Computing

Computer Science for Health with a Year in Industry - BSc (Hons)

UCAS code I101

CLEARING 2018

Planning to start this September? The Clearing vacancies list will be available from 06.00 on Thursday 16 August.
2019

Computer Science is an exciting and rapidly evolving subject that offers excellent employment prospects and well-paid careers. Taught by acknowledged experts, this programme allows you to explore the subject’s fascinating growth as it relates to health and well-being, while developing a thorough understanding of current practice in computer science. You have the opportunity to put your skills into practice on a paid year in industry. 

Overview

You learn the skills to participate in the healthcare technology revolution, apply your expertise in assistive technology projects, develop the next generation of fitness tracking apps or contribute to future NHS software systems. The knowledge you gain in core fundamentals will also open doors to careers across the entire span of computer science disciplines.

Our programmes are taught by leading researchers who are experts in their fields. The School of Computing at Kent is home to several authors of leading textbooks, a National Teaching Fellow, an IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology) Fellow and two Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) award-winning scientists. Kent was awarded gold, the highest rating, in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework*.


Our degree programme

Our programme focuses on the technical aspects of computer science. You learn how to develop software, program mobile devices and discover the underlying protocols on which the internet runs. Specialist modules cover human physiology and sensing, advanced topics in eHealth, mobile fitness and health computing.

The first language you learn is Java, the standard programming language for many mobile devices and widely used in industry. Other areas covered include software engineering, network technology and human-computer interaction.

You study a broad range of compulsory modules in your first and second years, which prepare you for either a year in industry followed by a final year of study, or direct entry to the final year. In your final year, you select from a wide variety of options taught by acknowledged experts on cutting-edge computer science topics.

There is a continual emphasis on health-related computing which includes mobile devices, health and fitness tracking, analysis of human measurements and data, understanding of back-end IT infrastructure, front-end web-based and mobile applications, data security, and human-centric computing.

We also offer modules that allow you to gain practical experience. On our Kent IT Consultancy option, you learn how to become an IT consultant, providing computing support to local organisations and businesses while earning credits towards your degree.

Year in industry

Your year in industry takes place between your second and final years. Our students go to a wide range of companies including:

  • IBM 
  • Intel
  • Disney
  • Morgan Stanley.

They have also been to overseas employers in locations including Amsterdam, Hong Kong and the US. 

You can take this programme as a three year degree with no year in industry. For more information please see Computer Science for Health.

Extra activities

Apart from core learning towards your degree, we provide access to a wealth of other activities such as entrepreneurship (including business start-up opportunities), community engagement, public lectures, participation in short research projects and assistance in obtaining summer placements.

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. 

Professional networks

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 two dedicated placement co-ordinators help students obtain and benefit from high-quality work placements. Previous year in industry participants have worked with leading companies such as BAE Systems, Citigroup and The Walt Disney Company. Many return to their final year with the security of an employment offer – testament to the high esteem in which our graduates are held by industry.

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.

Independent rankings

For graduate prospects, Computer Science at Kent was ranked 7th in The Guardian University Guide 2018

Of Computer Science students who graduated from Kent in 2016, over 97% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Teaching Excellence Framework

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.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme as this listing is currently undergoing approval. 

Stage 1

CO320 - Introduction to object oriented programming

CO322 - Foundations of computing I

CO328 - Human computer interaction

SS346 - Introduction of Human Anatomy and Physiology

CO334 - People and computing

CO323 - Databases and the web

CO-HCC - Healthcare Computing

CO520 - Further Object-Oriented Programming

Stage 2

CO324 - Computer Systems

CO539 - Web development

CO551 - Data Structures and Algorithms

CO-AIA - Agile Development & Software Security A

CO-AIB - Agile Development & Software Security B

CO-TFC - Theory and foundations of computer science

CO532 - Database systems

CO-CTH - Computer Science Topics in Health

Year in Industry

You spend a year working in an industrial or commercial environment between Stages 2 and 3.

CO792 - Industrial Placement Experience

CO793 - Industrial Placement Report

To automatically progress onto the year in industry, you must pass Stage 2 at the first attempt. If you fail, you must pass the first resit opportunity in the August of the same year. Students who do not obtain a work placement will have their registration changed to the equivalent three-year programme without a year in industry.

