BSc single honours Computing with foundation year 2020/21

Year of entry

This course offers you an alternative pathway to access degree level study in computing. The foundation year is designed to improve your computing discipline knowledge, including programming. You will also gain the knowledge and skills needed to progress to your chosen degree.

The first year of this course (Foundation Year) 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 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 infrastructure development and support. For the technical skills we use a mix of common hardware, open source and commercial software that is heavily used in industry, so skills developed on the course can immediately be used in in the workplace.

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

“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

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

more info

The goal of the computing degree is to equip you to work in the IT industry in infrastructure and support. You will learn about understanding the needs of users of IT systems and how to design complete systems that support those needs. You will also learn about the support and training of users of these systems. You may go onto a wide range of career pathways in designing and supporting: networks, hardware and software installation of standard or bespoke software, testing and user support.

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 degree, 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

Mathematics / Advanced Mathematics (20 Credits)

Much of what we do in computing has a mathematical basis to it. On this module you will learn of refresh your knowledge of the mathematics we use most commonly in computing.

If you have already achieved a good GCSE, or equivalent, you may study the Advanced Mathematics module if you wish to. This module covers more advanced mathematics and opens up opportunities for changing courses to the Computer Science degree.

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 the 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.

Deployment Technologies for Computing (20 Credits)

Here, you will be exposed to basic understanding of electronic principles, sensors, wiring up electronic components, programming hardware systems, controls, robotics and also introduce a rapid application development platform to build mobile applications for a deployment system using visual and model driven approach.

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 than looked at in Introduction to C# 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 their 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

Using Technology for Business Process Improvement (20 Credits)

This module introduces the role of Business Improvement as a necessary part of a modern business. You will look at the two different categories of Business Improvement activities – top-down and bottom-up – and the processes and toolsets used to support this. The intention is to determine which technological solutions will mesh into any new or old business process to transform productivity. The role of standard methodologies to manage improvement projects such as PRINCE2 and Agile approaches will be examined.

Helping Users and the ITIL Framework (20 Credits)

This module aims to help you develop knowledge and understanding of cost effective IT service management to help users and improve business’ productivity. In line with this, you will learn to identify, plan, deliver, improve, and support IT services. In addition, you will also learn to implement ITIL framework in practice.

Database Enhancement Group Project (20 Credits)

The module aims to provide you with a 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.

Semester 2

Networking and Operating Systems (20 Credits)

The aim of this module is to first introduce you to basic principles of operating systems and 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.

Research Methods (20 Credits)

This module aims to help you understand methodologies which are essential to conduct research in the area of computing. This will form an important theoretical underpinnings for the ‘Individual Study’ module in Level 6, which is itself research based. You will get to understand the elements of research process including formulating questions, understanding the theory and ethics, building evidences, assessing validity and presenting results. You will also learn analysis using a range of qualitative and quantitative data and will be encouraged to critically evaluate methods, strategies and data that are used in research.

E-Business Systems (20 Credits)

The module will help you gain an understanding of web-based systems and business activities and interaction between business. You will look at the business environment and how technologies can be deployed to enhance these activities in terms of software engineering and business transactions.

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 Study - Part A (20 Credits)

The Individual Study is your opportunity to demonstrate your capabilities and what you have learned over your time at University and is worth a third of your final year credits. You will perform a research task that will usually involve literature and practical work. You will write a dissertation to describe your work and create a poster to present the work to a broad range of people. 

Advanced Networking (20 Credits)

Building on level 5 module Networking and Operating Systems, this module aims to prepare you to meet the challenges in a constantly advancing industry and equip you with advanced knowledge and understanding of recent advancements in communications and networking technologies. The module further aims to develop your ability to analyse and evaluate network related problems and draw on the theoretical and practical knowledge to tackle operational, management and regulatory issues. 

Cybersecurity (20 Credits)

In this module you will learn to how to perform a risk assessment of a variety of assets linked to an organisation, such as information, computers, networks, delivery and supply chains, people and buildings. You will then develop skills to protect information systems (hardware, software and associated infrastructure), the data on them, and the services they provide, from unauthorised access, harm or misuse.

Semester 2

Individual Study- Part B (20 Credits)

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

Human Computer Interaction (20 Credits)

The module shows you to concepts relating to how to ensure usability is part of the design of new systems and to introduce systematic approaches to the design and analysis of user interfaces. You will explore the new research, developments and future direction of the field to enhance the interaction between humans and computers and create more powerful, faster, simpler and intuitive experiences. 

Current Issues in Computing (20 credits)

This module examines a range of current issues within the field of computing and places them with a broader academic context providing a multi-disciplinary perspective to an otherwise specialised field of study. No prior knowledge of disciplines outside the field of computing is required, but a good understanding of computer related subjects is assumed.

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.


Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

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.


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, 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 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 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.). 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

  • G40F Computing with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time including a Foundation Year

    7 years part-time including a Foundation Year

    Professional placement option available


  • September 2020

Entry requirements



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Last edited: 13/08/2019 15:02:00