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Digital Media Computing with a Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

Digital Media Computing with a Foundation Year enables you to study with support of the latest in digital media technology equipment. This includes digital TV studios, edit and dubbing suites. We’ve developed this multidisciplinary course to combine computing and digital media....

  • Level Foundation
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September 2024
  • School School of Computing and Digital Technology
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

This course is:

Open to International Students

Overview

I'm a third year Music Technology student. When I was looking for Music Technology courses, Birmingham City University really stood out to me. I was keen on attending a Bachelor of Science and the course really focussed on the science aspects as well as maintaining the artistic elements of music and sound production. The support of the tutors has been fantastic. The professional standard and the facilities on campus are great due to their accessibility around the clock. The easy access to studios has been extremely helpful in completing my work and keeping on top of deadlines. At BCU, there's been a heavy focus on employability and what I could do with all aspects of my degree. The university has organised the industrial mentor forum, a space where students can communicate with alumni and people within the industry. The Acoustics Special Interest Group also consisted of more bespoke talks from people within the acoustics industry about different aspects of the work and how individual companies run. This is how I developed contact with an acoustic consultancy to complete my placement year. I act as an Acoustic Technician at Dragonfly Consulting. It went so well that I'm returning upon my graduation to continue working with them. The university has given me opportunities I don't think I would have received anywhere else.

I'm a second year computer science student studying at Birmingham City University. As a Computing student, there are plenty of computer labs available. There's entire rooms filled with Cisco networking equipment, as well as laptops that can be rented out to complete your work. Several of the facilities have now moved over to STEAMhouse, which is a £70 million build that is now the new home for Computing and Digital Technology students. One of the main things for me was getting employment at the end of my university degree. And Birmingham City University offers a wealth support for moving into the work environment. The course is a very important focus and a very industry focussed as well. I've been offered roles as a student demonstrator for Python programming. I found that the best way to show that you've understood something is to be able to teach somebody else.

I'm studying Computer Networks and Security. So far, I've really enjoyed my time at BCU. I felt really included within the student community. For the past two years, I've been involved in Innovation Fest. This is an annual event that showcases student work from the faculty. A lot of employers visit this festival, which allows us to widen our professional network. Throughout my time at BCU, I've had some time to

develop a relationship with the Careers+ team and go through tailoring my CV and my cover letters with them. Because of this, I have been presented with many opportunities which they have tailored to me and my needs. Through this, I was encouraged to apply for the women in tech competition.

So it was a one week program and I was working with the team from Cyferd. It's a software company,

and I successfully won and have taken up the placement year with them as a Junior Development Lead.

I look forward to coming back and applying the skills I've learnt throughout my placement and applied them within my studies.

Digital Media Computing with a Foundation Year enables you to study with support of the latest in digital media technology equipment. This includes digital TV studios, edit and dubbing suites.

We’ve developed this multidisciplinary course to combine computing and digital media. This enables you to leave university as a versatile graduate with a mix of computing, technical and content creation skills. Study with us and rest assured that you’ll be prepared for a world seeking those able to develop the next generation of digital media products.

About the Foundation Year

The Foundation Year 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.

 

STEAMhouse building exterior

Introducing STEAMhouse

STEAMhouse is a centre for technology, innovation, creative thinking, prototyping and business development. Our brand new £70 million pound building is the new home for the School of Computing and Digital Technology.

Find out more

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Our Digital Media Computing course is an intellectually challenging and highly rewarding programme that covers everything from coding to animation. It will prepare you to meet the professional and technical demands of industry.

You will learn underlying principles of computer science, as well as visual design and human computer interaction, bringing these together through a collaborative innovation project.

Explore more in-depth the areas of web application development, digital media processing, media production and 3D modelling and animation. Plus, take advantage of opportunities to work on real world projects through a major group project in year two, as well as undertaking an individual project in the final year.

