Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 1-2 years

UK fee

£5,100

International fee

£5,100

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BSc (Hons)

Start dates

January, September, May

Location

Online

Online course description

If you already hold an HND or foundation degree in a Computing subject or international equivalent qualification, top it up to a full Computing and IT BSc degree in one to two years with this online course. Gaining the full bachelors degree can improve your career prospects, strengthen your CV and allow you to move onto a masters degree at a later date, should you wish to.

Developed by leading specialists, our newly updated Computing and Information Technologies (Top-Up) BSc (Hons) degree has been designed around diverse cutting-edge issues, events and digital developments.

The course will allow you to deepen your knowledge and understanding through research, case studies and practical skills-based projects. With a core focus on professional ethics and the wide-ranging impact of computing technologies in society, the programme will support learners in acquiring crucial skills which underpin the duties and responsibilities of today’s computing professionals.

Why choose this Computing and IT course?

The course focuses particularly on gaining confidence and skills in:

This online qualification will set you on a positive path to successfully furthering your career.

Who is this online course for?

Those wishing to progress within the Computing and IT sector such as:

A talk from our Academic Lead

Our Computing and IT Academic Lead, Dr Tariq Abdullah, talks about the online Computing and Information Technologies (Top-Up) BSc (Hons) course in this video.

An introduction to our online Computing and Information Technologies (Top-Up) BSc (Hons)

View introduction to our online Computing and Information Technologies (Top-Up) BSc (Hons) video transcript

What you will study

With a mix of core and optional modules, you can tailor your studies to match your particular interests and career aspirations.

One of the core modules everyone completes is the Research Project. You can select from a list of suggestions provided by your tutor or this could be something you propose that matches your own interests, experience or area of professional development.

The programme allows you to study at your own pace, fitting around other commitments, in any location, via a virtual classroom environment. You will also get the opportunity to interact with like-minded peers across the world through discussion forums.

We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered. In addition, where demand is high, some modules may be subject to a cap.

To complete this top-up degree you will need to complete a total of 120 credits. This will be made up from the two core modules and three of the optional 20-credit modules in your preferred area of Computing and Information Technologies.

ModulesModules

Code: 6CC544

Computing Technologies in Society

This module provides a wide-ranging transdisciplinary introduction to the evolution and application of increasingly complex and powerful digital technologies.

Particular attention is given to the impact of technologies on society, the individual and the environment. A broad range of past, present and future technologies and techniques are considered within a framework which is designed to support you in acquiring crucial skills which underpin the duties and responsibilities of today's computing professionals. A strong research-infused curriculum is adopted and is reinforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom's discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues and current events - thereby supporting you in the acquisition of a broad range of transferable skills which are of pivotal importance in professional practice. As part of the assessment for this module, you will have the opportunity to carry out a research-informed case study in which they will be able to focus on ethical issues relating to specific past, current or emerging hardware and/or software systems/trends. Alternatively, you may elect to undertake a practically based exercise. In either case, you will work within a small group with each member being marked individually for their contributions.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competence in understanding key technical and environmental issues concerning the operation, implementation and application of digital systems
  2. Critically appraise past, present and future applications of digital systems with particular emphasis on their impact upon both society and the individual
  3. Formulate professional ethical positions in relation to the development, manufacture, application, proliferation and disposal of digital systems
  4. Participate effectively in group work and proactively contribute to the overall organisation of the group
  5. Recognise the varied roles and responsibilities which are associated with professional activity in the computing/IT domain and the importance of continued professional development

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • Digital systems and genocide
  • Environmental stewardship: The computer life cycle - from inception to e-waste
  • Long-term data archiving
  • Server farms and sustainability
  • Digital shadows and personnel privacy
  • Empowering digital systems - fully automated processes
  • Predictive modelling
  • Surveillance systems
  • Drones for surveillance and warfare
  • Radio-frequency identification devices (RFIDs)
  • When technology goes wrong - from cancer therapy to avionics
  • Animatronics
  • Ethical and professional responsibilities
  • Ethics in a multi-cultural context
  • Ethics and the Internet
  • From technology to human factors
  • Professional codes of conduct - turning theory into practice
  • Professional roles and responsibilities - professional development
More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6CC552

Research Project

In this module, you will have the opportunity to learn about basic research techniques and apply this knowledge in carrying out a research project.

