BSc (Hons) Computing - University of Portsmouth
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BSc (Hons)


UCAS codeGG46

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

From artificial intelligence to data mining, specialise within the field of computing

Course Overview

Why take this course?

If you look at the word ‘compute’ in its literal sense it means working out. The systems we use today all have to be created and computing is the discipline behind this. It’s a language that keeps our society communicating in the global world.

This course allows you to select your own study pathway according to your aspirations and interests. Teaching is very much based on engineering principles and has a strong practical basis which is built on theory.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Apply your skills to real-life practical problems as part of the department’s partnership scheme with charities, local and global organisations
  • Design and develop software, hardware and networks for a variety of fields such as digital forensics and artificial intelligence
  • Opt to do a salaried placement year

What opportunities might it lead to?

Accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP). This course also partially meets the academic requirement for registration, either as a Chartered Scientist (CSci) or (on behalf of the Engineering Council) as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Studying this degree will enable you to gain employment in a variety of fields in the computing industry.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • IT management
  • network design
  • software engineering
  • computer programming
  • web development

Become a teacher

If you are interested in becoming a Computer Science teacher, you could combine your computing studies with teacher training and school teaching placements. If you are successful, you will receive a £9000 bursary in your final year and gain Qualified Teacher Status alongside your BSc Computer Science degree, allowing you to apply for a teaching position.


Daniel Evans, BSc (Hons) Computing student 2012

My degree has helped me immensely with a job opportunity, new skills, interests and knowledge, and also much needed experience in a real-world IT environment.

Daniel Evans, BSc (Hons) Computing student 2012


Computing and Creative Technologies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Hands-on, practical work and real-life learning, which is transferable to future careers
  • Approachable lecturers who have experience and contacts in the industry

Browse all courses in Computing and Creative Technologies

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

In the first year we aim to supply you with the central skills and knowledge that you will need as a computing professional. The areas covered will include software engineering, systems analysis and design.

Core units you will study in this year include:

  • Comp Tutorial Level 4
  • Computer Architecture
  • Introduction to Database Design and Development
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Network Fundamentals
  • Web Foundations 1

Year two

You will start to define your specialist area through a range of options. In this year you will get the opportunity to select a specialist pathway while continuing to build on your first year experience with software engineering, more advanced database development using Oracle/db2, advanced communication architectures and business information security.

Core units you will study in this year include:

  • Business Information Systems Security
  • Comp Tutorial Level 5
  • Computer Operating Systems and Intermediate Networking
  • Database Principles
  • Getting Usability into Development Environments
  • Introduction to Software Engineering

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • 3D Computer Graphics and Animation
  • Advanced Programming Concepts
  • Web-Script Programming
  • Information systems and Project Management

Year three*

In this year you will consolidate your skills and learning. Having decided what part of the computing profession interests you the most, you can now concentrate on your chosen specialism at a more advanced level.

There are a couple of core units but the final year project gives you the freedom to analyse, design, build and evaluate your own work.

Core units you will study in this year include:

  • Advanced Networks
  • Comp Tutorial Level 6
  • Final Year Engineering Project
  • Human Computer Interaction Design

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Advanced Software Engineering
  • Data Warehousing and Mining
  • Distributed Systems and Parallel Programming
  • Fuzzy Logic – Theory and Applications
  • Neural Networks and Genetic Alorgithms

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement)

Initial Teacher Training route

In your first year, you will have the opportunity to apply for Initial Teacher Training (ITT). If selected, you will complete a number of teaching placements, a professional practice teaching unit and a related research project. You will be entitled to a bursary of £9,000 in the final year of your degree and, on successful completion of the course, you will gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The opt-in ITT route is available to BSc (Hons) Computing and BSc (Hons) Computer Science students, with training provided by our expert lecturers in Education and Childhood Studies. QTS status will enable you to teach computing, computer science or IT-related subjects in English and Welsh schools.


Here at the University, we aim to provide a lively and modern learning environment. During this course you will experience a mixture of lectures, tutorials, laboratory and project work. While lecture classes can be large, the more personal approach of seminars and tutorials offer more one-to-one support from our expert academics.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 26% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 74% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 25% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 75% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 16% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 84% studying independently and 0% on work placement


We assess you in ways that encourage a deeper understanding and allow you to develop your skills including through:

  • multiple choice tests
  • essays and portfolio work
  • written exams
  • mini projects
  • presentations
  • case studies
  • blogs

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 33% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 67% by coursework
  • Year two students: 35% by written exams, 3% by practical exams and 62% by coursework
  • Year three students: 22% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 78% by coursework

Tutor's view


Amanda Peart

We have an open door policy and are available to support all students. We place you, the student, at the centre of the learning. On the BSc (Hons) Computing you have the opportunity to study a broad range of topics, allowing you to choose your own pathway through the course to suit your career path.

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Facilities & Features

Specialist Software and Equipment

A full range of industry software will be available for you to use in the computer labs, supported by multi-platform network suites offering a variety of operating systems. You’ll have a range of excellent resources at your fingertips including:

  • mobile computing lab to develop Android and iOS apps
  • pervasive computing lab for high performance computing
  • usability lab including state of the art eye tracking equipment
  • Linux and Windows systems
  • forensics lab with industry standard forensic tools

Tutor Centre

A one-stop academic help and support resource for all School of Computing students. Need help understanding your assessments? Want to talk to someone about your project or about that programming problem? This is the place to go.

Maths Café

Drop in any time and get one-to-one help with that tricky maths or stats problem. With handouts on key topics to take away and computer-aided learning packages, we can get the problem solved and help you improve your numeracy skills.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

On graduating from this degree you will be equipped with all the skills needed to pursue a career in this rapidly-evolving and dynamic industry. With your computing expertise you’ll be employable in a range of areas including systems design and analysis, commercial or scientific systems development, or other related computer work.

It’s also fairly common for our graduates to be snapped up by the employer they worked for in their placement year. Others continue their study at both MSc and PhD levels, specialising further in areas such as health informatics, forensic IT and networking.

Overall you will be well qualified for many of the major computing graduate programmes or employment in varied fields of the computing industry.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • business continuity analyst
  • software engineer
  • web developer
  • systems analyst
  • computer programmer
  • online course developer

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

On this course you have the option to do a year UK or overseas placement with companies such as IBM or smaller organisations. This is a great opportunity to gain real-world perspective and exciting opportunities.

Our team at the Student Placement and Employability Centre (SPEC) ensures you have access to a range of volunteering and work experience opportunities. We also offer support during your year-long industrial placements, and provide support for the different types of application processes.

Here are some examples of the roles our students have secured for their placements:

  • IT Service Desk at Kelway
  • Website Developer/Designer at @UKPlc
  • Player Support Representative at Jagex

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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