Computer Science and Information Systems are housed in Binks Building at the heart of Chester Campus. One of the newest buildings within the institution, our computing laboratories and studios are fully-equipped with the latest computer hardware and applications. Our main labs run i5 Windows 7 PC’s with the latest software catering for the demands of all our computing programmes. There are ample purpose-built workstations for multimedia authoring, audio and video technology, web development and other specialist applications. With the industry continually evolving we invest a lot of our resources in ensuring the software and hardware systems we use are meeting the requirements from the IT industry. The Department's IT resources are also available for student use in the evenings and at weekends.
Lectures, workshops and tutorials represent a relatively small proportion of the student's study-time, the balance comprises directed and independent study. For this, computing students primarily need access to hardware, software, and the Internet and these are readily available within the Department, but in practice, students do most of their study in their own accommodation or workplace. To facilitate this, the Department has agreements with Microsoft and other software providers for distribution to students of free and/or substantially discounted software.
Throughout our courses we also encourage our computing students to develop experience with different computer platforms and explore the application of new and exciting technologies. For our more creative computing modules we also have a number of Apple Mac Pro and iMac systems housed within bespoke multimedia studios, hosting a wide selection of software such as Adobe Creative Suite 5, Final Cut Studio and Logic Studio Pro. By incorporating a wide range of multimedia hardware such as high definition video camcorders, professional audio recording equipment and photographic tools into our multimedia modules our computing students are able to develop their creative computing skills through hands-on experience.
General Learning Resources
There is a strong Department ethos concerning the provision of learning and teaching materials. The culmination of many years' experience in providing on-line materials has been the integration of the Department's in-house network (CompSci) with the University intranet system based on Microsoft Sharepoint. Our central IT team (LIS) have recently adopted Sharepoint as our primary e-Learning system, ensuring our students and staff can communicate easily and collaborate on documents and study materials both on and off-campus. By these means, registered Computing students, wherever they may be, have access to subject-specific software, personal and shared file and web space, and Departmental information.
Students have access to the University's excellent libraries based on Chester campus (Seaborne) and at our new facility at Riverside. Both are well stocked with up-to-date books, journals and electronic materials. Learning Resources, of which the library is a part, provide assistance with various study skills, including guidance on referencing and avoiding plagiarism. Most of the library facilities are also accessible remotely.