Projects can be theoretical in nature, may involve comparative studies/surveys, modelling/analysis, or may embrace practically-based activity (for example, the development of a hardware and/or software prototype). You will be supplied with a list of suggested projects. Normally, you are expected to select a project from this list. However, you can propose a project that may better match your interests, experience or relevant area of professional development. Permission to undertake such student initiated projects is not automatically granted but must be approved by your Academic Associate (Tutor) before work begins.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Define a research or practical project that tackles a given problem
  2. Select an appropriate methodology to undertake the project
  3. Conduct an independent enquiry or practical activity that successfully meets the aims of the project
  4. Critically evaluate the findings and impact of the project

Module content

Indicative topics and activities:

  • Nature of scholarly research
  • Research methodologies
  • Ethical and professional considerations
  • Library resources and usage
  • Literature searching – from online to hard copy
  • Forms of publication
  • Literature review
  • Data collection, analysis, accuracy and evaluation
  • Practical-based research
  • Hardware and software design and testing
  • Safety considerations
  • Formal report writing
  • From originality to plagiarism
  • Project design
  • Time management
More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6CC545

Distributed Applications and Web Services

This module provides a wide-ranging introduction to the various techniques that can be used in the development of distributed applications.

These operate seamlessly across architectures that consist of two or more, and often many, computing machines that are connected via some form of network, eg physical or wireless. A research-infused curriculum is adopted in this module and is re-enforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom's discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues - thereby supporting the acquisition of a broad range of highly transferable skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate the suitability of different platforms and techniques that can be applied when developing distributed applications
  2. Research appropriate applications so as to demonstrate web services techniques and critically evaluate their effectiveness
  3. Participate effectively in group work and proactively contribute to the overall organisation of the group

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • History of distributed systems and web services
  • Distributed computing architectures
  • Web service protocols
  • Peer-to-peer computing
  • Web service orchestration
  • Distributed media
  • Cloud computing
  • Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and beyond
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6CC546

Database Fundamentals

Starting from scratch and assuming no prior knowledge, this module provides a broad grounding in the fundamental features, analysis, design and implementation of modern relational database systems in multi-user and web-based environments.

It also explores alternative technologies that are available in the database arena along with associated web programming technologies and scripting languages. The key issues of database security, database performance, the incorporation of non-traditional data, the role of database administration and the legal and ethical issues surrounding the storage and security of information are also introduced. A research-infused curriculum is adopted in this module and is reinforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom’s discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues - thereby supporting the acquisition of a broad range of highly transferable skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Model, design and implement a relational database with a web-based interface for a given scenario
  2. Review and critically evaluate database technologies

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • Database and database management system fundamentals
  • Conceptual data models
  • Relational theory and relational algebra
  • Database design and normalization
  • Database query languages
  • Databases and non-traditional data
  • Database optimization and query tuning
  • Database security techniques
  • Web-enabled database techniques (scripting and interfaces)
  • Data management principles (ethical and legal issues)
  • Data management - future trends and technologies
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6CC547

Network Management and Security

This module is intended to provide you with an in-depth understanding of the issues involved in the management of large scale computer networks.

The importance of information security and risk management are highlighted, as are the implications of security compromise and infringement. In particular, the need for network management is discussed, and relevant models to facilitate this are presented. Network infrastructure and capacity planning, together with associated metrics, are investigated, with this being framed in terms of quality of service and the use of service level agreements. Network security concepts and techniques, for example cryptography and encryption, are also introduced in this module. Such topics are particularly relevant to modern computing paradigms, such as cloud computing. A research-infused curriculum is adopted and is reinforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom's discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues - thereby supporting you in the acquisition of a broad range of highly transferable skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Justify the need for network management; consider the main network management functions and discuss both benefits and limitations
  2. Critically interpret recent research and development in the field of network management security
  3. Critically review the requirements for the design of a network system so as to meet a given application scenario and evaluate key aspects of its security

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • Configuration management
  • Event management
  • Performance management
  • Accounting management
  • Network management standards
  • Capacity planning
  • Aspects of network security, eg authentication, firewalls, physical security, different types of network attacks and risk analysis
  • Disaster recovery
  • Information security management systems (ISMS)
  • Current areas of research and interest in network management, including aspects of cloud computing
  • General issues relating to the management of information technology, such as ethical, legal and security of information, as it relates to network management
  • Selected case studies
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6CC548

Cyber Security and Ethical Hacking: An Introduction

Cyber security is of crucial importance to all legitimate users of the Internet - from government and commerce through to private users.

