School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Computing

This is the most flexible of our computing courses – designed to turn you into an adaptable computer specialist while helping you build web development skills and business awareness. With a clear emphasis on employability, you will develop your technical understanding alongside personal, analytical and design skills, understanding the legal and ethical frameworks 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 outstanding teaching: in the 2016 National Student Survey 86 per cent of our students said that “Staff are good at explaining things”.
    • Distinguish yourself with a degree that’s accredited by and entitles membership of the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT (MBCS). Graduates may also gain registration as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP) and will partially meet the educational requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) registration.
    • Be inspired by the creativity that our practical, hands-on course nurtures. Our ‘learning through doing’ ethos means you’ll build the skills to make you a desirable applicant for employers
    • Learn from dedicated teaching staff, who are engaged in internationally significant research, are actively creating and developing applications, and have a wealth of industry contacts.
    • Lay strong foundations for a successful career, using our extensive industry links to secure a one-year work placement – giving you the vital industry experience and connections you’ll need when you graduate.
    • Receive an iPad and over £300 worth of free electronic textbooks, so you can join our interactive sessions and access a host of additional resource material.
    • Discover the many collaboration opportunities, which mirror the teamwork at the heart of the industry. In the second year, you’ll work in a team of developers on our integrating project, to create a complete system from concept to delivery – honing your professional and communication skills.
    • Immerse yourself in the very latest technology and software – from Java to Microsoft to Apple – in our specialist laboratories, which we regularly update and refurbish. As a member of the Oracle Academy, you’ll also enjoy access to the most current Oracle software. 
    • Benefit from our focused and relevant research, we work closely with our Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research which pushes the frontiers of computer science and means we’re continually updating our curriculum. The latest Research Assessment Exercise judged 100 per cent of our research to be of international repute, with 25 per cent of that recognised as ‘world-leading value’.
    • Ensure you have the business, communication and personal skills employers are looking for, with our teaching programme that reflects the strong entrepreneurial spirit driving the computer industry.
    • 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.
    • Benefit from our links with a good variety of employers, SME’s and larger concerns, both regional and national.  These include Vualto, Goss Interactive, Oracle, Microsoft and the Land Registry.
    • Join a school with a reputation for friendliness and a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

    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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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

      Optional modules
      • 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 will 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 will 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.

      • 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.

    • 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
      • 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.

      • 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.

      • SOFT251 Object-oriented Programming

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

      • 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.

      • 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.

      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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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
      • 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.

      • ISAD362 Software Project Management

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

      Optional modules
      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    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 Computing Programme Specification 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 typical offer is 120 points from minimum of 2 A levels. Excluding general studies. GCSE mathematics grade B/6. 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 GCSE English and mathematics grade C /4 or above or equivalent. If mathematics not included please contact the admissions team at

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

    GCSE: English language grade C, mathematics grade B.  If you have a grade C in mathematics please contact us.

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

    English language requirements

     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 To be confirmed
    International £12,250 To be confirmed
    Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
    Part time (International) Check with School 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.

    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

    Free iPad and eBooks

    You'll receive an Apple iPad 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


    Deciding on completing a ‘placement year’ is an excellent way to gain that competitive edge, in time for when the graduation schemes launch. You will advance your knowledge of internal working practices, whilst developing as an individual

    Our student success stories

    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

    • Lecturer in Information Systems
      Programme Manager, Server-side and Web applications
    • Lecturer in Systems Analysis Methods
      Admissions, Object oriented analysis and design
    • Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Computing
      Mobile development and High Performance Graphics
    • Lecturer in Computer & Information Security
      Stage 1 Tutor Security
    • Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Computing
      Software Engineering