BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Systems (Top-up) - University of Portsmouth
BSc (Hons)

Computing and Information Systems (Distance Learning) (Top-up)

Design and develop your own computing artefact

Course Overview

Why take this course?

Computers play a major role in our everyday lives and their systems need to be designed and created by someone.

This course is top-up degree by distance learning. If you want to build a career in computing, information systems, ecommerce or networks, but think full-time study may clash with other commitments, then this distance learning course could be the right option for you.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Design and develop your own piece of software, hardware, or network system as part of your final year project
  • Tap in to our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Participate in live web-based chat forums to discuss your work with lecturers and other students

What opportunities might it lead to?

Our main emphasis is on ensuring that you become a competent computing professional ready to participate productively in the modern IT/business world. On completion of this course, you’ll be all set to start your career as an IT practitioner and you are likely to enjoy a choice of exciting career paths across a broad employment spectrum.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • IT management
  • network design
  • software engineering
  • computer programming
  • web development


Daniel Evans, computing student 2012

My degree has helped me immensely with a job opportunity, new skills, interests and knowledge, and also much needed experience in a real-world IT environment.

Daniel Evans, computing student 2012


Computing and Creative Technologies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Hands-on, practical work and real-life learning, which is transferable to future careers
  • Approachable lecturers who have experience and contacts in the industry

Browse all courses in Computing and Creative Technologies

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Structure & Teaching

In the first year we aim to supply you with the central skills and knowledge that you will need as a computing professional.

Core units in this year include:

  • Database Systems
  • Project Management
  • Ecommerce – A Critical Evaluation of Technology
  • Advanced Networks

In your final year you will produce your own engineering project. It will focus on the creation of an artefact, such as a piece of software or working system, supported by both theoretical literature and your own research.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Teaching and Assessment

Despite its distance learning mode, this course is still extremely student focused. You will be given resources, materials, help and guidance to complete your studies to your full ability. Bulletin boards for topic and general discussion, as well as real-time text based 'chat sessions' with lecturers will ensure you receive all the support you need.

How are you assessed?

We assess you in a way that encourages a deeper understanding and allows you to develop your skills. Here’s how:

  • multiple choice tests
  • essays
  • mini projects
  • presentations
  • review articles

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Facilities & Features

Flexible Learning

Although you may not be campus based, you will still benefit from web, email or phone access to many of our facilities and services. Our student website, LookUP, will be your one-stop shop for all news, information and links to other services, and 24/7 online access to the University Library’s vast electronic book, journal and database collections will help you find the right resources for your research.

Tutor Centre

A one-stop academic help and support resource for all School of Computing students. Need help understanding your assessments? Want to talk to someone about your project or about that programming problem? This is the place to go.

Maths Café

Drop in any time and get one-to-one help with that tricky maths or stats problem. With handouts on key topics to take away and computer aided learning packages, we can get the problem solved and help you improve your numeracy skills.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

On graduating from this degree your computing expertise will be useful in a range of areas including systems design and analysis, computer service consultancy, ebusiness operations or other related computer work.

Alternatively, you may choose to continue your study to either MSc or PhD level, perhaps specialising in areas such as health informatics, forensic IT and networking.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • business continuity analyst
  • software engineer
  • web developer
  • systems analyst
  • computer programmer
  • online course developer

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

International Students

Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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