Computer Science (BSc)

The exciting and dynamic world of computer science is at the heart of many aspects of modern life, and the BSc Computer Science will give you both the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to become a part of that world.

Computer Science student with Raspberry Pi

The exciting and dynamic world of computer science is at the heart of many aspects of modern life, and the BSc Computer Science will give you both the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to become a part of that world.

Students on this course will develop transferable technical, analytical and professional skills, supported by a broad awareness of current technology trends. The course covers a mixture of core techniques and concepts and evolving, technology-based subject matter.

Graduates are able to objectively analyse problems and develop appropriate computational solutions. Your detailed understanding of technology will make you suitable for a range of professional careers and sought-after by employers.

Distinctive features

The course does not require any prior knowledge or experience of computer science. You will begin your studies with a month-long module which establishes core concepts and competencies and supports the transition to studying at a university. You will have the opportunity to develop your interest in specialist areas of computer science through project work and module options.

When I finished my A-Levels, I wanted to find a university course that I felt would give me a solid overview of the many aspects of Computer Science and expose me to truly current cutting edge research within the field. The department has a world-class reputation and an innovative course that provides you with the skills to peruse a career within many computing and IT fields.

Rob Hemsley, Graduate (Computer Science)

Key facts

UCAS CodeG400
Next intakeSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
AccreditationsBCS the Chartered Institute for IT
Typical places availableThe School typically has around 120 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives around 1,000 applications.
Typical A level offerABB-AAB from three A Level subjects.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding Mathematics where required.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer33 points.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Specific admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be found online. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

This three-year course begins by introducing basic computing skills and concepts which will underpin the degree. Short projects in year one are followed by a substantial team project in year two, when you use new skills and knowledge to design and implement a software system. In year three, you focus on emerging technologies and research-led options, and undertake an individual project centred on your own interests.

Year one

Modules taught in the first two semesters will introduce fundamental computing skills and concepts that form the basis of your degree. This includes the programming of algorithms using languages such as Python and Java™, an understanding of Internet and web technologies, computer architecture and operating systems, software engineering principles and mathematics for computer science. You will be expected to develop new technical and professional skills, and to demonstrate individual creativity and originality throughout the year.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Computational ThinkingCM110120 credits
Maths for Computer ScienceCM120810 credits
Developing Quality SoftwareCM120220 credits
Professional SkillsCM120110 credits
Web ApplicationsCM110220 credits
Object Oriented Java ProgrammingCM120910 credits
Architecture and Operating SystemsCM120510 credits
Problem Solving With PythonCM110320 credits

Year two

Core modules taught in year two introduce advanced topics; some choice is introduced into the degree through optional modules. The structure and processing of data is further explored and simple algorithms are expanded into applications that are able to communicate via networks. Skills developed so far are applied during a team project to professionally design and implement a software system.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Algorithms and Data StructuresCM230320 credits
Group ProjectCM230520 credits
Communication Networks and Pervasive ComputingCM230220 credits
Human Computer InteractionCM210110 credits
Object Oriented ApplicationsCM220110 credits
Database SystemsCM210210 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
InformaticsCM220310 credits
Data Processing and VisualisationCM210510 credits
Computational MathematicsCM210410 credits
Scientific ComputingCM220810 credits
Introduction to the Theory of ComputationCM220710 credits

Year three

In year three you will focus on emerging technologies and advanced topics which are often informed by the School’s research. There are a number of optional modules to choose from depending on each student’s specific interests. Contemporary topics include computer security and forensics investigation, high performance computing, artificial intelligence, computer vision, graphics, and multimedia. You will complete an individual project under staff supervision, driven by your interests.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Emerging TechnologiesCM320220 credits
One Semester Individual Project - 40CM320340 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Large-Scale DatabasesCM310420 credits
High Performance ComputingCM310320 credits
MultimediaCM310620 credits
Knowledge ManagementCM310720 credits
SecurityCM311010 credits
ForensicsCM311110 credits
GraphicsCM311410 credits
Computer VisionCM311310 credits
Artificial IntelligenceCM311210 credits
Combinatorial OptimisationCM310910 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

The School of Computer Science & Informatics has a strong and active research culture, which informs and directs our teaching. We are committed to providing teaching of the highest standard. We received an excellent report in the most recent Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) review and BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, regularly reviews and accredits our undergraduate degree courses.


