School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Computing

The most flexible of our Computing courses – designed to grow your technical skills in programming and web development whilst also developing the skill set you need to be an adaptable computing professional. A clear emphasis on employability, and our close links with industry means you will not only develop technical skills but you'll also cultivate vital professional skills along with a robust understanding of the legal and ethical context within which all computing professionals operate.

In the 2016 National Student Survey, 91 per cent of students on this course felt staff were enthusiastic about what they were teaching. You will have the opportunity to gain registration as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP) and will partially meet the educational requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) registration upon graduation.

Key features

  • Benefit from our close links with local industry by taking part in local meetups, conferences such as Agile on the Beach, and networking events across the South West such as Tech Exeter, Digital Plymouth.
  • Enjoy guest lectures on cutting edge Computing from the experts in industry such as Just Eat, Goss Interactive.
  • Join a department with a reputation for friendliness and a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
  • Discover the many collaboration opportunities, which mirror the teamwork at the heart of the industry. In the second year, you’ll work for a real client, in a team to develop a piece of software with a real purpose.
  • Immerse yourself in the very latest technology and software. We use open source as well as providing access to Microsoft Imagine for software to work at home with. In our specialist labs you will get to use the Microsoft and Apple industry standard software, which we regularly update and refurbish. As a member of the Oracle Academy, you’ll also enjoy access to the most current Oracle software. 
  • Choose the subjects that interest you the most and are best suited to your career goals – whether it is mobile computing or Networks. Our extensive range of modules currently includes Software Engineering, Server-side coding, Computer Security and Mobile development.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • You'll start to develop the basic technical skills needed to become a computing professional including: programming, databases, computer hardware, computer networking and how a computer operating system works, with optional modules on topics such as creating an e-commerce site.

    Core modules
    • BPIE111 Stage 1 Computing Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • ISAD154 Analysis and Design Project

      This module provides an opportunity to apply fundamental analysis and design concepts situated in the context of a well-rounded computing project. Students work in teams to apply requirements and systems engineering concepts to a contextually relevant web application development scenario.

    • ISAD155 Databases: Analysis, Design and Development

      An introduction to the analysis, design concepts essential for developing and implementing Software Systems and Database Systems. The module will explore design concepts and procedures, such as principles of Business Rules, specifying Requirements, Data Modelling, Relational Modelling and SQL. It will also enable students to acquire, develop and apply Unified Modelling Language (UML) relevant for computing professionals.

    • NET107 Principles of Infrastructure

      This module is intended to provide a basic understanding of the operation of the hardware components of computer systems and networks including some low level programming. The role of a typical multi-tasking operating system is also covered, as is how to manage asynchronous program code safely

    • SOFT151 Introduction to Object-oriented Programming

      A comprehensive introduction to Software Engineering (SE) begins with coverage of the core building blocks prior to covering more advanced skills including Object-Oriented Programming. Front-end software development is tackled using interface components with the final part of the module integrating all aspects of SE practice into an individually programmed, moderately sized application.

    • SOFT162 Computing Immersive Introduction

      This module provides an intensive introduction to the concepts, modes of study and, to some extent, technical content, that students studying BSc (Hons) Computing will need. And last, but not least, the extended induction aims to get students enthused about their chosen course.

    Optional modules
    • AINT153PP Intelligent Systems

      Topics covered within this module are selected to be inspirational demonstrators that showcase research topics in the field of Intelligent Systems and provide `hands-on¿ involvement in a lecture/practical setting. This module is suitable both for students form technical degrees (e.g. computer science, robotics, mathematics) and for students from psychology, business and social sciences.

    • DAT406PP Digital Making

      This module introduces students to a key set of digital technologies that are core to the production of current digital artwork. This will include exposure to a wide range of software, hardware and networking components commonly used by digital artists and designers. This is a Plymouth Plus module.

    • INDE404PP Social Network Design

      Emphasis is placed on the development of practical and creative web design skills for the production and programming of online interactive multimedia, experimenting with issues such as navigation, hyper media, narrative, representation, game and interactivity.

    • MATH1608PP Understanding Big Data from Social Networks

      The amount of data from questionnaires and social networks has grown enormously. Computer tools are needed to understand what these data are telling us. Students gain valuable experience in questionnaire analysis, and in the use of software for understanding and reporting the underlying messages from data sources such as social networks. They also meet appropriate high performance computing techniques.

    • SEC102PP Cybersecurity Essentials

      This module provides an introduction to core principles of cybersecurity applicable to the protection of individuals and organisations. The coverage addresses technical and human perspectives, considering the fundamental threats and safeguards that concern both personal and workplace contexts. Candidates will emerge with the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure informed decisions when protecting IT systems and data.

