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Computer Science is an exciting and rapidly evolving subject that offers excellent employment prospects and well-paid careers. At Kent, we teach you the fundamentals of computer science as well as giving you the opportunity to specialise in an area of your choice.
Kent was awarded gold, the highest rating, in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework*. The School of Computing is also home to authors of leading textbooks and we lead cutting-edge research in specialist areas such as cyber security and artificial intelligence.
Our programmes are taught by leading researchers who are experts in their fields. The wide-ranging expertise of our teaching staff means you have the chance to explore a large choice of subjects, from artificial intelligence and computer security to parallel systems and mobile computing.
This programme has full Chartered IT Professional (CITP) accreditation from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
Our programme focuses on the technical aspects of computer science. You learn to code in several languages, starting with the Java programming language, which is widely used in industry across a range of applications including mobile devices.
Building on these programming skills, you learn the principles and techniques that underpin the algorithms and systems shaping our world today. These include artificial intelligence, computer security, network technology, software engineering, and human-computer interaction. You put these principles and techniques into practice to develop software in a variety of ways, from small-scale exercises to a major software project.
On our flexible programme, you take a broad range of compulsory modules in your first and second years. You then select from a variety of options in your final year of study, so it's ideal if you want to keep your options open.
You can also gain experience in teaching with our Computing in the Classroom module. This gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge in a school setting.
Kent student Dan talks about his course.
You can choose to take a year in industry after the second year of the programme. This gives you work experience, a salary and the possibility of a job with the same company after graduation. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply: for details, see see Computer Science with a Year in Industry.
Facilities to support the study of Computer Science include The Shed, the School of Computing's Makerspace, which houses:
Students also have exclusive access to a computer room and common room, and we run a peer-mentoring scheme.
Computer Science students often take part in TinkerSoc, a student-run 'tinkering' society which meets in 'The Shed', our collaborative workspace. TinkerSoc welcomes all students who like making things.
Whether a member of TinkerSoc or not, you can spend time in The Shed, making, exploring and sharing. In this informal environment you can build physical devices for your coursework, as well as develop your own interests and hobbies.
The School of Computing also hosts events that you are welcome to attend. These include our successful seminar programme where guest speakers from academia and industry discuss current developments in the field. We also host the BCS local branch events on campus.
Our programmes are informed by a stakeholder panel of industry experts who give feedback on the skills that employers require from a modern workforce.
Our successful year in industry programmes have allowed us to build up excellent relationships with leading companies such as BAE Systems, Citigroup and The Walt Disney Company.
We also have a dedicated Employability Coordinator who is the first point of contact for students and employers.
*The University of Kent's Statement of Findings can be found here.
Full CITP and partial CEng accreditation from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
You are more than your grades
At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.
If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.
Mathematics grade 4/C
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
Distinction, Distinction, Merit - Distinction, Merit, Merit
34 points overall or 15 points at HL including Mathematics 5 at HL or SL, or Mathematics Studies 6 at SL
Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 50% overall average including 50% in Programming and 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics (irrespective of whether GCSE Maths or equivalent has been obtained in pre-foundation studies).
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
There’s lots of space there, everything is well-equipped and you can always find somewhere quiet when you need to concentrate.
The experience I’ve gained during my year in industry is priceless.
Duration: 3 years full-time
The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
All modules are compulsory.
This module builds on the foundation of object-oriented design and implementation found in CO320 to provide both a broader and a deeper understanding of and facility with object-oriented program design and implementation. Reinforcement of foundational material is through its use in both understanding and working with a range of fundamental data structures and algorithms. More advanced features of object-orientation, such as interface inheritance, abstract classes, nested classes, functional abstractions and exceptions are covered. These allow an application-level view of design and implementation to be explored. Throughout the course, the quality of application design and the need for a professional approach to software development is emphasised.
This module provides an introduction to object-oriented software development. Software pervades many aspects of most professional fields and sciences, and an understanding of the development of software applications is useful as a basis for many disciplines. This module covers the development of simple software systems. Students will gain an understanding of the software development process, and learn to design and implement applications in a popular object-oriented programming language. Fundamentals of classes and objects are introduced and key features of class descriptions: constructors, methods and fields. Method implementation through assignment, selection control structures, iterative control structures and other statements is introduced. Collection objects are also covered and the availability of library classes as building blocks. Throughout the course, the quality of class design and the need for a professional approach to software development is emphasised and forms part of the assessment criteria.
