BSc single honours Computing with foundation year 2019/20

Year of entry

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.

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 engineering 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 to meet the real needs of the computing industry, particularly in relation to software development. For the technical skills we use a mix of open source and commercial software that is heavily used in industry, so skills developed on the course can immediately be used in industry.

As a graduate of this course, you can expect to be well­-versed with the C#, HTML, JavaScript, PHP and SQL languages and have a working knowledge of several others.

Our course has been developed to ensure that you cover the fundamentals before you select specialisms to study the last year of the degree. At the end of the first year you may transfer to the Information Technology degree if desired.

“I didn’t have the easiest of times in my final year, but the support shown to me from the department and all of the staff much appreciated. Without their kind words and support shown along the way, I don’t think I would have made it this far. I would also like to thank them for all for the opportunities they have given me to broaden my knowledge of a subject area I am so passionate about.”

Nathaniel Usherwood, BSc (hons) Computing 2016

92% of our most recent Computing students were satisfied with their learning opportunities.

National Student Survey 2018

This course is for you if you are interested in all areas of computing. Our course has been developed to ensure that you cover the fundamentals before you select specialisms to study the final year of the degree.

As well as theoretical aspects of computing you will have opportunities to gain experience of direct relevance to the current computing industry. This will enhance your attractiveness to employers looking to fill a variety of graduate roles.

My experience here has set me in good stead for my new career. I received a great deal of support from both the computing department and the University's careers team which has resulted in me gaining a place on a postgraduate teaching course.

Lance Jacobs, BSc (Hons) Computing 2015

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

more info

You will study the practice and theory of developing software. As well as computer programming, we cover broader aspects of software development, such as the specification

and design of computer systems, legal and ethical issues and optionally a number of related topics such as computer networking, security and usable design.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Application Development (20 credits)

This module continues on from introduction to programming 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.

Year 2

Computer Law and Ethics (20 credits)

You will look at the laws that apply especially to computer systems and their users. A largely UK centred approach is taken looking at such laws as the Data Protection Act and the Computer Misuse Act how these have been applied in practice and how they might apply in the future.

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.

Interactive Web Programming (20 credits)

Interactive web programming looks at the development of web­based systems that use both client­side programming (using JavaScript) and server­side programming (using PHP). These two languages allow the development of advanced web systems that can used data stored within databases, internal logic and more complex user interaction to determine what to display.

Object­ Oriented Programming (20 credits)

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.

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 Database Development with Oracle (20 credits)

This module deepens your knowledge of database development, following on from Developing Database Systems with SQL, giving you a greater understanding in order to maximize the benefits of using a database management system.

Advanced Programming (20 credits)

 Advanced Programming looks at some very modern and complex techniques used in computer programming. You may 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 programming ‘patterns’ and study such areas as serialisation of objects to persistently store them and the use of reflection.

Individual Project (20 or 40 credits)

The individual project allows you to create a substantial software development using elements of your learning so far. You choose your own particular topic area, with guidance from academic staff. You work largely on your own, again with guidance and some input from a supervising member of academic staff.

Likely optional modules

Year 2

Computer 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.

Computer Security (20 credits)

This module introduces you to the concepts, practices and issues of ensuring computer systems are kept secure. You will be introduced to the common approaches to attacking systems and some mechanisms that help protect them.

Research Methods (20 credits)

Research methods looks at how we can research new areas in computing. You will study 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.

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

Distributed Architectures & Web Programming (20 credits)

This modules deepens the work started in Interactive Web Programming to look at larger scale developments and processing that is split between different systems can be effectively designed and deployed. The Java programming language is used in order to do this alongside the PHP programming language learned in the previous module.

Ethical and Professional Computing (20 credits)

This module deepens the understanding of how ethics and professional codes of conduct may affect what a computing professional will do and how they approach it. You will look at a number of issues and use an evidence­based approach to consider the alternative choices that would be open to a person working in the computing field.

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.

Mobile App Development (20 credits)

This module looks at the development of apps under the Android operating system using the Java­like Android development language and libraries. You will also be introduced to the networking concepts required to develop such applications so that they may interact over mobile or wireless networks.

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.

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)
(Requires Computer Networks to be chosen in Year 2)

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.

On successful completion of this programme you will be strongly prepared for a role in software development. Having learned commercial software programming languages and the surrounding skills for software development, you will be able to fit into a commercial development 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 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

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.


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 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.). You can find out more about the current teaching on our webpage. 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, 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 1
  • Approximately 70% assessment with 20 by class test examination and 10% by presentation
Year 2*
  • Approximately 80% by assessment with 20% by class test examination.
Year 3*
  • Approximately 60% by assessment with 15% by dissertation and the remainder by class test examination and presentation.

*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 computing students that contains PC Computers, Arduino and Raspberry Pi micro-computer 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.

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.).


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

  • G40F Computing with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time including a Foundation Year


  • September 2019

Entry requirements



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Last edited: 21/06/2019 11:20:00