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Foundation Year in Computing and Engineering

Learn about the course below
Code
See How to apply tab
Start
October 2022
Duration
1 year full-time
+ 3 years full-time
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK) *
£14,000 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Helen Roberts

The Foundation Year in Computing and Engineering is offered as an entry route to a computing or design engineering degree for students who don't yet meet the entry requirements for degree-level study. You enrol on a four-year course, which includes the one-year foundation course.

Why study the Foundation Year in Computing and Engineering* at Middlesex University?

During the foundation year you will learn how computers are used by a broad range of people and organisations as well as acquiring fundamental software development skills and knowledge of hardware. You also gain relevant mathematical and statistical skills and develop useful communication skills.

If you complete this year successfully you progress directly onto any one of our three-year degree courses. The number of students who progress to degree study are very high and in fact have gone on to become some of our most successful graduates.

The foundation year is for you if:

  • you do not have the right qualifications for a full degree
  • you feel you are not yet ready for degree-level study
  • you are returning to study and feel you need some help to get up to speed with the demands of learning before embarking on a degree.

*Please note this course is subject to review.

How to apply

If you are interested in studying the computing foundation year you must apply to one of the four-year degree courses. Please have a look at the How to Apply tab for further information. Successful completion of the foundation year guarantees entry onto your chosen computing degree. We offer:

Course highlights

  • Successful completion guarantees entry onto one of our suite of career-focused computing or design engineering degrees
  • You will have access to our excellent computer labs at our Hendon campus and will be taught by the same lecturing staff who teach on our degree courses
  • You will develop transferable skills in information technology, communication and problem-solving
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

*Please note this foundation year is subject to review.


Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the Foundation Year in Computing and Engineering?

You will study all four modules simultaneously over the year which means you have the chance to examine topics in-depth.​

Modules

  • Core modules

    • Computing and Digital Technology (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides an introduction to some of the fundamental concepts in computing, engineering and networks. You will learn about the latest developments within computing, both software and hardware, and gain basic understanding of the characteristics and operational behaviour of computer systems and computer communications. The module will assist you in making you degree choice for future careers.

    • SMART (Students Mastering Academic writing, Research and Technology) (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      This module provides the fundamental written and oral communication skills required to continue studying at degree level. You will develop analytical skills through a problem solving approach, build your confidence working individually and as a member of a team, and gain appreciation of research techniques by using libraries and a range of e-learning resources.

    • Foundation Mathematics (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      This module introduces some fundamental mathematical topics and concepts that are required in a range of subjects studied at degree level. In a structured and supportive environment, you will begin to develop an appreciation of the importance of mathematics as an aid to understand and describe abstract ideas.

    • Foundation Project (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      This module will give you the relevant experience in a range of related subject-related projects that reinforce understanding of topics taught, and provide opportunities to apply the knowledge gained in other modules.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the Foundation Year in Computing and Engineering taught?

The Foundation year aims to engage you in all aspects of your learning.

You will gain knowledge, understanding and skills through interactive online lectures, and workshops, online activities and tests, guided research, individual and group projects and virtual laboratories and face to face laboratories, COVID-19 permitting. You will receive formative verbal feedback in live teaching practical sessions and summative feedback is provided electronically and/or verbally.

Assessment

We’ve made changes to how we assess our courses due to the restrictions which were in place during the pandemic. We’re reviewing what aspects of these changes to take forwards into 2021/22 and you’ll be provided information on this by your academic department.

Your knowledge and understanding is assessed by individual written assignments and tests, pair and group presentations, learning logs, and demonstrations.

Changes for students in 2021

If you have travel restrictions to the UK due to coronavirus, this course can be started fully online with support to learn from your home country for the first term.

We are back on campus for the majority of teaching in Autumn 2021, as long as restrictions allow. Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.

In case of any changes to government guidance, we‘ll be ready to move to teaching with more restrictions in place and continue to give you an excellent learning experience. In this scenario, on campus teaching should continue although more of your course will take place online.

The table below gives you an idea of what your learning will look like across a typical week. Some weeks might be different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.

This information may change slightly as we receive further guidance from the government. You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario A: Without social distancing and with a mix of in-person on campus and online learning

Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per week, per level:

9 hours

Live online learning

Average hours per week, per level:

2 hours

Tutor set learning activities

Average hours per week, per level:

0.50 hours

Scenario B: With social distancing and/or with restrictions on travel to campus

Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per level:

1 day (6 hours) per month

Live online learning

Average hours per week, per level:

10 hours

Tutor set learning activities

Average hours per week, per level:

0.5 hours

Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our plans for in-person on campus teaching following government advice to keep you safe. If more restrictions are put in place in the future, or there is another lockdown, we’ll deliver your learning and support fully online for a temporary period. We’ll make alternative arrangements for any required placements if they can’t go ahead as planned. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations We’ll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online

  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual laboratory or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.

