This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- You’ll start Stage 1 with two 30-credit computing & IT modules followed by a 60-credit design module.
- Next, in Stage 2, you’ll study 60 credits in a specific area of computing & IT and follow this with a second 60-credit design module.
- Finally, in Stage 3, you’ll study a further 30 credits in computing & IT, plus another 60-credit design module. You’ll conclude Stage 3 with a 30-credit computing & IT project module.
In half of Stage 1, you’ll study two introductory computing & IT modules. In the other half of this stage, you’ll learn the essentials of the design process; and how to think creatively and productively in producing design prototypes.
At Stage 2, you’ll choose an area of computing & IT to focus on and study 60 credits in that area. You’ll also develop the skills and tools needed to research people’s needs, develop design concepts and turn concepts into well-specified products, including your modelling and drawing skills.
At Stage 3, you’ll continue your study of computing & IT by choosing a related topic to complement your focus at Stage 2. In your study of design, you’ll examine how new ideas, designs and inventions are translated into product, service and system innovations. You’ll complete your degree with an IT project – on a topic of your choice – that you’ll research, develop and present as a portfolio.
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 17 March 2020.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BSc (Honours) Computing & IT and a second subject uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
- using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
- working in a group with other students
- using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
- undertaking practical work
- finding external/third party material online
- using specialist software (for example the Design/Engineering Studio).
For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.
It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.
For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
Classification of your degree
On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you’ll be awarded a BSc degree. The exact title of your degree will depend on your second subject:
- BSc (Honours) Computing & IT and Business
- BSc (Honours) Computing & IT and Design
- BSc (Honours) Computing & IT and Mathematics
- BSc (Honours) Computing & IT and Psychology
- BSc (Honours) Computing & IT and Statistics.
You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification; however, you’ll need some basic knowledge of computing, and the ability to read and write to a good standard of English.
If you’re thinking about choosing mathematics as your second subject, check that you’re ready for mathematical study at this level by visiting our MathsChoices website.
If you choose the networking topic at Stage 2 you will be required to attend four UK-based day schools to gain hands-on practical experience of configuring networks.
How much time do I need?
- Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
- This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner
Preparing for study with an Access module
Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to Stage 1 of their qualification. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.
You’ll also benefit from:
- feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
- support from a dedicated team throughout your study
- detailed written feedback on your work.
The Access module we’d recommend studying in preparation for this qualification is our:
Science, technology and maths Access module
What you will study
This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the sciences, technology and mathematics. It'll help develop your study skills in advance of your OU qualification, and you get to explore a number of STEM subjects including science, engineering and design, environment, mathematics, and computing and IT.
View full details of Science, technology and maths Access module
Skills for career development
Organisations increasingly value IT teams with skills relevant to wider business in addition to technical ability. This joint honours degree enables you to develop specialist knowledge and understanding in computing and IT, and to combine these with expertise in an additional discipline. Depending on your choice of second subject – business, design, mathematics, applied psychology or statistics – you’ll have a unique and focused skills set that will enhance your existing career and put you in a strong position in the jobs market, which increasingly depends on computing technologies across all sectors. You’ll also develop important transferable skills such as teamwork, time management, numeracy, analysis and problem solving.
Please note that if you choose to study this degree with psychology as your second subject, your degree will not make you eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
Research by e-Skills UK has shown that IT and telecommunications now employs 1 in 20 of the UK workforce. It also suggests the digital sector will need nearly 300,000 new recruits by 2020 to meet the demand for skills in this area.
Computing and IT professionals are in demand by providers (such as software houses) and user organisations alike. Organisations increasingly value IT teams with skills relevant to wider contexts in addition to technical ability. This degree will open the way for careers in sectors including retail, finance and commerce, leisure and gaming, telecommunications, broadcast media, digital media, manufacturing, transport, tourism, government, health, education, and the voluntary sector.
Growth areas and areas of high demand include cyber security, mobile development, cloud computing and the management of Big Data.
Our undergraduate degrees in computing and IT meet the accreditation requirements of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and have been accorded the highest levels of recognition in the last four accreditation cycles. Graduates from this degree will have partially fulfilled the educational requirements for Chartered IT Professional (CITP).
To gain BCS accreditation, you will need to complete your degree within seven years of beginning your study.
The range of organisations employing computing and IT graduates is extensive. Beyond pure technology roles, some graduates also enter management consultancy firms or corporate roles, while others go into technical writing roles or work freelance.
Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.
Exploring your options
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.
In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):
- technical sales
- app developer
- data analyst
- web developer
- software engineer
- network architect
- security analyst
- cyber-security manager.