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Undergraduate course

Computer Science (with placement) BSc (Hons)

Develop computer science skills that meet real business and organisational needs on this practical and creative course.

In a world where computation devices are central to political, economic and social cohesion, the activities of computer scientists are playing an ever increasing role in engineering the society of tomorrow. At York St John University, we are committed to inspiring you to become an exceptional graduate with the fundamental practical, technical, cognitive and creative skills needed to succeed in Computer Science today.

91% of Computer Science students felt that they have opportunities to apply what they have learnt to through their course. (National Student Survey 2020)

90% of Computer Science students said that good advice was available to help them make choices about their course. (National Student Survey 2020)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – I100
  • Duration – 4 years full time
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – School of Science, Technology and Health

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS points

    3 GCSEs Graded C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover why York St John is The One

Course overview

With a core focus on your future employability, this programme will cover the fundamentals of computer science as well as practical exercises that will help you understand and develop computer science skills with real world application. You’ll learn to develop systems that meet real business and organisational needs. This focus on practical application will be further enhanced by a work placement module, which will give you the opportunity to use these skills in a professional environment. A year in industry option is also available, for those seeking a more immersive employment experience. You will gain core computational skills in programming, networking and database development, as well as skills in more advanced topics such as artificial intelligence, human computer interaction, cyber security and The Internet of things.


In Computer Science at York St John University we believe in teaching on a human scale. You will therefore be taught in small class sizes and have high contact hours with our Computer Science specialists. We do this because we value the importance of the interaction between staff and students. You will join our nurturing community where we will inspire and grow your curiosity for the subject.

Course structure

Level 1

Level 1 gives you the fundamental core knowledge required for your development as a computer scientist, providing you with a broad range of opportunities to develop core subject knowledge in the areas of programming, mathematics, software engineering and the critical discourses surrounding developments in the field of computer science. You will become familiar with common computer science terminology, and well-versed in discipline specific technical practices, methodologies and theories. Teaching at this level comprises of a range of immersive learning experiences such as lecturers, seminars, workshops, teaching laboratories, Supported Open Learning (SOL), guest talks and trips.


  • Programming 1: This module will provide you with the space to learn, explore and absorb the core concepts, principles and techniques of programming in the context of software development. The underpinning rationale is programming and algorithm design as problem solving endeavours. 
  • Mathematics and Problem Solving: Abstraction is fundamental to Computer Ccience. Hence, a fundamental emphasis of this module is to introduce mathematical techniques and skills to enable you to design and manipulate abstract models of elements from the real-world. These techniques and skills include appropriate mathematical notations and concepts. 
  • Computer Systems Fundamentals: This module will provide you with a broader understanding of the infrastructure of a computer. It covers basic issues in hardware and operating systems and focuses on commonly available desktop computer systems. The aim is to widen your exposure to the computer systems; covering widely used operating systems in industry to support software engineering and the Internet.
  • Programming 2: This module will introduce you to Object Orientated Programming in the context of software development. Ideas of problem solving through programming and algorithm design are further developed, building on semester one modules. You will learn how to edit, compile, run and test programmes of increasing complexity in procedural and object orientated languages.
  • Software Engineering: You will develop a basic understanding of the fundamental techniques of software engineering by focusing on the design and realisation of a web based artefact. The module will emphasise the acquisition of an appropriate balance of software engineering knowledge and the skills necessary to design a web based artefact.
  • Technology in Context: This module is to introduce core skills required of a computing professional as well as fundamental discursive skills for considering and evaluating the wider philosophical implications of current and emerging computing practices, The module will comprise of information gathering, analysis, discursive debate and presentation. It will introduce you to the relevant professional aspects of computing practice and their wider social ramifications. This includes the role of professional bodies, plus the legal, ethical and social aspects of computing.

