Computer Science - BSc (Hons) / MSci

UCAS Code:
Full Time (3 years), Sandwich (4 years), Full Time (4 years), Sandwich (5 years)
September 2017

The programme intends to develop competence in using tools and techniques for producing computer systems solutions from a sound mathematical and scientific base while appreciating the professional responsibilities and quality issues needed by industry.

The course is designed to cover the fundamental concepts of computer science in the first year, including computer programming, user interface design, information systems, computer networks and computer architecture.

In your second year, you will consolidate your first-year learning by studying advanced subjects that emphasise software engineering skills. You will also be introduced to topics such as systems fundamentals, data structures and algorithms, discrete mathematics, and web application development.  

In your final year you will broaden your understanding of computer science by studying specialised subjects like artificial intelligence, cyber security and wearable computing. In addition, you will complete an individual project that provides opportunity to demonstrate technical and general employability in preparation for career progression. More specifically, the individual project simulates typical graduate workplace tasks that require in-depth knowledge and skills in a specific area of computer science. This will include consideration of wider issues and the ability to manage activities and resources, and to generate, implement and report on solutions to meet task objectives.

During your course, you’ll have the opportunity to take a sandwich placement year between your second and third year. This is something we recommend highly, as it will give you an invaluable opportunity to hone your expertise, try out a potential career path and get relevant workplace experience that is valued by 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 and software engineering, which they use to enhance the 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?

  • You’ll have access to dedicated industry-standard facilities in our own fully equipped laboratory. Based within our £114 million Millennium Point building, you’ll be able to undertake work such as artificial intelligence, human computer interaction, mobile and web application development, and project management.
  • 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.
  • 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 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, AWS and Apple, which ensure that the course is relevant and respected by employers.

This course is subject to approval

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Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 19 November 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

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Planning to study an Engineering undergraduate course with us? You could have the cost of your tuition fees covered in full. Register your interest, apply for a September 2017 start and you could be successful.

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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

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

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

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2017/18
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A Level or 112 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 , including 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 112 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 112 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 112 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points from three Higher Level subjects
Irish Leaving Certificate BBBBCC – must include one from Technology, Mathematics, Sciences or Computing
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher BBC – must include one from Technology, Mathematics, Sciences or Computing
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 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
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2017/18
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

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
MSci Sep 2017 FT 4 years £9,250 per year
SW 5 years £9,250 per year

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS
MSci Sep 2017 FT 4 years £12,000 per year

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


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

Computer Programming
20 credits
Computer Systems
20 credits
Website Design and Development
20 credits
Data Structures and Algorithms
20 credits
Network Fundamentals
20 credits
Innovation Project
20 credits

Year two

Object Oriented Programming
20 credits
Operating Systems
20 credits
Database and Web Application Development
20 credits
Discrete Mathematics and Declarative Programming
20 credits
Cyber Security
20 credits
Software Engineering Methodology and Project
20 credits

Year three

Mobile App Development
20 credits
Data Science
20 credits
Wearable Computing
20 credits
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
20 credits
Individual Project
40 credits

Year four

Service Oriented Architecture
20 credits
Mobile Computing
20 credits
Advanced HCI
20 credits
Group Project
60 credits
BSc Computer Science image 2 619x232

Knowledge and understanding are acquired though a mixture of formal lectures, tutor-led seminars and practical activities, with other independent learning activities at all stages.

Emphasis is placed on guided, self-directed and student-centred learning with increasing independence of approach, thought and process.

The course provides access to effective commercial development environments and ensures students have practical awareness of computer systems requirements. You are required to meet strict deadlines, and to manage and plan your overall workload.

Knowledge is assessed formatively and summatively, by a number of methods, including seminars, course-work, viva, presentation, interactive automated assessment, formal examination and project work.

Assessment criteria are published both at a generic course level and to provide guidance for individual items of assessment. Anonymous marking systems are in place for all formal examinations.

You will undertake a major project involving research and application of that research in the solution of appropriate systems problems.

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.

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

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.

