Computer Science (Foundation Entry) BSc (Hons)

Computer Science (Foundation Entry) BSc (Hons)

School of Physical Sciences and Computing




Under- graduate



Contact UCLan

University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Four years, Five years sandwich

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • UCAS Code:

    CS15; Short form:

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

Computers are a ubiquitous part of our lives. There has never been a more exciting time to design and develop the systems and software that permeates our work and leisure. We live in a connected world, where even household appliances and vehicles can be connected to the internet and be controlled by software. Rapid data communication and increasingly powerful devices provide exciting opportunities for the development of new applications.

When you qualify as a Computer Scientist you will have a range of skills to apply to a diverse range of industries. There is an emphasis on software development, including databases and user interface design, and a range of options from AI to the Internet of Things.

You will gain invaluable transferable skills through a practical approach to computing underpinned by academic theory: you don’t just know the theory when you finish, you can actually apply it to solve real problems.

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 72 UCAS Points. We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement.

BTEC Extended Diploma: Merit, Merit, Pass
BTEC Diploma: Distinction, Merit
Pass Access Course: 72 UCAS Points
International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 72 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our important information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Course at a Glance

Year 1

  • Introduction to Software Development
  • Investigating IT
  • Problem-solving for Computing


  • Study Skills 1 – Learning How to Learn
  • Study Skills 2 – Developing Academic Skills
  • Introduction to Mathematical Methods

Year 2

  • The Computing Challenge
  • Games Concepts
  • Introduction to Networking
  • Programming
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Computer Systems and Security
  • Systems Analysis and Database Design

Year 3

  • Software Development
  • Advanced Programming
  • The Agile Professional
  • Computational Thinking
  • Database Systems
  • HCI and User Experience

For Sandwich Award undertake an Industrial Placement Year after completing Year 2.

Year 4

  • Advanced Software Engineering Techniques
  • Object Oriented Methods in Computing
  • Honours Degree Project

TWO modules from the following including at most ONE of the modules marked (*):

  • Computer Graphics (*)
  • Internet of Things (*)
  • Wireless and Mobile
  • Bio-Inspired Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Advanced Database Systems
  • Games for the Internet

Further Information

The common first year/second year if on foundation entry, with other computing courses gives you the flexibility to transfer to other specialist courses, including Computer Networks and Security, Software Engineering or Forensic Computing and Security, or to broaden your interests by taking BSc (Hons) Computing.

You will develop programming and analysis skills, an understanding of computer and network technology, and examine the problems of ensuring security. You will apply your software development skills to the challenge of developing interactive games using 3D graphics. You will practise the interpersonal skills necessary for effective software development: you must be able to work effectively with clients and other developers. You will explore the legal responsibilities of software developers. Since the first year is common with other courses in the School, it will help you to choose the most appropriate route for you.

You will learn how to apply industry-standard software development techniques to modern applications; to manage software projects; and to program effectively in C++. You will learn how to apply computational thinking. Because they are key to many modern applications, you will study databases and human computer interaction. You will participate in a team-based software development project to apply your project management skills.

You will enhance your programming skills and learn to tackle the problems of complex, concurrent systems involving multiple interacting components. You will broaden your expertise through relevant options, and identify, plan and perform a substantial final year project to demonstrate your ability to create complex software applications.

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4 Week Challenge

Our ‘4 Week Challenge’ brings together first year students across computing courses to design and develop a new app, and then create a marketing campaign to promote it. It provides the study and team working skills necessary to be successful at UCLan. Each group of students from the wide range of computing-based courses are tested on the usability of their app and the winning team is announced at the end of the four weeks.

“It is a fantastic way to start off university; getting to make friends and getting to know the lecturers really well. It has been interesting working together in a team as we were all very different with diverse skills sets.”

- Steph Paul, Forensic Computing


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For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: The fee for the first year of the course will be £5,500 (UK/EU). Fees for years 2 to 4 will be £9,250* (UK/EU) per year

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Scholarships and bursaries

Industry Links

Academic staff on the course have direct former computing industry experience ranging from the games industry through to defence and aerospace.

Professional Accreditation

This course has initial CITP* (Certified Information Technology Professional) accreditation and partial CEng* accreditation from the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. This is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by BCS and the Engineering Council. *Final accreditation should be confirmed after the first cohort has graduated.

Learning Environment and Assessment

We emphasise practical-based learning using purpose-built laboratories and the University's general computer rooms. Our laboratories allow you to use specialist software and to do things that would not be allowed on a public network: for example, configuring networks or database servers or testing system security. You will use a range of development environments and tools. Where possible, we make software available for use on your own PC. You will use an online learning environment to facilitate flexible learning. This environment enhances traditional face-to-face lectures, tutorials and practical sessions by providing additional, resource-rich, online materials allowing you to continue learning independently. You will have directed work to do outside timetabled classes.

The course is assessed using individual coursework assignments, groupwork, presentations and exams, which may be seen or unseen. There is a practical emphasis with the main contribution to your degree classification coming from coursework.

Staff Expertise

You will be taught by staff from a wide variety of industrial and research backgrounds with a substantial experience of teaching at this level.

The School has researchers working in a range of computing-related areas. Research into Human Computer Interaction is important, particularly through the Child-Computer Interaction group (CHICI). There is research into data communications and networks, mobile computing, computer security and software engineering, particularly Agile software development.

We have collaborated with Sony, BAE and a variety of UK and overseas universities. Staff industrial experience includes working in the games industry, the defence industry and aerospace. The School is involved in consultancy and develops software for clients.


Professional Placement Year

This course offers an optional 48-week sandwich placement in industry – this comes between the second and third years. Most placements are UK-based, but we regularly place students in English-speaking workplaces elsewhere in Europe. You are responsible for finding your own placement. We will support you in preparation for this with the Faculty Placement Team & UCLan Careers, who can help you plan and develop your CV and applications, and have practice interviews.

Placements are an invaluable opportunity to help consolidate your first two years learning, gain experience, and radically enhance your employability. The benefit of the experience gained during a placement is often evident in improved performance in the final year of the course, and when competing for graduate jobs.

“A placement is invaluable to your development as a person and a developer, no matter in which field it is. I see no reason why you wouldn’t want to boost your CV above the rest and earn some amazing life and work experience while doing it. I met some amazing people whilst on placement, as well as doing some really meaningful and interesting work.”- Ryan Sheff, Industry Placement Student

We expect most of our graduates to move directly into industry, but some will continue studying, mostly at MSc level, but some may undertake research degrees. Good graduates can continue to study with us and take a taught MSc in: Computing, Agile Leadership or IT Security; an MRes in: Child Computer Interaction or User Experience Design;  or a research degree: MSc (By Research), MPhil or PhD. 


You will gain invaluable transferable skills through a practical approach to computing which is underpinned by academic theory; you don’t just know the theory when you finish, you can actually do it.

When you qualify as a Computer Scientist you will have a very wide range of skills which you can apply to a diverse range of situations so as well as working within the technology industry there are also possibilities to gain employment in more diverse fields such as in finance, business or the biomedical industry. You can seek employment in just about any disciple that requires a technical specialist.