Computer Science at University of Bath Watch

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Hi everyone,

My name is Chris. I am a second year Computer Science student at Bath. If anyone is thinking of applying for, or has offers for Computer Science courses at Bath, feel free to direct questions my way using this thread. This can be anything from what Bath is like, to how I have found the course, finding accommodation etc.

Good luck in your applications!
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GreatKhan
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What it the university like? What are your favourite parts about it? Does the university work close with industry or help you find industry placements?

I'm thinking of applying next year 😁
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(Original post by GreatKhan)
What it the university like? What are your favourite parts about it? Does the university work close with industry or help you find industry placements?

I'm thinking of applying next year 😁
Hi there!

It's great you're looking so early, I'll try and answer your questions as detailed as I can - feel free to pull me up on any points you want further explanation on!

What it the university like? What are your favourite parts about it?
I personally love Bath. It's neither too big nor small for me. Coming from a relatively small town near Guildford, the city is a step up in size from what I'm used to but not too big. I must admit, if you come from a big city such as London or Manchester then Bath is undoubtedly going to appear small, but that does not mean it lacks appeal. With two universities, and Bristol a 15 min train journey away, there is plenty for students to get involved with.

The university is campus based, which I really liked. I lived in Student Halls last year on campus which was so convenient for getting to lectures 10 mins after your alarm goes off I lived in Westwood which is what I would call the middle ground of accommodation Bath offers - neither the cheapest nor the most expensive, it did me well for the year.

The campus itself is rather small - you could probably walk end to end within 10 minutes which I personally like. There are many shops and restaurants and the SU is very good for socialising. There are 2 campus nights out per week which are a lot of fun (especially in first year when workload is small and it's on your doorstep!). The SU is good for organising events on campus - sports and society days, zombie apocalypse events on Halloween, brass bands on the parade, you name it! The SU also offers very popular cheap coaches to London - I've taken the coach to London for the day/weekend a good few times, with the most expensive ticket being £12 for a return! This makes going down to the capital to see friends, gigs, sports matches etc a lot more cost effective.

There is a good number of societies to get involved with and even scope to create your own- you only need 30 signatures to found your own society.

Bath has fantastic sports facilities on its campus. The STV (Sports Training Village) was used by athletes for Rio 2016 and has been used by the England Rugby Team, to name a few. With Wednesday afternoons off, it gives lots of time to invest in sports clubs!

Bath offers a good night-life - in the city there are a healthy number of pubs, bar,s restaurants and clubs. My favourite clubs are Moles (which offers club nights and gigs) and Po Na Na. There are also others: Komedia, Weir Lounge, Club XL, Zero, Zero etc. Like I say, Bristol isn't too far away either - you can find Motion, SWX, Pryzm etc. here.

Does the university work close with industry or help you find industry placements?
First of all, I will say that the main reason I chose Bath over other universities for CS is because of its strong industry and career focus. To my knowledge, roughly 80% of the 110 person cohort is registered for a placement year and the success rate is very high year on year, so hopefully that gives you an idea of why Bath appealed to me!

I am currently in the process of applying for my placement, which will begin in July 2017 lasting 12 months. I am waiting to hear back from a couple of companies and I am in a good position with the others. The process is very well supported by bi-weekly talks where companies come in and give you advice on interviews, applications, CVs, Cover Letters, assessment centres and so on. It is a nerve-wracking process but it is definitely worth it! Our placements officer has set up a database full of hundreds of companies, links to the jobs on offer and application deadlines.

I managed to get a first in first year, and I'm enjoying this year so far too (despite the increased workload!)

I hope this helps. Like I say, any further questions don't hesitate to ask!

Chris
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rossamay
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How did you find the work load in the first year?

I myself am think of appplying and am curious as to how difficult the course is.
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(Original post by rossamay)
How did you find the work load in the first year?

I myself am think of appplying and am curious as to how difficult the course is.
Hi there!

Sorry for the delay in my response, I only go on the account once a week!

I really enjoyed the course in first year. I had 7 modules overall, with some being year long and others being only a semester long. The variety in the modules was nice. A short summary of these modules are as follows:
  • Systems Architecture 1: An introduction to types of computer architecture, Boolean logic, instructions and addressing modes.

  • Systems Architecture 2: Understanding fundamentals of operating systems (processes, scheduling, deadlock), memory management and networking.

