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    I've decided to make a career change and wish to do an MSc in Computer Science (conversion) at UCL or Imperial - I meet the 2:1 requirement, but in music, and with no subsid modules in computer science or maths. In that case, UCL ask for at least A' level Maths and A' level Computer Science.

    I have a C at A' level Maths (18 year old me played WoW until 3am the night before most of my exams), but no Computer Science Qualification. Long story short, I am looking at earliest 2018/19 entry (moving to London this year, and want to wait for the dust to settle before handing in my notice (1 year) to work), so would self-study Computer Science and Further Maths A' level be a good way to boost my application at this stage? I am keen to have something to get my teeth into because of the delay before I can start the career change process, but I also don't want to waste my time if there is a better way forward.

    The CIE exam in Computer Science is exam only, which avoids the hassle getting coursework certified, and there are two decision maths modules in the AQA Further Maths syllabus (also coursework-free) which I'm assuming would be quite relevant.

    Also, I can get work to pay for most of the cost of these qualifications; another option I had thought about was the first year of an OU course in computing and maths, but it's just prohibitively expensive.

    I want to be able to make my application as strong as possible as references may be an issue; the tutor for my undergraduate music degree is a specialist in French Grand Opera (i.e. knows nothing of my ability to code/do maths) and has probably forgotten who I am, also my current employer will only really be able to comment on how well I play the clarinet, alongside the more general transferable skills...

    What do you all think?
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    (Original post by jgiddings)
    I've decided to make a career change and wish to do an MSc in Computer Science (conversion) at UCL or Imperial - I meet the 2:1 requirement, but in music, and with no subsid modules in computer science or maths. In that case, UCL ask for at least A' level Maths and A' level Computer Science.

    I have a C at A' level Maths (18 year old me played WoW until 3am the night before most of my exams), but no Computer Science Qualification. Long story short, I am looking at earliest 2018/19 entry (moving to London this year, and want to wait for the dust to settle before handing in my notice (1 year) to work), so would self-study Computer Science and Further Maths A' level be a good way to boost my application at this stage? I am keen to have something to get my teeth into because of the delay before I can start the career change process, but I also don't want to waste my time if there is a better way forward.

    The CIE exam in Computer Science is exam only, which avoids the hassle getting coursework certified, and there are two decision maths modules in the AQA Further Maths syllabus (also coursework-free) which I'm assuming would be quite relevant.

    Also, I can get work to pay for most of the cost of these qualifications; another option I had thought about was the first year of an OU course in computing and maths, but it's just prohibitively expensive.

    I want to be able to make my application as strong as possible as references may be an issue; the tutor for my undergraduate music degree is a specialist in French Grand Opera (i.e. knows nothing of my ability to code/do maths) and has probably forgotten who I am, also my current employer will only really be able to comment on how well I play the clarinet, alongside the more general transferable skills...

    What do you all think?
    I'll answer your post as someone who is undergoing a similar situation: I work in a somewhat IT-related field but want to go into 'pure' IT and have decided to apply for the conversion courses. Even though I did not read for a liberal arts degree at university, I had little to no maths and as a result am in a similar situation.

    I contacted a few people who had done the course from my alumni network. Luckily, I went to a large institution and alumni were relatively receptive to me reaching out to them. From what I was told, their recommendation was to prepare for the sheer workload. The three courses I'm looking at, Imperial, UCL and Bristol, assume little to no knowledge of computing and will teach you most if not everything. However, the pace and workload is so high that you're better off being as prepared as possible beforehand.

    My suggestion would be to focus on knowing the main languages taught during the course. I believe at Imperial it's C++ whereas at UCL it's Java (someone else please correct me if I'm wrong about this!) Do you really need to do a qualification before applying? I honestly think that showing that you're doing Maths on the side will be sufficient? If it's easier, you can always do just one module with London International (link) instead of a complete A-Level.
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    Yep, self teaching further maths and compsci (providing you actually get good grades in them) will really boost your chances of a successful application. It will also show you have the ability to be self motivated and organised etc
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    (Original post by jgiddings)
    I've decided to make a career change and wish to do an MSc in Computer Science (conversion) at UCL or Imperial - I meet the 2:1 requirement, but in music, and with no subsid modules in computer science or maths. In that case, UCL ask for at least A' level Maths and A' level Computer Science.

