BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Technologies (Top-Up)

BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Technologies (Top-Up) 2021-11-12T11:29:27+00:00

Course Details

EQF/MQF Level

Level 6 Qualification

ECTS Credits

120 UK Credits (equivalent to 60 ECTS)

Duration of Study Programme

1-2 Academic Years – Part-Time, 3-hours, Twice a Week

Awarding Body

University of Derby

Intakes

January, May and September 2022

Malta/EU Price

€7,200

Operational End Date

NA

Mode of Delivery

Traditional/Face-to-Face Learning

Pass Rate

100%

Course description

About:

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:

  • 18+

What you will study

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

One of the core modules everyone completes is the Research Project. You can select from a list of suggestions provided by your tutor or this could be something you propose that matches your own interests, experience or area of professional development.

The programme allows you to study at your own pace, fitting around other commitments, in any location, via a virtual classroom environment. You will also get the opportunity to interact with like-minded peers across the world through discussion forums.

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

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered. In addition, where demand is high, some modules may be subject to a cap.

To complete this top-up degree you will need to complete a total of 60 ECTS. This will be made up from the two core modules and three of the optional 10-ECTS modules in your preferred area of Computing and Information Technologies.

You will study modules such as:

  • 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

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

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:

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.

Assessment is carried out through home-based assignments, which means you will have plenty of time to dedicate to each criteria. By having small groups, you will have more time for discussions where you can share your experiences at your place of work.

Course Language:

English

Structure of Programme:

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.

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:

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

  • Edexcel BTEC Level 5 HND in Computing and Systems Development; OR
  • HND or Foundation degree in a computing subject from a UK Institution;
  • 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 €7,200 €7,200

MFHEA Licence Nº: 2011 – TC – 01

Further and Higher Education Institution

Last Updated: 09th November 2021

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