***Which Universities are Good in Computing/IT? Watch

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ghostkim
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#1
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#1
Hi guys

I'm interested in IT related courses (mostly programming)
Can You Give Me Any Advice?

Thank You in Advance

PS: I've come across the opinion that Imperial and Cambridge - best. Do you agree with that?

Denis
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BossLady
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In depends on what you are looking for. Yes they are the ebst but they offer very academic courses. If you are looking for one of the more vocation ones then they probs aren't for you. But if you're into logic, maths and more of the 'academic' side of it rather than just learning the languages then they are great.
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Alaric
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(Original post by ghostkim)
PS: I've come across the opinion that Imperial and Cambridge - best. Do you agree with that?
No, just Cambridge

Computer Science at Cambridge is very diverse, it's in no way just limited to programming etc... and if all you wanted to do was program it's probably not worth going to uni on a compsci course. To give you some illustration you may be going from one lecture on logic and proof, to one about computer architecture to one about programming in concurrent systems and be having a practical where you're writing ARM asm in the afternoon.
Rather than letting one specialise early on Cambridge does have the habit of getting you to know all the disciplines from this diverse range and so you need to be highly mathematically confident as well as being practical.

The thing to bear in mind about compsci at Cambridge is that during the first year you do natural sciences maths and a natural science bench subject (most people do physics) as well. On comparing rough notes with friends doing compsci at other unis I found I'd seemingly done almost the same during my first year as they did, yet compsci was only 50% of my course. The second year is a bit slacker though, when it's purely compsci.

A tip though, make sure you can program in something like Java before you arrive... it'll make your life a lot easier in the long run.

Alaric.
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skywalker86
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Aston Univeristy, is really good for computing. It has got a really good pass rate, for computning courses.
Check out there websire, thye do quite a few computing courses.

Im gonna be applying for the Compiting For Busniess course there, it's a excellent course, and in the 3rd year you get to go out on a work placement!!!!!
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MuvverRussia
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The best are Cambridge, Imperial and Warwick. All these courses are fairly theoretical which is how they differentiate themselves from the plethora of ex polys offering IT courses. Don't be surprised if your compsci degree from one of these is mainly maths though.
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ghostkim
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Hmm..

Academic Course is what I want... but it is just because I never thought about Vocational Courses...

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There was kind of presentation in my college - about careers, universities etc., what I have known is - Academic Courses give you more chances to "reach what you want" (good job/career) as a lot of people (??), eventually, have jobs they are not supposed to have (e.g. those who did Law or Philosophy have IT or Meadia related job or whatever...). One more fact I was surprised by - most senior managers (??) in UK did... History... in university (Maybe I just misunderstood presenter?)

Presenter was from... eeeehh... embarassed to say but I don't remember... But he said that the information he gave us is based on different researches... so it is quite trustworthy...
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Then... what if I want to do more Vocatonal Course? (any)

Thank You
(I find your answers really helpful)

Denis
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Dogtanian
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The answer to this question depends heavily upon your interests and how long you want to spend studying.

For a theorist only having 3 years, the answer is clearly Cambridge; for a practical person having only 3 years, the answer is clearly Imperial. For people with a broad range of interests or those heavily into what I would term "the theory of practice", the answer is clearly to spend 4 years at Imperial. Others may disagree with this, to whom I apologise, but this is just my (farily biased) opinion; I also apologise if this discussion is irrelevant to you and you are thinking of somewhere more mid-table.

[N.B. I should probably declare an interest, being in my fourth year at Imperial studying Computing]

You indicated earlier that you are interested in programming, so this suggests that Imperial may be the better of the two for you. If, however, you were interested in theory and only had three years to spend, Cambridge would be better. The theory component of Cambridge isn't covered by Imperial in three years, but is by the four year course. The problem, though, is that a substantial amount of material in the three year course at Cambridge is optional, which arguably results in either too narrow or too broad a focus.

The four year course at Imperial is excellent; as well as a good grounding in the first couple of years in applied stuff, there is a reasonable introduction to theory. In the third and fourth years, you can choose to focus on whichever side of computing you enjoy (for me, theory), or to remain fairly broad. You could even decide that a four year course wasn't for you, and go to three years. Most significant, though, is that the four year course has an integrated period (6 months) in industry. Though this takes one term and a whole summer holiday, it provides great experience and contacts, and forces you to have some work experience on your CV (useful if you're a bit on the academic side!).

Now for the downsides... Like Cambridge's, the course is hard work. There is a myth propagated that Imperial computing is like a 9-5 job; this is false, to do well it takes a lot more. Further, as everybody is aware, the m-f balance at Imperial is a bit poor. You may or may not see Imperial being in London as a negative point; for me, it is.

A few other universities that you might like to consider are Warwick, Edinburgh, Bath, Oxford and Southampton. This list cannot be considered anywhere near exhaustive, though. But I'd agree with the earlier person who said that Imperial and Cambridge are the two outstanding departments.
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Dogtanian
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I should probably clarify my terminology. By theorist, I mean someone who wants to study the fundamental (mathematical) properties of algorithms and their relationship to computers. So, for example, being interested in the complexity of algorithms and how one represents (denotes) algorithms. In a sense, it is maths without differential calculus. Basically, I don't mean to restrict `academic' to `theoretical'.

