School of Computing

Computer Science - BSc (Hons)

Canterbury

This general degree covers the core subjects of program design and implementation using Java, and software engineering, as well as offering a broad range of computer science topics including operating systems, computer architectures, computer security, concurrent programming, theory, databases and the web. This programme has full Chartered IT Professional (CITP) accreditation from the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Computer Science is an exciting and rapidly evolving subject that offers excellent employment prospects and well-paid careers. At Kent, we teach you the fundamentals of computer science as well as giving you the opportunity to specialise in an area of your choice.

Overview

The School of Computing is home to authors of leading textbooks and we lead cutting-edge research in specialist areas such as cyber security and artificial intelligence. 

Our programmes are taught by leading researchers who are experts in their fields. The wide-ranging expertise of our teaching staff means you have the chance to explore a large choice of subjects, from artificial intelligence and computer security to parallel systems and mobile computing.

This programme has full Chartered IT Professional (CITP) accreditation from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Our degree programme

Our programme focuses on the technical aspects of computer science. You learn to code in several languages, starting with the Java programming language, which is widely used in industry across a range of applications including mobile devices.

Building on these programming skills, you learn the principles and techniques that underpin the algorithms and systems shaping our world today. These include artificial intelligence, computer security, network technology, software engineering, and human-computer interaction. You put these principles and techniques into practice to develop software in a variety of ways, from small-scale exercises to a major software project.

On our flexible programme, you take a broad range of compulsory modules in your first and second years. You then select from a variety of options in your final year of study, so it's ideal if you want to keep your options open.

You can also gain experience in teaching with our Computing in the Classroom module. This gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge in a school setting.

Kent student Dan talks about his course.

Year in industry

You can choose to take a year in industry after the second year of the programme. This gives you work experience, a salary and the possibility of a job with the same company after graduation. You don't have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply: for details, see see Computer Science with a Year in Industry.

Study resources

Facilities to support the study of Computer Science include The Shed, the School of Computing's Makerspace, which houses:

  • 3D printers
  • laser-cutting facilities
  • development equipment, including Oculus Rift and Raspberry Pi.

Students also have exclusive access to a computer room and common room, and we run a peer-mentoring scheme.

Extra activities

Computer Science students often take part in TinkerSoc, a student-run 'tinkering' society which meets in 'The Shed', our collaborative workspace. TinkerSoc welcomes all students who like making things.

Whether a member of TinkerSoc or not, you can spend time in The Shed, making, exploring and sharing. In this informal environment you can build physical devices for your coursework, as well as develop your own interests and hobbies.

The School of Computing also hosts events that you are welcome to attend. These include our successful seminar programme where guest speakers from academia and industry discuss current developments in the field. We also host the BCS local branch events on campus.

Professional network

Our programmes are informed by a stakeholder panel of industry experts who give feedback on the skills that employers require from a modern workforce.

Our successful year in industry programmes have allowed us to build up excellent relationships with leading companies such as BAE Systems, Citigroup and The Walt Disney Company.

We also have a dedicated Employability Coordinator who is the first point of contact for students and employers. 

Independent rankings

Computer Science at Kent (which includes all programmes offered by the School of Computing) scored 87% overall in The Complete University Guide 2022

Computer Science at Kent was ranked 8th for research intensity in The Complete University Guide 2022.

 

Course structure

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Teaching & Assessment

Teaching

Within the School of Computing are authors of widely used textbooks, a National Teaching Fellow and Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) Award-winning scientists. Programmes are taught by leading researchers who are experts in their fields.

Teaching is based on lectures, with practical classes and seminars, but we are also introducing more innovative ways of teaching, such as virtual learning environments and work-based tuition. Work includes group projects, case studies and computer simulations, with a large-scale project of your own choice in the final year.

Overall workload

Each stage comprises eight modules. Most modules run for a single 12-week term and have two lectures and one to two hours of classes, making 14 formal contact hours per week and eight hours of 'homework club' drop-in sessions each term.

Academic support

We provide excellent support for you throughout your time at Kent. This includes access to web-based information systems, podcasts and web forums for students who can benefit from extra help. We use innovative teaching methodologies, including BlueJ and LEGO© Mindstorms for teaching Java programming.

Teaching staff

Our staff have written internationally acclaimed textbooks for learning programming, which have been translated into eight languages and are used worldwide. A member of staff has received the SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education. The award is made by ACM, the world's largest educational and scientific computing society.

Assessment

Assessment is by a combination of coursework and end-of-year examination and details are shown in the module outlines on the web. Project modules are assessed wholly by coursework.

The marks from stage one do not go towards your final degree grade, but you must pass to continue to stage two. 

Most stage two modules are assessed by coursework and end-of-year examination. Marks from stage two count towards your degree result. 

Most stage three modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and end-of-year examination. Projects are assessed by your contribution to the final project, the final report, and oral presentation and viva examination. Marks from stage three count towards your degree result.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

In stage three your project counts for 25% of the year's marks. 

