Underlying Principles of Computer Science Degree Programs
Curriculum plays an important role within education as it outlines the planned and structured learning experiences that an academic program provides. For an effective academic program the curriculum must meet the needs of the stakeholders and face the emerging challenges. The Department of CS & IT (UOS) realizes the rapidly changing needs of today’s knowledge intensive technology driven complex work places and the changing patterns of 21st century universities’ education which have removed the identity of place, the identity of time, the identity of the scholarly community, and the identity of the student community. To meet these challenges, the Department has revised the existing curriculum. The revised curriculum is based on following underlying principles:
- The curriculum should be a broad based and provides students with the flexibility to work across many disciplines & professions.
- The curriculum should prepare graduates to succeed in a rapidly changing field.
- The curriculum should provide guidance for the expected level of mastery of topics by graduates.
- Should provide realistic, adoptable recommendations that provide guidance and flexibility, allowing curricular designs that are innovative and track recent developments in the field.
- The curriculum contents should be relevant and compatible with a variety of institutions.
- The size of the essential knowledge must be managed.
- The curriculum should identify the fundamental skills and knowledge that all graduates should possess.
- The curriculum should provide the greatest flexibility in organizing topics into courses and curricula.
The revised curriculum has developed using top-down curriculum development approach. It has adopted a balanced and multidisciplinary approach and presents a blend of study areas which spread across the boundaries of fundamental knowledge of traditional disciplines to advanced knowledge of the emerging disciplines. Body of knowledge (BOK) of CS program covers knowledge areas which are required for the program’s accreditation from the Accreditation Council and knowledge area which are required for professional certification and professional development.
It is universally accepted that each profession needs both a specific skill set and an appropriate mindset. Developing an appropriate mindset of the prospective computing graduates requires a body of knowledge which enriches students’ experiences, thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes about the special characteristics of that specific domain. Therefore, the course contents and related practical experiences are designed to meet the professional requirements of the respective domain. For this the revised curriculum mainly focuses on following six (6) key areas:
- Knowledge: Theoretical learning of concepts and principles regarding a particular subject(s).
- Skills: Capability of using learnt knowledge and applying it according to the context
- Competencies: The ability to do things satisfactory- not necessarily outstandingly or even well, but rather to a minimum level of acceptable performance.
- Expertise: Level of proficiency and innovative ways of applying learnt knowledge. (Competitive edge)
- Dispositions: Habits of mind or tendencies to respond to certain situations in certain ways. The role of dispositions in computing education is very important. For example, having the disposition to be a programmer is much better that just having programming skills.
- Values: Moral, ethical and professional practices
To strengthen the curriculum further, specialization tracks have also been integrated within the curriculum’s BOK. These specialization tracks are designed according to what the industry is looking for in an employee and the learning interests of students. Furthermore, life skills including desired dispositions, soft skills, public speaking, critical thinking & reasoning, 21st Century literacies, personal attributes, entrepreneurship, attitude towards lifelong learning, professional practices and other social skills have not considered discrete items, rather threaded into the entire fabric of the curriculum.
Computer Science is the systematic study of the feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of the methodical processes (or algorithms) that underlie the acquisition, representation, processing, storage, communication of, and access to information, whether such information is encoded in bits and bytes in a computer memory or transcribed in genes and protein structures in a human cell.
Computer Science spans a wide range, from its theoretical and algorithmic foundations to cutting-edge developments in robotics, computer vision, intelligent systems, bioinformatics, and other exciting areas. Computer scientists develop new programming approaches for software development, devise new ways to use computers and develop effective ways to solve computing problems. While other disciplines produce graduates with more immediately relevant job-related skills; computer science offers a comprehensive foundation for research and innovation.
Recent developments in computer hardware, software and communication technologies have offered new exciting opportunities and challenges for creation of innovative learning environments for Computer Science and its curricula design. The challenge of getting all newly emerging technologies incorporated into the curriculum is becoming pivotal for the effectiveness of curricula. There is a need for curricula structures that are really able to meet the challenges of 21st century knowledge driven complex work places. The curriculum is required to provide integration of all components and the foundations that allow accessing all of the new knowledge and technology to fulfill the vision of future. To prepare the graduates for the future is the key rationale behind the MS Computer Science program
This key rationale leads to develop a MSCS program whichprovides an intensive preparation in the concepts and techniques related to the design, programming and application of computing systems. The program offers a broad spectrum of courses, while simultaneously allowing emphasis in desired areas of specializations. The program also follows HEC guidelines.
