Computer Science with Integrated Foundation Year BSc (Hons)

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Course starts: 13 December 2018Apply now

If you are applying for this course from within the UK/EU, click apply now.

Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

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This is a four-year version of our popular BSc (Hons) Computer Science course, with an integrated foundation year. Study the fundamentals of computer science and systems administration. Design and develop for web, multimedia and mobile platforms. Challenge your creativity and technical skills with a series of challenging, hands-on practical projects.

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Overview

This interesting and challenging course combines hands-on development with the theories behind how and why computers work as they do. You will have full access to the University’s outstanding IT facilities, which include specialist networking laboratories. We provide professional-level developer software and advanced hardware through accreditations with Microsoft, Cisco and other major companies.

Topics include programming, software development, database systems, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and Cybersecurity.

 

Upcoming start dates
13 December 2018
16 September 2019

Why us?

  • Member of the PlayStation®4 Academic Development Programme, which grants us the licence to Sony games console devkit hardware and software
  • We have an integrative and holistic approach to our integrated computing courses. You’ll be taught the fundamentals of computing alongside students from other courses in the School of Computer Science. This course structure allows you to easily change courses at the end of the second year, should a different computer science route appeal to you. For example, you may begin studying BSc (Hons) Computer Science with Integrated Foundation Year, but then show a greater aptitude for cybersecurity and decide to change to BSc (Hons) Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics with Integrated Foundation Year
  • Accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the further learning academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional
  • Accredited by BCS 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
  • We are a University that is nationally recognised for supporting learners particularly from non-traditional backgrounds and many students come to us with no formal qualifications but with valuable work experience

Course structure

Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, seminars and laboratory sessions. Group activities, discussions are facilitated through the University’s virtual learning environment. You will be encouraged to develop independent study skills as well as work with other students on group projects.

As well as assessments that count towards your degree, there are also ongoing assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning. Assessment methods include coursework and exams.

Foundation Year

The Computing Integrated Foundation Year includes five modules:

  • Essential Study Skills (20 credits)
  • Maths (20 credits)
  • Foundation module (40 credits)
  • Project (20 credits)
  • Subject Specialism (20 credits)

 

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Fundamentals of Computing (100 credits)

Software Development and Theory: Software Engineering, Human-Computer Interaction, Formal Methods

Programming: Microsoft C# .NET and programming for Robots

Web and Multimedia Applications: Markup Languages (HTML 5, CSS 3), Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, Javascript, Web APIs (such as Google Maps and Yahoo APIs)

Database Systems: Database Design, Relational Databases and SQL, Database Integrity and Security, PHP and MySQL

Computer Systems and Networking: Operating Systems, Networks and Computer Architectures

Specialist Mini Project: Showcase your talents through a project in your chosen area of computing. Past projects have included a Facebook app, a hack challenge and the creation of a retro arcade game.

  • Computational Thinking (20 credits)

Gain a rounded introduction to the underpinning development of computing disciplines from the first beginnings to the present day. Discuss computing as a profession and a discipline from an historical and developmental perspective, evaluating the development of software, hardware and computer systems.  

 

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our .

 

Year 2 (national level 5):

  • Personalised Skills Development (20 credits)

Learn key skills such as self-determination, planning and actioning of goals, time management, independent learning and team working.

  • Software Enterprise Project (20 credits)

Work in a team to undertake a large scale development for a real client or realise an enterprising idea that the group has personally conceived and developed. Learn the principles of software engineering and development in the context of real world and real client needs and demands. Focus on ethics, professionalism and security related issues within the software development and technology management industries.

  • Intermediate Software Development (20 credits)

This module will move beyond the basic object oriented concepts associated with simple classes and objects to cover a series of more sophisticated object-oriented ideas, including ‘inheritance’ and ‘polymorphism’.

  • Advanced Software Development (20 credits)

The module provides you with in-depth knowledge of issues associated with the modern software development life cycle, including the application of standard industrial methods to the design, development and testing of complex OO systems, including those with multi-threaded and distributed components.

  • Database Systems Development (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to enable you to understand how information systems can be used and developed to support enterprises.

  • Internet of Things (20 credits)

Gain the specialised skills necessary to develop applications for IoT devices within real-world contexts, including the use of robotics and sensors. Focus on programming, network connectivity, configuration and deployment of IoT devices in simulated and practical environments. Use industry-standard tools to acquire, interpret and visualize data retrieved from them. Consider science, HCI and security techniques.

Year 3:

Industrial placement (optional) 

Final year (national level 6)

Core modules:

  • Computing Project (40 credits)

Undertake advanced study, including a literature review, in order to research and develop to completion a substantial piece of work that demonstrates the range of skills you have acquired. You will also submit a dissertation that describes and evaluates the problem and solution. Past examples include an Android audio application, a Trojan detector and a network monitoring tool.

  • Artificial Intelligence (20 credits)

Develop your knowledge of current AI principles and your skills in this fast-moving area, which is a particular focus of Sunderland’s research.

  • Advanced Cyber Security (20 credits)

Learn how to analyse the range of tradeoffs in balancing the security properties of confidentiality, integrity and availability. You will also learn how to select the appropriate tools and techniques to address and manage concepts of risk, threats, vulnerabilities and potential attacks.

