Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

120 (September 2021 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

This course is being updated, please keep checking back for more information.

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

Software makes modern life possible. Our BSc (Hons) Computer Science equips you with vital skills that will put you at the forefront of software development and programming.



Software is everywhere – running everything from our desktop computers and mobile phones to home appliances, game 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.

A thorough understanding of computer science

To be a successful, knowledgeable and highly employable computer programmer, you need to know computer science – the subject that underlies computer programming and software development.  

On this course, 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.

You will be taught by experienced computer scientists and former industry professionals who continue to maintain active links with employers in the sector.

Why you should study Computing at the University of Derby

Build impressive practical skills

In your first year, you will discover the foundations of computer science and software development. We cover computer programming, together with some vital mathematics, and you will find out what makes both good and bad software.

In your second year, you will explore core topics of computer science such as computer graphics, software engineering and databases. We also equip you with the skills needed to work in software development teams.

You can then choose to spend your third year on placement in industry or progress directly to the final stage of the degree.

The final year focuses on advanced topics including enterprise systems, systems programming, distributed systems, computer language design and programming language implementation. You will also undertake an Independent Study to develop a large-scale project or conduct a research study into an area of your own choosing.

Industrial placement

If you opt for a placement in your third year, you will have the benefit of working alongside industry professionals and seeing how the knowledge and skills you have gained so far are put into practice. This experience will give you a distinct edge when you are applying for jobs after you graduate. More and more employers are now seeking new recruits with work experience, so a CV featuring a placement will help you to stand out.

Our Placements Officer will help you to find a position and support you throughout the placement period. We offer a full range of guidance to enhance your employability while you are studying and to help you secure graduate roles. For more information, please contact our 

Students discussing work in a computer lab
Female student working on a computer
Male and female student working on a computer

What you will study

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Optional Placement YearOptional Placement YearYear 3Year 3

Code: 4CC503

Computational Mathematics

This module introduces, and in some cases reviews, the mathematical foundations of computer science.
20 Credits

Code: 4CC505

Foundations of Computer Science

This module explores two related, and yet very distinct, foundations of the practical application of computer science: The first is human-computer interaction; the second is data. Computer systems do not exist in isolation; they are used by human beings for entertainment – such as videogames – and as tools to support human activities, such as mobile telephones or Web browsers. Therefore, the one half of this module explores how computers and computer software are built to entertain and assist humans by drawing upon research and industry practice in human-computer interaction, including interfaces to computer systems, software design, interaction design, product design, and research into the social impact of computing.

Whilst computers are used by humans as tools and entertainment devices, fundamentally they are nothing but data-processing machines. Indeed, in a very broad sense, the only practical application of computer science is to help build systems that manipulate data. Therefore, the other half of this module explores Data, including its definitions and philosophical underpinnings; its representation in computer systems including data types and an introduction to type theory; various techniques for modelling the storage and movement of data.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4CC509

Introduction to Computer Science

This module introduces students to the concepts, contributors, terminology, sub-fields, and history of computer science, whilst encouraging students to develop academic skills in reading, writing, research, and presentation.
20 Credits

Code: 4CC510

Programming 1

This module introduces students to the fundamental principles, concepts, and practice of computer programming, and develops the skills needed to design, implement, and test simple computer programs. No prior computer programming experience is assumed, and all practical work is done using an industry-standard programming language and software development environment.
20 Credits

Code: 4CC511

Programming II

This module builds on the concepts introduced in Programming I by covering the theory and practical techniques needed to develop usable, robust, and reliable end-user software applications.
20 Credits

Code: 4CC523

Networking Fundamentals

This module will provide an introduction to computer networks based on the Cisco CCNA 1 curriculum. The module will cover the fundamentals of network operation including OSI and TCP/IP models, IP addressing, protocol operation, routing and basic LAN design. Additionally, the module will also discuss Ethernet operation in a LAN environment and the requirements for designing and building a small enterprise network. The course content will be a combination of theoretical and practical work underpinned by Cisco learning materials and simulation software.
20 Credits

Code: 3LN004

Intermediate English 1

Students will develop their general English skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking, and be provided with an introduction to academic English. Students will develop their grammatical, phonological and general and subject specific lexical awareness. By the end of the module students’ language for academic study should be at a mid B2 on the CEFR equivalent to IELTS 5.5.
0 Credits

Code: 5CC503

Application Development

This module consists of a practical exploration of current and emerging technologies used to implement public and enterprise applications, particularly those underpinned by database systems. Relevant tools, technologies and programming languages will be examined and evaluated.
20 Credits

Code: 5CC507


This module explores the concepts, technology, and theory that underpin industrial-strength multi-user database systems. Students will be required to develop the practical skills necessary to design and implement robust and scalable databases, and they will develop critical understanding of the issues related to multi-user database development, such as choosing suitable database management systems and tuning them to achieve acceptable performance.
20 Credits

Code: 5CC509

Graphics I

This module provides students with an in-depth technical and theoretical understanding of the techniques used in producing computer graphics. 2D graphics will be covered, but particular emphasis is placed on understanding 3D graphics and the fundamental requirements for implementing a 3D rendering solution. The module considers current concepts and practical applications, as well as the mathematics underlying computer graphics.
20 Credits

Code: 5CC515

Networks and Security

This module covers two important areas of network communication; information and data security, and network programming. The first part of the module will introduce the concepts, theory and practice of information and data security. The module will establish i) the importance of sound, effective, and practical security policies; ii) an understanding of the structure and implementation of security protocols; and iii) the effects of security policies and implementations on the local network environment and the wider Internet.

