This programme is a degree apprenticeship and as such has a blend of campus based and distance learning. Its teaching aims are:
1) to equip students with the knowledge and skills that are currently in high demand in the computing industry and in the wider economy through academic learning and industrial experience.
2) to provide students with a foundation for further study and research.
3) to enable students to acquire a broad understanding of computer science, whilst providing opportunities for them to develop expertise within particular areas of specialisation related directly to the apprentices company.
4) to develop the students' ability to make an effective contribution to team-based activity in a company setting.
5) to encourage students to adopt an investigative approach and develop autonomous study skills in order to ensure their continuing professional development both academically and within a company environment.
6) to provide students with an understanding of the industrial context and an appreciation of a range of external factors that affect the work of the computer professional through direct experience in their company.
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: Knowledge and understanding of scientific principles and methodology necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline, to enable appreciation of its scientific and engineering context, and to support their understanding of relevant historical, current and future developments and technologies.
A2: Knowledge and understanding of mathematical and statistical methods necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline and to enable them to apply mathematical and statistical methods, tools and notations proficiently in the analysis and solution of engineering problems.
A3: Knowledge and understanding of computer science and software based design. (If studying on the MSci award this knowledge and understanding will be expected to be achieved at advanced level)
Campus based and distance learning supported by online course material is the principal method of delivery for the concepts and principles involved . Learning outcomes associated with each module will, where possible be linked to the working environment of the apprentice.
Students are also directed to reading from textbooks, academic papers and material available on-line.
Understanding is reinforced by means of assignments, campus based and company based project work, and examinations.
Specialist knowledge is further developed during academic and company supervision of the final year individual project, which is based on a problem defined by the apprentices company. The final year project is synoptic in that it aims to test all the skills and competencies learned by the apprnetice over the degree course, as well as test their ability to self learn new material.
Achievement of knowledge outcomes is assessed primarily through unseen closed-book examinations, and also through marked coursework.
An assessment of the understanding of underlying concepts and principles forms part of the overall assessment of the final year individual project report and oral presentation.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Ability to apply and integrate knowledge and understanding of other engineering disciplines to support study of their own engineering discipline.
B2: Understanding of engineering principles and the ability to apply them to analyse key engineering processes.
B3: Understand and evaluate business, customer and user needs, including considerations such as the wider engineering context, public perception and aesthetics.
B4: Investigate and define the problem, identifying any constraints including environmental and sustainability limitations; ethical, health, safety, security and risk issues; intellectual property; codes of practice and standards.
B5: Work with information that may be incomplete or uncertain and quantify the effect of this on the design.
B6: Apply advanced problem-solving skills, technical knowledge and understanding, to establish rigorous and creative solutions that are fit for purpose for all aspects of the problem including production, operation, maintenance and disposal.
B7: Apply software engineering principles to the design of computer systems and software.
The basis for intellectual skills is provided in campus based lectures, distance learning and online material. They are developed by means of recommended reading, guided and self directed study, assignments and project work undertaken as work-based-learning.
Achievement of intellectual skills is assessed primarily through unseen closed-book examinations, and also through marked assignments and project work.
C: Practical skills
C1: Ability to identify, classify and describe the performance of systems and components through the use of analytical methods and modelling techniques.
C2: Ability to apply quantitative and computational methods in order to solve engineering problems and to implement appropriate action.
C3: Understanding of, and the ability to apply, an integrated or systems approach to solving engineering problems.
C4: Plan and manage the design process, including cost drivers, and evaluate outcomes.
C5: Understanding of contexts in which engineering knowledge can be applied (eg operations and management, application and development of technology, etc).
C6: Knowledge of characteristics of particular materials, equipment, processes, or products.
C7: Ability to apply relevant practical and laboratory skills.
C8: Ability to design, construct and analyse computer systems and software.
Practical skills are developed both in assignments and project work, supported by the work undertaken in the company. This work will, where possible, be aligned to the concurrent learning outcomes.
Achievement of practical skills is assessed through marked coursework, project reports, oral presentations and demonstrations of completed systems.
D: Key skills
D1: Communicate their work to technical and non-technical audiences.
D2: Understanding of the need for a high level of professional and ethical conduct in engineering and a knowledge of professional codes of conduct.
D3: Knowledge and understanding of the commercial, economic and social context of engineering processes.
D4: Knowledge and understanding of management techniques, including project management, that may be used to achieve engineering objectives.
D5: Understanding of the requirement for engineering activities to promote sustainable development and ability to apply quantitative techniques where appropriate.
D6: Awareness of relevant legal requirements governing engineering activities, including personnel, health and safety, contracts, intellectual property rights, product safety and liability issues.
D7: Knowledge and understanding of risk issues, including health and safety, environmental and commercial risk, and of risk assessment and risk management techniques.
D8: Understanding of the use of technical literature and other information sources.
D9: Knowledge of relevant legal and contractual issues.
D10: Understanding of appropriate codes of practice and industry standards.
D11: Awareness of quality issues and their application to continuous improvement.
D12: Ability to work with technical uncertainty.
D13: Understanding of, and the ability to work in, different roles within an engineering team.
Communication skills are developed both in assignments and project work, supported by the work undertaken in the company. This work will, where possible, be aligned to the concurrent learning outcomes.
Assessment of the key skills is intrinsic to subject based assessment.
The assessment of project work includes specific allocations of credit for project management and the quality of presentations.
An individual's contribution to team projects is determined by means of a submission containing reflective and self-assessment components.
The assessment of the final year individual project report includes specific allocation of credit for the quality, extent and relevance of a bibliography, including internet sources.