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.
Do you want to develop the skills needed to be a leading IT professional? Our BSc (Hons) /MSci Computer Science course will develop your skills in producing computer systems solutions. You will gain a sound mathematical and scientific understanding alongside developing the professional attitude needed in industry.
While studying your Computer Science degree with us, you’ll also have access to dedicated industry-standard facilities in a fully equipped lab running the latest software. Plus, we’re home to a Cisco Systems, a Microsoft Academy Centre and Amazon Web Services Academy (AWS), so you can rest assured, knowing your university course will prepare you for a successful career in the industry.
Studying computing with us puts you at the heart of an exciting, innovative community. You will study the fundamental concepts of computer science in your first year, including computer programming, data structures and algorithms, information systems, computer networks and computer architecture.
Part of your first-year assessment will involve taking part in our annual Innovation Fest, where students get together to solve society’s problems with creative technology. Previous projects have included medical assistance drones, accessible gaming controllers, and smart housing solutions. The event brings together students, academics and industry guests, so it’s a great way to have fun, build experience and network, and win prizes!
In your second year, you will consolidate your learning by studying advanced subjects that emphasise software engineering skills. You will also be introduced to topics such as operating systems, cyber security, discrete mathematics, and web application development.
In your final year, you will broaden your understanding of computer science by studying specialised subjects like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and wearable computing. In addition, you will complete an individual project in order to demonstrate your technical skills and general employability in preparation for career progression. The individual project simulates typical graduate workplace tasks that require in-depth knowledge and skills in a specific area of computer science. This will include consideration of wider issues and the ability to manage activities and resources, and to generate, implement and report on solutions to meet task objectives.
During your course, you’ll have the opportunity to take a sandwich placement year between your second and third year. This is something we recommend highly, as it will give you an invaluable opportunity to hone your expertise, try out a potential career path and get relevant workplace experience that is valued by many employers. It will also boost your CV.
Throughout your studies, you’ll be supported by our expert teaching staff, all of whom have a wide range of research and industrial experience in areas such as computer security and software engineering, which they use to enhance the curriculum.
This Computer Science course has been carefully designed to provide you with a comprehensive academic background that combines the professional skills that will set you apart from your peers.
You’ll be based in the Millennium Point building in our City Centre Campus, where you’ll have at your fingertips an array of professional-standard facilities with which to develop your key practical skills and consolidate your academic learning.
Thanks to our strong partnerships with the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) and the Oracle Academy, you’ll have enviable access to leading industry knowledge. This is complemented by the Cisco Systems and Microsoft Academy Centre, both situated in-house.
My studies helped me a great deal, they gave me the knowledge needed to be a successful developer and an all-round software literate. The great thing about my course is that it focused on all aspects of software which is a great attribute to have when searching for a job. Ansar Nazir
Our Open Day for this course will take place in March 2021. Register now and we will contact you when the booking form goes live.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
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||
|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.
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.
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
Starting: Sep 2021
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
Starting: Sep 2021
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.
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.
There are three ways to apply:
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.
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.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
This module will provide an introduction to fundamental concepts associated with operating systems and will lay the foundations for other Computer Science modules that will require a broad understanding of operating systems principles.
A good understanding of operating systems is very important for computer scientists in order to design efficient solutions to a wide range of programming problems including concurrent programming, resource management and performance analysis.
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.
This module embeds core discrete mathematics concepts relevant to programmers, within the context of programming. We will use sound abstract reasoning techniques to design and produce computer programs within the declarative paradigm. Finally, these solutions will be tested and evaluated against their functional requirements using a number of testing and verification techniques
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.
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:
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 focus on combining theoretical concepts around user experience design with practical “hands-on” approaches used widely in industry and academia to create effective interactive experiences. You will learn about the user-centred design process that places a core emphasis on designing products, applications, and software for “people”.
In particular, you will learn techniques for gathering and understanding a target audience’s requirements, the importance of universal design and accessibility, and methods for undertaking rapid prototyping.
An emphasis will also be placed on gaining practical experience in designing and conducting usability studies, as well as how to incorporate key findings back into the design process. You will apply this knowledge to design and evaluate an innovative digital prototype using industry standard tools.
One of the major objective of the computer science course is to introduce the theory, principles and technologies underlying the construction of modern computing systems. This module introduces Cloud Computing, which is the technology that enables on-demand computing resources (everything from applications to data centres) over the Internet.
This technology has revolutionized modern computing by allowing users to access infinite pool of computing services and resources on a pay-per-use basis. This module introduces the fundamental concepts and technologies related to cloud computing architecture, platforms and services. The module follows a practical approach to equip the students with hands-on experience of cloud computing by using a public Cloud service, such as Amazon Web Services.
Mobile technologies, particularly in the form of smart phones, are now the de-facto mode for us to communicate and navigate information. Building on this success, wearables have the potential to make computer technology ubiquitous. Although encompassing many forms, probably the most prevalent example of wearables is seen in the emergence of powerful ‘smart watches’.
