Open days are the perfect opportunity for you to explore our vibrant campuses, get a taste of your course(s) of interest and hear first hand from our staff and current students about life as a student at Herts.
Our next open day is Saturday 27 April 2024 from 09:30 - 15:00.
You will receive complimentary travel across the UNO bus network on the open day dates (whether you undertake your whole journey via the Uno network or just use it to access our campuses from Hatfield or St Albans train stations). Once you've registered, keep an eye on your emails for your free pass!
The University of Hertfordshire is committed to welcoming students with a wide range of qualifications and levels of experience. The entry requirements listed on the course pages provide a guide to the minimum level of qualifications needed to study each course. However, we have a flexible approach to admissions and each application will be considered on an individual basis.
Access Course Tariff
Overall merit profile in 45 credits at Level 3
120-128 points from a minimum of two HL subjects at grade 4 or above
GCSE: Grade 4/C in English Language and Mathematics.
All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.
Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional (for 1st year entrants only)
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Why choose this course?
Choose this course with an emphasis on artificial intelligence and robotics building on a base of mainstream computer ccience, 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. Previous students have worked placements at companies including Intel, IBM, and BT.
Recent graduates from Computer Science have gone on to work at amazing organisations including BAE Systems, NHS, and EE.
Computer Science saw 90% of its research ranked as world-leading. (Research Excellence Framework, 2021).
What's the course about?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a discipline in which computers and other devices are designed and developed to display intelligent characteristics. This course adds a specialism in AI to a broad base in technology and software development. Particularly in the first two years, you’ll find an emphasis on software development, professional programming, the modelling and design of systems and data, the principles of networking and the user experience. These give you the core skills to specialise in AI, where you can study the analysis, design and construction of knowledge-based and expert systems, artificial life and robotics, and systems based around the use of neural networks.
Your main campus is College Lane
This is where the creative arts, science and health-related subjects are based. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more. You can use the common rooms to relax with friends, work out in the 24-hour gym or have a drink in our on-campus pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.
New School of Physics, Engineering and Computer Science building opening in 2024
Learn in our brand-new building, where you’ll experience a range of experiential learning zones.
The computer science labs are home to telecommunications, robotics and UX empathy labs, with a variety of research spaces that range from dark rooms to clean rooms, and sample prep labs to calibration and assembly labs.
You will also benefit from a Success and Skills Support Unit, which is aimed at helping you build your employability and academic skills. Plus, have access to industry mentors who will provide you with pastoral support, vocational guidance, and career progression opportunities.
The new building will also provide space to collaborate, with plenty of workshops, social and meeting spaces available. Even better, the building has been designed with the University’s net zero carbon target in mind, and forms part of our plan to replace or upgrade older sites that are energy inefficient.
What will I study?
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.
Throughout your course, you'll have access to 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 (LRCs), 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.
What you will learn
You will study the analysis, design and construction of knowledge-based and expert systems, Artificial Life and robotics, as well as systems based around the use of neural networks. This course draws on the expertise of the School’s internationally acclaimed AI research staff. In your first two years you will concentrate on building a broad integrated foundation, with your specialism in AI building on this foundation.
You will learn the foundations of the subject including topics such as an overview of the field, programming, modelling, and computing platforms.
You will deepen your understanding and develop more advanced skills. There are technical modules on software development, programming, databases, operating systems and networks, plus two options in AI and robotics.
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 (3rd or 4th)
You will be offered core modules on computer security and project planning, specialist modules in Constructive AI and Robotics, plus two options, which can also be in other aspects of AI. Finally you will undertake an individual project in your chosen specialism, typically an extensive piece of practical work.
This module will enable students to think programmatically about problems that are solved on a computer and help them develop problem-solving skills. There are two strands to the module.
• The programming strand focuses largely on the practicalities of programming. A programming language, Python 3, will be introduced, paying much attention to the fundamental elements of programming: algorithmic and functional decomposition, writing assignments, conditionals, loops and functions, and techniques for testing and debugging. This will be illustrated with a progression of examples to help students develop good comprehension of code and the coding process.
• The discrete structures strand focuses on understanding and reasoning about mathematical and logical structures that are of relevance to programmers. It will introduce students to a coherent set of concepts from discrete mathematics and logic, including sets, relations, functions, propositions, predicates, and automata, and will illustrate how they may be applied in the modelling and solving of computational problems.
