BSc (Hons)

Computer Systems Engineering

Students using laptops
  • UCAS code(s): 351F / GG56
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 3 / 4 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

This is the course for you, if you are interested in:

  • how systems work
  • software development
  • infrastructure engineering
  • networking systems solutions
  • You will gain an in-depth understanding of how systems work, and also the skills to develop software system components and integrate hardware and software components together.

    IT systems grow increasingly complex, involving multiple processing and communication components on a huge scale. This course gives you:

    • an in-depth understanding of how systems work
    • the skills to develop software system components and integrate hardware and software components together.

    This course develops and impressive depth of technical understanding. You will be highly sought after in the employment market upon graduation.

    Why choose this course?

    • It is accredited by the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT to Chartered Engineer (CEng) and IT Professional (CITP) status.
    • You will have the opportunity for a year-long paid work placement. The School has strong links with local industry representatives such as:
    • Our Computer Society will enable you to share ideas with other students throughout the country.
    • This course shares a common first term with BSc (Hons) Computer Systems (Networks) and BSc (Hons) Computer Systems (Forensic and Security). This will provide you with the flexibility to review your pathway once you've started studying.
    • Our student work can be groundbreaking and innovative, and consistently attracts industry attention.
    • You will work with our highly regarded academics, who are active in a broad range of research areas, achieving 80% world-leading or internationally-excellent research impact (REF 2014).

    You may also be interested in:

    What you'll study

    The Computer Systems cluster of courses focuses on behind-the-scenes infrastructure aspects of computer systems. You will learn about the:

    • infrastructure components involved in networks, communications, and operating systems
    • types of systems that they support.

    You will share a common first term with BSc (Hons) Computer Systems (Networks) and BSc (Hons) Computer Systems (Forensic and Security). This will enable you to review your pathways at the end of Year One.

    What's included in the course fees?

    Your course fees cover all the facilities and support you need to succeed. This includes the following:

    • You will have access to extensive computing facilities, some available 24 hours a day and including technician support.
    • You will have dedicated online storage to support backup of work.
    • You will have access to Microsoft Academic Alliance membership, which gives you free copies of all Microsoft developer software including operating systems, Visio and Project.
    • As one of our students, you will be able to join the Oracle Academic Initiative as an individual member and get free database software.
    • Students are able to register for a free personal copy of 3D Studio Max.
    • Extensive equipment is available to loan for coursework and project work. For example, you can borrow cameras and phones.
    • We offer extensive free training software including tutorials on 3D Studio Max, Flash, Photoshop, TCP/IP Packet analysis, Java, Javascript, HTML5, and Oracle.
    • Most major software is available across the campus machines, including Adobe Master Collection Suite.

    Accreditation

    As well as being accredited to Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status this course also has the CEng (partial fulfilment) status, which is the first steps to chartered status (the letters CEng after your name). Accreditation provides proof of your experience, ability, breadth of knowledge, and could make all the difference in helping you to take the next step forward in your career. This indicates that you are part of a technological elite that can typically lead to higher earning potential and improved career prospects.

    Who will teach me?

    We have 35 full-time Computing and Technology academic teaching staff. Our staff and students have excellent support from our four dedicated technicians. We are very proud to have achieved 80% world-leading or internationally-excellent research impact (REF 2014).

    We have a rich mix of knowledge, ranging from software development for different types of system through to hardware aspects such as networking. This involves many uses of computing and considers all aspects including security and management. Our knowledge is built up and maintained through our wealth of industrial experience, our industrial links, and our research activity. These are the ingredients for ensuring the relevance and vitality of your course.

    Much of our research is internationally recognised, particularly in the areas of Games for Learning and in Security. For example, Prof David Brown leads several projects, funded by the European Union, in games and assistive technology, while Prof Paul Evans’ innovative developments in security are supported by USA Dept of Homeland Security.

    We engage fully in our subject area, and this engagement feeds directly and indirectly into our teaching. Other examples of our activity are:

    • developing patents (for example, in voice signal processing)
    • involvement in the GameCity Festival
    • organising conferences on Interactive Technology and Games and on Intelligent Environments
    • working with local companies on funded projects e.g. enhancing the capability of the Press Association to search their image database
    • publishing novel findings in research publications on for example financial prediction, mobile communications, and detection of human behaviour patterns.

    Visit our academic team pages to find out more about our approach to teaching, our partners, and our research interests.

    For information on International student support or to see our academic terms times please visit our international student pages.

    Learn a new language

    Alongside your study, you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

    Learning a new language can:

    • enhance your communication skills
    • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
    • boost your career prospects.

    Find out more about the ULP.

    • Year One

      Foundation in Computing and Technology

      This module has four strands, including programming and technical aspects that introduce you to the fundamentals of writing computer programs, as well as numeracy and website development.

      Computer Science Programming

      Learn about programming languages relevant to software with industrial scale, reliability and performance characteristics.

      Systems Technology

      Learn the key principles, underlying technologies and practical application of computer networks. You’ll be introduced to embedded systems, fundamentals, operation and hardware components.

      Systems Analysis and Design (SAD) with Professional Development

      Introducing you to the fundamental principles of SAD, this module gives you a working knowledge of the key systems development methodologies, techniques and tools.

    • Year Two

      Software Design and Implementation

      Equips you with knowledge of, and skills in, software development techniques to support the development of robust, secure, maintainable and portable software systems.

      Network Design and Administration

      Network infrastructure has become key to the effective operation of most organisations. This module enables you to plan, configure and manage networking solutions to support business needs.

