Computer Science and E-business

Programme Specification
Computer Science and E-Business
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the
programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be
expected to achieve and demonstrate if full advantage is taken of the learning
opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes,
content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each module can be found
in Module Specifications and other programme documentation and online at The accuracy of the information in this document is reviewed by
the University and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher
Awarding body/Institution
Loughborough University
Computer Science
Teaching Institution (if different)
Details of accreditation by a
professional/statutory body
British Computer Society
Name of final award
BSc(Hons)(+DPS) MComp(Hons)(+DPS)
Programme title
Computer Science and E-Business (2511),
Computer Science and E-Business Extended
UCAS code
BSc GNK1,GN4D, MComp GN4C, GN41
Date at which the programme
specification was written or revised
Summer 2007
1. Aims of the programme:
To inspire students to have interest and enthusiasm for subjects they have
chosen to study, and to involve them in an intellectually stimulating and satisfying
experience of learning and studying.
To develop knowledge, understanding and skills in information technology and ebusiness.
To give students the knowledge and skills needed to become effective
professionals within the computing and electronic business industries
To provide students with selected specialised areas of study so that they can
experience the frontiers of practice and research in information technology.
To provide training, through a range of educational activities, to develop a range
of transferable skills applicable to employment.
To prepare students for a research career in Computer Science.
To give students the knowledge and skills needed to be able to provide computer
science solutions to information technology problems.
To develop specific skills in the technical, organisational, financial, marketing and
planning issues of e-business .
(MComp only) To prepare students for their career by both broadening and
deepening the skills and abilities of the BSc programme.
2. Relevant subject benchmark statements and other external and internal
reference points used to inform programme outcomes:
QAA Computing Benchmark
The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications
Loughborough University's Learning and Teaching Strategy
Departmental Assessment Policy and Assessment Strategy
Annual and Periodic Programme Review
External Examiners' reports
Staff/student committees
The particular specialisms of the involved departments (Computer Science and
Information Science) staff
BCS/IEE Accreditation Documents.
3. Intended Learning Outcomes
Knowledge and Understanding:
On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to demonstrate
knowledge and understanding of the following areas of the Computing Curriculum:
Artificial Intelligence
Computer Based Systems
Computer Communications
Computer Networks
Computer Hardware Engineering
Computer Vision & Image Processing
Data Structures and Algorithms
Developing Technologies
Distributed Computer Systems
Document Processing
Engineering and scientific principles applicable to information systems
Graphics and Sound
Information Retrieval
Information System
Intelligent Information Systems Technologies
Management techniques in a computing context
Mathematical underpinning principles
Natural Language Computing
Operating Systems
Professional, legal and ethical issues
Programming Fundamentals
Security and Privacy
Simulation and Modelling
Software Engineering
Systems Analysis & Design
Web-based Computing
Students on the MComp programme will cover the same ILOs as the BSc, but at a
greater depth in at least one area of the above list of topics. In addition they will be
expected to show knowledge and understanding of:
Appropriate research techniques applicable to their specialised interest area.
Professionalism and management in a commercial and economic context.
Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved
and demonstrated:
Most 10 credit modules on computing subjects are allocated three hours of contact time
per week, which are often used by the module organiser for two lectures and one
tutorial. the more business oriented modules tend to be allocated two hours a week
contact time per week. The style of lectures is very varied from the classic "chalk & talk"
to complete presentations using data projection. Where staff load permits, tutorial groups
are smaller than the lecture classes and usually discuss "problem sheets" related to
recently presented material. Staffed practical sessions in the departments laboratories
are sometimes timetabled but it is more common to expect the students to organise their
own visits to the laboratories. Some modules in parts A & B (and Part D for MComp
students) require students to work in groups on structured assignments which may
involve interviewing the 'customer'. Each group of students is given the opportunity to
submit evidence of the relative work per group member. MComp students, in their final
year, are also given experience of assisting and supervising first year team work.
Students are expected to attend all contact periods for their modules. They have access
to the teaching staff by email which they can also use to arrange personal visits.
Students are supported by teaching materials on the departmental intranet. They also
have rooms in which they can arrange meetings and discussion forums/email to allow
electronic communication amongst themselves. Quantitative and qualitative feedback
relating to assessment is made available to students as soon as possible.
