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Computer science

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    Can any past/future students tell me anything about computer science at st Andrews? I've heard it's good but I have a choice between St A's, Durham and York. Any advice would be great.
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    Im currently a second year and this my view of the course right now. The course itself is very good, the syllabus is very wide giving a solid foundation in computer science. This is shown by the fact that a lot of our graduates are snapped up by Google with a £40000 starting salary. The facilities are excellent, we have 2 large computer labs with 80 computers in each. The 1st/2nd lab has 75ish brand new 24' iMacs and the honours lab has 80 ish linux/windows boxes. There aren't many people on the degree programme so its quite a nice tight community. Lecturers and post-graduate students are always around to help if you have any questions.

    A lot of other departments are jealous at how well equipped the computer science department is.

    If you have any other specific questions, don't hesitate to ask.
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    If you have any specific questions you should try the Computing Societies facebook page:
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/164507920275790/
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    (Original post by Oxy)
    Im currently a second year and this my view of the course right now. The course itself is very good, the syllabus is very wide giving a solid foundation in computer science. This is shown by the fact that a lot of our graduates are snapped up by Google with a £40000 starting salary. The facilities are excellent, we have 2 large computer labs with 80 computers in each. The 1st/2nd lab has 75ish brand new 24' iMacs and the honours lab has 80 ish linux/windows boxes. There aren't many people on the degree programme so its quite a nice tight community. Lecturers and post-graduate students are always around to help if you have any questions.

    A lot of other departments are jealous at how well equipped the computer science department is.

    If you have any other specific questions, don't hesitate to ask.
    How many people do it? Are they all nice?
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    (Original post by Sweetcorn_1)
    How many people do it? Are they all nice?
    1st Year intake varies, for my year it was quite small. Say 50-60 and that dropped to like 30 in second year. This years' first year class has about 80 people in it. Compare this with 1st year IR which has in excess of 400 people.
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    (Original post by Oxy)
    1st Year intake varies, for my year it was quite small. Say 50-60 and that dropped to like 30 in second year. This years' first year class has about 80 people in it. Compare this with 1st year IR which has in excess of 400 people.
    That seems like quite a big reduction from the first year to the second year for your year. What happened to the other half of the class? Are they dropping out? I thought the number of people in a class may vary from module to module.
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    (Original post by QuantBrain)
    That seems like quite a big reduction from the first year to the second year for your year. What happened to the other half of the class? Are they dropping out? I thought the number of people in a class may vary from module to module.
    We admit 30-35 students each year into Computer Science. But first- and second-year modules may be larger than this since students at Scottish universities take other subjects in their first two years. This is the number to which Oxy refers. There may be some churn as students change their honours intention, but overall students tend to switch to Computer Science rather than away from it. Some students may also be unable to progress to Honours due to poor exam performance, but this takes place at the end of the second year.
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    (Original post by Oxy)
    Im currently a second year and this my view of the course right now. The course itself is very good, the syllabus is very wide giving a solid foundation in computer science. This is shown by the fact that a lot of our graduates are snapped up by Google with a £40000 starting salary. The facilities are excellent, we have 2 large computer labs with 80 computers in each. The 1st/2nd lab has 75ish brand new 24' iMacs and the honours lab has 80 ish linux/windows boxes. There aren't many people on the degree programme so its quite a nice tight community. Lecturers and post-graduate students are always around to help if you have any questions.

    A lot of other departments are jealous at how well equipped the computer science department is.

    If you have any other specific questions, don't hesitate to ask.
    Are there any downsides? haha.. it does look like st andrews is one of the best places to study CS in the uk.

    One thing I was wondering was whether it would be worth finding out if I could start in 2nd year. I've done a fair amount of programming but don't have a computing A level. What would you suggest?

    Also, how do you find accomodation in St A? I get the impression that it's a bit hit and miss whether you get a good place.. or is this not the case?

    And is that true about google!?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by neutreno 300)
    One thing I was wondering was whether it would be worth finding out if I could start in 2nd year. I've done a fair amount of programming but don't have a computing A level. What would you suggest?
    Our direct entry requirements for second-year entry can be found here. If you meet the requirements, then you can wait until you matriculate at St Andrews and decide then.

    (Original post by neutreno 300)
    And is that true about google!?
    Yes, Google are currently quite a popular employer.
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    I was wondering if there was anywhere that did relevant computer science experience for 17/18 year olds?
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    (Original post by neutreno 300)
    Are there any downsides? haha.. it does look like st andrews is one of the best places to study CS in the uk.

    One thing I was wondering was whether it would be worth finding out if I could start in 2nd year. I've done a fair amount of programming but don't have a computing A level. What would you suggest?

    Also, how do you find accomodation in St A? I get the impression that it's a bit hit and miss whether you get a good place.. or is this not the case?

    And is that true about google!?

    Thanks
    Yeah it's really up to the Admissions people to decide whether you can go straight to second year. Don't worry about not having an A-level in Computing, but be expected to prove you're up to the standard. By the end of first year the we'd had done LOADS of programming and covered some quite fundamental object-oriented concepts (eugh). And even if you do go to first year, there is an optional programming projects module which is quite open ended and lets you basically do what you like how you like.

    Accommodation is good, my advice is to stay away from apartment type halls (DRA/Fife/new Fife/Albany) until second year. It's much nicer living in a hall, you get to know everyone and not just your immediate flat mates. The university are letting more and more people in every year (internationals get it easy imo) but they aren't building enough places to keep up. As a result, returning students are starting to be pushed out of halls because of the universities policy on guaranteeing first-year accommodation.

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Updated: March 1, 2012
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