A practical course at an academic university is not just learning lots of languages. Indeed, few languages are taught resulting in less confusion. Rather, concentration is on designing complicated systems, etc. Having said that, you should leave a good university with some competence in the core languages, e.g., C++/Java.

I'd also, possibly, put Warwick a little higher than the other universities I listed


Perhaps, anyway, Cambridge isn't an option: you certainly need all `A's, Further Maths, and probably STEP or S levels. Imperial is similar in wanting all 'A's, but as the maths in the first few years isn't as intense, you don't need Further maths, STEP or S (though they don't do any harm!). Given the choice between the two, most people choose Cambridge. My feeling is that this isn't based on the course, but more on the benefits of Cambridge (name, college life, accommodation etc.)
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Chris_
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I believe York was ranked number 1 for CS last year (I think it's Cambridge again this year..) but you have all failed to mention it. Any particular reason for that?
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Dogtanian
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None other than my own inaccuracy; York should certainly be there.

I wouldn't attach too much credibility to subject-specific league tables, though. I do recall, however, some league table placing Imperial computing slightly lower than may have been expected. On closer examination, the cause for this appeared to be "employment after graduation". I don't think that Imperial has more of a problem than anywhere else w.r.t. employment, so, perhaps, some statistical feature caused this.

(Original post by Chris_)
I believe York was ranked number 1 for CS last year (I think it's Cambridge again this year..) but you have all failed to mention it. Any particular reason for that?
Ghostkim: Why do you want to study computing? What do you hope to learn?
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Bigcnee
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(Original post by Chris_)
I believe York was ranked number 1 for CS last year (I think it's Cambridge again this year..) but you have all failed to mention it. Any particular reason for that?
Many people on this forum are only interested in prestige.
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Dogtanian
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(Original post by Bigcnee)
Many people on this forum are only interested in prestige.
Presumably you are referring to my omission of York. If my choice were to be determined by prestige, I'd just recommend Oxford and Cambridge. York was an honest omission from my second list, but I never claimed it to be exhaustive --- there are many universities with good courses that I omitted there, e.g., Nottingham. I am merely indicating that, from my understanding, Cambridge and Imperial are regarded by many as having good courses.
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Bigcnee
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(Original post by Dogtanian)
Presumably you are referring to my omission of York. If my choice were to be determined by prestige, I'd just recommend Oxford and Cambridge. York was an honest omission from my second list, but I never claimed it to be exhaustive --- there are many universities with good courses that I omitted there, e.g., Nottingham. I am merely indicating that, from my understanding, Cambridge and Imperial are regarded by many as having good courses.
No, I'm referring to this forum.
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Dogtanian
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(Original post by Bigcnee)
No, I'm referring to this forum.
Then I would agree, there are too many people obsessed with, "How long is it going to take for Oxford to tell me that I have a place?" I guess that most disappear when they receive their rejection letters...

But what prompted you to write that here? Alaric's post?
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Bigcnee
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(Original post by Dogtanian)
Then I would agree, there are too many people obsessed with, "How long is it going to take for Oxford to tell me that I have a place?" I guess that most disappear when they receive their rejection letters...

But what prompted you to write that here? Alaric's post?
No... Chris_s post.
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Dogtanian
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(Original post by Bigcnee)
No... Chris_s post.
Perhaps, but it was valid to question the disparity between my list of places and the computing league table.
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Bigcnee
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(Original post by Dogtanian)
Perhaps, but it was valid to question the disparity between my list of places and the computing league table.
Sorry, but I didn't really read your post. I just noticed Chris's observation and offered a possible conclusion.
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Dogtanian
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(Original post by Bigcnee)
Sorry, but I didn't really read your post. I just noticed Chris's observation and offered a possible conclusion.
I don't see why, having taken the time to provide a relatively objective discussion of the better CS departments in the UK, I should be accused of being obsessed by reputation. Perhaps you should take some time yourself to read through what people have written and questioned before dismissing it. However, no harm done, so apology accepted.
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Leekey
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(Original post by ghostkim)
Hi guys

I'm interested in IT related courses (mostly programming)
Can You Give Me Any Advice?

Thank You in Advance

PS: I've come across the opinion that Imperial and Cambridge - best. Do you agree with that?

Denis
If you want a good all round Comp Sci course then there are many uni's that are very impressive. In addition to Cambridge, Imperial and York (the big 3 already mentioned), I liked the look of Notts, Manchester, Newcastle, Loughborough (mainly due to an excellent industrial year programme) and Bath

If you are severely into programming then you may consider taking a Software Engineering course rather then a pure Comp Sci one. Fortunately these courses usually have the first year in common which means that there is always the option to delay your decision (if your as indecisive as me)!!! For Software Engineering courses, I liked the look of Newcastle and Manchester because they seemed to be much more in depth than the other software engineering courses on offer!!!

I think that we computer scientists are quite fortunate in that the course is one that MANY uni's have taken the time to perfect, so that there is a greater variety of choice for those looking for a high quality course!!!
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Bigcnee
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(Original post by Dogtanian)
I don't see why, having taken the time to provide a relatively objective discussion of the better CS departments in the UK, I should be accused of being obsessed by reputation. Perhaps you should take some time yourself to read through what people have written and questioned before dismissing it. However, no harm done, so apology accepted.
I wasn't actually referring to your post at all - more to a general impression I get of the forum, as a whole.
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