Computing Foundation

Foundation Degree Computing (Foundation Degree) 2018/19

Year of entry

Apply from September 2017. Come to an Open Day

Our strong industry links with employers in the IT sector provide great opportunities for practical employment experience on this distinctive and practical course. An industrial placement and work-based learning are at the heart of the programme, and your two years with us will be ‘hands-on’ as you gain the skills you need to join this challenging and dynamic sector of industry.

You will explore areas including:

  • programming
  • application development
  • software development
  • e-commerce and web development
  • database systems.

100% of our most recent Computing Foundation students were in jobs or further study 6 months after finishing their course.

DLHE 2015-16

Our Foundation Degree in Computing is an excellent route into studying computing at university level. Our course is distinctive due to the involvement of employers in the IT sector. An industrial placement for approximately 10 weeks and work-based learning are at the heart of this course and this feature is incorporated into the development, delivery and assessment of our course. A placement is likely to increase your employability prospects and help you to focus on your area of interest.

This course aims to provide you with an up-to-date, relevant Higher Education qualification in computing in association with IT placement providers. You will develop skills, understanding and knowledge of computing that are underpinned by rigorous and broad-based academic learning incorporating key skills.

You will develop knowledge and an understanding of the organisation of computer systems in terms of hardware, software and data processing and there are continual forms of assessments and small group workshops.

Our student Steven Dodds won a prestigious British Computer Society scholarship award worth £25,000 in 2015. Steven has secured a PGCE place which will enable him to pursue his dream of becoming a computer teacher without fear of financial burden, thanks to the generous scholarship. Steven said: “I would like to give my gratitude to computing staff who both provided me with confidence to go ahead with the decision to pursue teaching career as well as glowing references.”

This course is for you if you wish to join the IT industry in one of a multitude of roles such as IT support technician, computer programmer or web developer. On successful completion, you will also have the opportunity to study a top-up year by entering year three of our BSc Computing degree course.

The assessed work experience and industrial placement will further provide you with work-specific skills that are relevant to the IT sector. There is an emphasis on direct technical skills developed through a number of modules.

"The industrial placement is a very valuable resource; I was able to use the experience to explore whether a career in the education sector was for me. I gained some valuable insights and made some firm friends."

Lance Jacob , a year two student, awarded Foundation Degree with Distinction in 2013. Lance completed a top-up year and achieved a first class degree in BSc Computing in 2014.

This is a two year 'hands-on' course. In year one, you will study six modules, each worth 20 credits. A total of 120 credits must be achieved to proceed to year two of the course.

In year two, you will study a further five modules worth a total of 120 credits, of which the industrial placement (approximately 10 weeks) contributes 40 credits.

The industrial placement is genuine work experience and allows you to enjoy a meaningful and CV-enhancing period of relevant work. The placement, alongside other programme attributes, allows you to explore your interests and future options.

Work experience

Two of our Foundation Degree students spent their placement with Calls4Charities, which is a local Mobile Virtual Network Operator Service Provider, focusing on the UK charity sector. The projects involved developing a customised website for C4C, a company that primarily sells personalised phones and SIM cards online and allows subscribers to donate to various charities of their choice. The website was built on WordPress and coded in HTML5, PHP5,CSS3 JavaScript and jQuery. The work was successfully completed and the website is fully operational.

Other information

A bridging course is a prerequisite for those students who wish to progress to year three of the BSc Computing course at Canterbury Christ Church University.

One of our senior lecturers, Dr Muna Al-Jepoori taught computing at Amman University in Jordon and Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman for 15 years before she started working here. Muna specialises in agile software development, semantic web, human computer interaction, computer security and cryptography, people and computing , information systems, software engineering and many programming languages such as Java and C++.

Year one

Core modules

Fundamentals of Computer Systems

This module provides you with a foundation for all professional computer personnel in computer systems and related topics, in particular the areas of: Binary number systems, hardware devices, central processing unit, microprocessors, networking and operating systems.

Introduction to Programming

The aim of this module is to teach students with a variety of programming backgrounds, including those with no prior programming experience, and bring you all to a common level of knowledge and understanding of computer programming. We aim to develop your understanding of the fundamental programming concepts required by all programming paradigms, to provide you with the problem solving skills to design, implement, test and debug a software solution to a given problem.

Application Development

This module will build upon the knowledge gained in the Introduction to Programming and teach you more intermediate features of computer programming and introduce you to more advanced algorithms. It also aims to provide you with more complex problem solving skills to design, implement, test and debug a software solution to a given problem.

Principles of Software Development

This module develops your understanding of the fundamental concepts of software engineering involved in the software life-cycle when developing a computer-based solution to meet specific user requirements. It also aims to provide you with knowledge and the principles of discrete mathematics, algorithms and data structures that underpin software development.

The Computer Professional

This module aims to give you a good understanding of the range of roles in the computing industry and some of the requirements to work in those areas. The module will focus on a small number of different roles and will discuss the requirements for these jobs both in general and the degree modules that might best guide a student into that career. It will give an exposure to some knowledge required for these jobs and allow you to discuss the ethical and professional issues relating to these career choices.

E-Commerce and Web Development

This module aims to provide you with the necessary practical and theoretical knowledge required to understand, design and build websites using a variety of tools and techniques. The focus is to provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to design and build a simple e-commerce system using technical skills together with the application of a practical understanding of today’s business world and the impact of digital technologies on all aspects of economic activity. We will cover a combination of technical knowledge and creative design skills necessary to devise and implement online solutions to business problems. The other aspects of the module are the utilisation of international document distribution standards, an appreciation of the human factors which influence good design practice and acquiring demonstrable skills to support client side developments.

