Smart Computing BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with placement)


September 2018


Today’s digital world is becoming smarter; cities are acting more like living organisms in their interconnectivity and response to occupants’ needs. The “Smart” directive is already very much a part of our future, and subsequently has been adopted by many governments, authorities and organisations. This paradigm shift has led to a notable change in the demand for young professionals to accommodate the rapid market requirements.

Full description


When you graduate you’ll have a choice of fascinating career options within the tech industry.

With an impressive knowledge of smart systems, big data analytics, mobile and wearable technology, software analysis and development knowledge and technical skills in programming, you’ll be highly desired by local and national IT companies and employers from a range of sectors.

Upon graduation, you’ll be in a good position to apply for a range of jobs within main-line applications development and support (including mobile app development), data management and analysis, decision support systems, general IT systems support roles, core business database development and management, application programming and web development.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses including our MSc Cyber Security and MSc Cloud Computing in addition to professional online CISCO CCNA courses.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Software Principles
    Learn the fundamental concepts required to understand, design, implement and test high-level programming languages. We’ll introduce you to a design methodology to help develop linear and hierarchical trains of thought from idea conception through design and implementation to testing. You’ll use a simple interactive programming environment to discover how to create and use a wide variety of different basic and complex data structures. By the end of the module, you’ll be able to analyse a simple set of requirements, design appropriate data structures, select appropriate language syntax to manipulate program data and understand and use syntax for the implementation of conditional logic and repetition. You’ll also be able to create simple scripts, demonstrate familiarity with the taxonomy of programming languages and the software development life- cycle and gain sufficient experience of a range of algorithm design techniques.
  • Web Development
    If you’re 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’ll also be expected to submit documentation containing an introduction, descriptions of the purpose and aims of the web site. You’ll choose a subject for the website. The knowledge you’ll 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.
  • Learning and Skills for HE
    If you're entering higher education you'll need specific study skills to enable you to maximise your learning potential and take advantage of opportunities available both in the academic setting and the workplace. Students enter with different levels of skills and experience and may approach the module in a variety of ways. The module prepares and supports you to build a strong foundation for learning and later development. Learning will develop and underpin Level One study skills in the first half of the semester with the focus moving towards individual formative support towards the end of the semester. You'll develop and maintain a reflective learning log/blog to support this module and their continuing studies, the reflective log/blog is used as the basis of tutorial work and formative assessment. This work will also provide evidence for the beginning of a Personal Development Planning Portfolio that you'll build on over the next two years of your studies. You'll be expected to meet with your personal tutors to review your progress and actively seek out a mentor within the university community or workplace.
  • Networked Systems
    This module will introduce you to the components and requirements of modern networked computer systems. In order to understand how such systems work it is necessary to consider the operating system, through the networking technology to the servers to be accessed. On completing this module, students will be able to specify, construct and maintain networked PC systems, and troubleshoot common hardware and software problems. Practical skills are underpinned by a sound theoretical foundation in computer systems and network architecture, including both local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs).
  • Basic Maths for Technology
    This module is essential for students who need a solid background in basic mathematical techniques and analysis in order to pursue a degree in technology, physical, life or social sciences, economics or business studies. We'll help you to assess your existing mathematical skills and enable you to remedy any basic deficiencies. You'll develop the core mathematical skills needed for successful study at degree level in science, technology or business studies and also form the base for any further mathematical study later in your degree.
  • Basic Electronics
    You'll be introduced to basic electrical principles and electronics, as the module assumes no background knowledge. You'll do this by relating what is learnt in the classroom and laboratory to what is experienced in the everyday world. This module introduces electricity and electronic devices and the maths that allow analysis and design. Simple circuits are built and tested physically or through simulation and is specifically aimed at students with a limited background in electronics. This module aims to develop a broad appreciation of passive electronic components and their applications within the general perspectives of scientific instrumentation. These fundamentals are used to underpin an understanding of practical systems through laboratory assignments. The materials presented in this module are essential in the process of understanding and learning how to handle and manage smart systems. This module is useful in understanding the physical components that are required in a smart context (and Internet of Things), and thus will help you with prototyping and design.

