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Computer Science BSc(Hons)

Become a daring computer scientist.

Key details
Location
Penryn Campus
Course duration
3 years / 4 years
Attendance
Full-time / Placement year
UCAS code
I100/ I101/FY35

Course overview

New immersive realities, data-rich and informed interactions, automations and ever-more immersive systems are shaping the way we operate and interact with each other – and computer science underpins it all.

On this degree course, you’ll leverage scientific principles and cutting-edge technology to create new and compelling products and services. Set apart from traditional computer science courses, we champion an applied approach to making innovative software in a way that mirrors industry practice, so you’re ready to hit the ground running when you graduate. 

Choose between a three-year degree, a four-year degree with a year of professional practice or a four-year degree with an Integrated Foundation Year.

You will:

  • Get practical hands-on experience, immersing yourself in computer programming and software engineering to build your own software
  • Join a community of technologists spanning diverse specialisms; from games, immersive, web, robotics, artificial intelligence and user experience
  • Benefit from our strong track record of market-led incubation and entrepreneurial ethos, working on projects in partnership with RealWORKS and Cornwall Business School to realise and launch your own products and services
  • Advance your knowledge of computer science and computing technologies to incorporate cutting-edge advances into the digital products and services you create
  • Leverage user-centred design thinking in your system development lifecycles, taking advantage of our research strengths in this area
  • Collaborate in multidisciplinary Agile teams to realise projects with real commercial potential

Course details

On this Computer Science degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BSc(Hons) degree over three years or the option to study Computer Science BSc(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year and/or placement year study options.

This is a course focused and tailored to meet the needs of the high-growth digital sector, giving graduates skills ranging from the foundations of computer science to producing real projects as part of multi-skilled teams, from across the Games Academy and wider university. You'll gain the theoretical knowledge, hands-on experience and business insight to become an innovative and resilient computer scientist.

Your first year will be shared with all courses in the computing subject area. Working within the Games Academy, you'll develop a foundational knowledge of the discipline and the various branches of computer science. You’ll get a practical introduction to programming and computer technology, as well as learning about the pipelines and processes used to create engaging digital products and services.

Modules

Principles of Computing

In this module, you’ll learn the principles of computing, discrete mathematics, statistics and technical communication. Through a series of tasks, you’ll begin to use core computer science concepts, techniques and methods to solve practical problems and leverage algorithms in your solutions.

You'll also delve into the history of computing, engaging with the plurality of voices in the profession and the controversies evoked by algorithmic bias. 

Digital Creativity

On this module, you will explore digital media formats including text, image and sound.  

You’ll play, tinker, experiment with and extend digital artefacts, transforming what already exists in one form into another form as a means of appropriation. You will then integrate your digital artefacts with digital game technologies, notably game engines, to make them interactive in some way.  

You’ll also consider moral and legal questions surrounding digital creativity, such as plagiarism, intellectual property law, licensing rights, representation and media literacy.

Development Foundations

On this module, you’ll gain foundational experience of the basic principles, terminology, roles and tools used in the development of digital products and services.  

Through several small-scale team projects, you’ll practice a range of prototyping methods and pitch your idea for a future project. These projects will help you to develop your project management skills, while building a professional, inclusive and supportive studio culture.

Data Fundamentals

In this module, you’ll learn the fundamentals of the data science life cycle. This will include learning how to formulate questions, collect and clean data, explore and visualise data, make statistical inferences and predictions, and report insights in a way that informs decision making.  

You'll also gain an awareness of the responsibilities, obligations and legalities of working with sensitive and personal data, including its collection, storage, analysis, management and transmission.

Individual Programming Project

In this module, you’ll refine your approach to computer programming by developing an architecturally sound project focused on object-orientated solutions.  

Through this project, you’ll build your confidence with various interfaces that enable interaction within and across different system components. You’ll practice more disciplined software engineering methodologies, develop your mastery of the notations for describing and refactoring system architectures, and apply the mathematics associated with circuit design.  

You’ll also gain a greater awareness of ethical considerations such as safety, accessibility, sustainability and the impact of supply chains.