Assessment in all cases is by the most appropriate mechanism. This varies from groupbased project work for the analysis modules to written examination where a student will
be expected to show particular knowledge and understanding. A number of modules are
assessed through presentation, where such skills are necessary to show understanding
of the presented material.
Subject-specific cognitive skills:
On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to
Modelling: use the appropriate knowledge and understanding described above in
the modelling and design of computer-based systems for the purposes of
comprehension, communication, prediction and the understanding of trade-offs.
Requirements, practical constraints and computer-based systems in their
context: recognise and analyse criteria and specifications appropriate to specific
problems, and plan strategies for their solution.
Critical evaluation and testing: analyse the extent to which a computer-based
system meets the criteria defined for its current use and future development.
Methods and tools: deploy appropriate theory, practices and tools, including
engineering principles founded on appropriate scientific and technological
disciplines, appropriate scientific principles and mathematical principles and
notation, for the analysis, specification, design, implementation and evaluation of
computer-based systems.
Reflection and communication: present succinctly to a range of audiences (orally,
electronically or in writing) rational and reasoned arguments that address a given
information handling problem or opportunity.
Professional considerations: recognise the professional, moral and ethical issues
involved in the exploitation of computer technology and be guided by the
adoption of appropriate professional, ethical and legal practices.
Management techniques: use management techniques to achieve objectives
within a computing context.
In addition MComp students should be able to:
Show critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights in their chosen
specialist area.
Deploy appropriate research techniques within their chosen field of specialism.
Apply the professional and management techniques within a commercial and
economic context.
Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved
and demonstrated:
These cognitive skills are based on the knowledge and understanding taught in the
modules throughout the programme. All modules generally have set coursework
consisting of exercises, essays, presentations or mini-projects to enable the students to
consolidate their learning and develop their cognitive skills in the subject area. Many of
the modules have a timetabled tutorial or supervised lab session to further enable the
building of these skills. The coursework may or may not be directly assessed. In some
modules examinations test the skills developed during the module and other skills are
only assessed during the separate project modules. In many of these modules the
students have the opportunity to increase their marks by displaying additional
information they have researched.
The projects in the third and fourth years require students to understand and contribute
to the building of complex computer solutions to realistic problems. This will require
research and development, which students will undertake with guidance mainly from
their project supervisor but also from the project coordinator in a series of lectures given
throughout the duration of the project. In most cases the project will build on a
foundation of knowledge obtained from other modules taken. The second year team
projects also require students to research and apply their knowledge to produce complex
systems relevant to an industrial computing environment. Guidance is given during the
team projects module by a module team of lecturers and support staff. In modules with a
laboratory content students are expected to investigate and learn possible solutions to
problems with help being available from laboratory supervisors as required. In other
modules the students are required to solve a variety of problems building on the
knowledge acquired during the module and supporting modules.
MComp students are given additional research experience through the thesis project
and additional professional and management experience through the group project and
management modules in Part D.
Subject-specific practical skills:
On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:
use appropriate processes to specify, design, implement, verify and maintain
computer-based systems, particularly for an e-business context, including
working with technical uncertainty.
investigate and define a problem, identify constraints, understand customer and
user needs, ensure fitness of purpose and manage the design process and
evaluate outcomes.
evaluate systems in terms of general quality attributes and possible trade-offs
presented within the given problem.
deploy effectively the tools used for the construction and documentation of
computer applications, with particular emphasis on understanding the whole
process involved in the effective deployment of computers to solve practical
problems, including applying the principles of appropriate engineering, scientific
and mathematical disciplines.
operate computing equipment effectively, taking into account its logical and
physical properties.
In addition, MComp students should be able to:
Apply appropriate research techniques
Develop and apply new technologies
Show originality and innovation
Identify and manage cost drivers
Make general evaluations of commercial risk
Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved
and demonstrated:
These topics concern the application of computer science and as such are taught
formally in modules, where examples and exercises in lectures and tutorials cover the
practical application of the theory taught. In modules with a laboratory content students
are expected to investigate and learn possible solutions to problems with help being
available from laboratory supervisors as required. In many cases the skills are directly
assessed by coursework or, where appropriate, by examination. Some practical skills
are only assessed in the project modules. The third and fourth year projects and the Part
B team projects allow students to consolidate their knowledge by practical application
and to research and develop new knowledge and skills. Consideration of structure,
reliability and usability are taken into account when marking these projects. Instruction is
given in the Software Project Management module on planning and managing projects
which students are expected to follow in their final year projects.
