This course provides a broad education in computer science with a particular focus on software systems development.
Study Computer Science (Software Systems Development) at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.
This course is offered at the Magee campus by the Faculty of Computing and Engineering. If you are interested in computer software design, how computers communicate and how they actually perform their tasks, then this course is for you. This course will equip you with a varied computer science education based upon the development and improvement of your programming skills throughout. You will also learn to apply best practice in all areas of software development. After you complete this course you will have the skills necessary to pursue a career in computing in a wide range of commercial and industrial organisations.
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About this course
In this section
The Computer Science Software Systems Development course aims to deliver graduates that can apply best practice in the application of software engineering to the development of a wide range of information systems in organisations. The course of study covers all the necessary skills you will need to be a computing professional, from idea generation to system implementation.
Each taught year, you will take 120 credit points, which require 1200 hours effort divided into 24 weeks across 2 academic semesters. During the first two years you will build programming skills through modules that teach not only the principles of programming (Programming 1) but also high level programming languages (in Programming 2 and Visual Programming modules). In developing your capabilities to design, build, operate and maintain complex computer and information technology systems modules such as System Analysis-Design, Database Systems, Computer Networks, Web Database Development, Object Oriented Modelling and Interactive Interface Design provide a platform for skill development and practical application. Also, during your second year of study, you will start the process of applying for a placement job in industry, you are supported in this endeavour by the Professional Issues module which dedicates a part of its content to employability.
During the final year, you will get exposed to more advance topics to consolidate your knowledge and understanding of the software development role in industry in preparation for future employment. Modules at this stage include Mobile Technologies, Enterprise Computing, Concurrent and Distributed Systems and Software Engineering. In your final year you will also gain practical experience in the planning, development and implementation of a computing system, this can be used to showcase your skillset to future employers.
Diploma in Professional Practice DPP
Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI
Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS
Find out more about placement awards
Four years, including placement. Each student must complete 120 credits (usually six modules) in each academic year, with the exception of placement year (60 credits). Years 1, 2 and 4 are spent in the University. Modules are taught on campus and are web-supplemented. In Year 3, students undertake a year's work experience.
- September 2017
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.
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This module provides an introduction to fundamental topics in mathematics. The material develops the students' competencies in the essential mathematics that forms an integral part of an undergraduate honours degree in computing, games and electronics related subject areas.
This module provides students of computing with an initial competence in the development of software through the medium of a modern programming language with facilities for both structured and object-oriented programming
This module is a direct follow-on to Programming I. Students are introduced to more advanced features of both an algorithmic programming language and an object oriented language, and will be expected to acquire a higher level of competence in writing software.
The module covers the fundamental principles and theory of database design and provides practical experience in designing and developing database systems using a range of techniques, tools and technologies. It emphasises the important role of databases within an organisation and addresses the use of relational database management systems to facilitate the development of software systems involving large volumes of data.
Computer hardware and organisation
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.
Systems Analysis and Design
This module is devoted to the understanding of organisations as systems, the environment in which they operate and the processes they undertake. It provides the student with knowledge of the tools and techniques of modern systems analysis, essential to the creation of information systems. The module will also give the student sound knowledge of the analysing and designing effective systems in modern industrial and commercial environments.
Computer Networks and Operating Systems
This module provides an in-depth study of computer, communications and networks. This module will introduce the concepts and principles of computer networks to guide the installation and maintenance of modern, high quality reliable networks. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to learn how to configure and test networks, deploy network based software applications and resolve network infrastructural problems. Students will have an in-depth knowledge of basic skills in networking, and an appreciation for emerging themes that could impact networking in the future. Students will also have a basis for undertaking further development work/research in the area of Computer Operating Systems, a fundamental core and vital area of computing with a particular emphasis on the emerging networking systems paradigm.
A large number of software have to be deployed on various platforms, and they have to provide a graphical user interface. This module will introduce the key concepts and principles of C# application development using Visual Programming and Event-driven programming techniques in the context of rapid application development of modern, high quality software solutions with Graphical User Interfaces. Programming for both pc windows and mobile platforms will form a core element of the module.