Mathematical reasoning underpins many aspects of computer science and this module aims to provide the skills needed for other modules on the degree programme; we are not teaching mathematics for its own sake. Topics will include algebra, reasoning and proof, set theory, functions, statistics and computer arithmetic.
This module follows from CO322 and aims to provide students with more understanding of the theory behind the formal underpinnings of computing. It will build upon the abstract reasoning skills introduced in CO322. Matrices, vectors, differential calculus, probability and logic will be introduced.
This module provides an introduction to human-computer interaction. Fundamental aspects of human physiology and psychology are introduced and key features of interaction and common interaction styles delineated. A variety of analysis and design methods are introduced (e.g. GOMS. heuristic evaluation, user-centred and contextual design techniques). Throughout the course, the quality of design and the need for a professional, integrated and user-centred approach to interface development is emphasised. Rapid and low-fidelity prototyping feature as one aspect of this.
This module equips students with an understanding of how modern cloud-based applications work. Topics covered may include:
• A high-level view of cloud computing: the economies of scale, security issues, ethical concerns, the typical high-level architecture of a cloud-based application, types of available services (e.g., parallelization, data storage).
• Cloud infrastructure: command line interface; containers and virtual machines; parallelization (e.g., MapReduce, distributed graph processing); data storage (e.g., distributed file systems, distributed databases, distributed shared in-memory data structures).
• Cloud concepts: high-level races, transactions and sequential equivalence; classical distributed algorithms (e.g., election, global snapshot, consensus, distributed mutual exclusion); scheduling, fault-tolerance and reliability in the context of a particular parallelization technology (e.g., MapReduce).
• Operating system support: network services (e.g., TCP/IP, routing, reliable communication), virtualization services (e.g., virtual memory, containers)
This module aims to strengthen the foundational programming-in-the-small abilities of students via a strong, practical, problem solving focus. Specific topics will include introductory algorithms, algorithm correctness, algorithm runtime, as well as big-O notation. Essential data structures and algorithmic programming skills will be covered, such as arrays, lists and trees, searching and sorting, recursion, and divide and conquer.
All modules are compulsory.
This module introduces students to the functional programming paradigm, using at least one modern functional programming language to put the core concepts into practice. The module will develop both the foundation and theory of this paradigm, as well as the practice and application of the paradigm to solve problems and build systems. The module will core topics, including:
• Functions as first-class language constructs and as a central organising principle;
• Higher-order functions and compositional programming;
• Basic semantics of functional languages;
• The role of types in programming;
• Algebraic data types and pattern matching;
• Recursion and recursive data types;
• Differences with imperative and object-oriented programming paradigms;
• Properties of programs, (e.g., purity, side-effect freedom, totality, and partiality).
• The lambda-calculus as a programming model and foundation.
• BNF grammars for representing context-free syntax, and its relation to ADTs and language manipulation.
• Testing and issues of building correct software.
The module will develop practical skills in programming and problem solving using functional programming. There will also be a chance to apply functional programming to help understand better concepts in logic and mathematics.
Later parts of the module will then consider concurrent programming in the context of functional programming, including concurrent programming models and primitives (e.g., message-passing concurrency), parallelism, synchronisation and communication, and properties of deadlock, communication-safety, and starvation.
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental components (hardware and software) of a typical computer system, and how they collaborate to execute software programs. The module provides a compressive overview from the lowest level of abstractions in hardware to the highest level of abstractions of modern programming languages. For example, they will see logic circuits, machine language, programming language implementations, high-level languages, and applications. This material provides a general understanding of computers, and it will also prepare students to develop software considering the system perspective, e.g. cost of abstraction and performance implications
Cyber security has always been an important aspect of computing systems but its importance has increased greatly in recent years. The curriculum covers areas where cyber security is of major importance and the techniques used to secure computer systems. The areas looked at include computer operating systems (and increasingly, distributed operating systems), distributed applications (such as electronic commerce over the Internet) and embedded systems (ranging from smart cards to large industrial plant and telecommunications systems). Furthermore, the curriculum integrates the legal, ethical, and professional perspectives for instance to address concerns about data security, privacy, and societal impact of computing systems.
The module studies team-based Agile software development in detail and places it in a wider software development context.
Topics covered include
• Concepts, principles, practice and philosophy of an Agile approach to software development, contrasting with more structured approaches.
• Collaboration: programmer collaboration, team values, customer involvement, project management, standards and reporting.
• Planning: release and sprint planning, risk assessment, user stories and resource estimating
• Development practices: incremental requirements, test-driven development, refactoring, scrum, code review, quality assurance, continuous integration.
• Tools: IDEs, version control, automated code quality evaluation, issue tracking.
