Applied Computer Science BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

University Centre West Anglia (Kings Lynn)

September

code: G401

Apply via UCAS

Overview

Develop the knowledge and skills you need to create technologies and applications that will change the world. Developed with leading employers, this course will fully prepare you for a fast-paced, rewarding career.

Full description

Careers

Our graduates go on to successful careers in many industries and fields including software development, database administration, networking, web and support. The qualification provides an ideal basis for postgraduate study or research.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Fundamentals of Design
    You will be introduced to the concepts of a software life cycle, system theory, design methodologies and relational data modelling. Our module uses a system methodology to work through a software lifecycle looking at analysis, design and implementation. You will be given the opportunity to apply a design methodology to a case study producing diagrammatic representations of the data and functionality of a system. You will be introduced to the essentials of database design and implementation. You will be expected to participate in group work as well as make individual contributions. Our module is 100% coursework, comprising a set of deliverables to demonstrate analysis of the case study example(s) and application of design theory. Exercises will be both formative and summative to encourage discussion of design theory and its application.
  • Introduction to Programming
    This module provides an introduction to high level programming, requiring no prior programming experience. You will use industry-standard tools and techniques to design, implement, test and document simple programs using a current programming language such as C#, Java or C++. You will understand the principal components of a high-level program, laying the foundation for subsequent modules requiring structured programming ability. It emphasises the principles of good programming practice and introduce the techniques required to develop software which is robust, usable and efficient. By the end of the module you will have sufficient mastery of a high-level programming language to allow them to design, implement and test simple programs. The skills taught within the module are directly transferable to the workplace and provide a suitable foundation to apply programming skills in your later studies and future career.
  • Computer Systems
    With the use of computers in all walks of life it is essential for companies to have IT staff capable of specifying, installing, configuring and maintaining the company's IT resources and networks. This module ensures you will have the practical skills companies look for in an IT specialist. We will investigate the components and operation of modern computer systems and introduce you to the hardware components which enable a computer to process data and the devices which enable data to be input, output and stored. We will also introduce you to the fundamentals of computer networks as modern computer systems rarely operate in a standalone manner.
  • Operating Systems
    You will be introduced to the fundamental features of modern operating systems, their components and their use. You will learn key concepts including the kernel, memory and resource management, security and authentication, and command line and graphical user interfaces (GUI). Case studies will be used to familiarise you with the history and features of Windows/MS-DOS and Linux/Unix. The module will also introduce you to the command line interface (CLI) commands and scripting in both the Windows CLI and a Linux shell and allow you to develop simple scripts to automate activities in both operating system environments. It will also explain how each operating system stores configuration information and how (particularly in Linux/Unix) scripts can be used to modify that system configuration. The skills acquired in the module will enable you to go on to study modules which involve topics such as system administration, network and server configuration, and technical support, all of which are key skills graduates need when working in the systems and network support industries.
  • Web Development
    If you are anticipating a career in information systems or programming, the knowledge of website construction, whether that is for the internet or a company intranet, is a valuable asset. Our module provides you with the knowledge required to build a standards compliant web site. The website will be a blend of XHTML, Cascading Style Sheet and a scripting language and incorporate media and text elements. You will also be expected to submit documentation containing an introduction, descriptions of the purpose and aims of the web site. You will choose a subject for the website. The knowledge you will gain in this module will form the foundation for further web-based study in areas such as graphic design, user perceptions of the usability and quality of web pages and multimedia/database websites.