Year two, core modules

  • Data Handling and Big Data
    The technological advances in the last few years and the development in the concepts of Internet of Things, and Cloud Computing have led to the explosive growth of data in almost every industry and business area. Big data has rapidly developed into a hot topic that attracts extensive attention from academia, industry, and governments around the world. From a macro perspective, big data can be regarded as a bond that subtly connects and integrates the physical world, the human society, and cyberspace. The emergence of big data has spawned a new paradigm; that mainly addresses the issues of capturing, handling, storing, sorting, managing, transferring, sharing, searching, visualisation, and representation. The significance of the data being mined is extensive, and can thus lead to advances in knowledge extraction and decision support systems. This module focuses on data handling and management tools and techniques, with regards to Big Data. It will introduce you to state of the art technology and methods used in the industry for data storing, processing, handling, managing, mining, analysis, and representation. This module will also help you get a better understanding of how big data analytics can support decision making, particularly in a business context.
  • Smart Computing Technology
    The “Smart” directive is deemed as the future, and subsequently has been adopted by many governments, authorities, and organisations. This module aims to introduce the students to “Smart Systems”, and its entailed computing technologies and concepts. The module focuses on the main tools, and techniques needed in designing and implementing a smart system. The module presents the fundamentals of integrating devices such as Raspberry pi and Arduino, including methods of automation, and communication with sensors. This module also introduces basic of artificial intelligence that supports autonomous smart systems’, through the introduction of techniques including fuzzy logic and neural networks. Sample applications will be produced using a programming language such as Python. You'll critically evaluate the tools and techniques covered within the module, and elect a suitable solution to the given problem.
  • Cloud Development
    Multi-sensorial web design is central to the production of an engaging site. Although modern development packages may contain all the essential tools needed to achieve this, without understanding the principles of digital design, a web site is unlikely either to impress or deliver. Here, you’ll be involved in the high-level design processes of interactive websites and understand the principles and practice of digital visual design using coding and scripting methods as the delivery technology. You’ll work to a specific brief, interpreting and analysing the original context to shape and inform the design, implementation and production of a web-based multimedia object. Using a suite of commercial-standard development tools and technologies, you’ll apply appropriate theory to the design, specification and creation of a visually cohesive multimedia site. You’ll cover topics such as marketing, site planning and structure, digital layouts, creating design style, navigation models and methods, and metaphors for websites. And you’ll apply key design concepts, principles and elements of visual design to websites, multimedia components and static images to an acceptable commercial standard.
  • Data Security
    Information technology has created a world that is increasingly virtual in nature. Both private individuals and businesses alike suffer the same vulnerabilities in managing access to valuable information that is increasingly being stored remotely. Whilst the public and industry professionals wrestle with the escalating complexity and variation in the ways that information is compromised, we see the emergence of the harnessing of digital insecurities as a weapon on an international stage. You’ll be introduced to some of the key concepts that lie at the heart of information security, but viewed at the more fundamental data level. You’ll be provided with a critical insight into the often misunderstood or poorly defined issues of data security and thereby offered a springboard to the study of information security at level 6. After studying this module you’ll understand how and why the digital data systems we use every day pose such a threat to individuals and businesses, where solutions are possible and where they might prove difficult or impossible. A key issue is the fundamental weakness that humans introduce into the technology. You’re expected to augment the content delivered by lectures with independent study of your own on a weekly (or even daily basis) in order to remain current with developing threats. You’ll write up a dossier of weekly security issues and together with a 1,000 word technical discussion of a particular security vulnerability will form the final assessment making a 3,000 word submission in total.
  • Object Oriented Programming
    Here, you’ll develop your programming skills and enhance your knowledge and skills in best programming practice. You’ll cover the essential aspects of input/output routines, control structures, contiguous data structures, and the devolvement of objects and methods, which will give you a detailed coverage of the object-oriented paradigm. You’ll adopt the computational way of thinking that a software developers use. By the end of the module, you’ll be able to assemble multiclass programs that meet the business requirements set in a specification.
  • Design Methods and Technology Project
    This module is essentially a mini project where you’ll design some artefact, e.g.: electronic hardware, software, multimedia production, website etc. The management of the project is in itself a core element and you’re expected to produce a formal specification using sound design methods, a time plan and progress indicator. You’ll also be expected to produce a number of alternative designs that meet the specification, select the most appropriate design using recognised techniques and carry out design reviews.
  • Data Communications
    You’ll gain a thorough understanding of the techniques used to enable computer systems to receive and transmit digitised information in a manner which suits a variety of applications and highlights the limitations of the method(s) used. You’ll be introduced to the binary representation of real-world data and how that data is communicated over distance using cable or wireless media. Networking and packet switching techniques are introduced and expanded to include the latest forms of baseband and broadband distribution and their current implementations such as DAB, Wireless Internet, 3G, GPRS and modern Ethernet.

