BSc (Hons) Information Technology with Optional Sandwich Placement/ Study Abroad BSc (Hons)

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About the course

1/

The BSc (Hons) Information Technology (IT) degree is one of the range of courses in our Computer Science programme. This particular course is broad-based and flexible, with an emphasis on the application and deployment of computing in organisations and businesses.

What you will learn

First Year:  You will learn the foundations of the subject including topics such as an overview of the field, programming, modelling, and computing platforms.

Second Year:  You will deepen your understanding and develop more advanced skills. There are modules on IT in business/organisations, software development, requirements, databases, web scripting and operating systems and networks.

Third Year:  You have the option of taking a one-year paid work placement, or you can study abroad at one of our partner universities worldwide.

Final Year:  You will study project planning, security management, the user experience and databases, plus two options. Finally you will undertake an individual project, typically an extensive piece of practical work.

As well as academic skills and significant experience of the key areas of computer science and IT, you will also gain those skills needed for employment. These include team work, creativity, communications, business awareness, and professionalism. You will acquire these throughout the course plus there is a core module on in the second year covering the legal, social and ethical knowledge necessary to become an IT professional.

Why choose this course?

  • Choose this course with an emphasis on the application and deployment of computing in organisations such as businesses, or change to one of the others in our flexible programme.
  • Be taught by highly qualified staff, most with a PhD or other advanced degree plus research, teaching, or professional experience.
  • Be part of a highly regarded well established computer science department with excellent facilities, a strong research background, and links to business and industry.
  • Prepare yourself for a career in the IT sector through a mix of academic, professional and practical study, with opportunities for industry certifications and a paid placement year.
  • Benefit from an NSS (National Student Survey) overall satisfaction score of 89% for the School.

Entry requirements...

2016

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Careers

Our graduates have become software developers, programmers, web developers, business analysts, database administrators, project managers and IT consultants, or have studied for postgraduate degrees at the University of Hertfordshire or other universities.  There are careers across many employment sectors, including the IT industry, business, education and government.  Recent employers have included Blackberry, GSK, HP, IBM, John Lewis, and T-Mobile.

Teaching methods

Computer Science is both an academic and a practical subject so you will be taught in different ways such as lectures, smaller group tutorials, supervised practicals (labs) and self-study including experiential learning. Assessment is by a mix of in-class tests, exams, and coursework.

The School has well equipped laboratory facilities, with PCs running Windows 7 and/or Linux and a whole range of industry-standard and educational software from Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, and others. There are specialist labs for networking, multimedia, devices, robotics, and projects.

In addition to scheduled classes, about 16 hours per week in Year 1, you will be expected to spend the same amount of time in self-study taking advantage of the University's extensive and up-to-date facilities. These include the Learning Resource Centres, open 24x7, with over 1,200 computer workstations and wifi access, Studynet our versatile online study environment accessible on and off campus, and open access to our labs.

Most of our students own their own PC or Mac, but this is not essential since you can use the university facilities instead or as well.

Work Placement

You have the opportunity to undertake a professional placement in a paid job relevant to your degree for your third year.  We encourage you to take advantage since on average placement students have a greater chance of finding good employment after graduation and achieve higher grades in their final year.

Recent placement students have worked at large organisations such as

  • Apple
  • BT
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • GSK
  • Microsoft, and
  • Xerox.
  • Others have worked for smaller organisations, perhaps family-run or near home.

Study abroad

This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad in the Sandwich Year through the University's study abroad programme. Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme.

Find out more about Study abroad opportunities

Structure

Year 1

Core Modules

  • Human Dimensions of Computing

    This module introduces the history and major accomplishments of computer science and information technology, and its impact on modern life. Technology is only one part of computer science and information technology, and the human and social dimension of computing, including user experience and interaction design, is just as important and relevant to the professional practitioner.

  • Programming

    This module is primarily concerned with developing basic skills necessary to produce computer-based solutions to simple problems in high level languages. The emphasis is on problem solving, problem solving strategies; fundamental constructs such as structure, syntax and semantics; variables and data types, operations and the evaluation of expressions, control structures, and modularisation, data structures and recursion. Program code will be expected to perform according to specification, be readable, maintainable and well designed. Although the given problems will initially be relatively simple, there will also be an appreciation of how simple solutions can be used in the solution of more complex problems.

  • Models and Methods in Computing

    This module introduces a number of principles that underlie computation and computer-based systems, and how they may be modelled. Both the static and dynamic aspects of computing systems are considered, with computation being viewed both in functional terms, and as a series of state transitions defined over abstract or virtual machines. The module provides a clear concept of modelling and specification of computational systems. The module illustrates some of the ways in which the use of formalisms in modelling and specification can aid those involved in the design, development and operation of computer-based systems.

