BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Technologies

BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Technologies 2021-11-12T09:38:49+00:00

Course Details

EQF/MQF Level

Level 6 Qualification

ECTS Credits

360 UK Credits (equivalent to 180 ECTS)

Duration of Study Programme

3 Academic Years – Part-Time, 3-hours, Twice a Week

Awarding Body

2 years Higher National Diploma: Pearson UK – RQF 603/0471/6

1 year Top-Up Degree: University of Derby

Intakes

March & October 2022

Malta/EU Price

€12,500

Operational End Date

31 August 2022

Mode of Delivery

Traditional/Face-to-Face Learning

Pass Rate

98%

Course description

Developed by leading specialists, our newly updated Computing and Information Technologies (Top-Up) BSc (Hons) degree has been designed around diverse cutting-edge issues, events and digital developments.

The course will allow you to deepen your knowledge and understanding through research, case studies and practical skills-based projects. With a core focus on professional ethics and the wide-ranging impact of computing technologies in society, the programme will support learners in acquiring crucial skills which underpin the duties and responsibilities of today’s computing professionals.

Target Group:

Those wishing to progress within the Computing and IT sector such as:

  • IT support engineers, network engineers
  • Systems administrators and IT teachers
  • Network and security professionals
  • Web and software developers

Target Audience:

  • 16+

What you will study

You will study modules such as:

  • Unit 1: Programming – 15 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 7.5 ECTS) – 188 Total Learning Hours

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 – 15 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 7.5 ECTS) – 188 Total Learning Hours

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 – 15 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 7.5 ECTS) – 188 Total Learning Hours

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.

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 – 15 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 7.5 ECTS) – 188 Total Learning Hours

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 – 15 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 7.5 ECTS) – 188 Total Learning Hours

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 16: Cloud Computing  – 15 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 7.5 ECTS) – 188 Total Learning Hours

This unit is designed to develop an understanding of the fundamental concept of Cloud Computing, cloud segments, and cloud deployment models, the need for Cloud Computing, an appreciation of issues associated with managing cloud service architecture and to develop a critical awareness of Cloud Computing based projects.

Topics included in the unit are the paradigms of networking, fundamentals of Cloud Computing, Cloud Computing architecture, deployment models, service models, security, technological drivers, and cloud service providers.

On successful completion of this unit, students will understand the concept, architecture, and services of Cloud Computing and will gain hands-on experience of configuring a cloud service from major providers such as ECM, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM etc., and implementing a simple cloud platform using open source software with an appropriate networking platform.

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 20: Advanced Programming – 15 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 7.5 ECTS) – 188 Total Learning Hours

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 28: Prototyping – 15 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 7.5 ECTS) – 188 Total Learning Hours

This unit introduces students to the role, basic concepts and benefits of prototyping in the design and development process of software applications. The aim of this unit is to enhance a student’s understanding of the methodology, terminology and benefits of prototyping in the design and development of secure software applications.

Among the topics included in this unit are: classification and terminology of prototyping tools and techniques, the relationship between prototypes and release candidate software applications, how prototypes differ from release candidate software applications, categorising prototypes by their intended target end user, functionality and testing requirements, methods of prototyping, most appropriate forms of prototype for the different categories of testing, gathering meaningful insights and results from prototype testing, software release lifecycle and software prototyping concepts.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain the basic concepts of prototyping; plan, build and measure the success of an appropriate prototype with a specific end user in mind; and conduct testing to gather meaningful feedback and data to improve a prototype or final software application.

  • Unit 39: E-Commerce & Strategy – 15 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 7.5 ECTS) – 188 Total Learning Hours

Within this unit students will gain an understanding of how and why businesses and organisations develop E-Commerce strategies: to remain competitive in the global market. Students will also appreciate the elements and resources required to set up an E-Commerce site and be engaged in the design and implementation of their own strategies that would in reality form part of a secure E-Commerce site.

Students will examine the impact that E-Commerce has on society and the global market for consumers, buyers and sellers in terms of the benefits and drawbacks of online purchasing. Through investigation, students will also research the technologies involved in setting up a secure E-Commerce site in preparation for their own E-Commerce strategy.

There is an expectation that students will devise a strategy based on an element of E-Commerce such as designing a shopping cart, an ordering system, payment system or an online marketing system, for example. This design should be fully implemented and evaluated accordingly in terms of its success or failure.

