- UCAS Code: I10C
- Level: Undergraduate
- Starting: September 2021
- Study mode: Full Time (3 years), Full Time (4 years with Professional Placement)
- Location: City Centre
Studying with us in 2021/22
It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
Data Science is an exciting new discipline that integrates computer science and statistics, which helps enable us to gain valuable insights that are needed in modern organisations. The Computer and Data Science degree course is designed to equip you with the cutting-edge skills required to satisfy the global demand for Data Scientist roles and thus build a rewarding career.
You’ll gain a well-rounded education in Computer and Data Science, whilst developing your teamwork and software development skills. When you graduate you’ll be able to design software by applying mathematical and scientific principles, enabling you to thrive in the IT industry.
You’ll cover all aspects of data science, ranging from data acquisition, integration, storage, analysis and visualization of data. You’ll also learn about data mining, statistical analysis, and machine learning by working collaboratively with academics and businesses, applying practice-based skills to real-life case studies and projects.
What's covered in the course?
BSc Computer and Data Science shares a common first year with the BSc Computer Science course. The first year covers fundamental concepts, such as algorithms and data structures, while also nurturing your creativity.
In your second year, you will study four Computer Science modules and two Data Science specific modules, namely Introduction to Data Science and Data Visualisation. In the third year, with the exception of one Computer Science module, the remaining modules are Data Science specific.
You will broaden your understanding of data science by studying specialised subjects like artificial intelligence and machine learning, modern data stores, data mining and data warehousing.
In addition, you will complete an individual project in order to demonstrate your technical skills and general employability in preparation for your career. The individual project simulates typical workplace tasks that require knowledge in a specific area of data science.
With emphasis on computer lab-based practical work and project delivery, this course will provide you with ample opportunity to acquire both the technical and transferable skills desired by industry. Extra support sessions in mathematics will be offered to students which will be led by a specialist mathematics tutor.
Underpinned by an extensive range of staff knowledge and skills, the course seeks to develop you into a confident independent and team problem solver who is willing to take on new challenges and experiences. You will be able to build an online portfolio for personal and professional development using software such as Mahara or GitHub.
We focus on employability so our course encourages and enables collaborative activity, engagement with work placements, projects and international exchanges. Various activities have been built into the course to promote employability such as innovation fest, mid-semester employability week and the mini project during level 4 induction week. You will have the opportunity to take a sandwich placement year between your second and third year. This is something that is highly recommended, as it will give you an invaluable opportunity to put your skills into practice, try out a potential career path and get relevant workplace experience that is valued by so many employers. The course is also part of the Erasmus scheme, which allows you to study abroad within the EU for a semester, normally during the second year of the course.
“ The course covers a breadth of topics and the newest developments using a very hands on approach.”
Why Choose Us?
- Learn from industry experts - Our staff have a wide range of research and industrial experience. They are also actively involved in a range of professional associations such as the British Computer Society and the Higher Education Academy.
- Strong industry links - With companies such as Oracle, Linux Professional Institute, Microsoft and Apple. This allows us to ensure that the course is up to date, relevant and respected by employers.
- Become a specialist - You will learn about the international standards and regulatory frameworks to allow you to work in an ever-changing computing industry, both at a local level and a global stage.
- Optional placement year - You will have the opportunity to undertake an industrial placement in between your second and final year of study.
- Preparation for employment - Join our Curzon Software House and take part in industry projects to build up skills for your CV.
- Go abroad - We offer travel scholarships so that you gain work experience overseas.
Our next Virtual Open Day is taking place on Saturday 20 March. It's the perfect opportunity to virtually tour our facilities, hear from some of our staff and get a feel of what it's like to study at BCU.
This course is open to International students
Dr. Shadi S. Basurra
You'll be taught by leading experts, such as Dr. Shadi S. Basurra. Shadi recieved his Ph.D. from the University of Bath in collaboration with Bristol University, and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Computer Data Science. He has a strong level of expertise in areas such as machine learning, edge computing, and game theory, and has a wealth of publications in similar fields.
We are members of:WISE members inspire girls to choose maths, physics and computing.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||
|Scottish Intermediate 2||
|Scottish Credit Standard Grade||
|Scottish National 5||
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications|
|A level and Advanced VCE||
|Access to HE Diploma||
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component
International Baccalaureate Diploma
|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.