  • Platforms for Computing

    This module introduces the notion of the “computing platform” in the organisation and function of modern computing systems. The computer and network hardware are platforms that support the operating system; The operating system is a platform that supports the application software and programming environment; The programming environment is a platform that supports the development of application software; The application software is a platform that supports the user experience. The organisation and combination of these platforms is illustrated by a historical succession of examples, culminating in the smartphone, the modern mobile computing device. The module also considers the nature of data used by computing platforms, the form that data might take, manipulation and communication of that data, and constraints placed on that data by the choice of platform.

Optional

Year 2

Core Modules

  • Contemporary Issues

    This module introduces the legal, ethical, social and professional landscape in which computing professionals must work. The module promotes a professional approach on issues such as Green Information Technology, Cybercrime, Hacking, Internet privacy, the Internet and ethical values and security measures in Cyberspace. Legal aspects of the module are based mainly on English law, and include privacy (data protection), intellectual property, the Computer Misuse Act and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act which deals with the lawful interception of digital communications. The module also covers the codes of conduct of the relevant professional bodies and the support they can provide to computing professions with particular reference to the British Computer Society code of conduct.

  • Operating Systems and Networks

    This module covers both theory and significant practical content in the design, installation and configuration of operating systems and network services. The module helps to develop problem-solving skills in working with operating systems and networks, and builds confidence in using command line tools and configuration files in other areas of computer science and information technology.

  • IT in Organisations

    This module introduces the information processing choices that organisations have in order to succeed. A range of business approaches is explored both in terms of the business needs and market position. This includes both a financial and legal context. The role of IT/IS will be discussed at length and how these and the internet can be used to support the business objectives. The module develops understanding of the nature of business and implementation of an IT/IS system to demonstrate how these systems can be used to aid business decisions.

  • Information Technology Development Exercise

    The core of the module is a realistic case study, undertaken in small teams, to develop a software system. Developing such a system is not just a matter of understanding the basics of software engineering and project management, but also requires skills acquired through hands-on practice. This approach of learning through experience involves the challenge of identifying, comprehending and critically handling a number of advanced methodologies, concepts, techniques and technologies. A further key element of the module is professionalism and the relevance of the academic content to professional practice in the IT industry. The module provides: Experience of working in a team on a complete systems development project; Knowledge of and skills in modern software engineering techniques; An appreciation of the relevance to the IT workplace, in part acquired through business case studies; The background and attitude for seeking professional employment in the IT industry, especially in software development.

  • System Requirements

    This module focuses on the rationale, processes and outputs of software requirements engineering (RE) activities. This would typically requires identification, analysis, and knowledge how to suitably specify by using appropriate strategies, approaches and techniques what organisations need in order to ensure their systems meet the requirements of all relevant stakeholders. Based on a number of sources, both from research and industry, this module will expose the main RE processes (i.e., eliciting, modelling and validating requirements) and their related issues. The module critically assesses the management of the above processes by using a broad range of diverse techniques. At the elicitation stage, for example, this could include individual techniques such as benchmarking and interviewing. Most techniques will also be considered in the context of multiple processes and against different software development approaches (for example, Agile).

  • Web Scripting

    This module introduces the fundamental concepts of the World Wide Web. It starts with an overview of HTML mark-up and cascading style sheets, and the importance of the separation between content and presentation. The bulk of this module is concerned with extending the practical programming skills, and applying these to the development of a web application that creates, reads, updates and deletes information using databases. Further, an important part of this module is understanding the constraints that the World Wide Web places on developers, such as those imposed by its stateless nature and the various recommendations that guide core web technologies.

  • Enterprise Databases

    This module provides an in-depth study of the design and implementation of relational databases. The module provides the principles and the techniques needed to develop relational database systems, together with the database theory on which these principles and techniques are founded. There is a large practical element, using a popular market leading product in the roles of database designer, database administrator and end user. The module also raises awareness of areas where new types of database are emerging.

Optional

Year 3

Core Modules

Optional

  • Professional Work Placement in Computer Science

    Supervised work experience provides students with the opportunity to set their academic studies in a broader context, to gain practical experience in specific technical areas and to strengthen their communication and time-management skills. It greatly assists them in developing as independent learners, so that they will be able to gain maximum benefit from the learning opportunities afforded by their future study programme. It gives them opportunities, according to the nature of the placement experience, to acquire the basis of technical expertise in specialist areas, which they may be able to enhance through study after completion of the placement, especially in the final project.

  • Year Abroad

    Learning and teaching methods may include taught courses, a research programme, or a mixture of these. components. The Year Abroad will be for TWO academic semesters or their equivalent. The student will follow a programme negotiated by the Study Abroad team or nominee, School Study Abroad Tutor and an equivalent representative of the host institution. Prior to the commencement of the Year Abroad, the student, the appropriate officers from UH and from the host institution will agree a learning contract and mode of attendance. In institutions where the language of instruction is not English, then the learning contract will take into account the students ability in the language of instruction of the host institution. The student will be required to provide evidence of appropriate attainment and ability in the language of instruction of the chosen institution when the language of instruction is not English.

