BSc (Hons) Computer Science

BSc (Hons) Computer Science 2018-11-28T12:15:42+00:00

Course Details

EQF/MQF Level

Level 6

ECTS Credits

180 ECTS

Duration of Study Programme

3 Academic Years

Awarding Body

2 years Higher National Diploma: Pearson (UK)

1 year Top-Up Degree: University of Hertfordshire

Intakes

October & January

Malta/EU Price

€13,000

Course description

The Computer Science programme aims at providing you with opportunities to develop specific in-depth technical abilities and skills that are relevant to the design, development and management of computing-based systems that support information handling and decision making, and to develop a broad understanding of, and practical abilities in, a range of computing disciplines.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • develop a range of cognitive abilities relevant to the design, development and evaluation of programmed solutions to problems;
  • develop a range of practical skills relevant to the design, development and evaluation of programmed solutions to problems;
  • develop a range of transferable skills including communication, logical presentation of ideas and arguments, and independent and team working; and practice these skills within the context of their studies;
  • recognise and begin to appreciate the legal, social, ethical and professional issues involved in the application of your knowledge and skills to a range of problems;
  • encounter a broad range of activities drawn from a variety of problem domains.
  • develop specific in depth technical abilities and skills that are relevant to the design, development and management of computational systems;
  • develop a broad understanding of, and practical abilities in, a range of computing disciplines.

What you will study

You will study modules such as:

  • Unit 1: Programming

This unit introduces students to the core concepts of programming with an introduction to algorithms and the characteristics of programming paradigms.

Among the topics included in this unit are: introduction to algorithms, procedural, object-orientated & event-driven programming, security considerations, the integrated development environment and the debugging process.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to design and implement algorithms in a chosen language within a suitable Integrated Development Environment (IDE). This IDE will be used to develop and help track any issues with the code.

As a result they will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

  • Unit 2: Networking

The aim of this unit is to provide students with wider background knowledge of computer networking essentials, how they operate, protocols, standards, security considerations and the prototypes associated with a range of networking technologies.

Students will explore a range of hardware, with related software, and will configure and install these to gain knowledge of networking systems. A range of networking technologies will be explored to deliver a fundamental knowledge of Local Area Networking (LAN), Wide Area Networking (WAN) and their evolution to form largescale networks and the protocol methodologies related to IP data networks will be explored.

On successful completion of this unit students will gain knowledge and skills to successfully install, operate and troubleshoot a small network; and the operation of IP data networks, router, switching technologies, IP routing technologies, IP services and basic troubleshooting. Supporting a range of units in the Higher National suite, this unit underpins the principles of networks for all and enables students to work towards their studies in vendor units, if applicable.

Students will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

  • Unit 3: Professional Practice

This unit provides a foundation for good practice in a variety of contexts. The ability to communicate effectively using different tools and mediums will ensure that practical, research, design, reporting and presentation tasks are undertaken professionally and in accordance with various communication conventions. In everyday life the ability to apply critical reasoning and solve problems are necessary skills to enable task resolution and facilitate effective decision-making.

Working with others in a group environment academically or within the workplace is an integral part of everyday life. Therefore, understanding the dynamics of teams in terms of culture, roles and responsibilities will ensure that there is a better understanding and awareness of the importance and value of teamwork. Continuing professional development, self-improvement and working towards various goals is an area that is encouraged in the workplace through the appraisals framework. In addition, professional development extends into higher levels of learning and the need to demonstrate effective research skills and academic reporting skills is also required.

Among the topics included in this unit are: the development of communication skills and communication literacy; the use of qualitative and quantitative data to demonstrate analysis, reasoning and critical thinking; and tasks that require the integration of others within a team-based scenario and planning and problem solving.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to demonstrate leadership skills through the dynamics of team working, and through reflective practice be able to evaluate the contributions made as an individual and also of others. As a result they will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

  • Unit 4: Database Design and Development

The aim of this unit is to give students opportunities to develop an understanding of the concepts and issues relating to database design and development, as well as to provide the practical skills to translate that understanding into the design and creation of complex databases.

