Computing and Information Technology - Foundation/BSc - BSc (Hons) *

UCAS Code:
I10A
Attendance:
Full Time (4 years)
Starting:
September 2018
Campus:

Our multidisciplinary Computing and Information Technology BSc (Hons) course will equip you with the technical and managerial skills you'll need to embark on a successful IT career.

You'll use first-class, industry-standard equipment and labs, and have the chance to put your academic learning into practice on a placement year – all of which will prepare you for an information technology career with a range of companies. Our recent graduates have been employed by organisations including Bell Microsystems, BT, Cisco, Deloitte, and Fujitsu.

About the Foundation Year

The Foundation Year course option enables you to study for our BSc (Hons) degree over an extended full-time duration of four years by including a Foundation Certificate (year one of four). The Foundation Certificate provides a broad study programme that underpins the follow-on degree. In order to progress to the next year of your degree, it is necessary to achieve a pass in all of the modules of the Foundation Certificate.

What's covered in the course?

This course is for you if you want to combine a highly rigorous academic qualification with real-life practical work experiences, enabling you to put your learning into innovative practice.  

You'll be based at our flagship City Centre Campus, where you'll use dedicated, industry-standard facilities to research and work on enterprise software and virtual environments to develop business solutions and real-time systems.

You will develop the strategic mindset to address global challenges; the kind that that businesses and communities face on a day-to-day basis to maintain their digital infrastructure. You'll have access to virtual learning environments, as well as networking, electronic, enterprise systems and business intelligence laboratories.

We are preparing you for the workplace. You'll learn computing and information technology skills that are needed to design, develop, operate and maintain effective systems.  Your knowledge of the application of computing to provide IT solutions will evolve on a daily basis, and we will ensure you are able to innovate in order to deliver business value and sustainable solutions.

It's not just about academic and technical knowledge – we'll also help to develop your personal skills so that you can work effectively as a team member and problem solve at the highest level. This will not only enhance your employability levels, it will make you stand out from the crowd.

Throughout your course you'll be supported by expert teaching staff, many of whom have worked in the field, are active in research and are continually innovating with industry.

Within the course there were excellent opportunities to develop myself both professionally and personally. You get a great deal of support outside of lectures – I really enjoyed the campus environment, which is a modern building and just a short walk from the city centre. It has a wide range of resources, which includes hundreds of computers and also a large networking area with both physical and virtualised networking environments.” Scott Brant, infrastructure and enablement consultant at Britvic

Why Choose Us?

  • Our course has been designed in line with the requirements of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to ensure our course remains fresh, relevant and replete with key industry information.

  • We're a leading academy for Microsoft and Cisco Systems.
  • This course enables you to work towards Microsoft, Cisco, Linux and Oracle certifications and professional body qualifications too.
  • We collaborate with prestigious organisations such as IBM, APC by Schneider Electric, Atos, Co-Op, Philips and the Chartered Institute for IT (the British Computer Society).
  • In 2017, we spent £6.5 million on improvements to our Millennium Point facilities so you’ll have even more access to dedicated, industry-standard equipment.

  • You will have the opportunity to participate in renowned international programmes and competitions.
  • You will have the opportunity and support to create a start-up business using ideas spawned during your course – several recent undergraduates on this course have done just that.
  • You'll have the opportunity to negotiate your learning outcomes in a working placement, either through a start-up project or business project.

* Please note this course has changed name for 2017/18. The KIS data below relates to the previous course title.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place in 2018. Register your interest and we'll let you know details as soon as they are available.

Register your interest

This course is open to International students

School of Computing and Digital Technology

Discover the School of Computing and Digital Technology

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Birmingham City Students Union
  • BCU
  • Google

And in jobs such as:

  • Vice President Student Voice
  • Lab Demonstrator
  • IT Specialist

We are members of:

WISE member logo2 WISE members inspire girls to choose maths, physics and computing.

Accreditations:

Accreditations shall be renewed in accordance with the accreditor’s standard review process and subject to the University maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

This course is accredited by:

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Subject to approval

The content of this course has been refreshed and updated to make sure you graduate with the skills employers need in an ever-changing job market.

Our quality control experts are currently reviewing the content and we anticipate receiving formal approval shortly.

