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Computing and Information Systems Distance Learning Top-Up BSc (Hons)

Top up a HND or Foundation degree to a full Bachelor's degree in BSc Computing and Information Systems part-time, distance learning course.

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Key information

UCAS code:

I200

Typical offer:

Relevant HE study leading to a Level 5 qualification

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

Showing content for section Overview

Overview

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If you've already started your career and want to top up your HND or Foundation degree (FdA) to a full Bachelor's degree, this BSc Computing and Information Systems top-up degree course is the right course for you.

Computers and internet systems play an increasingly large role in our day-to-day lives – from the streaming services we watch our favourite shows on, to national patient databases used to record and prescribe patient care. This has created a surge in demand for professionals to create and maintain these essential devices and networks.

Study anywhere that suits you, over two years, while building your career in computing, information systems, ecommerce or web services. Develop skills to enhance your performance in your current role, or be ready to take on a senior role in system design, analysis, software engineering or online course development.

The University of Portsmouth is ranked 5th of the modern universities for research quality in computer science and informatics

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

Read more about our computer science research 

Course highlights

  • Develop your expertise in advanced database concepts, management of information systems and e-commerce, project management and web management and development
  • Design and develop your own piece of software, hardware or network system as part of your final year project

Benefits of distance learning

  • Work from anywhere, at your own pace, in your own time – with interactive online learning materials hosted on our virtual learning environment, Moodle, and available 24/7 on any device – find out how distance learning works
  • Access to over 600,000 ebooks, 55,000 online journals, digital newspapers and a postal loan service from our University Library – see all library support for distance learners
  • Invitations to online forums where you can discuss your studies with other students and your lecturers
  • Access to all student support services via email, phone, online chat or video call

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Clearing is open

This course is available through Clearing.

Apply now through Clearing

If you have your results, you can apply directly to us now to start in September 2024.

Apply now

Discover how Clearing works

Clearing 2024 opens on 5 July and closes on 21 October

Every year thousands of students find their ideal undergraduate course through Clearing. Clearing matches students who are looking for a different course or university from their original choice, or who are applying for the very first time after 30 June, to courses that universities still have places on.

The majority of people apply through Clearing once they receive their exam results on A level / T level results day (15 August 2024).

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You can explore our subjects, city, facilities and more all virtually!

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You can apply through Clearing if:

  • You don't meet the conditions of your offer for your firm (first) or insurance (second) choice courses
  • Your exam results are better than you expected and you want to change your course or university 
  • You don't hold any offers
  • You've accepted an offer but changed your mind about the course you want to do
  • You're applying for the first time after 30 June 2024 

Find out more on UCAS

Yes, we welcome Clearing applications from international students and you can apply in exactly the same way as UK students do. 

The majority of UK students apply through Clearing once they receive their A level / T level results in August 2024, so as an international student if you already have your exam results you can apply when Clearing opens. 

Make sure that you have time to get your visa, funding, and English language certification sorted out before the beginning of term.

If you would like further information or guidance, please contact our international office for advice. 

The entry requirements for courses can change in Clearing but if you want an idea of what grades we usually accept, take a look at our undergraduate course pages.

Even if you don't quite meet the entry requirements, we'd still encourage you to apply as you could still get a place.

Clearing Hotline: 023 9284 8074

Entry requirements

BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Systems (Distance Learning) (Top-up) degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • Relevant HE study leading to a Level 5 qualification, for example an appropriate HND, foundation degree or Advanced Diploma, or 240 credits from year 1 and year 2 of an undergraduate degree (BA/BSc), in a relevant subject 

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Typical offers

  • Relevant HE study leading to a Level 5 qualification, for example an appropriate HND, foundation degree or Advanced Diploma, or 240 credits from year 1 and year 2 of an undergraduate degree (BA/BSc), in a relevant subject

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

Careers and opportunities

You could use this top up course to pursue a more senior role with your current employer. Or you could apply what you learn to a new role in any industry that needs experts in computing and information systems.

Experienced information systems managers can earn an average salary upwards of £40,000, as can experienced systems analysts. If you prefer software engineering, you could earn an average salary from £25,000 to £50,000.

Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level in areas such as health informatics, forensic IT and networking, or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.

Previous students have gone on to work in areas such as:

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

What jobs can you do with a computing and information systems degree?

Roles they've taken on include:

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

Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level in areas such as health informatics, forensic IT and networking, or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.

Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Modules

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In the first year, you need to study 4 modules worth a total of 80 credits. In the 2nd year you will study for, and produce your final major project worth 40 credits.

What you'll study

Modules studied

With a focus on large-scale systems, you'll explore optimization, in-depth data modelling, and advanced concepts such as higher normal forms. Through practical SQL programming, you'll build a relational database application to support business needs - from conceptual modeling to business intelligence reporting. You'll also gain experience with alternative non-relational database structures for unstructured data.