The second part of the module will focus on the principles of IP based network interoperation and the implementation of network applications. The module will establish i) an understanding of common network protocols, and ii) knowledge of how to implement applications which communicate over an IP network using standard and non-standard protocols.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5CC516

Software Engineering

Like any complex human endeavour, software development should be managed. This module views software development from an engineering perspective, and looks at the theory and practices behind attempting to produce software that meets users' expectations of quality and functionality whilst being developed on time and within budget. The practical experience that students gain in Team Project will be compared and contrasted with published accounts of, and research into, software engineering.
20 Credits

Code: 5CC518

Team Project

This module is intended to foster employability skills by simulating, as accurately as possible, what it's like to work in a given Computer Science specialism.

This will be done in two successive activities:

  • Students will be introduced to the “world of work” via a simulated work environment – they will be put into teams that represent fictional companies, but which need to produce real products or engage in realistic work-related activity. This will give students the opportunity to safely discover and explore their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses, and inclinations before embarking on real-world employment activities.
  • Students will engage with a real-world industrial brief to develop a small project – such as software, a Web site, a network design, a forensic analysis of a data set, or some similar real or realistic industrial activity – suitable for entry level employees at a relevant industrial employer.

For example, many programmers work as part of a team on large software development projects. Therefore, students working toward a BSc (Hons) Computer Science award will be assembled into fictional software development companies to develop a realistic project, and will thereby experience the challenges that can occur when trying to develop a complicated development project and deliver it on schedule and with high quality. After completion of the fictional-company project, the same teams will work on a small-scale, but real, work-based development project set by a subject-relevant industrial employer, such as a software company.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 3LN005

Intermediate English 2

The module builds on Intermediate English 1 and further develops students’ general and academic English skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Students will be exposed to more advanced forms of academic English. Students will further develop their grammatical, phonological and general and subject specific lexical awareness. By the end of the module students’ language for academic study should be at a B2/B2+ on the CEFR equivalent to IELTS 6.0 or above.
0 Credits

Code: 5CC886

Applied Professional Practice

This module provides a framework for the development of “lifelong learning” skills appropriate to all areas of professional practice; including objective setting, planning, negotiating, implementing, demonstrating and reflecting. The emphasis in this module is on the analysis and evaluation of the work completed within the organisation. This module also gives students an opportunity to relate their academic knowledge to the work environment.
40 Credits

Code: 5CC887

Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice

Students need to be aware of the commercial realities and external factors that influence the success of an organisation. This module provides opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of contemporary issues that may impact on industrial and professional practices relevant to a career within their chosen discipline. During this period of work experience, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the responsibilities arising from both corporate and individual responses to such issues, thus enabling them to relate to the wider world when exploring a personal direction for potential career development.
20 Credits

Code: 6CC504

Cryptography and Coding

This module introduces and develops the skills needed to understand and implement methods and methodologies of encryption, secure communication. It reviews and evaluates historic methods tracing the development of new approaches to secrecy enabling the learners to become aware of the importance of cryptographic developments and have the requisite mathematical skills to be able to implement a public key cryptography system.
20 Credits

Code: 6CC505

Distributed Systems

This module examines the various mechanisms for developing applications and systems dependent on an architecture consisting of two or more (and often many) computing machines connected via a network, with particular emphasis on research and emerging technologies in this area.
20 Credits

Code: 6CC509

Language Design and Implementation

Computer languages are a cornerstone of practical and theoretical applications of computer science. Therefore, this module provides an in-depth and pragmatically-focused exploration of the theory, concepts, paradigms, current research, and practical implementation issues involved in designing and implementing mark-up languages, special-purpose languages, and programming languages.
20 Credits

Code: 6CC514

Systems Programming

This module provides an in-depth exploration of the concepts and issues related to systems programming, in particular, those related to concurrency, operating systems fundamentals, low-level coding, and developing for dedicated devices such as games consoles, network routers, and embedded systems.
20 Credits

Code: 6CC995

Independent Studies

This module enables students to demonstrate the ability to independently develop a substantial piece of work related to their specialism. It can be either a significant piece of research following a recognised research methodology, or it can be a significant “design and development” project to create, test and evaluate an innovative solution in computing. Students will be supported and mentored by a member of academic staff, but the project will be defined and implemented by the student.
40 Credits

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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Campus Tours

Campus Tours are a great way to explore our campuses, facilities and halls of residence. We’ll be running the tours in two-hour timeslots, giving you the best possible experience while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Book your Campus TourBook your Campus Tour

Virtual Open Day

Delve deeper into the course with our Virtual Open Day, packed with subject and course information to help you make your choice, including tours of facilities, 360° views of award-winning accommodation plus advice and insight from students and academics.

Explore our Virtual Open DayExplore our Virtual Open Day

How you will learn

You will learn through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and laboratory work. We also provide a considerable amount of e-learning support material. There is a strong emphasis on practical programming skills and you will use cutting-edge software development tools in our industry-quality labs.

You can also choose to spend a year on a placement working alongside industry professionals, which will give you a distinct advantage in the job market when you graduate.

How you are assessed

Assessment is mostly through coursework, although in each year there may be a small number of computer-based exams. In the final year, one third of the assessment is for a personal project.

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

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

 Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£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

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


When you graduate, you will discover there is a strong industry demand for your new advanced skills in software development. 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 – this degree will help you achieve your goals.

While the BSc (Hons) Computer Science is geared towards careers in the software industry, the knowledge and training you receive will prepare you for almost any future career as well as further studies at postgraduate level in computing.

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 placement year. 

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.

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

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

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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