Computer Science is an exciting and rapidly evolving subject that affects every area of our lives. A deep understanding of computing puts you in a great position to influence the future as well as opening up excellent employment prospects and well-paid careers. You learn the fundamentals of computer science with a focus in your final year on cyber security.
Why study a Computer Science degree at Kent
Kent is an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, with staff who are world-leading experts Many of our students take a year in industry; our dedicated staff guide you through the process Academic support is available through web-based information systems, podcasts and web forums and we run a peer-mentoring scheme You have access to our creative makerspace, The Shed, both to support your work and for personal interest You can join student-led groups with an interest in Computing including TinkerSoc, our ‘tinkering’ society The award-winning Java teaching systems BlueJ and Greenfoot were developed at Kent.
What you’ll study
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.
With cyber security as your focus, you take compulsory modules throughout your course and in your final year can choose from a range of optional modules. This degree opens career options in the commercial and public sector as well as research.
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
We support many of our students 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.