    • SOFT156PP Developing E-commerce Applications

      This module introduces students to the range of issues surrounding the rapid development of an e-commerce application through the use of appropriate frameworks.

  • Year 2
  • Building on your first year, you’ll study topics in greater depth. You'll learn how to create databases in Oracle (arguably the database of choice for systems that must scale to a corporate size), study more formal software engineering techniques, and program web applications as well as business to business applications. You’ll also learn how to capture requirements and complete a whole software lifecycle, starting with a concept and ending with a product. You’ll also begin to prepare for your optional placement year.

    Core modules
    • BPIE211 Stage 2 Computing Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed build on the Level 1 module (BPIE111) and to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • ISAD251 Database Applications Development

      To introduce students to the concepts and issues concerning server-side applications interfacing multi-user, networked, relational databases and to providing a solid foundation in SQL.

    • ISAD260 User-Centred Interface Design

      This module aims to introduce students to the HCI principles, user-centred methodologies and ethical issues required for the design and evaluation of user-centred interfaces.

    • PRDC251 Computing Integrating Project

      This project provides an opportunity for students to draw together many of the threads of the Computing programme in preparation for their industrial placement and final year. Students work in teams to manage and complete a substantial project for a given scenario.

    • SEC202 Secure Systems Architectures and Mechanisms

      System security addresses protection mechanisms appropriate to various IT systems and architectures, focusing upon technologies that are appropriate regardless of whether a system is implemented as part of a network. These mechanisms and cryptographic protocols help to provide confidentiality, integrity of data as well as authentication and authorisation.

    • SOFT251 Object-oriented Programming

      This module extends students' knowledge of object-oriented programming using a common object-oriented language.

    Optional modules
    • AINT252 Computation Theory and Artificial Intelligence

      This module provides students with an overview of a range of different paradigms for computing and computing theory and an introduction to theoretical principles and methods in artificial intelligence.

    • NET206 Servers, Datacentres and Cloud

      Modern hardware and software infrastructure has been evolving rapidly and this module describes the present state both within and outside the enterprise by following themes of hardware; services; maintenance, configuration and monitoring; virtualisation and cloud; and finally performance and resilience.

    • SOFT254 Mobile Device Programming

      This module looks at the differences between coding for a desktop computer and for a mobile device, and the creation of apps that operate in a multi-tiered and/or distributed environment. Students will create apps that are focused, robust, safe and that conform to the user interface conventions of their platform. The module uses a native development framework; it is not about high-level tools that create an app for you.

  • Optional placement year
  • This year you’ll do your industry placement – which you’ve been preparing for over the past two years – aided by our network of industry contacts. This extensive training period allows you to learn within a professional context, giving you the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills in the real world, as well as learning from those around you. Over 48 weeks you’ll gain experience and confidence, as well as a host of contacts – all essential in readying you for employment on graduation.


    Core modules
    • BPIE330 Computing Related Placement (Generic)

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich course, undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for you to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two years of study and to prepare for the final year and employment after graduation. Please note this placement is optional but strongly recommended.

  • Final year
  • You’ll round off your studies with two core modules, both connected with issues of software project management. You’ll also carry out an individual project, which will take up a third of the year. The remainder of the year is made up of optional modules to enhance your skills further with your choice of topics ranging from internet psychology to programming for entertainment systems.



    Core modules
    • ISAD362 Software Project Management

      To enable students to acquire a critical understanding of the management and methodological issues associated with software development.

    • PRCO304 Computing Project

      The Computing Project gives an opportunity to tackle a major computing related problem in an approved topic area relevant to the programme of study.

    Optional modules
    • AINT353 Brain-inspired Cognitive Systems

      The module develops an understanding at a systems level of how the brain performs the functions of vision, hearing and movement control, and how novel artificial cognitive systems might use brain-inspired sensory and motor mechanisms to achieve human-like levels of performance.

    • AINT355 Industry Engagement

      The module provides a contextual framework for developers seeking to release games, APPs, software products or compete in national events. Topics include creating and protecting intellectual property, product placement, revenue models and licensing, investment, social enterprise, and due diligence. The module includes industry case studies, a guest speaker program and opportunities for individual mentoring.

    • ISAD357 Cyberpsychology

      This module aims to introduce students to the psychology and societal implications of Internet use. To evaluate the variety of issues related to the implications of pervasive technology on the individual and wider society.

    • ISAD361 Advanced Databases and Data Management

      This module considers the challenges of and solutions for managing, processing, analysing and interpreting large amounts of unstructured data within relational and non-relational database environments.