You will develop key transferrable skills, such as teamwork, reflection and self-awareness. You’ll also gain analytical skills through coursework tasks, as well as enhancing your problem solving using a range of systems and technologies. There is also an option to undertake an industrial placement, gaining valuable work experience.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • Athena Swan Bronze Award

This course is a unique blend of media and computing I could not find on any other course. It is challenging yet rewarding and provides me with a sense of accomplishment when assignments are completed. The broad range of the modules allows me to have a wide range of options when choosing my career path.. - Harvir Singh

Why Choose Us?

  • Brand new facilities at STEAMhouseThis state-of-the-art building is the new home for our Computing courses. 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.
  • Prepare for industry - Gain computing and multimedia skills to apply the latest technologies, as well as the versatility to succeed in a constantly evolving, challenging industry. Our students have gone on to work with companies such as Big Marketing and Caterpillar   
  • Highly experienced staff  - Our team of academics and practitioners offer not only academic expertise, but also current industry understanding and business acumen
  • Excellent campus facilities - Our City Centre Campus houses the largest University TV studio, within a purpose-built Media Centre at The Parkside Building
  • A range of study techniques - Network opportunities, multimedia events and guest speakers bring the insights, contacts and the realities of the media world to your studies
  • Home to Cisco and Oracle - We are a Cisco ASC (Academy Support Centre) and one of only 10 Cisco Instructor Training Centres (ITC) in the UK

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to meet us 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: 29 June 2024

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

80 UCAS tariff points

If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact us.

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 2024

  • 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 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • TBC

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 Adobe Creative Cloud licence

Students studying on this course can request a free licence to install the entire suite of applications on up to two personal devices.

Specialist software

You will be able to access free licences for Autodesk Maya.

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

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

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Course in Depth

Foundation Year

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

Year One

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

Year Two

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

Professional Placement Year (Optional)

In order to qualify for the award of Bachelor of Science with Honours Digital Media Computing with Foundation Year and Professional Placement Year, a student must successfully complete all of the modules listed as well as the following Level 5 module:

Final Year

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

Download course specification

Download now

Course Structure

Lectures are used to introduce themes, theories and concepts, which are further explored in tutorials. Technology-enhanced learning is used, where appropriate, through the provision of online resources, discussion forums and other activities. Textbooks are used, together with professional material and journal articles, in order to ensure that students develop a critical understanding of work in their discipline. The module guides direct students to a full range of resources, including books and journals, as well as specialised course-based material.

Analytical and problem solving skills are further developed using a range of appropriate 'real' and 'theoretical' case studies, plus a range of problem-based learning scenarios. Practical, including lab-based, sessions are used throughout the programme to develop practical skills and to place theory in a work-related context. Where appropriate, you will also use commercial development environments.

You will develop the key skills of research, academic writing and time management required for study at degree level throughout your first two years of study, which will enable you develop them further on the final-year individual project.

Transferable/key skills are pervasive and incorporated into modules and assessments as appropriate. For example, team-working skills are fostered via group activities. You are encouraged to plan your own work schedules and are required to meet deadlines. Reflection and self-awareness are fostered throughout.

A range of assessment methods are employed, assessment criteria being published in each assignment brief. Knowledge and skills are assessed, formatively and summatively by a number of methods, including coursework, examinations (seen and unseen, open and closed-book), presentations, practical assignments, vivas, online forums and project work.

Attendance requirements

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

Why study Digital Media Computing

Our Digital Media Computing course is an intellectually challenging and highly rewarding programme that covers everything from coding to animation. It will prepare you to meet the professional and technical demands of industry..

In the first year you will learn underlying principles of computer science, as well as visual design and human computer interaction, bringing these together through a collaborative innovation project..

During the second and third year of study you will explore more in-depth the areas of web application development, digital media processing, media production and 3D modelling and animation. You will have opportunities to work on real world projects through a major group project in year two, as well as undertaking an individual project in the final year..

