STRUCTURE OF PROGRAMMES

Medium of conducting Lectures, Tutorials, Practical and Examinations is English. Following sub sections will describe an overview of the methodology used for conducting the degree programme.

Semester System

Academic programmes of the UCSC are based on a semester system with two semesters per academic year and operate on a course module basis. Lectures, practical, tutorials, continuous assessments and laboratory work shall be spread over a period of 15 weeks. Each semester may have a one week mid-semester break at the mid of the semester and one or two weeks study leave at the end of the semester before the examinations. The semester examination will be conducted within subsequent period of 2-4 weeks followed by a vacation.

Hours and Credits System

The UCSC offers two types of courses namely Academic Courses and Enhancement Courses. Academic courses provide subject knowledge and enhancement courses provide knowledge on a wide range of disciplines that are required for a holistic education.
Each course is assigned a credit value. The credit value would depend on several factors among which are the duration of the course and its nature. A credit is equal to 15 hours of lectures or 30-45 hours of practical or an equivalent combination of lectures and practical. 80% attendance will be a requirement of a course to be satisfied before taking the corresponding exam. Student should complete minimum of 30 credits in each year.

Course Code System

Each course code consists of four digits together with the prefix SCS, IS, ENH or EN to indicate whether it is a Computer Science subject, Information Systems subject or Enhancement subject. SCS and IS are academic Subjects while ENH (Computer Science) and EN (InformationSystems) represent Enhancement subjects. The first digit of each course code is the corresponding year (e.g: For a course in second year, it will be like 2xxx). Second digit represents the revision of the subject and it will increment if the subject is revised.

Enhancement Courses

Credits for some of the enhancement courses could also be obtained by participating in sports conducted by Department of Physical Education or by participating in competitions accepted by the course. Further information, could be obtained from the enhancement course coordinator.

Internship Programme

Industrial Training is an integral part of the 3 Degree Programmes conducted by the University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC). This enables to provide much needed industry exposure for the students, which is an essential part in education to produce quality graduates in the fields of Computer Science (CS) and Information Systems (IS) to meet industry standards.
The Industrial Training is scheduled for a period of 5-6 months (approximately) during the second semester of the 3rd year of the students. This is managed through Professional Development Centre (PDC) in UCSC.

Calculation of Grade Point Value (GPV) and Grade Point Average (GPA)

In the evaluation process, mark obtained by a student for each course is converted to a grade according to the scheme given in Table 3.1.

Table 3.1: Ranks and their Respective Grades

Rank of Percentage Score Grade Grade Point Value Attainment
90 – 100 A+ 4.00[1] Superior
80 – 89 A 4.00
75 – 79 A- 3.75
70 – 74 B+ 3.25 Meritorious
65 – 69 B 3.00
60 – 64 B- 2.75
55 – 59 C+ 2.25 Adequate
50 – 54 C 2.00
45 – 49 C- 1.75
40 – 44 D+ 1.25 Minimal
30 – 39 D 1.00
20 – 29 D- 0.75
00 – 19 E 0.00 Failure

[1] When calculating classes, A+ will be given a Grade Point Value of 4.25
Grade Point Values associated with each grade are as shown in the Table 3.1. These GPV values are used to compute

 

gpa-calculation

* Some courses may not contribute to the Total number of credit values.

Award of Honours and Classes

A Student qualifying for the award of a degree—both general (3 year) and honours (4 year)—by completing all the relevant requirements shall also be qualified for the award of a class as follows.
a. First Class – for obtaining a minimum overall GPA of 3.50
b. Second Class (Upper Division) – for obtaining a minimum overall GPA of 3.25
c. Second Class (Lower Division) – for obtaining a minimum overall GPA of 3.00

Academic Programmes (Internal undergraduate studies)

The students who are admitted to the UCSC may read for a degree programme in Computer Science (CS) or Information Systems (IS). The UCSC offers a three year degree programme and four year degree programme/s in each of these disciplines

The eligibility criteria that have to be fulfilled for successful completion of these degree programmes are described under Rules and Regulations chapter.
Lectures

Lecture is the main method of delivering course material to the student. semester lecture time table with the details of the allocations of venues and time periods is published online (UGVLE) and on relevant notice boards.

It is usual for lectures to take place in the same venue at the same time during the semester. But in exceptional situations or for some courses, the venue and the time might be changed. Most of the lectures will be held inside the UCSC building complex. Students must be in time for lectures and are expected to bring writing materials to make notes. Some lecturers will provide handouts but such handouts may not contain the entire record of the content covered in the lecture. Attendance of the lectures will be recorded.

