Computing and Digital Technology Facilities
The School of Computing and Digital Technology is proud to offer its students a range of industry standard facilities and equipment. We’ve invested in our facilities to help you prepare for your future career.
As a student in the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you will have access to our labs, software, professional sound studios, computer games labs and industry-standard facilities to develop your practical skills in audio, video and multimedia application development, content creation and more.
We are currently undertaking a £340 million investment programme in our facilities, including a major expansion of our City Centre Campus. This includes our brand new £70 million development, STEAMhouse, which will be the new home to Computing and Digital Technology students. This state-of-the-art centre will give you access to outstanding facilities and equipment, as well as opportunities to collaborate with businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects.
Our facilities in Millennium Point have undergone a £6.5million investment with a new maker area, engineering labs/equipment and IT equipment.
Thanks to our partnerships with Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, Juniper, SAS and LPI you will have access to the latest technology and facilities that reflect advanced professional practice. Our students also have access to software such as the Adobe Suite including Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.
Whatever you are hoping to study, facilities in the School of Computing and Digital Technology provide a quality learning experience, preparing students for work in industry and shaping their future.
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:
- Schematic capture and printed circuit board (PCB) design software – ORCAD
- Analogue and digital circuit design and simulation software – PSpice
- Graphical microcontroller software – Matrix Multimedia Flowcode
- Microcontroller development board – PIC Microchip
- E-block microcontroller training kit
- FPGA & CPLD development board
- Robotics design and development
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:
- Software development environments for modern programming languages - Visual Studio
- Computing programming languages – Python, C#, ASP.NET, PHP, Unity
- Operating systems – Linux, Windows and macOS
- Database management systems – MySQL
- Neural network simulators
- Computer architecture simulators – RISC
- Application development software – iPhone, Android Studio
- Integrated development environments – Netbeans / FPGA /CPLD
- JAVA programming – BlueJ.
Our industry standard kit can be accessed by students who are at home or anywhere on the globe – remote access – 24/7 (NETACAD)
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), Security technologies, Forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), Cybersecurity and software Defined Networking including NFV.
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.
Industry standard forensic hardware and software is available for analysis of PC’s and mobile phones.
Some of the features of the lab includes: fingerprint readers and recognition software development kits, facial recognition cameras and software development kits and more.
Our state-of-the-art computer games lab is home to a PS4 Development Kit and has Xbox One Console Development ability. We have a Nintendo Switch Development Kit in procurement and HTC Vive, Oculus CV1 and VR development facility.
The Games Lab is a key feature during our Games Jam and society events. All students can join our computer games societies and use our facilities if interested in gaming.
Digital Technology Facilities
We operate well-resourced high-spec computer labs which are fully equipped with up-to-date, industry standard software for the design and development of advanced multimedia applications.
Our facilities include: Sophisticated graphics software packages for image manipulation and editing; these provide a full range of drawing, editing and image composition tools. Web animation and Rich Internet Application development tools. 3D software for Rendering, Modelling, Games and Animation, and design and graphics software including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
An Apple Mac sound lab, electronics and fully equipped multimedia labs are all part of the technology and multimedia experience on offer.
Sound Studios in Millennium Point
The Orchard is a 40-seat mac lab designed to support teaching of audio and mac-specific software. The lab features a recording booth as well as high quality audio monitors and video projector.
Our studio facilities feature mixing consoles by manufacturers such as SSL and Audix, monitoring by PMC and Genelec, and a host of software and outboard hardware effects commonly found in high-end commercial recording studios. As well as acoustically designed spaces to record and mix, we have a dedicated mastering suite featuring the acclaimed PMC IB1S monitors.
In the live rooms you will find a useful range of stock instruments including drums and cymbals, guitars, basses, a tuned piano and a range of instrument amplifiers.
Our mix rooms are smaller rooms, useful for one or two students to work on projects that do not require the space afforded by our larger studio facilities. These include a Foley studio for recording of footsteps and other sound effects that are added to media. We also have a room where live desks can be set up, allowing students to explore workflows outside of a gig setup.
We pride ourselves on an extensive microphone collection that any commercial studio would be proud of. From the classic Neumann U87, Royer 121 or Coles 4038 to staples like the AKG C414 or C451, you will find a very usable range of sounds to explore.
Live Sound Equipment
Students have access to an extensive set of live sound equipment with mixing consoles by Midas, Digidesign and Yamaha and a range of PA systems including a D&B Audiotechnik line array. Backed up with an excellent set of microphones chosen for their success in the live environment, and other production equipment such as lighting, the gear is used in a variety of destinations around the university or offsite at gigs and festivals.
The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s £57 million teaching and performance facility is the first of its kind in the digital age and is the perfect fusion of traditional and contemporary.
Featuring 9,000 sq m of purpose designed teaching, rehearsal and state of the art performance space, it offers unrivalled opportunities for our students. The audio and video digital infrastructure is designed to enhance and support live performance and to allow students to experiment with new technologies.
Curzon Street Studios
Curzon Street Studios has a number of world-class TV studios suitable for shooting commercials, films and video productions, both big and small.
Studio B boasts the largest fixed green screen in the UK, with a three wall infinity cove. The studio has been used for filming TV commercials, TV promos, music videos, web presentations and the live-streaming of online entertainment shows. Studio B offers pre-rigged lighting for green screen as well as access to the lighting rig with a hoist controller at ground floor level.
