The School of Computing at Kent is home to several authors of leading textbooks, a National Teaching Fellow, an IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology) Fellow and two Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) award-winning scientists. Kent was awarded gold, the highest rating, in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework*.
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.
We also offer modules that allow you to gain practical experience. On our Kent IT Consultancy option, you learn how to become an IT Consultant, providing computing support to local businesses while earning credits towards your degree.
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 Rebecca talks about her course.
Year in industry
Your year in industry takes place between your second and final year, giving you invaluable work experience. You earn a salary and there may be the possibility of a job with the same company after graduation.
Our students go to a wide range of companies including:
AccentureBTGSKIBMKent PoliceMicrosoftMorgan StanleyThe Walt Disney Company.
You have the option to take this programme as a three-year degree, without the year in industry. For details, see Computer Science.
You can also take Computer Science as a themed degree. For more details, see Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence), Computer Science (Networks). All of these programmes are also available with a year in industry.
Facilities to support the study of Computer Science include The Shed, the School of Computing's Makerspace, which houses:
3D printerslaser-cutting facilitiesdevelopment 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.
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.
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.
*The University of Kent's Statement of Findings can be found here.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.
Each stage comprises eight modules. Most modules run for a single 12-week term. Each module has 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.
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.
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 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. You must pass stage two to go on your year in industry.
The year in industry forms an integral part of your degree and constitutes 10% of your final grade. Assessment comprises an employer evaluation, a reflective report and a logbook/portfolio.
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.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- hardware – the major functional components of a computer system
- software – programming languages and practice; 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
- practice – problem identification and analysis; design development, testing and evaluation
- aspects of the core subject areas from the perspective of a commercial or industrial organisation.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- modelling – knowledge and understanding of the modelling and design of computer-based systems including the trade-off involved in design choices
- reflection and communication – presenting rational and reasoned arguments succinctly to a range of audiences
- requirements – identifying and analysing criteria and specifications appropriate to specific problems and planning 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 analytical ability and its relevance to everyday life
- apply some of the intellectual skills outlined above from the perspective of a commercial or industrial organisation.
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
- 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 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
- applying some of the subject-specific skills outlined above from the perspective of a commercial or industrial organisation.
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 – understand and explain 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.
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
- provide both a broad overview of the subject and enable specialisation in selected areas
- offer several themed pathways that build on the core modules allowing students to pursue particular interests.