      Communications Technologies

      Develop the ability to analyse and test communication technology applications and understand their constraints and limitations.

      Distributed Network Architectures and Operating Systems

      Introduction to operating systems running on single machines and how they can be put together to form a large scale system comprising of many networked machines.

      Information and Database Engineering

      Understand the nature and application of database management systems and acquire skills for database administration and management.

      Practical Project Management and Professional Development

      Continued professional development and lifelong learning are important to your future career. Through this module you’ll improve your time and project management skills, presentations and report writing.

    • Year Three

      Optional placement year for sandwich students. Please see our excellent placement opportunities section.

    • Final year

      Project

      Investigate problems in computing, implement solutions, critically evaluate and reflect on your work, and develop your abilities to communicate, self-organise and manage.

      Advanced Analysis and Design

      Gain a sound understanding of the object model – what it’s based on and how it can be applied to build systems. Learn how to use the notation and follow the process for object oriented development.

      Service-Centric and Cloud Computing

      Discover two challenging aspects of implementing distributed computing systems in Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA).

      Wireless and Mobile Communications

      Continuing from Year Two’s Communications Technologies module, you’ll study a range of current and emerging wireless communication systems and their applications.

      Choose one of the following optional modules:

      Security Technologies

      Introduces fundamental principles of security and provides you with some core technologies of information security that are extensively used in both industry and academia.

      Advanced Software Engineering

      Develop techniques and strategies to analyse, choose, propose, design and evaluate hardware and software elements to problems in both real-time and non-real-time domains.

      Information Systems Management

      Develop an understanding of how to manage the build and deployment of enterprise and Internet information systems in small to medium organisations.

      Mobile Platform Development

      Understand the requirements, capabilities and constraints of a variety of mobile platform technologies and consider how they can be used to build systems which are outside the traditional desktop paradigm.

      Communicating Science and Technology

      This final year option module will be of interest to you if you are considering a career in teaching and / or want to develop your portfolio of transferable skills.

      Professional Practice

      This is a work-based learning module open only to students who don’t take a placement.

    Course specification

    View the full course specification
    Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

    How you’re taught

    How will I learn?

    Scheduled contact time in lectures and seminars is around 12 hours per week. These will be held on Clifton Campus. Lectures are spread between various buildings on campus, including:

    • Erasmus Darwin
    • Mary Ann Evans

    See the Clifton Campus maps and travel information.

    You will be assessed on a variety components, including the following:

    • Coursework and practical (assignments, dissertation, group projects, oral presentations, reports)
    • Written (exams, written tests)

    Assessment methods

    Year 1 - coursework (83%) and written (17%)

    Year 2 - coursework (70%) and written (30%)

    Year 3 - coursework (70%) and written (30%)

    A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study

    Contact hours

    A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

    Year 1 - lectures/seminars/workshops (27%) and independent study (73%)

    Year 2 - lectures/seminars/workshops (25%) and independent study (75%)

    Year 3 - lectures/seminars/workshops (21%) and independent study (79%)

    A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study

    Careers and employability

    Your career development

    As one of our graduates, you will possess a wide range of practical, academic, and transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers, including investigative and analytical techniques, problem-solving, planning, organisation and communication skills.

    Recent graduates have gone onto work in the following roles and companies:

    Many graduates also choose to undertake further study on one of our Masters-level courses or MPhil and PhD research degrees.

    What our graduates say

    "My experience at NTU has been the foundation for where I am now. Ten years ago I wouldn't have dreamed of having my own business. My placement was invaluable and if it were not for NTU, I would never have had the opportunity to work for Microsoft and I honestly believe that having this on my CV has helped me get to where I am today."

    Graduate – Paul Turnbull
    Sabalex – Senior Software Engineer / Webmaster

    Excellent placement opportunities

    You will have the opportunity to undertake a one-year work placement in industry. This will give you the chance to:

    • gain vital experience
    • put your knowledge into practice.

    Recent placement salaries have ranged from £12,000 to £30,000. A placement could help start your career. Many of our students impress their placement employers so much they are offered jobs upon graduation.

    Our students have secured work placements in companies and in roles such as:

    Entry requirements

    What are we looking for?

    • A-levels – BBC including an IT, Maths or Science subject grade B; or
    • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade B equivalent in an IT, Maths or a Science subject; or
    • BTEC Extended Diploma grades DMM (including relevant IT, Maths or Science modules); and
    • GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.

    Applicants without A-levels will have their qualifications assessed for subject compatibility. We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see UCAS Course Search for more details.

    What are we looking for?

    • A-levels – BBC including an IT, Maths or Science subject grade B; or
    • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade B equivalent in an IT, Maths or a Science subject; or
    • BTEC Extended Diploma grades DMM (including relevant IT, Maths or Science modules); and
    • GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.

    Applicants without A-levels will have their qualifications assessed for subject compatibility. We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see UCAS Course Search for more details.

    International qualifications

    We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our UG and PG degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

    English language entry requirements

    If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study.   We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

    Help and support

    If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

    How to apply

    Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

    Writing your application and personal statement

    Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

    Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

    Keeping up-to-date

    After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

    You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

    Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

    You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

    Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies.  If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

    Keeping up-to-date

    After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

    Good luck with your application!

    Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

    Further information on how to apply

    Need help with your application?
    For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
    Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

    Fees and funding

    Once our 2018/19 fees have been set, they will be available on our fees and funding pages.

    Getting in touch

    For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on telephone +44 (0)115 848 2494.

    While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

    We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

    While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

    Still need help?

    Science and Technology course enquiries
    +44 (0)115 848 8351