Tutorial classes

Tutorial is a comprehensive way of developing a great understanding on course materials in a way to correct misunderstandings one may have. On average, a student can expect to have two tutorial classes per week. The tutor conducting the class may have his/her own way of organising the tutorial. Most of the tutorial classes will be based on a particular problem sheet which will be distributed before commencement of the class. Tutor is the first person for the student to consult on problems arising while studying towards a particular course. It is found that many students who have attended all tutorial sessions and attempted all problem sheets; tend to do well at the final exam. Attendance of the Tutorial classes will be recorded.

Practical classes

The purpose of practical classes is to give a better understanding on the application of the theories that were taught in the lecture to a practical viewpoint. Instructors will be present during practical sessions to help achieve the most out of the practical classes. It is found that many students who have attended all practical sessions, tend to do well at the final exam. Attendance of the practical classes will be recorded. Outcome of the practical classes may affect the final grade of the course. If a student is unable to attend a practical class he/she should inform the instructor(s) if possible before the session. The organisation of the practical class will be subject to dependent on the lecturer/instructor.

Personal study

Unlike work carried out in secondary school, at the university, students are expected to do much more personal (self) studies and to have a “do it myself” attitude. Apart from lectures, tutorials, and practical classes, students will find that they are required to read other materials and workout additional problems to fully master the course. A good starting point will be to consult reference books which are recommended in each course. The relevant lecturer/tutor/instructor will suggest such materials.

Projects

Certain courses mandate completion of project(s) as a way of evaluation. Such projects could be group or individual. Student may be allocated a supervisor/mentor under whose guidance the project should be carried out. In such cases, during the project you are expected to meet the supervisor regularly. The organisation of the evaluation criteria of the project depends on the course itself. Therefore, it is beneficial for the student to have a clear idea about the criteria at the beginning of the course. The student should be proactive in arranging meetings with the supervisors. It is important to consider the supervisor’s comments to carry out a successful project. It is better to choose appropriate technology to make programming easier so that the student is able to concentrate on solving the problem. Students are strongly advised to properly manage the project in terms of time, distribution of workload and documentation.

Presentation (Defence / Oral-Examination / Viva voce)

Students may require doing presentations as a part of the evaluation or a learning activity of a course. There will normally be an evaluation panel at the presentation. Presentations may be concluded with a question and answering (Q&A) session from the evaluation panel/audience. It is common for presentations to be used as the means of evaluating a project. Presentations may be done individually or as a group. It is expected that a presentation will help to improve his communication and presentation skills. It is normal for a presentation to be guided by a set of presentation-slides. It is strongly advised to be properly dressed for presentations.

Assignments

Assignments is a method of evaluation which contributes to the final grade of a course. Assignments could be in various forms such as in-class written, quiz, UGVLE based quiz online assignments, coding, report writing, and oral (viva voce). Moreover, assignments could be individual or group and some assignments may be take-home. Number of assignments and the organisation of the assignments for a course depend on the lecturer.

End Semester Examinations

There is a final examination at the end of each semester (Except for 3rd year second semester students.). All final examinations are paper- based exams which could be in the forms of multiple choice questions (MCQ), structured, or essay. End semester examination process is managed by the examination branch. The examination branch will issue the admissions for the examination at the end of the semester, which should be collected by students. Further, the timetable of the examination is published on UGVLE. Consider that some courses may not have paper-based exam at the end semester examination.

Final Grades

Final mark obtained by the student for each course is converted to a Grade according to the scheme provided by the Examination branch. Thus GPA is calculated using the final grade of each course that student has followed. The final mark of a course is calculated with a use of a rubric provided by the lecturer for each course associating portion of assignment marks and portion of written paper marks. Final grade of a course directly affects the GPA of a student.

Holidays

Both undergraduate programmes are considered as full time degrees. Therefore, full commitment for the degree is highly expected from the students. However, in case of exceptional requirements, students must contact student counsellors and send a request to the board of internal undergraduate degrees (IUD) through student representatives.

Saturdays, Sundays, Poya-days and public holidays are considered as holidays for students. In addition, there are several types of vacations: Mid-semester break, Study leave, End-semester break, New year vacation and Christmas vacation. There will not be any lectures or any course work during the study leave and the exam time period.

 

Vacation Type Average Duration (weeks)  
Mid-semester break 1 At the middle of the semester
Study leave 1 Before an end semester exam
End-semester break 4 After the end semester exam
New Year vacation 1 Around April 13th
Christmas vacation 1 Around December 25th