The Honours degree of Bachelor of Science in Information Technology abbreviated as BScHons (IT)is the flagship programme of the Faculty of Information Technology. The history of BScHons (IT)is synonymous with that of the Faculty of Information Technology starting in 2001. Initially this degree programme was offered at two levels as BSc in IT and BScHons (IT) . BSc in IT was a seven semester programme with six semesters dedicated for academic work and the other one for industrial training. On the other hand, BScHons (IT) was initially designed to have eight academic semesters and one semester of industrial training making it altogether a nine semester programme. The students who successfully completed the BSc in IT programme with a minimum standard stipulated in the performance criteria could either leave with the degree of BSc in IT or continue the studies for two more semesters and earn the degree of BScHons (IT) . After few years, The Faculty of Information Technology decided to discontinue the BSc in IT programme in favor of BScHons (IT) programme following the world trends in imparting professional degrees. Later with the revision of curriculum, the Faculty of Information Technology reorganized the BScHons (IT) as an eight semester programme out of which seven semesters are dedicated to academic work and one semester to industrial training.
It is an accepted practice and requirement in any profession that the new entrants to the selected professional field or industry must possess sufficient technical knowledge and skills in that specific field. It is also stated in management studies that any young manager must have sufficient technical skills in the field first and then need to develop other skills such as interpersonal (human) skills and conceptual skills (skills hierarchy) when they go up the career ladder. Hence, in order to enter the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and go up in the career ladder, a fresh graduate entering the industry must have sufficient knowledge and skills in different aspects of ICT. Once a person enters the industry with sufficient knowledge and skills in the core technical areas of Information Technology, he or she would be able to gain skills in other required and relevant areas by attending/following on the job training programmes, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programmes or postgraduate degree programmes as and when needed while going up in the career ladder.
The BScHons (IT) degree programme is an eight semester degree programme that is placed at the Sri Lanka Qualification Framework (SLQF) Level 6. Out of these eight semesters, seven semesters are dedicated for academic work and the other semester (24 weeks exactly) for industrial training. In other words, this honours degree programme has been designed to international standards to have 135 GPA credits and 15 Non-GPA credits a minimum. A student, who wishes to complete the BScHons (IT) programme needs to obtain the above said GPA and Non-GPA credits by successfully completing the compulsory and elective course modules offered by the Faculty of Information Technology through its departments maintaining a minimum of 2.0 as his or her overall GPA at graduation. Also, the overall structure of the programme is designed to have a minimum of 80% of its total course load dedicated to core technical modules in IT and mathematics including statistics. The other 20% of the load includes other modules in areas such as management, accountancy, marketing, communication skills, language skills and other relevant areas.
The first two levels (four semesters) of the BScHons (IT) programme consist of all compulsory modules which all the students have to follow and complete successfully. The course modules in these levels have been designed to include all the required fundamentals of the core ICT areas such as programming, systems analysis and design, data communications and computer networking, databases and database management systems and multimedia systems. In the other two levels, students select GPA and Non-GPA modules from a set of elective core IT and mathematics modules offered by the departments with a maximum cap on the core credits offered by any student. The industrial training programme is offered in Level 3 semester 2 is a Non-GPA six credit module. Industrial training is an integral part of the BScHons (IT) programme, which every student is required to complete successfully within the stipulated maximum period.
The BScHons (IT) programme contains group projects as compulsory modules at every level excluding Level 3. In Level 3 students undertake an individual independent study in an area chosen by the student under the guidance of lecturer. At the completion of the study, the student submits a report on the study carried out and is assessed through a viva by a panel of examiners including the supervisor. The student is given a grade similar to other modules based on his or her performance at the viva and the quality of the report.
The group projects carried out at Level 1 and Level 2 are 4 credit GPA modules and at Level 4 is a 10 GPA credit module. In these projects, students are required to carry out a study focusing on solving a problem and design and develop a hardware, software or combined solution under the guidance of a supervisor. At the completion of the project, the students will submit a comprehensive report on the problem, approach, technologies used and the solution provided including program code, if any and present the solution to a panel of evaluators at a viva and project demonstration. The successful students will receive an individual grade based on their performance at the viva and project demonstration, quality of the project report and the individual contribution to the overall success of the project.
For the purpose of keeping pace with the developments in the fast developing field of Information Technology, the course curriculum is regularly updated by revising the syllabi of existing modules and introducing new course modules. The teaching methods and techniques are also improved regularly through the introduction new student focused delivery and assessment methods.
Admission to the BScHons (IT) Programme and Entry Criteria
Students are selected for the BScHons (IT) programme by the University Grants Commission (UGC) from the list of students who satisfied by minimum requirements for entering state universities at the last held G.C.E (A/L) examination based on their Z-Scores. In addition to gaining pass grades in all three subjects offered at the G.C.E (A/L) examination and gaining more than the minimum Z-Score stipulated for the district concerned, the student must also have obtained a minimum of C grade for one the following subjects: Higher Mathematics, Combined Mathematics, Mathematics or Physics to gain admission to the BScHons (IT) degree programme. Presently, the Faculty admits 200 students annually to BScHons (IT) degree programme based on merit and district quota systems.
Medium of Instruction
In line with other professional degree programmes offered by the Sri Lankan public university system, the medium of instruction of the BScHons (IT) programme is also English. Irrespective of the medium the students sat for their G.C.E (A/L) examination, all students of the BScHons (IT) programme are required to follow the entire programme in the English medium from the beginning. Lectures, tutorials and laboratory exercises and experiments for all the course modules are conducted in English. All the assessments including mid semester, end of semester examinations and continuous assessments including writing reports and presentations are also carried out in English. Students are given all the necessary help by the Faculty of Information Technology to develop their English language knowledge and skills throughout the degree programme.
The students of the BScHons (IT) programme have excelled in major IT competitions conducted within Sri Lanka and abroad securing championships for several consecutive years. The BScHons (IT) programme and the graduates are also well received and respected by the industry locally and abroad. The ability of the BScHons (IT) graduates to secure high rates of employment at or before completion of the programme is a testament to the quality of knowledge and skills gained by these students during their stay at the Faculty of Information Technology. Almost every graduate is gainfully employed by the time they go to convocation. In addition to successfully gaining employment in Sri Lanka and abroad, the students with an aptitude for higher education have gained admissions to world class universities in Sri Lanka and abroad for postgraduate degrees. Many of these BScHons (IT) graduates have already successfully completed their postgraduate studies at masters and PhD levels and employed in the industry and academia in Sri Lanka and abroad