COMPUTING

BSc (Hons) / FdSc

This course is subject to approval and validation

Apply

Choose Award
Duration

3 years FT (4 years with placement)

UCAS Code

G410

Placement

48 weeks (optional)

Entry

September (2021)

Fees

View Fees

Business, Tourism and Creative Services
Choose Award
Duration

2 years FT (3 years with placement)

UCAS Code

G411

Placement

48 weeks (optional)

Entry

September (2021)

Fees

View Fees

Business, Tourism and Creative Services
Discover more at our next open day

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Join an open day

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 Computing 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 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 Digital Creative Studio. 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 should I 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 Digital Creative Studio, featuring high-spec PCs and industry-standard media equipment
  • IN-DEPTH RESEARCH – Take on a substantial research project in your final year, exploring an aspect of computing science in depth

Our facilities

Students on our computing university course will have access to new computer labs specifically designed for this degree, as well as our new Digital Creative Studio featuring industry-standard media equipment.

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

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.

Computer Systems

This module aims to give you an understanding of the fundamentals of computer hardware and of the principles of operation of computers and peripheral devices. In addition, the module aims to give an overview of the main families of microprocessors and their differences. Some digital electronics is also covered, with hands-on experience in the lab with hardware in order to better understand computer fundamentals.

Maths for Computing

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.

Computer Networks

This module will provide an overview of the problems and issues that must be dealt with in constructing future ICT applications as well as the underlying network protocols needed to support them. The module sets out the conceptual basis for computer networks rather than a detailed study of systems and standards.

Databases

This module will provide you with the underlying principles and practical experience of the design and implement scalable, secure databases. You will carry out the analysis of a simple problem susceptible to solution using database technology, designing and implementing 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.

Core Modules

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 maintainabilty 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.

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 aims to address the aspects and challenges of big data analytics by introducing fundamental concepts and algorithms. It starts with introduction of methods and tools of data collection, followed by methods of dealing inconsistent data, missing data and redundant data, on which techniques of data preparation including data cleaning, data transformation and integration are addressed. The module will then cover methods for structured data and unstructured data, where techniques for structured data include data mining (in particular parallel data mining techniques) and those for unstructured data include social network analysis and text mining. A further aim of the unit is to introduce software systems used for big data analytics.

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

This module will teach the principles of security in web and cloud-based systems and how these principles apply in a range of different applications. You will learn about cyber security frameworks, standards and best practices, and how to apply these within an organisation. The module also covers the core technical elements of web and cloud-based security systems and the current trends in cyber security; threats, their importance, and why they are difficult to deal with.

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.

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. You 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. Finally, you 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.

Mobile Computing

The module provides guidelines, design principles and experience in developing applications for small, mobile devices, including an appreciation of context and location aware services. You will develop an appreciation of interaction modalities with small, mobile devices (including interface design for non-standard display surfaces) through the implementation of simple applications and use cases. The module will also introduce wireless communication and networking principles that support connectivity to cellular networks, wireless internet and sensor devices. You will also learn about transaction and e-commerce principles over such devices to support mobile business concepts.

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.

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.

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

Computing BSc (Hons)

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

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of DMM-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 104-96 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 104-96 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.

Computing FdSc

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

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of PPP-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 56-32 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 56-32 UCAS Tariff points.

Non-tariff: Non-UCAS Tariff-based Level 3 qualifications are also considered for entry. Please contact admissions@ucb.ac.uk to check your eligibility.

GCSEs: You should also have a minimum grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics.

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.

EU/international students

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

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 2015-2020.

Kick-Start

As a new student studying this degree full-time, you will receive £300 per year via our Kick-Start Scheme (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 might even qualify for an additional £500 per year.

Tuition fees

UK/EU students

If you are a UK/EU student enrolling on a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2020/21, your fee for this academic year will be £9,250 per each full year. A half year tuition fee is £4,625. UK/EU students do not pay tuition fees for any placement periods.

International students

If you are an international student enrolling on a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2020/21, your fee for this academic year will be £11,500 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.

Need some advice?

Our Schools Liaison team deliver drop-in sessions for you to ask any questions you have about university. Find out more here.

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@UCB team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Our FdSc and BSc Computing course features the option of a paid 48-week work placement, during which you will not incur any tuition fees.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, please be aware that opportunities to travel abroad for placements, project work or residential trips may be affected by government travel restrictions. Please visit our updates and FAQs page for information.

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

hired@UCB

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

 

Find out more

Ed’s Story

Ed, who has a background in software development and managing computing departments, discusses the standout features of our new computing degree.

Read Story

Undergraduate courses

Take the next step...

  

Back to top