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Computer and Data Science with a Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

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....

  • Level Foundation
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Computing and Digital Technology
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

Overview

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.

Introducing STEAMhouse

STEAMhouse is a centre for technology, innovation, creative thinking

Our brand new £70 million pound building, STEAMhouse, will become the new home for the School of Computing and Digital Technology from the start of the 2022 academic year.

Find out more

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this 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.

About the Foundation Year

The Foundation Year course option enables you to study for our BSc (Hons) degree over an extended full-time duration of four years by including a Foundation Certificate (year one of four). The Foundation Certificate provides a broad study programme that underpins the follow-on degree. In order to progress to the next year of your degree, it is necessary to achieve a pass in all of the modules of the Foundation Certificate.

The course will help you to understand the concept of database design and querying. In addition, modules such as applied statistics and data mining module will help you to have acceptable skill in 'R' programming which is vital for data analysts. Mohamed

The course covers a breadth of topics and the newest developments using a very hands on approach. Julian

Why Choose Us?

  • Brand new facilities at STEAMhouse - This state-of-the-art building will become the new home for its School of Computing and Digital Technology from the start of the 2022 academic year. Based at our expanding City Centre Campus, this unique centre will give you access to outstanding facilities and teaching spaces, as well as opportunities to collaborate with people and businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects.
  • 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.    
  • Top 15 for student satisfaction in Computer Science - Complete University Guide 2022
  • 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.

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Day: Saturday 25 June

Book now

Entry Requirements

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

Essential Requirements

BB or 80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English language and mathematics at grade C/4 or above
  • Equivalent level 2 qualifications can be accepted - please see UCAS for list of acceptable Maths and English equivalents considered in lieu of GCSE
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)
  • See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish Intermediate 2
  • English language and mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish Credit Standard Grade
  • English language and mathematics at grade 2 or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish National 5
  • English language and mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
A level and Advanced VCE
  • 80 UCAS points
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents.
Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at level 3.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2002 – 2010)
  • MMP
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2002 – 2010)
  • 80 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)

  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)

  • 80 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)

  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)

  • BTEC Level 3 National Award
    (2002 - 2010)

  • 80 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 80 UCAS points

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component

  • 80 UCAS points

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall and pass one of the following subjects from Group 4 at Higher Level (Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics)

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

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.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

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  
IELTS

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)
AND
English Group A - Grade 4 or above,
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

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).

Additional Requirements

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.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • £13,500 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.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Microsoft Certifications (optional)

The exams required to gain Microsoft Office (MOS), Microsoft Technical Certification (MTC) and Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA) certifications are currently free for our students. We also provide free self-paced resources and access to practice exams via dedicated Moodle pages. Find out more about the exams available, and the objectives covered.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

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.

Guidance for UK students

UCAS

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

Course in Depth

Foundation

The Foundation Mathematics module provides the basic knowledge and mathematical skills which will equip the students to continue their studies to an undergraduate programme. The module will be focused on mathematics related to the field of computing. The interactive taught sessions will use fundamental mathematical in discussions to broaden understanding of the theory and practice introduced in the module. Additional support materials will be made available on the module Moodle website.

Academic and personal study skills are essential elements which should be applied in order to be successful in Higher Education. This module aims to help you in developing basic research skills, academic writing and reflection skills. These skills are inevitably important and will support your transition to the higher education levels of study associated with your chosen degree programme.

Within the module, you will learn various academic skills that should facilitate both academic knowledge and enhance your learning development.

This module will be supported with 2hrs of extra module support session.

This module provides the skills necessary to design a web based application around a clear understanding of the business information requirements, a structured design of an interface and the development skills necessary to implement a solution.

This module focuses on varied technologies relating to the design and development of application to meet the information needs of a business. The module will analyse and design an application that meets current web standards.

This module will provide you with an introduction to digital media technology and will allow you to explore technology-driven change in the media industry.

This module will introduce the fundamentals of audio / video capture and editing allowing you to explore workflow practices. You will document your development process, including aspects such as storyboarding and risk assessments and will create an artefact that relates to technology in your chosen degree or industry.

During the journey within higher education, developing your independent study is an essential skill to support shaping the knowledge to become more useful and applied within practice. This module aims to provide you with necessary skills and tips that should support you to work independently within your discipline and to successfully apply project management tools and techniques to a mini project related to your subject discipline.

Foundations of programming aims to provide you with the fundamental principles and practice-based activities needed to begin developing software programs. The module details the anatomy of a structured software program that includes the creation of a program algorithm, a logical, simple and organised program flow and the generation of pseudo and programming code.

The module uses a combination of theory and practice-based sessions designed to engage students in group and individual activities to identify the components of a software program and to apply their knowledge into hands-on software programming activities. During the module sessions you will acquire the basic skills to design and create software programs.

This module will be supported with 2hrs of extra module support session.

Year One

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.

Year Two

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:

  1. construct models of requirements and designs,
  2. synthesise implementations from design models,
  3. 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.

Year Three

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.

Deep  learning (also  called  deep  neural  network) is  a  sub-field  of  Artificial  Intelligence (AI),  aiming  at extracting knowledge automatically from large data sets in a hierarchical way.

Deep learning, which is considered as the state-of-the-art in data science and AI, is inspired by the structure of human brain. Now well established and accepted in industry, deep learning provides both predictive and descriptive analytics solutions that can be applied to a wide range of applications from business to scientific and governmental  applications.

