MComp (Hons) Computer Science

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Clearing
2019

This course is open for Clearing applications.

Call the Clearing helpline on +44 (0)161 247 3000 to make an application or visit our Clearing pages for more information.

Overview

On our advanced, four-year Computer Science degree you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the of the main areas of computer science, including high-performance computing and big data, and explore more specialised areas such as artificial intelligence, internet security and mobile app development. It’s a flexible course, so you can select areas of study to suit your interests.

You’ll start off by learning the core subjects of information systems, web design and programming as you begin to build the theoretical and technical foundations of computing. You’ll then move on to topics like networking, security and emerging technologies, as well as learning to work in a variety of coding languages.

In your final year, you’ll specialise even further, exploring modern large-scale computer networks and operating systems, high-performance computing and big data. You’ll also get your teeth into a Masters-level project, whether creating systems or managing experimentation, as you bring your skills up to a professional standard.

Features and Benefits

  • This course shares a common first year with our BSc (Hons) Software Engineering course allowing you to transfer between these courses after year 1 as you develop your areas of interest.
  • You will experience what it's like to work as part of a professional team finding solutions to complex problems via group projects. You can also get involved with extracurricular work to further apply your skills, for example, hackathons, gaming events and the students’ union computing society.
  • Our excellent facilities include teaching laboratories equipped with high-specification PCs and Apple Macs with specialist, industry-standard software running on either Windows, Linux or Mac OS.
  • We have specialist labs including a games lab equipped with gaming chairs, keyboards and mice used for our eSports events, an animation lab with a  green-screen area and a user experience lab with an eye-tracking system.
  • We have a rolling plan of replacement for both hardware and software to ensure the Department keeps up with developments in the world of computing and technology.
"The University did a great job of supporting extra-curricular activities such as meet-ups and hackathons, and where they didn't exist, I was given a lot of support to run my own on campus" Bilawal Hameed, BSc (Hons) Computer Science

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

“Our Computer Science degree is about learning to think computationally. We equip our students with a sound knowledge of theory, as well as strong practical skills like programming and team working, to enable them to reformulate interesting real-world problems into smaller computational problems that they know how to solve.”

Dr John Darby, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science

Career Prospects

An advanced degree in Computer Science will prepare you for a wide range of careers in a fast-growing industry. Jobs in computing include software developer, web designer and developer, data analyst, systems analyst and architect, IT manager and technician as well as roles managing technology to support a range of public and private sector organisations.

In addition, the skills you learn on this degree are highly valued by a range of employers and opportunities may exist in areas such as project management, e-commerce and social media marketing, scientific research, education and many more.

Manchester is a major hub for the digital technology industry. The close proximity of MediaCity and a large number of both established companies and innovative tech start-ups means that the opportunities for technological collaboration are huge. Situated in the “Oxford Road Corridor", innovation district of Manchester, the University and the Department of Computing and Mathematics are perfectly placed to work with key players in the digital technology and new media sectors.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points/grades required

112-120

112-120 UCAS Tariff Points at A2 (Grades BBC-BBB) to include minimum grade C at A2 in IT, Computing, Maths or Science*

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/Diploma (Grades D*D* or DMM) in IT or Computing accepted with a merit grade achieved in specified key units*

BTEC Business (IT) and BTEC Creative Media Production not accepted.

 

*Applicants who do not meet the subject-specific knowledge requirement may be offered the opportunity to complete an admissions test.

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE grade C or grade 4 in English Language, Science and Mathematics. Level 2 Functional Skills English also accepted. BTEC Level 2 in Applied Science also accepted.

Non Tariffed Qualifications

 Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject (ICT/Computing/Science) with a minimum 112 UCAS Tariff Points.

International Baccalaureate points

26 IB Diploma points (to include IT at HL 5)

IELTS score required for international students

6.0 with no element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Course details

The MComp introduces the key computing subjects in year one and then becomes more specialised and advanced in the following years. It also includes advanced professional studies as you undertake a major independent professional-standard project in a chosen specialism that may include a high level professional work-based component.

