Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2022/23)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2022/23)

UCAS points

112-120 (September 2023 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

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
95%of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things**BSc (Hons) Computer Science - National Student Survey 2022
A student working with the network cabinet
A student working at a computer in the lab

The highlights

  • Spend the first year learning the fundamentals of computer science and finding out where your passions and talents lie 
  • From year two, you can choose either the Software Development pathway or the Networks and Security one — you'll get a taste of both subjects in the first year to help you make your decision
  • Work with the latest, industry-standard technologies in almost every tutorial
  • Choose to take a year's work placement between years two and three of your course, to super-charge your employment prospects.
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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.

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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.

Our facilities

You’ll get to use cutting-edge software development tools in our industry-standard laboratories. Facilities include:

  • Computer Labs: These spaces are home to our specialist software access and hardware facilities. Software includes Python, Visual Studio, Unreal Engine, Unity, Apache, PHP, MySQL, Azure Cloud Services and DirectX/OpenGL
  • XR Lab (cross-reality): This dedicated space is for mixed-course games development as well as providing a flexible space for visualisation and other projects. The lab provides specialist games and visualisation hardware, including Vive Pro Eye headsets, Rifts and Wacom drawing tablets. There are eight workstations outfitted with 2080 graphics cards so you can approach raytracing projects and AI workloads
  • CAVE Lab: This impressive lab provides data visualisation hardware. The pod contains a 270-degree 3D projection set up allowing multiple users to experience a shared virtual environment. Workstations with Tesla graphics cards for data processing and AI projects are also available
  • Computer Networks Labs: Primarily used for our modules in Networking Fundamentals, Server Infrastructure, Wide Area Networks and Network Routing and Switching, the labs contain specialist software access including Cisco Packet Tracer, VM VirtualBox, VMware Workstation, Wireshark and MS Vision
  • Makerspace: Get ready to turn your ideas into prototypes! The space includes a whole host of equipment, including 3D printers, CNC machines, and a laser cutter to bring your product to life. It's also a great space to collaborate with students from across the University
A female student working on a tablet


Open to all students at the University of Derby the Makerspace is a student-led workshop based at our Markeaton Street site. There is a large range of tools in the Makerspace that you are able to use in your own time to design and develop projects.

Find out more about MakerspaceFind out more about Makerspace

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. 

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What you will study

    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.

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    How you will learn

    You will learn through a mixture of:

    • lectures
    • tutorials
    • laboratory work, and
    • e-learning.

    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

    Who will teach you

    Wayne Rippin
    Programme leader

    Wayne has been a lecturer at University of Derby since 2003. Prior to that, he worked in the computer industry. He is the programme leader for the BSc (Hons) Computer Science degree. 

    View full staff profileView full staff profile

    Entry requirements

    2023 entry

    These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.

    RequirementWhat we're looking for
    UCAS points112-120
    A LevelBBB-BBC
    T LevelMerit
    GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
    Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6

    English language requirements

    IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

    Fees and funding

    2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)


    £9,250 per year



    £14,045 per year


    Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

    Additional costs and optional extras

    How to apply

    Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

    UK students

    Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University
    International students

    On-campus courses starting in September 2022 and January 2023 are now closed to new applications from international students due to unprecedented demand. Applications for September 2023 will open in October. If you have any questions, please email

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University


    The Computing industry is growing, and you can be a part of it. It is predicted that job opportunities within Computer Sciences in the East Midlands region will increase by 18.3%, in Derbyshire by 12.8% and by 6.3% nationally between 2017 and 2024. *

    By 2024 the biggest growth in occupations in this area is forecast to be for programmers and software development professionals, Information technology and telecommunications professionals and IT project and programme managers. Insight indicates that some of the top ‘hard skills’ employers look for in candidates include programming languages such as SQL, Javascript, C# and the top ‘soft skills’ include communication, management and infrastructure. *

    You can be assured that our Computing courses are employment focused with industry-standard technologies that ensures when you graduate you will have the skills and confidence to secure the right role in this expanding and exciting industry. You will take part in team projects set by industry as well as the opportunity to take a placement year, so that along with your Computing ability, your skill set is well-rounded.

    Whichever pathway you choose, you'll find that your advanced skills in software development or networks and security are in high demand.

    Most 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. Careers include Network Specialist, Network Administrator, Network Technician, Network Analyst and Network Engineer.

    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.


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    Contact us

    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.

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    † Additional information about your studies

    4 years with industrial placement

    Teaching hours

    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.

    Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

    The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

    Included in your fees
    • Access to free software from major software vendors such as SAS, Microsoft, Adobe, Matlab and VMWare - some are available for student download
    Mandatory costs not included in your fees
    • Some assignments are required to be submitted on CDROM/DVDROM approx. £2
    • Independent Study dissertations are normally submitted electronically, but individual supervisors have the right to request bound copies. In that case, printing and binding expenses are covered by the student approx. £6 per copy
    Optional costs not included in your fees
    • External hard drive and memory card approx. £50 -£100
    • Not required but useful: personal computer and or tablet computer. From £100 upwards depending on specification
    • Text books approx. £20

    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.

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