Additional information for EU/International students
Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.
In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications|
6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.
2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.
Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.
This will provide you with more information about the School and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.
- UK students
- International students
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £13,200 per year
- Full Time
- 4 years with Professional Placement
- £13,200 per year
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
Guidance for UK students
UK 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
There are three ways to apply:
1) Direct to the University
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.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement 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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
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.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
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.
Accommodation and living costs
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
Worried about personal statements?
If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.
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.
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
This introductory computer programming module provides the underpinning knowledge and practice for computing students to design, build and test software components. The module will make use of practical sessions primarily to allow you to apply programming principles and constructs in order to creatively solve problems by means of developing small programs. Module content and assessment enables learners to acquire programming skills in a modern imperative language.
Within the Computer Systems Module, you will gain knowledge and experience of computers and computer hardware.
This module presents a holistic view of how computer systems work and it also provides the underpinning knowledge required:
- for the design of computer architecture
- to show how software interacts with hardware
- to apply electronics principles
- to use number systems for computer technology
This module provides the underpinning skills necessary to develop an effective web based information system based around a clear understanding of the visual requirements of an interface, a structured design approach and the technical skills necessary to implement a solution.
Data structures and algorithms are essential in computer science, software engineering, and computer games and graphics programming. Data structures are structured representations of data; the design of a data structure determines how operations (such as reading to, writing from, modifying, or computing with the data) can be achieved. An algorithm is a set of instructions which can be followed in order to solve a computational problem.
The module provides the opportunity to learn and critically reflect the skills required in building and designing basic networks and their requirements within a network infrastructure. This module builds on the underpinning knowledge and theory of networking systems.
The module consists of:
- Subject specific lectures/laboratory sessions to introduce knowledge and skills relevant to network and information systems, along with communication architecture
- Lectures/laboratory sessions to introduce principles and techniques for information communication within a network and ensuring effective communication
- Global view on information system communication.
This first-year project allows you to develop and cultivate a creative mind-set through collaborative innovative practice, allowing you to bring together knowledge and imagination to construct a viable product. It is an opportunity to express your ideas, skills and talent to the wider community of innovative practice.
The project provides you with an opportunity to be part of a thriving community of innovators that practices connected learning. This is facilitated by putting you into inter-disciplinary project teams supported by innovation mentors, advisors and academics; culminating in you exhibiting your work to an international panel of experts.
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
Programming is an engineering tool that plays a vital role to drive most of the modern technologies surrounding us, including the technological devices for communication, transportation and entertainment. In other words it can be said that our modern lifestyles are heavily dependent on programming.
Moreover, businesses increasingly rely on computers and the software run on them. Programming skills and a broader and deeper understanding of programming are therefore becoming increasingly important to the jobs market.
Data applicable to organisational bodies for decisions making process are increasing rapidly. Automation of tracking, the increase of new data types (e.g., social media, audio, and video), improved storage of electronic records, re-use of administrative records, and the outburst of modelling data have all amplified the availability of data. However, making full use of these data requires not only right storage and but also advanced analytical capabilities.
Data Science is a multidisciplinary field that deals with technologies, processes, and systems to extract knowledge and insight from data and supports reasoning and decision making under various sources of uncertainty. The goal of Introduction to Data Science is to teach students how to answer questions with data.
The module will enable students to conduct computational investigations needed for vital decisions and prediction of new trends and at the same time enhance students’ employability skills.
The vast majority of web applications are connected to databases for the purpose of storing and retrieving information. On this module you will be introduced to relevant concepts and technologies, applying them to the development of such applications. You will gain knowledge and skills concerning data modelling (entity-relationship models) and relational database implementation and administration (using SQL).
You will also acquire new programming skills (e.g., writing server-side scripts in PHP) in order to produce applications that provide useful functionality. You will also gain practical experience in the use of web frameworks to develop web applications to enhance your employability skills.
Computer Scientists need to address the realities of the application of their field within an environment where cyber security threats present unique challenges to application and system developers, in relation to the requirement for secure design and operation. This module provides a foundation for security consideration as required in the design of software expected to perform within a networked and data sharing environment. This module has been designed to provide the necessary theoretical framework, foundations and practical support for effectively pursuing security solutions with reference to the requirement for secure application development.
