SCHOOL OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS

There is an urgent need in South Africa (and globally) for computer scientists and information technologists. The different programmes in the School of Computer Science and Information Systems (SCSIS) aim to equip students with applicable expertise and skills in Computer Science and Information Systems.

The goal is to provide our students with knowledge and skills of modern and relevant programming languages, phases of a relevant system development life cycle (SDLC), database techniques and technologies, IT project planning and management techniques, and human-computer interface design. Students are educated in the ethical aspects of system planning and development to make a professional contribution to the IT industry. Students are expected to have knowledge and understanding of the value of information in enterprises and the technical functioning and processing of information sources, to make a meaningful contribution to strategic decision-making and management of information systems.

With the skills that the student acquired through successful completion of these qualifications, he/she will also be equipped and eligible to continue with postgraduate studies in the field of Computer Science and Information Systems at NQF level 8, thus either a BSc Honours degree or a Postgraduate Diploma in cognate fields.

CAREER POSSIBILITIES

There are numerous career possibilities, including:

  • Programmer;
  • Software Engineer;
  • Application developer;
  • Systems administrator;
  • Systems analyst and designer;
  • Business analyst;
  • Database administrator and designer;
  • Business intelligence developer ;
  • Project leader;
  • Entrepreneur;
  • lnformation Technology Manager;
  • Researcher.

Speciality opportunities exist in data science, information security and quality, mobile and web application development, and computer networks.

Feedback from alumni

In retrospect, I am glad I decided to get my qualification through the NWU. It prepared me for my career and provided me with life skills that enabled me to deal with various situations in my work- and social life.

- Minette, Alumnus

Programmes available within the school of Computer Science and Information Systems:

The university uses the APS-score rating system, which awards points to 6 relevant NSC subjects. The results obtained in 4 prescribed (designated) and 2 NSC subjects are used to calculate the APS score. The results obtained in Life orientation are excluded.

NSC Skaal / Scale

APS-telling / score

90 – 100%

8

80 – 89%

7

70 – 79%

6

60 – 69%

5

50 – 59%

4

40 – 49%

3

30 – 39%

2

0 – 29%

1

 

BSc in IT Programme layout

First Year

Second Year

Third Year

First Semester

Introduction to Computing and Programming CMPG111

Object Orientated Programming

CMPG211

Databases

CMPG311

Mathematics

MTHS113/111

Apps and advanced User Interface Programming

CMPG212

Decision Support Systems I

CMPG312

Statistics I

STTN111

Systems Analysis and Design I

CMPG213

Artificial Intelligence

CMPG313

Financial Accounting I

ACCS111

Communication Skills

CMPG214

Computer Networks

CMPG315

Introduction to Business Management

BMAN111

Information Security

CMPG215

 

 

Understanding the natural world

WVNS211

 

Second Semester

Structured Programming

CMPG121

Data structures and algorithms

CMPG221

Advanced Databases

CMPG321

User Interface Programming I

CMPG122

Data Analytics

CMPG222

Decision Support Systems II

CMPG322

Statistics II

STTN122

Systems Analysis and Design II

CMPG223

IT Developments

CMPG323

Financial Accounting II

ACCS121

Discrete Mathematics

MTHS225

Operating Systems

CMPG324

Academic Literacy

ALDA/E122

Entrepreneurial Opportunities

BMAN223

 

 

Science and Society

WVNS221

 

 

Description of the programme: BSc in IT

The BSc in IT degree is the right programme for you if you want to become an IT practitioner that provides solutions to business and other related problems by developing and applying computer-based technologies and techniques.

Admission requirements

  • Matriculation exemption;
  • APS score of 26;
  • Mathematics level 4 (50 - 59%).

Programme Outcomes

  • Design, development and delivery of computerised systems;
  • Contribute to the management of information and information source
  • Development of IT-related solutions; Lifelong learner and
  • Entrepreneurship.

Module Distribution

Credits

IT Modules

252

Compulsory modules

36

Accounting

32

Business management

28

Statistics

24

Mathematics

20

 

Content of IT modules

Introduction to Computing and Programming

This module is a broad introduction to what computers are and the underlying principles according to which computers work. End-user software such as spreadsheet processing and databases are introduced, but this module's main focus is an introduction to programming in Python. This module's practical component pays attention to the thought patterns and problem-solving that programmers should use to write programs.

Structured Programming

In Structured Programming, we use C/C++ to teach you the principles of structured programming. Because C/C++ are low-level programming languages, it makes direct interaction with the computer's memory possible. Concepts such as how data and data structures are stored in memory, how memory spaces are handled during execution time, and the program stack's operation form the basis of this module. In Structured Programming, the aim is to learn a new programming language and develop and apply a deeper understanding of the underlying principles of computer programming.

Object-Oriented Programming

In this module, the emphasis is on object-oriented programming in Java. Students write their own classes and develop applications around these classes. Applications include search and sorting methods. Additionally, the applications use files and have graphical user interfaces. Technical concepts, such as inheritance and polymorphism, are mastered. This is a practical module, and the semester test and the exam are completed on computers.

Data Structures and Algorithms

In this module, the focus shifts away from the programming language's syntax towards algorithm design and analysis. Students learn how to determine which programs execute the fastest and how to improve execution times. Students master additional data structures such as linked lists, queues, stacks and trees. Abstract data type independent programming techniques are applied. The practical work is designed to develop the students' programming skills; currently, popular games such as Sudoku, Snake and Minesweeper are implemented.

User Interface Programming

In this module, students will learn basic programming techniques using Visual C#. With these techniques as background, the principles and development of graphical interfaces that connect the computer user to the software will be investigated. Small programs such as a calculator program are developed in this module.

