Our Computing degrees give you the skills you need for the practical application of computing to areas typically found in industry. These include e-commerce, information systems, and computer consultancy. This degree looks at computer science and its application to real world computer and information systems.
Our programmes are taught by leading researchers who are experts in their fields. Kent was awarded gold, the highest rating, in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework*.
Our degree programme
All of our programmes have a similar structure, and are divided into three stages.
In your first year, you are introduced to programming, web and databases. You begin with the fundamentals of programming (object-oriented and web) and a grounding in software engineering, then master the principles of database systems, networking, parallel programming and artificial intelligence.
In your second year, you develop your computing skills and extend to advanced technologies. You then have the opportunity to apply your learning in a paid role during your year in industry.
During the final year, you apply these concepts to specialised fields such as cryptography, e-commerce, signal analysis, e-health, semantic web, consultancy and data mining.
Our module topics suit many career paths, and our general principle is to equip you to effectively apply computing concepts to solve real-world problems.
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.
Kent student Anamika talks about her course
PLEASE NOTE - this degree will start in Medway in September 2020 and move to Canterbury in September 2021.
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.
We have a dedicated Placement Team to guide you through the whole process and support you on your placement. The School has strong links with industry in Kent, nationally and internationally.
In previous years, students have worked in a range of large and small organisations including well-known names such as:
It is possible to take this degree as a three-year programme, without a year in industry. For details, see Computing.
Apart from core learning towards your degree, we provide access to a wealth of other activities such as entrepreneurship (including business start-up opportunities), community engagement, public lectures, participation in short research projects and assistance in obtaining summer placements.
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.
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 two dedicated placement co-ordinators help students obtain and benefit from high-quality work placements. Previous year in industry participants have worked with leading companies such as BAE Systems, Citigroup and The Walt Disney Company. Many return to their final year with the security of an employment offer – testament to the high esteem in which our graduates are held by industry.
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 hereTeaching
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. 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 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.
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
- communications 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
- organisations, their environment and their management, including many or all of the following: the management of people, operations management, finance, marketing and organisational strategy
- aspects of the core subject areas from the perspective of a commercial or industrial organisation.
You gain 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 teaching/learning intellectual skills are developed through the teaching and learning programme outlined below. Students develop critical reflection by verbal and written discussion of key themes introduced in the core modules. Project work succinctly to a range of audiences rational and reasoned arguments
- requirements: identifying and analysing criteria and specifications appropriate to specific problems and planning strategies for their solution
- criteria evaluation and testing: analysinge 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
- critically evaluating arguments and evidence
- analysing and drawing reasoned conclusions concerning structured and, to a more limited extent, unstructured problems
- applying some of the intellectual skills specified for the programme 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 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
- 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
- applying some of the subject-specific skills specified for the programme from the perspective of a commercial or industrial organisation.
You gain transferable skills in:
- communication: making succinct presentations to a range of audiences about technical problems and their solutions
- information technology: effective information-retrieval skills (including the use of browsers, search engines and catalogues). Effective use of general IT facilities
- self-management: managing one’s own learning and development including time management and organisational skills.
The programme aims to:
- provide a programme which will attract and meet the needs of those contemplating a career involving a significant element of information technology and those motivated primarily by intellectual interests in applied computing
- provide a sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the principles of applied computing
- provide generally applicable skills that will be of lasting value in a constantly changing field
- offer a range of modules covering the foundations of information technology
- offer a range of options to enable students to study selected areas of information technology in depth
- provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires students to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge
- develop general critical, analytical and problem solving skills that can be applied in a wide range of different applied computing settings.