MS in Computer Science is a flexible, challenging, and rewarding graduate program that covers the essentials of contemporary applied computer science. In doing so, we emphasize on the enduring foundations of the field and we adhere to a pragmatic style of instruction, blending the best of the art and the science of computing.
The graduate program embody sufficient flexibility to fulfill the requirements of either an “academic” degree (Breadth-Based) obtained in preparation for further graduate study or a terminal “professional” degree (Depth-Based). The program is intended to establish an integrated breadth and depth based curriculum model to assure that the common aspects of various potential graduate programs in Computer Science are captured.
Generally graduate programs are structured with a common core of fundamental material and a wide range of options for rest of the course work. MSCS curriculum structure is implemented in four-semester time. A project/thesis work is unified with student’s chosen depth oriented specialties. Followings are the program’s details:
The program shall comprise Four (4) semesters/terms spread over Two (2) calendar years with two semesters/terms a year.
Distribution of Courses:
Followings are the distribution of total credit hours:
Sample Scheme of Study for MSCS Program
2–year Program (4 Semesters/Terms)
(33 Credit Hours)
|Semester/Term 1 (9 Credit Hours)|
|1||CS-5111||Advanced Theory of Computation||3(3+0)|
|2||CS-5143||Advanced Algorithm Analysis||3(3+0)|
|3||GE-5001||Research Methods in Computing (Elective I)||3(3+0)|
|Total Credit Hrs.||9|
|Semester/Term 2 (9 Credit Hours)|
|1||– – –||Elective-II||3(3+0)|
|2||– – –||Elective-III||3(3+0)|
|3||– – –||Elective-IV||3(3+0)|
|Total Credit Hrs.||9|
|Semester/Term 3 (9 Credit Hours)|
|1||– – –||Thesis/Project (partial registration)||3(3+0)|
|2||– – –||Elective-V||3(3+0)|
|3||– – –||Elective-VI||3(3+0)|
|Total Credit Hrs.||9|
|Semester/Term 4 (6 Credit Hours)|
|1||– – –||Thesis/Project (partial registration)||3(3+0)|
|Total Credit Hrs.||3|
For all Bachelor Programs in Computer Sciences
- Eligibility Criteria:
- 50% marks or 2nd division in F.Sc./FA/I.Com./A level* or equivalent.
- A semester is a sixteen weeks of continuous studies.
- As per HEC requirement, fifty minutes of class lecture or 100 minutes of supervised lab work done during sixteen weeks of a semester is called a credit hour.
- Grade Point Average (GPA) is a number that indicates a student’s average grade.
- Cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is the overall GPA earned by the student during the entire tenure of studies. Bachelors (Hons) students are required to obtain a CGPA of 2.0 to graduate.
- The total number of 40 to 42 courses with a total of 132 credit hours are required to complete a 4-year Bachelor degree program. Additionally, 6 to 12 credit hours of project work is required.
- Students have to repeat courses with lower GPA to reach a CGPA of 2.0.
- There are two exams conducted during each semester: mid-term and final-term.
- No supplementary tests are conducted. Students failing in a subject are required to repeat the entire course.
- Students found guilty of cheating are fined Rs. 10,000 and are required to repeat the course.
- Student can freeze their semesters by submitting an application to the Director of Student Affairs. A maximum of three semesters can be frozen.
- Students must report back within the given time failing which their admission will be cancelled.
- The fee to freeze a semester is Rs. 2,500.
- Fee deposited for a particular semester cannot be ‘carry-forward’ for another semester even if the student opts to use the freeze option.
There are bright career prospects for MSCS professionals in recent scenario. With the opening of huge software and IT companies, the job opportunities for trained professionals have increased considerably.
MSCS graduates may find the job opportunities in a variety of environments such as:
- Computer Software Engineer
- Computer Programmer
- Network Architect
- Web/Software Developer
- Database Administrator
- System Analyst
- Information Technology
- Computer hardware system design/development
You can choose a teaching/Research career and work in the Computer Science department of colleges and universities in all over the world.