School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Computer Science with Foundation Year

UCAS tariff 32 - 48
UCAS course code I101
Institution code P60
Duration 4 years (+ optional placement)
Course type Full-time
Location Plymouth

Fascinated by computers, programming and the endless possibilities of the web? Perhaps you've shown evidence of good academic potential, but don’t have sufficient qualifications or have been out of formal education for a while. This new four year degree route incorporates a foundation year and will develop your computing skills and knowledge. Successful completion of the foundation year will enable you to progress onto the first year of our computing degrees.

You will study core skills from computer programming to web development. You’ll develop the skills and knowledge to progress to a future career in areas from business analytics to software development. You will also benefit from experienced University lecturers and can confidently progress to any of our suite of computing BSc degree courses.

Computer Science with Foundation Year
Key features

The foundation year is an integral part of the extended degree and you will benefit from experienced university lecturers. Whilst completion of the foundation year will not lead to a separate award or qualification in its own right, you will be able to confidently progress to programmes within our suite of courses.
  • Progress, subject to achieving the relevant technical skills, to the first year of BSc (Hons) Computer ScienceBSc (Hons) Computing and Software DevelopmentBSc (Hons) Cyber Security or BSc (Hons) Games Development Technologies.
  • Study core skills from computer programming to web development.
  • Develop the skills and knowledge to progress to a future career in areas from business analytics to software development.
  • Benefit from experienced lecturers and confidently progress to one of our degree courses.
  • Taught on campus by University lecturers and feel part of the University from the start.
  • The foundation year is an integral part of the extended degree. Completion of the foundation year will not lead to a separate award or qualification its own right but will provide access to Year 1 of your degree.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • During this foundation year, we'll introduce you to how computers and electronic systems operate. You will write computer programmes and develop an understanding of software development. An individual project is designed to help you progress to the computing degree you want to study. Provided you achieve a pass level of 50 per cent or above, you can progress to the first year of any of our computing degrees.

    Core modules

    • Computer Systems (CNET050)

      The purpose of the computer systems module is to provide an introduction to modern computer systems hardware and software. The module will help students to prepare for further study. The second term will introduce more advanced topics in computing.

    • Mathematics for Computing (MATH054)

      This module builds from basics the foundations of mathematics to approximately GCSE grade C. It then broadens out to cover a range of topics suitable for computing students which will enable them to progress to their chosen degree path with confidence.

    • Data Mining and Algorithms (MATH057)

      This module provides the basic skills required to discover patterns in data. Students will learn how to solve problems by analysing data. The course provides essential tools, techniques and algorithms for finding and describing structural patterns. Students will learn to extract useful information from the raw data and communicate their conclusions through analysis of examples. Topics studied will be: summary statistics; random behaviour; probability distributions; inference, optimisation and modelling.

    • Robotics (ROCO051)

      The module introduces basic electronics with applications to control of robotics. Lectures, laboratory measurements and practical construction experience underpin the learning. Lecture materials have a close link with practical works in the laboratory.

    • Computing Project (SOFT050)

      Each student will undertake a project relevant to their chosen degree programme with the agreement of the module leader.

    • Computer Programming (SOFT051)

      This module introduces students to fundamental computer programming concepts, which allow information to be stored, processed and presented. It includes fundamental aspects of web-application development, persistent data storage, user-interface design, and the use of an integrated development environment. As mathematical computation is becoming increasingly sophisticated, it is important that mathematicians can effectively deal with computer programming.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Computer Science With Foundation Year ProgrammeSpecification 6584

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

32 - 48

Applicants exceeding our entry requirements may be eligible for an offer under our Computing Excellence Scheme.

A minimum of 2 A levels. Excluding general studies.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: PPP
12 Unit BTEC National Certificate/QCF Diploma: MP

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All Access courses: pass Access course (any subject) including GCSE English and mathematics grade C/4 or above or equivalent.

International Baccalaureate: 24 overall – English and mathematics must be included.

mathematics and English at grade C/4 or above.

Mature students with appropriate work experience are encouraged to apply. For those who do not meet the requirements, please enquire for further details.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

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Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Additional fieldwork and equipment costs.

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Well-equipped specialist laboratories

The laboratories are equipped with specialist software including Oracle, Microsoft Visual Studio, Java, the Adobe Creative Suite and many other key products.

The main corporate operating system is Microsoft Windows, but many laboratories have dual boot systems into other operating systems such as Mac OS X.

Find out more about the specialist laboratories

Studying computing at Plymouth

Hear the views of a student and see some of our facilities.

This short film can help you discover what it is like to study computing at Plymouth.

Making friends along the way

The students on the foundation year all got along really well with each other and I often helped my friends with maths, while they helped me with programming.

Computer Science Foundation Year Student 2017-18

Find out more about Sophie Turner

Sophie Turner

Work placements

A ‘placement year’ is an excellent way to gain a competitive edge. It will set you up for when the graduate schemes launch and help you make better career decisions.

Kate Uzar gained important skills and career-defining experiences working for Nestle as a computer programmer.

Read more about Kate's journey, and how you can launch your own career

Opeyemi Ore – graduate profile

Arriving as an international student from Nigeria, I enrolled on the one-year foundation course.

Senior Manager, Global Information Security Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Find out more about Opeyemi Ore

Athena Swan Bronze

The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics was awarded an Athena Swan Bronze award in October 2020 which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to advancing gender equality and success for all.

Meet some of your lecturers

*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni is updated annually in September.