Computing Foundation Degree FdSc

This course is validated by: Lancaster University
Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: GG50
Code: ST2570A15
Fees: View fees and financial information
Validated by: Lancaster University
Study Mode: Full Time, Part Time
Duration: Full time: 2 academic years
Part time: 4 academic years
Start Dates: september 2019
Term Dates: View term dates
Overview

Our Foundation Degree in Computing is designed to equip you with the ability to solve complex Computing problems in order for you to progress to graduate-level roles.

The Foundation Degree is a vocational programme in which you will undertake a work placement or work-based learning experience as well as develop your practical and cognitive skills to solve work related everyday problems by combining knowledge of information transfer, communications technology, software and business context relevant to the Computing industry.

You will develop professional-level industry related skills, learning, for example, how to build web-sites, design databases and plan networks together with the necessary problem solving techniques.

What will I study?

All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

Level 4 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Computer Systems Architectures
  • Introduction to Research (Computing)
  • Introductory Programming Concepts
  • Networked Systems
  • Program Design and Development
  • Reflective Practitioner (Computing)
  • Web & Interface Design
  • Logic and Implementation

Level 5 Modules (there are 7 mandatory modules and 1 optional module from a choice of 6 as indicated by *) include:

  • Advanced Programming Concepts
  • Database Design and Development
  • Further Computer System Architectures
  • Internet Programming
  • Project Management
  • Research Project (Computing)
  • Work Based Learning (Computing)
  • Multimedia *
  • Data and Analytics *

Optional Modules

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.  If an optional module will not be run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Work Placement

During the course you are required to spend at least 240 hours working in a relevant role in order to improve your knowledge and practice of the subject. This may be through paid employment or via a voluntary work placement in a relevant role. Your work placement is expected to have a focus on applying the knowledge from your degree programme in an employment context.

Please note: work placements are subject to availability.  You are also responsible for any costs in travelling to and from your work placements, for any accommodation costs and in some instances the cost of acquiring a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) report.

 

Entry Requirements

You’ll need 64 UCAS points to join this programme (formerly 160 UCAS points).

All applicants must show that they have a good level of spoken or written English, and if English is not your first language you’ll need to demonstrate the ability to study in English.

Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria but have relevant work / life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview.

For this programme, you will be required to have a GCSE (or equivalent qualification) at grade 4 (grade C) or above in Maths and English. In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. At least 32 of your UCAS points will need to have been attained from computing, information technology, mathematics or physical science subject.

  

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the course a full range of assessment techniques will be used. You will be assessed by:

• Examinations
• In class tests
• Portfolios
• Solution implementation
• Essays
• Reports
• Group presentations
• Practical demonstrations of products
• Projects
• Peer assessment
• Group assessment

This formal assessment will count towards your module mark and feedback is usually given within 3 weeks following the submission of your formal submission of work.

Additionally, some lecturers will provide informal feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions. 

Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

 

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities could include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Timetables

We endeavour to make timetables available one month before you start your course.  Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.  Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week. 

Overall Workload

You overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.

Academic Support

We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

  • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English
  • Academic Writing (including referencing)
  • Research Skills
What can I do next?

Students completing this programme may progress to BSc (Hons) Computing (Top Up) which can be completed in one further year of full-time study. Some students leave directly after completion of the Foundation Degree and find employment in software design, web development and the games industry.

Supplementary Information

Download the Programme Specification for Computing. The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

Work Placement

Work placements are subject to availability.  You are also responsible for any costs in travelling to and from your work placements, for any accommodation costs and in some instances the cost of acquiring a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) report.

Career Options

Web Developer

  • £
    20,000
    + starting salary
  • 37 to 40 hours per week

Web developers design, build and maintain websites and web applications to meet their client's needs. Jobs can range from creating a staff intranet for an organisation to building a payment system for an online retailer.

If you want a varied job, can find creative ways to solve problems and have good programming skills, this could be the career for you. You'll also need to be a good teamworker, with the ability to meet deadlines.