In Year 1, you will study core disciplines of computer science, which typically include computer systems fundamentals, information systems, web design and development, and programming (Java).

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Introduction to Web Design and Development

Introduces the modern context of web design and development, the core development technologies and standards and design methods that cater for different current platforms. The key theme of the unit is the efficient design and development of effective and robust websites for the range of popular platforms using the most modern technologies and techniques.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to the client-server model, web standards, HTML5 semantic mark up, control of presentation via style sheets, interactivity via JavaScript on the client side and PHP on the server side
  • The use of high-level tools for design and development
  • DOM element selection and manipulation via script libraries such as jQuery
  • The production of standards compliant HTML5 video. Students will create dynamic web pages with AMP systems and script on the server side using PHP with MySQL. The key theme for scripting will be the understanding and development of readable code that listens for and responds to browser and user events by manipulating DOM elements.
Programming (Java)

This unit introduces computer programming in a high level programming language and includes principles and practice in problem solving, program design, solution implementation and testing, including:

  • Introduction to programming using Java
  • Software life cycle: importance of correctly identifying the problem, iterative nature of software development, software maintenance
  • Design methodology: the application of the top-down design method using step-wise refinement to produce pseudo-code solutions to problems, incorporating constructs for sequence selection, iteration, abstraction and re-use
  • Verification and testing: the use of desk-top execution, simple debugging strategies and more formal approaches to testing eg black box white box boundary analysis and equivalence classes
  • Applications of standards and conventions: software maintenance and developing a professional approach to coding
  • Constructs and features of a structured high level programming language: control constructs, operators, procedural abstraction, simple I/O and use of libraries
  • Data types – primitive types: constants, variables, arrays and simple structured data
  • Object orientated design and implementation: inheritance and polymorphism
  • Software support environment: use of an IDE editors compiler/linkers and operating systems
Information Systems

An introduction to the use of information systems in organisations which will show you how to develop key systems analysis techniques to be applied to information systems built on a commercial Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). You will also develop essential communication and teamworking skills. Topics include:

  • Business activities supported by information systems including case studies and examples
  • Use of information systems for management information and decision making, business operations and data processing
  • E-commerce theory, information systems and society
  • Systems analysis and design techniques including UML use cases
  • Database management systems and database design/development: entity relationship diagrams (ERDs), normalisation, SQL development
Computer Systems Fundamentals

This unit provides an introduction to the fundamental principles and mathematics underpinning the design and construction of computer systems, including:

  • Digital Logic and Boolean Algebra: digital logic gates and circuits, Karnaugh maps, use of a digital logic circuit simulator, components of a CPU, processor model, Fetch execute cycle, hardware interrupts
  • Assembly Language Programming: relationship between high level languages and assembler, instruction sets, registers, debugging
  • Discrete Mathematics: matrices and vectors, matrices as linear transforms
  • Functions: definition, properties
  • Sets: subsets, set algebra
  • Logic: propositions, predicates, propositional algebra, proof of simple results

Your second year will build on your knowledge, with core units typically exploring areas such as algorithms and data structures, advanced programming, and computer networks and operating systems.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Professional Development

The unit covers professional, legal and career development issues in the Computing and Digital Technology industries and includes a pathway-specific group project.

The current legal framework of Computing and Digital Technology is examined e.g. data protection legislation, intellectual property rights, computer misuse, freedom of information, computer contracts and employment contracts as is an overview and comparison of workable ethical theories eg utilitarianism and duty based approaches. Important issues regarding professional bodies in computing are also addressed including their role, structure, codes of conduct and practice. You will also investigate employability factors and learn about the employment application process and the importance of continuing professional development. A themed case study mini-project linked to the subject pathway, which may include the opportunity to work with an external company. This will help you to develop your skills and understanding of project planning and control concepts, planning techniques (eg Gantt charts) and monitoring, academic research, software prototyping and report writing.

