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Computing Module Descriptions

Short Module Descriptors – Undergraduate Computing Year 1

Digital Infrastructures
This module studies computers large and small - from embedded systems in cars and vending machines, through digital phones, to tablet, desktop and server computers. The architecture of a typical CPU and motherboard will be revealed and utilised, including use of binary (hexadecimal) numbers and instruction processing. The module will also look at motherboard interfacing (i.e. ports) and peripherals, Computer Architecture; Memory and Storage, Routing; TCP, IP, and network protocols, OSI models, ethical hacking, and forensic computing.
Sample assessments: report and practical assignment

Introduction to Game Design & Development
This module starts a learning journey aimed at acquiring academic, technical and creative skills required to design and develop quality games. You will be introduced to principles and practices for the analysis of games and players, and for the design and rapid prototyping of games. You will develop a design to set requirements which mirrors real-world problems relevant to the games domain. The problems will have no single ‘right’ solution, allowing you to creatively conceive and apply different solutions through the use of knowledge gained from literature and research.
Sample assessment: A Game Design & Development Portfolio based on production dynamics and organizational/functional requirements mimicking real-world scenarios. The project will be articulated in stages (milestones), each of which will culminate in a project advancement presentation/submission.
Software used: AS3.
What students liked about this module: "learning how to critically think about and analyse a game design"; "how code and game design concepts had been explained, with prompt and enthusiastic feedback which was supportive of confidence and work"; "everything! This module is extremely well thought out and implemented and enjoyed all aspects of the class"; "I loved watching the ideas of myself and my team develop into something amazing.”

Introduction to Web & Database Development
This module introduces you to the concepts of web design and development and the principles of database design. You will develop your web programming expertise to design and develop applications, and work with server-side scripting to interface to databases.  You are encouraged to use your own areas of interest to design your websites.  All assignments are based on ‘live projects’, selected by you, and suitable for advancing your own personal online portfolio in Year 2.
Sample assessments: Design and development of a website. Creation of a database.
Software used: Dreamweaver IDE, CSS, HMTL, MySQL, PHP
What students liked about this module: “Module was taught in a step-by-step way so we can fully understand what’s happening”; “The time taken for feedback to reach me was very quick and provided helpful and clear information for improvement”; “the tutor’s engagement is fantastic and her knowledge and passion about the field motivated me to choose web design as a definite career path.”

Creative Computing
This module introduces you to creative multimedia applications are used to enhance websites, mobile devices and computer games. You will learn image processing, computer graphics, audio manipulation, publication design, multimedia authoring, animation, and .video creation.  You will investigate current trends, techniques and industry standards; explore legal and technical issues related to multimedia development within the computing arena; and gain practical skills in the latest technologies (Eg: Adobe CC applications, green screen, screen capture software, 3D Printing).
Sample assessments:Develop a prototype multimedia application using image, graphics and sound. 
Software used: Adobe Creative Cloud Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator, InDesign, Audacity
What students liked about this module: “Module encourages you to act creatively in assessments to gain higher grades”; “Constant guidance on assignments”;

Programming: Concepts to Construction
This module covers the essential elements of creating a software solution for a given problem. You will develop computational thinking skills, such as problem decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithmic design.  You will learn procedural and object-oriented programming constructs, including the process of writing and debugging software. The module will also include elements of computer science such as data structures and algorithms. You will create effective and efficient object-orientated code.   This module is aimed towards who have already had experience with programming prior to university, or students whose ultimate career goals are to secure a position in the games industry or as a computer programmer.
Sample assessments: Procedural software portfolio. Object-oriented software portfolio.
Software used: C#
What students liked about this module: “The module was challenging but entertaining”; “Resources available online for the module are vast”; “Great feedback given with analogies.”

Introduction to Information Systems
This module provides an introduction to types of information systems, why they are used and how they are procured and developed.  It addresses the need to organise and manage systems to resolve user issues within a context of fast-paced change.  You will also explore associated societal impact and ethical, risk management and legal issues in relation to information systems management and usage.
Sample assessment:Analysis of tasks required to establish a case-study based information system.
Software used: Various examples of software used during teaching sessions.
New module for 2016.

Web and E-Business
You will design and develop a website for an eBusiness, then go on to develop a marketing campaign to promote the business. The module is aimed at students who have had little or no experience in designing and developing websites, but who may be considering setting up an eBusiness in the future.  The module is mostly practical in nature, although it does cover the theory of website design. The schedule includes wireframing your site, creating logos, banner ads, html e-mail campaign, SEO, QR codes, analytics, social media marketing.
Sample assessments: Design of a portfolio blog and a website. 
Software used: WordPress, Adobe and other relevant products.
What students liked about this module: “Applies directly to employment and real world situations”; “Helpful lecturers”; “I enjoy the practical nature of the classes.”