Most web developers have qualifications and experience in IT. You can join a graduate training scheme after university or start as a junior developer with a company and work your way up.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Computer Games Tester

  • £
    12,000
    + starting salary
  • 40 + hours per week

If you love computer games and enjoy working through things in a methodical way, this could be a great job for you. Games testing is a popular way of starting out in the games industry. It can be a good way to find out about the business as a whole. As a computer games tester it would be your job to play games many times to spot any bugs and mistakes that need to be fixed before the game goes on sale.

You don't need formal qualifications to become a tester. Your playing skills and knowledge of the games market will be more important to employers.

A good games tester has the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines. You will also need patience, persistence and good office computer skills.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Database Administrator

  • £
    18,000
    + starting salary
  • 37-40 hours per week

Database administrators (DBAs) plan and build computer systems. They also make sure they are secure and working properly.

To be able to do this job you should have an excellent understanding of computer systems. You will need a high level of accuracy and attention to detail. You will also need strong problem-solving and organisational skills.

For most administrator jobs, you would need to know how to use database management systems. Employers often look for previous experience in computing such as IT support, programming or web development.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Web Content Manager

  • £
    24,000
    + starting salary
  • 35-40 hours per week

A web content manager is responsible for the information that appears on a company's website. They work closely with project teams, editors, developers and designers to coordinate the site content and make sure it caters to the needs of the target audience.

If you have excellent writing skills, are well organised and can motivate a team, there could be opportunities for you in this career.

You will need lots of creative ideas and the ability to work to deadlines.

There is no one way into this job but experience in journalism, IT or marketing may help. Employers will want to see examples of your writing skills from previous paid or voluntary work.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Software Developer

  • £
    22,000
    + starting salary
  • 37-40 hours per week

Software developers design, build and test computer systems that help organisations and equipment to work more effectively. Examples of work include information databases, programs that control robotic systems, and cloud and mobile applications.

If you are keen on computing, can pay close attention to detail and enjoy solving problems, this could be an ideal job for you.

For this career, you'll usually need an HND, foundation degree or degree in computing or a related subject. Some companies will put you through a graduate training scheme even if you don't have an IT-related degree. Either way, you will need to be self-motivated and a quick learner.?

 

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Web Editor

  • £
    18,000
    + starting salary
  • 35-40 hours per week

As a web editor you would research, write and check the images, text and other media published on your employer's website. If you are a skilled writer and researcher, with a keen eye for detail, this job could be ideal for you.

You will need an excellent standard of spelling, punctuation and grammar. You will also need an organised approach and creative ideas to come up with interesting ways to present information and appeal to the site's target audience.

There are various routes into this job. For example a background in journalism or marketing could help. Employers will want to see examples of your writing from previous paid or voluntary work. Many web editors start out as an assistant at first.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

IT Project Manager

  • £
    25,000
    + starting salary
  • 35-40 hours per week

IT project managers oversee the planning, development and installation of computer systems to meet their clients’ business needs. They work for all types of organisations from the NHS to government departments.

If you're well organised, good at solving problems and have excellent IT skills, you may find opportunities for a rewarding career in this field.

To get into this job, you'll need experience of working on projects, for example as part of a project support team. Training and qualifications will also help, in particular, PRINCE2 certification.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Social Media Manager

  • £
    22,000
    + starting salary
  • 30-40 hours per week

As a social media manager you’ll be responsible for communicating with an organisation's customers or clients through social media websites. If you love working with social media and are interested in finding new ways to connect with people then this career could offer what you’re looking for. You’ll be using your great communication skills and creative writing ability to engage with people online and in person.

You’ll also be using your good organisational skills and knowledge of social media tools to get your message across. Most new social media managers get into this job by demonstrating that they have a good understanding of social media and what makes people join online communities. Entry can also be possible with experience in related careers such as marketing, advertising or public relations.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire