BSc Honours Physics and Computer Science (3 years) (UCAS Code: GF43)
For entrance requirements
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For course information
School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
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BEng/BSc Single Honours (including sandwich options)
For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information on other acceptable English Language qualifications is available here
If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO Queen's University Belfast is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including:
International Foundation in Engineering and Science
Computer Science is concerned with the specification, design, construction and use of computer systems. It embraces subject areas such as software engineering, hardware architecture and design, information systems, communications, graphics, simulation and modelling, artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction. Computer systems are often highly complex in nature and must be reliable in operation. Computer Science provides many of the concepts and approaches required.
Note: Computer Science, Computing Information Technology and Computer Games Development share a common core of modules in the first year, so students may therefore transfer between these degrees at the end of first year, subject to meeting the normal progression requirements. Students who do not hold an A-level in Mathematics or Physics (or equivalent qualification) and wish to transfer to the Computer Games Development degree from either Computer Science or Computing and Information Technology will need to pass an additional Mathematics exam.Back to top
Our Computer Science degree programmes 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. These programmes involve extensive practical work in the School's laboratories.
Fundamentals of Programming
Multimedia Design and Authoring
Introduction of the Science of Computing
Introductory Software Engineering and Project Management
Advanced Programming using C# and C++
Data Structures and Algorithms
Networks and Communications
Professional Computing Practice
Software Engineering and Group Project
Students taking Single Honours BEng/BSc are required to spend a year gaining professional experience in industry in a paid full-time post. Students are helped to obtain suitable places and the School has excellent links with over 500 local, national and international employers such as BT, Liberty, Asidua and Kainos in Belfast, IBM in England, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems in Dublin, Fujitsu in Japan and Siemens in Germany. It is expected that students will gain a Licentiateship of the City & Guilds from this period of work experience.
Agile and Component-Based Programming
Computer Science Project
Design Principles and Patterns
Operating System Concepts
These modules enable each student to pursue their own interests. A student who is fluent in French may spend the final year of study at the University of Rennes and take the final examinations in the French language.
This is a four-year extended degree programme. It has been established to provide a supply of particularly well-qualified graduates who will become industry leaders, and it contains an appropriate blend of knowledge and skills in Computer Science with 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 Stage 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 satisfactory performance.
Modules taken in Stage 4 are:
Algorithms: Analysis and Applications
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
High Performance Computing
Plus a research project.
At the beginning of all physics courses all students study core areas of physics and mathematics to give a common foundation for specialization as the course progresses. Several different degree programmes are available, but with the common core material it is frequently possible to switch from one physics course to another at the end of the first year. The high level of research in the Department feeds through to making the undergraduate courses up-to-date, relevant and interesting.
The physics course covers a wide range of areas within the subject with advanced options in higher years. There is also include extensive practical and project work, with a very wide range of skills development leading to many careers options.Back to top
Assessment (general): The way in which students 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 your 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:
Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.Back to top
There are two main career routes for physics graduates, both of which have many branches;
Physics graduates are sought after for many ‘non-physics’ jobs, such as finance, accountancy, business, management consultancy as described below.
Technical physics related jobs are available in high technology and related industries, including medicine, biotechnology, electronics, optics, aerospace, computation and nuclear technology; physicists work in research, in development, and in general production. For example, physicists work in hospitals as ‘Medical Physicists’ who work on radiation therapy, scanning and other physics related medical functions. Many physics graduates also take up careers in education, teaching in schools, colleges of further education or universities. Many physics graduates will go on to study for a PhD in physics, which provides the opportunity to explore a particular part of physics in great detail for three years and can enhance employment prospects.
Physics graduates are also successful in careers such as the City, finance, business, insurance, taxation and accountancy, where their problem solving skills and numeracy are highly valued.
Over a lifetime, only graduates in medicine or law earn more than those with a physics degree (source: Institute of Physics 2004 Salary Survey).
Physics graduates are highly employable and we are pleased that those from Queen’s are rated as the most employable in the UK. Furthermore, they are at least as employable as graduates from anywhere in the UK with degrees in what are often considered more vocational subjects such as Aeronautical Engineering, Chemical Engineering or Computer Science (source: The Times Good University Guide 2005).
Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plusinitiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.
Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.Back to top
Due to the high demand for Computer Science graduates, a number of scholarships is available, including industry-sponsored scholarships provided by both Asidua and Liberty IT, each of which is worth up to £25k. Both 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/eeecsBack to top