The aim of this module is to identify, apply and design data visualisations. The module provides you with the fundamental principles and practice-based activities needed to design data visualisations for different contexts and different types of data. More advanced visualisation concepts and tools for analysing multi-dimensional data and large data sets will also be examined and appraised.
You will learn how to employ visualisation as a tool that can help users understand large and/or complex data sets. Finally, upon completing the module, you should be able to decide on the best visualisation for the data and research question at hand, and then implement in the best way possible.
This module is about software engineering with a focus on software design. It covers three stages of the software engineering life-cycle, requirements, design and implementation, but with a focal point on design and an emphasis on the design theme.
The module provides the necessary skills to:
- construct models of requirements and designs,
- synthesise implementations from design models,
- apply software design patterns.
The standard UML is used as the modelling language, the vehicle through which important design concepts are explored to convey a software engineering ethos based on getting it right by adequately studying the problem and mindfully constructing designs of software solutions.
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
This module will introduce NoSQL databases and distributed data storage frameworks through practice based activities. Through guided hands-on tutorials, you will become familiar with techniques using non-structured and semi-structured data examples. Also, you will gain knowledge on managing and processing data in a distributed infrastructure. This course will improve your development skills and provide experience with many different data systems.
In this module, you will be taught the internal mechanisms of developing descriptive and predictive data mining methods. Also you will be taught how to use modern data mining tools to build and numerically validate models and patterns extracted from data. You also will be able to analyse a problem domain and apply suitable data mining techniques.
This module covers the acquisition, organization, storage and processing of large volumes of data including relevant security and legislative issues. Since data is a vital part of business intelligence, this module provides input to the other modules on the programme and builds directly upon the level 5 database module. The module also explores techniques for querying the data warehouse. Learning and Teaching.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a core component of computer science, aiming at developing intelligent agents that mimic human’s cognitive capability in learning, reasoning, and problem solving.
As a branch of AI, machine learning (ML) allows to create software that adapts and learns (from examples), rather than being explicitly programmed for a particular outcome. Both AI and ML rely on managing, processing and analysis of large datasets, something that Data Science (DS) is concerned with. Many services provided by technology giants such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, Amazon, etc. are powered by DS, ML and AI. The recent advances in these subjects have already led to significant industrial applications such as self-driving cars and Industry 4.0.
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.
At this level, you will be expected to work independently but you will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project.
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, aimed at giving you increasing independence of approach, thought and process.
The course provides access to effective commercial development environments and ensures you 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 by a number of methods, including seminars, coursework, 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 systems-related problems.
For more information on attendance requirements, course contact time and suggested self-study hours, download the course specification.
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 offer 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.
You will be taught about the roles and responsibilities of a professional working within the computing and data science professions, and gain an appreciation of the social, environmental, ethical, economic and commercial considerations that impact on computer and data science solutions.
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.
The ‘Learning Outcomes’ for this course didn’t really mention employability so this is largely based on the Computer Science web page
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. The most common Masters to proceed onto would be MSc Business Intelligence or MSc Big Data Analytics.
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 and Data 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 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.
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.
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 and data science that will leave you well-prepared to take on any of a diverse set of roles, including Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Business Intelligence Analyst, Data warehousing specialist, Consultant Solutions Architect, Database Administrator, Project Manager.
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.
Zan is a BSc (Hons) Computer and Data Science student who worked as a Trainee DevOps at Blueberry Consultants. His placement combines his interests and hobbies and has brought him one step closer to getting his dream job.
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:
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.
Popular home countries
Our students come from around the world but our computer science course is most popular with international students from:
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 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.
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.
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 systemsTo 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.
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.
Dr Atif Azad
Reader in Evolutionary Computing and Machine Learning
Dr Azad is a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy. He specialises in the subject matter of Computer Science, Machine Learning, Evolutionary Computing (Genetic Programming, Genetic Algorithms, and Grammatical Evolution), Data Analytics, and Statistics.
He has extensively worked on theory and applications of Machine Learning, particularly Nature Inspired Machine Learning (Evolutionary Computing), and has conducted internationally acclaimed work winning awards and honours from recognized international scientific fora.