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

At the point of application, you must have achieved or be working towards, GCSE at Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2018/19
GCE A Level/ AS Level BB at A Level or 80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels, at least one from a Science, Technology, Mathematics or Computing subject.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 , including a minimum of 12 credits achieved from any Technology units awarded at Merit or Distinction
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points. In a Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subject.
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) MMP - 80 UCAS points. In a Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subject.
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma

1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 10 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two High Level subjects will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates

Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
AND
English Group A - Grade 4 or above, 
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

Irish Leaving Certificate Passes in six subjects at the higher grade including mathematics.
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Passes in five subjects at the higher grade including mathematics.
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
Essential
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2018/19
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 10 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two High Level subjects will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates

Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
AND
English Group A - Grade 4 or above, 
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

International Students

Entry requirements here

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 4 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 4 years £12,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Sorry, this course is not available part-time

Foundation year

Computer Technology Context
Fundamental Maths
Academic & Professional Development 1
Academic & Professional Development 2
Computing Skills in Practice

Year one

Computer Systems
20 credits

Within the Computer Systems module, you will gain knowledge and experience of computers and computer hardware. This module presents a holistic view of how computer systems work and provides the underpinning knowledge required for the design of computer architecture, to show how software interacts with hardware, to apply electronics principles, and to use number systems for computer technology.

You will put into practice the learning done through reading, video lecturers, skills building labs and problem based learning for the acquisition of new knowledge and core practical competencies.

Module content and assessment encourages realisation of multi-disciplinary computing, and it will challenge you to interface with the environment by configuring Internet of Things devices and systems for collecting data for the proposed solution.  

Mathematics for Computing
20 credits

The module gives you the opportunity to learn mathematical concepts and methods and critically reflect on how they relate to computing and communication systems.

You will develop core mathematical and statistical skills which are fundamental in computing and technical work in general. You will be expected to solve mathematical and statistical problems on paper and on a computer.

Teaching consists of lecture sessions to introduce basic mathematical principles and knowledge which are employable in the area of computing and communication systems, and laboratory and seminar sessions to practice the mathematical techniques and skills relevant to the problems driven from computing and communication technologies. 

Computer Programming
20 credits

Programming is an engineering tool that plays a vital role to drive most of the modern technologies surrounding us, including devices for communication, transportation and entertainment. Moreover, businesses increasingly rely on computers and the software that runs on them.

This introductory computer programming module provides the underpinning knowledge and practice needed to design, build and test software components.  You will learn the key skills of programming and how this relates to technology and communications. 

Module content and assessment will enable you to acquire programming skills in a modern imperative language. Practical sessions will allow you to apply programming principles and constructs to creatively solve problems by developing small programs.  

Networking Fundamentals
20 credits

The module gives you the opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills required in building and designing a basic network and the requirements within a network infrastructure, building on the knowledge and underpinning theory of networking systems.

Teaching consists of subject-specific lectures and laboratory sessions to introduce knowledge and skills relevant to network and information systems, and to introduce principles and techniques for effective information communication within a network.

This will help you to develop the ability to find practical solutions to problems, to evaluate and respond to the opportunities and challenges of interdisciplinary approaches to the realisation of a task, and to respond flexibly and imaginatively to a brief within a fixed timescale. 

Applied Operating Systems
20 credits

In this module, you will learn how modern operating systems are the glue that bind computer hardware and networks together and how they manage the user experience for individual computers and wider networks. 

We will build on learning from your networking, programming and computer systems modules, enhancing and extending skills in all these areas.  You will make heavy use of Open Source Software, demonstrating what can be achieved with this huge publicly shareable resource on a very limited budget.

The module will be delivered via hands-on labs, interactive seminars and an integral project-based assessment.  This project is designed to mirror that found in the workplace to ensure you build transferable skills alongside technical excellence.

Innovation Project
20 credits

This project allows you to develop and cultivate a creative mindset through collaborative innovative practice, bringing together knowledge and imagination to construct a viable product. You will work in inter-disciplinary project teams supported by innovation mentors, advisers and academics, culminating in you exhibiting your work to an international panel of experts.

You will be encouraged to demonstrate deep thinking (research, thought and action) of your ideas and constructs through the development of an extensive speculative project plan that will encourage you to innovate further. 

The module is semi-structured using lectures, workshops and innovation labs within the student teams, and you will be supported and encouraged to continuously progress your projects for assessment.

Year two

Smart Systems
20 credits

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of connected computing, electromechanical and digital devices, with the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

This module will provide knowledge and skills for the research, synthesis and evaluation of solutions incorporating internet communication systems and devices that can be used to make informed and wise decisions.

Teaching consists of subject-specific lectures and laboratory sessions introducing you to the knowledge and skills relevant to internet-connected sensors and the wider Internet of Things, practical laboratory sessions to apply the knowledge gained and solve networking-related programming problems, and project-based group learning activities, supported by academic staff.

Server Systems
20 credits

In this module, you will learn that servers are the engines that deliver the data of the worldwide internet and cloud revolution.  You will learn how to design, configure and troubleshoot servers to provide both the data and network services required in modern networks.  You will spend a lot of time actually configuring and troubleshooting servers in order to gain the hands on skills required by industry.  Practical activities will be backed up by theory delivered via videos, reading and short lectures.

