The Second Year
The whole of your second year is devoted to the core principles of CS. The course covers all the bases: the theory behind it, systems, mathematics, applications, and professionalism (i.e. the ethics, economics and law relevant to putting all of this into practice in a commercial environment). By the end of this year you will have covered the core syllabus specified by the industry bodies (BCS, IET, IEEE, ACM). This is where you get to appreciate CS as a whole whilst simultaneously developing the transferable skills that employers love.
For the full course details for the current year, see the syllabus booklet
The group project is one of the highlights of the second year. We split the year group into small teams and provide each with an exciting CS project to complete as well as a ‘customer’ for the end product. These are very popular with industry, who invariably provide us with the project and also play the role of customer. It’s not easy work, but our students typically love this aspect of the degree and we are always staggered by what they can achieve in such a short time.
So what sort of things might you get to create? In 2010, we had a team that adapted a chess board to play itself (think Harry Potter) using a hidden robotic arm and some magnets; a team that created a guitar-hero clone that used a real guitar; a team that wrote software to automatically create a hyper-resolution image from a set of standard camera photos; and a team that created software that searched the twitter feeds of politicians to see whether they were just toeing the party line or producing independent thoughts!