Year two, core modules

  • Software Engineering
    The number, size, and application domains of computer applications have grown and most people depend on the effectiveness of software development. Software products have to be efficient, good quality and to help us to be more efficient and productive. Software Engineering is a form of engineering that applies the principles of computer science and mathematics to achieving cost-effective solutions to software problems. Get real-world experience in software engineering and gain the intellectual tools to be able to design, implement and test software systems. Build on Fundamentals of Design and Introduction to Programming and journey through all the phases of the life cycle by taking case studies and building real software applications based on them. You will use CASE tools to study topics, including analysis and design in UML and managing the OO software development process. Finally, you will work in team on a specific project to create an application from a case study that showcases a whole software lifecycle.
  • Network Routing
    The global internet is a collection of networks, termed Autonomous Systems (AS), that are linked together by high-speed communication links provided by telecommunication organisations. Converged traffic, that is traffic comprising both data and voice, is routed through the network based either on policies agreed between ASs or performance metrics by routers within the ASs. Due to the complexity and dynamic nature of networks, routers use dynamic routing protocols to establish the 'best' path for traffic. You will focus on the key concepts and protocols of network routing. You will cover basic routing constructs such as: static and default routing; Interior Gateway Protocols (IGP) such as RIP, EIGRP and OSPF and introduces the Exterior Gateway Protocol BGP that is primarily used by Internet Service Providers. Classes involve a mixture of theory, delivered through a series of lectures, and practical implementation, delivered through a series of guided laboratory exercises. We will use advanced network simulation tools and industry standard router platforms to teach hands-on skills. This module forms part of the curriculum offered by The Cisco Networking Academy Program, a well-established partnership between academia and industry to provide up-to-date knowledge and skills required by industry and commerce.
  • Database Design and Implementation
    You will be guided through the fundamentals of database design. This grounding will enable you to construct small scale industrial quality databases. You will work in groups emulating real world development teams. As part of this you will learn the skills of constructing documentation, making revisions and delivering work to a deadline. Implicitly, you will learn the skill of managing a group environment. This module begins with the development of an acceptable approach to industrial clients and their problems. Working within the specification given, you will learn how to extract data from interviews and paperwork. You can then progress to designing and building a database, querying the database to provide the reports (including statistics) that a customer needs. During this process the current industrial choice database language (SQL) is learned. The assessment comprises the design, production and querying of a database and the completion of a portfolio of coursework to be submitted at the end of the course.
  • Network Services Engineering
    Network configuration is one of the key skills needed by IT professionals in order to pursue a successful career in computer support. We will teach you the fundamentals of the hardware, software and standards used by modern computer networks. Using a mixture of theoretical discussion and application of new skills in a practical environment you will gain an understanding of the complexities of modern networks and their operation and to permit you to evaluate existing environments and advise on new network scenarios. In practical sessions, you will be able to experiment with the configuration and implementation of common network services, such as NFS, electronic mail, FTP, SSH, SAMBA.
  • Interaction and Usability
    Developing effective human-computer interfaces is a vital yet poorly understood area. As such it is necessary to have some understanding of a variety of fields including cognitive psychology and usability theory which has recently become a major issue in web design / effective e-commerce implementation. The user experience (beyond traditional usability) is a key design issue, where the importance of the perceptions and experience of the user is considered. This module seeks to develop understanding of interaction design through the delivery of core theory which is then applied to the analysis, design, implementation and evaluation of a limited functionality horizontal prototype. The student will be introduced to the notion of user mental models (following the approach of Donald Norman) and the extent to which they can be utilized in the design of conceptual models underlying the designed interface. Students will then examine the range of discovery methods used to harvest user, task and environmental data to support user needs analysis comprising user characterisation (including the notion of user personae), task analysis (hierarchical task analysis / action and object taxonomies) and environmental analysis. Following a discussion of visual style / aesthetics, the preceding analysis will then progress to documented design rationale supporting by logical storyboards showing information, action and navigation screen components. The design is then prototyped in an appropriate high level interface prototyping tool and subjected to critical introspective and user evaluation. Note that ideally students will be expected to possess some scripting experience prior to starting the module. Students will document all the above to produce the final assignment. The module would be of considerable benefit to those who intend to design interfaces (including web design), become usability / testing consultants or work within user training / user support roles. Specialist resources required for this module are prototyping and access to the safari online text (Badre A (2002) Shaping Web Usability - Interaction Design in Context Addison-Wesley).
  • Computing Research Methods
    This module will provide you with experience of topic-specific research and the analysis and application of that work in order to carry out a computer science based project in your final year. We'll help with the selection of a suitable project, often with advice from the potential supervisor, instruction on how to use relevant sources of published information, carrying out a literature survey on the subject of the planned project; the writing of a literature review and project plan; and instruction in appropriate research and analysis methods. You'll be given instruction in risk and/or hazard assessment and the ethical and legal considerations of the work to be done.

Year three, core modules

  • Professional Issues: Computing and Society
    Understand the issues, opportunities and problems linked with computerisation of wide areas of human activity and the technical development and social effects of computer technology. You will focus on advanced computer reflective thinking in both computer science specialists and others, and development skills in professional values and approaches in the IT and computing fields. You will cover relevant and current topics in Computer Law (e.g. Data Protection; Intellectual Property Law; Computer Misuse) and other social, ethical and legal topics such as considering the causes and effects of systems failures (including but not limited to computer systems failure). You will also look at other aspects such as the ethical and professional responsibilities of graduates - particularly those from IT and computing disciplines.
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
    You will become aware of efficient programming practice by critically appraising some of the common data structures and algorithms available to the computer scientist. You will use a range of analysis techniques to carefully evaluate the performance of these data structures and algorithms in order that you may make prudent choices in the assembly of software artefacts with specific performance targets or constraints. The concept of the algorithm is a central pillar of computer science, and is closely related to the concept of the data structure: the storage mechanism that algorithms are used to manipulate. In this module, a variety of crucially important data structures and associated algorithms are explored, with frequent examples from real world applications. The concept of the abstract data type (ADT) is presented as an encapsulation of common data structures and algorithms that incorporates a simple interface, promotes a high-level of information hiding, and permits changes to underlying implementation without affecting the larger application. In comparison to earlier programming modules, the focus of Data Structures & Algorithms is firmly theoretical, setting a foundation for understanding concepts and techniques that are of vital importance to any computer scientist required to construct elegant and efficient software artefacts in any high-level programming language, including scripting languages. You will be assessed by an exam and a practical assignment with associated documentation.
  • Undergraduate Major Project
    You will create in a substantial piece of individual research and/or product development work, focused on a topic of your choice. You could choose your topic from a variety of sources including research groups, previous/current work experience, your current employer, a suggestion from your tutor or a topic you are specifically interested in. You will identify problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artifacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present your finding using a variety of media. Regular meetings with your project supervisor will ensure your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.

Assessment

We’ll assess your progress from your written assignments, presentations, exams, major project, class and lab-based exercises and group project work. 

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year)

£8,490

Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

You can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments

Scholarships

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Entry requirements

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80 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 A levels (or equivalent). 3 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and Mathematics or Science.

Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

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