(Original post by gavinlowe)
To a certain extent, you can choose your options depending upon where you want to be on the foundational--practical spectrum. It's certainly true that the Oxford degrees (both undergraduate and MSc) have more foundational options than many. However, there are also lots of practical options. Likewise, you can choose your project to be more or less practical, as you see fit.
I feel like a lot of people get the wrong impression about the practical/theoretical balance at Oxford. Clearly plenty of Oxford graduates go on to become programmers (and have other 'practical' CS careers), and at good, competitive companies. And there are plenty of practice-focussed courses available here. The main difference is that we
have the opportunity to do lots of theoretical courses as well, which might be less of an option elsewhere.
I did an internship last year with 5 other people from other unis and they all said that they thought the Oxford course was way too theoretical and wouldn't have given them software engineering skills. I found that they all knew how to use Bootstrap (the web framework) which I hadn't heard of at the time, but when it came to the actual work we were doing, the practical skills I had from (then) my first two years at Oxford were definitely up to scratch for the work we were doing. And I even ended up using something I had learned in the Logic and Proof course (just converting boolean search queries to CNF to make evaluating them simpler).
Then again, they had all used source control tools before and I hadn't.... I think the main difference with "practical-focussed" CS courses it that they teach you the stuff you'd pick up in the first few weeks of your first programming job (like using source control or the latest web framework). That's certainly a head start I suppose, but I think in the long term over a career Oxford's degree would be good preparation.
That said, I am mostly interested in theory so I'm glad I have the option to spend all my time thinking about that instead
I don't know why I'm posting this here really!