Applied Computing (HND)

Applied Computing (HND)

This HND programme is designed to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills that are essential for success in the current and future computing industry sector.

Course Information

  • Course Type University Level
  • Subject Area Information Technology
  • Qualification Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • Study Mode: Full Time Only
  • Course Level Level 5
  • Location Victoria House
  • Course Length 1 year (with optional exit qualification after one year)
  • Start Date September Yearly
  • End Date July Yearly
  • Day Two days a week
  • Fee £7,495
  • Reduced Fee

    See below

  • Course Code UCASI100

This new programme builds on the HNC and explores current applications in detail. It will further develop your theoretical and practical skills in line with current industry and university expectations.

You will:

  • Explore the complex security and operational requirements of servers, including on-premises, hybrid and cloud servers. Topics include directory, file, print, web and database services. Server HW and SW includes component resilience, redundancy, operating systems, middleware and applications. Virtualisation activities will include desktop, server, bare metal, hosted and hypervisors. Cloud paradigms, deployment and service models, and enabling technologies are explored through practical workshops. AWS, Azure and other environments will be used to develop your skills. (Servers and cloud computing)
  • Develop a theoretical understanding of the components required for an AI system. You will design and develop two systems, an AI chat bot and an AI using a Genetic Algorithm. Previous projects have included the use of such applications for mental health support. Current technical trends and ethical issues will be explored. (Artificial Intelligence)
  • Learn how to secure systems, and forensically analyse systems to find evidence of attacks or infrastructure vulnerabilities that could be exploited by a cybercriminal. Applications such as Kali will be explored and applied to develop your skills and expertise through penetration testing. You will explore cryptographic protocols that cover confidentiality and integrity of data as well as authentication and authorisation. (Cyber security)
  • Learn to create large-scale programming projects. You’ll use creational, structural and behavioural design patterns to manage complexity and build on top of an established object-oriented API. You’ll use GitHub to manage your projects and work collaboratively with others. (Object Oriented Programming)
  • Complete a work-based project for an employer. You’ll develop skills in team working, decision-making, problem solving and communication, utilising methodologies such as Agile. You’ll develop essential personal development planning skills for study at degree level and readiness for employability. Wherever possible this will be done with local employers. (Workplace Learning)
  • Learn the fundamentals of web-design and the concepts fundamental to web-technologies. You will code a website using industry standard client-side languages. You will use popular code libraries, as well as integrating data from a range of APIs to add extra functionality. A strong emphasis is placed on accessibility and usability, as well as SEO techniques and compliance to current web standards. (Website development)

The programme is delivered through theoretical sessions and practical workshops. In addition, you will be expected to research topics and complete assignments outside class time. You will be assessed through coursework that can be either written work, question and answer sessions or practical demonstrations.

Click here to view the Student Handbook for this course for students starting in 2021: HND Computing Student Handbook 2021-2022

This programme is awarded by BTEC.

Progression routes available upon completion:

  • Direct entry onto any of Plymouth University’s BSc Computing programmes (computer science, computing and software development, games development and cyber security).
  • Employment within the IT industry.
Entry Requirements

You will need 64 UCAS tariff points (minimum). You will also hold a Level 4 Computing qualification equivalent to the HNC Computing at Merit level. All applicants must have GCSE English and Maths at grade C (4) or above or equivalent. Those without formal qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.


You will have access to a Learning Resource Centre with a range of books and journals including many available electronically. Additionally there is a suite of computers that can be booked to carry out individual work and research. The faculty has an IT Lab allowing students to investigate the workings of modern PCs and networks in an accessible, controlled environment.There is a restaurant on site at Victoria House which sells refreshments and light snacks.

Additional Costs

A reading list will be provided and there will be a number of recommended textbooks that you are encouraged to purchase. Some of these texts will be available through our Learning Resource Centre, both in print and electronically. The college provides every student with free access to Office 365 and associated OneDrive storage. In addition, students have access to Microsoft Imagine software resources, e.g. operating systems, development tools at no additional cost. Students may freely access vendor specific learning resources, e.g. Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA) and sit related certifications exams at a reduced price. Throughout the course students are encouraged to participate in educational visits which may be separately priced.

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