This higher education course is for students looking to pursue a career in the computer science field such as: programming, network engineering, systems analysis, games development, database administration, IT consultancy or project management. Technology and computing is fast paced with rapid changes and challenges. There are new jobs and careers formed that never existed five years ago. This course will allow you to develop your computing skills, academic skills as well as communication and interpersonal skills.
The emphasis is on implementing computing solutions for the modern computing environment e.g. energy, transport, high-tech houses, mobile technology, monitoring & smart sensors, green & sustainability technology to name a few. In the first year you will have one mini-project and one group project. In the second year you will have one/two mini-project/s and a main project. This will enable you to apply the skills that you have developed to complete a practical task of your choice. In the past, previous students have designed websites, mobile apps, Windows apps and networks.
What areas will I study?
Programming (15 credits) Programming involves describing processes and procedures which are derived from algorithms. The ability to program is what sets apart a developer and an end user. Typically the role of the developer is to instruct a device (such as a computer) to carry out instructions; the instructions are known as source code and is written in a language that is converted into something the device can understand. This unit introduces students to the core concepts of programming with an introduction to algorithms and the characteristics of programming paradigms.
Networking (15 credits) Complex computer networking has connected the world by groups of small networks through internet links to support global communications. Students will explore a range of hardware, with related software, and will configure and install these to gain knowledge of networking systems. A range of networking technologies will be explored to deliver a fundamental knowledge of Local Area Networking (LAN), Wide Area Networking (WAN) and their evolution to form largescale networks and the protocol methodologies related to IP data networks will be explored.
Professional Practice (15 credits ) This unit provides a foundation for good practice in a variety of contexts. The ability to communicate effectively using different tools and mediums will ensure that practical, research, design, reporting and presentation tasks are undertaken professionally and in accordance with various communication conventions. In everyday life the ability to apply critical reasoning and solve problems are necessary skills to enable task resolution and facilitate effective decision-making.
Database Design and Development (15 credits) The aim of this unit is to give students opportunities to develop an understanding of the concepts and issues relating to database design and development, as well as to provide the practical skills to translate that understanding into the design and creation of complex databases. Topics included in this unit are: examination of different design tools and techniques; examination of different development software options; considering the development features of a fully functional robust solution covering data integrity, data validation, data consistency, data security and advanced database querying facilities across multiple tables; appropriate user interfaces for databases and for other externally linked systems; creating complex reports/dashboards, testing the system against the user and system requirements; and elements of complete system documentation.
Security (15 credits) The aim of this unit is to provide students with knowledge of security, associated risks and how security breaches impact on business continuity. Students will examine security measures involving access authorisation, regulation of use, implementing contingency plans and devising security policies and procedures. This unit introduces students to the detection of threats and vulnerabilities in physical and IT security, and how to manage risks relating to organisational security.
Managing a Successful Computing Project (15 credits) This unit is assessed by a Pearson-set assignment. The aim of this unit is to offer students an opportunity to demonstrate the skills required for managing and implementing a project. They will undertake independent research and investigation for carrying out and executing a computing project which meets appropriate aims and objectives.
Software Development Lifecycles (15 credits) This unit introduces students to lifecycle decision-making at different stages of the software development process. Students will examine various lifecycle models and appreciate their particular characteristics to understand which project environments they are most appropriate for. Theoretical understanding will be translated into practical skills through an actual software development lifecycle project and students will become confident in the use of particular tools and techniques relevant to a chosen methodology. Among the topics included in this unit are iterative and sequential models of software development lifecycles and reference frameworks for initially capturing conceptual data and information through a feasibility study and requirement gathering techniques through to analysis, design and software implementation activities.
Website Development (15 credits) This unit introduces students to lifecycle decision-making at different stages of the software development process. Students will examine various lifecycle models and appreciate their particular characteristics to understand which project environments they are most appropriate for. Theoretical understanding will be translated into practical skills through an actual software development lifecycle project and students will become confident in the use of particular tools and techniques relevant to a chosen methodology. Among the topics included in this unit are iterative and sequential models of software development lifecycles and reference frameworks for initially capturing conceptual data and information through a feasibility study and requirement gathering techniques through to analysis, design and software implementation activities.
Computing Research Project (30 credits) This unit is assessed by a Pearson-set assignment. The aim of this unit is to offer students the opportunity to engage in sustained research in a specific field of study. The unit enables students to demonstrate the capacity and ability to identify a research theme, to develop research aims, objectives and outcomes, and to present the outcomes of such research in both written and verbal formats. On successful completion of this unit students will have the confidence to engage in problem-solving and research activities which are part of the function of a manager. Students will have the fundamental knowledge and skills to enable them to investigate workplace issues and problems, determine appropriate solutions and present evidence to various stakeholders in an acceptable and understandable format.
Business Intelligence (15 credits) This unit introduces students to a range of tools, techniques and technologies for acquiring data and processing this into meaningful information that can be used to support business functions and processes. Within this unit students will examine the concept of business processing in terms of data capture, conversion and information output. Students will also be required to define the tools and technologies associated with business intelligence functionality. The use of a business intelligence tool/s and techniques is also required to demonstrate an understanding of a given problem.
Cloud Computing (15 credits) The fundamental difference between traditional networking and Cloud Computing is that the technical details of the system are hidden from the end user. On successful completion of this unit, students will understand the concept, architecture, and services of Cloud Computing and will gain hands-on experience of configuring a cloud service from major providers such as ECM, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM etc., and implementing a simple cloud platform using open source software with an appropriate networking platform.
Data Structures & Algorithms (15 credits) This unit introduces students to data structures and how they are used in algorithms, enabling them to design and implement data structures. The unit introduces the specification of abstract data types and explores their use in concrete data structures. Based on this knowledge, students should be able to develop solutions by specifying, designing and implementing data structures and algorithms in a variety of programming paradigms for an identified need.
Advance Programming (15 credits) The aim of this unit is to familiarise students with these features and their best practices to ensure that their code is in line with industry standards. Among the topics included in this unit are: object-orientated programming; polymorphism, encapsulation, class aggregation/association, constructors/destructors, inheritance, abstract classes, interfaces, containers, generics, introduction to design patterns and Unified Modelling Language (UML).
Data Mining (15 credits) This unit will introduce the theoretical foundation of data mining and a range of data mining processes and techniques. The unit will also provide hands-on experience in developing data mining applications using an appropriate programming language or data mining tool. Topics included in this unit are: data mining terminologies, scope of data mining such as classification, regression and clustering methods and techniques, associate pattern mining, mining time series data, and mining text data
Client / Server Computing Systems (15 credits) The client/server system is a distributed application structure that partitions tasks or workloads between the providers of a resource or service (called servers) and service requesters (called clients). It is the basis of most internet communication. When surfing the internet, sending/receiving emails, using VoIP software and other applications, these functions work by using client/server systems. Among the topics included in this unit are: an introduction to the internet (concept, history, operation), client/server systems, various application protocols based on client/server systems, an introduction to Linux, client/server system programming, security considerations.