Business Computing (Human Computer Interaction) BSc
Placement Offered This course has a Professional Practice option.
- Course Content
- Special Features
- Teaching & Assessment
- Entry Criteria
About the Course
On this Business Computing course you will gain a thorough understanding of how information technology and computer-based systems can help businesses.
Through a mixture of theory and 'real world' practice, you will learn how to assess organisational problems and to create the best computing solutions to solve the business needs. Featured modules include software development and management, usability engineering and process modelling, e-business, social media and other Web 2.0 technologies and simulation modelling feature.
By specialising in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), you will learn about how to understand the user experience, and to use that understanding to help build systems that better meet user’s needs.
To view the Made in Brunel - Software Innovation showcase video please click here.
Understanding how we interact effectively with computers is a fundamental part of improving computing for us, the users. Most commercial computer systems, from online shopping to robotic control systems, require that the interfaces presented to us as users are both easy to use and understand – otherwise we will simply stop using them.
Providing graduates with cutting edge expertise in this field allows us to confront the many challenges that lie ahead. Brunel’s Business Computing (Human Computer Interaction) programme will expose you to the foundations, theory and latest interaction technologies, delivered by internationally-recognised staff with research expertise in the area.
This course aims to make you knowledgeable about computing in industrial and commercial organisations, equipping you to assess what computing solution is required in specific circumstances. It also allows you to focus on a human-computer interaction specialism in addition to compulsory business computing content.
At Brunel you’ll be working with staff internationally recognised for their expertise: the 2014 Research Academic Exercise (REF) rated two thirds of all research carried out in the Department of Computer Science as ‘internationally excellent or better’ – and our research quality and quantity (research ‘power’) is ranked comfortably within the top third of all universities in the UK. Read more about our REF 2014 results.
We also have a high quality infrastructure to match including more than 250 computers and servers for exclusive student use – all running state-of-the-art software.
Dr Steve Counsell
Department of Computer Science
Tel: +44 (0)1895 265849
Fax: +44 (0)1895 269722
Our Level 1 course meets the needs of students joining us from a wide variety of backgrounds and with diverse computing experience. These classes build a firm foundation for the rest of your degree by introducing you to the style and ethos of both the School and the computing profession.
By the end of Level 1, you’ll have covered the fundamental concepts of computer science and the computer-based systems necessary in business.
Typical Level 1 modules
- Level 1 Group Project Lectures and Tutorials
- Introductory Programming
- Data and Information
- Information Systems and Organisations
- Logic and Computation.
You’ll further specialise in Business Computing including systems analysis and design. You’ll also explore human and organisational aspects of computer-based systems, as well as the changes in processes and technology that organisations must make if they’re to get the best from their information.
Typical Level 2 modules
- Graduate Development
- Level 2 Group Project
- Software Development and Management
- Usability Engineering
- Business Analysis and Process Modelling
- ICTs in Society.
In this final year, you will specialise in Human-Computer Interaction. At the same time you’ll study options to broaden your understanding of computing. You’ll begin to address research-level issues in areas such as e-business, social media and other Web 2.0 technologies, information systems, simulation modelling and artificial intelligence.
Typical Level 3 modules
- Business Computing Project
- Software Project Management
- Advanced Topics in Business Computing
- Human-Computer Interaction.
Final year project
This is a substantial individual project for which you research a topic in Human-Computer Interaction in-depth. If you’re on a sandwich course it’s quite likely that this project will be of interest to future employers. This is assessed and is worth a third of your Level 3 marks.
Level 3 Example OptionsOn the Business Computing (Human-Computer Interaction) course, the specialist module will make up one of your options, and you can choose one other from the list below:
- Social Media.
We revise the options available each year to reflect the range of specialist interests among our staff, and industry trends
Emphasis on project workYou will spend a third of the course working on projects both in groups and individually. This is one of the key skills you will need in the employment market. In the first two years, you will design a software solution as part of a team and the final year will be spent on an individual project.
Flexible choices – adapt the programme to your needsThe Business Computing course gives you the choice to tailor your programme to your needs. As the first year of Business Computing and Computer Science covers the same curriculum, students can transfer from Business Computing to Computer Science or vice versa after the first year.
At Level 3, you can choose the general route (Business Computing) or one of the specialist options: Business Computing (e-business), Business Computing (Human-Computer Interaction) or Business Computing (Social Media).
Human-Computer Interaction specialismBy specialising in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), you will learn about how to understand the user experience, and to use that understanding to help build systems that better meet user’s needs.
