The University of Kent is recognised by the British Government as being an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, meaning you will be taught by staff who are top researchers in this area.
The School of Computing is a welcoming and inclusive community, supporting our students to achieve their goals. Our excellent links with industry ensure that you develop the skills you need to be successful in your career.
Our degree programme
On this themed degree, the specific focus (here, Cyber Security) is decided at the time of enrolment and named in your degree title. You can also study our general Computer Science degree, where a subject focus is decided during the course of your study.
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.
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.
Year in industry
Your year in industry takes place between your second and final years. You gain invaluable work experience, earn a salary and there may be the possibility of a job with the same company after graduation.
In previous years, students have worked in a range of large and small organisations including well-known names such as:
IBM IntelDisneyMorgan Stanley.
It is also possible to take this degree as a three-year programme, without a year in industry. For details, see Computer Science (Cyber Security).
Facilities to support the study of Computer Science include The Shed, the School of Computing's Makerspace, which houses:
3D printerslaser-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.
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.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 approximately 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 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
- theory: algorithm design and analysis; formal methods and description; modelling
- an understanding of the scientific method and its applications to problem solving in this area.
- holistic cyber security: core concepts and technology to enforce security, risks and countermeasures (including human aspects), and security architecture.
- secure development: programming best practices, analysis of potential vulnerabilities and malicious code, and security-by-design principles.
- 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 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: 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.
- apply 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, 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
- The ability to plan and manage projects to deliver computing systems within the constraints of requirements, timescale and budget.
- The ability to recognise any risks and safety aspects that may be involved in the deployment of computing systems within a given context.
- the ability to critically evaluate and analyse complex problems, argument and evidence, including those with incomplete information, and devise appropriate computing solutions, within the constraints of a budget.
- Recognise security needs, select and apply solutions (including social-technical solutions) to enforce and maintain systems secure.
- Apply some of the subject-specific skills specified for the programme from the perspective of a commercial or industrial organisation.
You gain transferable skills in:
- teamwork: being able to work effectively as a member of a development team
- communication: making succinct presentations to a range of audiences about technical problems and their solutions
- IT: effective use of general IT facilities; information retrieval skills
- Intellectual skills: critical thinking; making a case; numeracy and literacy; information literacy. The ability to construct well-argued documents. The ability to locate and retrieve relevant ideas, and ensure these are correctly and accurately referenced and attributed.
- Self-management: Managing one’s own learning and development, including time management and organisational skills.
- Professional Development: Appreciating the need for continuing professional development in recognition of the need for lifelong learning.
- Contextual awareness: the ability to understand and meet the needs of individuals, business and the community, and to understand how workplaces and organisations are governed.
- Sustainability: recognising factors in environmental and societal contexts relating to the opportunities and challenges created by computing systems across a range of human activities.
The programme aims to:
- provide a programme that will attract and meet the needs of both 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 a sound knowledge and systematic 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 to enable students to match their interests and study some selected areas of computing in more 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 computing and non-computing settings.
- provide knowledge of key areas in cyber security.
- provide relevant work experience.
- provide an opportunity to develop knowledge understanding and skills of relevance to Computer Science within an industrial or commercial organisation.