Stage 3

Compulsory modules

CO600 - Group Project* or CO620 - Research Project*

CO816 - eHealth

CO662 - Signal Analysis for Computing

WL830 - Evidence-based Practice

Optional modules (indicative)

CO636 - Cognitive Neural Networks

CO544 - Networking

CO649 - Data Mining

CO659 - Computational Creativity

CB729 - Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

CB742 - Creating your Own Enterprise

CO634 - Computer Security and Cryptography

CO650 - KITC Project* 

CO645 - IT Consultancy Practice 2

CO656 - Computational Intelligence in Business, Economics and Finance

SS527 - Exercise for special populations

SA553 - Health Policy in Britain

*You are expected to select one of the projects listed

Stage 1

Modules may include Credits

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.

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Design and communication, what makes for good written communication, how people get and process information, Personal Development Project, effective spoken communication, how to work successfully in a group, doing academic research, about preparing and giving a presentation, history of computing and the history of communication, the effects of technology, Health and safety issues with computing, the Business of Computing, Employment in IT, software development and software engineering, preparing for examinations, designing –for the web: web usability and web accessibility, the basics of IPR, relevant Laws applying to the use and development of computing, such as the Computer Misuse Act and the Data Protection Acts.

A range of social issues relating to computing, Representative content might include, Digital divide, Cyber bullying, Case studies

Sustainability: e.g. energy consumption, How to estimate? Substantial challenge, Rules of thumb (eg what to upgrade and when, when not to), Legal requirements of sustainability, Economic and ethical constraints.

How to make money in the IT industry: Consultancy, Selling software, Business planning, Pricing and estimating (case studies of what (not) to do from KITC).

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This module builds on the foundation of object-oriented design and implementation found in module CO320 Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming to provide a deeper understanding of and facility with object-oriented program design and implementation. More advanced features of object-orientation, such as inheritance, abstract classes, nested classes, graphical-user interfaces (GUIs), exceptions, input-output are covered. These allow an application-level view of design and implementation to be explored. Throughout the module the quality of application design and the need for a professional approach to software development is emphasized.

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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.

Introduction: revision of basic mathematical and algebraic concepts and techniques.

Set theory: sets and elements, union, intersection, complement and difference, subsets, tuples, Cartesian product, counting, powersets, strings.

Functions: functions as rules, identity function, composition, inverses, injections, bijections, surjections.

Relations: equivalence relations, partial and total orderings. • Statistics: sample mean and variance, Normal and Poisson distributions.

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• An introduction to databases and SQL, focusing on their use as a source for content for websites

• Creating static content for websites using HTML(5) and controlling their appearance using CSS

• Using PHP to integrate static and dynamic content for web sites

• Securing dynamic websites

• Using Javascript to improve interactivity and maintainability in web content

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Stage 2

Modules may include Credits

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental behaviour and components (hardware and software) of a typical computer system, and how they collaborate to manage resources and provide services in scales from small embedded devices up to the global internet. The module has two strands: 'Computer Architecture' and 'Operating Systems and Networks,' which form around 35% and 65% of the material respectively. Both strands contain material which is of general interest to computer users; quite apart from their academic value, they will be useful to anyone using any modern computer system:

[a] Computer Architecture

- Data representation: Bits, bytes and words. Numeric and non-numeric data. Number representation.

- Computer architecture: Fundamental building blocks (e.g. registers). The fetch/execute cycle. Instruction sets and types.

- Data storage: Memory hierarchies and associated technologies. Physical and virtual memory.

- Sustainability. Energy consumption of computer systems: ways that this can be reduced and methods to estimate use.

[b] Operating Systems and Networks

- Operating systems principles. Abstraction. Processes and resources. Security. UNIX-style operating system fundamentals.

- Device interfaces: Handshaking, buffering, programmed and interrupt-driven i/o. Direct Memory Access.

- File Systems: Physical structure. File and directory organisation, structure and contents. Naming hierarchies and access. Backup.

- Fundamentals of networking and the Internet.

- Networks and protocols: LANs and WANs, layered protocol design. The TCP/IP protocol stack; theory and practice. Connection-oriented and connectionless communication. Unicast, multicast and broadcast. Naming and addressing. Application protocols; worked examples (e.g. SMTP, HTTP).

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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.

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Building scaleable web sites using client-side and and server-side frameworks (e.g. GWT, CakePHP, Ruby on Rails).

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.

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Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

100% coursework

You focus on developing your skills as a professional healthcare practitioner to become an effective user of research findings, with a view to the enhancement of quality service outcomes. Sessions concentrate on the analysis of literature in order to inform evidence-based practice. You become familiar with critical appraisal tools and the statistical principles used to analyse data. The module culminates in an assignment designed to consider the extent of external evidence available and how this can be applied to improve outcomes within your area of professional practice.