Optional modules (choose two):

  • Android Mobile Development (20 credits)

Analyse, design, develop, test and deploy native mobile applications using Java and Android Studio. You will be introduced to native programming, application build and deployment, the Android ecosystem, security and software engineering in a student led and practical manner. 

  • Advanced Data Technologies (20 credits)

Explore solutions related to complex database systems such as: enhanced data models, query optimisation, clustering, scalability, security, forensic investigation, data warehousing, data analysis tools and more.

  • Software Enterprise (20 credits)

Gain the knowledge and skills that will enable you to explore and exploit business opportunities for software enterprises.

  • Students into Schools (20 credits)

Undertake a work-based placement to support computing in a school or equivalent learning environment.

  • User Experience Design (20 credits)

Consider usability and user experience principles. Examine user-centred design techniques and usability evaluation methods.

The David Goldman Informatics Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
St Peter's Way,
Sunderland,
SR6 0DD

54.912323,-1.373368

  • Our outstanding IT facilities include the David Goldman Informatics Centre, which has hundreds of computers so it’s easy to find a free workstation with the software you need.

    We are an accredited Cisco Academy and have two laboratories packed with Cisco networking equipment including routers, switches, terminals and specialist equipment for simulating frame relay and ISDN links.

    We host high-performance computing platforms, including a Big Data machine and a High Performance Computing Cluster system, for concurrent processing of complex computational tasks. We also have the equipment and licences for our own public mobile cellular network.

     

     

     

     

     

    IT facilities for computing, networks and big data
  • We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on computing topics, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Some of the most important sources for computing students include:

    • British Standards Online which offers more than 35,000 documents covering specifications for products, dimensions, performance and codes of practice
    • Association of Computing Machinery digital library, which includes full-text articles from journals as well as conference proceedings
    • Science Direct, which offers more than 18,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier
    • Archives of publications from Emerald, including over 35,000 full-text articles dating back to 1994 on a range of subjects including technology
    • Business Source Elite from EBSCO Publishing that covers hundreds of journals that include coverage of e-commerce and information management
    Library Services - IT
  • The David Goldman Informatics Centre has been described as a ‘computing cathedral’, and with over 300 computer workstations in one space it’s easy to see why. One of the University’s most striking buildings inside and out, the David Goldman Informatics Centre is home to specialist dedicated computer forensics labs, a game software development lab and a final year project lab.

    Outstanding IT facilities

Facilities

This course is based at the David Goldman Informatics Centre, a high-tech computing environment with strong links to software companies and a constant exchange of ideas and people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entry requirements

The Integrated Foundation Year is specially designed to support you where you have just missed the grades required for direct entry onto a three-year degree, or if you have relevant work experience and are now looking to broaden your subject knowledge but want more time to develop study skills before starting your degree.

Entry requirements are provided for guidance only and we may offer you an entrance interview which will help us determine your eligibility for your chosen degree. This enables us to consider making you an offer if you are perhaps a mature student who has been out of education for a period of time, or you have gained significant knowledge and skills through employment rather than traditional education.

Eligible entry qualifications:

1. Normally a minimum of three Level 2 qualifications (NVQ, GCSE or equivalent ), including Maths and English at grade C or above** and a minimum of 40 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A or AS Levels, BTEC certificates/diplomas, access courses or equivalent)
OR
2. Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of post-school work experience.

If you are unsure of whether you think you might be suitable for the course, please contact us!

** If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above. Equivalent alternative qualifications are also accepted, such as Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have not achieved a grade C in Maths and English we may be able to work with you to ensure that you are able to gain these in the first year of the course, depending on your experience.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

For more information about Integrated Foundation Year programmes, including more detailed module information, please see our Help and Advice articles.

Fees and finance

If you join us in December 2018, the foundation year will be £4,000.

If you join us in September 2019, the foundation year will be £4,500.

For the following three years, the annual fee will be £9,250 but you will receive £1,250 cash-back in the first and final year of the full-undergraduate course.

In addition, you may receive free travel across the Tyne and Wear region and a University of Sunderland StudyPLUS Card loaded with additional offers up to the value of £200, plus a bundle of study skills books worth £80.

If you are a full-time UK student you may be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fee and maintenance loan for the full four years.

Please note, this course is not available to international students.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

This information was correct at the time of publication.

Aerial view of St Peter's Campus

Employment

This course has a strong emphasis on real-world learning that boosts employability and equips you to make a bigger contribution in the workplace.

Graduate success

Sunderland has a good reputation with employers - 93.4% of our graduates are in employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers).

In your final year of the course, you will undertake a major individual project, often working directly with a company. This adds to your hands-on experience and, in some cases, leads to a job offer that can be taken up as soon as the course ends.

Career options

Our graduates have gone on to become web programmers, IT managers, information analysts and software developers. Employers that have taken on our graduates include Sage, British Airways and the NHS. Other graduates have started their own businesses or become software contractors earning over £50,000 a year.

  • I was lucky enough to be chosen from thousands of students to spend a year at the CERN in Geneva.
    Andrew Short, Computer Science graduate case study

    Andrew Short

Meet our academics

Elizabeth A. Gandy

Senior Lecturer

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