Standards and levels of support, marketing, CRM, promotion and supply chain management will all be explored within the context of developing the implementation strategy.

On successful completion of this unit a student will have gained both a technical and practical insight into E-Commerce strategy, design and development. 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:

  • Computing Technologies in Society– 20 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 10 ECTS) – 250 Total Learning Hours
This module provides a wide-ranging transdisciplinary introduction to the evolution and application of increasingly complex and powerful digital technologies.

Particular attention is given to the impact of technologies on society, the individual and the environment. A broad range of past, present and future technologies and techniques are considered within a framework which is designed to support you in acquiring crucial skills which underpin the duties and responsibilities of today’s computing professionals. A strong research-infused curriculum is adopted and is reinforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom’s discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues and current events – thereby supporting you in the acquisition of a broad range of transferable skills which are of pivotal importance in professional practice. As part of the assessment for this module, you will have the opportunity to carry out a research-informed case study in which they will be able to focus on ethical issues relating to specific past, current or emerging hardware and/or software systems/trends. Alternatively, you may elect to undertake a practically based exercise. In either case, you will work within a small group with each member being marked individually for their contributions.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competence in understanding key technical and environmental issues concerning the operation, implementation and application of digital systems
  2. Critically appraise past, present and future applications of digital systems with particular emphasis on their impact upon both society and the individual
  3. Formulate professional ethical positions in relation to the development, manufacture, application, proliferation and disposal of digital systems
  4. Participate effectively in group work and proactively contribute to the overall organisation of the group
  5. Recognise the varied roles and responsibilities which are associated with professional activity in the computing/IT domain and the importance of continued professional development

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • Digital systems and genocide
  • Environmental stewardship: The computer life cycle – from inception to e-waste
  • Long-term data archiving
  • Server farms and sustainability
  • Digital shadows and personnel privacy
  • Empowering digital systems – fully automated processes
  • Predictive modelling
  • Surveillance systems
  • Drones for surveillance and warfare
  • Radio-frequency identification devices (RFIDs)
  • When technology goes wrong – from cancer therapy to avionics
  • Animatronics
  • Ethical and professional responsibilities
  • Ethics in a multi-cultural context
  • Ethics and the Internet
  • From technology to human factors
  • Professional codes of conduct – turning theory into practice
  • Professional roles and responsibilities – professional development
  • Research Project– 40 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 20 ECTS) – 500 Total Learning Hours

In this module, you will have the opportunity to learn about basic research techniques and apply this knowledge in carrying out a research project.

Projects can be theoretical in nature, may involve comparative studies/surveys, modelling/analysis, or may embrace practically-based activity (for example, the development of a hardware and/or software prototype). You will be supplied with a list of suggested projects. Normally, you are expected to select a project from this list. However, you can propose a project that may better match your interests, experience or relevant area of professional development. Permission to undertake such student initiated projects is not automatically granted but must be approved by your Academic Associate (Tutor) before work begins.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Define a research or practical project that tackles a given problem
  2. Select an appropriate methodology to undertake the project
  3. Conduct an independent enquiry or practical activity that successfully meets the aims of the project
  4. Critically evaluate the findings and impact of the project

Module content

Indicative topics and activities:

  • Nature of scholarly research
  • Research methodologies
  • Ethical and professional considerations
  • Library resources and usage
  • Literature searching – from online to hard copy
  • Forms of publication
  • Literature review
  • Data collection, analysis, accuracy and evaluation
  • Practical-based research
  • Hardware and software design and testing
  • Safety considerations
  • Formal report writing
  • From originality to plagiarism
  • Project design
  • Time management

OPTIONAL MODULES:

Choose three from the following:

  • Cyber Security and Ethical Hacking: An Introduction – 20 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 10 ECTS) – 250 Total Learning Hours

Cyber security is of crucial importance to all legitimate users of the Internet – from government and commerce through to private users.