Apps and Advanced User Interface Programming

In this module, students learn advanced graphical interface concepts using Visual C#. Smartphone applications and web pages are developed.

Systems Analysis and Design I and II

In the Systems Analysis modules, a generic software development methodology for information systems development will be introduced. It provides a framework used to manage, structure, plan, and control the processes of analysing, designing and developing an information system. A software development methodology is important since it determines aspects that lead to failure or success in a software project. The module also includes a practical project where students work together to analyse, design and implement an information system.

Communication Skills

There is a growing awareness that technical skills alone are insufficient for success in IT. A broader set of skills are required, and these are labelled soft skills. In this module, students are aware of the importance of soft skills such as interpersonal effectiveness and communication. Attention is also given to technical communication (creating documents and creating and delivering presentations).

Information Security

We live in a time where computer and online users are exposed to various cybersecurity challenges and threats (e.g. computer viruses, phishing, etc.). To use digital devices securely, users should become more aware of these cyber threats and countermeasures. This module will get insight and basic knowledge of the main concepts of information and cybersecurity.

Data Analytics

In the digital transformation era, it is important to understand how data and information in the industry can be analysed and insights applied to gain a competitive advantage. Businesses collect large amounts of data regarding their clients and operations daily. The team of data analysts' responsibility is to use technology for descriptive and prescriptive data analyses and visually present the information. They also build models to predict certain operational issues based on historical data. In this module, we look at the context of large data sets in an enterprise, knowledge and application of concepts relating to data analysis, and modern aids to create effective reports and visualisations.

Decision Support Systems I and II

Our lives' nature is such that we must always make decisions that we hope will solve problems and hopefully lead to better circumstances or opportunities for ourselves and the organisations we are involved in. This is, of course, easier said than done. The problems we face today, especially in today's competitive and rapidly changing business world, are usually complex with alternative solutions from which the best one should be chosen. You will learn to evaluate different alternatives and then choose the best option to form the decision theory's crux. In these modules, we focus on problem-solving using mathematical models and, more specifically, linear programming. We will study problems, formulate and implement solutions using the computer.

Artificial Intelligence

We call ourselves Homo sapiens - man the wise - because our intelligence is so important to us. For thousands of years, we have tried to understand how we think; that is, how a mere handful of matter can perceive, understand, predict, and manipulate a world far larger and more complicated than itself. Artificial Intelligence (Al) goes further still: it attempts to understand and build intelligent entities. Al is one of the newest fields in science and engineering. Al currently encompasses a huge variety of subfields, ranging from the general (learning and perception) to the specific,  such as playing chess, proving mathematical theorems, writing poetry, driving a car on a crowded street, and diagnosing diseases. The students study logical systems, solve problems by searching for the right answer, and neural networks that solve problems by mimicking the human brain.

Computer Networks

Computer networks focus on communication between computer systems and hardware (printers, scanners, sound equipment, etc.). It is an inter-disciplinary subject, combining elements from telecommunication, information technology and computer engineering. Cell phones, bank systems, social network applications (Facebook, Twitter), electronic commerce (Internet purchases, Internet reservations) are only possible with computer networks. It means that there is a need for network specialists, a need that will grow with new mobile- and cloud applications. This module introduces the use of networks, network hardware and software, the OSI- and TCP/ IP reference models, network protocols, and security.

Operating Systems

Everyone uses operating systems on their computers. Without it, the software we want to use will not communicate with the computer hardware. The operating system also manages the computer resources to print a document in the background while continuing with our work or listen to music while editing photos taken with a digital camera. Operating systems is not only found in computers. They are also present in various electronic devices, for example, cell phones, meteorological sensors and drones! In this module, the goal, structure, and function of various components of an operating system are studied and how these components work together.

Databases

Profitability is the main goal of any company. All business decisions can affect the profitability of a company. Good information is necessary to make the right decisions. Information is deduced from the available data. The best way of managing the available data is to store it in a database. We focus on the initial study, database design, and implementation phases of database development during this module. Students learn how to do advanced modelling of data, both conceptually and logically, in terms of models (visual representations) such as entity-relationship, relational and object-oriented. They learn to normalise database tables and write SQL and PL/SQL expressions and procedures to design databases and retrieve information. The module also includes a practical part where students work together to implement a transactional database in a database management system used by many companies worldwide.

Advanced databases

The way companies do business has changed tremendously during the last decades. Business operations became global, services to customers became web-based and social media are used more and more to reach new markets. Many new types of data, such as voice, video and images, have to be stored. The need to store large amounts of digital data that is geographically distributed has had a tremendous impact on how data is managed and mined for knowledge. This module teaches students of transaction management, the control of concurrent users, and databases and performance management.

IT Developments

The IT-environment changes at a fast pace. That is why we have a module with content regularly updated to keep up with newer developments in the IT-environment. The module is presented at the end of the degree to allow students to integrate their knowledge from other modules into this module. In the module, a series of projects are undertaken. Self-study and teamwork are important parts of these projects. These projects' goal is to expose the student to new IT challenges and appropriate technology to address these challenges. The development of soft skills is also part of the primary goal of this module.

For more information contact:

Kobie.Fourie@nwu.ac.za            Tel: 018 299 2531 (Potchefstroom)

Nosipo.Dladlu@nwu.ac.za           Tel: 018 389 2688 (Mafikeng)

Irma.Myburgh@nwu.ac.za           Tel: 016 910 2388 (Vaal)

For other Computer Science programmes, please visit:

http://studies.nwu.ac.za/sites/studies.nwu.ac.za/files/files/yearbooks/2021/2021-FNAS-UGv3.pdf

The BSc in IT is also available in a distance mode.

Please visit the Unit for Open Distance learning at http://distance.nwu.ac.za/BScIT