The hands-on nature of the teaching and the project based group assessment mirror the kind of environment you will be exposed to in industry, further building your key skills.

Once the module is complete, you will have opportunity to gain professional accreditation from the Linux Professional Institute and Microsoft which will be supported by boot-camps and revision sessions.

Human Computer Interaction
20 credits

This module combines theoretical concepts around user experience design with practical “hands-on” approaches widely used in industry and academia to create effective interactive experiences.

You will learn about the user-centred design process that places a core emphasis on designing products, applications, and software for “people”. In particular, you will learn techniques for gathering and understanding a target audience’s requirements, the importance of universal design and accessibility, methods for undertaking rapid prototyping, core principles around aesthetics and visual design, and a range of techniques for designing, running, and analysing user evaluations.

This knowledge will then be used to collaboratively design and evaluate an innovative digital prototype using industry standard tools.

Foundations of Database Systems
20 credits

This module smaprovides a thorough grounding in all aspects of conceptual data modelling, relational theory and relational algebra, CASE tools for designing a database and its interface, database design and normalisation. It also looks at SQLPlus for querying data in a relational database system.

Teaching takes place using a combination of lectures, interactive seminars and lab sessions. You will make use of practical sessions to practice database design theory and apply the techniques to producing a quality database design.

You will also develop practical skills, knowledge and experience of key techniques within the database design industry. This will lead to wider intellectual and transferable skills in planning, synthesis, written communication and critical evaluation.

Networking Technologies
20 credits

In this module you will have the opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills required for network technologies. This module builds your knowledge and underpinning theory for the networking modules and you will review the requirements for a small to medium scale network deployment engineering context. 

Teaching consists of lectures and laboratory sessions to introduce knowledge and skills relevant to network and information systems, along with principles and techniques for information communication within a network.

This will help you to develop the ability to find practical solutions to problems, to evaluate and respond to the opportunities and challenges of interdisciplinary approaches to the realisation of a task, and to respond flexibly and imaginatively to a brief within a fixed timescale. 

Enterprise Practice Project
20 credits

Forming part of the Research and Enterprise strand that runs through each programme’s curriculum, this module builds on core concepts in practice-based computing and the underpinning role innovation plays in this.

You will draw on your technical learning framework through Reflection, Evaluation, Entrepreneurialism and Management (REEM), which allows you to explore and further build on your strengths and achievements to pursue excellence in a professional context.

The module enables you to reflect on your acquired practice-based technical skills by reviewing how these have benefitted an enterprise project and their impact on your career development. You can select between either a Professional Project or an Entrepreneurial Project with the agreement of the module team.

Year three

Data Centre Systems Management
20 credits

In this module, you will learn how to research case studies, design and develop a solution to meet a business client needs, troubleshoot a solution, analyse industry-standard Data Centre systems and technologies, and present your findings.

You will be prepared for industry through guest lectures, industry talks, industrial visits and real-life case studies. The case studies and assessments have been designed in collaboration with practising IT consultants and storage architects.

Once the module is complete, you will have an opportunity to gain international professional certifications from Microsoft such as Server, Security and Client O/S. These will be supported by revision materials and, where possible, ‘boot camps’.

Consultancy and IT Management
20 credits

This module enables you to gain an understanding of the processes, scope and role when providing guidance or advice in a professional consulting capacity.  It will also assist you if you join a larger organisation with the aspiration to become a leader and manager.

You will gain awareness of the wider consulting profession and practice, the consultant role in computing, and the management of client relationships.  The focus will be to analyse and evaluate the frameworks, processes and techniques applied by computing consultants, managers and leaders.

Starting with the founding phases of contractual projects, you will work with life-like scenarios, to help resolve client problems and address business objectives.

IT Infrastructure
20 credits

In this module, you will learn how to research case studies, design and develop a solution to meet a business client needs, troubleshoot a solution, analyse modern infrastructure technologies used in industry, and present your findings.

You will be prepared for industry through guest lectures, industry talks, industrial visits and real-life case studies. The case studies and assessments have been designed in collaboration with practising IT consultants and IT architects.

Once the module is complete, you will have an opportunity to gain international professional certifications from Microsoft such as Server, Security and Client O/S. These will be supported by revision materials and, where possible, ‘boot camps’.

Business Systems Solutions
20 credits

Providing a conceptual understanding of Business Systems and practical experience of the technologies used in developing an integrated business solution, this module focuses on information systems that underpin the business context of organisations and the demand for business intelligence.

You will draw on the transactional value of real-time data through mobile/IoT devices. Intelligence has become a key aspect of most organisations’ competitiveness, whether customer or resource informed.   

