The Computing Integrated Foundation Year includes four modules:
- Foundations of Computing (60 credits)
- Mathematics for Engineering and Computing (20 credits)
- Foundation Project (20 credits)
- Succeeding at University and Beyond (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
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.
Optional modules (choose one):
- Foundations of Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics (20 credits)
Discuss the basic principles of cybersecurity and digital forensics and describe the role computer forensics and cybersecurity play in deterring and detecting computer crime and in identifying weaknesses and vulnerabilities in computer systems.
- Systems Administration (20 credits)
Gain the knowledge and skills to deploy and support a client operating system. Explore in detail, the various tasks required to install, manage and maintain computers both in stand-alone and networked environments. This module also aims to increase your future employability by allowing you to utilise two of the most popular operating systems currently used in industry, namely Linux and Microsoft Windows.
- Games Technology (20 credits)
You will be introduced to the twin topics of games design and development from both a theoretical and technical perspective. Working in the context of an industry standard game engine (for instance the Unreal Engine) you will be exposed to an industrial weight level designer as a means to learn the basic principles underpinning related game design such as 3D solid modeling, texture mapping, lighting, physics, terrains and scripting. You will employ existing game engine technologies (such as game related APIs) to write introductory 2D sprite based computer game programs (using a relevant language such as C/C++).
- Computational Thinking (20 credits)
Discuss and analyse the evolution and revolution(s) in the computing disciplines related to other aspects of computing and computer science including computer system fundamentals, operating systems, computer hardware, programming and system design.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our .
Year 2 (national level 5):
- Software Engineering Enterprise and Innovation Project (40 credits)
Choose to develop a software project for a client or yourself. You will gain valuable experience of working within a team-based software development environment
- 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’.
- Network Fundamentals (20 credits)
This module introduces the architecture, structure, basic protocols and devices used in routed and switched networks, as well as in-depth discussion of the OSI and TCP/IP reference models and where these devices and protocols sit within it.
- Practical Aspects of Computer Forensics (20 credits)
The aim of the module is to provide you with the knowledge to professionally, systematically and impartially approach the preservation and extraction of all relevant digital evidence from computers, computer systems and computer networks (including the Internet) using appropriate tools and techniques.
- Theoretical Aspects of Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics (20 credits)
Gain knowledge of ethical issues and challenges facing computer forensic practitioners and ethical hackers and the skills to produce designs for secure computing systems and apply the principles of computational modelling to computer forensics and cybersecurity.
Final year (national level 6):
- 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.
- Advanced Cybersecurity (20 credits)
In this module you will 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.
- Advanced Computer Forensics (20 credits)
Gain knowledge and understanding of current, specialist and sensitive areas in computer forensics. Critically examine the more contentious and ethically sensitive areas associated with computer forensics such as tracking paedophiles and addressing issues such as child pornography. The principles of maintaining the integrity of digital evidence in the securing, recovering and analysing of that evidence will be explored in depth from a range of different sources of potential digital evidence.
- Professional Issues in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics (20 credits)
Examine the professional and ethical aspects of cybersecurity and digital forensics and develop an understanding of the particular legal and evidentiary challenges and the risk management requirements in these areas such as the application of legal procedures to evidence, role of the expert witness and protecting individual and human rights. Develop your critical analysis and research skills through an examination of the current issues in both subject areas.
Optional modules (choose one):
- Advanced Routing (20 credits)
The module begins with a detailed study of the current exterior gateway protocol that manages the routing of IP traffic over the Internet. You will learn how service providers and other multi-homed organisations use this protocol to support their routing policies.
- Telecommunications (20 credits)
Module moves from analogue principles to digital telephony, VOIP, packetized voice, GSM and converged networks. You will have an opportunity to build a fully converged modern telecommunications system.
- Ethical Hacking (20 credits)
You will develop knowledge and understanding of ethical hacking, which is about locating and strengthening security weaknesses in computer systems. The module will also cover a range of legal and social aspects in the ethical hacking domain.
- Software Enterprise (20 credits)
This module focuses on providing 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.