The Department of Computing now offers a Foundation Year in Computing as an alternative entry route for students who don’t currently have the necessary academic profile to enter on to degree level study.
Why study the Foundation Year in Computing at Goldsmiths?
- Our teaching is strongly focused on practical work in real world situations
- We're ranked number 2 in London for computing (Guardian University League Tables 2017)
- You'll learn to develop simple software programs
- A key feature of our department is its interdisciplinarity, so you'll explore how computing interacts with a wide range of other subject areas
- Successful completion of the Foundation Year will enable you to progress onto one of our undergraduate computing degrees in the Department of Computing
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Robert Zimmer
Modules & structure
During the year you will gain basic computer systems skills and learn the mathematics fundamental to information technology systems. You will work on practical examples of computing applications and learn to develop simple software programs.
The Foundation Year includes four integrated units of study:
Study Skills and Introduction to the Use of Computers
This covers the basic knowledge and skills necessary for the operation of computer systems. This will help in your transition to higher education, and will strengthen the benefit you can get from the learning environment in the Department of Computing.
Foundations of Problem-Solving
In this course you will work on practical examples of computing applications, so that, even with little or no prior experience with computer programming, you begin to understand what is interesting and important about algorithms.
Foundations of Programming
With hands-on experience you will develop and execute simple software programs. This unit will prepare you to undertake the programming components in our undergraduate courses.
Foundations of Mathematics for Computing
This will introduce you to some basic yet fundamental mathematics that underpins many of the information technology and software systems of today.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
There are no formal entrance requirements for this programme; we consider all relevant qualifications and related experience.
You'll also need to demonstrate that you have an interest in and aptitude for maths and computing, and the ambition to take on an undergraduate honours degree in the future.
You should include a statement to this effect with your application, explaining why you are motivated to explore this subject.
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above.
If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.
For this programme we require:
IELTS 6.0 no element lower than 5.5
If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.
Read more about our general entrance requirements.
Computing at Goldsmiths is ranked: 3rd in London* 17th in the UK for the quality of our research** and in the world's elite***
The Department of Computing offers a creative, contemporary and pioneering approach to the discipline.
From developing computers that can compose music and paint pictures, to defining and implementing new social media tools and applications, we aim to invigorate computing and the world around it.
Learn by doing
We place a great emphasis on creativity, independence and ‘learning by doing’. You’ll focus on practical work in real-world situations, carrying out projects in ways that mirror industry practice.
We also promote an interdisciplinary approach to the subject: from business to digital arts, and from games programming to learning Mandarin.
You’ll be taught by industry experts – our academics are deeply engaged in current research, with many applying their knowledge and skills to developing cutting-edge technology. And we have close links with industry, too, regularly inviting leading professionals to deliver lectures and talks.
Find out more about the Department of Computing.
*Guardian University League Tables 2017
**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
Learning & teaching
Courses are taught by a combination of lectures, tutorials, workshops and laboratory sessions. These will introduce you to ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, improve your communication skills, and enable you to develop high level practical and technical skills in computing.
But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out research, preparing topics for discussion, or producing project work.
This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to find out more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of that are highly sought after by employers.
Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:
- Laboratory sessions
- Independent learning
Skills & careers
The Foundation Year prepares you with the skills and knowledge necessary for studies in computing. If you successfully complete the Foundation Year and are admitted to one of our undergraduate degrees you'll benefit from the following skills and career possibilities.
Industrial placement year
Our degree programmes include an optional Industrial Placement Year between the second and third year of study. This offers you the invaluable opportunity to develop the practical skills and real world experience that is sought after by employers. You're supported throughout your placement year by a placement tutor, who provides you with guidance and liaises between you and your employer.
Studying computing at Goldsmiths will provide you with technical skills including:
- a strong understanding of how to design, develop and apply software in all areas of commerce and industry
- an awarenesss of the fundamentals of computing (hardware, software, architecture and operating systems)
- an understanding of programming languages
- a clear sense of the issues involved in building and maintaining reliable software for the sophisticated demands of today's market and for the software industry as it develops throughout the 21st century
- an understanding of the social context and visual design aspects of software development together with the technical skills of programming
Our degrees have a large proportion of practical work in which you must deliver software projects, both individually and in groups. This mirrors as closely as possible a real world work environment. These projects develop your technical skills but also require you to tackle the broader aspects of the software development process, such as understanding users' needs and requirements and the design of interfaces on a number of platforms – from web pages to touch screen phones.
You'll also gain skills in teamwork, creative thinking, report writing, time management and organisation, presenting reasoned arguments to a range of audiences, and retrieval of information – all of which are sought by graduate employers.
The explosive and ever-growing use of technology in business and commerce means that there's a whole range of different career possibilities for computing graduates. In terms of job opportunities and salaries, the IT sector is well ahead of most other industrial and commercial sectors.
Where do Goldsmiths computing graduates work?
Some of the recent graduate level careers for computing graduates have included:
- Application programmer
- Mobile App developer
- Web developer
- Video game developer
- Film special effects and post-production
- Computer music/sound engineer
- Interface designer
- Systems analyst
- Database manager
- FDM Academy
- Hepco Motion
- Jigsaw Systems Ltd
- Sanna Systems Ltd
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.