The level, scale and profundity of cyber-attacks and fraudulent activity continue to increase. As a result, there is a vital and continuous need for organisations to adapt and enhance security in order to keep abreast of ever more sophisticated forms of attack. In parallel, it is necessary to verify the effectiveness of security arrangements, to identify weaknesses (which are always present) and to determine the value gained from financial investment in cyber defence. In this module, we focus on issues relating to cybersecurity, methods that can be employed in evaluating system security and basic digital forensics techniques which can be used to accrue information pertaining to an attack. We particularly focus on introducing ethical hacking techniques, also known as penetration testing, by which organisations recruit appropriate professionals who are charged with identifying and reporting on security weaknesses. This module provides an opportunity to develop important and highly transferable practical skills underpinned by a theoretical understanding of key issues and methodologies. This is reflected in the various assessment components, by the use of research-informed content and by the expectation that you will develop the breadth of your knowledge by making regular and considered contributions to the virtual classroom’s discussion forum.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically discuss the threat spectrum of cyberspace attacks and key defensive techniques
  2. Apply basic tools and techniques in a structured, ethical and professional manner so as to evaluate and report on system security using ethical hacking methodologies
  3. Apply appropriate basic digital forensics tools and techniques in a structured manner so as to accrue information relevant to a cyber-attack and/or fraudulent activity

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • The use and misuse of digital systems
  • The myth of total security
  • An introduction to digital forensics
  • An introduction to ethical hacking and penetration testing
  • Ethical and professional responsibilities
  • Ethical hacking and the law
  • Security fundamentals – technical vulnerabilities
  • Security fundamentals – organisational vulnerabilities
  • Human factors & social engineering
  • Cyber-attacks and illegal activity: techniques and motivations
  • Digital forensics – tools and techniques
  • Digital forensics – case studies
  • Ethical hacking and penetration testing – tools and techniques
  • Ethical hacking case studies
  • Cyber security and mobile technologies
  • Cyber warfare
  • Cyber terrorism
  • Database Fundamentals– 20 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 10 ECTS) – 250 Total Learning Hours

Starting from scratch and assuming no prior knowledge, this module provides a broad grounding in the fundamental features, analysis, design and implementation of modern relational database systems in multi-user and web-based environments.

It also explores alternative technologies that are available in the database arena along with associated web programming technologies and scripting languages. The key issues of database security, database performance, the incorporation of non-traditional data, the role of database administration and the legal and ethical issues surrounding the storage and security of information are also introduced. A research-infused curriculum is adopted in this module and is reinforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom’s discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues – thereby supporting the acquisition of a broad range of highly transferable skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Model, design and implement a relational database with a web-based interface for a given scenario
  2. Review and critically evaluate database technologies

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • Database and database management system fundamentals
  • Conceptual data models
  • Relational theory and relational algebra
  • Database design and normalization
  • Database query languages
  • Databases and non-traditional data
  • Database optimization and query tuning
  • Database security techniques
  • Web-enabled database techniques (scripting and interfaces)
  • Data management principles (ethical and legal issues)
  • Data management – future trends and technologies
  • Distributed Applications and Web Services – 20 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 10 ECTS) – 250 Total Learning Hours

This module provides a wide-ranging introduction to the various techniques that can be used in the development of distributed applications.

These operate seamlessly across architectures that consist of two or more, and often many, computing machines that are connected via some form of network, eg physical or wireless. A research-infused curriculum is adopted in this module and is re-enforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom’s discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues – thereby supporting the acquisition of a broad range of highly transferable skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate the suitability of different platforms and techniques that can be applied when developing distributed applications
  2. Research appropriate applications so as to demonstrate web services techniques and critically evaluate their effectiveness
  3. Participate effectively in group work and proactively contribute to the overall organisation of the group

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • History of distributed systems and web services
  • Distributed computing architectures
  • Web service protocols
  • Peer-to-peer computing
  • Web service orchestration
  • Distributed media
  • Cloud computing
  • Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and beyond
  • Internet of Things: An Introduction – 20 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 10 ECTS) – 250 Total Learning Hours

The concept of an ‘Internet of things’ (which is often discussed within the framework of pervasive and ubiquitous forms of computing) relates to the development, deployment and operation of a broad spectrum of Internet-connected devices which are able to communicate with applications, with each other, and with the environment.

