The details
Location: Online Mode of study: Part-time Qualification: BSc Indicative duration: 4 years
Start date: Awarding body: University of Essex Delivered by: Kaplan Open Learning For queries: Call +44 (0) 1206 489 358

The computer science sector is growing rapidly – are you ready to begin your career journey in this exciting field? 

Our BSc (Hons) Computer Science is ideal whether you’re looking to change career, upskill in a new area or simply keep up to date with emerging trends in computer science. 

The course centres around the fundamentals of programming, maths, statistics and algorithms – while encompassing the other sub domains of computing including, cyber security and artificial intelligence. 

You’ll explore a range of interesting topics, including:  

  • future trends in computer science – such as intelligent applications, machine customers, AI-augmented development and democratised generative AI 
  • algorithms, programming languages and hardware 
  • how to protect networks, data and devices from cyber attacks 
  • the impact of AI  
  • how data algorithms generate insights and patterns to inform decision-making 

Upon completion, you’ll have developed key research, problem solving and teamwork skills, and have a strong understanding of the core elements of computer science – including software engineering. You’ll also have the option to specialise and progress onto one of our postgraduate computing courses 

Please note, this course is currently undergoing validation and the structure, including module titles, may be subject to change. 

Why we’re great

  • Learn how to apply your in-depth knowledge and skills in a practical context.  
  • Gain a recognised undergraduate degree and graduate in person at the University of Essex’s Colchester campus. 
  • We achieved a silver rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF 2023).  
  • We’re pleased to be able to offer a range of tuition fee discounts and scholarships for our online courses. 

The BSc (Hons) Computer Science is made up of the following modules and, upon completion, is equal to a total of 360 credits. 

Delve into the fundamental concepts of Network Security with this engaging module. Youll learn to identify and analyse security threats and vulnerabilities in network systems, and determine appropriate methodologies, tools and techniques to manage and/or solve them. Upon completion, you'll be well versed in common diagnostic and monitoring tools, such as nessus, snort, syslog and ELK.

Teaching methods 

Studying online gives you the freedom to study when and where it suits you – at home, during your lunch hour or anywhere else you have internet access.  

Our courses are delivered through a virtual learning environment (VLE) instead of a traditional campus. This means you’ll have access to your study materials 24/7, including:  

  • multimedia lecturecasts made up of written content, short videos, animation, audio recordings, infographics, short tests and mini-assignments 
  • discussion forums for you to chat about the course content with fellow students 
  • live seminars and Q&A sessions with your tutors 
  • a comprehensive eLibrary of textbooks and academic journals  
  • support from academic staff and your dedicated Student Support team 



You’ll be assessed through a series of assignments. This can be by engaging in discussion forums throughout your modules, completing reflective journal entries, delivering live presentations or by submitting longer written pieces. 

We’re committed to providing frequent and transparent feedback in the following ways: 

  • our assessment criteria are designed to be simple and transparent 
  • you’ll always be aware of your current provisional grade, right from the start of the programme 
  • you’ll be able to view your marks clearly in your gradebook whenever you log into the learning platform 
  • there’s a 7-day turnaround for marking and feedback of assessed work 
  • you’ll have regular contact with your Student Support team, with whom you can discuss any concerns as soon as they arise 


Online learning experience 

Your learning experience will be fully supported by high-quality learning materials and resources, delivered via our state-of-the-art virtual learning environment (VLE).  

On average, your learning experience will include the following: 

  • directed learning (40%) this includes participating in tutor-led discussions and seminars, completing interactive exercises on the VLE, and watching videos and lecturecasts. You’ll also be able to book appointments with your module tutor during their office hours, which can be found on the VLE 
  • self-directed learning (30%) – including undertaking wider reading and research in your area of study to develop your understanding of the subject area 
  • assessment (30%) time spent preparing and completing assignments and activities that contribute towards your overall assessment

Typically, you’ll need to dedicate a minimum 15-20 hours of study per module, per week. 


Study duration 

Our BSc (Hons) Computer Science has an indicative study duration of 4 years, which is a guide to how long your course will take to complete. The actual duration may be longer or shorter depending on your speed of study, study options chosen and module availability.  

