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Course starts: 19 September 2022Apply now
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 Cisco and other major companies.
Topics include programming, software development, database systems, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and Cybersecurity.
Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, seminars and laboratory sessions. You will be encouraged to develop independent study skills as well as work with other students on group projects. As well as assessments (i.e. coursework) that count towards your degree, there are also ongoing opportunities for feedback and consolidating your learning.
The Computing Integrated Foundation Year includes five modules:
Consider a wide range of perspectives related to the field of computing to help prepare you for your degree study. Understand how a modern computer works and how this has developed over time, leading to the adoption of the Von Neumann architecture. Comprehend various ways of programming a computer using a modern compiled software language.
Develop the necessary skills for study at university. Enhance your academic writing, communication, and presentation skills. Reflect upon your development, career aspirations, and personal goals.
Investigate a topic area related to your degree programme, and produce either a portfolio, practical project, performance, artefact, video, website, essay, or analysis of data/report. Engage in lectures, tutorials, lab, and/or practical sessions with subject specialists. Gain experience of researching your subject area and further develop your critical thinking, writing, time management, and organisational skills.
Fundamentals of Computer Networking and Security (20 credits)
Study the components of a computer network, install and power up virtual machines and describe threats to their security and well-being. Develop your confidence when working with networks, virtualization, and security. Enhance the skills vital to becoming an IT professional, including communication skills, operation procedures, and ethical and legal considerations.
Consolidate your numeracy skills and see how to apply them to real-life scenarios. Consider how statistical results are presented, calculated, and misrepresented. Study the foundations of numeracy, including powers, roots, fractions, percentages, standard form, area and volume, ratio, and proportion.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Gain an overview of basic design principles of systems and software, including modelling principles and the use of tools, and design patterns. Investigates different software processes, data integration, project management and be introduced to software testing methods. Discover key concepts that will allow you to begin to break down programmatical application areas and begin to devise, document, test, develop and improve working solutions for a given problem.
Learn the basic principles of computer architectures. Gain an understanding of the underlying mathematics, operations and components used by computer architectures. Be introduced to the concept of operating systems and the types of hardware that can be attached to a computer to facilitate input and output. Explore in detail the considerations and tasks required to install, manage, and maintain computers both in stand-alone and virtual environments.
Learn the basic principles of programming. Develop your skills in logical analysis into formal representation within structured program code. Cover the core principles of computer programming that underpin all computer science disciplines. Focus on simple data storage and manipulation using the primary programming structures of sequence, selection, and repetition. Develop programs using industry standard techniques.
Be introduced to the fundamentals of client-server web-based development from a programming perspective. Learn key concepts that will allow you to start building dynamic web applications in response to business requirements. Develop web applications using industry standard tools and techniques and use of a range of programming, markup, and query languages.
Develop a sound knowledge of networking protocols and technologies, together with the techniques to install, configure and troubleshoot a network operating system. Acquire the skills to maximise network availability to all users. Learn about client server architectures and cloud computing paradigms.
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 .
Learn key skills such as self-determination, planning and actioning of goals, time management, independent learning and team working. Enhance your interpersonal and communication skills in a variety of contexts. Identify and develop your personal and professional objectives related to your career and course.
Study a module that has been developed with the support of the Institute of Coding, a network of employers, universities, and training providers. Gain the employability skills needed to pursue a career in the digital economy. Work in teams to produce a computer-based solution to a real client-posed problem.
Move beyond the basic object-oriented concepts associated with simple classes and objects and consider a series of more sophisticated object-oriented ideas, including ‘inheritance’ and ‘polymorphism’. Develop an understanding of the constraints pertinent to current software engineering practice. Enhance your transferable skills in research, assimilation of information, problem-solving, and communication.
Progress with an 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. Use advanced OO software design, development, and testing techniques and practices. Apply standard industrial methods and practices to the development of a multi-threaded distributed software artifact.
Understand how information systems can be used and developed to support enterprises. Explore common relational database theory, analysis, design, development and management processes. Utilise extended relational programming languages for manipulation of relational databases.
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.
Industrial placement (optional)
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. Submit a dissertation that describes and evaluates the problem and solution. Past examples have included an Android audio application, a Trojan detector, and a network monitoring tool.
Develop your knowledge of current AI principles and techniques and how they are being applied within the industry. Enhance your skills in this fast-moving area, which is a particular focus of Sunderland’s research. Assess real-world issues and learn to apply various AI models in the solutions to a range of problems.
Learn how to analyse the range of tradeoffs in balancing the security properties of confidentiality, integrity and availability. Discover how to select the appropriate tools and techniques to address and manage concepts of risk, threats, vulnerabilities and potential attacks. Evaluate the professional requirements and challenges faced by a cybersecurity practitioner.
Analyse, design, develop, test, and deploy native mobile applications using Java and Android Studio. Gain an understanding of native programming, application build and deployment, the Android ecosystem, security, and software engineering. Plan and develop an integrated testing and evaluation strategy accounting for user experience, data integrity, and network performance issues.
Explore solutions related to complex database systems such as: enhanced data models, query optimisation, clustering, scalability, security, forensic investigation, data warehousing, and data analysis tools. Appraise current and emerging trends in database systems and their application in the real world. Design and database systems using a range of different database development tools.
Gain the knowledge and skills that will enable you to explore and exploit business opportunities for software enterprises. Examine the core concepts in software enterprise including business creation, development, sustainability, and growth. Understand the context of software and business both locally and internationally.
Undertake a work-based placement to support computing in a school or equivalent learning environment. Develop your personal and professional skills in the analysis of a learning situation and its contextual influences. Reflect on your development and some of the opportunities and challenges associated with teaching computing.
Consider usability and user experience principles. Examine user-centred design techniques and usability evaluation methods. Formulate and apply techniques to elicit user data for design purposes.
We don’t currently display entry requirements for United States. Please contact the Student Admin team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0191 515 3154.
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)
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.
The annual fee for this course is £9,250 if you are from the UK/Ireland/EU settled/pre-settled.
If you are a full-time UK/Irish/EU settled/EU pre-settled student you may be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fees for the full four years. UK and EU settled students may also be eligible to receive a maintenance loan.
Please note, this course is not available to international students.
Learn more about settled status, pre-settled status, special discounts, visa requirements and Common Travel Area (CTA) agreements for the Republic of Ireland applicants 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.
This course has a strong emphasis on real-world learning and problem-solving that boosts your employability and equips you with the transferable skills needed to make an impactful contribution to the workplace.
In your final year of the course, you will undertake a major individual project with research-active staff. 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.
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.
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