The details
Location: Online Mode of study: Part-time Qualification: PG Dip Indicative duration: 16 months
Start date: Tuition fee: £7,891 For queries: Call +44 (0) 1206 489 358 Delivered by: Kaplan Open Learning

As the world becomes increasingly dependent on technology, computing becomes more attractive to those looking to change careers to a field where their skills will be in high demand.

The online nature of this conversion course makes it easy to fit around your existing job, and the course covers both essential themes within computer science as well as more specialist topics such as:

  • how to contextualise and develop information systems using object-oriented approaches in languages such as Python and SQL
  • the underpinning concepts and skills of Software Engineering Project Management, including traditional and contemporary Software Development Life Cycle models
  • computer networks, network security fundamentals and information security governance principles

Throughout the course you will develop a number of programs and applications, and the technical skills you will develop will be an asset in whichever area of computer science you go on to work in. Towards the end of your studies you will have the opportunity to advance onto a full Masters.

Why we’re great

  • There’s no need to download lots of different software packages – all programming languages are included within the tuition fee and all work is carried out in our online development environment.
  • This conversion course will enable you to access the broad range of computer science vacancies, even if you don’t have a computing background.
  • Receive your degree from the University of Essex, a top 40 UK university (Complete University Guide 2023)

Explore and investigate the fundamental theories and practices of computing. Throughout this defining module, you’ll gain insight on the trends and current developments in the field, and the historical, architectural, and practical perspectives of computer science discipline.  You'll also experience and envision the current and future developments of the discipline.  

Gain the vital, industry-standard skill of objected oriented programming with this comprehensive module. Uncover the fundamental differences between object orientation and procedural programming, and the techniques and tools for designing, implementing, testing and debugging objected oriented programs in languages such as Python and Java.

Develop a critical understanding of the concept of abstraction in programming, as this fascinating module introduces you to Secure Software Development. You’ll focus on the underpinning concepts and skills of secure software development, as well as traditional and contemporary Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) models.

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.

What is cyber threat? How can we manage it? Get to know the key concepts and skills underpinning Information Security and Risk Management (ISM). This engrossing module will introduce you to security and governance principles and standards, as well the understanding of risk and risk management in an information and security role.

How can software engineering aid project management? This informative module introduces you to the underpinning concepts of Software Engineering Project Management, as well as introducing Behaviour Driven Development (BDD). Youll also identify and apply appropriate methodologies, tools and techniques for the development of solutions to real-world problems.

Gain confidence in your critical appraisal of the professional, legal, social, cultural and ethical issues that affect computing professionals. In this valuable module, youll gain a practical foundation in research methods that will enable you to conduct research in practical settings.

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 will 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 seminar sessions with your tutors
  • a comprehensive eLibrary of textbooks and academic journals
  • support from academic staff and your dedicated Student Support team

To ensure you receive the support you need from your tutor, we cap our class sizes at around 20 students.

In order to meet the technical requirements for this course, students will need access to a computer with at least 8GB RAM.

 

Assessment methods

Our varied assessment methods allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the course content in a wide range of ways. This can be by engaging in discussion forums throughout your modules, completing programming exercises, participating in team projects, completing reflective journal entries and an e-portfolio, by submitting longer written pieces or by undertaking timed open-book tests at home, without the need to travel to an assessment centre.

We are committed to providing frequent and transparent feedback through the following ways:

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

 

Study duration

Our PG Dip Computer Science has an indicative study duration of 16 months, 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 of our courses have regular start dates throughout the year.

On successful completion of your course, you will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex, Colchester Campus.

There is a global shortage of computer science professionals, and therefore a huge level of demand for computing graduates. This course is designed to help you switch careers to this technical field, and after completing your studies you will be prepared to succeed in roles such as Software Developer, Software Engineer, Web Developer, Requirements Analyst, Network Analyst, Information System Administrator and Project Manager.

We know that 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 will also need to meet our English language requirements.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to take a short aptitude test which is designed to test your ability to handle the intellectual and practical demands of the course. Please note that we will consider your performance in the aptitude test as part of your overall application, so if you don’t pass the test you may still be accepted onto the course. Additionally, you will need to pass your first assignment set within your two-week induction period of the course in order to continue your studies.

 

Academic entry route

In order to satisfy the academic entry route requirements for our PG Dip Computer Science, as a minimum you must have an undergraduate degree from an approved institution, equivalent to a UK Honours degree, or a relevant professional qualification.

 

Work experience entry route

In order to satisfy the work experience entry route requirements for our PG Dip Computer Science, you must have at least three years’ relevant work experience.

 

English language requirements

As our courses are delivered in English, a high proficiency with English is required. 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: £7,891 (2022-23) Δ

  • 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 are a previous graduate with the University of Essex or University of Essex Online.
  • 10% corporate discount available when three or more of your employees study with us.  
  • Postgraduate student loans are available in England for full Masters degrees only.

Please note that a maximum of two discounts or scholarships can be applied. The corporate discount can only be used in combination with our upfront payment discount, but not in conjunction with any other discount or scholarship. 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 also charge the same fee for domestic and international students.

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 PG Dip Computer Science are experts in the field of computing.

What our students say

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You are smart, capable, and strong. Repeat that to yourself as many times as you need to per day until you believe it.  

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