Computer Systems for the Professional*
This module aims to equip computing students with computer systems skills and knowledge required of a professional working within the Computing industry as well as the skills to understand how computing fits into the information society. In connection with the latter, students will enhance their personal and professional development by demonstrating interpersonal and analytic skills such as team building, numeracy, planning, presentation skills and problem solving. Computer systems topics include: 1. computer hardware - an investigation of components of the computer: CPU, motherboard, memory and memory addressing, peripherals, 2. Platforms for Applications - Embedded systems & ubiquitous computing, operating systems, Peer-peer and client-server networks 3. Applications - Principles of “forensic computing”, and tools for investigating digital contents of storage devices, 4. Access and Security. Skills Development and Contemporary Computing Topics include: Finding and evaluating written information sources, Report Writing and Harvard Referencing, Working in teams
Sample assessment: 1. Produce a system design specification based on xyz case study or a real-life client need, 2. Build and configure a computer system to meet a design specification such as the one created for assignment one. 3. In groups of 3 or 4 you are required to choose a topic of computing in which you are able to describe the topic’s origins and development up to the present day and also to discuss the impact and influence of the topic on modern society      

Programming and Scripting*
In this module you will learn fundamentals of programming, especially for the web. You will explore the programming capabilities of JavaScript through a series of projects culminating in creating your own application.  You will learn some of the theory behind software engineering and develop great practical skills. This module assumes no programming expertise and is ideal for those who want to develop coding skills in a fun and practical way.
Sample assessment: Programming project which runs on a web browser
Software used: JavaScript

Short Module Descriptors – Undergraduate Computing Year 2

Applied Computing Project (HND)
This module aims to support students in planning, researching and presenting an applied computing project. It is intended that the computing project will support the integration of skills and knowledge acquired from other modules on the programme. The module provides an opportunity for students to produce a computer artefact and perform primary research on this artefact.
Sample assessment: Applied project, chosen by student in consultation with relevant tutor.
Software used: Students are able to choose the programming language used for their project.
New module for 2015.

Systems Analysis & Design
This module offers conceptual and skill-based learning of the concepts and approaches used in the analysis, design, development and implementation of computer based-based systems.  It underlines various approaches (e.g. SSADM, object-oriented) to systems analysis and design in a practical context, using real industrial examples.  It concentrates on the front-end of systems development including requirements gathering, planning, design, analysis. 
Sample assessment: Group systems project document and prototype including a ‘Showcase Event’. Software used: No specific software used. Students are able to choose the programming language used for their project. What students liked about this module:  “The seminars made wonderful use of team work and there was a good range of activities to enhance learning”; “It enabled me to learn more about how different processes take place within a business and what is involved in them”; “The tutor explained everything very well and was always available for advice and feedback.”       

Networks in Organisations
This module studies client-server operating systems, and their role in organisational information management. There is a technical focus on networking standards and the protocols that make up the universal software architecture of all networking communications, including wireless and mobile.  Practical work focuses on configuring a network operating system, managing users, peripherals, and services.  You will relate layered networking models to real world systems, and look at case studies in the practical use of particular topologies, connection systems, technologies, protocols, and network operating systems.  You will also practice configuring a network.
Sample assessment: Project report
Software used: Windows Server, TCP/IP
New module for 2015.

Object Orientated Design & Development
Object-oriented design and development is paramount for the creation of software systems in important domains such as web, mobile, game and enterprise computing. This module studies the foundations of modern object-oriented development approaches.  You will learn to analyse, design, implement and test software using the principles of object-oriented programming.  This module is practical-based and you will gain real-time experience of the development process. 
Sample assessment: Software portfolio
Software used: Java, BlueJ
What students liked about this module: “The prep work”; “structure of lectures, content, and assignment tasks”; “BlueJ”.

Web Applications Development
This module focuses on developing a range of ‘current’ web programming and design skills and strategies common to the industry today.  You will build an online professional portfolio to demonstrate your skills in multi-device web development.  You will explore responsive web design, device APIs, web typography, microinterations, user experience design, content strategy, interface design, writing for the web, accessibility and usability design.  Designing for Multi-device Techniques will be introduced to ensure that applications are accessible across a range of browsers and devices. Classes are highly interactive and varied with many different modes of teaching.
Sample assessment: Development of a rich interactive web application
Software used: JavaScript, jQuery, CSS, Codepen.
What students liked about this module: “Learning about microinteractions and interactivity”; “Building and designing a portfolio that will help them get a job”; “Challenges and hands on coding with Codepen.”