Through exercises based on a case study and reflection on key concepts, you'll gain knowledge of project planning techniques, risk analysis, and change management. You'll understand the critical importance of communication, soft skills, and stakeholder management in delivering successful IT projects. Ultimately, you'll develop professional project management skills to enable you to lead and deliver complex IT initiatives in dynamic business environments.

You'll learn to manage information systems, optimise e-commerce platforms and maximize value in fast-evolving IT contexts. When you complete the module successfully, you'll have the insight to recommend and implement specific systems for modern organizations.

In this holistic module, you'll design and host a functioning website that is accessible, secure and visible to search engines. As you work through the full system development life cycle, you'll gather experience of SEO, performance optimisation, and website maintenance.

You'll independently identify a topic aligned with your degree pathway, then work closely with a supervisor to specify detailed project deliverables. Using appropriate methodologies, you'll initiate, manage, and execute an in-depth investigation. This includes conducting literature reviews, gathering data, testing implementations, and evaluating outcomes. You'll synthesize new and existing knowledge while reflecting critically on the process. The result will be a substantial, sophisticated body of work showcasing your skills.

Year 1

With a focus on large-scale systems, you'll explore optimization, in-depth data modelling, and advanced concepts such as higher normal forms. Through practical SQL programming, you'll build a relational database application to support business needs - from conceptual modeling to business intelligence reporting. You'll also gain experience with alternative non-relational database structures for unstructured data.

Through exercises based on a case study and reflection on key concepts, you'll gain knowledge of project planning techniques, risk analysis, and change management. You'll understand the critical importance of communication, soft skills, and stakeholder management in delivering successful IT projects. Ultimately, you'll develop professional project management skills to enable you to lead and deliver complex IT initiatives in dynamic business environments.

You'll learn to manage information systems, optimise e-commerce platforms and maximize value in fast-evolving IT contexts. When you complete the module successfully, you'll have the insight to recommend and implement specific systems for modern organizations.

In this holistic module, you'll design and host a functioning website that is accessible, secure and visible to search engines. As you work through the full system development life cycle, you'll gather experience of SEO, performance optimisation, and website maintenance.

Year 2

You'll independently identify a topic aligned with your degree pathway, then work closely with a supervisor to specify detailed project deliverables. Using appropriate methodologies, you'll initiate, manage, and execute an in-depth investigation. This includes conducting literature reviews, gathering data, testing implementations, and evaluating outcomes. You'll synthesize new and existing knowledge while reflecting critically on the process. The result will be a substantial, sophisticated body of work showcasing your skills.

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • independent study
  • online discussion with lecturers

Most of the course is delivered via our interactive virtual learning environment. With access to all the study material you’ll need, discussion forums and the chance to connect with peers and lecturers via chat sessions, you’ll have plenty of academic support and heaps of resources.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • multiple choice tests
  • essays
  • mini projects
  • presentations
  • review articles

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday.

Online chats are usually scheduled for evenings to accommodate the fact that most of our distance learning students are at work. All chats are recorded so you won't miss anything if you cannot attend the chat.

Supporting you

As a distance learner, you can get support via video and phone from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

The Maths Café offers advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your maths skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

Full time

UK, International, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
  • Year 1 – £6,165
EU students 

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Year 1 – £6,165

Part time

UK, International, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
  • Year 1 – £4,110
  • Year 2 – £2,060
EU students 

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Year 1 – £4,110
  • Year 2 – £2,060

Fees may be subject to annual increase.

Full time

UK, International, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
  • Year 1 – £6,165
EU students 

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Year 1 – £6,165

Part time

UK, International, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
  • Year 1 – £4,110
  • Year 2 – £2,060
EU students 

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Year 1 – £4,110
  • Year 2 – £2,060

Fees may be subject to annual increase.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional course costs

You’ll study up to 4 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

We attempt to make most of these available online as e-books from the Library. But if you decide to buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying and memory sticks.

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.

Apply

How to apply

Our courses fill up quickly, so submit your application as soon as you decide which course you want to study.

Full time

To start this course full time in September 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – I200
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS

 

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

Part time

Apply for this course part time using our online application form

Not quite ready to apply?

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Our courses fill up quickly, so submit your application as soon as you decide which course you want to study.

Full time

To start this course full time in January 2025, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – I200
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS

 

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

Part time

Apply for this course part time using our online application form

Not quite ready to apply?

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Our courses fill up quickly, so submit your application as soon as you decide which course you want to study.

Full time

To start this course full time in September 2025, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – I200
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS

 

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

Part time

Apply for this course part time using our online application form

Not quite ready to apply?

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Our courses fill up quickly, so submit your application as soon as you decide which course you want to study.

Full time

To start this course full time in January 2026, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – I200
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS

 

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

Part time

Apply for this course part time using our online application form

Not quite ready to apply?

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in our international students section

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.