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide a programme that attracts and meets the needs of those contemplating a career in computing and those motivated primarily by an intellectual interest in computer science
  • be compatible with widening participation in higher education by offering a wide variety of entry routes
  • provide knowledge and understanding of the principles of computer science
  • provide computing skills that will be of lasting value in a field that is constantly changing 
  • offer a range of options so students can match their interests and study selected areas of computing in more depth
  • provide teaching informed by current research and scholarship, which requires students to engage with work at the frontiers of knowledge
  • develop general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills that can be applied in a range of computing and non-computing settings.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • hardware: the major functional components of a computer system
  • software: programming languages and practise; tools and packages computer applications structuring of data and information
  • communication and interaction: basic computer communication network concepts; communication between computers and people; the control and operation of computers.
  • practise: problem identification and analysis; design development, testing and evaluation.
  • theory: algorithm design and analysis formal methods and description modelling.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • modelling: knowledge and understanding in the modelling and design of computer-based systems in a way that demonstrates comprehension of the trade-off involved in design choices
  • reflection and communication: presenting succinctly to a range of audiences rational and reasoned arguments
  • requirements: identifying and analysing criteria and specifications appropriate to specific problems and plan strategies for their solution
  • criteria evaluation and testing: analysing the extent to which a computer-based system meets the criteria defined for its current use and future development
  • methods and tools: deploying appropriate theory, practices, and tools for the specification, design, implementation, and evaluation of computer-based systems
  • professional responsibility: recognising and being guided by the professional, economic, social,environmental, moral and ethical issues involved in the sustainable exploitation of computer technology
  • computational thinking: demonstrating a basic analytical ability and its relevance to everyday life
  • enabling students to meet the above aims more deeply by providing both a broad overview of the subject and enabling specialisation in selected areas
  • several themed pathways which build on the core computer science modules to allow students to pursue particular interests

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • design and implementation: specifying, designing, and implementing computer-based systems
  • evaluation: evaluating systems in terms of general quality attributes and possible trade-offs presented within the given problem
  • information management: applying the principles of effective information management, information
  • organisation and information retrieval skills to information of various kinds, including text, images, sound, and video.
  • tools: deploying effectively the tools used for the construction and documentation of software, with particular emphasis on understanding the whole process involved in using computers to solve practical problems
  • operation: operating computing equipment and software systems effectively.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in:

  • teamwork – working effectively as a member of a development team
  • communication – making succinct presentations to a range of audiences about technical problems and their solutions
  • information technology – effective use of general IT facilities; information retrieval skills
  • numeracy and literacy – understanding and explaining the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of a problem
  • self management – managing your own learning and development, including time management and organisational skills
  • professional development – appreciating the need for continuing professional development.

KIS Course data

UNISTATS / KIS

Key Information Sets

Discover Uni is designed to support prospective students in deciding whether, where and what to study. The site replaces Unistats from September 2019.

Discover Uni is jointly owned by the Office for Students, the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.

It includes:

  • Information and guidance about higher education
  • Information about courses
  • Information about providers

Find out more about the Unistats dataset on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

AAB-BBB

GCSE

Mathematics grade 4/C

Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction - Distinction, Distinction, Merit

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 points at HL including Mathematics 5 at HL or SL, or Mathematics Studies 6 at SL

International students

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have gone on to work in:

  • software engineering
  • mobile applications development
  • systems analysis
  • consultancy
  • networking
  • web design and e-commerce
  • finance and insurance
  • commerce
  • engineering
  • education
  • government
  • healthcare.

Recent graduates have gone on to develop successful careers at leading companies such as:

  • BAE Systems
  • Cisco
  • IBM
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Citigroup
  • BT.

Help finding a job

The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

You have access to a dedicated Employability Coordinator who is a useful contact for all student employability queries.

Career-enhancing skills

You graduate with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of computer science and a range of professional skills, including:

  • programming
  • modelling
  • design.

To help you appeal to employers, you also learn key transferable skills that are essential for all graduates. These include the ability to:

  • think critically
  • communicate your ideas and opinions
  • analyse situations and troubleshoot problems
  • work independently or as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Professional recognition

Our Computer Science degree has full Chartered IT Professional (CITP) accreditation from the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

Enquire or order a prospectus

Resources


Read our student profiles


Contacts

Related schools

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

Open days

Our Open Days offer face-to-face and virtual options and they are a fantastic way to meet our staff and students. Book now for Saturday 23 October to find out why Kent is right for you.

 

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department for Education or Research Council UK) permitted increases are normally inflationary and the University therefore reserves the right to increase tuition fees by inflation (RPI excluding mortgage interest payments) as permitted by law or Government policy in the second and subsequent years of your course. If we intend to exercise this right to increase tuition fees, we will let you know by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which we intend to exercise that right.

If, in the future, the increases to regulated fees permitted by law or government policy exceed the rate of inflation, we reserve the right to increase fees to the maximum permitted level. If we intend to exercise this extended right to increase tuition fees, we will let you know by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which we intend to exercise that right.

School of Computing, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 824180 or contact us.

Last Updated: 23/11/2015