Computer Science - BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code:
G401
Attendance:
Full Time (3 years), Sandwich (4 years)
Starting:
September 2016, September 2017
Campus:

Our Computer Science BSc (Hons) degree is a hands-on course that has a strong focus on programming and maths.

This course is unique in its design, combining the mathematical and scientific skills that employers expect within this discipline with the application of modern techniques and software packages, designed to produce students who are desirable for employers within the sector.

It combines traditional computer science with a study of the emerging areas of usability engineering, mobile development and web programming, which will give you a range of skills – technical, practical and academic – that employers are looking for in qualified programmers.

You’ll also have the opportunity to take a range of industry-standard qualifications that employers value.

New for 2017/18

Computer Science

If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.

Sign up for course updatesMore about our new curriculum

What's covered in the course?

This course has been carefully designed to provide you with a comprehensive academic background that combines the professional skills that will set you apart from your peers.

We provide access to the Cisco Systems and Microsoft Academy Centre – one of Microsoft’s top UK, university-based academies.

You’ll be based at the state-of-the-art Millennium Point building at our City Centre Campus, where you’ll have at your fingertips an array of professional-standard facilities on which to develop your key practical skills and consolidate your academic learning.

You’ll develop an in-depth understanding of a variety of programming languages and software paradigms, all of which are underpinned by a solid grounding in mathematics, and you’ll work with advanced software development and computer programming labs, as well as industry-standard development tools and virtual machines.

You’ll also use dedicated facilities for work such as artificial intelligence, user-interface design, and web engineering.

And thanks to our strong partnerships with the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) and the Oracle Academy, you’ll have enviable access to leading industry knowledge. This is complemented by the Cisco Systems and Microsoft Academy Centre – one of Microsoft’s top UK, university-based academies – that are based here.

During your course, you’ll have the opportunity to take a sandwich placement year between Years 2 and 3. This is something we recommend highly because it gives you an invaluable opportunity to hone your expertise, try out a potential career path and get relevant workplace experience that is valued by so many employers. It will also boost your CV.

Throughout your studies, you’ll be supported by our expert teaching staff, all of whom have a wide range of research and industrial experience in areas such as computer security, software engineering, which they use to enhance the curriculum.

My studies helped me a great deal, they gave me the knowledge needed to be a successful developer and an all-round software literate. The great thing about my course is that it focused on all aspects of software which is a great attribute to have when searching for a job. Ansar Nazir

Why Choose Us?

  • We are home to a Cisco Systems and a Microsoft Academy Centre – one of Microsoft’s top UK university-based academies – and we are a member of the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance. We are also a Cisco ASC (Academy Support Centre) and Cisco Instructor Training Centre (ITC) – one of only 10 such instructor training centres in the UK.
  • We are internationally recognised for teaching quality, research and extensive industry partnerships.
  • You can attain a range of vendor certificates, including LPI 1 Beta certification and Cisco networking certificates, while studying for your degree.
  • We have strong links with companies such as Oracle, LPI, Microsoft and Apple, which ensure that the course is relevant and respected by employers.
  • The course is supported through the activities of the Innovations in Computing Education research group, designed to keep teaching and assessment updated to match international trends.
  • The course is supported through the activities of the Innovations in Computing Education research group, designed to keep teaching and assessment updated to match international trends.
  • You’ll have access to dedicated industry-standard facilities in our own fully equipped laboratory within the £114 million Millennium Point building to undertake work such as artificial intelligence, user-interface design, and web engineering. You’ll work with industry-standard software development and simulation tools.
Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 8 October 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 8 October 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.

This course is open to International students

School of Computing and Digital Technology

Discover the School of Computing and Digital Technology

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Atif's
  • Birmingham City University
  • Capgemini

And in jobs such as:

  • Programmer
  • IT assistant
  • Intern - Database Administrator (DBA)
Pandelis Zembashis

24 – hour hackathon

"The hackathon was amazing! Everyone was super helpful to each other and there was a real community atmosphere." Read Computer science student Pandelis' experience at our first 24 – hour hackathon.

