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Computing (Level 6 | Top-up) - BSc (Hons)

In an environment where businesses are regularly confronted with the need to evolve, you will develop a strategic mind-set of addressing global challenges, businesses requirements and societal needs via digital infrastructure....

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.

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

Course overview

In an environment where businesses are regularly confronted with the need to evolve, you will develop a strategic mind-set of addressing global challenges, businesses requirements and societal needs via digital infrastructure. Preparing you for industry, On this one year top-up computing degree course you'll learn a broad range of computing and information technology analytical skills that are needed to design, develop, operate and maintain systems. The innovation-driven curriculum will also ensure you are able to innovate in order deliver business value and sustainable solutions.

This one year top-up computing degree course not only prepares you for the current state of industry, but equips you with the skills adapt, thrive and lead in the future. We provide you with access to a wide range of technologies, media and resources, all of which develop your intellectual, technical, practical and professional skills in information and network security. You’ll also have the fantastic opportunity to gain certifications from Cisco, Juniper and Linux, during the course of your study.

You’ll gain your skills by attending lectures, tutor-led seminars and participating in practical and independent learning activities. To help equip you for the workplace, tutors will help you to develop the ability to direct your own learning. Lectures will introduce you to key themes, theories and concepts, which you’ll explore further in your tutorials. You’ll also have access to online resources, discussion forums, textbooks and journal articles, in order to ensure that you develop a critical understanding of work in the discipline. The module guides direct you to a full range of resources, including books and journals, as well as specialised course-based material. .

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The computing degree course not only prepares you for the current state of industry, but equips you with the skills adapt, thrive and lead in the future. We provide you with access to a wide range of technologies, media and resources, all of which develop your intellectual, technical, practical and professional skills in information and network security. You’ll also have the fantastic opportunity to gain certifications from Cisco, Juniper and Linux, during the course of your study.

You’ll gain your skills by attending lectures, tutor-led seminars and participating in practical and independent learning activities. To help equip you for the workplace, tutors will help you to develop the ability to direct your own learning.

Lectures will introduce you to key themes, theories and concepts, which you’ll explore further in your tutorials. You’ll also have access to online resources, discussion forums, textbooks and journal articles, in order to ensure that you develop a critical understanding of work in the discipline. The module guides direct you to a full range of resources, including books and journals, as well as specialised course-based material. 

Potential future careers

As a graduate you will be versatile, adaptable, technically literate, and well equipped to perform a variety of roles within the computing industry that include: network engineer, system analyst, web developer, IT administrator, application developer, IT solutions analyst, systems analyst, applications support analyst, technical support engineer, business IT consultant, IT security consultant and project architect. The course also provides a foundation for further study at master’s level which is encouraged for a career in a research, innovation and enterprise roles in the industry.

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?

  • State-of-the-art facilities - We have recently invested £6.5 million into our IT facilities at Millennium Point within City Centre Campus to give you access to dedicated industry-standard facilities and undertake work such as artificial intelligence, human computer interaction, mobile and web application development and project management.
  • Home to  Cisco Systems and Microsoft Academy Centre  - We are one of Microsoft’s top UK university-based academics and we are 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.
  • Gain vendor certificates - Attain LPI Beta certification and Cisco networking certificates, while studying for your degree.  
  • Strong links with industry - Our links with companies such as Apple, Oracle, LPI, Microsoft and AWS, ensures that the course is relevant and recognised by employers.  
  • Preparation for employment - You will have the option to join our Curzon Software House and take part in industry projects to build up skills for your CV.

Entry Requirements

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

Essential Requirements
Typical Offers (UK students)

Applicants should have a good pass in a computer-related discipline, at a level equivalent to UK Level 5, with the equivalent of 240 UK credits (120 ECTS credits). For example a Computing HND with an overall merit profile.

Examples of courses which could be considered include: BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND), SQA Higher National Diploma, Chinese three year Dazhuan Diploma, Malaysian Advanced Diploma, Nigerian Higher National Diploma, United Arab Emirates Higher College of Technology Higher Diploma, Romanian Diplomă de Absolvire (a Colegiului Universitar) (Higher Education Diploma (Short-cycle), NCC Level 5 Diploma.

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above
  • Equivalent level 2 qualifications can be accepted
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
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
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International:

Applicants should have a good pass in a computer-related discipline, at a level equivalent to UK Level 5, with the equivalent of 240 UK credits (120 ECTS credits).

