COMPUTER SCIENCE

BSc (Hons) / FdSc

Accredited by University College Birmingham

Choose Award
Duration

3 years FT (4 years with placement)

UCAS Code

G410

Placement

48 weeks (optional)

Entry

September

Fees

View Fees

Department of Digital
Choose Award
Duration

2 years FT

UCAS Code

G411

Placement

Opportunities available

Entry

September

Fees

View Fees

Department of Digital
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Saturday 13 April 2024

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Gain a broad range of computing knowledge studying up-to-date, industry-relevant topics

£25,000 average salary in IT, with other roles paying up to £70,000

Computing and digital technology are essential features of today’s society. They are also key drivers in the economy, whether it’s in communication, finance or even leisure. Our Computer Science degree course at University College Birmingham will furnish you with advanced skills in everything from programming and websites to managing data and security issues, keeping your finger on the pulse of information technology and preparing you for a vast spectrum of job roles in the modern day market.

Our Computer Science course will give you the knowledge and skills to develop solutions to complex problems through individual and group projects. Your learning will cover a wide range of the latest ICT and computing topics, introducing you to programming, computing mathematics, web development and databases before progressing onto subjects such as cloud computing, cyber security, mobile computing and even artificial intelligence (AI).

Throughout your studies, you will have use of an array of state-of-the-art digital resources, IT and computer facilities, including access to our brand new Cyber Security Lab. You will also have the opportunity to spend an extra year expanding your horizons with a paid placement in industry as part of your computing course, giving you substantial experience and boosting your employment prospects after you graduate.

Why choose this course?

  • WORK PLACEMENT – Apply your computing and IT training to the real world with the option of a paid 48-week placement, with no tuition fees during your placement year
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Learn in our purpose-built computer labs and access our brand new Cyber Security Lab
  • IN-DEPTH RESEARCH – Take on a substantial research project in your final year, exploring an aspect of computing science in depth
  • AWARD-WINNING UNIVERSITY – Study at the highest-ranking university in the region according to student choice (Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023)

Our facilities

Students on our computing university course will have access to computer labs specifically designed for this degree, while our new cyber security laboratory will enable students to learn and participate in cyber-related activities in a controlled environment.

Course breakdown

Students on the FdSc have the option of progressing onto the final year upon completion of the foundation degree.

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Core Modules

Computer Networks

This module covers the demands of network design and deployment in the real world. It covers the considerations and issues in the evolution of a commercial network over time, the integration of legacy systems and network demands, as well as analysing the latest thinking in Computer networking, looking at Software Defined Networking, hybrid networks and private cloud.

Computer Systems

This module develops the understanding of the architectural and logical structure of computers. The computer industry is synonymous with change, both the impact of computing on society and the economy, and in the rate of change in the technology itself. A strong understanding of the technical and logical platform will help to understand the rate and direction of change in this sector and the opportunities that this might reveal.

Databases

This module will teach you the underlying principles and provide you with practical experience to design and implement scalable, secure databases. You will carry out the analysis, design and implementation of a database application to solve a specific problem. You will use the SQL language and database triggers. The module also covers Relational Database Management System features such as transaction management, locking and consistent backups and will investigate SQL optimisation issues.

Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming

This module introduces object-oriented software development and covers the development of simple software systems. You will gain an understanding of the software development process and learn to design and implement applications in a popular object-oriented programming language. This module covers the basic principles of computer programming: the features of classes and objects are introduced including constructors, methods, and fields. Method implementation through assignment, selection control structures, iterative control structures and other statements is introduced. Collection objects are also covered as well as the use of modules and library classes as building blocks.

Mathematics for Computer Science

This module covers the fundamentals of mathematics commonly applied to computing. It aims to introduce the basic elements of discrete mathematics that provide a foundation for the understanding of algorithms and data structures used in computer science.

Systems Analysis and Design

This module covers the basic concepts of information systems and the basic techniques for systems analysis and design. You will learn how to apply modelling concepts, capture requirements, analyse requirements, build models using UML and design systems including human computer interaction.

Core Modules

Advanced Algorithms

The module introduces algorithmic techniques for various sets of problems and teaches how to analyse algorithms in terms of their complexity. The techniques build upon the data structures and algorithms studied in previous modules so that you can further develop your use of methods for solving complex problems. Examples will be used throughout to demonstrate each approach.