Excellent links with businessOur lecturers often work as consultants for major blue chip companies at home and overseas. More than 50 academic staff teach in the department, many having a background in the computer industry. Practically all are involved in our applied computing research which includes information systems, software engineering, knowledge-based systems, and simulation modelling. The Department of Computer Science is a member of the Microsoft Alliance, the Apple iOS Academic Developer Programme and is an nVidia CUDA Teaching Center.
AccreditationThe course offers full exemption from the British Computer Society’s professional examinations, allowing graduates to attain professional membership of the Society (MBCS) after a shortened period of relevant experience and training. The course also fulfils the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer (full IEng accreditation) and part of the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer (partial CEng accreditation).
We take great care to make the transition from school or college to university as smooth as possible. Project groups of four students meet for weekly reviews with a personal group tutor. This both ensures continuity and helps you get to know your tutor – something that’s particularly important in your first year.
Overall we take an innovative, dynamic and highly participative approach to teaching that’s supported by state-of-the-art subject understanding and the advice of our Industry Advisory Board. We are always willing to support and provide practical guidance to students.
How many hours study a week are involved?About 12 hours of directed study. Our academics are normally also happy to answer queries outside of classes. In addition we expect you to put in an average of 25 to 35 hours of private study weekly.
How will I be taught?Lectures: These offer a broad overview of key concepts and ideas relating to computer science, information systems and business computing – a useful framework from which you can pursue more in-depth study.
Laboratory work: This helps you to develop and understand the technical skills for building software using methods and techniques introduced in lectures. You’ll do individual work – but with a tutor always on hand to lead discussion on common issues as they arise.
Small groups: In the first and second years you’ll work on a computing-related problem with regular guidance from a member of staff, who will be available week by week to help your group with any problems. These small-group activities will enable you to develop key professional skills such as report writing, evaluation and, crucially, communication skills.
One-to-one: In your final year you’ll normally have one-to-one supervision for your major project. The department has a team of personal tutors so there’s always someone available to discuss personal or academic problems. If you go on placement, your personal tutor will help you set objectives and monitor your progress – and provide further support if you need it.
Talks from guest speakers: We invite guest speakers from prominent organisations to present on relevant subjects. We also host weekly talks on topical computing research issues. If you go on a placement, this will also be an important part of your professional development.
This varies from one module to another and may be based entirely on coursework, entirely on examination or on a combination of both. It’s just as important for you to learn how to establish your own criteria for assessment as it is to be able to assess the quality and value of your own work reliably.
Level 1 does not count towards your final degree classification. Level 2 is worth a third and Level 3 accounts for two thirds. Your final year project is worth a third of the Level 3 marks.
As a Brunel Business Computing graduate specialising in human-computer interaction, you’ll enjoy excellent employment prospects. Our combination of work experience and up-to-date teaching means that you’ll be well-equipped to follow the career you want after graduation.
Our graduates are high quality experts able to handle the increasing demands of scientific, technological and commercial development in the new millennium. Not unexpectedly, they’re in high demand with the wide-ranging companies and organisations increasingly dependent on computer technology.
As of July 2015:
• The average graduate starting salary for Business Computing graduates from Brunel is £25,000.
• Six months after graduating, 89% are either in employment, doing further study or a combination of both; with 83% in a professional or managerial job.
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey
Information Systems graduates have a range of employment options open to them. Students graduate with a valuable understanding of computing and a grasp of the important elements of accounting and management as well as the ability to communicate the business benefits of IT.
In 2013/14, six months after graduating:
Our graduates have a wide range of careers open to them. The industry’s major companies all have openings for well-qualified personnel. Students with ‘sandwich’ experience are particularly in demand for the better graduate appointments.
Recent graduates have gone on to work for well-known companies and organisations including:
- Anderson Consulting
- British Airways
- British Telecom
- The Meteorological Office
- Morgan Stanley
As a good honours graduate you may also be able to study for a higher degree in one of our research areas – such as information systems/machine interface, simulation modelling and software engineering.
You’ll have the opportunity to carry out high-quality, paid professional experience, in the UK or abroad.
The positive impact of a sandwich placement on graduate employment outcomes across Brunel is considerable. Those who have done placements are also much more likely to be in employment for which their degree was a formal requirement or where they believe their degree gave them a competitive advantage in recruitment.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year
International students: £15,400 full-time
See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Requirements 2016/7
- GCE A-level BBB (all subjects considered).
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in IT.
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a computing subject with an A-level at grade B.
- BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject with A-levels grade BB.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at Level 3 with Merits in all units. Applicants must also have 2 years Computing or IT related work experience.
- Foundations of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics course For Brunel Foundation of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics progression requirements, see the course page.
GCSE Mathematics grade C and GCSE English grade C are also required.Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
For non-EU qualification equivalencies, please check the relevant country entry criteria.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.
Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.