Year three, core modules

  • Managing Information
    You'll develop a critical understanding of the problems, opportunities including ethical and legal, faced by organisations in effectively planning, developing and managing information. You'll incorporate strategic management concepts to ensure that IS development supports the business strategy, and progresses through suitable planning methodologies and assessment of ethical and legal considerations to implementation and evaluation (audit). You'll investigates the need for quality assurance standards, quality control of the system(s) and user education. The determining of critical success factors at the planning stage is considered essential to the successful completion and operation of any information system. In order to appreciate the need for methodological approach to planning and managing an information system the reasons for systems failure is investigated through case studies. In tutorial sessions you'll focus on facets of information strategy.
  • Mobile Technology
    This module investigates the technology of mobile devices from mobile phones to tablet devices. The material covers the two aspects of mobile technology: the design issues, standards and tools available for developing web pages and Internet services for access from mobile devices; and the design issues, programming and tools for developing hybrid mobile applications hosted on the mobile device. The core technologies that we will cover are HTML, CSS and JavaScript for mobile adapted web sites and browser based applications. In the laboratories, we will use both desktop and browser based development tools for web applications. We will also be exploring how the apps we develop can be transformed into hybrid mobile apps capable of running on Android, iOS, Windows, etc. using only one codebase. Students will be encouraged to develop their own ideas within the area of mobile technology and create content of whatever form to be rendered and tested on mobile devices and emulators. This material may be for entertainment, games, e-learning/training, conferencing, or applications of existing services: e-mail, instant messaging, news etc. These techniques will be assessed via the coursework for the module. The main development will be through software simulation of mobile devices, but students are encouraged to utilise and test their work with their own hosting and devices where possible.
  • Smart Systems and Internet of Things
    The Internet of Things (IoT) is a novel paradigm that is rapidly gaining ground in the today’s digital world. The basic idea of this concept is the pervasive presence around us of a variety of ‘things’. The main strength of the IoT idea is the high impact it has on numerous aspects of everyday-life behaviour. Building automation (domotics), assisted living, e-health, automation and industrial manufacturing, logistics, business/process management, intelligent transportation, and enhanced learning are only a few examples of possible application scenarios in which the new paradigm will play a leading role in the near future. This module aims to deliver this message, and build upon your previous knowledge to have the appropriate skill-set that enables you to address any issue related to smart systems and IoT. This is done by introducing the concept of IoT and its general use and global applications. This module focuses on the methodology of prototyping, as well as the tools and techniques that can be utilised to support the implementation and proposed solution.
  • Data-Driven Application Programming
    You’ll gain the theoretical knowledge and the practical skills to design and program data-driven applications. You’ll benefit from exposure to a program design methodology that’ll make the design and implementation of robust and professional applications easier and quicker whilst at the same time generating program documentation for future updating and maintenance purposes. There will be substantial support provided for you through face-to-face sessions as well as materials on our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) online. This module and its assessment represent both an intellectual and practical challenge to produce a complete database-driven solution to a business requirement with the opportunity for you to extend the scope of the application. You’ll be provided with the opportunity to develop confidence in front-end application programming as well as learning skills in setting up, tuning and programming the back-end database management systems. You’ll be assessed by two pieces of coursework, one of which focuses on front-end application design and programming while the other on database implementation and programming. You’ll also do a presentation to demonstrate your understanding of the processes required to produce original database applications.
  • Final Project
    You’ll create 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’re specifically interested in. You’ll identify problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artefacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present your findings using a variety of media. Regular meetings with your project supervisor will ensure your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.


We’ll use a range of assessment methods to help measure your progress. Besides exams, you’ll undertake coursework, lab tests, group work, presentations, case studies and log books.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

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

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

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


International students, 2018/19 (per year)


Placement year (UK, EU, international students)


Fee information

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

Entry requirements

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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 for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

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