Level 2

Level 2 will enable you to further develop your subject knowledge through modules in networking, databases and mobile application development. You will undertake a professional project allowing you to apply your skills in a ‘live’ setting, working for an established company or undertaking a self-initiated, possibly collaborative, entrepreneurial project. This opportunity will enable you to apply and test the knowledge you’ve acquired so far through your degree, affirming your learning through real world experience. At level 2 you will also undertake the Philosophies of Technology module which will enhance your knowledge of current relevant subject discourses and qualitative and quantitative research methods, preparing you for your Page 5 of 6 major project at level 2. Teaching at this level incorporates all the previous modes at level 1, but with an emphasis on more self-directed and group project based work.


Modules include:

  • Programming 3: This module develops your programming skills by exposing you to intermediate and advanced programming concepts and methods. Combining formal methods from software engineering with practical software development tasks, you will enhance, evolve, test and consolidate your programming skills, through a series of lecture and practice based labs.
  • Databases: The aim of this module is to introduce and explore the essential principles and concepts of databases and gain practical experience of designing, implementing and managing database systems interfaced to web application systems. An understanding of current and likely future developments in database technology will also be gained.
  • Networking: This module focuses on the underlying network infrastructure and the management and administration of network systems. You will learn the technical detail that underpins the operation of networked and internetworked systems. This will include the design, protocols required for operation and prevalent standards and architectures for communications networks. Emphasis will be placed on the core Internet protocols such as IP and TCP to enable you to gain an understanding of the implementation of scalable systems.
  • Mobile Application Development: This module aims to give you a comprehensive understanding of the technologies used for developing applications for mobile computing devices. It will explore the characteristics of mobile devices and how they affect software engineering decisions; preparing you to work in the area of mobile and ubiquitous software development.
  • Professional Project: The growing focus on work-related learning reflects a clear understanding and appreciation of the relationship between technical knowledge of an area and the need for computing and employability skills. This module provides you with an opportunity to experience work related learning through a range of self-initiated options including self-initiated or collaborative entrepreneurial projects, or working with businesses to develop computer based solutions to real world problems.
  • Philosophies of Technology: This module exposes you to key philosophical discourses significant to their field of study eg ethics, ontology, aesthetics, sustainability, ecology of technical systems, post-humanism and virtuality. Through exposure to these discourses you will be encouraged to reflect upon and evaluate the wider ramifications of computer science within a social and political context.

Year in Industry

You will have the option of undertaking a year in industry (sandwich year), in between level 2 and level 3. Through this you will gain valuable experience in real (paid / unpaid) employment. York St John University will provide you with support to help source a placement which meets your career aspirations, however it is your responsibility to secure your own placement. Support will be available through the CPD framework, and central university services such as the Careers and Employability Team. Students who undertake the year in industry often return for level 3 more focused on their studies and deemed more job-ready by employers.

You will be prepared for your placement year through activities in semester two, level 2, which will assist you in making preparations for applying for and undertaking a placement. This will include CV and cover letter writing, as well as interview skills. You will work with the central university services with the support of an academic tutor to identify placement opportunities.

On achieving a year in industry placement, you will complete a negotiated learning agreement in the form of a learning contract, which will be negotiated with your host firm and agreed by an academic from the York St John University Computer Science Team. This will be logged by the University and you will be expected to demonstrate your achievement while on placement through a portfolio of evidence. In order to undertake a year in industry placement you will need to have achieved the minimum requirements for progression at level 2 and will also have to satisfy the following criteria:

  • You must have no outstanding modules from level 1 or 2
  • You must demonstrate a good level of professionalism in your academic conduct within the university, to the point where an academic from the computing team is willing to agree your suitability for the proposed placement

During the year in industry placement you will be allocated a mentor from within the University, who will monitor your progress throughout the placement. This may include Skype/email conversations. You will have a minimum of one field visit which will include a conversation with the employer.