Read Pandelis' blog

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2016/17
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A Level or 280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels, at least one from a Science, Technology, Mathematics or Computing subject.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including with a minimum of 12 credits achieved from any Technology units awarded at Merit or Distinction
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 280 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 280 UCAS points - Higher Levels
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 280 UCAS points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
Essential
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2015/16
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 30 points
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Unconditional Offers

Unconditional Offers

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for 2016/17, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:

300 points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBB or above)
or
predicted DDM profile at BTEC level

You will also be required to attend an interview.

More about unconditional offers

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £9,000 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 years £9,000 per year Apply via UCAS
Sep 2017 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS
Sep 2017 FT 3 years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year one

Introduction to Programming
15 credits
Hardware and Software Systems
15 credits
Web Technologies
15 credits
IT Professionalism
15 credits
Object Oriented Programming
15 credits
Computer and Network Fundamentals
15 credits
Open Source Systems
15 credits
Data Analysis
15 credits

Year two

Introduction to Software Engineering
15 credits
Foundations of Database Systems
15 credits
Declarative Programming
15 credits
Discrete Computing and Algorithms
15 credits
Advanced Programming
15 credits
Research and Professional Practice
15 credits
Network Management
15 credits
Software Design
15 credits

Year three

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
15 credits
Mobile and Web Technology I
15 credits
Information Assurance and Security
15 credits
Usability Engineering
15 credits
Mobile and Web Technology II
15 credits
Functional Programming
15 credits
Individual Project
30 credits
BSc Computer Science image 2 619x232

This is a highly practical subject so hands-on learning is key. You’ll spend a lot of time in our labs but you’ll also have large group lectures and small seminars, which will be complemented by additional videos and podcasts, plus exercises and resources, all of which will be uploaded to Moodle.

We also think it’s important that you are assessed in a number of different ways during your Computer Science BSc (Hons) course. These will include varied assessment, course work, practical exams, formal exams, presentations, plus individual and group project work. This will enable us to appraise your all-round ability and it also gives you the best opportunity to excel.

Teaching breakdown

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34 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
66 Time in independent study RoyalBlue

Assessment breakdown

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41 Written exams DarkOrange
48 Coursework FireBrick
10 Practical exams #fece5a

Student stories

Marcus Miller

Marcus Miller

Marcus Miller always had an interest in computers but a boarding school education saw that fade. After a few years in employment, he rekindled his passion – undertaking a Computer Science degree at Birmingham City University. Since then, he has set up his own successful SEO consultancy company, Bowler Hat.

Marcus enjoyed every element of his course; almost having too much fun. He had some great teachers and was generally very inspired. Our Computer Science BSc (Hons) course sparked his interest in web technologies, which led to the creation of Bowler Hat.

Reviews

These independent reviews show what our students really think:

"The student union is fantastic I've had so much great support from them. There is a great mixture of support from other students and the academics. I've loved how much support from everyone you get and I feel like uni has done me good."
Maijhoo
www.whatuni.com

Read all What Uni reviews

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further Study

The University has a range of either taught (MSc) or research (MPhil and PhD) postgraduate programmes. Details can be found on the postgraduate section of the website.

BSc Computer Science image619x232

Enhancing your employability skills

Our graduates typically design and implement software across such rewarding areas as web development, interface design, security issues and mobile computing.

We know that employers are looking for graduates who have a good balance between in-depth academic knowledge and technical and practical expertise, which is why our course is geared towards employability.

What you learn on our course will help you to stand out when you look for your first professional role and because you’ll know how to use sophisticated, industry-standard equipment and software, you will be able to demonstrate that you can put into practice your deep theoretical knowledge.

We will also prepare you for a career by equipping you with myriad transferable skills, such as complex problem-solving expertise, the ability to analyse in a careful and considered manner, and working as a team member.

In addition, our specialist industry links with the Linux Professional Institute, the Oracle Academy, Cisco, and Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle, plus our world-class facilities, will mark you out as a highly employable graduate.

