This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- In Stage 1, you'll study three 30-credit computing and IT modules and a 30-credit mathematics module.
- In Stage 2, you'll study four 30-credits modules in the specialist area of communications and software.
- In Stage 3, you'll study two 30-credit modules in the specialist area of communications and software; chose a 30 credit module from a range of options; and a 30-credit project module.
Optional Access module – visit Entry requirements to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.
At Stage 1, you’ll study two introductory computing and IT modules and sample some practical information technologies. You’ll also choose a mathematics module based on your confidence and experience.
In Stage 2, you'll study modules in your specialist area of communications and software.
At Stage 3, you’ll study a communications module and a software module; choose a further complementary module; then complete your degree with an IT project.
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 20 March 2019.
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 and IT 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 our Disability support website to find more about what we offer. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.
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; e-learning 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 the BSc (Honours) Computing and IT (Communications and Software) degree. 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.
In mathematics, your choice of introductory module will depend on your confidence and experience. Visit our MathsChoices website to decide which is right for you.
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
Counting previous study
You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification if you have:
- already studied at university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
- other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
Find out more about credit transfer
Preparing for study with an Access module
If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:
- a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
- support from a dedicated team throughout your study
- detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend:
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, and would like to develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. The subjects included are science, engineering and design, environment, mathematics, and computing and IT.
View full details of Science, technology and maths Access module
Skills for career development
This degree course is useful if you already work, or would like to work, in computing and IT systems. It will equip you with a sound grasp of hardware, software, and systems-based technologies. Depending on your choice of modules, the knowledge and skills you pick up will prepare you for employment in software engineering, communications, networks or web technologies. The course also gives you opportunities to develop important transferable skills such as teamwork, time management, numeracy, and problem solving.
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 graduates are in demand by providers (such as software houses) and user organisations alike. The extensive range of organisations employing computing and IT graduates includes retail, financial services, leisure and gaming, telecommunications, broadcast media, digital media, manufacturing, transport, tourism, the public sector and healthcare.
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 fulfilled the educational requirements for Chartered IT Professional (CITP).
To gain BCS accreditation, you must complete your degree within seven years (six years if you started before October 2015).
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.
In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.
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):
- app developer
- data analyst
- web developer
- software engineer
- network architect
- security analyst