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  • Computing and Mathematics foundation year

Computing and Mathematics foundation year

Why choose this course?

We recognise that there are many routes to success at degree level. Our Computing and Mathematics Foundation Year specifically caters for those who lack the traditional entry qualifications to join the first year of a science degree. You are likely to be someone with either non-computing/maths-based qualifications, someone who has tried computing/maths-based subjects but has yet to realise their potential or you are a mature student, with skills and experience from employment, who wants to return to education.

The foundation year, has the benefit of being part of the extended degree and means that it provides you access to a range of activities and staff on the degree programme you will continue your study with.

Choose your pathway

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
1 year full time UCAS codes are included on the relevant webpage for the course you would like to study 2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • In our inKUbator, you can learn directly from the industry. Speakers have been from Sony, Splash Damage, Aardvark Swift, Interactive Selection, CryTek and Unity.
  • Kingston University is an educational partner of Sony through PlayStation First. You'll have the opportunity to develop games for the PlayStation 4. 
  • The Computer Science BSc course is accredited by The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS).

What you will study

The foundation year is designed to provide a supportive environment in which you can build your confidence, whilst developing the academic and technical skills alongside the subject knowledge to continue on to the degree of your choice. 


Throughout the year you will study a range of subjects relevant to subsequent study in Year 1 of your degree and beyond. These subjects are supported by modules where your study and mathematical skills are developed. The broad scope of subjects is intended to allow study in a range of subject areas and, in some instances, allows flexibility of choice of intended degree route. Subjects start at an elementary level, and there is a strong emphasis on the development of practical skills. In the skills module you will also undertake a project where you focus on a topic relating to your degree subject.

Core modules

Computer Programming

30 credits

This module is designed for those who continue to Level 4 of computing and mathematics-related degrees and also those who undertake technological sciences degrees. 

This module aims to give a solid grounding in the basics of software development and teach students the fundamental principles of computer programming and inter-operability.

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Describe the software development lifecycle.
  • Describe approaches to requirements analysis and documentation.
  • Design simple software programs.
  • Use basic programming concepts to create programs and user interfaces.
  • Create simple normalised databases.
  • Produce professional solutions using a variety of development methods.

Optional modules


30 credits

This module is a core module for all students following the Mathematics pathway in the Foundation year programme. The module is designed to allow students to develop competence in a range of mathematical and statistical techniques which they can then apply within a range of contexts related to Mathematics degree pathways and their application to solving problems in the real world.

Mathematics for Computing

30 credits

This module is a core module for all students following the Computing pathway in the Foundation year programme. The module is designed to allow students to develop competence in a range of mathematical and statistical techniques which they can then apply within a range of contexts related to computing degree pathways. The module reinforces basic mathematical concepts and is accessible to students with a wide range of previous mathematical experiences. The applications used in the module are designed to support the other modules within the programme so ensuring that students have developed the necessary skills at the correct time for their application within such modules.

Computer Systems

30 credits

This module is designed for those who continue to Level 4 of computer science related degrees.

The aim of this module is to give an understanding of the basic principles of computing systems together with the ability to install and configure such systems. It will cover both computer hardware and the operating systems that runs on it.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Describe hardware components and peripheral devices and the role they play in modern computer systems.
  • Describe the key features of operating systems and how they co-ordinate communication between the user and the hardware.
  • Describe how a range of data is encoded, stored and processed.
  • Install hardware and software components in a variety of different systems.
  • Use a variety of problem solving methodologies to resolve hardware and software issues.
  • Write simple batch scripts.
Technical Investigation and Skills

30 credits

This is a core module in the foundation year pathway in Computing & Mathematics. The module provides a bridge between the wide range of study experiences of students at Level 3 and the demands of successful study at level 4. The module allows students to develop effective study skills, in the context of Computing & Mathematics and develops the essential technical skills necessary to allow students to progress. The module provides a coherent path through a set of learning, practical and theoretical experiences to develop skills and knowledge and is designed to complement and support the subject content of the other modules within the foundation year programme.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list as these could change before your year of entry.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

32 UCAS points from two Level 3 qualifications.

Candidates are normally required to hold five GCSE subjects grades A*-C including Mathematics and English Language (or comparable numeric score under the newly reformed GCSE grading).

Additional requirements

Entry on to this course does not require an interview, entrance test, audition or portfolio.

Alternative routes

We will consider a range of alternative Level 3 qualifications or significant experience that are equivalent to the standard offer.

Please note: This is not a standalone course but is an integrated foundation year. Successful completion of the foundation year will enable you to automatically progress onto the first year of your chosen degree. UCAS codes are included on the relevant webpage for the course you would like to study which offer the foundation year option.


We welcome applications from International Applicants. View our standard entry requirements from your country.

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.0, with no element below 5.5.

What our students say

Find out why our students chose Kingston University:


Why choose computing at Kingston

View students talking about why they chose a computing course at Kingston University:


Teaching and assessment

Teaching uses a variety of approaches including lectures, seminars and tutorials, workshops and computer practical work. Sessions are designed to be active, involving students undertaking small projects and working in groups to solve problems. The use of technology to enhance learning is an important way in which students are supported. Particular emphasis is placed on developing study skills that will help mature applicants who are returning to education and those from non-computing and mathematics backgrounds.

Assessment includes a mixture of coursework and examination. Coursework may take the form of report writing, case studies and presentations with emphasis on real world problems. Examinations take place at the end of the year, giving you the opportunity to settle back into education and into the course. The style of assessment provides a natural progression to Year 1 of your chosen degree.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 1
  • Coursework
  • Practical
  • Exams

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 6.00pm. For undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.


There is a wide range of facilities at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including computing laboratories - fully equipped with fold-flat LCD screens, data-projection systems and high-spec processors - as well as state-of-the-art hardware and the latest software, including:  

  • development software and tools - such as Linux,, Dreamweaver, Flash 11, Eclipse, Java 2 Standard and Mobile Editions, tools for Motorola and Nokia phones, UML and CASE tools and NXP Processors Development Kits;
  • Maple, Matlab and SAS (mathematics and statistics software packages used by corporations, governments, universities, etc. across the globe); 
  • Digital Signal Processors (dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers); and 
  • a mix of wireless LAN technologies; the learning resources centre - offering subject libraries, online database subscriptions and resource materials.

Our dedicated team of IT technicians support the labs and are always on hand to provide assistance.

Careers and recruitment advice

The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.

The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting.

Employability preparation at Kingston University

In addition to building expertise in your own discipline, our courses will also help you to develop key transferable skills that you'll need for professional life or further study once you graduate. 

As well as a range of careers and employability activities at Kingston, we also offer you the chance to apply and develop your skills in live contexts as an integral part of your course. Opportunities include:

  • placements;
  • working or studying abroad;
  • volunteering;
  • peer mentoring roles; and
  • internship opportunities within and outside the University.

In your final year, you'll get the opportunity to complete a major 'capstone' project where you can apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to a range of real issues in different contexts. This is a great way to learn and is a valuable bridge to employment or further research at masters level.

Who teaches this course?

The course is taught at the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing. Faculty staff have a wide range of experience across research and industry and continue to practice and research at the cutting edge of their discipline. This ensures that our courses are current and industry informed ensuring you get the most relevant and up to date education possible.

Staff will use their experience and professional networks to hone your skills and shape you into the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates.

Course fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*
International £14,200
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

UK and EU students who successfully complete the foundation year and progress to a BSc(Hons) programme will pay the standard undergraduate fee for the degree part of the course (currently £9,250 for all courses).

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials, security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses.


In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.


Travel costs are not included but we do have a free inter-site bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.

Undergraduate study
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