The pervasive use of interconnected and intercommunicating sensory technologies offers great opportunities for business, for governmental agencies and for the individual. However, there are a number of ongoing challenges which include reliability, data handling, security and impact on personal privacy. This module provides a practical, interdisciplinary introduction to the Internet of things and to the broader area of pervasive computing. A research-infused curriculum is adopted in this module and is reinforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom’s discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues – thereby supporting you in the acquisition of a broad range of highly transferable skills. As a part of the assessment for this module, you will have the opportunity to carry out a design and construction exercise in which you will develop and programme one or more Internet-connected devices (usually based on the Arduino or Raspberry Pi technologies). Alternatively, you will undertake a research-informed case study involving research into specific topics.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competence in understanding the principles, techniques, protocols and technologies which underpin the Internet of things
  2. Critically appraise the strengths and weaknesses of the concepts and potential social and ethical ramifications of the Internet of things and of pervasive computing in general
  3. Critically evaluate the benefits which the Internet of things and pervasive computing offer in advancing indicative areas of application

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • Pervasive computing and the Internet of things
  • Hardware and software considerations
  • Sensor and actuator technologies
  • Exemplar devices
  • Communication techniques and protocols
  • RFID devices
  • Power sources and reliability
  • Data bandwidth issues
  • Wireless sensor networks
  • Security issues
  • Exemplar case studies – Internet of things in commerce, employment, environment, and m-Health
  • Ethical issues
  • Current and future research, developments and trends
  • Network Management and Security – 20 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 10 ECTS) – 250 Total Learning Hours

This module is intended to provide you with an in-depth understanding of the issues involved in the management of large scale computer networks.

The importance of information security and risk management are highlighted, as are the implications of security compromise and infringement. In particular, the need for network management is discussed, and relevant models to facilitate this are presented. Network infrastructure and capacity planning, together with associated metrics, are investigated, with this being framed in terms of quality of service and the use of service level agreements. Network security concepts and techniques, for example cryptography and encryption, are also introduced in this module. Such topics are particularly relevant to modern computing paradigms, such as cloud computing. A research-infused curriculum is adopted and is reinforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom’s discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues – thereby supporting you in the acquisition of a broad range of highly transferable skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Justify the need for network management; consider the main network management functions and discuss both benefits and limitations
  2. Critically interpret recent research and development in the field of network management security
  3. Critically review the requirements for the design of a network system so as to meet a given application scenario and evaluate key aspects of its security

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • Configuration management
  • Event management
  • Performance management
  • Accounting management
  • Network management standards
  • Capacity planning
  • Aspects of network security, eg authentication, firewalls, physical security, different types of network attacks and risk analysis
  • Disaster recovery
  • Information security management systems (ISMS)
  • Current areas of research and interest in network management, including aspects of cloud computing
  • General issues relating to the management of information technology, such as ethical, legal and security of information, as it relates to network management
  • Selected case studies
  • Software Engineering: Creating Quality Products – 20 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 10 ECTS) – 250 Total Learning Hours

This module provides a wide-ranging and highly practical introduction to the software life cycle – from software specification and design through to programming, testing and documentation.

Basic programming techniques are introduced at an early stage and so previous programming experience is not assumed. However, those who have programming skills will gain the opportunity to extend their understanding of software development as an engineering process and to apply this knowledge in the implementation of a larger software development task. Practical programming is taught within a framework of software engineering techniques thereby allowing you to better appreciate that the ability to cut code represents only one (albeit crucial) part of the software life cycle. Learners are introduced to a range of highly transferable skills which are needed in order to produce fully-documented high-quality software products. As part of the assessment for this module, you will design, develop, test and document several programmes. You may undertake this work individually or form a group (software development team). Groups normally comprise three members. Group work is strongly encouraged – but is not a requirement. You are expected to make regular contributions to the virtual classroom’s discussion forum.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competence in basic algorithm design, program coding, documentation development, and debugging
  2. Apply software engineering techniques across key areas of the software life cycle
  3. Critically appraise software development processes with particular reference to software specification, documentation and testing

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • Origins and evolution of software engineering techniques
  • Examples of good and bad practice, software quality
  • Software project management
  • Human factors
  • Introduction to programming
  • Algorithm design
  • Software life cycle
  • Sequential development strategy – strengths and weaknesses
  • Agile development
  • Software specification
  • Programming strategies
  • Development environments
  • Testing strategies and techniques
  • Exhaustive testing
  • Documentation techniques
  • Web Development: Creating Effective Applications– 20 UK CREDITS (equivalent to 10 ECTS) – 250 Total Learning Hours

This module explores historical, current, and emerging issues, technologies, practices, and infrastructure relating to the creation of large-scale, multi-function websites.