This module focuses on the principles and practicalities of the multilevel organisation of computer systems. Students will have opportunities to investigate and build computational structures in hardware, and to program with machine instructions and a simplified dialect of the C programming language and see how they support one another.
The abstractions available at higher levels (programming languages) will be de-mystified by progressively bringing them down to lower levels all the way to the silicon structures that serve as the foundation of any computer system. This will help students to learn high-level programming (when they do) in an informed and efficient way by creating cost intuitions that cannot be developed while keeping solely to abstract constructs such programming normally deals with. Students will be offered a significant number of development exercises ranging from very basic to challenging and will be helped. Independent learning by practicing is key to this.
This module introduces the concept of the relational model of database systems introduced by Codd . It will focus on the principles of data modelling, from conceptual modelling through to physical, it will introduce techniques and tools to possibly include but not be limited to Requirements Gathering, Whiteboarding, Entity-Relationship Modelling, Normalisation, Relational Algebra, Physical Design and Querying via SQL. The module also introduces some of the basic operational requirements of a modern enterprise RDBMS with topics supporting the students understanding of the physical design of the database, hence subjects such as Query Optimisation and Transaction Processing will be introduced.
This module builds on concepts and practices taught in 4ECS2026 Introduction to Programming and Discrete Structures, continuing both strands but bringing them closer together. It makes use of discrete mathematics and logic both as sources of example problems and as tools for describing and reasoning about programs.
• In the programming strand the emphasis is on designing and implementing solutions to well-specified problems. Students will be given guidance on problem representation and choice of data structure, and expected to choose / write appropriate algorithms for themselves, and to implement them in Python.
• In the discrete structures strand the emphasis is on understanding how mathematical and logical structures and reasoning may be used in the service of programmatic problem-solving. This strand will also serve as a source of example problems for students to solve.
This module is designed to develop a range of employability skills using a guided project, undertaken as a team, as the vehicle. Each student will work on the project within their team. Project specifications will be provided that ensure the students have an opportunity to develop project and time management, professional, team communication and reporting, risk, presentation, and self-evaluation skills.
The projects are to be based on typical commercial/industrial scenarios and incorporate the concepts of specification, design, implementation, and testing. Where possible, the guided projects will be constructed with reference to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
This module focuses on the pre-coding stage of the programming process, studying and developing algorithms and data structures appropriate for a range of different types of problem. The module emphasises throughout the role of problems as an essential driver in the programming process and the design of algorithms and data structures in particular.
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.
This module is concerned with the accessibility and usability of computing applications. It presents these core
concepts in the broader context of legal, social, ethical and professional issues in computing and grounds them
on practical work. Concepts and theories on these themes will be presented and supported by examples to
demonstrate how they occur in practical scenarios. Students will be encouraged to identify existing problems,
evaluate potential solutions, and communicate these in computing contexts.
This module will give a first introduction to the aims, scope, paradigms, notions, methods and algorithms of Artificial Intelligence (Al), enabling students to program basic Al algorithms and systems.
Indicative topics include:
• Logic-based reasoning and representation extending to knowledge-based systems and probabilistic reasoning.
• Programming for Al: recursion and recursive problem specification.
• Basic representation- and search-based problem-solving techniques
• Introduction to systems that plan and act logically: making plans to achieve goals; making simple decisions
• Introduction to Al systems that make decisions in interaction with the world: simple Embodied Al systems that make decisions based on limited sensorimotor information.
• Bio-inspired computing methods and algorithms.
The presentation will focus on the macro architecture of an IoT device, processing of digital and analogue signals on GPIO pins, use of standard interfaces, such as UART, SPI, I2C with interrupts and processor sleep modes. Several sensors will be studied to demonstrate the data gathering facilities available.
One inexpensive and well-supported IoT platform will be chosen by the module leader as a running example for the content delivery. This can be ESP32 or Arduino or any similar evaluation module available at a small cost (the price of a good textbook), and which can be interfaced with a PC via a USB port. All teaching will be accompanied by exercises on the chosen platform.
This module assumes an understanding of fundamental relational database design, implementation, and use. It will introduce other database paradigms including, but not limited to Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing, "Schema-free"/NoSQL databases and Graph Databases. Teaching will be directed at both the practical design, implementation and use of these systems as well as understanding the key advantages of each, providing an ability to compare and critique their appropriateness in a range of scenarios. In using these systems, the module will consider the limitation and appropriateness of query languages and the interaction between query languages and programming languages.