Algorithms and Data Structures

Advanced programming and development techniques focussed on the data structures and algorithms that underpin Computer Science. Static data structures: implementation and use. Problem decomposition, module abstraction. Dynamic data structures: pointers linked lists graphs and trees. Object oriented: design implementation and use. Application implementation and component reuse. Algorithms: sorting searching and graph traversal. Basic complexity issues: time and space complexity. Software development techniques.

Computer Networks and Operating Systems

The unit provides an introduction to the operation of computer networks operating systems theory and practice.

Topics include - Concurrency: the solutions to and the problems of concurrency, race conditions, livelock deadlock starvation and priority inversion. The use of semaphores and/or monitors in solving classical problems such as: i) the bounded buffer and ii) multiple readers and writers. Computer Networks: network components – repeaters, hubs, switches, routers, gateways; protocol stacks – OSI TCP/IP, basic network performance characteristics. Process management: processes and threads, performance benefits of multiprogramming, scheduling algorithms, two-level schedulers. Input/Output: principles of I/O hardware; devices and controllers; principles of I/O software – device drivers, device interrupt, handlers device, independent software. Memory Management: evolution of physical and virtual memory management, algorithms and computer architecture for memory management. File systems: structure and organisation of the file system; disk space storage allocation using contiguous linked indexed and inode based schemes.

Advanced Programming

This unit covers concepts relating to object-oriented program design, the use of framework libraries, web server and mobile application development.

The unit covers object-oriented concepts: introduction to object-oriented concepts including class, object, instantiation, attributes, constructor, methods, overloading, inheritance, overriding, polymorphism and design techniques using Unified Modeling Language (UML). Testing of object-oriented programs. Advanced topics: interfaces, inner classes, collections, exception handling, stream based file input/output, building a Graphical User Interface (GUI) using libraries, event handling, graphics and threads. Implementation: practical application and implementation of concepts studied above. Use of Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Implementation of a UML diagram. Documentation and coding standards. Case studies.

In your third year, you will have the opportunity to study more specialised areas, which may include artificial intelligence and information and network security.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Project

Provides experience in the critical review of literature and the design, implementation, evaluation and writing up. Working with your supervisor, students develop their project description and specify aims, objectives, methodology and timetable for completion. Final year projects are normally pathway-specific. For group projects, individual and collective aims, objectives and plans are specified.

Artificial Intelligence

This unit looks at the underlying theory and industrial applications of Artificial Intelligence paradigms. It includes the underlying philosophy and principles behind AI software, artificial neural networks, image processing, rule-based systems, knowledge engineering, game theory, Minmax and Alphabeta searches, logic and reasoning, ontologies, natural language processing and grammar checkers. Learning will be integrated via a large-scale case study, building and evaluating a range of AI classifiers for two real-world datasets (e.g. Mammography, US Census Data). This will develop transferrable skills in experiment design and evaluation.

Programming Languages: Principles and Design

The unit examines the design and evolution of programming languages with a research-led introduction to compilation and computer architecture. It includes evolution of programming language paradigms and language design. Comparative analysis and critical evaluation of programming language concepts and paradigms concerning procedural, object-oriented, functional, logic-based and the concepts of variable type and binding. The software structure and phases of a simple compiler, processor microarchitecture and cache memory architectures.

Option Units

Mobile Applications Development

This unit provides a thorough grounding in smartphone application development, location aware applications and mobile device technologies. This includes smartphone development, creation of mobile applications using a current mobile device development environment eg iPhone, iPad, Android, wireless technologies and security, technologies available, characteristics and security models eg RFID, WiFi, Bluetooth. Location-aware mobile applications, access and analysis of location on mobile devices and creation of intelligent applications. Current practice in mobile application development. New and emerging mobile application techniques and devices eg context aware computing. Wireless sensors and sensor networks. Smart Environments.

Information and Network Security

This unit will cover a diverse set of topics related to information and network security with emphasis on cryptographic methods and security protocols. It includes an overview of security, cryptography and encryption algorithms e.g. DES, RSA, AES. Access control and multilevel security, internet security protocols and firewalls.

