BSc Computer Science / Physical Geography

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

In choosing to study a degree in Computer Science and Physical Geography at Aberystwyth University, you will be taught in two of the university’s departments. The Computer Science and Physical Geography degree course offers an interactive, varied and exciting course structure that combines theory, field studies and laboratory-based studies. You will be taught by world class staff who will help develop your understanding of Computer Science, as well as the physical processes shaping the earth, from sea to rivers, glaciers to volcanoes, including landscapes from the arid to the Arctic. Computer Science core coverage includes operating systems, telecommunications, database management, HCI, Agile methodologies and object orientation.

The combination of Computer Science and Physical Geography allows you to develop the skills needed to solve complex problems, in particular in geoinformatics. You will be given the option to travel on an international field trip in your second year of study. Aberystwyth is an area rich in natural beauty, and as a student here, you can't go far without catching glimpses of the sea, beautiful beaches, mountains or rivers.

Top 15 in the UK for student satisfaction for Computer Science subject area (NSS 2016)

Department of Computer Science: 91% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

93% of undergraduates from the Department of Computer Science who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

Department of Geography and Earth Sciences: 95% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

95% of undergraduates from the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

Overview

This BSc joint honours degree programme in Computer Science and Physical Geography offers a stimulating combination of two highly complementary scientific and technological disciplines, balancing theoretical study alongside practical application.

Why study Computer Science and Physical Geography at Aberystwyth?

Our computer science courses are accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS) on behalf of the Engineering Council, which means that they meet industry standards and requirements, giving you a head start when you enter the competitive jobs market.

The Department of Computer Science is also designated a Centre of Excellence by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (2014), 100% of research impact assessed was rated as being world-leading or internationally excellent.

Many of our Computer Science staff are working at the frontiers of their disciplines and have significant experience in industry, often working in co-operation with major international companies, so you can confident that you will be learning the very latest concepts and working with cutting-edge technologies.

As you would expect from a major research department, the facilities available to you are excellent. As well as teaching laboratories equipped with high-performance multimedia workstations supported by powerful central servers and a Digital Systems laboratory, the Department of Computer Science has an extensive range of equipment used primarily for research, which is available to final year students who choose to undertake projects in these research areas. These include industrial robots, experimental mobile robots, a number of vision and motion tracking systems and many pieces of specialist software such as virtual reality environments.

The Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth is one of the oldest and most well-respected departments of its kind in Britain. As one of the largest and most dynamic Geography communities in the UK, we are able to offer you an extremely broad range of geographical specialisms, ranging from concerns over climate change, the environmental impact of volcanic eruptions, and current trends in geohazards to urban sustainability, regional development and the future of the nation state, amongst others.

Many of our lecturers are active researchers working at the cutting edge of their disciplines, and you will benefit from being taught the latest geographical theories and techniques. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (2014) 78% of research submitted by the Department was rated as being world-leading or internationally excellent.

The teaching and research laboratories are equipped with an impressive array of analytical equipment such as mass spectrometers and core scanners, and an extensive range of equipment is available for fieldwork, such as surveying, remote sensing, and water and sediment sampling. Other resources include a digital map library, access to census data, and recorders and transcribers for social survey work. Our computer provision is second to none, with superb web-based support available.

Our Staff

Almost all of the Department of Computer Science Lecturers and Teaching Fellows are qualified to PhD level, and those who are not have considerable research or industrial experience. All new Lecturers and Teaching Fellows are required to obtain the PGCTHE, and hence are Senior Fellows or Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. The department also employs a number of part time demonstrators and tutors and some student demonstrators, who are selected from our undergraduate and postgraduate students. Research fellows and research assistants (mostly PhD qualified) may also be involved in delivering occasional teaching when it is appropriate.

Department of Geography and Earth Science: lecturers are all qualified to PhD level or working towards a PhD.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (60 Credits) Computer Science Joint Honours. Students must take 60 credits of core and optional computer science modules in Part 1. The following modules are core

Semester 1

Introduction To Computer Infrastructure CS10220

Introduction To Programming CS12020

Semester 2

Programming Using An Object-oriented Language CS12320

Year 1 Options Core (10 credits). Welsh medium (DA) and English medium (GG) modules. Welsh speaking students are encouraged to take DA11900/10 instead of GG11900/10.

Semester 1

Tiwtorial Daearyddiaeth Lefel 1 DA11900

Level 1 Geography Tutorial GG11900

Semester 2

Tiwtorial Daearyddiaeth Lefel 1 DA11910

Level 1 Geography Tutorial GG11910

Year 1 Options Core (30 credits). Students must take 30 credits from the list below. DA10610 and GG10610 cannot be taken together.

Semester 1

Amgylcheddau Wyneb Y Ddaear DA10610

The Atmosphere And The Water Cycle EA12210

Earth Surface Environments GG10610

Semester 2

Global Ecology And Soil Systems GG10410

Global Environmental Issues GG12710

Year 1 Options A further 20 credits must be selected from the list below or from appropriate modules offered elsewhere in DGES or in the university. DA10110 and GG14410, DA10210 and GG10210 cannot be taken together.