Black cyclorama and matting are also available to create a black studio. The green studio also houses our MILO motion control rig which is the most used motion control rig in the world, the Milo’s versatility, portability and high accuracy makes it the ideal choice for live action shooting and table top work.
Curzon Street Studios boasts six digital radio studios. All studios have been acoustically designed to provide ideal recording environments for both live and pre-recorded audio production and are fully soundproofed.
Our post production system has been designed to enable content to be produced, managed and distributed digitally. We offer a custom built central technical area that allows seamless interaction between all our studios and edit suites.
The Level 4 Makers Space is a bright communal space in Millennium Point in which students find support in building their electronic projects (i.e. Raspberry Pi or Arduino boards based).
The Makers Space is equipped with a laser cutter, 3D printers, and a variety of electronic components like motion, proximity, humidity sensors, and many more.
This space is widely used by students, including first year students who use the space to help build their gadget ready to be presented at Innovation Fest. Experienced technicians are on hand to provide support. The support extends to all other levels including Final Year, Ph.D., and KTP projects.
Student have access to high spec laptops with the latest media software for all their module needs, making the level 4 Makers Space the ideal area for the development of their project. Computer enthusiasts will enjoy our mini collection of vintage Apple computers.
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The Faculty of Computing Engineering and the Built Environment is an innovative faculty covering a diverse range of courses from mechanical engineering to digital film production. This video will give a brief insight into some of the cutting edge facilities our students can access throughout their studies. We have invested 340 million pounds in our facilities, including a major expansion of our city centre campus, our facilities in Millennium Point have undergone a six and a half million pound investment with a new maker space, engineering labs, equipment and I.T. equipment.
Here Students can utilise flexible open spaces to study, such as the Millennium Point Project Space, which hosts one of the largest collections of lab space in Europe.
This collaborative space also hosts a range of events, including hackathons and employability workshops, as well as our faculty's exclusive careers desk offering quality careers and employability advice for our students. Our makerspace on Level four is an informal area where you can do your project, you get lots of help from our technicians and there's loads of tools, laser cutters, 3-D printers, development tools.
There's also examples of past projects on display to inspire you in your own project.
Overall, we've got about 21 computer labs throughout the building crammed with state of the art computers that you can run almost any piece of software on. If you like networks and telecoms like me, then you'll love our four network labs. We've got state of the art equipment, switchers and routers that you can play with, real industry standard stuff. We've also got a system net lab where you can play with networks from anywhere you've got an Internet connection. If you really like audio and visual, you'll love all the equipment we've got in our digital technology labs.
On our campus we have TV studios that are used by the professionals. In Studio A we have a vast space, 14 by 17 metres wide with the double height studio and a 20 foot floor to grid. The space has been acoustically treated and equipped with a full lighting grid.
Studio A is perfect for students wanting to shoot productions requiring a large space.
Students have access to our Studio B with its green screen. This studio boasts the largest fixed green screen and MILO studio in the UK with a three wall Infinity Code, a perfect studio for Chroma key video production.
Studio C hosts an integrated TV set for interviews, media training, webcasts and set based productions.
You'll love our conservatoire. It really is a relaxed space, full of performance studios, full of equipment and stages. It's got some of the best recording studios in the country and you're going to have access to all of that.
My name is Nicki Schiessel Harvey, I'm a senior lecturer here at Birmingham City University in the School of the Built Environment. What's exciting about studying built environment at BCU is that you have these world class facilities as classrooms and the software packages we use, as well as the staff and their industry knowledge, combined with looking out the window at projects as they're happening around us and being right in the heart of the city, which is changing all the time. So just from walking from the station to campus, you're walking past half a dozen fascinating case studies.
Studio space that we've created in Millennium Point is an open workspace where students can be working on their design projects. We have all student work and examples that will change every week or month depending on what stage of a project we're at. And it's an open space for working on projects. And this is where our architectural technology students in our building, surveying students in particular, spend a lot of their time.
The swollen concrete lab and hydraulics lab are the heart of our civil engineering course, where we have a range of test equipment, where our students can carry out experimental work as part of their course, either as part modules or using those labs to work on their final year project.
Hi, my name's Chris Evans. I'm a senior technician in the School of Engineering in the built environment. So we pride ourselves on having industry standard facilities in all of our spaces, mechanical workshop facilities being one of them. We've invested heavily in industry, standard machinery, CNC machines, Firaxis milling machines, laser cutters, to name a few. And we've got industry standard kit in our electronics labs and in our advanced project labs. We have lots of brand new 3D printers for advanced manufacture.
One of the really interesting things that students can get involved in at the university is the formal student project, which encompasses the use of just about every bit of kit that we own in order for them to achieve their end goal, which is to race all weekend at Silverstone in the final showdown.
Because engineering is such a fast paced and continuously evolving profession to go into, we like to make sure that we maintain that pace and students can rest assured that they'll be studying and utilising equipment that is relevant for their future career. We pride ourselves on equipping every student that studies engineering at BCU with the skill set that they need not only working on industry standard equipment, but having those industrial links as well, which set them up perfectly for a career in engineering.
Whatever you are hoping to study, facilities in the faculty of computing, engineering and the built environment, provide a quality learning experience, preparing students for work in industry and shaping their future.
We hope to see you soon.