This module explores the direction mobile and wearable technologies are taking and aims to equip students with the essential design and programming skills to develop their own robust, usable and ubiquitous applications for at least one of the most popular mobile and smart watch platforms (such as Google’s Android / Wear and Apple’s iOS / watchOS).
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.
The Web, as it stands today, primarily depends on human understanding and the interpretation of the vast information space it encompasses. However the Web was originally designed with a goal to support not only human interaction, but also automated machine processing of data with minimal human intervention.
At the heart of Semantic Web is semantic representation and reasoning of data using ontologies and knowledge engineering. This module is about investigating the next generation of the Web, whose key distinguishing characteristics will be the support for and use of semantics in new, more effective, more intelligent, ways of managing information and supporting applications. The module will look into different aspects of Ontology representation, creation, design, reasoning, programming and applications. The course is focused on ontological engineering, which represents an important part of Semantic Web development.
This module will focus on combining theoretical concepts around user experience design with practical “hands-on” approaches used widely in industry and academia to create effective interactive experiences. You will learn about the user-centred design process that places a core emphasis on designing products, applications, and software for “people”. In particular, you will learn techniques for gathering and understanding a target audience’s requirements, the importance of universal design and accessibility, and methods for undertaking rapid prototyping.
A core emphasis will be placed on gaining practical experience around how to design, conduct, and analyse usability studies (utilising a variety of evaluation techniques) and then incorporating key findings back into the design process. You will apply this knowledge to collaboratively design and evaluate an innovative digital prototype using industry standard tools.
This module covers the fundamental principles of service-oriented design and the core technologies that enable the implementation of service-oriented systems. It aims to equip you with the key skills and knowledge in order to perform service-oriented systems design and implementation.
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed group project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, your group 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 group’s 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.
You will be expected to work as part of a group but you will receive additional support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your groups 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 with increasing independence of approach, thought and process.
The course provides access to effective commercial development environments and ensures students have practical awareness of computer systems requirements. You are required to meet strict deadlines, and to manage and plan your overall workload.
Knowledge is assessed formatively and summatively, by a number of methods, including seminars, course-work, viva, presentation, interactive automated assessment, formal examination and project work.
Assessment criteria are published both at a generic course level and to provide guidance for individual items of assessment. Anonymous marking systems are in place for all formal examinations.
You will undertake a major project involving research and application of that research in the solution of appropriate systems problems.
For more information on attendance requirements, course contact time and suggested self-study hours, download the course specification.
Marcus Miller always had an interest in computers but a boarding school education saw that fade. After a few years in employment, he rekindled his passion – undertaking a Computer Science degree at Birmingham City University. Since then, he has set up his own successful SEO consultancy company, Bowler Hat.
Marcus enjoyed every element of his course; almost having too much fun. He had some great teachers and was generally very inspired. Our Computer Science BSc (Hons) course sparked his interest in web technologies, which led to the creation of Bowler Hat.
Our graduates typically design and implement software across such rewarding areas as web development, interface design, security issues and mobile computing.
We know that employers are looking for graduates who have a good balance between in-depth academic knowledge and technical and practical expertise, which is why our course is geared towards employability.
What you learn on our course will help you to stand out when you look for your first professional role and because you’ll know how to use sophisticated, industry-standard equipment and software, you will be able to demonstrate that you can put into practice your deep theoretical knowledge.
We will also prepare you for a career by equipping you with myriad transferable skills, such as complex problem-solving expertise, the ability to analyse in a careful and considered manner, and working as a team member.
In addition, our specialist industry links with the Linux Professional Institute, the Oracle Academy, Cisco, and Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle, plus our world-class facilities, will mark you out as a highly employable graduate.
It’s why our graduates have gone on to pursue computing and software development and designer careers in a wide range of industries, from SME software companies, to industry, government, banking, and healthcare.
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.
According to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (2014) observation, one in seven jobs will require a postgraduate qualification by 2022. All these facts indicate the contribution of postgraduate study to employability is increasingly significant.
We aim to have you employer-ready by the time you graduate and, as part of your Computer Science course, you have the option of undertaking an industrial placement after the second year of study.
If you decide to do this, it will extend the duration of your course to four years.
Thanks to our excellent partnerships and working relationships with some of the UK’s leading companies, you have the chance of undertaking a high-quality industrial placement with leading organisations such as IBM, Dignity Plc, Mortgage Brain, and Griffiths-Waite.
Learn more about some of the prestigious organisations that our students are placed with:
Full details can be found on the School placements page.
OpportUNIty: Student 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.
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.
Our computing students have the opportunity to attend training for the PRINCE2 Foundation Level exam. This three-day course gives you the opportunity to achieve an industry-recognised qualification and add another desirable qualification to your CV.
Bayram Abassi is a Computer Science student who spent his year in industry working as a Technical Support Specialist for SOTI Mobile device management solution MobiControl..
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Harjinder is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Digital Technology.
He joined Birmingham City University (BCU) in 2000 and has 10 years experience in teaching and consultancy, proir to joining BCU Harjinder worked in Industry as a software developer mainly in C++.
Previously employed as Software Development Engineer (FKI Engineering), Systems Analyst/Programmer (Alcan Plate Ltd.) and IT Consultant (POCL).