You can choose from two pathways; BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Software Development) or BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Networks and Security) pathway.
Our Computer Science degree with a Software Development pathway or a Networks and Security pathway is highly technical with a strong focus on the most important skills within the subject areas. Our Software Development pathway focuses on computer programming, with an emphasis on practical techniques underpinned by theory and informed by research. The Networks and Security pathway is based on a recognised industrial certification in Networks. There is a common first year with specialist modules in your second and final year – this approach gives you the time to understand which area you’re interested in most to help you decide which pathway to choose at the end of your first year.
In Computer Science (Software Development) you will:
- Harness cutting-edge software development tools in our industry-standard laboratories
- Learn from experienced computer scientists who have strong industry links
In Computer Science (Networks and Security) you will:
- Study an industry-recognised CISCO Certified Network Associate syllabus
- Learn from experienced computer network specialists and ex-industry professionals
Computing - your questions answered
In the below video, Kim Smith, Course Director, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Computing at the University of Derby. You can also watch exclusive subject content by signing up to Derby on Demand.
Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more
Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.
Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.
Software Development or Networks and Security?
This BSc (Hons) Computer Science degree has two very distinct pathways: Software Development or Networks and Security. However, in the first year everyone takes the same modules, which gives you time to explore both fields and find out which you prefer.
During that first year we'll cover both programming skills and networking fundamentals. We'll also cover the key concepts of computer science, its history and important terminology, as well as the mathematical foundations you'll need to succeed in computing.
From year two, you must then choose one of the following pathways. Around a third of the content in year two will be specific to your pathway, while in year three, almost all of it will be.
BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Software Development)
Software is everywhere, running everything from our desktop computers and mobile phones to home appliances, games consoles, cars, planes and industrial machinery. This degree will help you become a skilled computer programmer, adept at developing software and fully aware of the tools and methodologies that underpin software.
You will study applied computer science with a strong emphasis on practical programming skills using cutting-edge software development tools in our industry-standard laboratories. We'll explore core topics such as:
- computer graphics
- application development
- systems programming
- data mining
- language design.
You can also choose some optional modules around these.
You will be taught by experienced computer scientists and former industry professionals who continue to maintain active links with employers in the sector.
BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Networks and Security)
With computer security breaches and hacking incidents hitting the headlines on a regular basis, there is an urgent demand for highly skilled professionals who can deliver effective solutions. This pathway will help you develop these sought-after skills in designing, maintaining and securing wired and wireless networks.
You will develop the technical skills to specify and build the physical infrastructure, and the software development skills to make sure that solutions are robust and secure. We'll cover core topics such as:
- network routing and switching
- ethical hacking
- security protocols
- distributed networks, and
- wireless networks.
You can also choose some optional modules around these.
In addition, the training you need to become a CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is embedded in this programme. This certification is recognised by the industry so it adds further credibility to your qualification. We are also a member of the Microsoft Imagine Academy, which means we can offer extra technology and training to help you get ahead in the workplace.
Work on real and imagined projects
Whichever pathway you choose, you'll take part in a team project during the second year. We set up fictional software development companies and you'll be asked to work for one of these, playing your part in developing a high-quality, realistic product in a set timescale. This is a safe way to experience what it's like to work in the industry and will give you a sense of the challenges involved in delivering complicated projects on time.
You will also be asked to work on a smaller project for a real-world client. This might involve developing software, a website, a network design, forensic analysis of a data set, or something similar. Again, it will give you important experience of the professional sphere and of what skills you will need to succeed.
Choose a year in industry
You can choose to spend your third year on an industry placement. Increasingly, employers are looking for new recruits with work experience so this is a great opportunity to build that experience and boost your career prospects after graduation.
Previous students have secured placements with major names such as Microsoft, IBM, Intel and BT. Our dedicated Placements Officer will help you to find a position and support you throughout your year away.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
You will learn through a mixture of:
- laboratory work, and
For the Software Development pathway there is a strong emphasis on practical programming skills and you will use cutting-edge software development tools in our industry-quality labs. For the Networks and Security pathway, you'll work in our Network Development Suite with its full range of routers, switches, wireless and conventional equipment from manufacturers like CISCO, D-Link, Linksys and Netgear.
How you are assessed
You will mostly be assessed through coursework, although in each year there may be a small number of computer-based exams. In the final year, one third of your assessment is for your Independent Study. This can either be a significant piece of research into an area that interests you, or a project to create, test and evaluate an innovative solution in computing.
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Find out more about personal academic tutoring
These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2022 entry.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|GCSE||GCSE Maths and English grade 4/C (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|Access to HE||Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2|
English language requirements
IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)
Whichever pathway you choose, you'll find that your advanced skills in software development or networks and security are in high demand.
The majority of computing jobs require software development abilities and experience. So whether you want to be a software engineer, project manager, technical architect or chief technology officer, the Software Development pathway will help you get there.
If you graduate from the Networks and Security pathway, you will be suited to roles that involve developing, maintaining, securing and managing computer networks, as well as jobs that involve the engineering side of network protocol development and research.
However, this degree will equip you with wide-ranging skills, which could lead on to many different careers in the computing field and beyond. For instance, your numerical and analytical skills will be very strong, and you should also be good at teamwork and project management.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
Included in your fees
- Specialist computing labs
- Access to software and equipment
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Printer consumables approx. £100 per annum
- Portable hard drive/memory card approx. £120
- Portfolio case approx. £40
- Core text books approx. £250
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Not required but useful: personal computer or tablet computer approx. £400
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.