You will develop key transferable skills, such as teamwork, reflection and self-awareness. You’ll also gain analytical skills through coursework tasks, as well as enhancing your problem solving using a range of systems and technologies. .

You will have the option to undertake an industrial placement after your second year, gaining valuable work experience, and on the course you'll acquire skills in web technology, programming, animation, 3D modelling, video production, human-computer interaction and interface design to develop web and interactive digital media applications..

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

Employment Opportunities

The University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Graduate+ programme, an extracurricular awards framework, is designed to augment the subject-based skills that you will have developed throughout the programme with broader transferable skills which will enhance your employability options upon graduation..

Graduate Profiles

Greg Price

Course : BSc (Hons) Multimedia Technology (renamed as BSc (Hons) Digital Media Computing)
Job Role : Interactive Developer
Company : NERV Interactive Limited


Leon Barrett

Course : BSc (Hons) Multimedia Technology (renamed as BSc (Hons) Digital Media Computing)
Leon must have enjoyed University life - his first job on graduating was right here at the University. And his long-term goal? To get as much industry experience as possible before moving into lecturing in web technology...


Irfan Yasin

Course : BSc (Hons) Multimedia Technology (renamed as BSc (Hons) Digital Media Computing)
Irfan must have impressed his tutors here - because it was one of them who recommended him for his first web development job.


Placements

You'll be encouraged to further enhance your career prospects by including an industrial placement in your course. This takes place after the second year of study and extends the course duration to four years.

As well as providing the workplace experience sought by many employers, a placement provides an invaluable opportunity for you to further develop your practical expertise, earn money and try out a potential career path. Our placements team support you throughout the placement process.

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

[00:00:02] Speaker 1 Hello and welcome to the computing tour for Birmingham City University.

[00:00:05] I'm Alex, a second year Computer Science student sitting here today, and I'll be taking you around the facilities here at BCU.

[00:00:11] Right now we're in STEAMhouse. If you're coming on to a computing course, you may be spending time here doing your Innovation Fest project, where you'll be presenting your project that you worked on to industry professionals. So STEAMhouse is a £72 million conversion of the old bike factory that used to be here.

[00:00:31] This is one of the larger learning spaces that we have here at STEAMhouse, completely built around computing. The entire building is modular. All these walls can be opened up and these classes can be made gigantic.

[00:00:43] So here's another space here at STEAMhouse for, sort of like, breakout rooms or for independent learning places you can go as a group to work on projects. To the left of us, there is the business space where visitors come in and they can work on projects there and also allows for students and staff members to integrate with the tech industry. If you'd like to learn more about STEAMhouse, the video link in description. And now I'm going to take you over to Millennium Point.

[00:01:13] Here we are at Millennium Point. This is the level four project space, the space you'll be using in term time to work on things such as the Innovation project. It is also the home of the Maker's Lab, which I'll be showing you in a little bit. It's a completely transformative and modular space.

[00:01:28] Recently, Birmingham City University has spent six and a half million pounds in revamping their Millennium Point building. It's also the area where we will be holding industry events. One of the things that I want to show you very quickly is the Lapsafe here. So Birmingham City University has one of the largest collections of Lapsafes in Europe. And they're not just here in the Millennium Point building. There's also ones over in Parkside and Curzon as well as STEAMhouse. You're allowed to take a laptop out if you haven't got one personally, and you can use it while you're at university for about six or so hours at a time. We also not only have Windows laptops, but also MacBooks.

[00:02:10] So here we are in the Makers Lab, and this is where you'll be spending time as a first year student working on the Innovation facilities there. Basically, this is where the magic happens, right? So in this room is a bunch of component parts and things to work with your systems such as 3D printers.

[00:02:24] So what you can do is you build a schematic up in the software. We send it to the machines and they can print out component parts for your project. It's also a bunch of different other components here at the university that it offers to students that they can use for their projects, such as Arduino, Mark Controllers, and Raspberry Pi is sort of like the heart of your system. You write some code, you flash onto the microcontroller, then it can control the system that you've attached it to. Over here, we've also got a bunch of component parts even using such as light sensors and motion sensors and buttons and keypads and things like that as well.