Support

You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2021/22

Read our guide to what you can look forward to when you study your subject with us including more information about your teaching experience this autumn.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

How can the Foundation Year in Computing or Design Engineering support your career?

A computing degree prepares you for a wide range of varied careers. As a graduate you will have excellent career prospects and the range of potential employers will be vast across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. There is also the potential to work as a self employed director of your own business.

Our careers service offers you a range of support both while you're studying with us – and after you've graduated. Below are just a few career opportunities that would be open to you as a graduate:

IT Project Manager
An IT project manager specialises in information technology but also in sectors unrelated to IT that rely on IT systems. Their role is to manage the development and implementation of plans to meet business needs and the change control procedures to ensure a smooth transition during the implementation period.

Network Engineer
A network engineer is responsible for installing, maintaining and supporting computer communication networks within an organisation or between organisations. Their goal is to ensure the smooth operation of communication networks in order to provide maximum performance and availability for their users (staff, clients, customers, suppliers, etc).

Systems Designer
A Systems Designer develops and implements information systems in sectors as diverse as finance, communications and retail. The role can involve working on all elements of the system including hardware, software, installation and maintenance. There are a range of opportunities in this increasingly varied industry.

Forensic Computer Analyst/Scientist
A Forensic Computer Analyst investigates computer-based crime, such as hacking, online scams and fraud, terrorist communications or theft of sensitive company information. They gather evidence and use it to build a case against suspected individuals or criminal networks. Forensic Computer analysts often work with the police or are police officers with specialist training.

Dr Richard Stocker
Associate Lecturer in Foundation year

Dr Stocker's research interests lie within the simulation and verification of human-agent-robot-teamwork, where he has worked at NASA to simulate pilots (the humans), the auto-pilot (the agent), and the aeroplane (the robot) working as a team to fly safely. They would model many situations the plane can be in and `verify’ certain conditions either do or don’t happen, e.g. the plane always lands safely or the pilot’s workload never exceeds a threshold limit.

Almaas Ali
Associate Lecturer in Computer Science

Having completed a Bachelors in Computer Science and Masters in Creative Technology at Middlesex University, Almaas worked as a Graduate Academic Assistant for two years, assisting and supporting students in various of courses in the department. Almaas is currently undertaking a PhD investigating how Mixed Reality - the merging of the real and virtual world to create a new environment/visualisation - may be embedded to teaching, learning and assessment activities.

  • Thuli Mabelane

    Well, the original reason to come to Middlesex was simple: I wanted to get out of my small town and experience the big world. Middlesex seemed to be a good option and I am so glad I made the decision.

    The foundation year prepares you for further studies better than A levels do. It also gives you this new mindset you need for studying at university and you get a better idea of what you actually want to study. The foundation year has been so much fun and it really fulfilled all my expectations: I got involved with the Student Union and the multi-cultural social life at Middlesex is so interesting and enriching. I like the practical and academic stuff as well! For example, I took part in this international project where we worked together with students from the University of North Texas.

    Even though I felt confident with ICT before I started studying here, this course certainly developed my greater love for computers. One day, I would like to start my own IT business and may be I will expand it into something like Branson's Virgin!

  • Adhiraj Sajay Khajuria

    I felt I knew a lot in some areas and totally missed out on some others. I thought it was a good idea to step back and study computing from the basics. I intend to go for the degree in computer networks next.

    I really appreciate the resources we have at the University, such as all kinds of top-end software. The social side of University is important to me too. I am a guitarist who specialises in heavy metal music in my free time and the student bar here is great, especially the pool table.

  • Elenia Davis

    A placement is definitely worth while, it means you graduate a year later but the benefits outweigh the cost. You learn things you cannot learn in a class room at university. The placement office is a big help. They do not just advise you on your CV and cover letter, they also advise you on tasks (e.g. presentations or extra questions) an employer has set, they organise workshops and they also help you search for a placement.

  • Jakub Skoczylas

    I'd recommend doing a work placement to anyone as it gives you a real head start in the graduate market. My placement is based around giving me a real job with real responsibility, and offering support and training, so I can perform well. I have learnt a lot about dealing with people, which no text book in the world could teach me.


We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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