Computer Science BSc (Hons)

Studying Computer Science will provide you with fundamental practical, technical, cognitive and creative skills that have real world value. The focus of this programme is on your future employability. You will study the fundamentals of computer science, working on practical exercises and activities that will help you understand and develop computer software.

UCAS course code
York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 2020: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
3 years full-time | Part-time options available on request
Start date
September 2019
Art, Design & Computer Science

Course overview

In a world where computation devices are becoming ever more central to political, economic and social cohesion it is logical that the activities of computer scientists will come to play an ever increasing role in defining the society of tomorrow. With this comes the recognition that technical decisions regarding software and hardware development are also ethical, political and philosophical decisions since the deployment of both hardware and software plays an increasing role in dictating how we interface with and understand ourselves both individually and as a society.

Computer Science at York St John University is committed to developing employable graduates with technical, professional and entrepreneurial skills that contemporary organisations need to contend with this new emerging reality. The focus of this programme is on graduates with good degrees and skills relevant to future employability. The programme is designed for those who want to develop systems that meet real world needs. The computer science programme will provide students with a rigorous education in core computational skills including: computational; artificial intelligence and Human Computer Interaction. With this, students are also taught foundation design principals to enhance their ability to carry projects through from conception to realisation.

Dr Justin McKeown - Subject Director, Computer Science

Course structure

In Computer Science we believe in teaching on a human scale. We therefore purposefully keep our class sizes small. Our largest class sizes are in the region of 30 students, though some can be as small as 5 students for specialist activity.  We have comparatively high contact hours, meaning that our students see a lot of the academic and technical staff associated with their programme of study. We do this because we know that the quality of interaction between staff and students can have a defining effect on the students ability to learn and grow in their chosen field. Our graduates are our best advertisement and therefore we want them to have the best opportunity to explore the field of computer science and realise their true potential. Computer Science at York St John is a nurturing community and we welcome those curious about us to come and find out more.

The focus of this programme is on your future employability. You will therefore learn to develop software systems that meet real business and organisational needs. You will study the fundamentals of computer science, working on practical exercises and activities that will help you understand and develop computer software. The work placement module will give you the opportunity to use these skills in a professional environment. You will learn about networks, usability and contemporary system development techniques. Your final year will focus on a final year project, whilst studying advanced topics such as distributed systems and how to manage the development of a large software system.

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.

Modules include:

  • 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.

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. 

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Entry requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 - 112 UCAS Tariff points

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

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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.

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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 will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website.

York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships.

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


Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Fees & Funding

Overseas 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

International Fees & Funding

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

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

Accommodation and living costs

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

Study abroad

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

Financial help and support

Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our Money Advice service.

International students

We welcome international students from all over the world at York St John University and have a vibrant international community. You can find out more on our International Pages about how you can study with us and what it’s like to live and learn in York, one of the UK’s most historic cities.

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