The module will also provide insights into the key functional requirements of various database management systems covering topics such as Data Consistency, Transaction Management, Query Optimisation, Security and Scalability/Distribution.
This module will involve a large practical component, with a range of tools and case studies being utilised to develop practical skills and theoretical understanding.
This module provides the knowledge and skills needed for developing a large scale software system using object-oriented tools and techniques, and an appreciation of the professional issues involved in such development, including working in teams.
Although correctness is the sine qua non of software development, good program design which provides for maintainability and re-use will be important elements of assessments. Desirable design principles which foster good design will be woven into the narrative of this module in order to emphasise:
• reduced code duplication
• high cohesion
• low coupling
Object-oriented design guidelines such as the following will be used in early examples and exercises, and then made explicit at a later stage:
• Law of Demeter
• Program to an interface not an implementation
• Design patterns - a selection
This module will cover advanced notions, methods, and algorithms to develop complex AI systems, such as:
• Advanced AI principles and approaches.
• Complex representation and search-based problem-solving techniques.
• Systems that plan and act logically in uncertain and complex situations.
This module will provide an in-depth introduction to Intelligent Adaptive Systems (IAS) and the AI notions, methods, techniques and algorithms underlying the design and implementation of a variety of artificial IAS. IAS can be defined as systems that adapt (change, improve) autonomously their sensorimotor, morphological, functional, and/or cognitive capabilities as they interact with their environments, to face in advantageous ways the dynamic changes and challenges that those environments pose.
This module is concerned with legal, social, ethical and professional issues that may affect the work of professionals in the computing and technology sectors.
The module is designed to enable students to make informed judgements in computing practice based on legal, social and ethical principles.
This module provides an overview of AI systems/agents that have different types of intelligence beyond the cognitive and behavioural capabilities of individual agents, such as social intelligence, allowing agents to know about and interact appropriately with other agents, and collective intelligence, allowing agents to solve complex problems acting as a group.
This module explores software architecture by examining architectural design patterns. Using a conceptual definition as an anchor, the module examines different approaches to solving design problems, with practical examples and implementation exercises.
This module is based on a set of practical examples and exercises that show how to apply architectural patterns to design software systems.
This module is based around the identification and undertaking of an individual project.
Project definitions will be provided covering a range of Artificial Intelligence based topics areas of interest. The student is guided in their choice of project, based on their proven skills and interests.
Each project is designed to support the student to develop deep and detailed learning in AI and will require the development of an artefact.
The project definition will also enable further development of skills for future employability in industry, including:
• problem analysis and solution development
• time management and planning
• report writing
• assessment of risk
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.
This module uses contemporary machine learning and neural network techniques to aid in the understanding and analysis of real world data and neural systems. Topics include supervised and unsupervised learning, data visualisation, and error-correction-based learning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This module will provide an in-depth introduction to Intelligent Adaptive Systems (IAS) and the AI notions, methods, techniques, and algorithms underlying the design and implementation of a variety of artificial IAS. IAS can be defined as systems that adapt (change, improve) autonomously their sensorimotor, morphological,
functional and/or cognitive capabilities as they interact with their environments to face in advantageous ways the dynamic changes and challenges that those environments pose.
An opportunity for an amazing experience, which will help make you stand out from the crowd. With more and more companies working internationally, experience of living in another country can make a great impression on future employers.
This course offers you the opportunity to enhance your study and CV with a sandwich year abroad. The University has partnerships with over 150 universities around the world, including the USA, Canada, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and closer to home in Europe.
If you study abroad between your second and third year of study, you’ll pay no tuition fee to the partner university and no tuition fee to us either. We’ll ask you to make your decision in your second year, so there is plenty of time to think about it.
Please note Erasmus+ funding is only available until May 2023. For students starting their course in September 2022 and wishing to study abroad in 2023-24 or 2024-25, please refer to the Turing Scheme.
Graduate with invaluable work experience alongside your degree and stand out from the crowd.
This course offers you the opportunity to enhance your study and CV with a work placement sandwich year. It’s a chance to explore career possibilities, make valuable contacts and gain sought after professional skills.
Our dedicated Careers and Employment team are here to help guide you through the process. Recent placement students have worked at large organisations such as:
Numerous smaller organisations, some family-run or near home.
If you take up a work placement between your second and third year of study, at the University of Hertfordshire you’ll pay no tuition fee for this year. We’ll ask you to make your decision in your second year, so there is plenty of time to think about it.
*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s
Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.