In your final year, you will typically study core units focused on advanced computer networks and big data and, supervised by a member of academic staff, you will complete an independent study project in line with your own interests.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

High Performance Computing and Big Data

The aim of this unit is to develop students' knowledge in the areas of parallel and distributed processing, machine learning approaches for handling big data  and current parallel programming models for high-performance computing and big data processing, such as  MPI and MapReduce.

  • Current and Emerging Trends - Evaluation  of current and emerging trends underpinning parallel and distributed systems for high-performance computing and big data – paradigms and platforms,  cloud computing.
  • Features of Big Data - Feature extraction and dimensionality reduction approaches.
  • Artificial Intelligence - Machine learning, AI approaches and their algorithms for handling big data e.g. images, graphs, text.
  • Models and Applications - Programming models and applications for big data and High-performance computing, including MPI, OpenMP, Hadoop/MapReduce, NoSQL with case studies.
  • Professional Context - Professional, legal, ethical, social and cultural issues in high performance computing of big data.
Advanced Computer Networks and Operating Systems

The unit covers advanced topics in computer networks and operating systems. It focuses on principles, architectures, and protocols used in modern large scale networked systems. Topics include:

  • Wide area networks - Compare the characteristics of WAN technologies, including their switching type, throughput, media, security, and reliability; Describe several WAN transmission and connection methods.
  • Virtual networking and remote access - Explain virtualization and identify characteristics of virtual components; Understand VPNs (virtual private networks) and the protocols they rely on; Identify the features and benefits of cloud computing and NaaS (network as a service).
  • Wireless and mobile networking - Wireless links and network characteristics; WiFi: 802.11 Wireless LANs; Cellular internet access; IoT, Sensor networks.
  • Network Management - The Infrastructure for Network Management; The Internet-Standard Management Framework; Quality of Service; Performance and Planning.
  • Classic Operating Systems - Comparing the features and trade-offs of classic operating systems;
  • Virtual Machines - Exploring the need for virtual machines and the means of their implementation;
  • File Systems - Looking at strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to persistent storage;
  • Distributed and Scalable Systems - Focusing on issues related to cloud computing and grid computing;
  • Concurrency, Scheduling & Sharing - Timing and scheduling, particularly in distributed systems;
  • Fault Tolerance - Looking at managing failure in distributed systems.
Masters Project

This unit will involve practical system creation or experimentation work in an area of computing other than digital media. The curriculum is specific to the project you choose but it will include seminars on skills and techniques required for successful design and implementation of research resources, time management, research presentation (oral, written, posters) and professional, legal and ethical issues in computing. Examination of a case study or project in an area appropriate to your intended dissertation work. Where appropriate, the implementation or experimentation may be work-based.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
Assessment

Additional information about this course

Students are expected to behave in a professional and business like manner when on placement or conducting projects with external partners.

Department of Computing and Mathematics

Our Department of Computing and Mathematics is a vibrant community of staff and students, which prides itself on internal and external collaboration.

The department is committed to teaching and research that addresses societal challenges through disciplines like artificial intelligence, big data, computational fluid dynamics, cyber security, dynamical systems, the internet of things, smart cities, robotics and virtual reality.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

Students often choose to buy a laptop in their first year however there are PCs in campus and students can borrow laptops.

Placement Costs

Students can choose to go on a placement which might incur additional travel and accommodation costs - these would be offset by salary on a paid placement and will vary by location.

Professional Costs

Students can choose to join the BCS at any point in their study. It is not required but is useful. The annual charge is identified for every year there is also an option to take course membership for £57

Other Costs

Students who do the Department's units that relate to computer games or animation may incur costs for external storage media such as USB or HDD drives. Level 5 students may complete a Live Project on the Professional Development unit - this may incur some travel costs.

Funding

Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

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How to apply

You can apply for this course through Clearing

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Call us +44 (0)161 247 3000

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

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Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

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