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Computer Science BSc

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Mode of study

3-year full-time; 4-year thick sandwich

UCAS Code

G402, G407 with Professional Practice

Start date

September

Overview

Brunel’s Women in Engineering and Computing mentoring scheme provides our female students with invaluable support from industry mentors

Brunel University London’s impact on the future wages of its graduates is among the best in the country compared to other universities, according to a new analysis of government data by The Economist (2017).

About the course

If you enrol on any of the BSc (Hons) in Computer Science degrees, you will attain skills relating to the development of non-trivial software solutions to identified business problems. You will be able to specify, design, code, modify and test a range of non-trivial software artefacts in a contemporary programming paradigm and language using an appropriate commercial grade development environment and associated database tools. They will be able to implement useful software systems that is to satisfy the needs of their key stakeholders. In addition, you will acquire an in depth knowledge of algorithms, design, programming and testing techniques, a detailed knowledge of common system and network architectures and system development approaches, requirements capture, design methods, models, tools and techniques, implementing and testing systems and software maintenance. You will develop a reflective approach to project management issues arising from team based software development.

You will learn enough about hardware to make the most of its potential using your own software designs and theoretical foundations; gain a good understanding of computer science and grasp the important elements of a computer system.

You’ll also learn how to build different types of software – from web-based systems to mobile solutions. In the final year you’ll take compulsory modules in advanced computer science and choose options from a range of computing topics.

To view the Made in Brunel - Software Innovation showcase video please click here.

Aims

The aim of all undergraduate programmes offered by the Department of Computer Science is to equip our graduates with relevant knowledge and skills required for their commercial careers, making them highly employable. This is exemplified by the year of Professional Practice, where, as part of the degree, a student can gain up to a year’s industry experience (after their second year) on placement in the IT industry. A student may enrol on the degree with or without one of the four specialist areas, those areas being with Artificial Intelligence, Digital Media and Games, Network Computing and Software Engineering. The content of the degree is increasingly using state-of-the-art technologies such as drones and robots in coursework and projects.

Enquiries

Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)


Course Content

Level 1

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. Foundation units include:

  • Software Design
  • Software Implementation Event
  • Level 1 Group Project
  • Fundamental Programming Assessment
  • Data and Information
  • Introductory Programming
  • Information Systems and Organisations
  • Logic and Computation
By the end of Level 1, regardless of your degree programme, you’ll have covered the fundamental concepts of computer science and information systems, with a particular emphasis on programming. You’ll then be ready to explore them in greater depth at Level 2.

Level 2

  • Level 2 Group Project
  • Software Development and Management
  • Usability Engineering
  • Algorithms and their Applications
  • Networks and Operating Systems

Level 3

  • Final Year Computer Science Project
  • Advanced Topics in Computer Science.

 Optional Level 3 modules

  • Software Project Management
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Software Engineering
  • Network Computing
  • Digital Media and Games
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cybersecurity.

Final year project

This is a substantial individual project for which you research a topic 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.

In this final year you’ll study options to broaden your understanding of computing. You’ll begin to address research-level issues in areas such as software engineering, information systems, simulation modelling, digital media and games, network computing and artificial intelligence. We revise the options available each year to reflect the range of specialist interests among our staff, and industry trends.

Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel

Employability

As a Brunel Computer Science graduate 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.

92% of our Computer Science gradautes are either employed or in further study within the first six months of graduating (DHLE, 2015/16)

Careers

Our graduates have a wide range of careers open to them. Perhaps you’ll start by becoming a general analyst/programmer. Or join a consultancy firm – often just a first step toward setting up your own business. 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:

  • Accenture
  • Anderson Consulting
  • Barclays
  • British Airways
  • British Telecom
  • Compaq
  • Demon
  • HSBC
  • IBM
  • Logica
  • The Meteorological Office
  • Microsoft
  • Morgan Stanley
  • O2
  • Oracle
  • Orange
  • Toshiba.
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.

Work Placements

We know just how much experience counts in the job market. So you’ll have the opportunity to gain invaluable paid work experience alongside experts in industry, the public sector and commerce – both in the UK or overseas.

If you undertake a four year professional placement programme, you are likely to earn some £4,400 more than your three-year course colleagues from the first day in your job. (Source: The Brunel report on Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2009/10).

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.

» More about Employability

Entry Criteria 2017/18

  • 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.

5 GCSEs to include Maths at Grade C and English Language at 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.


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. Find out more information about English course and test options.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching

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. Our staff 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. Staff 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 or information systems – 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. He/she 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 do work experience, this will also be an important part of your professional development.

Assessment

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.

Overall the ‘exam to coursework’ split is usually about 60:40.

Special Features

  • In your final year you can specialise in artificial intelligence, digital media and games, network computing or software engineering
  • You can showcase your software projects at our annual Made in Brunel (Software Innovation) show, with awards presented by the likes of Cisco, Sky and Xerox
  • Our department holds the Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of our activities and practices in relation to the Athena SWAN Charter for equality
  • ‘Project centric’ – one third of the programme is project-based
    We know that when you graduate, you’ll be working on large projects. That’s why one third of each year of our programmes is project-based. In Level 1 and 2 you’ll build a software solution in a team, and in your final year you’ll carry out an individual project.
  • Flexible programmes – choose as you go along
    We know that many computer science and information systems students don’t know exactly which programme they wish to study. Our programme is designed to allow you to specialise gradually during your time with us. If you choose one of our programmes, you’re free to alter it as you go: choose information systems or computing in level 2, and then choose your specialist options in level 3.
  • Excellent links with industry
    Our 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.
  • A vibrant, friendly, safe campus in a great location near London
    All the advantages of affordable living costs, an international community, world-class sports and social facilities and a thriving arts and social scene.
  • Women in Engineering and Computing Programme - Brunel’s Women in Engineering and Computing mentoring scheme provides our female students with invaluable help and support from their industry mentors.

Accreditation

The 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).

Facts and Figures

  • We have a high quality infrastructure which includes more than 250 computers and servers for exclusive student use – all running state-of-the-art software.
  • A Brunel Computer Science degree is a recognised symbol of quality. Brunel has roots in education dating back to 1798 as well as a very strong technological heritage.

Fees for 2017/18 entry

Additional course related costs

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.