• Ethics, Intellectual property, codes of conduct and professional responsibility.
The curriculum covers topics in algorithms and data structures, such as hashing and graph algorithms. It addresses how to program such algorithms, as well as how to test them, reason about their correctness and analyse their efficiency. It includes a mathematical treatment of big-O notation.
This module covers the basic principles of machine learning and the kinds of problems that can be solved by such techniques. You learn about the philosophy of AI, how knowledge is represented and algorithms to search state spaces. The module also provides an introduction to both machine learning and biologically inspired computation.
This module provides an introduction to the theory and practice of database systems. It extends the study of information systems in Stage 1 by focusing on the design, implementation and use of database systems. Topics include database management systems architecture, data modelling and database design, query languages, recent developments and future prospects.
Building scaleable web sites using client-side and and server-side frameworks (e.g. JQuery, CodeIgniter). Data transfer technologies, e.g. XML and JSON. Building highly interactive web sites using e.g. AJAX. Web services. Deploying applications and services to the web: servers, infrastructure services, and traffic and performance analysis. Web and application development for mobile devices.
Propositional & Predicate Logic, including proofs. Formal languages: finite automata, regular expressions, CFGs. Turing machines, decidability.
You take either CO600 Project, CO620 Research Project or CO650 IT Consultancy Project, plus 90 credits from a list of optional modules.
Students, working in small groups, undertake a project related to computer science and/or software engineering. The project may be self-proposed or may be selected from a list of project proposals. A project will involve the specification, design, implementation, documentation and demonstration of a technical artefact, demonstrating the ability to synthesise information, ideas and practices to provide a quality solution together with an evaluation of that solution.
As a research project, this module is normally aimed at students who are achieving at upper second class level and above, and who may be intending to undertake research following graduation. Each student undertakes a project related to computer science and/or software engineering. The project may be self-proposed or may be selected from a list of project proposals. A project will involve background study and working on an open-ended research problem.
A small number of introductory lectures are given at the start of the project.
The module starts with a comprehensive and detailed study of current computer networks and communications technologies. It includes: a review of network techniques, switching and multiple access; high speed local area networks; network protocols, including data link, network, transport and application layers. A selection of key topics are looked at in greater depth to reveal the state-of-the-art and issues (problems) that remain to be solved.
Security has always been an important aspect of computing systems but its importance has increased greatly in recent years. In this module you learn about areas where security is of major importance and the techniques used to secure them. The areas you look at include computer operating systems (and increasingly, distributed operating systems), distributed applications (such as electronic commerce over the Internet) and embedded systems (ranging from smart cards and pay-TV to large industrial plant and telecommunications systems).
In this module you learn what is meant by neural networks and how to explain the mathematical equations that underlie them. You also build neural networks using state of the art simulation technology and apply these networks to the solution of problems. In addition, the module discusses examples of computation applied to neurobiology and cognitive psychology.
There is an increasing use of nature-inspired computational techniques in computer science. These include the use of biology as a source of inspiration for solving computational problems, such as developments in evolutionary algorithms and swarm intelligence. It is therefore proposed to allow students the opportunity to become exposed to these types of methods for use in their late careers.
Students will spend one half-day per week for ten weeks in a school with a nominated teacher. They will observe sessions taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later they will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant, by helping individual pupils who are having difficulties or by working with small groups. They may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where they explain a technical topic or talk about aspects of university life. They must keep a weekly log of their activities. Each student must also devise a special project in consultation with the teacher and with the module convener. They must then implement and evaluate the project.
A study of techniques for interpreting and compiling programming languages, implementing them in a typed functional programming language (e.g., OCaml, Haskell). The module will outline a whole compiler from source to machine code, but will focus in depth on key algorithms and techniques. Possible in-depth topics include:
• writing interpreters,
• Hindley-Milner type inference,
• register allocation,
• garbage collection,
• abstract interpretation,
• static single assignment form.
The implemented language will be based on a simple imperative (e.g., Pascal-like) language with some extensions to address advanced topics in data layout (e.g., closures, objects, pattern matching). The course will be organized around a simple, but complete, example compiler that the student will have to understand and modify.
This module is aimed at introducing the principles of concurrency theory (1, 2, 3) and demonstrating how these can be applied to design and implement distributed applications (4). Advanced concepts of Web services will be studied and placed in the perspective of these principles (5, 6).
The following is an indicative list of topics:
• Message passing primitives for concurrency: synchronous versus asynchronous message passing, the actor model.
• Reasoning on processes: temporal logic, safety and liveness properties, bisimulation.
