1 Programme Specification Foundation Degree in Computing Valid from: Faculty of Technology, Design and the Environment Abingdon and Witney College
2 SECTION 1: GENERAL INFORMATION Awarding body: Teaching institution and location: Final award: Programme title: Interim exit awards and award titles: Brookes course code: UCAS/UKPASS code: JACS code: Mode of delivery: Mode/s of study: Language of study: Relevant QAA subject benchmark statement/s: External accreditation/recognition: (applicable to programmes with professional body approval) Faculty managing the programme: Date of production (or most recent revision) of specification: Oxford Brookes University Abingdon and Witney College Foundation Degree (Science) Computing Certificate of Education AB12 G402 FsSc/AB12 G400 Face to Face Full Time, part time English Foundation degree benchmark: Degree qualification benchmark May 2010.aspx Technology, Design and the Environment May 2014
3 SECTION 2: OVERVIEW AND PROGRAMME AIMS 2.1 Rationale for/distinctiveness of the programme The world is ever more dependent on technology to capture, process, transmit, store and communicate the vast amount of information around us. Certain technology equipment requires a high degree of technical competence to operate, use and modify effectively. This programme aims to produce graduates who can engage in all aspects of the computing industry from understanding the uses of information and technology and creating websites to using and developing computer programs and networking small and large environments within the computing industry. The Foundation Degree in Computing equips students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required for success in current and future employment or for progression to an undergraduate honours degree in Computer Science. 2.2 Aims of the programme The Foundation Degree in Computing has the following aims: 1. To provide a professional foundation for a range of technical and management careers in computing 2. To provide studies directly relevant to a wide range of computer related careers 3. To provide flexibility, knowledge, skills and motivation as a basis for career development and as a basis for progression to graduate and postgraduate studies 4. To develop a range of skills and techniques, personal qualities and attitudes essential for reflective learning and practice leading to successful performance in working life through the integrated assessment of Professional/Transferable Skills SECTION 3: PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES Knowledge, understanding and skills: At the end of the programme, students will be able to; 3.1 Academic literacy A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 Create Software by applying the key principles of software development and an understanding of business and technical contexts to the design and construction process. Create, maintain and troubleshoot computer networks Demonstrate an understanding of the essential theory and practice of the domain. Apply appropriate mathematical principles to problems in computing Apply suitable methodologies to maintain and manage software projects. 3.2 Research literacy B1 B2 Apply the scientific method and report findings using a range of appropriate types of written and verbal communication. Identify, research, utilise and manage information obtained from trustworthy sources 3.3 Critical self-awareness and personal literacy C1 C2 C3 Produce and act upon a Personal Development Plan developed through a process of reflection and evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses. Demonstrate self management, initiative and responsibility in decision making Analyse personal strengths and weaknesses and evaluate their impact in team based work
4 3.4 Digital and information literacy D1 D2 D3 Identify, evaluate and use common business and technical software effectively. Effectively use IT resources, such as the internet and library databases to search for and retrieve information Demonstrate proficiency in a range of formal and informal modes of communication such as oral presentation, writing technical reports and software documentation. 3.5 Global citizenship E1 E2 Demonstrate an awareness of the professional, legal, ethical and social issues relevant to the IT industry Have an awareness of the impact of the development, use and maintenance of information networks in commercial, economic and international settings. SECTION 4: PROGRAMME STRUCTURE AND CURRICULUM 4.1 Programme structure and requirements: LEVEL: 4 Module No: Module Title Credits Status Semester of Delivery Prerequisites M101 Professional Skills 15 Compulsory _ 1&2 M102 Internet 15 Compulsory 1 _ Technologies 1 M103 Mathematical 15 Compulsory 2 _ Methods M104 Modern Computing Compulsory 1 _ Technology (Double) 30 M105 Introduction to _ Object-Orientated Programming 15 Compulsory 2 M106 Business Computing (Double) 30 Compulsory 1 & 2 _ LEVEL: 5 Module No: Module Title Credits Status Semester of Pre-requisites Delivery M201 Internet Technologies 2 15 Compulsory 1 M102 M202 Switched Local Area Network 15 Compulsory 1 M104 M203 M204 M205 Further Object Orientated Programming Data Structures Database Analysis & Compulsory 1 M105 Compulsory 2 M Compulsory 1 & 2 M104 M106
5 M206 M207 M208 Design Work-Based Project Requirements Specifications & Software Design Wide Area Networking and Routing 15 Compulsory 1 & 2 M105 M Compulsory 2 M105 M Compulsory 2 M202 The award of a Foundation Degree will be given on successful completion of 16 units (240 credits): 8 at Level 4 and 8 at Level 5 The award of a Certificate of Higher Education is available on the successful completion of 8 units, at least 6 of which must be at level 4. The Certificate of Higher Education is an exit qualification only..