The level, scale and profundity of cyber-attacks and fraudulent activity continue to increase. As a result, there is a vital and continuous need for organisations to adapt and enhance security in order to keep abreast of ever more sophisticated forms of attack. In parallel, it is necessary to verify the effectiveness of security arrangements, to identify weaknesses (which are always present) and to determine the value gained from financial investment in cyber defence. In this module, we focus on issues relating to cybersecurity, methods that can be employed in evaluating system security and basic digital forensics techniques which can be used to accrue information pertaining to an attack. We particularly focus on introducing ethical hacking techniques, also known as penetration testing, by which organisations recruit appropriate professionals who are charged with identifying and reporting on security weaknesses. This module provides an opportunity to develop important and highly transferable practical skills underpinned by a theoretical understanding of key issues and methodologies. This is reflected in the various assessment components, by the use of research-informed content and by the expectation that you will develop the breadth of your knowledge by making regular and considered contributions to the virtual classroom's discussion forum.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically discuss the threat spectrum of cyberspace attacks and key defensive techniques
  2. Apply basic tools and techniques in a structured, ethical and professional manner so as to evaluate and report on system security using ethical hacking methodologies
  3. Apply appropriate basic digital forensics tools and techniques in a structured manner so as to accrue information relevant to a cyber-attack and/or fraudulent activity

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • The use and misuse of digital systems
  • The myth of total security
  • An introduction to digital forensics
  • An introduction to ethical hacking and penetration testing
  • Ethical and professional responsibilities
  • Ethical hacking and the law
  • Security fundamentals - technical vulnerabilities 
  • Security fundamentals - organisational vulnerabilities
  • Human factors & social engineering
  • Cyber-attacks and illegal activity: techniques and motivations
  • Digital forensics - tools and techniques
  • Digital forensics - case studies
  • Ethical hacking and penetration testing - tools and techniques
  • Ethical hacking case studies
  • Cyber security and mobile technologies
  • Cyber warfare
  • Cyber terrorism
More information
20 Credits
optional

Code: 6CC549

Web Development: Creating Effective Applications

This module explores historical, current, and emerging issues, technologies, practices, and infrastructure relating to the creation of large-scale, multi-function websites.

Particular emphasis is given to supporting wide-ranging functionality, eg a combination of e-commerce, communication, social networking, content and management. Particular attention is given to the application of rational methods and critical thinking in the selection of the web technologies which are most suited to a given application scenario. A research-infused curriculum is adopted in this module and is reinforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom's discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues - thereby supporting you in the acquisition of a broad range of highly transferable skills. As part of the assessment for this module, you will have the opportunity to carry out a research-informed case study and develop a working web application for a given application.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Review and critically evaluate available web-based application implementation options
  2. Interpret web-based application development issues
  3. Identify and justify the design decisions involved in implementing fully featured, multi-function websites

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • Internet protocols and standards
  • A review of current development platforms and technologies in the context of developing complex web applications
  • Site implementation strategies
  • Services oriented architecture and web services
  • Current trends in the application of internet technologies (for both individual and business use)
  • Content management systems
  • Web connectivity
  • Accessibility
  • Emerging technologies, 'hot topics' and new developments
  • General issues relating to the management of information technology, such as ethical considerations and security of information, as they relate to web technologies
  • Responsive template
  • Evaluation of the suitability of mobile technologies for different situations
  • Examination of the ethical implications of the use of mobile technologies
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6CC550

Software Engineering: Creating Quality Products

This module provides a wide-ranging and highly practical introduction to the software life cycle - from software specification and design through to programming, testing and documentation.