It’s why our graduates have gone on to pursue computing and software development and designer careers in a wide range of industries, from SME software companies, to industry, government, banking, and healthcare.

Placements

We aim to have you employer-ready by the time you graduate and, as part of your Computer Science course, you have the option of undertaking an industrial placement after the second year of study.

If you decide to do this, it will extend the duration of your course to four years.

Thanks to our excellent partnerships and working relationships with some of the UK’s leading companies, you have the chance of undertaking a high-quality industrial placement with leading organisations such as IBM, Dignity Plc, Mortgage Brain, and Griffiths-Waite.

Learn more about some of the prestigious organisations that our students are placed with:

Full details can be found on the School placements page.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Because our course is uniquely designed to meet employers’ needs, you’ll be highly sought-after when you come to graduate. It is why many of graduates have gone on to work for top companies including IBM, Griffiths Waite, and Mortgage Brain.

Student stories Tammy Yeshua

12 Months at IBM

Tammy Yeshua described undertaking a year-long placement as part of her BSc (Hons) Computer Science degree as the "best decision she has ever made". Her work for technology giant IBM led to her securing a place on a two-year graduate programme with the same firm as a Technical Consultant after she graduates. In her role as a Maximo Support Dispatcher, she got to interact with big-name clients around the world, including Cisco, BP and Heathrow Express, building up her confidence and communication skills.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Studying in the UK is better

Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.

The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.

So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.

Overall measures: ranked positions
UK
Australia
Canada
NZ
US
Undergraduate 2014 2014 2014 2013 2014
Recommendation 1 4 3 5 2
Overall satisfaction 1 4 3 5 2
Arrival overall 1 2 4 5 3
Learning overall 1 4 3 5 2
Living overall 1 2 5 3 4
Support overall 1 4 5 3 2

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our computer science course is most popular with international students from:

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus.

As a student at the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you have access to networked laboratories equipped to industry standards and running the latest software, giving you the best possible introduction to the technologies you will encounter in the world of work.

Dedicated facilities are provided for systems analysis, computer networks, programming in a wide range of languages, artificial intelligence, modelling and visual programming, e-commerce and .net environments, and business intelligence, as well as supporting the application areas of mechatronics, games technology, electronics and computer forensics.

Computer networking

The laboratories are well-equipped for all our computer networking courses, as well as specialist areas for practical work such as voice-over internet protocol (VoIP), forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies and radio frequency identification technologies to name but a few.

Software development and computer programming

There are a number of open access, software development and computer programming
laboratories that can be used to develop systems and programmes, including database management systems such as MySQL, to name but a few.

Systems laboratories

Our embedded systems laboratories are used to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and industrial-standard software development and simulation tools. These include microcontroller software and robotics design and development, to name but a few.

Electronic Systems

Electronic systems

To underpin the basic principles of electronic systems, we have a well-equipped laboratory of general and specialist test and measurement kits, including powered prototyping development boards, dual power supplies, frequency generators and counters and digital multi-meters to name but a few.

SAP Lab

Students on SAP-certified courses in Enterprise Systems will have access to the University’s unique SAP Lab, providing an inspirational research and development space for you to use for creative thinking and design.

Forensic computing

Our successful development of forensic computing has led to a specialist forensics laboratory that is fully equipped with essential hardware and software for this sensitive area of study. The laboratory includes high-spec PC’s with built-in multi interface Tableau write blockers, EnCase and FTK computer forensic software and steganography detection and analysis software, to name but a few.

More on our facilities

Stephen Murphy

Senior Lecturer

Steve is a senior lecturer in the School of Computing and Digital Technology, having joined Birmingham City University in 2007.

Steve graduated with a degree in Geology from the University of Oxford before going on to study for a Master's degree in Computer Science at the University of Manchester.

After graduation, Steve worked for a leading financial software house. His main responsibilities covered technical support, software quality control, software development and systems administration. He has also worked in the voluntary sector supporting IT systems for charities and other voluntary organisations.

Steve is currently working on a PhD on the use of open source software in small businesses.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295