    • NET302 Distributed Systems

      Distributed systems represent the type of networked computer applications that modern users rely on daily. They are characterised by running on multiple heterogeneous devices subject to failure, yet performing speedily and robustly and scaling to substantial size.

    • PRCO307 Work-based Learning in Computing Education

      This module is primarily aimed at students who would like to embark on a teaching career in Computing. The key aim of this module is to allow students from Computing degree programmes to acquire relevant experience in teaching within the computing subject area by working as `student-tutors¿ with qualified teachers in selected suitable schools or educational establishments.

    • PRCO308 Work-based Learning

      With a view to improving student employability, this module provides the opportunity for students to apply their knowledge to a real world IT problem within an existing IT company or client organisation.

    • SEC301 Information Security Management and Governance

      This module looks at the issues surrounding the management and governance of information security within an organisational context. Consideration is given to the need for related policy, analysis of risk, and the management of organisational assets. Coverage also includes legal and personnel aspects of security, giving an overview of the wide range of laws and regulations governing systems & information security.

    • SOFT351 Programming for Entertainment Systems

      This module introduces the concepts and programming techniques for high performance real-time graphics using an graphical API such as DirectX or OpenGL. The module has a very bottom-up view of graphical programming; it is not about the use of game engines and high-level prototyping tools. Students also learn many highly transferrable software engineering skills, e.g. programming in an un-managed environment.

    • SOFT352 Client-side Web Scripting

      This module explores the production of dynamic web applications with a particular focus on web user interfaces. Key elements such as object oriented and event-based scripting, asynchronous client-server communication and distributed content representation are explored though practical production. The production of a working prototype uses dynamic web frameworks such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript/JQuery.

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:

BScComputing ProgrammeSpecification September2017 2594

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.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

116 - 120

A levels: A typical offer is 120 points from minimum of 2 A levels. Excluding general studies. GCSE English C/4 and mathematics grade B/6-5 If you have a grade C/4 in mathematics please contact admissions.

International Baccalaureate: 30 overall – English and mathematics must be included.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM.

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: 33 credits at merit and/or distinction and to include at least 12 level 3 credits in mathematics with merit. Including a minimum of GCSE English and Mathematics grade C/4. If mathematics not included please contact the admissions team at admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Other qualifications will be considered individually; please contact us for information.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

English language requirements

Note:
 we will accept students onto year 2 or year 4.  Please contact us for further information.



Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £12,250 £13,000
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (International) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

Romanian Scholarship Scheme

Romanian nationals applying for an eligible undergraduate computing course starting in Sept 2018 will be awarded one of the following scholarships if they meet the conditions below:

  • Applicants scoring 9.5 in their Romanian Baccalaureate - one scholarship offering  20 per cent off the standard fee for three years, subject to maintain a minimum 60 per cent average during each stage of the course
  • Applicants scoring 9.0 in their Romanian Baccalaureate - five scholarships offering 10 per cent off  the standard fee for three years, subject to maintain a minimum 60 per cent average during each stage of the course

These awards are only open to Romanian nationals who have applied and received an offer from Plymouth by 15 May 2018

Applicants must also satisfy the English Language requirements which are either “3 elements at B2 standard and the other two at B1 from their English score in the Romanian Baccalaureate ” or an IELTS score of 6.0.

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 international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



Free tablet PC and eBooks

You'll receive an tablet PC to give you access to additional resources to support your modules, such as podcasts, videos, eBooks and our iTunes U content.

Your eBook package worth over £300 covers core first year modules and can be downloaded to computer, laptop, iPad, iPhone and Android phone or tablet.

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

Work placements

A ‘placement year’ is an excellent way to gain a competitive edge. It will set you up for when the graduation 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

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.

The Tamar Engineering Project

Funding and mentoring for high achievers who might not otherwise consider higher education as a route to a career in engineering.

Learn if you are eligible for this scholarship to study engineering at Plymouth University through the Tamar Engineering Project.

Successful applicants will receive:

  • £3,000 towards living costs per year of study
  • £1,500 course fee waiver per year of study
  • one-to-one mentoring from an industry expert.
Read more about the Tamar Engineering Project.

Potential High Achievers Scheme

In the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics we recognise that our students are the future of the growing computing and electronics industry. We know that our applicants will thrive in the hands-on environment we can provide, and we want to ensure our best applicants become our future.

The scheme is now open for students who have applied to study, from September 2017, a range of full-time undergraduate courses within the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics. We will be contacting applicants who are not only on course to achieve top marks but who have an outstanding personal statement, in order to offer them a chance to receive an unconditional offer immediately.

Find out more about the scheme.

Meet some of your lecturers