Game Design & Engineering
Digital gaming is pervasive, involving hundreds of millions of players worldwide. The conception and development of products capable of satisfying increasingly demanding communities of players is fundamental to succeeding in this rapidly-evolving and vibrant industry. This module studies game design and development theories and methods, and their application to create engaging games in different domains of gaming. You will apply core game design, software design and programming concepts and theories to cases mimicking real-world scenarios and obtain a professional vocabulary.  
Sample assessment: 4-stage project including pitch, pre-production, production and post-production milestones. Software used: C#.
What students liked about this module: "The freedom to think of and develop out different game design ideas and the milestone system providing progressive reviews on the work", "Creating a game for a client and learning new game design ideas";"that I felt engaged as a student to learn, and motivated to work hard and try my best on the assignment"; "Tailored course has the right balance of engagement without being frustrating ;  Feedback is readily available and in-depth;  The lecturers are interesting and passionate"

Mobile Applications Development
This module introduces you to the practical aspects of developing applications for mobile devices. You will explore the platforms, tools, technologies and design constraints that make developing mobile applications a challenge. Building on existing web and/or software development skills, you will develop your ability to design, build, test and deploy a mobile application.
Sample assessment: Creation of a fully-functioning mobile application
Software used: You can choose from a range of platforms and languages including JavaScript, C# and Java.
What students liked about this module: “Learning life skills to create a mobile application that will run on my phone, this is exciting”; “The many resources available for use”; “The ability to develop and app of my own choice”

E-business
This module develops skills and knowledge in the ever-growing area of digital and online business. It is critical that businesses now have an effective online business site to market their products and have the ability to sell online. This module introduces you to various aspects of running an online business from a ‘business’ and ‘technical’ perspective.  You will also learn how information technology can help businesses function effectively in the areas of marketing, finance human resources.
Sample assessments: Build your own ecommerce site.  Build your own video marketing or social media app. Software used: Wordpress, Nstalker, Camtasia, Google Analytics, facebook, twitter, youtube, SAGE, Nolapro. What students liked about this module: "Fun, interesting and a lot of new stuff". "As a business student, it was completely different to what I usually do, so it was practical online training". "Having the lecture parts as videos allows me to view at home". "I could see myself doing work in e-business having done this module"

Computer Science: Embedded Systems
Most ‘computers’ today are found in household devices, vehicles and other non-desktop applications. These make use of ‘microcontroller’ technology which has been designed to process sensor input and generate actuator output (motion, sound, light). In this module you will learn how to connect a microcontroller chip to various sensors and actuators, and how to program the microcontroller to build working systems. The focus is on ‘where software meets hardware’. You will also learn elements of control theory as applied to real-world systems such as robots, and design principles of digital electronic circuits. During the final module sessions you will draw on your learning to design build and test a small microcontroller-based project
Sample assessment: The assessment will take the form of a viva voce where students will answer questions exclusively on their portfolio of work
Software used:  No specific software used.  

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Work Based Investigation
This module is designed to appraise and understand your organisation both as a stand-alone organisation and as part of its wider sector. A theory-informed, evidence-based investigation will enhance your understanding of how a Work Based initiative can contribute to improvements and change management. Working independently in a flexible and independent style, you will further develop your skills as a reflective practitioner.
Sample assessment: Assignment 1: Using the Service Analysis Workbook, conduct a thorough investigation of your organisation, Assignment 2: Change Management Project
New module for 2016.

Preparing for Placement
This module provides a framework for students to explore their career options and to develop some of the skills necessary to manage effectively their career in the 21st century.  Skills and attributes such as self-reliance, self-awareness and effective self-promotion will be practiced, as well as the communication skills needed to be effective in a range of career management situations. These skills will be applied to searching for and securing a sandwich placement for the following academic year.
Sample assessment: Career Research and Personal Action Plan, Assignment 2: Application and Assessment Centre

Social Media
This module will explore the techniques of social media and explore best practice for the planning, management and evaluation of social media platforms. Students will learn how to create the optimal mix of social media platforms which enable organisations to make the most of Internet customer communications. Students will analyse the theories, strategies and best practices used to govern their social media usage based on their firm’s business goals. Topics covered include: evolution and various types of social media, issues and future trends with social media, ethical and legal issues.
Sample assessment: Students will design a social media strategy based on a business case study.
Software used: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Analytics
New module for 2015.

