The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.
In choosing to study Internet Computing and Systems Administration at Aberystwyth University you will be part of a long established academic department that continues to be at the forefront of research into computer-related technologies, often carried out in co-operation with major international companies. The Internet Computing and Systems Administration degree scheme combines practical training in building websites to professional standards with study of the commercial, legal and technical context in which the Internet operates. In addition, you will look at how networks are developed and maintained to meet ever-increasing business needs. With the Internet at the heart of business strategy in most organisations, there is a huge demand for people with the skills to construct effective internet and networked applications.
The Internet is of central importance to the strategies of many large organisations, and there is a need for people who understand networks and who can also construct effective internet solutions. This requires more than building simple web pages. Rather, it involves considering the needs of users and the needs of the organisation and creating a professional response based on understanding of the relevant technologies.
Why study Internet Computing and Systems Administration with a year in industry at Aberystwyth?
This practical based degree provides students with the chance to engage with an economically important and rapidly-expanding industry, and to help create solutions to the ever-changing needs of the business world. You will learn core computer science and business skills such as: web programming, website design, database management systems, database driven websites, software engineering, e-commerce, commercial processes, internet services administration, and internet security. The staff who teach on this course teach from an engineering perspective, meaning that they focus on science in application. The department has strong links with other departments in and beyond Aberystwyth, as well as a strong track record of collaboration with industry.
You will have opportunities to practice your skills in the second year in your group project – where you are likely to be the student in a group charged with considering networking and internet issues. In your final year you will undertake another group project where you will propose and design an IT business using the skills you have learned in your degree. This is followed by an individual web based project where you may build on your business idea.
A year-long paid industrial placement (with substantially reduced fees simply to cover supervision and marking) is an incredible boost to your CV. You will come back for your final year clearer about your goals and with an improved set of skills and some money in your pocket. The department helps you to obtain a placement in several ways: in the first year you work on producing a professional quality CV that can be further tuned by the careers service, one of our administrators contacts employers to organise advertisements and interview opportunities, and a second year weekend away gives you the opportunity to practice interview with real employers. Many students find that their industrial year employer offers them a position after graduation. Students who graduate with this degree tend to move into areas of IT that are practical and hands-on and related specifically to networking and the web.
Computer Science at Aberystwyth
Our computer science degrees 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 is also designated a Centre of Excellence by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks and in the most recent Research Excellence Framework comparison (REF2014) the Department produced more world-leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*) research than any other university in Wales. REF 2014 also assessed the impact of research on society, industry and government policy and the Department delivered 100% of its research impact at the top 3* and 4* level, demonstrating that our research makes a real difference in the world outside academia.
95% of our 2014 Computer Science graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating, a 7 percentage point increase on the previous year. 92% were in professional work or graduate level education, compared with a UK average of 70% (DLHE 2014). This reflects our investment in innovative and strategic, student-focused employability initiatives which encompass all our academic institutes and which we firmly believe are likely to improve our employability ratings still further.
The 2015 National Student Satisfaction survey results show overall satisfaction rates, at 86% with the quality of the teaching they received and their access to IT resources, four percentage points higher than the UK average for the subject.
We are particularly proud that Times Higher Education (THE) ranked the Aberystwyth Computer Science department as 11th in the UK and 1st in Wales based on an analysis that takes into account both the research quality profile and the proportion of staff submitted. This is a good indicator of the research activity in a department irrespective of its size and with 99% of eligible staff submitted, this indicates that you will be taught by staff who are working at the frontiers of their disciplines. Many staff also have significant experience in industry, often working in co-operation with major international companies, so you can be 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, you have access to excellent facilities. In addition to Windows PCs across campus for everyone, students in our department have access to dedicated Linux and Mac OS X laboratories and central servers. The Department has a range of equipment and simulation environments used primarily for research, which are available to final year students who choose projects in these areas. These include mobile and aerial robots, vision and motion tracking systems, micro-controller systems and laser scanners.
The department also prides itself on the employability of our graduates. Students may take a year in industry as part of their course. All students participate in a fun-packed activity weekend away from Aberystwyth in the first year which helps to develop important team-building and team-working skills. This will not only make you more attractive to employers, but will also pave the way for working on group projects later in your course.
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.
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) The following modules are core
Introduction To Computer Infrastructure CS10220
Year 1 Options You MUST take one of the following modules
Year 1 Options You MUST take one of the following modules
Year 1 Options You MUST take one of the following modules
Year 2 Core (100 Credits) You MUST take the following modules:
Programming For The Web CS25320
System And Network Services Administration CS25820
Modelling Persistent Data CS27020
Year 2 Options 20 credits from approved list as advised by the Department
Year 3 Core (120 Credits) On your compulsory Sandwich year your registration will be as follows
Final Year Core (70 Credits) You MUST take the following modules:
E-commerce: Implementation, Management And Security CS37420
Final Year Options 50 credits as advised by the Computer Science Department
As a Computer Science graduate from Aberystwyth, you will have acquired the skills and experience necessary for the majority of computing-based work, and especially for work in the software industry. Your degree will also give you an advantage in fields involving website construction, for example: building modern database driven websites using appropriate tools and components; using engineering techniques to achieve quality results; and using the web and databases to provide interactive real time solutions for industry, commerce and the public sector.
Furthermore, your industrial year will boost your employability significantly, demonstrating your capacity to apply your skills, and make the transition from a university to an industrial environment.
Industrial Year and Year in Employment scheme (YES)
Some of our degree schemes include an Industrial Year (IY), 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. For the schemes that do not
include an assessed industrial year, the University operates an optional Year in
Employment Scheme (YES). The IY and YES provide 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.
Help is available from the department and the University's Careers Service to find suitable placements and to develop your interview skills and CV. Our students are in demand with employers such as IBM, HP, Gloversure and Plymouth Marine Laboratories. Industrial year employers are diverse and worldwide, including CERN, Walt Disney and GCHQ.
By the end of your second year you already have enough knowledge and understanding to make a substantial contribution at work. Most students find they return from their industrial year with much improved skills, more motivated to learn, and having a better idea of what areas of computing interest them.
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.
Teaching is delivered predominantly through lectures and practical sessions, supplemented by smaller tutorials. You will be assessed through a combination of examination and coursework, including an extended project in the final year. The first year of the degree will introduce you to the fundamental concepts and tools of Computer Science, such as programming, the use of Java, and Unix operating systems, and the tools available for web-design. A module on professional and personal development will develop your interpersonal and academic skills, and includes an activity weekend which will test these skills through a series of team-based challenges and activities. The second and final year of study will focus on the study of internet applications. You will study the administration and management of network systems, the creation of interactive web-content, and more sophisticated web-based programming, for example. Modules on e-commerce and business processes for web-developers will give you an understanding of the business applications of internet computing, and of the business context in which they can be applied. Then, your third year will be spent in the software industry, gaining vital experience and learning to apply your skills within an industry environment. You will also undertake a major project in the final year, involving the design and creation of a website relevant to a specific business enterprise. It will involve applying several of the skills learnt throughout the degree, and will include a critical appraisal of your work, evaluating the various aspects of your approach. You will find the department an engaging and welcoming environment in which to study. A personal tutor, assigned in your first year, will be able to provide you with any assistance you may need with your studies or with life in Aberystwyth.
"Internet computing and systems administration is a course that provided me with a concentrated view on subjects like web development, systems administration, databases and computer networks. Combining this course with an industrial year has helped me to improve my skills to a professional level and has also enabled me to start my career while being in university. The lecturers and staff are professional and passionate about their subjects, which creates a welcoming environment to every new student. " - Didi Gradinarska