Particular emphasis is given to supporting wide-ranging functionality, eg a combination of e-commerce, communication, social networking, content and management. Particular attention is given to the application of rational methods and critical thinking in the selection of the web technologies which are most suited to a given application scenario. A research-infused curriculum is adopted in this module and is reinforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom’s discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues – thereby supporting you in the acquisition of a broad range of highly transferable skills. As part of the assessment for this module, you will have the opportunity to carry out a research-informed case study and develop a working web application for a given application.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Review and critically evaluate available web-based application implementation options
  2. Interpret web-based application development issues
  3. Identify and justify the design decisions involved in implementing fully featured, multi-function websites

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • Internet protocols and standards
  • A review of current development platforms and technologies in the context of developing complex web applications
  • Site implementation strategies
  • Services oriented architecture and web services
  • Current trends in the application of internet technologies (for both individual and business use)
  • Content management systems
  • Web connectivity
  • Accessibility
  • Emerging technologies, ‘hot topics’ and new developments
  • General issues relating to the management of information technology, such as ethical considerations and security of information, as they relate to web technologies
  • Responsive template
  • Evaluation of the suitability of mobile technologies for different situations
  • Examination of the ethical implications of the use of mobile technologies

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: 

The academic year is made up of three 10-week terms, known as trimesters. We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.

If you opt to undertake the accelerated study plan whereby you will study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

Where you will learn:

Lessons will be held in class in our premises at Domain Building, 102/104, Constitution Street, Mosta.

Assessment

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

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

Course Language:

English

Structure of Programme:

The Level 5 Higher National Diploma consists of the Level 4 Higher National Certificate (above) plus an additional 120 credits at Level 5 delivered via the general Computing pathway.

The final year is made up of three 10-week terms, known as trimesters. We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.

If you opt to undertake the accelerated study plan whereby you will study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

With a mix of core and optional modules, you can tailor your studies to match your particular interests and career aspirations.

We will advise you of your study plan – the running order and availability of the modules – when you are invited to enrol.

To complete this top-up degree you will need to complete a total of 120 credits. This will be made up from the two core modules and three of the optional 20-credit modules in your preferred area of Computing.

..

Teaching, Learning and Assessment Procedures:

The development of the autonomous and independent learner is further enhanced by a range of technology enhanced learning tools and activities. Students will have access to a range of tools and activities, providing support for research activities, personal diagnostics, additional content, online discussion and self-directed study techniques. Different methods will be used to take account of different learning preferences and include, for example, face to face or virtual lectures, case studies, role play, debates, student presentations, formative and summative enquiry based learning, and problem solving activities. The programme encourages students to apply learning to the work place and this is a central feature of the teaching and learning strategy. This will be achieved through a variety of means with the aim being to encourage and develop critical evaluation and the ability to synthesise and apply solutions to complex real life Computing problems. Teaching and learning approaches will be appropriately applied to each cohort in order that the same learning outcomes are achieved, but at times through different methods, whilst facilitating the development of effective peer support networks and learning sets. This will provide a stimulating experience as well as assisting students in their ability to critically evaluate and apply knowledge and intellectual skills to differing situations.

A range of assessments has been devised and the programmes operate within the University’s Regulatory Framework and conform to its regulations on assessment. A flexible approach has been taken in developing the assessment strategy, to allow for the diverse nature of the student cohorts as well as the different learning preferences of individual students.

Grading System:

For the first two years, 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

For the final year:

90-100% Excellent – Distinction

80-89% Excellent – Distinction

70-79% Excellent – Distinction

60-69% Very good – Merit

50-59% Good/Satisfactory – Pass

40-49% Unsatisfactory – Marginal Fail

5-39% Very Poor – Fail

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

Get 70% back on the full course fee upon successful completion.

Current Fees

Full-time Part-time
Malta/EU €12,500 €12,500

MFHEA Licence Nº: 2011 – TC – 01

Further and Higher Education Institution

Last Updated: 04th November 2021

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