The face of computing and computer science has changed dramatically over the last ten years, with social media transforming not only the way business operates but society as a whole.
In direct response to this increasingly digital landscape, the University of Lincoln has created the UK’s first BSc (Hons) programme in Social Computing that will teach the fresh skillsets required.
The key computer science components such as programming, mathematics and software engineering will form the basis of the degree, but it will expand into the crucial areas of social software design, implementation and evaluation as well as analytical aspects of social data.
Programme leader Professor Shaun Lawson, from the University’s School of Computer Science, said: “The design, understanding and analysis of social media platforms need to be an integral part of the computer science curriculum.
“In particular there is a big demand for graduates who have the right kind of skills to not only design and implement these mobile and social software platforms, but to also analyse how people are using the existing platforms in order to improve them. Business and industry need people who can make best use of these social media applications.”
The programme will build on existing links with industry partners in order to produce highly employable computing graduates with skills that are relevant to a wide range of commercial employers.
Professor Lawson, who is the Director of the Lincoln Social Computing Research Centre (LiSC), added: “At the programme’s core is computer science and programming, so students will learn how to design these systems, which right now is a huge requirement in industry.
“The difference with this course is that it will build on those core areas taking into account the massive explosion of a particular type of computer platform. Every business is interested in social media and how it can gain an advantage over competitors, and our graduates will have this crucial knowledge.”
Students will also have the opportunity to work with academics and postgraduates in LiSC, the first UK research group to explicitly focus on social computing from a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) perspective.
Much of the Centre’s work is directed at understanding people’s use of social media services such as Facebook and Twitter, as well mobile apps and games.
The BSc (Hons) in Social Computing is now recruiting for its first cohort of students in September 2014.
For more information please go to http://auth.lincoln.ac.uk/home/course/cmpsocub/ or call Megan Smith on 01522 835719.