Our year in industry programme with a specialism in distributed and networked systems will give you a strong foundation of knowledge, skills and practical experience to kickstart your career. Your work placement will give you skills and awareness that can only be acquired in a real work environment and will help to set you apart from other candidates when you apply for a job. Distributed and networked systems underpin the proliferation of sophisticated, software-enabled systems that are changing the way we live in the 21st century, 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 brand new specialist pathway in computer science 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.
In years 1, 2 and 4 you will cover the essentials of computing and application development, from programming to software engineering, databases to web development, computer graphics to robotics, and the latest in information security, whilst focusing on topics relating to distributed and networked systems. You will learn from leading researchers in the field and the programme’s modular structure gives you the flexibility to choose between optional modules in years 2 and 4. 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. Your year in industry will start at the end of year 2. We are ideally located in the famous M4 corridor, known as 'England's Silicon Valley', and we enjoy close links with many of its leading technology companies. If you are unable to go ahead with your placement for any reason, you will have the option of transferring onto our equivalent three-year BSc programme.
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 thriving Computing Society. 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. We are also ideally located in the famous M4 corridor and enjoy close links with many of its leading technology companies. If you are unable to complete your year in industry you will have the option of transferring onto our three-year programme.
- The BCS has distinguished our teaching of Software Engineering as ‘Best Practice’.
- You will be taught by staff with extensive industrial experience, three of whom are certified Scrum Masters.
- You will learn to master the process of software engineering, from initial client meetings through to delivery.
Teaching & assessment
We firmly believe that how we teach 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 teaching is very hands on, allowing you to learn at your own pace, whatever your previous level of experience. In year 1 you will attend laboratory classes on games and robotics, giving you the chance to develop real applications with imagination and creativity. During your year in industry, our careers tutor will visit you twice and keep in touch with your host to monitor your progression.
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 full unit project), essays, oral presentations or software submissions.
Your year in industry forms an integral part of the degree programme and you will be asked to complete assessed work that will count towards your final degree.
Required subject: Computer Science or Mathematics or Physics. At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9-4 including English and Mathematics. Please note that for students taking the BTEC Extended Diploma, GCSE Mathematics is also required at minimum grade B or 6.
A Levels: ABB-BBB
Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A - levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. Socio - economic factors which may have impacted an applicant's education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants. Read more about what we look for here.
Other UK Qualifications
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
We accept the following internationally-recognised English language qualifications:
- Pearson Test of English
- Cambridge ESOL
Your future career
Our year in industry degrees are highly valued by employers because they give you the chance to gain first-hand experience of the world of work and to apply your learning to real-world scenarios. Students have often been offered permanent jobs in the same company at the end of their placements, to take up after their graduation.
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 that will set your CV apart. You will also develop valuable transferrable skills such as teamworking, 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 all 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 can 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, and Symantec, among many others.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9250
International students tuition fee per year**: £17500
Other essential costs***: Costs incurred during your year in industry will vary depending on the nature and location of the placement. For further information please contact the Department of Computer Science.
*The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations, and for students starting a degree in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 for that year. The UK Government has confirmed that EU students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018/19 will pay the same level of fee as a UK student for the duration of their degree.
**Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and 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.