Object oriented programming
This module provides an introduction to object-oriented software development in C++. At completion of this subject students should have an understanding of 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 realise how object-oriented languages impact on program performance, reliability and maintenance; and have mastered a programming paradigm and language relevant to current commercial standards
Algorithms and Data Structures
The module builds upon the expertise acquired in Year I algorithmic programming. Students are introduced to the classic data structures and algorithms that are used to process them, the specification of methods and classes and the measurement of algorithm performance.
Interactive Interface Design
This module introduces the principles and practice of HCI, ID and UX, 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 relevant concepts and to present a practical and pragmatic approach to user interface design and evaluation.
The module prepares students for professional work including the responsibilities and obligations of employees, employers and clients as determined in codes of professional conducts. Students will have the opportunity to practise the presentation of themselves in, for example, application forms, curriculum vitae, interview and aptitude tests. In addition the module addresses issues such as intellectual property rights and defamation, data protection, computer misuse and other ethical issues related to working as a professional in the software sector.
This module investigates the concepts, methodologies and techniques used in object-oriented systems development, including coverage of use case analysis, static and dynamic system modelling, and the Unified Modeling Language (UML). The module will also give the student a sound knowledge of the contemporary problems of analysing and designing effective systems in modern industrial and commercial environments.
Professional Practice - Computing
This module enables students who have secured a placement job to complete a period of appropriate work experience in a supportive environment. Students will have opportunities to gain employability skills, reflect upon the applicability of their subject specific skills, and gain insight into the graduate job market. Students who successfully complete the module are eligible for the award of Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) or Diploma in Professional Practice International (DPPI).
Research Studies and Project Management
This module is designed to equip students with the appropriate research and project management skills needed to complete a project within the Computing domain. Firstly, the module provides an underpinning foundation of research concepts, methods and techniques necessary for project development and delivery. Secondly, the different stages of the research process are demonstrated. Thirdly, the students employ skills developed during the module to create a set of project deliverables such as project plan and proposal, critically reviewed literature papers, literature review and project presentation. Embedded in all these activities is the reinforcement of the need for adhering to recognised ethical standards and taking a professional approach to carrying out research.
Concurrent and Distributed Systems
This module provides a theoretical foundation in the area of concurrent and distributed systems. This is an increasingly important area of computing as these types of systems are now manifest in a wide range of internet/intranet based application domains. The module first covers the key theory and design principles and then provides a learning path for software development in this exciting and evolving area of computing/engineering. As a consequence it facilitates students to develop expertise in the core skills area of multithreaded, networked and web -enabled computer systems.
The module provides the student with knowledge, understanding and practical experience of developing software systems using Object Oriented Modeling techniques, industry standard software development tools and technologies. On completion of the module a typical student should have a thorough understanding of the role and function of a Software Engineering professional and be empowered to practise their skills in an ethical manner in the software development arena.
This module will expose students to the world of heterogeneous enterprise computing architecture with an emphasis on networked, distributed applications. This is an increasingly important area of computing as these systems are now manifest in a wide range of web based applications. The module first gives you an understanding of the role and function of the core technologies involved and then addresses the design principles required for developing enterprise computing applications. As a consequence, it aims to meet the needs of today's undergraduate students who wish to equip themselves with expertise in implementing enterprise wide computing systems.
This module addresses and develops key and emerging concepts in Mobile Software Applications Development and is essential knowledge for electronic and computer science graduates
Final Year Project
Students are required to undertake an individual project during the final year of the course. Its purpose is to provide an experience of developing a software/hardware/engineering solution to a realistic problem. This work combines skills and knowledge acquired previously on the course with those acquired during the project. In particular, students will have an opportunity to (i) strengthen their competence in project management, in taking an initial concept through to a successful implementation; and (ii) enhance their communication skills, in producing a dissertation and defending the work.
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.
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The GCE A Level requirement for this course is grades BBB. All subject areas considered.