You will undertake analysis and evaluation of existing business system solutions, explore and manipulate data for resource planning and customer management, use programming languages and database techniques to develop an integrated business solution, study web standards and compliance with accessibility laws, and review the privacy of an organisation’s commerce system.

Individual Honours Project
40 credits

This is a chance to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project exploring an area of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide on your topic, which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material.

The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider its relevance to your future academic or professional development.

You will be expected to work independently, with additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress, extra support will be available which may take the form of group seminars, workshops or online materials.

You'll be assessed in a number of different ways during your course. These will include continuous assessment, in-class tests, examinations, laboratory exercises, group and project work. This will enable us to appraise your all-round ability and it also gives you the best opportunity to excel.

Your final assessment is based on 24 per cent written exam, 68 per cent course work and 8 per cent practical exam.

Attendance requirements

There are 30 attendance weeks in each academic year.

A typical week on this course will include 12 hours of contact time over three or four days, plus self study time.

Student stories

Pioneering facial recognition cane

The ‘XploR’ mobility cane – developed by ICT students Steve Adigbo, Waheed Rafiq and Richard Howlett – uses smartphone technology to recognise familiar faces from up to 10 metres away. The cane also features GPS functionality to aid navigation.

The device will guide users towards friends and family members using an ear piece and audio guidance, with the information being relayed through Bluetooth technology.

Student stories Sadia Ali

Graduate Application Support Analyst

Graduate Sadia worked part-time for the University as a Laboratory Demonstrator during her final year. Currently she is working full-time as a Graduate Application Support Analyst and has big plans for the future.

Trips and visits

All new students have an industrial visit as part of their induction programme; last year students visited Bletchley Park, the home of Alan Turing, the famous wartime code breaker.

Where opportunities exist, students are encouraged to participate in projects that involve visits abroad as part of our Erasmus scheme. In the past, students have participated in European projects in Finland and the Netherlands.

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) - full IEng

Our course has IET accreditation, which demonstrates that it meets the educational criteria needed for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status.

Further Study

We offer a range of Master's courses (MSc) or research (MPhil and PhD) postgraduate programmes that are suitable for graduates of this course.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of textbooks, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Enhancing your employability skills

Our course is designed to equip you with in-depth, first-hand practical expertise as well as providing a rigorous academic understanding of your subject.

It is this combination that will help you to stand out when you look to enter the workplace and why our graduates are very highly sought-after.

We maintain very close links with business and industry to ensure that your studies are always relevant, up-to-date and meet the exact needs of the current marketplace.

You'll develop key academic and technical skills that will demonstrate your ability to understand concepts, principles and theories of complex network technologies, and that will show your understanding of how ICT infrastructure systems for business are designed and implemented.

Recent graduates have gone on to work with first-class organisations such as Hewlett Packard, Bell Microsystems, BT, Cisco, Deloitte, Ericsson, Philips, IBM, Intel, Siemens, Nokia and Capgemini.

Placements

You will have the opportunity for work-based learning, either in the form of a professional or innovation project. This is a negotiated competitive placement pathway in the second year where you will be able complete 60 credit modules whilst employed or starting-up a business.

We aim to have you employer-ready by the time you graduate, and as part of your course you have the option of undertaking an industrial placement after the second year of study.

If you decide to do this, it will extend the duration of your BSc (Hons)/MSci course to four/five years.

Thanks to our excellent partnerships and working relationships with some of the UK's leading companies, you have the chance of undertaking a high quality industrial placement with leading organisations such as the Bank of England, Cisco Systems, IBM, 3M, Airbus or CapGemini.

Placements will also provide you with an opportunity to develop your practical expertise, earn money and try out a potential career path.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

Our graduates have gone on to roles such as:

  • Enterprise solution developers
  • Communication network analysts
  • Network operating systems administrators
  • Network analysts
  • ICT technical support and management professionals
  • ICT consultants
  • Business analysts
  • Database analysts and developers
  • Web applications developers
  • IT consultants

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Our international students

Our School is particularly popular with students from China. Students are attracted by our strong industry links and our relationships with Chinese universities where we regularly visit and provide induction and preparation activities.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our information and communication technology course is most popular with international students from:

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. It’s no surprise that the Complete University Guide placed us in the UK top 10 for spending on facilities in both 2012 and 2013.

This course is located in the prestigious £114m Millennium Point building – part of our City Centre Campus – with technology and facilities that reflect advanced professional practice.

As a student you will get to use dedicated facilities for work such as systems analysis, artificial intelligence, e-commerce and business intelligence, and to support the application areas of mechatronics, games technology and computer forensics (with its own fully equipped laboratory).

The School is established as one of the leading academies for Apple, Microsoft and Cisco Systems, and is a member of Microsoft's Developer Network Academic Alliance.

Meet our staff

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295