    I have a C at A' level Maths (18 year old me played WoW until 3am the night before most of my exams), but no Computer Science Qualification. Long story short, I am looking at earliest 2018/19 entry (moving to London this year, and want to wait for the dust to settle before handing in my notice (1 year) to work), so would self-study Computer Science and Further Maths A' level be a good way to boost my application at this stage? I am keen to have something to get my teeth into because of the delay before I can start the career change process, but I also don't want to waste my time if there is a better way forward.

    The CIE exam in Computer Science is exam only, which avoids the hassle getting coursework certified, and there are two decision maths modules in the AQA Further Maths syllabus (also coursework-free) which I'm assuming would be quite relevant.

    Also, I can get work to pay for most of the cost of these qualifications; another option I had thought about was the first year of an OU course in computing and maths, but it's just prohibitively expensive.

    I want to be able to make my application as strong as possible as references may be an issue; the tutor for my undergraduate music degree is a specialist in French Grand Opera (i.e. knows nothing of my ability to code/do maths) and has probably forgotten who I am, also my current employer will only really be able to comment on how well I play the clarinet, alongside the more general transferable skills...

    What do you all think?
    wow i'm sort of like you, as in looking for a conversion course. the one at Newcastle Uni only asks for a 2:2 in any degree.

    you really set on UCL? And you think conv courses that do ask for A-Level Maths / Computer Science will be a better conv course in terms of content than the ones that don't? or is it just to weed out people but courses actually the same??
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    Thanks for the replies.

    (Original post by Aceadria)
    I'll answer your post as someone who is undergoing a similar situation: I work in a somewhat IT-related field but want to go into 'pure' IT and have decided to apply for the conversion courses. Even though I did not read for a liberal arts degree at university, I had little to no maths and as a result am in a similar situation.

    I contacted a few people who had done the course from my alumni network. Luckily, I went to a large institution and alumni were relatively receptive to me reaching out to them. From what I was told, their recommendation was to prepare for the sheer workload. The three courses I'm looking at, Imperial, UCL and Bristol, assume little to no knowledge of computing and will teach you most if not everything. However, the pace and workload is so high that you're better off being as prepared as possible beforehand.

    My suggestion would be to focus on knowing the main languages taught during the course. I believe at Imperial it's C++ whereas at UCL it's Java (someone else please correct me if I'm wrong about this!) Do you really need to do a qualification before applying? I honestly think that showing that you're doing Maths on the side will be sufficient? If it's easier, you can always do just one module with London International (link) instead of a complete A-Level.
    The reason I thought doing the qualifications would be good is partly to get me into studying again, and to show that I will be able to cope with the maths element. I know why I got a C at A level, but they may question my ability to keep up even if I just study the relevant maths without entering for a qualification.

    The London International idea looks really interesting. They do a graduate diploma in maths which might be better than the A level, and an introduction to computer science/programming. Thanks for that.

    (Original post by pythonCOOLKID111)
    Yep, self teaching further maths and compsci (providing you actually get good grades in them) will really boost your chances of a successful application. It will also show you have the ability to be self motivated and organised etc
    That was my hope, however, I'd likely have to take the A2 exams next summer, so would only have AS grades to show for my efforts come application time.

    (Original post by oldboy2007)
    wow i'm sort of like you, as in looking for a conversion course. the one at Newcastle Uni only asks for a 2:2 in any degree.

    you really set on UCL? And you think conv courses that do ask for A-Level Maths / Computer Science will be a better conv course in terms of content than the ones that don't? or is it just to weed out people but courses actually the same??
    I don't think it will be better because it asks for CompSci A level, but it's my first choice at the moment because of a combination of the course, the uni itself and where I'll be living. I can only afford to do the MSci if I can come from where I'll be living so location is a big factor.
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    You don't need A level Computing for UCL or Imperial (if I recall correctly). For UCL you need to have either experience or send in a 3 page program as is explicitly written on their website.
    In terms of Maths, ask the programme admin who can probably help you on whether it is enough.


    If you are worried about Maths, you should get a good book on elementary Discrete Mathematics and that should prepare you.


    Don't worry about your course. It is an advantage to have done a Mathematics, Engineering or Science degree, but if you put together a good application, there is no reason why you shouldn't get it.
 
 
 
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