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Computer Science (Distributed & Networked Systems) BSc

New Course for 2017 - Programme Under Development
UCAS code G4T6
Year of entry 2017
  View 2018 entry »
Course Length 3 years full time
Department Computer Science »

Distributed and networked systems underpin the proliferation of sophisticated, software-enabled systems that are changing the way we live in the 21st century. The implications for our global economy and societies are vast, from the sensor and actuator networks that connect up cities, to cyber-physical systems, patient-centred healthcare, and disaster-recovery systems, to name just a few. This new specialist pathway for our undergraduate Computer Science students will give you the knowledge and practical experience you need to achieve your career ambitions. It has been designed in consultation with industry, to help propel you to the forefront of creating and maintaining the distributed systems and networks of the future.

You will learn from leading researchers in the field, covering contemporary technologies such as Web 2.0, distributed and embedded systems, and artificial intelligence. This will be underpinned by a solid grounding in the fundamentals of computing and all the essentials of application development, from programming to software engineering, databases to web development, computer graphics to robotics. From the outset you be experimenting with programming games, robots, Gadgeteer kits, Subversion, JUnit testing, Scrum-based Agile software and more, in our well-equipped laboratories. Alongside core modules in all three years, you will have the flexibility to choose between a range of optional courses, according to your interests.

We are a highly respected, research-focused department with a friendly approach and award-winning teaching. We offer a summer work placement programme and a dedicated personal adviser to guide you through your studies. You will also be welcome to join our Computing Society, a thriving community of more than 400 computer enthusiasts from across the College. We are one of only seven departments in the UK to hold the Athena SWAN bronze award for our commitment to increasing female participation in computer science. You will graduate with a strong knowledge of distributed and networked computing theories and methodologies, and transferrable skills such as advanced IT skills, team working, communication, time management and self-motivation.

  • Gain a solid grounding in all the main aspects of computer science but with a career-focused specialism in distributed and networked computing.
  • Enjoy a varied and flexible curriculum, informed by cutting-edge research and current industrial needs.
  • Join an elite department, ranked 11th in the UK for the quality of its research output (Research Exercise Framework 2014).
  • 97% of our students said this programme is well organised, and 92% said it is intellectually stimulating (National Student Survey 2015).
  • This programme is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and the European Quality Assurance Network for Informatics Education (EQANIE). 

Core modules

Year 1

Object Oriented Programming

Computing Lab (Robotics)

Computing Lab (Games)

Internet Services

Mathematical Structures

Machine Fundamentals

Software Design

Year 2

Software Engineering

Team Project

Operating Systems

Databases

Algorithms and Complexity

Introduction to Information Security

Year 3

Individual Project in Distributed and Networked Systems

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Only core modules are taken

Year 2

Robotics
Human-Computer Interaction

Year 3

Advanced Topics Seminar
Bioinformatics
Computational Methods in Bioinformatics
Image Processing
Digital Audio and Applications
Computer Games Technology
Data Visualisation and Exploratory Analysis
Embedded and Realtime Systems
Software Verification
Compilation for Embedded Systems
Compilers and Code Generation
Software Language Engineering
Computational Optimisation
Functional Programming and Applications
Advanced Data Communications
Concurrent and Parallel Programming
Interconnected Devices
Human-Computer Interaction
Graph Algorithms and Complexity
Machine Learning
Computational Finance
Intelligent Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
Semantic Web
Smart Cards, RFIDs and Embedded Systems Security
Digital Forensics
Cyber Security
Applications of Cryptography
Malicious Software

We firmly believe that how we teach you is at least as important as what we teach, and we know the importance of giving you the time and space to experiment and put theory into practice. We encourage you to use your creativity, both in project teams and independently, and to have fun while you learn. We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, small-group tutorials, supervised computer lab classes and problem-solving sessions. You will also be expected to complete guided independent study and group work. Our programming and software engineering teaching is very hands on, allowing you to learn at your own pace, whatever your previous level of experience. You will also attend laboratory classes on games and robotics in year 1, giving you the chance to develop real applications with imagination and creativity from the outset.

We are proud of our award-winning teaching. Professor Dave Cohen won a College Excellence Teaching Prize for the re-design of our second-year software engineering courses, and he was shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award for Most Innovative Teacher of the Year. The British Computer Society (BCS) has distinguished our software engineering teaching as an exemplar of 'best practice' in computer science education.

Assessment is through a mixture of examinations and coursework. Most course units have a two or three-hour written examination taken at the end of the year in which they are taught, but around half of your final award will come from assessed coursework, which could include project reports (including your individual project in year 3), essays, oral presentations and practical work submissions.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels AAB-ABB 
Required/preferred subjects

Required subject: either Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science or Mathematics

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • Subjects taken at A-level
  • The educational context in which academic achievements have been gained
  • Whether the Extended Project Qualification is being taken.

At least five GCSE passes at grade A*-C including English and Mathematics. For applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma, a grade B in Mathematics is required.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level  including Maths, Physics or Computer Science with a minimum of 32 points overall 
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction, in a relevant subject (with significant programming content) and at least B in GCSE Maths 
BTEC National Diploma Distinction, Distinction plus an A2 grade B in Maths or Physics or Computing 
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Distinction plus A2 grades B, B including Maths or Physics or Computing 
Welsh Baccalaureate Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Level Core. 
Scottish Advanced Highers AB including Maths or Physics or Computing ( only acceptable when combined with the required Scottish Higher grades as published) 
Scottish Highers AABBB (only acceptable when combined with the required Scottish Advanced Higher grades as published) 
Irish Leaving Certificate H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 including H3 in Maths or H3 in Physics 
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit 

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

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English language
requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall and a minimum of 5.5 in each subscore. For equivalencies, see here

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. Royal Holloway offers an International Foundation Programme and pre-sessional English language courses, allowing students to further develop their study skills and English language before starting their undergraduate degree.

Distributed and networked systems exist in almost every sector, from private companies to educational institutions, charities, the arts, healthcare, government agencies and the military. This programme will give you a solid grounding in the knowledge, skills and practical experience required to pursue a successful career in computing or related fields, with a specialism in distributed and networked systems that will set your CV apart.

During your studies you will learn to analyse and solve problems with creativity and suggest cost-effective, efficient solutions. You will acquire the foresight to translate technological innovations into new programming solutions, the technical skills to design, implement, test and maintain software systems, and the ability to digest and explain complex technical information. You will also develop valuable transferrable skills such as: team working, advanced IT skills, critical thinking, data handling, communication, logic, time management and self-motivation.

We work closely with partners in industry who advise us on our curriculum, to make sure it responds to the latest market needs and trends. This means our graduates are up-to-speed with the latest developments. We run jobs fairs and a short-term work placement scheme, and your personal adviser and the campus Careers team will be on hand to offer advice on career opportunities. We also maintain strong links with our alumni, who often provide advice, contacts and networking opportunities. In recent years, our computer science graduates have launched careers in everything from network systems design and web development, to business management and finance. They work in organisations such as: Amazon, American Express, Apple, Bupa, Capita, CGI-Logica, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Symantec, among many others. Find out more about what some of our graduates are doing, here.

  • Gain the knowledge, skills and practical experience to pursue a lucrative and rewarding career in computer science, with a valuable specialism in distributed and networked computing.
  • 85% of our computer science graduates are in work or further study within six months of leaving (Unistats 2015).
  • Our strong ties with industry mean we understand the latest market trends and can introduce you to all the newest developments.
  • Add professional prestige to your qualification with membership of the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and the European Quality Assurance Network for Informatics Education (EQANIE), after you graduate. 

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £15,600

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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