Desirable Subject Offer
For those applicants offering desirable subjects at A level (Mathematics/Physics/Chemistry/Software Systems Development/Computing (not IT/ICT)) one grade reduction will be applied at the time of offer. The desirable subject must be achieved at a minimum grade B.
Applicants offering qualifications as an alternative to A-levels will receive the equivalent reduction when those qualifications include a significant proportion of mathematics, software development and/or physical science.
The requirement for this course is BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with overall award profile of DDM to include a minimum of 9 unit distinctions. All subject areas considered.
The Faculty of Computing and Engineering accept combinations of A Levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Diploma. For further information on the requirements for this course please contact Faculty admissions staff by telephone on 028 9036 6305 or email email@example.com.
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 H3,H3,H3,H3,H3, (typical grade profile) plus English and Mathematics at Grade H6 or above (HL) or Grade O4 or above (OL) if not sitting at Higher Level is also required. All subject areas considered.
The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC. All subject areas considered.
Scottish Advanced Highers
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC. All subject areas considered.
Overall International Baccalaureate with minimum of 26 points to include 13 points at Higher Level with a minimum Grade 4 in HL Mathematics and Grade 4 in English Language.
Access to Higher Education (HE)
Successful completion of a Ulster University validated Access route with an overall mark of 70% to include 70% in NICATS Maths (Level 2) or GCSE Mathematics grade C (or equivalent) for entry to year 1.
Other Access courses considered individually, please contact admissions staff:
T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6305
GCSE (or equivalent) profile to include minimum of Grade C or above in Mathematics and 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 Distinction 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 55% and minimum 55% in all taught level 5 modules. 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 by T: +44 (0)28 9036 6305 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Lectures are used to present theory and concepts, and are supported through a combination of tutorial discussion and practical, laboratory exercises.
Modules are either assessed by coursework only or by a combination of coursework and formal examinations (January and May). Coursework assessment is carried out using any combination of written assignments, class tests, presentations, and group assignments as appropriate to meet the learning outcomes of each module.
Exemptions and transferability
Transfer between this course and other similar courses within the Faculty of Computing and Engineering may be possible on the basis of academic performance and availability of places.
Exemption from parts may be considered based on appropriate performance in a related, designated course or other approved experiential learning (APEL).
The course has been designed to enable students who graduate with a good honours degree to apply for postgraduate study towards a PhD, MSc, MRes or other higher qualification.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
Graduates with computer science and software systems development skills will find many career opportunities available to them in developing new software. On completing this course successfully, students will be able to choose from a number of career options such as software engineer, computer programmer, computing consultant, or systems’ manager or administrator. Skills developed in the course will always be in strong demand, as virtually every modern enterprise needs increasing numbers of computer-literate graduates.
Opportunities for postgraduate study in computing, engineering or related areas are substantial. The course has been designed to enable students who graduate with a good honours degree to apply for postgraduate study towards a PhD, MSc, MRes or other higher qualification.
Work placement / study abroad
All students normally spend one year on placement (Year 3) working in some aspect of the software industry for a minimum period of 25 weeks. On satisfactory completion of the placement period the student is eligible for the award of Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP). Students who complete their industrial placement abroad receive the award of Diploma in Professional Practice (International).
Alternatively, students may apply to complete a year of study abroad in another academic institution. Satisfactory completion leads to the award of Diploma in International Academic Studies (DIAS).
Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.
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.
Members of the teaching team are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy and Members of the industry professional body - the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. Through their research, knowledge transfer and placement activities, teaching staff are also actively engaged with the local software and IT industry, and many modules on the course are directly informed by staff research activities.
Fees and funding
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Fees (per year)
Important notice - fees information
Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
View Ulster University’s 2017 fees policy
- Northern Ireland & EU:
- England, Scotland & Wales:
- £9,000.00 Discounts available - find out more
Scholarships, awards and prizes
Faculty Prizes can be viewed at: www.ulster.ac.uk/academicoffice/prizes.html.
Follow the links to the Faculty of Computing and Engineering.
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.