6 SECTION 5: PROGRAMME DELIVERY 5.1 Teaching, Learning and Assessment Students will attend lectures to acquire the knowledge and understanding of the key concepts in networking, web technology and computing. Teaching methods vary from module to module. Usually they include lectures, laboratory based practical activities, IT workshops, problem solving classes and tutorial support both with groups and individuals, often supplemented by hand outs and booklets produced by staff. The use of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Moodle will make available to all students class notes, assignment briefs and other useful links to resources that are available to help engage and encourage students with their learning. Throughout the programme, teaching and learning strategies adopted by module leaders will acknowledge and encourage a range of learning styles. The programme aims to provide a balance between provision of information and opportunities to actively assimilate, apply, question and critically reflect. Teaching and learning strategies aim to: Introduce and encourage students to engage in new areas of knowledge. Give students the opportunity to acquire practical experience in a range of activities relevant to their employment; Encourage students to engage in critical reflection. Students are asked to reflect on new knowledge and understanding and their own learning experience. Throughout the programme students will be given opportunities to participate in lectures and practical workshops which will develop their knowledge and understanding of issues related to computing, work in groups to solve problems and produce computer products. Students will be encouraged to plan and deliver short presentations to their peers as well as generate appropriate questions in the pursuit of knowledge required to complete their analysis of a problem area. They will research areas of relevance to the degree program, using library and on line resources selectively, as well as critically evaluate the validity and implications of information relevant to their program of study. Students will create clear written reports and produce well structured oral presentations appropriate for a specific audience, critically review their experience and effectiveness of working in a team as well as evaluate their own work and that of other students. They will work with a wide range of appropriate computer hardware and software and undertake projects to benefit their own professional development. The rationale for and pattern of assessment are based on the aims, graduate attributes and rationale of the programme. Assessment is conducted through a variety of methods; the summative assessment is mainly based on unseen examination and coursework. The weightings of exam and coursework in modules may be: 20% exam and 80% coursework 70% exam and 30% coursework
7 50% exam and 50% coursework 100% coursework Typically, examinations last for two hours; the strategy of assessment of learning outcomes is described in each module syllabus where the balance between analytic, design and creative skills as well as personal development and professional skills is outlined. For the coursework a large variety of assignments are used, depending upon the subject. The type of assignment set is described in the syllabus, but will include tasks such as; Oral presentations Essays Computer Programs Short tests done in class Write up of laboratory experiments / journals Write up of more extended laboratory exercises (mini projects) Creating design for specified user requirements Web Design/Code The assessment process will record each student's achievement in relation to the specified module outcomes; this will be recorded on the student Personal Development Plan (PDP) on our VLE. Through this process it will allow lecturers to identify to students areas where further development of knowledge, understanding or skills is needed. The five types of graduate attributes are practised and assessed through a series of theoretical and practical problems or professional briefs that need to be completed or solved. This could be through practical application of theories, the implementation of existing processes or the division of new solutions to practical problems. Lectures are particularly used to furnish the foundations and framework that will enable the students to acquire the academic literacy outcomes for the module, and where appropriate, some of the research and personal literacy skills. IT workshops and problem solving sessions reinforce student acquisition of the knowledge and learning outcomes of the module. They also prepare the students for assessed work and reinforce students ability to problem solve. Practical assignments and laboratory explorations further reinforce the process of acquisition of knowledge and understanding, but are also pivotal for the development of the majority of the digital and Information skills. Group design exercises prepare the students for teamwork, allow the development of critical self awareness and involve the practice of personal interpersonal skills such as working to deadlines, independent thinking and the ability to organise themselves. Tutorials are used to give formative and summative feedback on assessed work, in alignment with Brookes Assessment Compact, to support student understanding of the learning outcomes of the module and to help students to improve their future work. In the work based project (M206) students apply skills and research literacies gained in previous studies and in the workplace to enable them to plan a piece of work, carry out the necessary research to familiarise themselves with the required technologies and tools, and then propose and develop a software solution related to the their experience in the company. The work based project features critical assessment of the student s own work and the work of others while preparing and planning a project and work based reports.