Topics included in this unit are: examination of different design tools and techniques; examination of different development software options; considering the development features of a fully functional robust solution covering data integrity, data validation, data consistency, data security and advanced database querying facilities across multiple tables; appropriate user interfaces for databases and for other externally linked systems; creating complex reports/dashboards, testing the system against the user and system requirements; and elements of complete system documentation.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to use appropriate tools to design and develop a relational database system for a substantial problem. They will be able to test the system to ensure it meets user and system requirements and fully document the system by providing technical and user documentation. For practical purposes, this unit covers relational databases and related tools and techniques. A brief overview of object-oriented databases will also be covered.

Students will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

  • Unit 5: Security

The aim of this unit is to provide students with knowledge of security, associated risks and how security breaches impact on business continuity. Students will examine security measures involving access authorisation, regulation of use, implementing contingency plans and devising security policies and procedures.

This unit introduces students to the detection of threats and vulnerabilities in physical and IT security, and how to manage risks relating to organisational security.

Among the topics included in this unit are Network Security design and operational topics, including address translation, DMZ, VPN, firewalls, AV and intrusion detection systems. Remote access will be covered, as will the need for frequent vulnerability testing as part of organisational and security audit compliance.

Students will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

  • Unit 6: Managing a Successful Computing Project

The aim of this unit is to offer students an opportunity to demonstrate the skills required for managing and implementing a project. They will undertake independent research and investigation for carrying out and executing a computing project which meets appropriate aims and objectives.

On successful completion of this unit students will have the confidence to engage in decision-making, problem-solving and research activities using project management skills. They will have the fundamental knowledge and skills to enable them to investigate and examine relevant computing concepts within a workrelated context, determine appropriate outcomes, decisions or solutions and present evidence to various stakeholders in an acceptable and understandable format.

  • Unit 8: Computer Systems Architecture

This unit introduces students to the foundations of computer systems architecture together with the integrated hardware and software components and subsystems that enable and allow data to be input, processed and output. The unit further explores the concepts of operating systems, hardware management and computer networks together with the practical skills needed to diagnose, troubleshoot and maintain computer systems taking the security of these systems into consideration.

Among the topics included in this unit are: CPUs, memory, input & output devices, ALU operations, program execution, operating systems (including kernel, file systems, API and system calls), hardware management, installation, firmware, device drivers, networking (including OSI and TCP/IP models), error and information gathering, fault diagnostics, security and problem resolution.

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to explain the purpose and role of operating systems, the relationship between the subsystems embedded within a central processing unit, the core hardware and software components associated with computer operations and be able to configure the hardware and systems needed to establish a computer network together with practical diagnostic and troubleshooting techniques. As a result they will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

  • Unit 10: Website Design and Development

This unit introduces students to the underpinning services required to host, manage and access a secure website before introducing and exploring the methods used by designers and developers to blend back-end technologies (server-side) with frontend technologies (client-side). To help ensure new designers are able to design and deliver a site that offers an outstanding User Experience (UX) supported by an innovative User Interface (UI) this unit also discusses the reasons, requirements, relationships, capabilities and features of the systems they will be using and gives them an opportunity to explore various tools, techniques and technologies with ‘good design’ principles to plan, design and review a multipage website.

Among the topics included in this unit are: domain structure, domain name systems, web protocols, database servers, development frameworks, website publishing, content management, search engine optimisation, web browsers, HTML standards, CSS and CSS pre-processing (LESS, SASS), presentation models, responsive design, integrated development environments, user requirements, interface design, user experience, branding, navigation, optimisation and validation.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain server technologies and management services associated with the hosting and management of secure websites, categorise website technologies, tools and software used to develop websites, utilise website technologies, tools and techniques with good design principles to create a multipage website and create and use a Test Plan to review the performance and design of a multipage website.

As a result they will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

  • Unit 13: Computing Research Project

The aim of this unit is to offer students the opportunity to engage in sustained research in a specific field of study. The unit enables students to demonstrate the capacity and ability to identify a research theme, to develop research aims, objectives and outcomes, and to present the outcomes of such research in both written and verbal formats. The unit also encourages students to reflect on their engagement in the research process during which recommendations for future, personal development are key learning points.

On successful completion of this unit students will have the confidence to engage in problem-solving and research activities which are part of the function of a manager.

Students will have the fundamental knowledge and skills to enable them to investigate workplace issues and problems, determine appropriate solutions and present evidence to various stakeholders in an acceptable and understandable format.

As a result they will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, reasoning and interpretation which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

  • Unit 14: Business Intelligence

This unit introduces students to a range of tools, techniques and technologies for acquiring data and processing this into meaningful information that can be used to support business functions and processes.