For MComp students, the group project and management of IT modules of the final year
give experience of an industry based project to further develop practical and professional
skills, including cost evaluation and risk, and the thesis project gives experience of
research techniques and new technologies giving an opportunity to show originality and
innovation. MComp final year students are also given practical leadership and
managerial experience in working with first year teams.
Key/transferable skills:
On successful completion of these programmes, students should have the following
The ability to make concise, engaging and well-structured presentations,
arguments and explanations of varying lengths by using various media
The ability to work as a member of a development team, recognising the different
roles within a team and different ways of organising teams.
Effective information-retrieval skills (including the use of browsers, search
engines and catalogues).
Numeracy in both understanding and presenting cases involving a quantitative
Effective use of general IT facilities.
Communication skills in electronic as well as written and oral form to a range of
Managing one's own learning and development including time management and
organisational skills.
Appreciating the need for continuing professional development in recognition of
the need for lifelong learning.
Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved
and demonstrated:
Many of these transferable skills will be acquired while developing the cognitive and
practical skills associated with the programme. Information retrieval skills are obtained
while researching subjects for many modules, including project work. Numeracy skills
will be acquired in the mathematical modules. General IT skills are obtained while
developing software solutions and preparing presentations and reports. The
management of one's own learning is achieved when balancing the workload within and
between modules. The appreciation of the need for continuing professional development
is achieved through the exposure of students to the latest technologies and methods in
the final year. These skills are not directly assessed though graduating from this
programme would not be possible without these skills being obtained. However, the
ability to work in a team is directly considered in the marking of the Team Projects
module and communication skill is directly considered in the marking of the final year
project. In the Team Projects and the final year projects students are assessed on the
demonstrations/ presentations they make.
4. Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules, credits and
Students are required to take modules amounting to 120 credits in each year of study
and this will normally be made up from 60 credits in each semester.
In Part A students follow the common computing core set of modules covering
introduction to programming, requirements analysis, server-client web-based computing
and computer architectures. This is complemented by specific teaching on e-business
and the fundamentals of computer science.
In Part B, the part A work is built upon with modules covering the development of larger
systems in the common core, and in-depth specific aspects of computer science in the
complementary section.
Students are encouraged to spend an optional year in industry between Parts B & C
leading to the supplementary award of Diploma in Industrial/Professional Studies. Apart
from the award, students gain real work experience, are often placed in positions of
responsibility and can be offered sponsorship and/or future employment. The year in
industry can also bring a more professional attitude to remaining year(s) of study and
particularly project work.
Summary of modules in Parts A and B:
Part A
Essential Skills for Computing
Programming for the WWW
Logic and Functional Programming
Introduction to e-Business
Computer Systems
Server Side Programming
Requirements Analysis
Mathematics for Computer Science
Object-Oriented Programming and Algorithms
Part B
Operating Systems, Networks and the Internet 1
Informatics and Systems
Information and Knowledge Management
AI Methods
Team Projects
Fundamentals of Marketing
E-business Management and Strategy
Systems Design and HCI
Programming for Scientific Applications
Part C allows students to focus on their specific interests through options and a project.
Students taking the M.Comp. degree undertake a research project, group project and
management work in their final year.
For more information on the programme structure, please see the programme
5. Criteria for admission to the programme:
Admission to the programme is usually on the basis of 280 A level points for the BSc
degree or 300 points for the MComp Degree. In both cases at least 50 of these points
must be in Mathematics.
Other relevant qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
6. Information about assessment regulations:
Most modules are assessed by a mixture of written examination, coursework and some
will include practical assessment .
Part A and Part B assessment is for progression to the second and third year
respectively. Part A and B results are weighted 1:3 for the BSc degree in calculating final
degree classification. For the MComp degree the weighting of parts B, C and D is
14:43:43 (approx 1:3:3) respectively.