Multidisciplinary Teamwork

On this module, you’ll work in multi-skilled teams to make a digital product or service in response to a prompt or brief.  

This work will give you the opportunity to increase your knowledge of organising and managing a software development project. Working in a multidisciplinary team will also give you hands-on experience of the full systems development lifecycle and production pipelines in an ‘agile’ context commonly used in professional practice.  

By the end of the module, you and your team should have produced and evaluated a modest but functional proof of concept.

The second year involves much deeper specialism in computer science, with modules in complex problem solving, web technologies, distributed systems, algorithms and optimisation and mathematics for computer scientists. You will also work in partnership with peers in Cornwall Business School on challenge-led briefs to deliver commercially-minded projects.

Modules

Complex Problem Solving

In this module, you’ll learn and practice multiple methods of approach to complex problem-solving and explore outcomes through simulations.  

You’ll be introduced to ‘systems thinking’: an absolute necessity for contemporary business leaders, who will be working in environments of densely layered interdependencies and networks.

Computational Mathematics

You’ll learn key mathematic principles, such as linear algebra, geometry, trigonometry, 3D transformation, and calculus that underpins computing. You’ll then apply these principles to your own technical working practices.  

You’ll also explore the relationship between computational mathematics and cybersecurity, learning to programme defensively and become familiar with security topics such as common threats and attack vectors, cryptography and steganography, certification and malware. 

Web Technologies

In this module, you’ll boost your knowledge of system development lifecycles and the engineering of computing systems, applying more disciplined approaches to some of the challenges you may have encountered in the first stage of the course.  

You’ll explore case studies and engage with topics such as the design and implementation of full-stack, database-driven systems with browser-based user interfaces. You’ll continue to exercise your programming skills across topics such as: entity relationship modelling, methods of scaling and optimising computing systems, and more. You’ll also leverage appropriate theory to make informed architectural decisions. 

Distributed Systems

In this module, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of distributed systems, computer networks, databases, and Internet of Things architecture. 

There will be a particular emphasis on how to use industry-standard socket architecture, data structures and transaction processing techniques, and system security that can create high performance, robust and secure platforms.  

You’ll also explore the ethical considerations of storing user payment information and the role of anonymity in networked environments, as well as managing equality, diversity and inclusivity in the design, development and management of social platforms.

Algorithms & Optimisation

Throughout this module, you’ll practise and develop your computing skills with a focus on the design and analysis of algorithms. 

You’ll explore strategies for creating efficient and optimised code; learning to apply methods of profiling and resource management. You’ll also be challenged to consider sustainability as a theme for your optimisations, with attention to maximising the use and/or extending the lifecycle of hardware that is difficult to recycle, to reduce (notional) energy usage and to better manage processes with environmental impacts. 

Collaboration

This module allows students to have a shared and reflective learning experience with students from across the University, contributing to reflective, collaborative practice and work.  

The module utilises a Challenge Based Learning (CBL) learning approach that, through student-led small group working, develops transferable interpersonal and collaborative skills.

You can choose to take an optional placement year after your second year on a three-year programme, or after your third year if you’re studying for a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year.  

You’ll be responsible for finding your own placement, with support from the RealWORKS employability team.  

Choosing this option will enhance your industry experience and skills while studying.  

How you’ll study during your placement year

You’ll spend time working in a professional context, as part of a business or organisation. This can be in one role, or up to three, and must be for a minimum of 24 weeks.  

You’ll develop in-demand workplace skills, deepen your insight into industry and grow your network of contacts, all of which could help you get ahead in your career after graduation.

Throughout this year, you’ll develop a portfolio of work that includes critical self-reflection on what has been learned from the experience. You’ll be required to evidence your experiences, the skills you’ve learned and your professional growth.

In your third year, you’ll develop greater intellectual freedom, both as an individual but also in tackling a challenge in collaboration with others. 

With modules focusing on developing your personal specialism alongside stretching your collaboration skills and a rigorous module in Advanced Computer Science, at the end of this year, you’ll have experience working on multidisciplinary teams and delivering a substantial development project.  