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• An overview of basic concepts related to eHealth and a perspective on current HIT (Health Information Technology) and innovation

• Review of current healthcare related IT systems

• The use of information technology for handling clinical data, health systems. Data representation and knowledge management. Security and privacy.

• Ethics and legal requirements of eHealth systems

• Clinical decision support systems. TeleHealth tools for remote diagnosis, monitoring, and disease management

• Delivery and monitoring platforms for both hospitals and home environment

• Innovation in eHealth systems leading to start-up companies

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The project gives you the opportunity to follow and develop your particular technical interests, undertake a larger and less tightly specified piece of work than you have before (at university), and develop the project organisation, implementation and documentation techniques which you have learnt in other modules. The technical and professional aspects of project courses are seen as particularly important by both employers (who will often bring them up in interviews) and by professional bodies.

The project may be self-proposed or may be selected from a list of project proposals. Typically, a project will involve the specification, design, implementation, documentation and demonstration of a technical artefact. The project is supervised by a member of the academic staff, who holds weekly meetings with the group, during which s/he will give general advice and will assess the progress of the group and the contributions by individual students.

Project deliverables are:

- a technical report, in the style of an academic paper, describing the scientific/technical outcome of the project;

- a well-indexed corpus of material that supports the achievements claimed.

In addition, each individual prepares a report outlining his/her contributions to each of the various aspects of the project. This report should not be a repeat of other material delivered as part of the project, but an assessment of the progress of the project and reflections on what the individual has learnt from undertaking it. In particular, it should include a description of the particular activities and outcomes that individual has contributed to the project, and of how the group worked together. This report will be discussed at a viva voce examination which should include a short presentation/demonstration of the project.

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The project gives you the opportunity to follow and develop your particular technical interests, undertake a larger and less tightly specified piece of work than you have before (at university), and develop the project organisation, implementation and documentation techniques which you have learnt in other modules. The technical and professional aspects of project courses are seen as particularly important by both employers (who will often bring them up in interviews) and by professional bodies.

The project may be self-proposed or may be selected from a list of project proposals. Typically, a project will involve the specification, design, implementation, documentation and demonstration of a technical artefact. The project is supervised by a member of the academic staff, who holds weekly meetings with the group, during which s/he will give general advice and will assess the progress of the group and the contributions by individual students.

Project deliverables are:

- a technical report, in the style of an academic paper, describing the scientific/technical outcome of the project;

- a well-indexed corpus of material that supports the achievements claimed.

In addition, each individual prepares a report outlining his/her contributions to each of the various aspects of the project. This report should not be a repeat of other material delivered as part of the project, but an assessment of the progress of the project and reflections on what the individual has learnt from undertaking it. In particular, it should include a description of the particular activities and outcomes that individual has contributed to the project, and of how the group worked together. This report will be discussed at a viva voce examination which should include a short presentation/demonstration of the project.

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30

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

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.

Overall workload

Each stage comprises eight modules. Each module has 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.

Academic support

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.

Teaching staff

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

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. You must pass stage two to go on your year in industry.

The year in industry forms an integral part of your degree and constitutes 10% of your final grade. Assessment comprises an employer evaluation, a reflective report and a logbook/portfolio.

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.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

In stage three your project counts for 25% of the year's marks.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have gone on to work in:

  • software engineering
  • mobile applications development
  • systems analysis
  • consultancy
  • networking
  • web design and e-commerce
  • finance and insurance
  • commerce
  • engineering
  • education
  • government
  • healthcare.

Recent graduates have gone on to develop successful careers at leading companies such as:

  • BAE Systems
  • Cisco
  • IBM
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Citigroup
  • BT.

Help finding a job

The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

The School has a dedicated Employability Coordinator who is a useful contact for all student employability queries.

Work experience

You can gain commercial experience working as a student consultant within the Kent IT Consultancy. 

Career-enhancing skills

You graduate with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of computer science and a range of professional skills, including:

  • programming
  • modelling
  • design.

To help you appeal to employers, you also learn key transferable skills that are essential for all graduates. These include the ability to:

  • think critically
  • communicate your ideas and opinions
  • analyse situations and troubleshoot problems
  • work independently or as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Professional recognition

This is a new programme. When a full-cohort has graduated, we will apply for accreditation from BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. 

Independent rankings

Of Computer Science students who graduated from Kent in 2016, over 97% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

According to Which? University (2017), the average starting salary for graduates of this degree is ‘high’ at £27,000.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB

GCSE

Mathematics grade C

Access to HE Diploma

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.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 16 points at HL including Mathematics 5 at HL or SL, or Mathematics Studies 6 at SL

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £18400

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.* 

Your fee status

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.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

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.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

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 AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.