8 A variety of methods of assessment will be used within the course. The key criteria governing assessment will be validity, reliability and fitness for purpose and will include case studies, assignments, time constrained assessments and work based projects. Coursework is an important element in the assessment of the courses and is highly valued by students for the feedback it gives them on their work. This feedback is normally provided by the tutor on the Assignment cover sheet. The examinations assess the understanding and the consolidation of the course material. Some modules consist of more than one assessment. Assignments are marked and internally moderated by the College Lecturers. However, it will be the University s Examination Committee who award credits for each module. 5.2 Assessment regulations for foundation degrees University regulations regarding foundation degree assessments can be found in:
9 SECTION 6: ADMISSIONS 6.1 Entry criteria The Foundation Degree in Computing has been developed by Abingdon and Witney College and Oxford Brookes University, in association with the new Technology Initiative (NTI) and in consultation with local employers to meet priorities to overcome IT Skills shortages. Entrants should normally possess the following; Either: A minimum of two years relevant work experience and a current role in an appropriate workplace setting and a line manager s letter of support and recommendation. OR: A minimum of one pass at A Level (Grade C minimum) or 6 unit Vocational A Level, plus a minimum of three passes at GCSE (Grades A C) including Mathematics and English Language, OR: A National Certificate or Diploma or other equivalent qualification, such as GNVQ/NVQ or another Level 3 qualification. The pastoral care provided by tutors has been designed to provide access and progression to everyone who can achieve the required standard. Students with non standard entry qualifications or without an immediate family history of higher education may be able to benefit from this course if they have some relevant experience and applications from these groups are welcome. 6.2 CRB checks Not applicable
10 SECTION 7: STUDENT SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE During induction week, students are issued handbooks and other relevant documentation explaining how the course is structured and what will be expected of them during their studies with both AWC and Brookes. The Course Leader, Programme Lead, Personal Tutors and Liaison Manager are available for consultation during this first week on the course. Students also attend a one day induction session at Brookes where they have the opportunity to visit the campus, the library and the Computing and Communication Technologies Department (CCT). Throughout the programme, module handbooks as well as online resources are available through the virtual learning environment; these resources provide guidance for students. In addition students can get help and guidance from their Course Leader and their Personal Tutor. Students are also able to obtain Module specific advice from the Module Leaders and any of the staff teaching on the relevant module. A full range of support services are offered to students seeking guidance on their current course including; Central Support Services, Study Skills Development and Support as well as advice on careers in Computing. Students also have access to facilities at University level such as Disability Advisory Service, Upgrade study skills support service and the library and sport centre. The liaison Manager offers the student guidance on their second year on the possible progression to a top up year to obtain a BSC(Hons) degree in Computer Science. The programme has at least one student representative who is voted into position by the students on the programme. The student representative provides a mechanism for issues and concerns to be fed back through the department s committee structure.
11 SECTION 8: GRADUATE EMPLOYABILITY Students from the Foundation Degree in Computing can progress to complete their qualification to a full Honours Degree or move into a computing related career such as: IT Technician Network Administrator Web Developer Database Administrator SECTION 9: LINKS WITH EMPLOYERS Academic staff delivering this programme have been active in industry for a number of years. This experience is essential for the teaching to be relevant to current industry tools, methodologies and applications of rapidly evolving technology. The programme is primarily focused on people who are currently working in an IT/Computing related field who wish to gain a higher level qualification in recognition of their skills and knowledge or who would like to build on existing IT/Computing expertise. Some local companies support their employees to join the Foundation Degree in Computing programme by facilitating flexible working hours. The College has good links with both local and national employers such as BMW, Sophos, Research Machines, Lloyds TSB, Tesco, Vodafone, AEA Harwell and Cullum laboratories. Students on the programme will be linked to some of these companies through the compulsory work based project module. SECTION 10: QUALITY MANAGEMENT Indicators of quality/methods for evaluating the quality of provision This course is validated by Oxford Brookes University and operated within the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment The course is subject to a variety of quality assurance procedures, including; Informal and formal module and course evaluations by staff and students The Annual Review of the course (monitoring quality and academic standards) Annual evaluation of the course by the External Examiner Feedback from students in the annual evaluations Student retention rate Periodic Review Coursework and examination paper for each module is moderated internally before it is sent to an External Examiner for comments. Examination papers may be modified in the light of the External s comments. The External Examiner also checks the quality of the marking of the assessments on the module and marks are moderated before the exam committee.
12 The programme as a whole is reviewed annually through the University Annual Review procedure. This review assesses the quality of teaching, learning and assessment and the overall academic standards of the programme. It takes into account student progression and compares the overall performance of students against the University benchmark. The External Examiner report and the University response is also considered in the Annual Review. Programmes are reviewed normally on a five year periodic cycle in accordance with the provisions of the quality framework set by the University. The National Student Survey of the second year students provides valuable feedback on the student experience. The results of the NSS are evaluated at both College and University level. Student representatives are invited to sit on departmental committees concerned with programme management and course development and also attend monthly student forums which are meetings specifically designed for the representatives to bring forward student concerns.
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