Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

The BSc Hons Computing Systems course provides a broad based education which includes computing, programming and technology.


The overall aim of the course is to provide a broadly-based education in computing systems that will produce graduates equipped to apply best practice in software engineering to the development of a wide range of information systems in organisations.

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About this course

In this section


The overall aim of the course is to provide a broadly-based education in computing systems that will produce graduates equipped to apply best practice in software engineering to the development of a wide range of information systems in organisations. This will enable graduates to embark on a professional career in computing with specific vocational skills relevant to local industry needs. The course will also help meet industry’s current shortage of high quality graduates in computing, particularly those with software development skills.

The BSc Computing System course recognises that software development skills need to be complemented with people and process related skills. Consequently people, process and professional practice are important topics within modules of the course and allow the devlopment of a broad base of skills appropriate to a software engineer.

In support of this, the course has the following objectives:
• to provide a systematic study of the theory and principles of programming and software engineering, computer hardware and software technologies, and the role of computing systems in organisations.
• to develop an ability to analyse computing problems and formulate practical solutions to these problems, coupled with the ability to critically evaluate the approach and techniques used.
• to provide opportunities for the development of practical skills in software development in a business/industrial context
• to develop key skills and competencies to support the student’s progression into a career in the software industry or further academic study.
Modules delivered in Semester 1 and 2 will follow normal Semester patterns with the face to face components being delivered on a Wednesday afternoon and evening.


The BSc computing course normally allows students to progress at their own pace. There are six modules at each of three levels in the course. On entering the course for the first time and in subsequent years of study, a student can undertake a minimum of three modules and a maximum of six modules. The pace of progression through the course will therefore depend on the number of modules chosen and successfully completed by a student. The course may be completed by a given student in as littles as three years but may take four, five or six years.

Start dates

  • September 2018
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Systems Architecture

Year: 1

Differences in the internal structure and organisation of a computer lead to significant differences in performance and functionality, giving rise to an extraordinary range of computing devices, from hand-held computers to large-scale, high-performance machines. This module addresses the various options involved in designing a computer system, the range of design considerations, and the trade-offs involved in the design process.

Software Development I

Year: 1

The module introduces software development concepts and practices in a scaffolding manner enabling students to progressively develop their knowledge. This will be reinforced by interwoven practical lab sessions and tutorials which will focus on and enhance all the necessary practical skills: problem solving, software design, programming skills, software testing and team skills to the high level of competence required by industry.

Professionalism and Entrepreneurship

Year: 1

The module is designed to comply with the requirements of the BCS and ACM in terms of teaching a suitable level of professional ethics by leading the student to consider the issues raised by the spread of computer and communication technologies in all aspects of life. Some of these issues require professional ethical consideration whereas others require more personal thought. Additionally, the module will also teach students all the necessary soft skills and transferable skills required for the successful completion of a degree in the computing profession.

Mathematics for Computing

Year: 1

An introduction to topics in discrete mathematics commonly encountered in computer science. A variety of mathematical structures are introduced and their notation, properties, and uses are discussed. The analytic skills and conceptual thinking required for sound performance in areas such as computer programming, software specification, and systems design are developed in this Module. These skills are developed through examples and practical applications.

Year two

Systems in Organisations

Year: 2

This module explores the nature of systems both computing and human, and their role in organisations. It introduces basic analysis principles leading to the design of computing systems It attempts to develop important employability related knowledge and skills in an individual to help prepare them for working in a computing systems organisation.

Software Development II

Year: 2

The module continues the development of some of the more advanced software development concepts and practices in a scaffolding manner enabling students to progressively develop their knowledge. In keeping with the essential requirements of industry, these will be reinforced by suitably crafted practical lab sessions and tutorial workshops which will focus on and enhance all the necessary practical skills. Students can expect to develop their problem solving, software design, programming skills, software testing and teamwork skills.

Human Computer Interaction

Year: 2

This module introduces the principles and practice of HCI, such as design guidelines, interface evaluation, analysis and design techniques and tool support. This will enhance their ability to take a professional approach to interface development. This module will aim to give students a depth of knowledge of HCI concepts and to present a practical and pragmatic approach to user interface design and evaluation.


Year: 2

This module introduces the student to the concepts behind modern networking and introduced key skills in establishing network communications.

Year three


Year: 3

This module will provide an understanding and foundational awareness of the key concepts of wireless and data communications. The module provides the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate wide ranging engineering problems in relation to communication systems. Techniques taught and developed in the module will assist with engineering design and the derivation of solutions founded upon solid principles and logic thought.

Database Systems

Year: 3

This module introduces the database technologies that support the storage, update and retrieval of large quantities on information in computer systems. We examine the need for structured storage and discuss modelling, representation and retrieval techniques to avoid data redundancy while ensuring consistency and integrity.

