Computing Academy

Run in partnership with local businesses, the Computing Academy will enhance your technical skills and employability, preparing you for a career in the fast-changing field of computing.

What to expect

The Academy aims to build your computing abilities in a wide range of areas to allow for a breadth of opportunity and development.

Topic 1: ethical hacking

This topic will introduce students to the exciting world of computer security and forensics. Students shadow a real life target, gathering intelligence and collating evidence that could be used to gain electronic access. Students then map the real target's network remotely, identifying the types and names of those network devices and undertake cyber-attacks. Students will cover:

  • packet injection and password retrieval;
  • DoS attacks;
  • DDoS attacks;
  • reverse TCP connection via simple Trojan viruses;
  • cryptography and steganography.

Topic 2: 3D virtual reality and games design

This topic will give you an introduction to the skills required to develop 3D video games. The course will start off with a grounding in the Unreal Engine 4 game engine, where you will use blueprints to create a 3D virtual reality walkthrough that will be exported to the Oculus Rift VR headset. We will then investigate how to add gamification elements in order to create a 3D first person gaming experience. The final part of the course will introduce game programming using C++ to control the gaming elements in greater depth as well as the mathematics and physics that are vital to creating a fully functioning video game experience. By the end of the course we will have covered:

  • Unreal Engine 4 blueprints;
  • virtual reality development for the Oculus Rift;
  • C++ programming for UE4;
  • mathematics for game development;
  • physics for game development.

Topic 3: software development

This topic will provide you with the necessary skills to undertake a project in which you will send a Raspberry Pi computer to an altitude of over 80,000 feet attached to a helium balloon. The Raspberry Pi will take pictures, log sensor data and transmit its coordinates live to the students before descending back to earth on a parachute for recovery. The topics we’ll cover include:

  • RTTY radio transmissions;
  • controlling a GPS module;
  • logging sensor data;
  • storing high altitude images.

Local employer involvement

Local employers will present information to the Academy group regarding their business practices, latest developments within the computing industry and employment opportunities. A number of work experience places will also be available.