Big Data

This module covers the era of Big Data. Massive amounts of data are beginning to be amalgamated from diverse sources giving rise to both opportunity and issues. This module will familiarise the candidate with the concept and application of 'Big Data', where does it come from, what the opportunities might be, and a look at some of the potential risks and issues involved.

Cloud Computing

The need for computational power and data storage continues to drive demand for more highly capable systems. Highly data-intensive applications demand fast access to terabytes, petabytes, even exabytes of storage; processor intensive applications demand access to various types of processors in various configurations. Such applications are increasingly being developed in both scientific and industrial contexts and need to be variously scalable and supportable for large numbers of geographically distributed users. This module will provide insights into how Cloud Computing attempts to meet the varying needs of such applications.

Cyber Security

Cyber security and defence is vital to the effective deployment of technology today. The challenges faced by industry to defend against rapidly evolving threats and attacks is driving the Cyber Security field forward at an unprecedented rate. This module develops the understanding of Cyber risks and their impact on commercial operations. It looks into the threats and their countermeasures, the strategies employed and the role of the security officer. Legal obligations and international data processing regulations and an introduction to digital forensics.

Introduction to Research

This module will provide a deep and systematic understanding of the nature and conduct of computer science research. It will equip you with the ability to undertake independent research. You will also consider the Legal, Social, Ethical and Professional (LSEP) issues applicable to the computer industry.

Web Development

This module will provide you with the opportunity to improve your understanding of web development, and your judgement of the effectiveness of different development techniques, both in theory and in practice. You will cover important techniques and issues in designing and building large scale web systems, as well as considering development methods and patterns which enhance maintainability and testability, such as web components, Model-View-Controller, Object Relation Mapping, and HTML template engines. The module will familiarise you with relevant web development frameworks such as ASP.NET, and compare this with alternatives such as Object-Oriented PHP, Enterprise Java, and server-side JavaScript.

Optional Placement module

Work Placement

You will gain valuable work experience on a 48 week work placement. This is an exciting opportunity to put what you have learned into practice, broaden your experience and demonstrate your abilities to potential employers.

Core Modules

Agile Software Development

The module studies in detail the activities associated with software development process as performed by a development team that adopts an Agile methodology. Topics covered include the concepts, principles, practice and philosophy of an Agile approach to software development. Students will work in groups to learn about collaboration: environment, programmer collaboration, team values, customer involvement, standards and reporting. The module covers planning, release, risk assessment and estimating. It also considers agile development: incremental requirements, customer tests, test-driven development, refactoring, simple design, incremental design and architecture, spike solutions and performance optimisation. Students will learn to manage agile projects: roles, values and team philosophy; management of scope and the business/economic issues such as time, cost, quality and risk.

Artificial Intelligence

The module will introduce the field of artificial intelligence and study the principal ideas and techniques in key topic areas including problem solving, knowledge representation and machine learning. The module will cover problem solving (problem representation, uninformed and informed search), knowledge representation (logic-based languages, e.g. description logic, and ontologies and the semantic web) and machine learning (symbolic learning, decision trees and Bayesian learning).

Final Year Project

This module will provide an opportunity for you to conduct research into an unfamiliar aspect of Computing Science and enable you to develop and apply computing skills to a substantial problem. You will synthesise what you have learned from other modules and be provided with an opportunity to work independently.

Mobile Computing

This module covers the integration of network flexibility into the architecture and policies of a commercial network. It looks at the issues related to the security and productivity linked to the deployment of a BOYD policy and in the use of diverse integrated delivery models.

Professional Issues in the Computing Sector

The purpose of this module is to bring together material in the key areas of professionalism and careers, finance, health and safety, environmental concerns, law and intellectual property, in the context of the software industry. You will apply relevant computing-related legislation and professional codes of conduct to day-to-day situations that arise in business, and evaluate risks associated with those situations. You will also explain your five-year career plan and know what steps need to be taken to achieve it.

The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.

Entry requirements 

Computer Science BSc (Hons)

A-levels: An A-level grade profile of CCC.

T-levels: A T-level graded Pass with a core component of grade C.

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of MMM. This can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.

Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted for entry. A minimum of 96 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 96 UCAS Tariff points including a minimum of 15 Level 3 credits at Distinction.

GCSEs: You should also have a minimum grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics, or Functional Skills Level 2. 

Computer Science FdSc

A-levels: An A-level grade profile of CD.

T-levels: A T-level graded Pass with a core component profile less than C.

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of PP. This can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.

Apprenticeship: Achieve an advanced apprenticeship (Level 3).

Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted for entry. A minimum of 48 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 48 UCAS Tariff points.

Non-tariff: Non-UCAS Tariff-based Level 3 qualifications are also considered for entry. Please complete our enquiry form here to check your eligibility.

GCSEs: You should also have a minimum grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics, or Functional Skills Level 2.

Work-based: We also give equal consideration to applicants who are currently in work and wish to apply to University College Birmingham. To apply, you must have a minimum of 3 years’ relevant work experience, demonstrating management or supervisory duties. Your application must also include a reference from your line manager supporting your entry to higher education. For further details, please contact Admissions.

International students

For academic and English entry requirements for EU and international students, please visit the Country Specific Information page.

Please note: As an International Student, when choosing optional placement, a visa extension may be required.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

Note: Indicative information only – actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued at your induction. 

Teaching 

Example of a typical teaching week (up to 14 contact hours): 

  • Group teaching – 6 hours 
  • Subject related workshops – 6 hours 
  • Tutorials – 2 hours 

You will also need to commit around 20 hours per week for individual study time. 

Assessment

Estimated breakdown of assessment for this degree course:

  • Coursework – 50%
  • Practical assessment / projects – 45%
  • Written examinations – 5%

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

Tuition fees

UK students

If you are a UK student enrolling on a standard-length Foundation Degree or a BA/BSc at University College Birmingham, your fee for this academic year will be £9,250. A half-year tuition fee is £4,625. There will be no change to this tuition fee for the forthcoming two academic years (2023/24 and 2024/25).

View undergraduate fees

International students

If you are an international student enrolling on a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2023/24, your fee for this academic year will be £13,500 per year. The course fee for academic year 2024/2025 is £14,000 per year.

If you complete a placement year, there will be an administration fee of £500 for a full year or £250 for a half-year placement.

View international fees

Kick-Start Scheme

As a new student studying this course full-time, you will receive £300 per year through our Kick-Start Scheme (UK students only, eligibility criteria applies). This scheme will support your studies and future career by contributing to course-related materials, uniform or selected items on campus. You may also qualify for an additional £500 per year.

Find out more about the Kick-Start Scheme here.

Unibuddy Community - meet other students on your course

Starting university is an exciting time, but we understand that it can sometimes feel a little daunting. To support you, you will be invited to join our Unibuddy Community, where you can meet other students who have applied for the same course at University College Birmingham, before you start studying here.

As soon as you have been made an offer, you will be sent an invitation email to complete your registration and join the Unibuddy Community. For more information, check out our Unibuddy Community page.

Percentage
70%

of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements

Work placements are vital for gaining real-life experience and for building your confidence and skills before you finish your course – and they may even lead to a job when you graduate. Our HIRED team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Our BSc Computer Science course features the option of a paid 48-week work placement, during which you will not incur any tuition fees. Students on the FdSc Computer Science course are also eligible for a work placement, providing they are progressing onto our final year Computer Science Top-up course.

Computing was recently placed as the number one most frequently required role for graduates, and the sector is also one of the best paid for graduates.  This course has been carefully researched to ensure subjects are current and relevant to the current IT sector job market with modules such as big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Edward Bird Deputy Dean

Career opportunities

The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Software developer

Average Salary: £31,000

Systems analyst

Average salary: £30,000 – £40,000

Database administrator (DBA)

Average Salary: £30,000

IT technical support officer

Average Salary: £28,000

Computer security consultant

Average Salary: £44,000

Web developer

Average Salary: £26,000

Want to take your studies to the next level? Completing the BSc (Hons) degree will enable you to move onto our postgraduate courses such as Computer Science MSc/PGDip or Enterprise Management MSc/PGDip.

HIRED

We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 

Find out more

Shania’s Story

Shania was seriously contemplating studying maths at degree level when she was introduced to coding and instantly “clicked” with computer science at University College Birmingham.

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