Exeter College

Higher National Certificate in Applied Computing

Recognised as one of the leading further education college in the country, we offer small class sizes and one-to-one support. We offer courses delivered by friendly staff with industry experience. We offer modern, specialist, acclaimed learning resource centres. The result of studying with us? You earn a nationally and internationally recognised qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. 

Course details

  • Year 1

  • Core modules

    • Computational Thinking (EXCE1157)

      This module covers the basic mathematical concepts that underpin much of computing practice. It is designed to be a practitioner’s guide, emphasising the practical application and implications of the theory.

    • Computer Systems & Control (EXCE1158)

      Introduces the hardware components of modern systems, linked to logic, low level programming and simple control mechanisms. This module will identify and detail the essential components of a processor-based system, applying them to simple physical control systems using appropriate languages and a range of software operating systems.

    • Databases and Information Systems (EXCE1159)

      This module addresses the theoretical and practical design and use of information systems in a variety of contexts from small businesses to large scale operations. The use of database software will include an understanding of the structure and creation of relational database applications, as well as their applications, hosting, management and security.

    • Software Development (EXCE1161)

      In this module students develop the ability to solve problems algorithmically. Procedural, object oriented, and event-driven paradigms are studied and applied to create a program to carry out an operation. They will implement and debug applications. The process of developing an application using the software lifecycle will be explored – comparing and contrasting the various approaches.

    • Fundamentals of Computer Networking (EXCE1162)

      Networking is fundamental to modern computer systems. Students will learn about standards, protocols and topologies on wired and wireless networks and the hardware and software that implement them. Students will have the opportunity to apply the skills learned to network management tasks commonly occurring in the workplace. Teaching will be a combination of classroom theory sessions together with practical activities carried out in the Faculty networking lab.

    Optional modules

    • Business Intelligence & Big Data (EXCE1160)

      This module provides students with the skills to contribute to the design and development of data systems. It focuses on modern engineering methods, tools and systems used for statistical computing when conducting predictive and strict analytics. Also, students will also learn how organisations use Power BI as a tool for undertaking descriptive analytics through Business Intelligence.

  • Final year

  • Core modules

    • Servers and Cloud Computing (EXCE2027)

      Servers are at the heart of most organisations computing operation. This module explores the role of servers within organisations, their hardware and software components and the trend towards virtualisation and cloud computing. Students will have the opportunity to apply the skills learned to real and virtual servers both local and within the cloud. Teaching will be a combination of classroom theory sessions together with practical activities carried out in the Faculty networking lab.

    • Artificial Intelligence (EXCE2028)

      In this module the theoretical foundation of artificial intelligence, current trends and ethical issues are used as a basis to critically appraise AI technology. Students implement and test two intelligent systems using one top-down and one bottom-up approach. A range of emerging AI technologies are investigated to determine future changes in industry.

    • Workplace Learning (EXCE2031)

      This module is designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to develop themselves in terms of their personal and employability skills.

    • Website Development (EXCE2032)

      This module teaches the fundamentals of web-design and the concepts fundamental to web-technologies. Students will code a website using industry standard client-side languages. Students will use popular code libraries, as well as integrating data from a range of APIs to add extra functionality. A strong emphasis is placed on accessibility and usability, as well as SEO techniques and compliance to current web standards.

    Optional modules

    • Cyber Security (EXCE2029)

      This unit provides an overview of the challenge that organisations face in securing their systems. It examines practical policies and strategies that are deployed to secure modern distributed systems. There is a strong focus on practical activities in the networking lab to ensure students have a practical knowledge of the security landscape. Students will learn how to secure systems, forensically analyse systems to find evidence of attacks or infrastructure vulnerabilities that could be exploited by a cybercriminal. Cryptographic protocols cover confidentiality and integrity of data as well as authentication and authorisation.

    • Object Oriented Programming (EXCE2030)

    • Penetration Testing (EXCE2033)

      Introducing information security management and organisational security risk audits and frameworks, with ethical hacking and management of security improvement plans. Using Contemporary tools, develop personal, technical and theoretical knowledge and skills required to plan, test, analyse and secure systems. Students will gain the technical, auditing and analysis skills to progress to employment or further studies

    • Software Development and IT Operations (EXCE2034)

      Designed to equip students with the skills/knowledge of the principles, practice and behaviours expected by organisations in roles such as a SW Dev Ops associate/engineer or further studies. It will extend the technical expertise of an OOP skill set into the contemporary work environment and provide an overview of the introduction and maintenance of digital transformation initiatives and projectsplan, test, analyse and secure systems. Students will gain the technical, auditing and analysis skills to progress to employment or further studies

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.

Fees, costs and funding

As this course is delivered by one of our partner colleges, please contact the college directly for information on fees and funding.

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.

Our partnership with Exeter College

The University of Plymouth has developed partnerships with institutions around the world with the sole purpose of making higher education more accessible to those people who need something just a little different.

Our Academic Partnerships enable students to enrol for a degree at a partnership institution closer to home, or engage in distance learning – even when they’re in the middle of the ocean. They are there for those people looking to return to education, or enhance their professional development. Full- or part-time; foundation degree to masters-level – we cater for a huge variety of needs and aspirations.

Many of our partners offer specialist degrees, unique facilities, and smaller class sizes at a competitive price. And as a student of two institutions, you get the best of both worlds; a supportive learning environment as part of a close-knit community, and a university-level qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. You’ll enjoy not only the facilities and services your partnership institution provides, but also all of the additional support and resources you need from us, and you’ll automatically become a member of our Students’ Union, too.

We are continuing to grow the number of partner institutions and expand our academic community to new locations around the UK and overseas. Why not visit the Academic Partnerships page on our website for a full list of partners and for more details on studying with us?

One of our partners delivers this particular course – so please visit their website for full course details, entry requirements, tuition fees and information on what student life is like there. 

Open days

Partner college open days

This course is run at one of our partner colleges. Open days are held at the college and more details of these can be found on the college website. You'll find contact details below, on this page.

University of Plymouth open days

You are also very welcome to attend a University of Plymouth open day, to get a flavour of the courses you can progress to from a partner college. There will however be limited information on this specific course and college.

Studying with Exeter College

We’re proud of our awards – and you can be proud of your education with us. In 2012 we were recognised as the leading further education college in the country after winning two Times Educational Supplement FE Awards.
Plymouth students working on a group project