Dynamic Web Authoring

Year: 3

If a web author is to be successful then they must be capable of producing standards compliant, accessible and secure dynamic interactive client side systems. Such an approach extends basic, static, web authoring techniques and forms a basis for data driven websites and more advanced web based applications. This module allows students to establish a sound understanding of client-side dynamic website authoring techniques and technologies.

Object-oriented Programming

Year: 3

This module provides an introduction to object-oriented software development. On completion of this subject students should have an understanding of the object-oriented programming paradigm and appreciate the evolutionary nature of current object-oriented languages; understand the issues involved in implementing a system in an object-oriented language and realize how object-oriented languages impact on program performance, reliability and maintenance; and have mastered a programming paradigm and language relevant to current commercial standards.

Year four

Web Applications Development

Year: 4

This module provides the opportunity for students to appreciate the capabilities of a full stack developer through the addition of server side programming. The module puts into practice the client-server model through practical implementation of problem based scenarios and the design and development of a mini project.

Mobile Technology

Year: 4

This module addresses and develops understanding and knowledge of key and emerging concepts associated with mobile technologies, and fosters related mobile application software design and development principles.

Organisational Process Focus

Year: 4

This module will provide an understanding of the process perspective of problem solving for modern software engineers. The module provides the knowledge and skills necessary to embark on organisational change and improvement using well-formed theories of organisational, engineering and support processes. It will provide the knowledge and skills necessary to evolve engineering capability at an organisational and personal level.

Project Management

Year: 4

This module presents modern project management principles and techniques as a means to help deliver successful software development projects.

Embedded Systems Design

Year: 4

This module introduces the student to embedded microcontroller system design with particular reference to real time systems. It is presented through lectures, tutorials and practical and is assessed using both written examination and continuous assessment methods.

Year five

Computing Systems Project

Year: 5

Students are required to undertake a computing systems project during the final year of the course. The project module allows a significant computing systems problem to be investigated and an appropriate solution to be produced. Within the project, the student is expected to integrate and apply material from other modules in the course.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The GCE A Level requirement for this course is grades CCC.


The requirement for this course is BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with overall award profile of MMM to include at least 15 unit Merits. All subject areas considered.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma and Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma will be considered if presented with GCE A Level or equivalent qualifications.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate Highers requirement for this course is H3,H4,H4,H4,H4 (typical grade profile) plus English and Mathematics at Grade H6 or above or Grade 04 (Ordinary Level) if not sitting at Higher Level.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is grades CCCCD. All subject areas considered.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades DDD. All subject areas considered.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate Diploma requirement for this course is a minimum of 24 points to include 12 at Higher Level. Grade 4 in Mathematics and Grade 4 in English Language is also required in overall profile.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Access Course (120 credits) with an overall mark of 60% to include a pass in NICATS Maths (level 2) or GCSE Maths at Grade C. GCSE English at Grade C is also required.


GCSE (or equivalent) profile to include minimum of Grade C or above in Mathematics and Grade C in English Language.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

OCR/Cambridge Technical Combinations
The Faculty of Computing and Engineering accept a range of alternative combination of qualifications such as OCR Nationals and OCR Cambridge Technicals.

HNC requirement is overall Merit in a relevant subject area for year 1 entry only.

HND requirement is overall Merit in a relevant subject area. HND applications may be considered for year 2 entry where the curriculum sufficiently matches that of Ulster University full time year 1 course.

Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree with an overall mark of 40% and minimum 40% in all taught level 5 modules and 40% in the Mathematics module. Applicants will normally be considered for entry to an associated Honours degree (normally Year 2 entry).

For further information regarding all of the above qualifications please contact the Faculty admissions staff on T: +44 (0)28 9036 6305 or E: compeng@ulster.ac.uk. Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.

The General Entry Requirements must also be met including English Language minimum GCSE grade C (or equivalent). Please check the following link http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements#ger.

Teaching and learning assessment

The course utilises varied teaching learning and assessment strategies. Further details can be obtained from individual module specifications.

Exemptions and transferability

Transfers are processed in accordance with the Faculty Admissions Policy for dealing with transfer requests from existing students.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Graduates of Computing Systems will be eligible for a broad range of careers within computing, software engineering, web development and database administration and in fields related to software engineering processes and quality assurance.

Students from this course will be eligible to enter graduate employment or to undertake further study at master's or PhD level.

Professional recognition

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Science Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Scientist.

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for Incorporated Engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for a Chartered Engineer.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our part-time undergraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

Start dates

  • September 2018

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Central Admissions Jordanstown
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6309
E: admissions@ulster.ac.uk

Course Director: Dr Donald McFall

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6558
E: d.mcfall@ulster.ac.uk

School Office
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6129

For more information visit

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

School of Computing