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BSc (Hons)

Advance your career in Computing at the University of Derby Online Learning

Top-up your Level 5 qualifications within 18 months with our part-time, online Computing and IT programme BSc (Hons). We have also launched two new online masters programmes at the forefront of the industry including Cyber Security MSc and Big Data Msc. Develop the skills that today’s employer’s value and enhance your employability.

Find out more here 

If you already have a Computing qualification at HND/foundation degree level, this course allows you to top it up to a full BSc in just one to two years. There are lots of optional modules so you can tailor the content to your interests or career aims.
Online course details
Study options Part-time: 1-2 years
UK fee £5,100 †
International fee £5,100 †
Course level Undergraduate
Qualification BSc (Hons)
Start dates January, September, May
Online course description
If applying for September 2019 intake:
Term starts on 23 September and the application deadline is 8 September.
If you already hold an HND or foundation degree in a Computing subject or international equivalent qualification, top it up to a full Computing and IT BSc degree in one to two years with this online course. Gaining the full bachelors degree can improve your career prospects, strengthen your CV and allow you to move onto a masters degree at a later date, should you wish to.
Developed by leading specialists, our newly updated Computing and Information Technologies (Top-Up) BSc (Hons) degree has been designed around diverse cutting-edge issues, events and digital developments.
The course will allow you to deepen your knowledge and understanding through research, case studies and practical skills-based projects. With a core focus on professional ethics and the wide-ranging impact of computing technologies in society, the programme will support learners in acquiring crucial skills which underpin the duties and responsibilities of today’s computing professionals.
Why choose this Computing and IT course?
  • Contemporary, updated degree from a recognised UK university
  • Three start dates a year (September, January and May)
  • Opportunity to enrol on the course with a level 4 qualification plus significant work experience
  • Choice of seven optional modules, allowing you to tailor the course to meet your own interests, including key emerging areas - Network Management and Security, Web Development, and Cyber Security and Ethical Hacking
  • Study at your own pace, part-time online using a virtual classroom environment, supported throughout by a team of academic professionals
  • Engagement in a vibrant learning community, building your network of likeminded individuals within the UK and around the world
  • Guest speakers from industry
  • The course can be completed within one year
The course focuses particularly on gaining confidence and skills in:
  • Problem solving – critical understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories, appraising technical, environmental and social issues
  • Completing incisive research, analysis and reporting
  • Formulating an ethical position in relation to the development, manufacture, proliferation and disposal of digital systems
  • Designing, documenting and testing computer programmes and/or hardware
  • Critically evaluating and advising on emerging technologies
  • Working effectively within a team and communicating with others
This online qualification will set you on a positive path to successfully furthering your career.
Who is this online course for?
Those wishing to progress within the Computing and IT sector such as:
  • IT support engineers, network engineers
  • Systems administrators and IT teachers
  • Network and security professionals
  • Web and software developers
  • A talk from our Academic Lead
Our Computing and IT Academic Lead, Dr Tariq Abdullah, talks about the online Computing and Information Technologies (Top-Up) BSc (Hons) course in this video.
What you will study
With a mix of core and optional modules, you can tailor your studies to match your particular interests and career aspirations.
One of the core modules everyone completes is the Research Project. You can select from a list of suggestions provided by your tutor or this could be something you propose that matches your own interests, experience or area of professional development.
The programme allows you to study at your own pace, fitting around other commitments, in any location, via a virtual classroom environment. You will also get the opportunity to interact with like-minded peers across the world through discussion forums.
We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.
If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered. In addition, where demand is high, some modules may be subject to a cap.
To complete this top-up degree you will need to complete a total of 120 credits. This will be made up from the two core modules and three of the optional 20-credit modules in your preferred area of Computing and Information Technologies.
Core modules
  • Computing Technologies in Society
  • Research Project
  • Optional modules
  • Cyber Security and Ethical Hacking: An Introduction
  • Database Fundamentals
  • Distributed Applications and Web Services
  • Internet of Things: An Introduction
  • Network Management and Security
  • Software Engineering: Creating Quality Products
  • Web Development: Creating Effective Applications
Computing Technologies in Society
This module provides a wide-ranging transdisciplinary introduction to the evolution and application of increasingly complex and powerful digital technologies.