Level 3

Level 3 includes advanced modules in your field, allowing you to specialise and accent your learning via a choice of optional modules, for example: Cybercrime Security, Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Web Development, Data Visualisation and iOS Game Development. The specific optional modules offered each year will vary based on student numbers and available resources, thus not all listed modules may be available each year. Accompanying this you will undertake a major year-long independent research project of your own design, agreed by and supported by an academic supervisor. This project may be in any existing or emerging field of computer science research. You are encouraged to consolidate technical learning and professional research interests through this major project. Teaching and learning at level 3 again incorporates the modes of delivery and activity encountered at levels 1 and 2, however, the emphasis at level 3 is on independent self-directed work that responds to learning within and across modules.


Compulsory modules include:

  • Major Project: The aim of this module is to give you the opportunity to bring together the theoretical understanding and the practical skills you will have acquired from other modules. The projects typically involve producing a software product from conceptualisation through to successful evaluation and the production of a well crafted, substantial report to demonstrate the output of the research.
  • Human Computer Interaction: This module is concerned with designing, evaluating and deploying usable, effective and interactive technologies. The aim of this module is to allow you to focus on key areas, approaches and developments in the field of the user experience.
  • Internet of Things: The Internet of Things is a term used to describe an internet comprised of networked objects. The term incorporates but is not limited to concepts of ubiquitous computing; ambient intelligence; Machine to Machine communication (M2M). What unites these discourses is the question of how the deployment of ‘smart’ technology in public and social spaces will affect not only how we relate to each other but also how we understand ourselves as human beings. This module seeks to open up these questions for exploration through a practical project developing Internet of Things technology for deployment in public and/or social contexts.

Optional modules include:

  • Artifical Intelligence: This module takes an integrated approach to the understanding and development of artificial intelligence systems and the application of AI to data mining, providing you with an appreciation of the purposes, capabilities and range of applications of systems that deploy artificial Intelligence (AI) approaches and techniques.
  • Cybercrime Security: Cyber terrorism has been and continues to be a major concern. Thus, cybercrime security has evolved as an interdisciplinary field that seek to address the ever-increasing use of computing technology in criminal activities. Practitioners face the challenge of understanding the complex nature of the field, its associated technologies, and the principles and practices of criminal investigation. Focusing primarily on the software aspects of this field, this module provides you with the opportunity to be equipped with the skill set required the assist in the investigation of crime involving the use of digital equipment using legally accepted methods and tools.
  • Advanced Web Development: This module focuses on the use of advanced and professional web technologies that enable more interactivity, dynamism, accessible, usable and easy to manage complex web applications. Technologies such as advanced features of CSS3, HTML5, JavaScript, DOM, PHP and AJAX will be covered including knowledge of how to configure and maintain web servers – such as Apache. The module will also cover more advanced programming techniques associated with web applications.
  • Data Visualisation: The aim of this module is to introduce the principles and techniques involved in the displaying of data to provide greater insight into the information contained within the data. The module aims to equip you with a variety of data visualisation techniques and the knowledge of a variety of tools and techniques to make sense of the emergence and exponential growth of big data. This module covers how to apply design principles, human perception, colour theory, and effective storytelling to data visualization.
  • iOS Game Development: This module will provide you with the space to learn, explore and absorb the core concepts, principles and techniques of creating games for apple mobile devices. The module will guide you through the core principles of programming in apple specific languages. Starting with an introduction to the apple programming environment, the module will progress delving into the various specifics of apples games related frameworks and languages.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths

Calculate your tariff points.

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements. Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our international pages.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Personal statement

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, the ability to demonstrate knowledge and interest in the subject is essential. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, visits to design exhibitions, museums or collections. Applicants will also show an ability to 'think outside the box' and have relevant experience of group work.

Valued criteria

We also value the ability to demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include involvement in projects or entering competitions, and being aware of any current issues relating to design, such as sustainability. Candidates will also be able to discuss influences including favourite designers, design product or style of design.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 202 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

International 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

All undergraduates receive financial support through the York St John Aspire card. Find out more about the Aspire scheme and how it can be used to help you purchase equipment you need for your course. 

Aspire Card

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