  • Study Abroad

    Learning and teaching methods may include taught courses, a research programme, or a mixture of these components. The Study Abroad duration will be for ONE academic semester or its equivalent. The student will follow a programme negotiated by the Study Abroad team or nominee, School Study Abroad Tutor and an equivalent representative of the host institution. Prior to the commencement of the Study Abroad period, the student, the appropriate officers from UH and from the host institution will agree a learning contract and mode of attendance. In institutions where the language of instruction is not English, then the learning contract will take into account the students ability in the language of instruction of the host institution. The student will be required to provide evidence of appropriate attainment and ability in the language of instruction of the chosen institution when the language of instruction is not English.

Year 4

Core Modules

  • Project Planning

    This module provides preparation for the BSc Project. The module covers: Defining and gauging the suitability of a personal project to address a complex problem; Setting individual targets and goals relevant to the undertaking of the project; Determining ethical, professional and social considerations related to project design, implementation and delivery; Developing self-evaluation skills to support self-analysis of learning, skill acquisition and performance; Understanding particular models and methods used to initiate, plan, report on and manage complex technical projects.

  • User Experience

    This module explores the body of knowledge underpinning the topic of User Experience (UX), and how UX approaches can be applied to the design and evaluation of user interfaces.

  • Advanced Database Topics

    This module builds upon knowledge and skills acquired in the context of relational databases studied at Level 5. Issues of complexity in databases arise when the scale of the database increases and the focus here is on firstly the design and implementation in a large multi-user database and secondly, selected current and emerging topics in databases. This module provides an in-depth study of the design and implementation of relational databases using a top-down approach. There is a large practical element using a popular market leading product in the roles of database designer, database administrator and end user. The module also raises awareness of areas where new types of database are emerging and provides practical experience in these areas.

  • Information Security Management

    This module develops the concepts and principles of information security management including its organisational aspects such as security governance, policy procedures and security standards. It covers the relevant methods associated with risk assessment and management. In this module, various issues associated with information assurance, incident management and government legislation on data protection will be presented. This module introduces security controls that are used to protect information and underlying IT systems and infrastructure. Disaster recovery, business continuity management, investigation and digital forensics which are important aspects of information security management will be discussed in this module.

  • Information Technology Project

    This module is almost exclusively self-directed study. The actual academic content is defined by the topic chosen by the student. This module leads on from the Project Planning module. The Project Planning module will have developed many of the skills needed to undertake the BSc Project, including preparatory sessions on identifying a suitable project idea. The Project module provides an individually designed programme of study based around the principles of the chosen degree title. This programme of study should reflect a solution to a problem of the student’s devising.

Optional

  • Software Quality

    This module provides both a theoretical and practical introduction to quality both in terms of the software development process and the products of that process. It also investigates how quality can be defined and measured, and by analysing actual program code to determine its quality according to pre-determined quality metrics.

  • Strategic IT Management

    This module explores the issues around developing a strategic approach to planning and managing the information, systems and technology (IS/IT) of an organisation to enable it to function smoothly and seek a competitive advantage. It considers the current thinking surrounding the development and implementation of corporate strategies for the use of IS/IT, and their relationship to the strategic frameworks of organisations. The module introduces the ways in which strategic decisions are made, providing techniques and frameworks to help formulate information strategies and issues surrounding the implementation of an IS/IT strategy. Introducing and managing the IT strategy inevitably leads to change in terms of systems and technology, therefore the need to manage change in organisations is discussed and the investigation of conditions, factors, and tools that can help ensure successful change are critically analysed.

  • Advanced Web Scripting

    This module extends the basic web model in two ways. The first looks at the use of client-side scripting to enhance the user experience. This is done by examining the use of Javascript to increase the interactivity of the user view, and to exploit local data storage. The second is to consider the use of services to move beyond a simple HTML page request/response model of interaction. In addition, the module considers the impact of third party tools in developing web applications. For enhancing the user experience this may include interface toolkits such as JQuery. Service-based extensions may include the use of functional libraries such as the Google Maps API.

  • Enterprise Systems

    This module explores different perspectives on the design, management and integration of software systems that support business processes across complex organisations. The first perspective examines the integration and inter-operation of different applications within the same enterprise. The focus is on appropriate approaches and methods for bridging the gap between IT strategy, which aligns business goals and system requirements, and the design and management of individual IT services. This could include, but is not limited to, approaches based on ITIL and/or SOA. The second perspective examines the scalability of systems that provide specific functionality across the whole of an enterprise. This is done by breaking down an application into different tiers and looking at the issues, potential problems and design solutions to enable the delivery of high performance systems. This focus on individual systems is a natural extension to study of design patterns for web applications.

Fees & funding

Fees 2016

UK/EU Students

Full time: £9,000 for the 2016 academic year

International Students

Full time: £11,500 for the 2016 academic year

Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

View detailed information about tuition fees

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

Clearing

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