Basic programming techniques are introduced at an early stage and so previous programming experience is not assumed. However, those who have programming skills will gain the opportunity to extend their understanding of software development as an engineering process and to apply this knowledge in the implementation of a larger software development task. Practical programming is taught within a framework of software engineering techniques thereby allowing you to better appreciate that the ability to cut code represents only one (albeit crucial) part of the software life cycle. Learners are introduced to a range of highly transferable skills which are needed in order to produce fully-documented high-quality software products. As part of the assessment for this module, you will design, develop, test and document several programmes. You may undertake this work individually or form a group (software development team). Groups normally comprise three members. Group work is strongly encouraged – but is not a requirement. You are expected to make regular contributions to the virtual classroom’s discussion forum.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competence in basic algorithm design, program coding, documentation development, and debugging
  2. Apply software engineering techniques across key areas of the software life cycle
  3. Critically appraise software development processes with particular reference to software specification, documentation and testing

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • Origins and evolution of software engineering techniques
  • Examples of good and bad practice, software quality
  • Software project management
  • Human factors
  • Introduction to programming
  • Algorithm design
  • Software life cycle
  • Sequential development strategy - strengths and weaknesses
  • Agile development
  • Software specification
  • Programming strategies
  • Development environments
  • Testing strategies and techniques
  • Exhaustive testing
  • Documentation techniques
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 6CC551

Internet of Things: An Introduction

The concept of an 'Internet of things' (which is often discussed within the framework of pervasive and ubiquitous forms of computing) relates to the development, deployment and operation of a broad spectrum of Internet-connected devices which are able to communicate with applications, with each other, and with the environment.

The pervasive use of interconnected and intercommunicating sensory technologies offers great opportunities for business, for governmental agencies and for the individual. However, there are a number of ongoing challenges which include reliability, data handling, security and impact on personal privacy. This module provides a practical, interdisciplinary introduction to the Internet of things and to the broader area of pervasive computing. A research-infused curriculum is adopted in this module and is reinforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom's discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues - thereby supporting you in the acquisition of a broad range of highly transferable skills. As a part of the assessment for this module, you will have the opportunity to carry out a design and construction exercise in which you will develop and programme one or more Internet-connected devices (usually based on the Arduino or Raspberry Pi technologies). Alternatively, you will undertake a research-informed case study involving research into specific topics.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competence in understanding the principles, techniques, protocols and technologies which underpin the Internet of things
  2. Critically appraise the strengths and weaknesses of the concepts and potential social and ethical ramifications of the Internet of things and of pervasive computing in general
  3. Critically evaluate the benefits which the Internet of things and pervasive computing offer in advancing indicative areas of application

Module content

Indicative topics:

  • Pervasive computing and the Internet of things
  • Hardware and software considerations
  • Sensor and actuator technologies
  • Exemplar devices
  • Communication techniques and protocols
  • RFID devices
  • Power sources and reliability
  • Data bandwidth issues
  • Wireless sensor networks
  • Security issues
  • Exemplar case studies - Internet of things in commerce, employment, environment, and m-Health
  • Ethical issues
  • Current and future research, developments and trends
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

How you will learn

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester. If you aim to study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Discovering Online Learning Webinar

Wednesday, 10 July 2019 12.30 - 13.30

Join this webinar to find out more about studying online at Derby, including how online learning works and what you can expect. It includes a 20 minute presentation and a chance to ask questions. 

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

You need to have one of the following:

*If you are entering with an HNC, you will need to first study and obtain a minimum pass rate of 40% in the level 6 Computing Technologies in Society module.

When you apply, please send us a transcript of the modules you've already studied. This means we can make sure your HND or foundation degree is compatible with this top-up qualification.

English language qualifications

If English is not your first language, you will need an English language qualification. For this course, you will need at least one of the following:

* If you don't have GCSE Maths then you can study our Certificate of Credit in Introduction to Maths in Preparation for Higher Education which is a 20-credit module designed to help you develop your mathematical skills in preparation for higher education.

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Fees and funding

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £850 5 (four 20-credit modules and one 40-credit module) £5,100

† Prices correct for 2019/20 new students. Subject to potential annual increase in September 2020.

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three options:

 

Undergraduate funding options

Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for an undergraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to meet the cost of tuition fees.

If you already hold an honours degree, and you are looking to re-skill or up-skill, you may still be eligible for a loan to study this course.

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Careers

This programme is designed for those who wish to advance their knowledge and understanding of important aspects of Computing and Information Technologies in order to enhance career opportunities or to prepare themselves for postgraduate research. It will provide you with highly transferable subject, academic and practical skills which are widely sought by today’s Computing and Information Technologies employers.

This course is also an excellent stepping stone to completing a masters degree, such as our MSc Information Technology, which can also be studied part-time online.

Programme leader

Dr Tariq Abdullah

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

† Additional information about your studies

Prices correct for 2019/20 new students. Subject to potential annual increase in September 2020.

Download programme specification