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Postgraduate Certificate in Computing - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

The Postgraduate Certificate in Computing is an intensive programme of study intended for graduates and for those with appropriate industrial experience. The qualification enables you to develop your knowledge and skills in computing and to promote a professional attitude to the application of those skills.

The qualification will:

  • give you knowledge and skills necessary to become an effective professional in the computing industry
  • develop your abilities in the critical evaluation of the theories, practices and systems used in a range of areas of computing
  • encourage you, through the provision of appropriate educational activities, to develop study and transferable skills applicable to your employment and your continuing professional development.

In addition, completing the qualification will demonstrate study and learning skills at postgraduate level, and therefore preparation to engage with further postgraduate study at Diploma and MSc level.

Learning outcomes

The qualification provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this certificate you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • a range of computing tools, techniques, development practices, and systems and their application to business, societal and personal requirements
  • the application of a combination of computing theory and practice, with the ability to use theoretical considerations and practical constraints to guide application
  • computer systems: their development, specification and use, allowing their evaluation against a range of criteria
  • computing and related standards, codes of practice, quality and evaluation frameworks and their application.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this certificate you will be able to:

  • integrate knowledge and skills from various sources into a coherent whole, making appropriate abstractions
  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, using appropriate tools and techniques, notations and formalisms.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this certificate you will be able to:

  • recognise and respond to opportunities for innovation in computing
  • recognise social, legal and ethical responsibilities and their appropriate application
  • identify needs, articulate goals, locate and employ resources and to follow action plans in support of independent learning and professional development.

Key skills

On completion of this certificate you will be able to:

  • communicate effectively with technical and non-technical audiences, using appropriate channels and media and where appropriate incorporating research and practice from the forefront of the computing discipline and professional practice
  • make and articulate decisions, including collating appropriate evidence and opinions, even in the presence of incomplete information
  • review, evaluate, reflect on and critique your own work and the work of others, engaging in peer review processes that lead to innovation and improvement.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will learn independently, using a range of materials provided by us, including: online teaching material; directed reading from textbooks and academic and industry papers and specialised software tools.

We will support your learning with self-assessment questions and exercises; computer-based investigations, tasks and activities; feedback and guidance from tutors and other subject specialists; computer conferences and other online forums; and study guides, information and guidance packs.

We will assess your learning using some or all of the following:

  • interactive computer marked assignments (iCMAs)
  • tutor-marked assessments (TMAs)
  • formal examinations
  • end of module assessments (EMAs).

There will be opportunities for you to:

  • apply your learning in practical contexts, for example by reflecting on your own engagement with computing systems in a home, work or social setting
  • engage with fellow students, tutors, subject practitioners and academic specialists in online group and small group events
  • gain exposure to the professional and employability discussions that are shaping the computing profession.

Cognitive skills are developed via a range of activities including self-assessment exercises, multi-media tasks, online tutor-led discussions, and the exploration of open and complex problems. Student and tutor conference facilities provide an environment for critical discussion and peer interaction. Tutor feedback on formal exercises aids the development of these skills.

Cognitive skills will be assessed by addressing problems requiring investigation, analysis and synthesis. These will be examined in TMAs and examinations, and TMAs will offer opportunities to demonstrate the integration of knowledge and skills.

Key skills are taught and developed throughout the teaching materials; these are supported by tutor feedback and guidance around formal activities and assessed exercises.

You will undertake both directed and self-selected reading and there is progressive development of your engagement and use of these materials.

Various types of assessment questions and some open-ended activities will be used to formally assess the skills taught.

Practical and professional skills will be taught and developed throughout the qualification, with support from tutors and subject specialists. Assessment work will include elements related to practical and professional skills. Some aspects of professional practice will be taught and developed but may not be assessed.

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