Examples of courses which could be considered include: BTEC Higher National Diploma, SQA Higher National Diploma, Chinese three year Dazhuan Diploma, Malaysian Advanced Diploma, Nigerian Higher National Diploma, United Arab Emirates Higher College of Technology Higher Diploma, Romanian Diplomă de Absolvire (a Colegiului Universitar) (Higher Education Diploma (Short-cycle), NCC Level 5 Diploma.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • One Year Top Up
  • £13,200 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

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.

LinkedIn Learning

Free access to LinkedIn Learning, which offers over 5,000 in-depth and bite-sized courses.

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.

Certification training (optional)

Training is provided by the University to prepare you for the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) and CISCO Certifications without any extra costs. For certification costs, please see information below.

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.

Linux Professional Institute (LPI) Certification (optional)

Students wishing to gain certification will need to purchase an exam voucher in order to sit the exam required for certification. The cost of a voucher for students at the University is normally around £50 (around 50% of the normal price). The exam is sat on campus.

CISCO Certification (optional)

If you wish to take the exam required for CISCO certification, you will need to pay to take the exam(s) required. Currently, students who achieve over 70% in the Cisco CCNA 3, or CCNA Security finals (depending upon which degree you study) will receive a 50% discount from Cisco for the cost of the exams. The CCNA Routing and Switching exam currently costs $325-$330. The CCNA Security is currently around $465.

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

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

International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

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:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Course in Depth

Year Three

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

This module enables you to gain an understanding of the processes, scope and role when providing guidance or advice in a professional consulting capacity. It will also assist you if you join a larger organisation with the aspiration to become a leader and manager. The module provides awareness on the wider consulting profession and practice, the consulting role in computing and the management of client relationships. The focus will be to analyse and evaluate the frameworks, processes and techniques applied by computing consultants, managers and leaders.

This module aims to provide you with a conceptual understanding of Business Systems and the practical experience for the technologies used in developing an integrated business solution. It focuses on information systems that underpin the business context of organisations and the demand for business intelligence.

This module prepares you for industry by guest lectures, industry talks, industrial visits and real life case studies. The case studies and assessments have been designed in collaboration with practising IT Consultants and IT Architects. This practice based module will be supported by theory delivered via seminars, background reading, research, group activities work, as well as investigative and research activity.

The module explores the information security principles that underpin the management of an organisation’s information systems. The module will look in detail at information security management architecture and design, risk management, business continuity, and embedding information security within the organisational culture for the longer term.

Students examine the key information security principles, concepts, theories, standards and frameworks. The module aims to develop a sound basis on which to the students can design and deliver information security strategies for implementing and managing organisation’s information security requirements.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Students

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:

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

Facilities and Staff

Our Facilities

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.

Computer networking

The laboratories are well-equipped for all our computer networking courses, as well as specialist areas for practical work such as voice-over internet protocol (VoIP), forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies and radio frequency identification technologies to name but a few.

Software development and computer programming

There are a number of open access, software development and computer programming
laboratories that can be used to develop systems and programmes, including database management systems such as MySQL, to name but a few.

Systems laboratories

Our embedded systems laboratories are used to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and industrial-standard software development and simulation tools. These include microcontroller software and robotics design and development, to name but a few.

Electronic Systems

Electronic systems

To underpin the basic principles of electronic systems, we have a well-equipped laboratory of general and specialist test and measurement kits, including powered prototyping development boards, dual power supplies, frequency generators and counters and digital multi-meters to name but a few.

Forensic computing

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.

More on our 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 University London. During this period he was involved in several EU funded projects including Serenity (System Engineering for Security & Design, FP6 EU Project); SeCSE (Service Centric System Engineering, FP6 EU Project).

Between August 2007 and July 2008, Khaled worked as an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Information & Communication Technology, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Between July 2008 and July 2014, Khaled worked as a research fellow at City University London and was a member of the ASE@City group. During this period he has actively contributed in several EU funded projects including: CUMULUS (Certification Infrastructure for Multi-Layer Cloud Services, EU FP7, STREP Project); ASSERT4SOA (Advanced Security Service cERTificate for SOA, EU FP7, STREP Project); S-CUBE (The Software Services and Systems Network - FP7 EU Project); SLA@SOI (Empowering the Service Economy with SLA-aware Infrastructures, EU FP 7, Integrated Project) and Gredia (Grid enabled access to rich media content - FP6 EU Project).

In August 2014, Khaled joined Birmingham City University as a Lecturer in Software Engineering.

More about Khaled

Ron Austin

Associate Professor

Senior lecturer Ron Austin is the Associate Professor of the MSc Data Networks and Security 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 17 years in network management systems for companies including Telewest and Cable & Wireless. 

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, 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).

More about Harjinder