Course Content (including module information)
These degrees aim to teach the fundamental principles of Computer Science, together with the necessary skills, tools and techniques to enable our graduates to embark on careers as professional software engineers, or to become suitably qualified to undertake research in Computer Science. As with all of our courses, industrial engagement forms an integral part, balancing academic theory with practical learning.
Single Honours BEng/BSc students spend a year on a paid, full-time placement - the School has links with over 500 local, national and international employers, eg BT, Liberty IT, Asidua, Kainos (Belfast), IBM (England), Microsoft, Sun Microsystems (Dublin), Fujitsu (Japan) and Siemens (Germany), and students are assisted in obtaining placements.
Modules studied include:
- Computer Architecture
- Fundamentals of Programming
- Introduction to the Science of Computing
- Introductory Software Engineering and Project Management
- Programming Challenges
- Reasoning for Problem Solving
- Advanced Programming using C# and C++
- Computation Theory
- Data Structures and Algorithms
- Database Systems
- Networks and Communications
- Professional Computing Practice
- Software Engineering and Group Project
- Agile and Component-Based Programming
- Artificial Intelligence
- Computer Science Project
- Concurrent Programming
- Design Principles and Patterns
- Formal Methods
- Operating System Concepts
- Research Topics
MEng (Stage 4)
This is a four-year extended degree, established to provide a supply of particularly well-qualified graduates who will become industry leaders. It contains a blend of Computer Science knowledge and skills and business practice and management, as well as skills in conducting state-of-the-art research. Students have the option of a year's professional experience in industry.
The first two years and much of Year 3 are common with the BSc/BEng degree. Transfer to the MEng is possible for selected students at the end of Stage 2, subject to performance.
Stage 4 modules include:
- Algorithms: Analysis and Applications
- High Performance Computing
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Plus a research project
Assessment & Feedback
Assessment (general): The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
Feedback (general): As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
Learning and Teaching
The School has a world class reputation for research and provides excellent facilities, including access to major new research centres in Secure Information Technologies, Electronics, Communications and Information Technology and Sonic Arts. A number of modules on the course are closely linked to the research expertise of these centres and evolve and change rapidly to reflect some of the current, emerging and exciting developments in the field.
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
The MEng in Computer Science provides a range of learning experiences which enable students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
- Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
- Practicals: where you will have significant opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. Comprehensive demonstrator support is provided - typically one demonstrator per 8-10 students.
- E-Learning technologies: Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project- based work etc.
- Seminars/tutorials: A number of modules will make of use of seminars/tutorials (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
- Self-directed study: This is an important part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
- Projects and teamwork: A number of modules throughout the degree will use supervised projects as a means of enabling you to put your technical understanding into practice. The extensive use of team based projects from first year will provide you with the opportunity to develop skills widely used by employers. In final year, you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology. You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you.
- Personal Tutor: Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.
- Peer Mentoring: Queen’s runs a peer mentoring scheme for Computing students – a group of students from all year groups (except first year) are trained to provide support for the 1st year students, in terms of providing advice and guidance, organising social events etc. The School also has a Computing Society (QCS – Queen’s Computing Society) who organise a range of activities, including social events and more formal activities such as industry lectures, for all Computing students. A computer games club also meets once a week and this is open to all computing students in the School (not just those studying for the games degree).
Students have access to a wide range of computers (laboratories are equipped with several hundred PCs) and specialised software packages. Networks link the School and University computers to powerful machines in Great Britain.
The School has a number of very strong research groups engaged in leading edge technology. Major new research centres have been established in Secure Information Technologies (the UK Centre of Excellence), Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology (ECIT), e-Science and in Sonic Arts. A number of modules on the course are closely linked to the research expertise of these centres and evolve and change rapidly to reflect some of the current, emerging and exciting developments in computing. The Single Honours courses are accredited by the British Computer Society.
Liberty IT and Asidua Scholarships
Due to the high demand for computer science graduates there are a number of scholarships available for students on this course. These include industry-sponsored scholarships provided by both Asidua and Liberty IT, each of which is worth up to £25k. Both scholarships provide £1k for each academic year, a guaranteed industrial placement, an opportunity for additional part time work during the academic year and also a permanent position on graduation. For further information on these and other scholarships available, visit the School website: http://www.qub.ac.uk/eeecs