Year two

Core modules

Industrial Placement

This module provides you with an experience of working in an IT related industrial or business organisation.  You will be encouraged to put into practice the concepts and skills that you have developed throughout the course. This module enables you to experience the application of theory into practice through personal involvement in the day to day running of a company and encourage analysis and evaluation of the work-based application of the concepts, knowledge and skills developed in the course. Work experience is a key part of the Foundation Degree and allows students a ‘real’ opportunity to respond to what employers are looking for.

Computer Networking

This module aims to introduce you to the fundamental aspects of computer networking that are important in understanding how a modern communication network infrastructure is built, used and managed. In relation to the latter it also aims to introduce you to the basic network probing tools and ISO protocols.

Object-Oriented Programming

This module will further develop your understanding of computer programming concepts by providing a practical and theoretical appreciation of the object oriented programming (OOP) paradigm. It aims to ensure you acquire the skills to apply object-oriented software engineering principles to develop software solutions to specified problems, using modern analysis and design methodologies, and an industry standard OOP language.

Web Site Design

This module aims to provide you with the necessary practical and theoretical knowledge required for effective website design. The focus will be on design techniques, web-based software engineering methods and human factors such as accessibility, standards and usability engineering.  In terms of the technical approach, emphasis will be placed on the development of the client-side solutions rather than the server-side solutions.

Database Systems

The module aims to provide you with a theoretical and practical appreciation of the fundamental issues involved in designing, implementing and testing a small relational database application in a multi-user environment using an industry-standard database management system.

Bridging course (compulsory for candidates who wish to progress to year 3 of BSc Computing)
The aims and content of this module will to some extent be fluid to enable the course team to reflect on the needs of the current cohort. However, there will be a core of focused study that in the main will prepare you for the third year BSc Computing module Individual Projects. An underlying theme will be the application of sound software engineering practice and the use of an appropriate methodology for the production of a small software system.

The IT industry is dynamic and challenging with plenty of job opportunities at all levels. Many of our graduates work in a variety of roles, for example as computer programmers, IT support, network administrators, computer security, database developers and software testers.

“Thanks to my industrial placement module I was able to gain valuable workplace experience in an area of IT that I might never have considered before. The knowledge and understanding I acquired during my placement helped me secure a job in central London as a software tester.”

Daryoosh Romano Falak Rafat , graduated with distinction in 2013
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 have not yet been finalised - please read the 2018/19 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2018/19 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Fees

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

CategoryDescription
Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

CategoryDescription
Field Trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc)

We run several part-funded optional trips per year. Students are expected to pay a share of the overall cost: Typically in the order of £10-£20 per trip for UK regional trips. These are payable two weeks or more in advance of the trip. Fee will cover part of the travel and entry fee (if any).

Food and drink are not included. We are hoping to run optional trips further afield in the UK or abroad. A larger student cost may be required for these trips.

Travel and Accommodation costs for Placements

Students on the Industrial Placement module in Year 2 will be expected to self-fund all travel, accommodation if required, and subsistence costs. However this has usually been subsidised by the placement providers.

Text books

Some modules require a purchase of a text book. Text books in computing can cost between £10 and £70 per book. Other modules will use either free books or students will use a number of different books from the library.

DBS / Health Checks

Not required unless required for a placement. Students will bear any costs associated with these checks although some checks may be paid for by the placement providers.

Clothing / Kit

Not required, unless required for placement, where the student will be responsible for these costs, unless essential Health and Safety requirements, where the placement partner organisation will bear the costs.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

The programme has been designed to include a variety of assessment techniques, including examinations (including seen and un-seen, short-answer and multiple choice formats), class-based exercises, problem-solving tasks, presentations, group work, portfolios, logs, reports/ case studies and essays.

The teaching and learning strategies will, by their nature, seek to support the development of graduate skills as well as learning outcomes. A significant feature of this course is the amount of time allocated to work in computer laboratories. 

The main methods used for teaching are: Lectures, practical workshops, tutorials, oral presentation, group projects and e-learning. Typical contact hours are 60 hours per module.

We seek to provide both a supportive and well-structured environment in which students can build their self-confidence by tackling academically challenging tasks along with an appropriate balance of encouragement and constructive criticism.  It is expected that students will become increasingly self-motivated and take more responsibility for their own learning and, on occasion, for that of their peers.  We recognise the value of, and encourage, collaborative learning. 

Academic input

Our computing team consists of 11 experienced full-time members of staff including senior and principal lectures, four university instructors and a sessional lecturer.

Surprising terms

Foundation Degree students who have successfully completed year two will be advised to proceed to year three of our BSc Computing course if they obtain a robust overall average. Otherwise they will be advised to enter year two of BSc Computing.

The course has been designed to include a variety of assessment techniques, including examinations (including seen and unseen, short answer and multiple choice formats), class-based exercises, problem solving tasks, presentations, group work, portfolios, logs, reports/case studies and essays.

Module handbooks set out the assessment tasks in detail including information on the level, size and timing. Our Industrial Placement module is assessed by means of a final report, input from the placement provider and a presentation.

The students will have 24/7 access to our refurbished computing labs and a newly-built “Makerspace” lab which is equipped with Raspberry Pi, Arduino and related peripherals.

We work closely with a number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), local schools and colleges, the NHS and many more companies and institutions which provide IT work experience for our students and also inform our curriculum and teaching.

The quality of our placements is always commended by our external examiners and the students. In a previous report, the External Examiner stated:  “The students all agreed that the theoretical aspects of the programme helped and enabled them to undertake the practical work and overall gave them a good foundation to build upon. Work based learning and work experience is an enabling and career enhancing activity.”

Fact file

UCAS code

  • G402 Computing Foundation Degree

Institutional code

  • C10

Length

  • 2 years full-time

    4 years part-time

Starts

  • September 2018

Entry requirements

Location

School

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Last edited: 21/08/2017 14:47:00