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Short Module Descriptors – Undergraduate Computing Year 3

Advanced Game Design & Engineering
This module studies the elements that define the player experience, their engagement and motivation, and the elements that make games suitable to be used as learning environments, socialisation spaces and communication platforms.  You will explore advanced topics in game design and development, integrated with theories and approaches from the domains of arts, literature, psychology, and education.  You will develop the advanced skills required to design and implement games, along with transferable skills key to foster employability in many technical and creative fields of computing.
Sample assessment: Game design & Development portfolio
Software used: C#.
What students liked about this module: "that is was challenging and engaging", "the challenge and level of difficult with very helpful tutors to support along the way", "the flexibility to continue previous games we've worked on.  It is always easy to understand what is required at each stage of the module", "Practical assignments with real world relevance", "Module content being in-depth, as usual!"      

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Advanced Object Oriented Programming
The challenging complexity of modern applied software projects demands the application of contemporary design methodologies and programming techniques. This module studies core problems underlying advanced real-world applications, and modern approaches to their solutions. Students will engage in challenging problem-solving scenarios to create efficient software systems using advanced programming techniques. This module will facilitate the development of important transferable skills such as problem-solving, modelling, critical thinking, systems thinking and teamwork, essential to enhance employability in all technical and creative domains of the computing industry.
Sample assignment: software portfolio
Software used: C++, Visual Studio, domain-specific OSS
New module for 2016

Advanced Web Applications Development
This module looks at how to tailor, enhance and adapt web based applications and content management systems to meet specific content and design strategy needs. Other related topics include advanced use of scripting and query languages, emerging technologies, evolving practices in application development, and best practice in contemporary web design and professional standards.
Sample assessment: Production of a web-based application appropriate for multi-device use.
Software and technologies used: CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, APIs, PHP, SQL and various backend frameworks
What students liked about this module: “Learning about the new ways to implement designs for a multi-device world”; “Piazza (Discussion Board)”; “Freedom to choose what I wanted to create”      

Computing Project
In this module, you will select a particular area of interest allied to Computing (Web, BIT, IT Education, Games or IS) to carry out focused research.  You may choose either an Applied Project (production of a computer artefact and primary research on this artefact); or a Theoretical Project (primary research and/or an extended critical literature review of the chosen area). Examples of prior projects include - online supermarket accessibility study; management of password based authentication system; health effects of video games; security of mobile devices; programming a robot for teaching
Sample assessments: Computer Artefact or Report, or Extended Critical Literature Review Report. 15-Minute Project Presentation.
Software used: This will depend on your chosen project
What students liked about this module: “Showcase of project for assignment 1 was a valuable experience, one-to-one tutorials with supervisor offered support and guidance, beneficial taught sessions for research methods”.

CyberSecurity
The news reports have daily stories about cyberhackers attacking firms digital content, stealing credit cards numbers and causing major havoc to PCs with viruses and other nasty malware.  In this module you will analyse the information security issues and threats facing both users and information managers in organizations.  You will identify and analyse methods, tools and techniques for identifying vulnerabilities and combating security threats, such as password controls, networking security methods, preventing social engineering, understanding the legal framework of internet security.
Sample assessment: Analysis of the security threats of an organization and how to mitigate them.
Software used: Various tools will be used from the BackTrack / Kali suite of open source toolkit. Also Group Policy Management Console and other tools which are free from Microsoft.
What students liked about this module:  “The mixture of physical and electronic security knowledge”; “The continued idea to think outside the box and the practicals”; “I liked how much real-life experience the tutor provides that will help us in the future”

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Managing Cyber Risks
Organisations are facing ever-increasing cyber security risks to their valuable information assets. To mitigate risks, firms need to understand how to effectively manage strategic and managerial aspects of information security, including Information Technology governance, risk analysis and assessment. This module provides students with the skills needed to plan the implementation of an information security system to manage the cyber risks faced by firms in the areas of human factors, e-commerce, social media, systems development. You will learn how to conduct a risk assessment, review requirement for mitigation.
Sample assessment: Risk assessment and business continuity plan
Software used: Microsoft Office Tools
New module for 2016

E-business
This module develops skills and knowledge in the ever-growing area of digital and online business. It is critical that businesses now have an effective online business site to market their products and have the ability to sell online. This module introduces you to various aspects of running an online business from a ‘business’ and ‘technical’ perspective.  You will also learn how information technology can help business function effectively in the areas of marketing, finance, human resources.
Sample assessments: Build your own ecommerce site.  Build your own video marketing or social media app.
Software used: Wordpress, Nstalker, Camtasia, Google Analytics, facebook, twitter, youtube, SAGE, Nolapro.
What students liked about this module: “Fun, interesting and a lot of new stuff” ,“As a business student, it was completely different to what I usually do, so it was practical online training”, “Having the lecture parts as videos allows me to view at home”, “I could see myself doing work in e-business having done this module”      