Students follow modules weighted at 120 credits per year. In order to progress to the
next year of the programme, or to be awarded a degree at the end of Part C, students
must, each year, accumulate at least 100 credits (110 credits for Part B MComp
students). A pass mark of 40% is applied to each module.
Any student who fails to meet these module requirements has the automatic right of
reassessment on one occasion only. Candidates are permitted to undertake
reassessment in the modules necessary to obtain a pass. Students who have achieved
a minimum of 60 credits for the year can opt for reassessment in either the September
following the end of the academic year or during the course of the following academic
year. Students with less than 60 credits must wait until the following year to be
reassessed. Students who are reassessed in the following year may choose to take the
reassessment with or without tuition. Students who are reassessed with tuition are
required to take both coursework and examination components of the module (and the
new mark supersedes the original mark). Students who are reassessed without tuition
may be allowed to carry forward the component which has been passed. The overall
mark, averaged over coursework and examination, for reassessed modules is capped at
7. What makes the programmes distinctive:
In the last 3 years that the National Student Survey has run, the Department of
Computer Science has consistently been at or near the top of the tables.
Three labs of around 50 computers each, provide support for student work. We are one
of the first universities to adopt a triple-booting Windows/Linux/Macosx environment
providing experience of all major platforms. The department maintains two student study
room and is located very close to other amenities on campus. An Intranet provides
access to all learning resources for our students, together with other information.
Lectures and other sessions are presented in University supported pool rooms, all
equipped to high standards, many with data projection facilities. All students are
supported by a comprehensive support structure including Personal Tutors, Year Tutors,
Programme Tutors and a Senior Tutor.
Our programmes support both three- and four-year taught variations leading to a
bachelor (honours BSc) or masters (MComp) degrees with specialisation available
through project work in both the 3rd and 4th years. In addition all students can undertake
a sandwich year in industry, where the department provides support both during the year
and in finding placement opportunities.
The programmes have been recently restructured. This has created an IT core that
concentrates on key computing learning outcomes for all students, and a Computer
Science specialist addition for single- honours programmes. The former allows the
student to learn requirements analysis, system design and the creation of web-based
systems. The latter concentrating on the foundations of AI and e-business.
Development of our programmes has take place with input from the Department's
Industrial Advisory Committee which meets regularly in order to keep our programme
content up-to-date with the needs of industry. Several companies offer prizes to students
as individuals and groups, the department also funds prizes for the best students.
Our programmes are regularly accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS) and our
aim is for all programmes to receive accreditation by the BCS and the Engineering
Council. On their most recent visit the QAA awarded the department the top possible
grading for its programmes and their delivery.
The final year optional modules are based on the research strengths of the department's
staff and the staff in the Department of Information Science. This gives a set of modules
truly reflecting the skills of the departments. The quality of the Programme is endorsed
by the external examiners who are consulted at each stage of the examination process
who view and comment on papers, coursework and undertake viva voce examinations
during their summer visit.
8. Particular support for learning
8.1 Departmental Support
The department has an integrated structure for the management, appraisal and planning
of teaching and learning. This is comprised of the Teaching Coordinator (who manages
the Learning and Teaching Committee and has overall responsibility for teaching
matters); the Senior Tutor who is responsible for student welfare and arranges social
events for the students to take part in; Programme Directors who have responsibility for
the academic content and the general organisation of the course, and the academic
welfare of the students); Year Tutors who monitor students performance and
attendance; and Personal Tutors who are responsible for matters relating to academic
On the first day of their academic studies, students receive information from the
department directing them towards the departmental intranet site which contains
important information including the management structure of the department,
programme and module specifications and general points relating to coursework and
examination. The students are also assigned a personal tutor who is responsible for their
personal welfare who arranges to see them during the first semester. Thereafter the
personal tutor arranges to see their tutees at important times, such as after
examinations, at the start of a new year or when problems have been raised in respect
to the tutees by Year Coordinator, Programme Director or Teaching Coordinator.
The department runs its own computer labs specifically for the use of students on its
own programmes. All material related to programme learning and administration is
available on the departmental intranet. In addition, the department provides several
study areas for student use during the semester.
8.2 University Support
For further information please see:
9. Methods for evaluating and improving the quality and standards of
For information please see:
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