webpages. Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons the cost is included in the tuition fee (a maximum of one set of clothing provided per student). Further information can be found on course webpages.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course are included in the Tuition Fee. Specific course related information can be found on course webpages. Students must pay for 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. Specific course related information can be found on course webpages.
Library fees and fines Yes – all Library fees and fines are an additional cost payable by the student. Yes – all Library fees and fines are an additional cost payable by the student.
Printing and photocopying A £15 print / photocopying credit is provided to all students each academic year on their University Smartcard. Any additional print / photocopying costs must be paid for by the student. A £15 print / photocopying credit is provided to all students each academic year on their University Smartcard. Any additional print / photocopying costs must be paid for by the student.
Social events The tuition fee does not include the cost of any social events, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, the costs of social events are an additional cost payable by the student unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies IThe cost of the Graduation ceremony itself is included in the tuition fee for the student to attend the ceremony. However, guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student or their guests. The cost of the Graduation ceremony itself is included in the tuition fee for the student to attend the ceremony. However, guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student or their guests.


This degree uses the pioneering CDIO (Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate) education model – developed by the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in collaboration with business. This will help your natural creativity and thirst for problem-solving flourish as you learn and some of your teaching will be done via real-world inspired projects. You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical labs. You will typically have around 12 contact hours per week and are expected to also spend about 4 hours each week co-ordinating with team members on group activities. 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 completing computer-based exercises, preparing for workshops and seminars, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, undertaking coursework assignments or preparing for class-tests and examinations and reading journal articles and books. 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.). Read more about the current teaching. 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.

You will be assessed largely by coursework and project work, though some modules will also have examinations or class tests. Coursework is mainly practically-oriented with appropriate theoretical elements to ensure a well-rounded 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, ‘investigation-based’ presentations, oral presentations, individual studies/projects, poster presentations, online assessment, logs, examinations and time constrained assignments.

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 0

  • Approximately 72% by course work, about 20% by class test examination and 8% by presentation.

Year 1

  • Approximately 80% by course work, about 12% by class test examination and 7% by presentation. You will develop a number of software artefacts.

Year 2

  • Approximately 6% by class test examination and 94% by course work of various forms including case studies, software development and approximately 44% by group coursework.

Year 3*

  • Approximately 60% by coursework and 30% by Individual Project and the remainder by presentation or examination depending on the option chosen.

*The precise percentages will depend on options chosen.


You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in (formal coursework assessment).

We have a “Makerspace” lab open to computer science students that contains PC Computers, Arduino and Raspberry Pi micro­computer development systems and a 3D printer. You 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 computer science students.

In 2020, we will open a major new facility for science, engineering, health and medicine, part of our £150m vision to transform our Canterbury Campus. The new building will be the main base for our Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE) Hub, with specialist centres across the region located alongside Engineering and Technology businesses.


Our main campus in Canterbury has city centre facilities on its doorstep and, of course, you will benefit from all the new building has to offer.

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.). Some staff are also former practitioners in their field with considerable experience and connections to current practitioners in their respective industries.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


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

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


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • I10F Computer Science with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time

    7 years part-time

    Professional placement option available


  • September 2020

Entry requirements

  • Applicants should normally have 32 UCAS Tariff points. We will also welcome applications from students with few or no formal Level 3 qualifications who wish to return to education and applicants may be asked to attend an interview.

    More entry requirement details.



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Last edited: 03/12/2019 10:13:00