Within this unit students will examine the concept of business processing in terms of data capture, conversion and information output. Students will also be required to define the tools and technologies associated with business intelligence functionality.

The use of a business intelligence tool/s and techniques is also required to demonstrate an understanding of a given problem. Finally, students will be expected to evaluate the impact of business intelligence for effective decision-making.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to appreciate the importance of business intelligence in terms of optimising decision-making and performance. By exploring the tools, techniques and systems that support business intelligence students will have an awareness of the role and contribution that these technologies and methodologies have and their importance to organisations.

As a result students will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

  • Unit 17: Network Security

This unit introduces students to the fundamental principles of Network Security practices. As Systems Administration and Management are important tasks in the day-to-day functioning and security of Information Systems, poor or improper practices can lead to loss of data, its integrity, performance reductions, security breaches or total system failure. Special planning and provisions needs to be made for ongoing support of systems and networks, which account for a significant proportion of the IT budget. With the widespread use of computers and the internet for business customers and home consumers, the topic of security continues to be a source for considerable concern.

Among the topics included in this unit are: historical Network Security (NS) principles and associated aspects such as Firewalls, Routers, Switches, MD5, SSL, VPN, AES, SHA-1/2, RSA, DES, 3DES; different types of public and private key cryptography such as Caesar Cipher, IPSec; types of attacks that can be done on a network and methods of preventing such attacks such as Man-In-the-Middle (eavesdropping), Denial of Service (DoS), Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) (ping); Certificate Authority (CA); ‘The Cloud’ Security aspects and associated counter-measures such Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Community Cloud, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), phishing, spoofing, DNS attack, SQL Injection, MAC Address spoofing/control. Firewalls and other Gateways can be used as a tool for Intrusion Detection and Prevention as they can be situated on the perimeter of the Network to provide security.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to discuss with confidence several types of Network Security measures as well as associated protocols, cryptographic types and configuration settings of Network Security environments. Finally, students will be able to test the security of a given network to identify and fix vulnerabilities.

As a result they will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

  • Unit 19: Data Structures and Algorithms

This unit introduces students to data structures and how they are used in algorithms, enabling them to design and implement data structures. The unit introduces the specification of abstract data types and explores their use in concrete data structures. Based on this knowledge, students should be able to develop solutions by specifying, designing and implementing data structures and algorithms in a variety of programming paradigms for an identified need.

Among the topics included in this unit are abstract data types specification, formal data notations, data encapsulation, complex data structures, programming language implementations using handles, pointers, classes and methods, algorithm types, data structure libraries, algorithm complexity, asymptotic testing and benchmarking.

On completion of this unit the student should be able to identify program data requirements, specify abstract data types using a formal notation, translate into concrete data structures and be able to develop, using a programming paradigm, different sorting, searching and navigational algorithms that implement complex data structures and evaluate their effectiveness.

As a result of studying this unit students will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

  • Unit 20: Advanced Programming

The aim of this unit is to familiarise students with these features and their best practices to ensure that their code is in line with industry standards.

Among the topics included in this unit are: object-orientated programming; polymorphism, encapsulation, class aggregation/association, constructors/destructors, inheritance, abstract classes, interfaces, containers, generics, introduction to design patterns and Unified Modelling Language (UML).

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to write code in an object-orientated fashion using design patterns where necessary and be able to model their code structure in UML class diagrams. As a result they will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

  • Unit 21: Data Mining

This unit will introduce the theoretical foundation of data mining and a range of data mining processes and techniques. The unit will also provide hands-on experience in developing data mining applications using an appropriate programming language or data mining tool.

Topics included in this unit are: data mining terminologies, scope of data mining such as classification, regression and clustering methods and techniques, associate pattern mining, mining time series data, and mining text data.

On successful completion of this unit, students will appreciate the theoretical and technical concepts of data mining and its techniques and processes, gain hands-on experience in implementing data mining techniques using a programming language such as Python, R, or a tool such as Weka, KNIME, Excel etc.