  • Discrete Mathematics for Computation: Examining propositional calculus, set theory, mappings and functions, number theory, induction and rational numbers.

  • Analytical Mathematics for Applications: Applying linear algebra using matrices and vectors. Examining planes in 3D space, derivatives and series.

  • Principles of Programming 1: An introduction to Java and C, recursion, OOP (inheritance, polymorphism), abstract data types, data structures and files.

  • Principles of Programming 2: Understanding algorithm complexity, trees and hash tables. Covering multi-threading, networking, GUIs and APIs.

  • Computing as a Science and Engineering Discipline: Exploring the software lifecycle, process models, requirements analysis and elicitation and group projects.

I had coursework for every module in a variety of assessment formats. Programming had lab sheets at the start before going onto larger projects. Maths had 4 problem sheets per semester. Architecture had projects involving the Arduino micro controller and an essay on Virtualisation. CSED had 2 semester long group projects.

All of the content I found manageable. Overall I achieved 85.9% in first year which was a first. Even though first year technically doesn't count towards the degree classification at Bath, I would advise still putting the effort into first year for a few reasons:
  1. The work you do in further years build upon these foundations
  2. Employers will ask for your first year grades when applying for placements
  3. The step up in workload in second year (when the work counts) won't seem as much of a shock.

The workload is manageable, I must stress - the lecturers are very helpful, there are many labs and tutorials filled with PhD tutors to help you with your work and mailing lists for around the clock support.

So far I'm finding second year really enjoyable too. I've just managed to secure my placement and the work is going well, albeit more deadlines than first year! I'm doing 10 modules this year ranging from Human Computer Interaction, Artificial Intelligence, Databases, Data Structures and Algorithms, Visual Computing and more.

Hope this helps! If you have any further questions, feel free to ask!

Chris
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Hi all,

if anyone has any questions about the course or what Bath is like in general, feel free to keep them coming!

I'm a second year Computer Science student who has just secured their placement and I'm about to finish first semester before Christmas and the good old January exam season, so if you have any course related questions (including placement application queries) then I am happy to help!

Chris
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(Original post by University Of Bath)
Hi all,

if anyone has any questions about the course or what Bath is like in general, feel free to keep them coming!

I'm a second year Computer Science student who has just secured their placement and I'm about to finish first semester before Christmas and the good old January exam season, so if you have any course related questions (including placement application queries) then I am happy to help!

Chris
What a levelsndid youndo and how have they provided you with the necessary skills on the course? Is the course suitable if you haven't done programming before?
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Bosmantics
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Just wondering what the computer facilities are like, as I can't seem to find any information specifically for the CS department and read that all the computers in the library are running Windows XP, which leaves me a little worried :|
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(Original post by MajorFader)
What a levelsndid youndo and how have they provided you with the necessary skills on the course? Is the course suitable if you haven't done programming before?
Hi there,

I did A level Maths, Computing, Physics and History and achieved A*A*A*A so I managed to exceed my offer which I was really pleased with. A-level Maths was required at grade A in my offer of AAA / A*AB. A level Maths and Computing have helped the most. This reason for this is the course is quite logic and maths based. I had some understanding of Algebra, Trigonometry, Matrices, Basic Logarithms, Sorting/Searching Algorithms, etc.

This helped me but even if you haven't encountered these topics before the university runs MASH (Maths and Statistics Help) sessions to keep those people up to date.

There is no expectation for you to have done any programming before starting. I had used Visual Basic, Python and done some HTML / CSS development but that wasn't common. They ensure everyone is up to the same level by about Christmas time of first year. We were introduced to C and Java in first year during our programming modules which was a nice way of learning core concepts. If you want, have a look at each of these before starting but it's really not necessary!

Hope this helps - if you have any other questions feel free to ask!

Chris
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(Original post by Bosmantics)
Just wondering what the computer facilities are like, as I can't seem to find any information specifically for the CS department and read that all the computers in the library are running Windows XP, which leaves me a little worried :|
Hi there!

Don't worry about computing facilities at the university - a lot of the old webpages online simply haven't been updated! The University of Bath Computing Services (BUCS) will issue you with a computer username and password before you join the University to allow you to access all our services. We have over 1000 computers across the library and our four general access computing labs.