Modules

Research & Development: Proposal

In this module, you’ll plan and commence an individual ‘major’ research and development project in computing. You can choose to conduct primary research centred on or supported by a novel computing artefact, or practice-based research with significant technical depth.  

The development of your written proposal will include identifying an opportunity, critically reviewing relevant literature, setting a hypothesis and designing a mode of data collection, while considering all ethical implications, as well as prototyping a novel and substantial computing artefact. 

Advanced Topics in Computer Science

In this module, you’ll be introduced to more advanced and emerging topics in computer science, such as language and compiler design, functional programming, formal methods to apply rigorous engineering methods to the implementation and deployment of robust (safety-critical) software whilst engaging with appropriate legal and ethical frameworks; as well as big data analytics. For each of these topics, you’ll be encouraged to embrace the state-of-the-art, exploring both the theoretical underpinnings as well as the practical aspects through a series of computer science experiments.

You’ll also consider the context of recent developments in the field of computing, reflecting diverse voices amongst professionals in the field as well as the impact of computing upon various populations of users and stakeholders.

Future Skills

In this module, you’ll develop your commercial awareness and entrepreneurial mindset for graduate opportunities, building the knowledge and skills needed to set up your own business, establish yourself as a freelancer, or join an existing business or organisation.

This will help you to further develop your goals, values and employability skills, as well as to explore options available to you.

Research & Development: Dissertation

On this module, you’ll continue your individual ‘major’ research and development project. Building upon the proposal you submitted, you’ll further develop your prototype computing artefact into a potentially deployable solution. In doing so, you’ll deepen your knowledge of software engineering, the use of advanced research tools, technical writing and academic conventions, as well as the interpretation and visualisation of results from statistical analyses of quantitative data.  

Under the supervision of a subject-matter expert, you will: realise a novel and substantial computing artefact; execute your research and development; and critically analyse your results, disseminating your findings through a written academic dissertation. You’ll also present your insights to peers alongside a demonstration of the final computing artefact, referring to the potential impact of your project, any ethical concerns, and potential future work.

Major Collaboration

In this module, you’ll leverage your experiences from the prior stages of the course to deliver a substantial collaborative project. You’ll work in a multi-skilled team to design and implement a potentially innovative product or service.  

Typically, this will be the continuation of your previous project, but it could also be a newly proposed project that satisfies a real need, a response to a market opportunity identified by the University, a live brief from or collaboration with industry partners or research teams, or a solution to a problem presented by an external stakeholder.  

You will continue to put into practice the ethically-informed methodologies you have outlined in previous modules. Contexts can also vary but could include: enterprise solutions; mobile apps; installations; games; web applications; robots; immersive experiences; software development tools; and more.

If you choose the Integrated Foundation Year pathway, you'll study five core modules in your foundation year. These are all designed to help you explore the foundational elements of your subject. You'll gain relevant technical skills, learn to experiment and take risks, develop an understanding of professional practice, have opportunities to work across disciplines and collaborate with other students on live project briefs.

By the time you progress into year one of your degree, you'll have a deeper knowledge of your subject, a clear understanding of your strengths, and develop a practical and technical skillset and the confidence to excel in your chosen subject.

Modules

Explore

You'll begin your foundation year by working collaboratively with others to explore themes of the future. You'll take risks, experiment through play and be supported to break through barriers.

Technique

You'll take subject-specific workshops and develop essential technical and practical skills in your area of study. You'll also enhance your analytical and organisational abilities.

Apply

You'll work with your peer group to think beyond discipline by addressing a societal or global issue. You'll then showcase your work to your peers and deliver and accompanying evaluation of your process.

Industry

You'll enhance your creative and practical skills in your subject specialism by responding to typical industry briefs, underpinned by focused research and experiments. You'll also gain industry insights through guest lectures and workshops.

Launch

You'll develop your unique identity in your specialism through the production of a self-initiated body of work. Your final project will be the bridge to your next year, fully supported by evaluative reviews and critical analysis of the work you have created.