As a result students will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

  • Unit 30: Application Development

This unit introduces students to Application Development and is designed to simulate the roles and responsibilities of a commercial developer working in a suitable business environment with access to a small team of colleagues. Initially, students are introduced to a business-related problem and will need to adopt and use appropriate methods and practices to analyse, break down and discuss the issues – then, decide, design, create and test a possible solution. Students should be free to debate, evaluate and select different design and development methodologies depending on their own judgement and consideration. On completion, students will be expected to formally evaluate their final application against their design plans and initial requirements.

Among the topics included in this unit are: design and developer documentation; problem analysis; research, system and user requirements; design methodologies and principles; security considerations; development methodologies; Unified Modelling Language (UML), software development lifecycles; teamwork, peerreviews, development tools and techniques; integrated development environments; debugging, testing, software versions and quality assurance.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to produce a Software

Design Document by analysing a business-related problem and deduce an appropriate solution, including a set of initial requirements, select and use design and development methodologies with tools and techniques associated with the creation of a business application, work individually and as part of a team to plan, prepare and produce a functional business application with support documentation and assess and plan improvements to a business application by evaluating its performance against its Software Design Document and initial requirements.

As a result they will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

CORE MODULES:

Programming and Software Engineering Practice

  • This module develops understanding of object-oriented technology in the analysis and design of software systems. Real-world problems are analysed and modelled in an object-oriented way, experience is gained in translating such models into executable systems. The module explores design concepts such as abstraction, encapsulation and inheritance. The module considers how these design concepts can improve software quality, and how typical implementations of these concepts can be captured and reused by using design patterns. The module also extends understanding and experience of software engineering practice. It offers exposure to the development and evolution of software, developing practical software engineering knowledge and skills.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Explore object-oriented concepts, their realization in programming languages, and use in the design and architecture of software systems, using current and emerging technologies.
  • Develop practical skills in the use of a variety of object-oriented techniques.
  • Apply and critically evaluate object-oriented design techniques to the development of software systems.
  • Apply a range of advanced software engineering practices.
  • Extend understanding of the practical implications of technical context on the application of software engineering processes and practices.

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.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Plan for the undertake of a complex individual project.
  • Understand the purpose of the project as an academic exercise based around the creation of a practical artefact.
  • Be prepared for the writing of a substantial technical dissertation.

Computer Science 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 learning activities 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.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Devise a complex individual project answering a real-world problem, based on and underpinned by Computer
  • Science principles.
  • Plan, undertake and evaluate a practical solution to an identified problem, designed to extend and deepen their knowledge of subject areas relevant to their studies.
  • Plan, produce and refine a significant technical report describing and reflecting upon the programme of work undertaken to solve a real-world problem.

OPTIONAL MODULES:

Choose one from the following:

Computer Systems Security

  • This module provides a description of computer security techniques and mechanisms and the underlying design trade-offs. Furthermore, it discusses risk and threat methods and methodologies.The module covers cryptographic tools, access controls and techniques for equipping students to scope, manage and conduct a penetration test.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Have a systematic understanding of advanced principles in computer security
  • Provide solutions to cyber security problems in the modern socially-driven, knowledge-based, virtual computing era

Mobile Computing

  • This module examines mobile development and the issues around programming for a mobile device, understood here as a phone, tablet, or wearable computational hardware. In terms of programming this might involve: Novel forms of input: accelerometry or GPS reading; Understanding gesture: swiping, pinching, long- press; Context awareness: battery level, light level, nearby sensors or devices; Mobile usability: developing for small screens with restricted space; Connectedness: interfacing with web services; Publishing apps on dedicated app stores.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Focus on key issues pertaining to the design and development of mobile applications

Choose one from the following:

Data Mining and Visualisation

  • Data Mining is an analytic process for discovering hidden knowledge, unexpected patterns and new rules from large datasets. The major tasks for data mining include association rule mining, classification, cluster analysis and anomaly detection. There are various algorithms for each of these tasks. In general, data mining techniques are used in organisations which collect data. Potential applications include market analysis and management (target marketing, customer relation management, market basket analysis, cross selling, market segmentation), risk analysis and management (forecasting, customer retention, quality control, competitive analysis), fraud detection and management, text mining (news group, email, documents) and web analysis, etc.
    Data visualisation is about designing ways of presenting and effective interaction with data. Potential applications of data visualisation include market data, media and web data, and scientific data. Data visualisation often works with the results of data mining, to present the knowledge, patterns and rules uncovered from a dataset.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Explore concepts, techniques and applications of data mining.
  • Explore different data visualisation techniques and explain the benefits and limitations of different techniques.

