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Overview

Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus in September 2019.  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.

Summary

Study Computing Systems at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

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

About

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.

Attendance

The duration of the course is 4.5 years. During year 1 to 4, taught modules will be delivered in each of three semesters. Classes are normally held on Wednesday afternoon and evening during semester 1 and 2 and during two three-day blocks during semester 3. You will be expected to complete four 20 credit point modules in each of years 1 to 3, three 20 point and two 10 point modules in year 4 and a 40 point project module in year 5. A typical 20 point module will require 200 hours of work of which approximately a quarter will be contact hours and the rest independent study.

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply

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.

In this section

Year one

Computer Hardware

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.

Study Skills and Professional Issues

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.

Networks

Year: 2

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

Year three

Communications

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 investigates the application of software development principles to Web applications. The structure of client-server interaction is presented, and practical implementation in a Web environment provides a basis for the construction of large-scale online applications.

Mobile Technology

Year: 4

This module addresses and develops key and emerging concepts in Mobile Software Applications Development and support technologies and environments, and is essential knowledge for electronic and computer science graduates.

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 240 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of 2 GCE A Levels.

BTEC

The requirement for this course is BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with overall award profile of MMM to include at least 15 unit distinctions. 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 240 UCAS tariff points including B3B3C1C2C3 (typical grade profile). All subject areas considered.

Minumum of Mathematics Higher D3 or Ordinary C3 and English Higher D3 or Ordinary C3.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is 240 UCAS tariff points including grades BBBB. All subject areas considered.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is 240 UCAS tariff points including grades CCC. 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.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

The entry requirement for this course is successful completion of a Ulster University validated Access route with Overall 55% and 55% in Mathematics. Equivalent Mathematics qualifications considered for the Mathematics requirement.

Other Access courses considered individually, please contact the Faculty Office.

GCSE

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

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.

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.

Apply

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

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Contact

Faculty Office
T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6305
E: compeng@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 6126