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. 

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, 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.

Attendance requirements

For more information on attendance requirements, course contact time and suggested self-study hours, download the course specification.

Employability

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 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

Placements

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

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.

International

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:

Facilities & Staff

Our Facilities

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.

Computer Labs

System Labs

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.
Network Labs

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.

Forensics Room 

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.

Games Lab

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

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.

Sound Studios

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.

Mix Rooms

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.

Microphones

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.

Read more about the Conservatoire of the Future

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.

Learn more about what Curzon Street Studios has to offer

Makers Space

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.


Computing and Digital Technology facilities

Our staff

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.

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Professor Mohamed Gaber

Professor in Data Analytics

Mohamed Gaber is a Professor in Data Analytics at our School of Computing and Digital Technology.

He has published over 150 papers, co-authored two monograph-style books, and edited/co-edited six books on data mining and knowledge discovery. Mohamed has served in the programme committees of several major conferences related to data mining, including the International Conference on Data Mining, the Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, and the International Conference on Machine Learning. In 2007, he was awarded the CSIRO Teamwork award.

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Dr Mariam Adedoyin-Olowe

Lecturer

Mariam is the Module Lead for a number of MSc and BSc courses including:
MSc Individual Master’s Project; MSc Research Methods & Project Management; BSc Data Intelligence and BSc Introduction to Data Science. The two MSc modules introduce students to general methods and techniques relevant to the master’s dissertation project, which they may also apply in other projects. They learn about research methods, scientific writing and project management to get them up and running for the master’s dissertation project. The Introduction to Data Science teaches students how to answer questions with data.

The module enables students to conduct computational investigations needed for vital decisions and prediction of new trends and at the same time enhance students' employability. In the Data Intelligence module, students are faced with the research challenge of how to find out what the data is saying, the students have hands-on experience on how to apply data intelligence techniques to construct descriptive and predictive models, informing decision making. By so doing, students are able to interpret the results generated by different data intelligence techniques, and consequently use these interpretations to recommend business decisions.

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Dr Mohammed Abdelsamea

Senior Lecturer in Information and Data Science

Mohammed is a Senior Lecturer in Data and Information Science at the School of Computing and Digital Technology, Birmingham City University. He has been working on developing artificial intelligence tools for healthcare and life science applications since 2005.

Mohammed has been working within several groups of biologists, pathologists, and computer scientists in different research projects in Egypt, Singapore, Italy, and the UK. Before joining Birmingham City University, he worked for the School of Computer Science at Nottingham University, Mechanochemical Cell Biology at Warwick University, Nottingham Molecular Pathology Node (NMPN), and Division of Cancer and Stem Cells both at Nottingham Medical School, as a Research Fellow. In 2016, he got the prestigious Marie Cuire Research Fellowship in the school of Computer Science at Nottingham University. He also worked as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science for Assiut University in 2015. Mohammed has received his Ph.D. degree (with Doctor Europaeus) in Computer Science and Engineering from IMT - Institute for Advanced Studies, Lucca, Italy. 

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Dr Abdel Rahman H. Tawil

Associate Professor in Software Engineering

Abdel-Rahman H. Tawil is currently an Associate Professor at the School of Computing and Digital Technology. He received his BSc in Computer Science from the University of Jordan in Amman and his PhD is in the area of Semantic Interoperability in Heterogeneous and Distributed Multiple-Information Servers Environment from Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK. Before he joined BCU he worked as a senior lecturer for six year at the School of Computing Science and Mathematics, University of East London (UEL) and for five years as a lecturer at Aston University, Birmingham, UK. He is a member of the Intelligent Systems and Networks Research Group and the principal investigator for the Big Data Corridor (BDC) project - funded by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund (Project no. 12R16P00220) and match-funded by six Project Partners including Birmingham City Council, Aston University, EnableID, Innovation Birmingham and West Midlands Combined Authority.

Following the success of the Big Data Corridor both Birmingham City University (BCU) and Birmingham City Council (BCC) agreed to work on a Data Science collaborative (DSC) Project as part of the Insight programme - a newly funded council initiative. DSC adopts a data centric approach so BCC can create the capability of turning information into business intelligence and insight to make better informed strategic and tactical decisions and to deploy resources appropriately. The DSC project is at its second year of funding and is currently focused on understanding and predicting the economic impact of Covid-19 through data science.

Abdel-Rahman has extensive research expertise and a wide range of research interests with special emphasis being placed on semantic technology and its use for real-world applications. His current research interest includes using Internet of Things (IoT) in Tele-health and Tele-homecare applications: exploiting the semantics of resources and activities descriptions available in a patient surrounding environment, adaptive learning and care actors profiling.

Abdel-Rahman also worked as a lecturer at the University of West of England (UWE), Bristol; University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC); and the Department of Computer Science, Cardiff University. He is a visiting lecturer at ISIS, Engineering School of Health Information Systems, Jean-François Champollion University, Toulouse

Abdel-Rahman is currently leading the Intelligent Software Systems Lab (ISSL) as part of the Data Analytics and AI (DAAI) research group. Within this lab, the team investigate applying established approaches (e.g., neural network, objective decision-making, secure design) in novel ways, thereby producing intelligent solutions for software systems in a myriad of domains.

More about Abdel Rahman