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Computer Science with a Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry.

Do you want to develop the skills needed to be a leading IT professional? BSc Computer Science with a Foundation Year 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....

  • 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

Do you want to develop the skills needed to be a leading IT professional? BSc Computer Science with a Foundation Year 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 our university course will prepare you for a successful career in the industry.

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.

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?

You will study the fundamental concepts of computer science, including computer programming, data structures and algorithms, information systems, computer networks and computer architecture.

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.

Broaden your understanding of computer science by studying specialised subjects like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and wearable computing. In addition, you’ll complete an individual project in order to demonstrate your technical skills and general employability in preparation for your future career. 

The individual project simulates typical workplace tasks that require in-depth knowledge and skills in a specific area of computer science. You’ll consider wider issues and develop the ability to manage activities and resources, as well as generate, implement and report on solutions to meet task objectives.

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.

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 of which are based here.

This course has been carefully designed to provide you with a comprehensive academic background that combines the professional skills that will set you apart from your peers.

You’ll be based at Millennium Point building at 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.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • Athena Swan Bronze Award

My studies helped me a great deal, they gave me the knowledge needed to be a successful developer and an all-round software literate. The great thing about my course is that it focused on all aspects of software which is a great attribute to have when searching for a job. Ansar Nazir

Why Choose Us?

  • 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.
  • State-of-the-art facilities - You will be based at our Millennium Point building, at City Centre campus that has recently had £6.5 million invested in IT facilities. You’ll be able to undertake work in artificial Intelligence, human computer interaction, mobile and web application development and project management.
  • Home to Microsoft Academy Centre We are one of Microsoft’s top UK university-based academics and a member of the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance. This means we are able to use various Microsoft software products and online resources for research.
  • Industry connections - We are also a Cisco ASC and one of only ten Cisco Instructor Training Centre’s in the UK. We have strong industry links with companies such as Apple, Oracle, LPI, Microsoft and AWS, to ensure that the course content remains up-to-date and is relevant to employers. 
  • Gain vendor certificates - Including LPI 1 Beta certification and Cisco networking certificates, while studying your degree. 

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. Booking for the next event isn’t open yet. Register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Open Day: March 2023

Register your interest

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 (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • 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 (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • £13,980 in 2023/24

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 Year

In order to complete this programme a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Year One

In order to complete this programme a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Year Two

In order to complete this programme a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Year Three

In order to complete this programme a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Download course specification

Download now
BSc Computer Science image 2 619x232

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attendance requirements

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

Student stories

Marcus Miller

Marcus Miller

Marcus Miller always had an interest in computers but a boarding school education saw that fade. After a few years in employment, he rekindled his passion – undertaking a Computer Science degree at Birmingham City University. Since then, he has set up his own successful SEO consultancy company, Bowler Hat.

Marcus enjoyed every element of his course; almost having too much fun. He had some great teachers and was generally very inspired. Our Computer Science BSc (Hons) course sparked his interest in web technologies, which led to the creation of Bowler Hat.

Athena Swan Bronze Award
Athena Swan Bronze Award

We have successfully secured the Athena SWAN Departmental Bronze Award recognising a commitment to gender equality.

The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research.

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 have a good balance between in-depth academic knowledge and technical and practical expertise, which is why our course is geared towards employability.

What you learn on our course will help you to stand out when you look for your first professional role and because you’ll know how to use sophisticated, industry-standard equipment and software, you will be able to demonstrate that you can put into practice your deep theoretical knowledge.

We will also prepare you for a career by equipping you with myriad transferable skills, such as complex problem-solving expertise, the ability to analyse in a careful and considered manner, and working as a team member.

In addition, our specialist industry links with the Linux Professional Institute, the Oracle Academy, Cisco, and Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle, plus our world-class facilities, will mark you out as a highly employable graduate.

It’s why our graduates have gone on to pursue computing and software development and designer careers in a wide range of industries, from SME software companies, to industry, government, banking, and healthcare.

Further Study

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

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

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

Placements

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.

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

Computing facilities two
Computing facilities three
Computing facilities four

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.

Computing and Digital Technology facilities

Our staff

Dr Khaled Mahbub

Associate Professor in Software Engineering

Khaled started his academic career, in September 1999, as a Lecturer (US hierarchy) in Computer Science & Engineering at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he worked until March 2001.From May 2006 to July 2007, Khaled served as Research Assistant at City...

More about Khaled

Ron Austin

Associate Professor

Senior lecturer Ron Austin is the Associate Professor of the MSc Advanced Computer Networks course and teaches all network-related courses. His expertise and areas of interest include: Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), security technologies, and forensic and ethical hacking. Prior to joining Birmingham City University, Ron spent...

More about Ron

Harjinder Singh

Senior Lecturer

Harjinder is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Digital Technology. He joined Birmingham City University (BCU) in 2000 and has 10 years experience in teaching and consultancy, prior to joining BCU Harjinder worked in Industry as a software developer mainly in C++. Previously employed as Software Development Engineer (FKI Engineering),...

More about Harjinder