In the Computer Science department specifically, machines run on Windows 7. Most students run their programming coursework using LCPU - a machine in the department running UNIX which allows students to run their work on the same machine used to mark it which is pretty cool - gives you peace of mind when submitting programming projects!

Computers in the library are certainly not running Windows XP! If you use Unidesk, a service to remote desktop into your university account, then you may be presented with an XP-looking interface, but rest assured the machines on campus themselves are not old! There is wireless internet access available from virtually all public areas of campus, and internet access is provided in all on campus accommodation.

Being a student at the University allows you to gain access keys to lots of software too. The University subscribes to DreamSpark so a lot of Microsoft products including the Visual Studio IDE can be downloaded for free. More free software for students is available at http://www.bath.ac.uk/bucs/tools/sof...cureDownloads/.

As a second year I personally, along with many others, tend to take my laptop into university to do work on as I prefer to have a local copy on my own machine to take everywhere, then back my files up on my Bath Account drive using a SSH connection. Alternatively, Computing Services have made this web based this year, so all files on your bath account can be accessed through https://files.bath.ac.uk

Hope this helps - if you have any other questions feel free to ask!

Chris
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Hey everyone - Chris here.

Just a reminder that as I approach the end of first term of second year, I will be available on 21st December and sometime between 1st-3rd January next year to answer your questions on here about the course or student life.

Having just finished another semester and secured my industrial placement year I'm happy to answer any questions about the course or what being a student at Bath is like.

Let me know if I can help!

Chris
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Hi all,

As the busy exam season hits I will be online each Wednesday to help answer your questions - let me know if you have any and I will do my best to answer. This can be anything from CS / placement / Bath related questions!

Cheers.

Chris
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Hi all.

As we approach the season of UCAS days and department day visits, I just wanted to let everyone know that this thread is where people can get their questions answered about the course, university or general student life answered! I shall be on the account each Wednesday so do feel free to ask questions.

Chris
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Hi Chris.

I actually made a post earlier on Student room, but I just found this thread so feel like this could be a better place to ask it.

"Hey. I'm currently researching about a new laptop for Uni starting September. My firm choice is Bath. I have had a Macbook pro 13" Late 2011 for the last 5 years or so, but I'm now considering changing to a Windows because I'm a little bored of Mac and want something different. That being said, If a Mac really is the best option, I'm happy to get another macbook pro. My uses will be: Coding, netflix, web surfing, email, some gaming and any other computer science things I may have to do (potentially running linux??) I'm currently looking at: HP Spectre x360 13" NOT 4k. - Either i5 processor or i7 (£200 more expensive). Dell XPS 13" (not 2 in 1 model). Macbook Pro 13" not touch bar model. Please let me know your thoughts. Are there are other good laptops around this standard which Im missing? Is Windows a good idea? Is computer science going to require an i7 processor? Etc. Thanks guys."


More specifically to Bath computer science, my questions are:
Do most people have Mac or windows?
Would you recommend a mac or a windows?

Thanks Chris
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(Original post by Specksavers)
Hi Chris.

I actually made a post earlier on Student room, but I just found this thread so feel like this could be a better place to ask it.

"Hey. I'm currently researching about a new laptop for Uni starting September. My firm choice is Bath. I have had a Macbook pro 13" Late 2011 for the last 5 years or so, but I'm now considering changing to a Windows because I'm a little bored of Mac and want something different. That being said, If a Mac really is the best option, I'm happy to get another macbook pro. My uses will be: Coding, netflix, web surfing, email, some gaming and any other computer science things I may have to do (potentially running linux??) I'm currently looking at: HP Spectre x360 13" NOT 4k. - Either i5 processor or i7 (£200 more expensive). Dell XPS 13" (not 2 in 1 model). Macbook Pro 13" not touch bar model. Please let me know your thoughts. Are there are other good laptops around this standard which Im missing? Is Windows a good idea? Is computer science going to require an i7 processor? Etc. Thanks guys."


More specifically to Bath computer science, my questions are:
Do most people have Mac or windows?
Would you recommend a mac or a windows?

Thanks Chris
Hi there!

The first thing I want to make clear is that, in theory, no matter what OS you use, the course is perfectly accessible. I currently use an Acer Aspire E 15 with Windows, i5 processor, 1TB hard drive and 8GB RAM which is perfectly fine. What I would say is that unless you're using the laptop for gaming purposes (I don't use mine for that) then any of your suggestions above are more than good enough. The software used on the course has sometimes been slightly favoured towards Windows machines (for example this year we've used Visual Studio for C++ with OpenGL on our graphics course which was difficult, but not impossible, to get running and use on a Mac).