• Channel passing and mobility.
• Design and implementation of application–level protocols.
• Web services: from stateless services to distributed business processes (also known as service orchestrations).
• Transaction protocols on the Web: two-phase commit, long running transactions
This module will give students an overarching introduction to quantum information processing (QIP). At the end of the course the students will have a basic understanding of quantum computation, quantum communication, and quantum cryptography; as well as the implications to other fields such as computation, physics, and cybersecurity.
We will take a multi-disciplinary approach that will encourage and require students to engage in topics outside of their core discipline. The module will cover the most essential mathematical background required to understand QIP. This includes: linear algebra, basic elements of quantum theory (quantum states, evolution of closed quantum systems, Born's rule), and basic theory of computing. The module will introduce students to the following theoretical topics: quantum algorithms, quantum cryptography, quantum communication & information. The module will also address experimental quantum computation & cryptography.
This module explores a range of different data mining and knowledge discovery techniques and algorithms. You learn about the strengths and weaknesses of different techniques and how to choose the most appropriate for any particular task. You use a data mining tool, and learn to evaluate the quality of discovered knowledge.
The module introduces fundamental techniques employed in image processing and pattern recognition providing an understanding of how practical pattern recognition systems may be developed able to address the inherent difficulties present in real world situations. The material is augmented with a study of biometric and security applications looking at the specific techniques employed to recognise biometric samples.
This module introduces the theory and practice of employing computers as the control and organisational centre of an electronic or mechanical system, and examines issues related to time critical systems. It also provides exposure to practical embedded systems design through practical work, with one assignment exploring the ideas of real-time operating systems introduced in the lectures and a second using a microcomputer programmed in 'C' to control the ignition timing of a simulated petrol engine.
This module is designed to provide students across the university with access to knowledge, skill development and training in the field of entrepreneurship with a special emphasis on developing a business plan in order to exploit identified opportunities. Hence, the module will be of value for students who aspire to establishing their own business and/or introducing innovation through new product, service, process, project or business development in an established organisation. The module complements students' final year projects in Computing, Law, Biosciences, Electronics, Multimedia, and Drama etc.
The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
Within the School of Computing are authors of widely used textbooks, a National Teaching Fellow and Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) Award-winning scientists. Programmes are taught by leading researchers who are experts in their fields.
Teaching is based on lectures, with practical classes and seminars, but we are also introducing more innovative ways of teaching, such as virtual learning environments and work-based tuition. Work includes group projects, case studies and computer simulations, with a large-scale project of your own choice in the final year.
Each stage comprises eight modules. Most modules run for a single 12-week term and have two lectures and one to two hours of classes, making 14 formal contact hours per week and eight hours of 'homework club' drop-in sessions each term.
We provide excellent support for you throughout your time at Kent. This includes access to web-based information systems, podcasts and web forums for students who can benefit from extra help. We use innovative teaching methodologies, including BlueJ and LEGO© Mindstorms for teaching Java programming.
Our staff have written internationally acclaimed textbooks for learning programming, which have been translated into eight languages and are used worldwide. A member of staff has received the SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education. The award is made by ACM, the world's largest educational and scientific computing society.
Assessment is by a combination of coursework and end-of-year examination and details are shown in the module outlines on the web. Project modules are assessed wholly by coursework.
The marks from stage one do not go towards your final degree grade, but you must pass to continue to stage two.
Most stage two modules are assessed by coursework and end-of-year examination. Marks from stage two count towards your degree result.
Most stage three modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and end-of-year examination. Projects are assessed by your contribution to the final project, the final report, and oral presentation and viva examination. Marks from stage three count towards your degree result.
In stage three your project counts for 25% of the year's marks.
For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
The programme aims to:
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
You develop intellectual skills in:
You gain subject-specific skills in:
You gain transferable skills in:
All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
Computer Science at Kent (which includes all programmes offered by the School of Computing) scored 90% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.
For graduate prospects, Computer Science at Kent was ranked 15th out of 110 in The Complete University Guide 2021.
Computer Science at Kent was ranked 8th for research intensity in The Complete University Guide 2021.
Our graduates have gone on to work in:
Recent graduates have gone on to develop successful careers at leading companies such as:
The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:
You have access to a dedicated Employability Coordinator who is a useful contact for all student employability queries.
You graduate with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of computer science and a range of professional skills, including:
To help you appeal to employers, you also learn key transferable skills that are essential for all graduates. These include the ability to:
You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.
Our Computer Science degree has full Chartered IT Professional (CITP) accreditation from the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.Find out more about how to apply
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