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Educational aims

Professionals working in the IT sector bring many different kinds of expertise to their work. The aim of this degree is to equip you with the knowledge and skills you will need to underpin a career in this sector. As well as developing your knowledge and understanding of the fundamental technologies and techniques and the issues involved in their application, it will also:

  • enable you to keep ahead in a rapidly changing subject area by helping you to develop as an independent learner
  • develop relevant skills in communication, numeracy, and collaborative working
  • imbue the qualities that come with being a graduate in any discipline: specialist knowledge, intellectual self-confidence and independence, analytical ability and the life-long learning skills needed to keep up with fast-changing technologies
  • enable you to apply your learning in your private, social and professional life.

And, depending on the pathway you choose through the degree, you may gain:

  • practical experience in the use of information and communication technologies
  • an understanding of the types of software and ICT systems that are now being constructed and used, such as distributed internet systems, intelligent systems and databases, and the digital network that underlies the internet itself
  • a grasp of the key concepts of computing and of modern computer systems
  • skills in the main tasks that are carried out as software is built and maintained, such as analysis, design, programming and evaluation.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this degree you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • a broad critical understanding of the fundamental principles, concepts and techniques underlying Computing and IT
  • a range of models and languages to support the analysis and design of Computing and IT systems
  • the range of situations in which Computing and IT systems are used, the ways in which people interact with them, and the possibilities and limitations of such systems
  • an awareness of major trends in computing and IT and of the implications of these trends
  • a critical awareness of the ethical, social and legal issues that can be associated with the development and deployment of Computing and IT systems.

Cognitive skills

On completion of the degree you will be able to:

  • apply and critically evaluate key computing and IT concepts in a range of contexts
  • select and apply appropriate techniques and tools for abstracting, modelling, problem-solving, designing and testing computing and IT systems, and be aware of the limitations involved
  • compare, contrast, critically analyse and refine specifications and implementations of software systems and/or simple hardware systems
  • devise and carry out a project in computing and IT that applies and extends your knowledge and understanding, and critically reflect on the processes involved and the outcomes of your work.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of the degree you will be able to:

  • analyse, design, evaluate and/or test computing and IT systems, using appropriate simulation and modelling tools where appropriate
  • plan and organise yourself and your work appropriately, including keeping systematic records of work in progress and outcomes
  • demonstrate the ability to undertake ongoing learning in order to keep up to date with computing and IT
  • identify and address the ethical, social and legal issues that may arise during the development and use of Computing and IT systems
  • use appropriate professional tools to support your work.

Key skills

On completion of the degree you will be able to:

  • communicate information, arguments, ideas and issues clearly and in appropriate ways;, bearing in mind the audience for and the purpose of your communication
  • work in a group, communicating effectively in a distance setting where the communication is computer-mediated
  • work independently, planning, monitoring, reflecting on and improving your own learning
  • find, assess and apply information from a variety of sources, using information technology where necessary
  • select and use accurately, appropriate numerical and analytical techniques to solve problems
  • recognise and understand a range of technological problems and select suitable techniques for solving them.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will learn independently, using the following types of material, provided by us:

  • printed and online teaching texts
  • multimedia packages, on CD-ROM, DVD and the Web
  • directed readings from textbooks and papers
  • specialised software tools.

We will support your learning with:

  • self-assessment questions and exercises, included in the teaching texts
  • programming tasks, computer-based investigations and open-ended project work
  • feedback and guidance from a tutor; tutorials, revision and day-schools
  • e-mail and computer conferences
  • study and project guides.

We will assess your learning with:

  • tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
  • multiple-choice computer-marked assignments (CMAs)
  • formal examinations
  • progress and project reports.

Cognitive skills are promoted in the teaching materials via a range of activities including self-assessment exercises, multi-media tasks and computer-based investigations. They are supported by tutor led discussions and activities at regional tutorials and day schools. Online forums provide an environment for interaction bringing students, tutors and module team members together for critical discussion and guidance. Tutor feedback aids the development of these skills.

Cognitive skills are assessed by questions asking for the application of concepts in new situations, for analysis, for synthesis, etc., (TMAs and examination) and also by more open-ended design, investigative and project activities (TMAs and examinable component).

Key skills are explicitly taught and developed within the teaching materials and are supported by tutor feedback and guidance on TMAs. There is a progressive development of key skills through the levels of the degree.

Key skills are assessed by TMAs, by examinations where practicable and by examinable components.

Practical and professional skills are developed through the teaching materials and are supported by tutor feedback and guidance on TMAs.

Practical skills are assessed by TMAs and examinable components. Some professional skills are developed but not assessed.