It’s possible to complete your studies faster than the indicative course duration by doubling up on modules at certain times; however, minimum study durations do apply.  

Our academic year is organised into modules, typically with a one or two-week break between modules and a structured three-week break for the Christmas period. Students will receive a course timetable during the application process.  

All our courses have regular start dates throughout the year.  

On successful completion of your degree, you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex’s Colchester campus. 


Academic staff 

A quality teaching experience is at the heart of everything we do.  

The dedicated tutors who teach our course modules are subject matter experts, experienced academics and leading industry thought leaders. They play a vital role in ensuring the latest theories and areas of study are covered in our courses, and are proud to provide a high level of academic support. 

You can find more information on our key academic staff and their experience here. 


Quality and assurance  

We’re proud to provide a first-class education to students anywhere in the world and adhere to the strictest quality standards 

The University of Essex Online is a recognised member of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and registered with the Office for Students (OfS) 

All our degrees are delivered by Kaplan Open Learning, a world-leading education provider with over 15 years’ experience. 

The BSc (Hons) Computer Science will give you the necessary skills to enter a wide variety of computing-related roles. These include IT consultant; business, cyber security or information systems analyst; data analyst, scientist or administrator; cloud analyst, developer or engineer; software tester or engineer; web designer or developer; and DevOps analyst. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to progress onto one of our five postgraduate computing courses – MSc Computer Science, MSc Cyber Security, MSc Artificial Intelligence, MSc Data Science or MSc Enterprise IT Management. 


Gaining an undergraduate qualification with the University of Essex Online also puts you in good stead for your career prospects. Results from our 2021 student survey showed: 

  • 92% of students said their course helped develop their research skills 
  • 89% of students say their studies fit with their future plans 
  • Almost 60% said their studies had a positive effect on their career 
  • 25% of students saw their salaries increase by up to 10% 

We know many people from non-traditional backgrounds would succeed on our courses! That’s why we offer two different entry routes, taking into account your prior work experience and relevant qualifications. You’ll also need to meet our English language requirements. 

Additionally, you’ll need to pass your first assignment set within your two-week induction period of the course in order to continue with your studies. 


Academic entry route

In order to satisfy the academic entry route requirements for our BSc (Hons) Computer Science, you must have the following qualifications as a minimum: 

  • three A-levels or equivalent 

Work experience entry route

To satisfy the work experience entry route requirements for our BSc (Hons) Computer Science, you must meet the following criteria as a minimum:  

  • GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above, or equivalent  
  • at least three years’ experience within the fields of IT, computer science or business 

English language requirements

As our courses are delivered in English, a high proficiency is required in this language. If English is not your first language, your English ability should be equivalent to an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5. Don’t worry if you don’t hold an IELTS or equivalent qualification – we offer a free online English test to assess your proficiency.  

You don’t need to prove your English ability if you are a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries. 

Full tuition fee:

£18,500 UK / £20,396 International (2024-25)  Δ

  • Designated for undergraduate student loans in England. 
  • Simple monthly payment plan available, enabling you to spread the cost over the duration of your studies. 
  • Full payment discount of 5% if you pay upfront. 
  • Partial scholarship available for international students residing in specific regions outside of the UK. 
  • Alumni discount of 10% of the tuition fee available if you’re a previous graduate with the University of Essex or University of Essex Online. 

Please note that a maximum of two discounts or scholarships can be applied. Find out more information about our discounts and scholarships here. 

Our course fees are fully inclusive – all teaching materials and required reading are included, and there are no hidden charges for assessments or resits.  

We want to give everyone the opportunity to experience a University of Essex Online course. We think you’ll love it, but if within the first 21 days you decide it’s not for you, you’ll receive a full refund. 

Δ All tuition fees shown are net of any applicable sales tax payable by you in your country of residence. Where we are required to add sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the tuition fees shown and confirmed during the payment process. 

Subject specialists, industry authorities and experienced academics: the tutors who teach modules on our BSc (Hons) Computer Science are true experts in the field. 

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