Elements of Computer Science
This module explores various aspects of ‘Computer Science’ such as digital electronic gates and circuits, Boolean algebra, Central Processing Unit architectures, algorithms, and structured programming techniques. You will be introduced to a programming language which you have may not have encountered previously on your course and will consider the latest software and hardware platforms. This module will be of particular interest to those who are looking to a career in Computer Science Education, especially those enrolling on PGCE courses in Computer Science.
Sample assessment: Viva voce against portfolio of practical work
Software used: Javascript, Assembler
What students liked about this module: Students really liked the mode of assessment, examination by viva voce based on a portfolio of work. They said that this allowed them to communicate their understanding more easily than a written report.

Mobile Application Development
This module will introduces you to the practical aspects of developing applications for mobile devices.  You will explore the platforms, tools, technologies and design constraints that make developing mobile applications a challenge. Building on existing web and/or software development skills, you will develop your ability to design, build, test and deploy a mobile application
Sample assessment: Design, build and deployment of a fully functioning mobile application
Software used: You can choose from a range of platforms and languages including JavaScript, C# and Java.
What students liked about this module: “Learning life skills to create a mobile application that will run on my phone, this is exciting”; “Many resources were/are available for use”; “The ability to develop and app of my own choice”

Modelling and Simulation
You will consider the principles and concepts of modelling and simulation which allow an investigation into complex read-world situations (such as business processes, scientific or engineering scenarios) through Computer solutions. In particular you will learn how to model our Natural World, through a study of complex dynamical systems, and how to translate these models into working computer programs (such as 3D real time technology) to simulate and so investigate this model world. Investigative results will be interpreted and conclusions will be made on simulation study.
Sample assessment: Report of a modelling and simulation exercise.
Software used: Lecturer’s own simulation engine created using the UDK game engine. Students program simulations using Unreal Script. Advanced students have the option of programming in C/C++ and binding this to the UDK simulation engine.
What students liked about this module: Students enjoyed the range of activities they encountered. They liked the ability to choose how much (or little) programming they had to do. Many students liked the exposure to mathematics and understanding they gained of real-world phenomena.      

Nature of Computing
In this module you will have the opportunity to study the nature of computing, those concepts and principles which define computing as an academic field of research and development, as well as providing a fundamental basis for contemporary hardware and software systems. You will learn about the historical development of the modern computer (both from a hardware and software perspective) and appreciate how and why computing devices have become a pervasive part of our lives. You will also reflect on how computing has identified various ways of thinking about the world which are relevant to our everyday lives.
Sample assessment: a portfolio of position papers
Software used: Free software is used for Digital Logic simulation, a special Java App has been created to explore CPU behaviour, the UDK game engine is used to explore Artificial Intelligence and a special Java App has been created to explore artificial neural networks. The programming language Prolog is used to investigate expert systems.
What students liked about this module: Students enjoyed the mode of assessment, four position papers scheduled evenly throughout the module and marked within one week of submission.      

Practical Database Applications
Firms rely on databases to store customer and product information, track inventory, update staff information and provide strategic information to maintain competitive. In this module you will explore the problems posed in managing and controlling complex shared databases via web-based applications.  You will focus on the design and implementation of a working database using appropriate techniques and server-side scripting languages. Designing a database information system.
Sample assessments: 1. Design and implement a small information system and database based upon the results of an information gathering (fact-finding) exercise 2. Exam
Software used:  MySQL, PHP, SQL.

Consultancy Project
This module requires students to engage in a work based inquiry in a systematic, rigorous, critical and self-analytical manner, and it provides a vehicle for identifying and enabling personal development and impact on the organisation. Students will work independently and via peer coaching groups in a flexible and independent style, engaging in a professional inquiry in a rigorous and critical manner furthering their development as reflective practitioners
Sample assessment: Assignment 1: Work Based Study Proposal and Plan, Assignment 2: Written Report of Work Based Study
New module for 2016.

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Applied Drone Technology
This module will focus on applying unmanned aerial vehicle technologies and systems (drones) to a variety of sectors and applications in this exploding field. Students will develop a thorough understanding of the relevant aspects of UAS basics, operations, regulations, risk management and flight. Students will learn how drone technology can be applied to a variety of business and scientific sectors in helping with practical solutions (eg. Imagery, video, fieldwork planning, sensor and data analysis, mapping). The practical project will explore current technology and it’s application to the business or research environment, allowing the student to explore areas of personal interest.

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