 

If you apply for and enrol onto a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year, you’ll have the option to switch onto a five-year version including a placement year. That means you’ll complete the first three years of your course before completing a placement in industry in your fourth year and returning to Falmouth for the fifth year of your programme. 

The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.

How you'll learn

You'll learn through lecturers, seminars, tutorials and guest speakers, as well as practical demonstrations, workshops and studio practice. Mirroring industry practice, we put a focus on working in multi-skilled teams and schedule regular crit sessions to support peer-to-peer learning. We also provide mentoring opportunities.

At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here

How you'll be assessed

100% of your assessment will be coursework. 

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through coursework only. This can take many forms, including:

  • Practical projects
  • Papers
  • Pitches
  • Portfolios

Designed to mirror industry practice, you'll be continually assessed on group projects through a group working strategy.

Foundation year assessments are 100% coursework based.

Staff

By joining this course you'll become part of a vibrant community of artists, writers, designers, animators, composers, producers, entrepreneurs, programmers and other computing enthusiasts. 

You'll be taught by a blend of academic and industry experts with many years of experience working in the industry. Staff include computer science scholars and researchers working in the fields of games, web development, immersion, user research, and artificial intelligence. With our global industry connections, you'll also benefit from on-the-ground insights from the sector. 

Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every staff member who teaches on the course.

Facilities

State-of-the-art development studios, which house the latest technology and professional facilities:

  • Modern i7 machines
  • Attached labs for console development, immersive experience design, and robot fabrication
  • Specialised computing hardware for game development, deep learning projects, motion capture, and immersive experiences 
  • Standard packages used in software development for the creative industries, including Adobe and Autodesk suites
  • Studios open late during term time
  • Access to free software via Microsoft Imagine

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Careers

Our graduates have worked as:

  • Software Engineer at Bluefruit
  • DevOps Specialist at SCC
  • Support Analyst for Cloud at SOS
  • Data Scientist at Black Swan Data
  • Back End Developer at Codices
  • Hardware Engineer at BAE Systems

Graduates from this course could go on to become:

  • Computer Scientist 
  • Entrepreneur 
  • Chief Technical Officer 
  • Product Manager
  • Application Developer 
  • Software Engineer 

How to apply

Apply via UCAS

Ready to join us? You can apply through UCAS. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).

Apply now

Applying as an international student? 

International students can apply for a course through UCAS, via an agent or directly with the university. For more information about how to apply as an international student, visit our international applications page.

International applications

Course route UCAS code
Computer Science BSc(Hons) three year degree I100
Computer Science BSc(Hons) with placement year I101
Computer Science BSc(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year FY35

We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you've specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.

Course route Entry requirements
BSc(Hons) three year degree

104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

GCSE Mathematics Grade 4 (C)

BSc(Hons) four year degree with placement year

104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

GCSE Mathematics Grade 4 (C)

BSc(Hons) four year degree with Integrated Foundation Year 

80 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

GCSE Mathematics Grade 4 (C)

UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma. Applicants should have GCSE Mathematics Grade 4 (C), or equivalent.

Check how many points your qualifications are worth

For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent.

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.

If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you may need to take a recognised language test. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

For starting your studies in 2023

UK applications: 25 January 2023 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 25 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.

International fee payers

International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
£1,850 per placement year Full-Time UK and EU/international
Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
£1,850 per placement year Full-Time UK and EU/international

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Typical course costs

  • £100 - Recurring annual costs
  • £40 - Consumable electronics
  • £30-£150 - Headset with microphone
  • £25-£100 - Webcam
  • £750 - One off costs for the course duration (computer/laptop)

If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.

Additional typical course costs for Integrated Foundation Year pathway

  • £250 for materials
  • A laptop/desktop computer
  • Adobe Creative Suite

In order to participate in our digitally enhanced learning approach, you'll need to have a personal laptop/desktop computer. Depending on your subject, you may need a specific type of computer. If you're unsure about what you might need, please contact our course advisors.

Ask a student

What better way to find out about life at Falmouth University than by asking our current students?

From course details and academic support, to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.

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