The Department has well-equipped teaching workshops, multimedia studios, project spaces and extensive open access facilities at our purpose built Thornton Science Park.
The department has exclusive access to seven purpose-built computer labs at the Thornton Science Park, the home of our department. Our main labs have dual-booted Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Windows 7 Machines, allowing students to develop Windows Store applications and gain insight into the latest operating systems. These machines contain i7 Quad-Core Intel Processors, 16GB RAM, SSD storage and NVIDIA GT620 graphics cards.
Our seven labs include a Cisco lab allowing our students to configure a network and carry out network simulations whilst studying towards formal Cisco qualifications such as the CCNA. We also have a dedicated games lab which is equipped with the latest gaming technology such as the PS4 and XBOX One. The gaming lab has larger screens which are of a higher quality to help aid game design. Lastly, we have a dedicated Mac lab which runs Apple OS Mavericks and the latest Apple software. Our Mac labs are dual-booted with Windows allowing flexibility in our teaching spaces.
Whilst the University has a single corporate network, a dedicated department network has been established which allows access to a Remote Desktop server as well as a range of software which students can use to advance their skills and knowledge. Students also have their own web space and can build and run ASP.NET or PHP projects which can incorporate SQL or MySQL databases. We also offer students resources specific to their needs, in particular for final-year Dissertations, such as access to a Virtual Machine configured for Linux.
The department subscribes to the Microsoft Dreamspark Academic Programme, enabling us to provide our students with the majority of software used on our courses free of charge. As we run several operating systems on our courses, we have also subscribed to VMWare's Academic Programme and are able to offer students free access to virtualisation software. We are also registered with Apple, allowing students access to a free Apple Developer account when creating iOS apps.
In the department, we have a quantity of mobile devices, cameras and video equipment, gaming consoles, Raspberry Pi's and other hardware that is used within our taught programmes. These items are available to borrow from the department on a short-term basis for research and project work. If a student is interested in trying out an item which we do not currently have available for loan, we will do our best to purchase it.
The department has a dedicated Systems Development Officer who oversees the department's resources and supports students in their studies. In addition to this, the department is also home to the Informatics Centre which provides guest lectures in some of our modules, offers one-on-one support for students and employs a number of them to enhance their employability.