Further Study

Successful completion of the course can open up opportunities for employment in IT industry, but you may think to continue your studies at postgraduate level, studying a computer science subject in greater detail by means of MSc or PhD.

Although postgraduate study may appear essential for a career in academia, recent statistical evidence shows that it can also be useful for a range of other careers. For example, in 2014 the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills noted that someone with a Master’s degree earns on average £9,000 more per year than someone with a degree qualification.

According to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (2014) observation, one in seven jobs will require a postgraduate qualification by 2022. All these facts indicate the contribution of postgraduate study to employability is increasingly significant.


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 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.


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 our graduates have gone on to work for top companies including IBM, Griffiths Waite, Capgemini and Birmingham City University.

Our course covers cutting-edge topics in computer science that will leave you well-prepared to take on any of a diverse set of roles, including Software Developer, Usability Engineer, Security Expert, Mobile Application Specialist, Network Administrator, Database Administrator, IT consultant, Information Systems Manager, Systems Analyst and Teacher.

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
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 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.


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

Dr Khaled Mahbub

Lecturer in Software Engineering

Khaled started his academic career, in September 1999, as a Lecturer (US hierarchy) in Computer Science & Engineering at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he worked until March 2001.

From May 2006 to July 2007, Khaled served as Research Assistant at City University London. During this period he was involved in several EU funded projects including Serenity (System Engineering for Security & Design, FP6 EU Project); SeCSE (Service Centric System Engineering, FP6 EU Project).

Between August 2007 and July 2008, Khaled worked as an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Information & Communication Technology, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Between July 2008 and July 2014, Khaled worked as a research fellow at City University London and was a member of the ASE@City group. During this period he has actively contributed in several EU funded projects including: CUMULUS (Certification Infrastructure for Multi-Layer Cloud Services, EU FP7, STREP Project); ASSERT4SOA (Advanced Security Service cERTificate for SOA, EU FP7, STREP Project); S-CUBE (The Software Services and Systems Network - FP7 EU Project); SLA@SOI (Empowering the Service Economy with SLA-aware Infrastructures, EU FP 7, Integrated Project) and Gredia (Grid enabled access to rich media content - FP6 EU Project).

In August 2014, Khaled joined Birmingham City University as a Lecturer in Software Engineering.

Ron Austin

Associate Professor

Senior lecturer Ron Austin is course leader on the MSc Data Networks and Security course and teaches all network-related courses.

His expertise and areas of interest include: Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), security technologies, and forensic and ethical hacking.

Prior to joining Birmingham City University, Ron spent 17 years in network management systems for companies including Telewest and Cable & Wireless. 

Harjinder Singh

Senior Lecturer

Harjinder is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Digital Technology.

He joined Birmingham City University (BCU) in 2000 and has 10 years experience in teaching and consultancy, proir to joining BCU Harjinder worked in Industry as a software developer mainly in C++.

Previously employed as Software Development Engineer (FKI Engineering), Systems Analyst/Programmer (Alcan Plate Ltd.) and IT Consultant (POCL).

Richard Kay

Senior Lecturer

Richard worked on the telecommunications development and related commissioning, manufacturing and CAD/CAM from 1976 to 1979. He worked on IT user and systems support and programming from 1979 to 1995 at UCE (previously Birmingham Polytechnic). Since then he has worked as a lecturer and senior lecturer at BCU (previously UCE).

Dr Michael Boyd

Senior Lecturer

After studying at university Michael worked at Lucas Aerospace, Power Systems Division as a design engineer. This involved the development of machine design and performance analysis computer programmes, embedded-software development for power aircraft power systems control, using the LUCOL language, as well as software quality assurance for safety-critical software.

Michael then studied an MSc in Software Technology at Thames Polytechnic, followed by a Research Studentship in Applications of Artificial Intelligence at Aston University. He later completed a PhD in the use of uncertain reasoning techniques for the biological classification of water quality.

Michael joined Birmingham City University in 1994 as course director of the MSc in System Design, delivered in collaboration with the Fachhochschule Darmstadt.

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