Quantum Computing: 

  • Quantum Information Processing is an extremely active research area exploiting fundamental quantum phenomena in new applications from computation, secure data communication and information processing. A major paradigm shift, the area is of significant interest and potential benefit to both computer and physical scientists. This module will be theoretical in nature, exploring concepts and applications from the area of Quantum Information Processing with an emphasis on Quantum Computing. Content will vary according to current research directions.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Appreciate the fundamental principles involved in Quantum Computing (QC) and how issues and concerns in classical computing are modified when extended to QC
  • acquire a framework for understanding the concepts involved in QC and to appreciate the importance and limitations of these techniques.

User Experience Design

  • This module explores the body of knowledge underpinning the field of User Experience, including how factors such as system, user and the context of use influence the user experience.  User Experience is a very broad domain, encompassing many different fields of study. For us in this module, much of the work will focus on concepts and techniques that can be applied to the design of user interfaces and implementation of software prototypes. Furthermore, it will explore methodologies that can be used in evaluating User Experience designs.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop a critical understanding of the body of knowledge pertaining to the field of User Experience

Identify and select appropriate techniques and methodologies, and apply these, to the design, analysis and evaluation of User Experience work

How you will learn

First and Second Year:

ICT is both an academic and a practical subject so you will be taught with a flexible classroom-based method, through different ways, such as lectures, discussions and hands-on activities. We provide you with key reading and research activities, and you will make the most of our learning portal.

Our classrooms are equipped with PCs running Windows 7 and/or Linux and a whole range of industry-standard and educational software from Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, and others.

Most of our students bring their own laptops, but this is not essential since you can use the school’s facilities. Our Learning Portal Moodle allows you to access electronic learning resources, as well as electronic discussions with lecturers and other students.

Third Year: 

You will study at your own choice of time and place, saving on travel and accommodation costs and fitting in with your other commitments.

Our programmes begin on specific dates, you study as a small group and there are deadlines for coursework assignments and a fixed 24-hour period for tests. This way you combine the flexibility of distance learning with the self-discipline and community spirit of conventional tuition. Our students come from all over the world so you will have a great opportunity to gain first-hand experience of global networking.

You will use the Internet for learning: to access course information, to communicate with others, and to transmit completed assignments for marking. We take advantage of technologies to provide faster and more effective communication and to deliver much richer learning materials than is normally possible with other forms of learning.

Method of Assessment

First and Second Year

The purpose of assessment is to ensure that effective learning has taken place of the content of each unit. Evidence of this learning, or the application of the learning, is required for each unit. The assessment of the evidence relates directly to the assessment criteria for each unit. The grading of BTEC Higher National qualifications is at the unit and the qualification level.

Each successfully completed unit will be graded as a pass, merit or distinction. A pass is awarded for the achievement of all outcomes against the specified assessment criteria. Merit and distinction grades are awarded for higher-level achievement.

Summary of grades

In order to achieve a pass in a unit
  • All learning outcomes and associated assessment criteria have been met
In order to achieve a merit in a unit
  • Pass requirements achieved
  • All merit grade descriptors achieved and all prescribed indicative characteristics
In order to achieve a distinction in a unit
  • Pass and merit requirements achieved
  • All distinction grade descriptors achieved and all prescribed indicative characteristics

Third Year

Modules are assessed by combination of coursework (including essay, design, development of software artifact, technical report, academic report, live presentation, peer review, team work, video log, live demonstration, viva) and tests. The dates of assignment submission and tests are fixed.

The tests are available for a fixed period of time, usually 24-hours, to ensure all students can find a convenient opportunity to complete them within that period. If you cannot meet the assignment deadlines or test dates, you must inform the Module Leader in advance of the deadlines to get appropriate advice.

Entry requirements

  • Have an A’Level standard of education; OR
  • A relevant qualification at MQF/EQF Level 4; OR
  • For students whose first language is not English, competence in English must be demonstrated through an overall IELTS score of 6.0, or equivalent qualification

Students should produce copies of certificates, full CV in EuroFormat and passport-size photo.

Fees & funding

Current Fees

Full-time Part-time
Malta/EU €13,000 €13,000

Get Qualified

Refund through Get Qualified Scheme: €9,100*

Net amount: €3,900*

*Terms and Conditions Apply

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