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Computing Systems
BSc (Hons)

2020/21 Part-time Undergraduate course

Award:

Bachelor of Science with Honours

Faculty:

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

School:

School of Computing

Campus:

Jordanstown campus

With this degree you could become:


  • Software Engineers
  • Database Analyst
  • Full-Stack Developer
  • Web Developer
  • Automation Engineer
  • Software Test Analyst

Graduates from this course are now working for:


  • Kainos
  • Liberty IT
  • AllState
  • Deloitte
  • CitiBank
  • Nueda
  • Etain

Overview

Design your own degree and progress at a pace that best suits you, completing in 3, 4, 5 or 6 years

Summary

You may have been thinking about studying Computing for some time, but haven’t found a course that fit with your other commitments. You may want to improve your career options. You may be a recent school leaver who wants to combine study with work. You may even be an employer interested in higher-level apprenticeships, wanting to recruit talented people to your organisation, empowering them to earn as they learn.

Whatever your profile, Computing Systems empowers you to study at your own pace, tailoring your own pathway through the modules offered by the degree. This flexibility is a unique approach to the study of Computing and is Ulster’s first course to offer ‘Variable Rate Progression’ (VRP). VRP provides ultimate flexibility, enabling you to complete the degree part-time in 3, 4, 5 or 6 years. This approach helps you design your own degree around life’s everchanging commitments and is offered at no extra cost.


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About this course

About

Computing Systems develops skills in subjects that include programming, databases, networking, web development, human computer interaction, artificial intelligence, security and even embedded systems design. When you finish, you will be ready for a professional career in computing equipped with the technical and personal skills sought by industry to apply best practice in software engineering and to develop wide ranging systems for any organisation. Over 90% of our graduates find employment within 6 months and starting salaries for Computing graduates is £2,000 higher than average wage (NNS 2019, DLHE Survey 2017).

For more information visit: www.VRPassistant.com

Attendance

Computing Systems is delivered on a Monday afternoon and evening during Semesters 1 and 2 (September-May). There are also 6-12 days of block training during Semester 3 (around the end of June and beginning of August). Typcial weekly timetabled hours involve 3.5-7hours scheduled for delivery between 1.15pm and 9.15pm. This contact time accounts for around 1/3 of the expected self-directed study time for each module.

The duration of the degree is dependent on the number of modules you study and successfully completed each year. There are six modules at each of three levels in the course. Each year, you can choose undertake a minimum of three modules and a maximum of six modules. This empowers you to complete the course in as little as three years or to choose a slower track lasting four, five or even six years.

Start dates

  • September 2020
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    Content

    The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

    Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

    • the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
    • the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
    • the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

    Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

    Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

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    The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

    Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

    Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Modules

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.

Year one

Mathematics for Computing

Year: 1

This module provides an introduction to core areas of discrete mathematics such as logic, set theory and probability, that form the foundation of computer science and that are required in other modules within the Computing Systems course at Ulster. Each concept is introduced at an abstract level, before being applied to areas of computing such as logic circuits and data analysis.

Database Systems

Year: 1

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. In this module students will study the design, construction and use of such databases, as well as the understanding of need for other types of the databases and their roles in supporting big data platform.

Human Computer Interaction

Year: 1

Human-Computer Interaction is an important topic given that there is a number of novel and emerging user interfaces being developed. More than ever, there are also user demands and expectations for intuitive and usable user interfaces. This module will address these important topics and provide a foundation for user experience researchers and interactive designers.

Software Development I

Year: 1

Students are introduced to key object-oriented (e.g. classes, objects) and software development concepts. This re-enforces the view that students must become object users before they can design their own. Objects and their representation will be discussed, concentrating on primitive data types and the terms and techniques used in OOP.

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.

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.

Year two

Systems Development

Year: 2

This module promotes knowledge and skills necessary for understanding and deployment of Agile development, traditional development and solution procurement. This model will focus on robust modelling, design, testing and implementation both in Agile and traditional contexts.

Systems Security

Year: 2

The principal aim of this module is to provide an understanding of computing systems security concerns and how they can be addressed and mitigated so that security considerations are taken into account, and embedded in organisations and IT projects planning and management.

Software Development II

Year: 2

Software Development is a crucial module is further developing student's understanding of programming fundamentals. Using contemporary examples, this module provides students with an in-depth coverage of data structures and algorithms within the scope of object oriented programming.

Networks and Communications

Year: 2

An expositional module on the topics of Networks and Communications to educate Computing students on the fundamental principles, latest trends, and commercial needs in the sector. This module is essential to understand the current industrial needs and to hone the central insight required of graduates.

Dynamic Web Authoring

Year: 2

Computer programming is a fundamental skill expected of computing graduates. This module will introduce students to the foundational concepts of programming relating to web authoring that will be used as building blocks in future modules. Students will also develop and enhance their problem solving skills and data analytics skills as an integral part of the module.

Artificial Intelligence

Year: 2

This module presents students with the opportunity to learn how to develop AI models for the important processes, resources and structures that together make up intelligent agents.

Year three

Web Applications Development

Year: 3

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: 3

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.

Computing Systems Project

Year: 3

Students are required to undertake a major project during the final year of the course. The project module allows a selected topic area to be investigated in depth and for a solution to be developed in response. Within the project, the student is expected to integrate and apply material from other modules in the course.

Project and Process Management

Year: 3

This module presents modern process and project management (that is the application of
knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet process and project
requirements) principles and techniques as a means to help deliver successful software
development projects and process improvement.

Embedded Systems Design

Year: 3

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 four

Professional Practice - Computing

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and professional work experience, in a work-based learning environment, as part of their planned programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.

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.

A level

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

Applied General Qualifications

The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment accept a range of alternative combination of qualifications such as:

BTEC Extended Awards
BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma with overall award profile MMM to include at least 15 unit Merits.

OR

BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma with MMM overall award grades.

A Levels with:
BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Certificate;
BTEC Level 3 QCF 90-credit Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Foundation Diploma;
BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.

OCR/Cambridge Technical Combinations
A levels with OCR Nationals and OCR Cambridge Technicals.

For further information on the requirements for this course please contact
the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.

Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence

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 CCCCC. 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 55% to include a pass in NICATS Maths (level 2) or GCSE Maths at Grade C or 4.

GCSE

GCSE (or equivalent) profile to include minimum of Grade C or 4 or above in Mathematics and Grade C or 4 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

HND/HNC
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 on the requirements for this course please contact
the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.

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 4 (or equivalent).

Please check the following link http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements#ger

Exemptions and transferability

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

Careers & opportunities

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Kainos
  • Liberty IT
  • AllState
  • Deloitte
  • CitiBank
  • Nueda
  • Etain

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Software Engineers
  • Database Analyst
  • Full-Stack Developer
  • Web Developer
  • Automation Engineer
  • Software Test Analyst

Career options

Graduates of BSc Hons Computing Systems are well equiped for a broad range of professional 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.

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2020

Contact

Centralised Admissions staff

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6305

E: admissionsjn@ulster.ac.uk

Course Admission Requirements Contact

Julie McKee


T: +44 (0)28 9036 8421

E: ji.mckeecebe@ulster.ac.uk

Course Director

Dr Mark Donnelly

T: +44 28 9036 6330

E: mp.donnelly@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

School of Computing

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.
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