[00:02:59] So we've got a bunch of previous projects here as well. Here's Sign Genie which is a sign language interpreter, you sign in front of it and it will send back the sign language on the screen here. You can find out more about this project in description below, showing you how they built it from start to finish.

[00:03:16] We also have laser cutting services at University, so if you need, you know, a frame cut out for your project, for example, that we've got here, you can use the laser cutter and cut out little component parts that all fit together as a housing for your project. Okay, So now I think we're going to head down to level one, which houses the network labs and the games lab.

[00:03:42] This is one of the games labs here at BCU. This is more of a high spec facility to help with rendering animation and, you know, running the games that you create as a games development students as well as that. We've also got the different component parts. You need to build a project VR here so you can experiment with VR within the game called events such as Games Jam where students from across Birmingham City University come together to create a game within 24 hours or 48 hours and present it to a panel.

[00:04:14] So this is one of our networking labs here at BCU. It is a Cisco networking lab. All the hardware in here is industry standard and the majority of it is Cisco related. This entire room and several other rooms on this floor are complete separate LAN network from the rest of university. And you can, you know, run tests and simulations and try and configure and connect to of computers within the labs. The software that we use here is called Cisco Packet Tracer or Nethercutt. This is what we use to prototype our networks. And then you can actually physically build them using the hardware in the room to see how it works in practice.

[00:04:55] So this is one of our many computing labs here at Birmingham City University at the College of Computing. We have about 20 computing labs here at the University of all kinds of different software. And then depending on the course that you're doing, we have experts here from industry working as lecturers to have that real world experience and incredibly helpful with helping you to complete your coursework as well as get any additional advice and sort of guide you in the right direction.

[00:05:22] This is one of the big open communal spaces where you can come and catch up on work, but New Macs here that you can work on as well as Windows PCs out at the back can also see that there's more lab space here. So if you want to use a laptop, you can get those as well. Along with that, there's also the main I.T help desk here where you can come in and ask questions if you've got any issues.

[00:05:43] That was just a taste of computing at BCU. If you'd like to experience it yourself, come along to one of our Open Days or applicant taster days in the future. As well as if you'd like to know more about the computing experience. You can watch this video right here.

[00:06:03] You still here? Go watch the video.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus.

The course is supported with a wide range of cutting-edge facilities in the City Centre Campus. We have a state-of-the-art computer games technology lab which contains high-performance PCs, Sony PlayStation development kits and a range of industry standard software including Unity, Unreal and a suite of professional Microsoft development tools.

We also have many open access areas where students can study together and even hire out laptops for use in these spaces and others within the university.

Within the University there are many internationally recognised research teams giving you the opportunity to collaborate with them on exciting interdisciplinary projects.

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

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 PCs 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 Martyn Ratcliffe

Senior Lecturer

Martyn graduated with a physics degree and started his career at British Aerospace. After several changes of department and the completion of an M.Sc. in Digital Systems he settled in the software department, designing real-time software for weapon systems.

More about Martyn

Kira Summers

Programme Leader, Lecturer

Akira Summers has been working in software and technological development since the year 2000. Starting off in web development and interactive media, she has held many development roles and spent several years working as an embedded game programmer, multimedia developer and learning technologist. 

More about Kira

Sandeep Singh Chahil

Lecturer

Sandeep has a background in corporate video production, having spent several years producing content for commercial video projects. He’s experienced in all stages of this process, with a strong technical knowledge of hardware and software systems. 

More about Sandeep

Dr Roy Priest

Associate Professor of Computing

Roy is Academic Lead in the Centre for Digital Media Technology and Director of Learning, Teaching and Employability within the School of Computing and Digital Technology. Prior to working in higher education, Roy was involved in various aspects of the music industry, as a professional musician and also working in artist management and legal and...

More about Roy