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Overview

Students achieving this course will be awarded a BSC (Hons) Computing (Top-up) degree awarded by De Montfort University.

This course provides a broad understanding of aspects of computing. It develops technical skills in computing, including programming, security and data analysis, database systems, web applications and multimedia. Throughout the course, students have access modern computer hardware and software together with an enthusiastic team of tutors to support learning.

Graduates can aim for employment in data analysis, big data and data management. Careers could include cloud data analyst or engineer, information and systems analyst, computer systems developer, information systems manager.

Course description

Learning and Teaching

This course is normally a one year full time programme based at our Digbeth campus. https://www.sccb.ac.uk/digbethcampus

A variety of learning and teaching opportunities will be available on your course, approximately 30% of your learning will include lectures, tutorials and class room, lab based or virtual learning. Studying can include individual and group working.

Higher education courses also require students to undertake independent study and so approximately 70% of your studies will be through independent learning, research, using computer labs or practical work, reading and completing assessments.

Assessment

Around 80% of assessments are course work based, the remaining, about 20%, are in person phase tests or practical exam. Assessments are designed to reflect the technology sector and so could be for example a live project, a case study, report, specific sector based documentation such as plans or project.

Units to be studied:

The course aims to develop a broad knowledge and awareness of key aspects computing through the study of seven modules with a total credit value of 120 credits at level 6.

Modules to be studied are:

  • Secure Web Application Development
  • Systems Building: Methods
  • Systems Building: Management
  • Front-End Web Development
  • Database Management and Programming
  • Final Year Project
  • Popular Technology Ethics

The overall qualification will be graded using undergraduate degree classifications: First class, 2:1, 2:2, 3rd class, BSc without honours.

What areas will I study?

You will study for 120 credits at level 6 on this course, each unit has a credit value of 15 or 30 credits.

The units to be studied are:

Secure Web Application Development: Many modern computer services are now accessed via the ubiquitous web-browser, and users have come to expect instant and secure access to information on a wide range of platforms. Underpinning these web systems is usually a web application, providing a channel to data stored in databases. However, increasingly the web-site has also become a point of entry for unauthorised access to stored data. This is often the result of poor web application design and/or implementation.

The module considers how a web application may be designed and implemented in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of unauthorised access to information. This also requires an understanding of the more common forms of browser-based attacks and the coding techniques that can be used to defend against these. The module also considers how information can be accessed and presented from remote sources via web-service protocols.

Systems Building: Methods: This module covers an important aspect of Information Systems Development (ISD): the selection and evaluation of methodologies used in the Systems Development process. A variety of ISD paradigms and methodologies will be considered, including ‘hard’ approaches, both Object-Oriented and Structured, ‘soft’ and participative approaches, and ‘heavyweight’ and ‘agile’ methodologies.

A framework will be developed to compare and evaluate methodologies to help determine their applicability to particular development projects and environments. The way in which methodologies are used in practice will also be considered.

Systems Building: Management: System development management is about the process of building and delivering a computer-based information system to a customer, whether internal or external to the organisation. To successfully do this requires proper planning: an analysis of the project, its potential as an investment, the benefits and risks.

The manager should be convinced that the project will succeed, is controllable, that resources will be forthcoming and should carry out planning (as detailed as possible) before accepting the brief. The importance of being able to balance the key project requirements of timescale, budget, quality and delivered functionality makes the project manager’s role challenging.

The success of a project depends on more than just technical issues; commitment from the users, ‘ownership’ of the system, effective communications, clear identification of benefits and managing the delivery of these – these and other ‘softer’ issues are often the key factors in determining success.

Front-End Web Development: This module provides a thorough grounding in the rapidly-evolving area of front-end web technologies and interface design, covering:

  • Crucial design principles;
  • Information architecture;
  • Usability and accessibility.

This exciting field has been driven by recent advances in main technologies:

  • Markup languages, with current and forthcoming changes
  • Bbrowser manufacturers and developers driving standards forward;
  • Wwidening scope of development

Web applications enhance 'database-driven website' with browser-based 'app-like' interfaces communicating with back-end data, designed for equal access via mobile and other screen-based devices. This module focuses on the front-end part of this approach.

Database Management and Programming: Contemporary organizations, whether in the commercial or not-for-profit sectors, rely on effective database management systems (DBMSs). With the increased reliance on databases for business intelligence and operation, the acquisition of the skills of advanced database design and implementation are more essential than ever for the competent computer professional.

The collection of data worldwide is growing at an exponential rate with organisations, such as in the retail, social networking and scientific sectors, requiring extremely big databases, which require increasingly more storage capacity. The variety of new data, as new products come on the market, is increasing too. Large data centres throughout the world are being built to hold clusters of many thousands of servers to satisfy demand. A variety of alternatives to the traditional relational database management system has been created to work more efficiently and effectively with these big datasets and cluster computing.

This module enables the student to evaluate and compare these different non-relational (NoSQL) databases such as document, graph and column databases. Based on modules studied in previous years involving databases and computer programming, this module provides the student with further training on the essentials of advanced database management and programming.

Popular Technology Ethics: The expansion of artificial intelligence, data science, algorithms, social computing and digital transport, among many areas and applications is giving rise to daily emerging concerns and issues about usage, deployment and impact of rapidly changing information systems (IS).

This module engages students critically with the underpinning ethical issues which arise from the popular portrayal of technologies in the media. The module draws on the latest technological developments that are available in the media and professional computing press. It also draws on the latest news from a range of technology companies which are deploying computer-based technologies with the potential to positively change lives. However, despite their potential to change lives, these technologies present new threats and concerns.

Final Year Project: The project provides students with the opportunity to carry out a significant piece of work involving critical analysis and reflection to provide an effective solution to a given technical and/or research-based problem. It enables students to apply and integrate previous material covered on the student's course as well as to extend the work covered on the course through research and self-learning. Students will be expected to demonstrate appropriate and proactive project management, and written/verbal presentation skills throughout the period of the project. As well as analysing, designing, delivering and appraising a product of suitable quality, they will be expected to undertake, research, analyse, design, evaluate and report on some aspects of a subject explicitly allied to the project.

Student Comments

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Course options

Age range Start Fees Duration Further Information
- September | 2020/21 £0.00 1 Academic Year(s) -
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