Key skills such as programming are taught through a combination of lectures and lab-based practical sessions. Further support mechanisms are used to help digest material. These include example classes, tutorials and help sessions, amounting to a total of between 15-20 formal contact hours a week in year one.

Teaching delivery in years two and three mirrors that of year one, but there are fewer formal contact hours as you will have acquired the skills needed to take control of your own learning by these latter stages of the course.

Project

You will undertake project work throughout the course, with the opportunity to exercise increasing independence at each level.

In year one, you will participate in team project work. The tasks are well defined and enable you to put into practice knowledge and skills acquired earlier in the academic year.

In year two, you will undertake a group project fostering systems design, interpersonal and presentation skills. Each group is monitored by a supervisor with whom the group must keep in regular contact.

Year three individual projects give you the chance to demonstrate your ability to build upon and exploit knowledge and skills gained in earlier years.
 

 

How will I be supported?

The course makes use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Learning Central to provide course materials, and additional information is provided online.

The School prides itself on offering a comprehensive support structure to ensure positive student/staff relationships. You will be assigned a member of staff to act as your personal tutor, who will serve as a point of contact to advise on both academic and personal matters in an informal and confidential manner.

You will see your personal tutor on average once a month during your first year of study. During years two and three there is a reduced schedule of contact sessions, which takes into account the increasing academic and time demands as you progress. Outside scheduled tutor sessions, senior personal tutors run an open door policy and will be available to advise and respond to any personal matters

How will I be assessed?

Progress in each module will be assessed during or at the end of the semester in which it is taught. All modules include assessments, including written examinations or assessed coursework, or a combination of both. The format of the assessments depends on the learning outcomes of each specific module.

Most modules include coursework elements for assessment. The importance of good referencing, use of libraries and web-based information retrieval as a prelude to critical, independent study is developed. Assessed essays and reports are used to encourage knowledge and understanding, critical analysis, development of reasoned argument and synthesis of conclusions.

Practical assignments assess programming and design skills. These typically address small, well-defined problems at the start of the course, and become progressively open-ended. Tests are also used to assess knowledge, skills and techniques, which a professional may be expected to use in a time-constrained situation. You can also be assessed by poster presentation. 

Feedback:

Feedback on assessed work will normally be made available no later than four working weeks after the assessment deadline. We recognise the importance not only of assessing the quality of the work submitted, but also of giving useful feedback which will help you in your understanding of the subject being assessed.

Feedback is used to identify what has been done well, why a particular mark was given, and what can be done to improve in the future. Feedback is given in a variety of ways including oral feedback given by staff on an informal, ongoing basis, written feedback on individual submissions, and written or oral feedback given to students as a group in tutorials, discussion classes and problems classes.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop both discipline specific skills and important ‘employability skills’. These include:

  • information literacy skills;
  • career development planning and lifelong learning;
  • ability to study independently.

Skilled computer scientists are in extremely high demand. This means the employment prospects for graduates in the computing and ICT industry are very strong. You will be equipped with transferrable skills that open doors to careers in many sectors.

In recent years, approximately 90% of the School’s graduates were in employment or engaged in further study within six months of graduation.

Recent statistics show that the vast majority of our graduates are following their chosen career paths in roles such as Software Engineer, Web Developer, Computer Programmer, Associate Software Developer, Business Analyst and Systems Development Officer. They go on to work for companies including Airbus Group, Amazon, BBC, BT, Cardiff University, Capgemini, Confused.com, GCHQ, IBM, Lloyds Banking Group, MoD, Morgan Stanley, Sky, South Wales Police and Thomson Reuters. Others have chosen further study or research at Cardiff or other top universities.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2016/17)

EU students entering in 2016/17 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2017/18 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our Funding and fees section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2016/17)

Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes. Please check with us for full clarification.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£18,250None

Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.