Particular attention is given to the impact of technologies on society, the individual and the environment. A broad range of past, present and future technologies and techniques are considered within a framework which is designed to support you in acquiring crucial skills which underpin the duties and responsibilities of today's computing professionals. A strong research-infused curriculum is adopted and is reinforced by an expectation that you will regularly contribute to the virtual classroom's discussion forum. This will provide opportunities to consider diverse cutting-edge issues and current events - thereby supporting you in the acquisition of a broad range of transferable skills which are of pivotal importance in professional practice. As part of the assessment for this module, you will have the opportunity to carry out a research-informed case study in which they will be able to focus on ethical issues relating to specific past, current or emerging hardware and/or software systems/trends. Alternatively, you may elect to undertake a practically based exercise. In either case, you will work within a small group with each member being marked individually for their contributions.
Module learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate competence in understanding key technical and environmental issues concerning the operation, implementation and application of digital systems
  2. Critically appraise past, present and future applications of digital systems with particular emphasis on their impact upon both society and the individual
  3. Formulate professional ethical positions in relation to the development, manufacture, application, proliferation and disposal of digital systems
  4. Participate effectively in group work and proactively contribute to the overall organisation of the group
  5. Recognise the varied roles and responsibilities which are associated with professional activity in the computing/IT domain and the importance of continued professional development
Module content
Indicative topics:
  • Digital systems and genocide
  • Environmental stewardship: The computer life cycle - from inception to e-waste
  • Long-term data archiving
  • Server farms and sustainability
  • Digital shadows and personnel privacy
  • Empowering digital systems - fully automated processes
  • Predictive modelling
  • Surveillance systems
  • Drones for surveillance and warfare
  • Radio-frequency identification devices (RFIDs)
  • When technology goes wrong - from cancer therapy to avionics
  • Animatronics
  • Ethical and professional responsibilities
  • Ethics in a multi-cultural context
  • Ethics and the Internet
  • From technology to human factors
  • Professional codes of conduct - turning theory into practice
  • Professional roles and responsibilities - professional development
How you will learn
Pace of study
We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester. If you aim to study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.
Assessment method
This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.
Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar
Discovering Online Learning Webinar, September
Tuesday, 10 September 2019 14.00 - 15.00
During this hour long webinar, we’ll take you through the basic principles of how online learning works and what you can expect as an online learner with the University of Derby Online Learning.
Entry requirements
You need to have one of the following:
  • HND or foundation degree in a Computing subject from a UK university - or international equivalent recognised by NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre)
  • Edexcel BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma in Computing and Systems Development - 2010 QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework)
  • British Computer Society (BCS) Diploma in IT (level 5) - including completion of the professional project
  • HNC in Computing subject plus at least 3 years relevant work experience in a computing role*
  • Evidence of significant work and life experience which may be taken as the equivalent of traditional qualifications
*If you are entering with an HNC, you will need to first study and obtain a minimum pass rate of 40% in the level 6 Computing Technologies in Society module.
When you apply, please send us a transcript of the modules you've already studied. This means we can make sure your HND or foundation degree is compatible with this top-up qualification.
English language qualifications
If English is not your first language, you will need an English language qualification. For this course, you will need at least one of the following:
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 6.5
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) 580 (paper based), 237 (computer based) or 92 (internet based)
  • Pearson Test of Academic English: 58
  • Cambridge Advanced Certificate: pass
  • London Tests of English: we accept level 4 for undergraduate courses
  • International GCE O Level English Language: grade C
  • International GCSE English/English as a Second Language: grade C*
* If you don't have GCSE Maths then you can study our Certificate of Credit in Introduction to Maths in Preparation for Higher Education which is a 20-credit module designed to help you develop your mathematical skills in preparation for higher education.
Documents to support your application
You'll need to provide:
  • Photo ID – this could be your passport or driving licence
  • Current CV
  • Written reference supplied on headed paper from either a manager, supervisor, tutor or teacher
  • Copies of certificates and transcripts or a letter of testimony for previous qualifications*
*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:


Start date Location / delivery
01 May 2021 Online Book now

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