Semester 1

Cefn Gwlad A'r Ddinas DA10210

Planet Earth EA11510

Rocks And Minerals EA11600

The Dynamic Earth EA11710

The City And Country: Processes Of Conflict And Change GG10210

Key Concepts And Skills For Geographers GG13000

Place, Culture And Society GG14410

Semester 2

Pobl A Lle DA10110

Newid Hinsawdd DA10810

Methodoleg Maes Amgylcheddol DA10910

Byw Gyda Risg DA12810

Rocks And Minerals EA11610

Climate Change: Impacts, Perceptions, Adaptations GG10810

Key Concepts And Skills For Geographers GG13020

Power, Place And Development GG14210

Year 2 Core (10 Credits) The following modules are core.

Semester 1

Analysis And Presentation Of Geographical Data GG21700

Semester 2

Analysis And Presentation Of Geographical Data GG21710

Year 2 Core (40 Credits) Computer Science Joint Honours: The following modules are core in year 2.

Semester 1

Scientific Python CS24400

Semester 2

Software Engineering CS22120

Scientific Python CS24420

Year 2 Options Core (10 credits). Welsh medium (DA) and English medium (GG) modules. Welsh speaking students are encouraged to take DA22100/10 instead of GG22100/10.

Semester 1

Tiwtorial Daearyddiaeth Lefel 2 DA22100

Level 2 Geography Tutorial GG22100

Semester 2

Tiwtorial Daearyddiaeth Lefel 2 DA22110

Level 2 Geography Tutorial GG22110

Year 2 Options Computer Science Joint Honours: You MUST choose 20 credits from the following (or as approved by the advisor)

Semester 1

Program Design, Data Structures And Algorithms CS21120

Modelling Persistent Data CS27020

Year 2 Options (40 credits) Students must take 40 credits from the modules below. DA22510 and GG22610, and DA22420 and GG22420, cannot be taken together.

Semester 1

Geomorffoleg Afonol DA22510

Reconstructing Past Environments GG20310

Catchment Systems GG22610

Glacial Processes And Landforms GG23910

Semester 2

Gwaith Maes Daearyddiaeth DA22420

Environmental Management EA20110

Geography Fieldwork GG22420

Final Year Core (30 Credits) Computer Science Joint Honours: The following modules are core in the final year. CS39620 must be passed.

Semester 1

Agile Methodologies CS31310

Semester 2

Minor Project CS39620

Final Year Options (20 credits) The following modules are core. Welsh speaking students are encouraged to take DA34200/20 instead of GG34200/20.

Semester 1

Prosiect Daearyddiaeth Anrhydedd Cyfun/prif Bwnc DA34200

Geography Joint Honours/major Project GG34200

Semester 2

Prosiect Daearyddiaeth Anrhydedd Cyfun/prif Bwnc DA34220

Geography Joint Honours/major Project GG34220

Final Year Options (40 credits) Students must take 40 credits from the list below.

Semester 1

Adnoddau Dwr A Hydroleg Bydol DA31620

Oceanography And Marine Geology EA30520

River Systems And Global Environmental Change GG30420

Earth Observation From Satellites And Aircraft GG32020

Geographical Information Systems GG32820

Palaeoenvironmental Change Beyond The Ice Sheets GG33120

Semester 2

Volcanic Activity: Hazards And Environmental Change EA30420

Engineering Geology EA32620

Welsh Mineral Resources: Origins, Exploitation And Planning EA34120

Process Glaciology GG30320

People, Climate And Environment: A Palaeoenvironmental Perspective GG33720

Final Year Options Computer Science Joint Honours: Students should choose 30 credits from approved CS modules as options.

Employability

Career Prospects

A degree in Computer Science and Physical Geography will be particularly valuable in employment situations that are in the are of geoinformatics. The Computer Science component will prepare you for a variety of careers in software design, communications and networking, computer applications, web development, IT consultancy and management, systems analysis and development, computer sales and marketing. The Physical Geography component will prepare you for a variety of careers in cartography, environmental consulting, surveying, geographical information systems, town planning and development,

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in Computer Science and Physical Geography will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

• research and data analysis skills
• enhanced mathematical and computational skills
• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
• the facility to deal with abstract concepts
• a thorough grounding in information technology skills
• the ability to work independently
• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• self-motivation and self-reliance
• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement

Year in Employment scheme (YES)

The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement.

GO Wales

GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Personal Development Plan

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

A dual focus on teaching and research creates a vibrant, welcoming environment in which to study. Teaching is delivered through lectures and practical studies, supplemented by smaller tutorials, and assessment is made through both coursework and examination.

The staff are friendly and approachable, and committed to equipping you with the skills needed for success during and after your studies.

Your personal tutor

Throughout your time in Aberystwyth, you will have the chance to meet regularly with a personal tutor, who can provide assistance with any difficulties you might have with the degree or with university life.

Key Information Set

Places available in Clearing

0800 121 40 80 (Freephone)

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