This degree looks at software development including methodologies used in medium to large enterprises. The programme offers you a solid base of computing skills, equipping you for a wide range of future careers.
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 core fundamentals such as web and object-oriented programming using Java, human-computer interaction, and then build on that knowledge, learning and practicing advanced software engineering methodologies, from agile to structured approaches used in large software projects.
In your second year, you further develop your programming skills and address the engineering of large software systems. You then have the opportunity to apply your learning in a paid role during your year in industry.
In your final year, you are able to specialise in areas of particular interest to you. You can pick from a wide range of options, widening your knowledge of e-commerce, computer security, e-health, data mining and the semantic web. You learn how to apply computing concepts to complex systems.
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.
It is possible to take this degree as a three-year programme, without a year in industry. For details, see Software Engineering.
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.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.
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 functional components of a computer system
- software: programming languages and practice; tools and packages; computer applications; structuring of data and information
- communications and interaction: concepts of computer communication networks; 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 with options to study the management of people, operations management, finance, marketing and organisational strategy.
You gain intellectual skills in:
- modelling: the modelling and design of computer-based systems and an understanding of the trade-off involved in design choices.
- reflection and communication: verbal and written discussion of key themes, the communication of project work to a range of audiences; presenting rational and reasoned arguments
- requirements: the ability to identify and analyse criteria and specifications for specific problems and plan strategies for their solution
- criteria evaluation and testing: the ability to analyse 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: be 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 unstructured problems.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- design and implementation: how to specify, design and implement computer-based systems
- evaluation: how to evaluate systems in terms of quality attributes and possible trade-offs presented within the given problem
- information management: how to apply the principles of information management, organisation and retrieval
- tools: how to deploy the tools used for the construction and documentation of software.
You gain transferable skills in:
- communication: the ability to make 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) and use of general IT facilities
- self-management: managing one’s own learning and development including time management and organisational skills.
The programme aims to:
- attract those who have an interest in applied computing and those contemplating a career involving information technology
- provide an understanding of the principles of applied computing
- provide general skills of lasting value in a constantly changing field
- offer modules covering the foundations of information technology
- offer options that enable students to study selected areas in depth
- provide teaching informed by current research and scholarship
- enable students to engage with aspects of the field that are at the frontiers of knowledge
- develop critical, analytical and problem-solving skills that can be applied in a range of different settings.