The split between Mac and Windows is more or less 50/50 from what I see in lectures. I have been a Windows user all my life but that does not mean I don't recommend Mac, it's more a case of having more experience with Windows.

If your uses are exactly what you've said above, you should manage absolutely fine. Nothing we use on the course is particularly heavy duty. On my laptop for my course I only really have MS Office, Notepad++, Visual Studio, WinGHCi, GitHub desktop, Eclipse, Android Studio and MATLAB installed and have managed absolutely fine. Any software you might need surplus to this will be on University machines. We usually run our programs using an SSH connection to the university machines which use Linux.

I hope this provides some kind of reassurance,

Chris
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AZ_1234
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What extra curricular activities help your admission application??
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(Original post by AZ_1234)
What extra curricular activities help your admission application??
Hi there,

Computer Science at Bath is a good mix of theoretical concepts (maths and programming related) and practical software engineering experience through individual and group projects. Before I studied at Bath I had a little bit of experience in Visual Basic and Python from college, but there really is no requirement to have prior programming experience. Obviously though, any experience you do have will help.

In terms of extra curricular activities I'd say they divide into academic and non-academic, each are equally important as they describe who you are as a person. I'll give a list of examples I can think of below - please note that not all of these are expected for an undergrad application! In some instances they are also useful for undergrads who are looking for grad jobs, so don't feel intimidated by these ideas! They are just some ways you can show interest.

Academic:
  • Hackathons: If you have prior programming experience, these are great ways to apply it to new situations in a fun environment.
  • Project Euler / Hackerrank: Again, these sites are good ways to demonstrate problem solving but are by no means expected.
  • Work experience:If you have the opportunity to do any kind of relevant work experience, it will really show going to extra mile.
  • Read books: They are good to discuss in interviews, instead of just being a list in a personal statement. The Code Book by Simon Singh is my favourite.
  • Code Academy: Perhaps teach yourself a new language? Again, no need but shows interest and the ability to pick up a new skill.
  • Design a website: This is a fairly nice way of demonstrating creativity.
  • Summer Schools: I did a couple at the end of first year of college which really helped me decide CS was for me.

Non-Academic:
  • Sports: Getting involved in a sports team is a great way to show personality. If you can demonstrate passion for a hobby such as a sport it shows dedication.
  • Other hobbies: These can range from travelling, bike riding...etc.
  • Volunteering: Helping the elderly or getting involved with the community is a great way of demonstrating that you can devote time to a cause to help others.
  • Part time job: I had a part time job from college until end of second year of uni so it has definitely given me lots to talk about in uni / job interviews. You might think on the surface that something like retail is irrelevant to CS, but taking a step back we can see how both relate to dealing with a client and solving problems. Employers like experiences like this.

Now please do bear in mind that I'm not an admissions tutor, and this list is just my ideas for what would be positive experiences for helping show an extra dimension to a normal CS application. I hope this gives some ideas. Any more questions feel free to ask!

Kind regards,

Chris
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This post is just notice to say that the student ambassadors including myself will be checking the account up until the start of June. So please do ask any questions you might have for current students at Bath before then! The account is still monitored by admissions beyond June but the rate of reply will not be as good as if you were to contact admissions directly via their email / phone contacts below.

Admissions:
+44 (0)1225 383019
[email protected]

Any questions about a certain course, what student life is like in Bath or anything else feel free to quote the us!

Chris
Second year Computer Science with placement
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Hi All,

The time has come for me to close the thread as I have finished my TSR duties for the year - you're more than welcome to take up any more queries with the admissions department, as I will not be monitoring the account any more this year:

Admissions:
+44 (0)1225 383019
[email protected]

I have one last exam on Friday and then that is second year finished for me. As of June I will be on a 12 month industrial placement in London, but I aim to come back in final year to carry on answering questions (in September 2018... feels ages away!). My aim is to revive this thread when I return, to help those applying for 2019 entry.

Best of luck to any applying students for 2017 and 2018 and I hope you have found this thread useful.

Chris
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Hey Chris, I saw the requirements for Bath University and it requires math as an A-level. Is that totally necessary or would A-level Computer Science be okay?
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