Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Hello everyone!

    I am a Year 12 student who is intending to do a Computer Science degree at university. I currently do four A levels, one of which I am considering dropping, the EPQ, as well as an extra GCSE to add to my other ten. My problem is what exactly I want to do in terms of CS (the variety of the courses is seriously difficult when you don't know exactly what you want to do) and where I want to go. I'd entertained the idea of Cambridge, but the entry requirements for that put that considerably out of my range, and I don't even know what I'd want from a university as of right now anyway.

    The point of this thread, then, is to ask people about their experiences with CS and university, whether it is having done a course on it, part way through one, applying for CS or anyone else who has a constructive thought to add. I am well aware of the many people who say not to just trust League Tables, and the prestige of certain unis over others (whether you find them founded or unfounded), but I can't consider all of my options objectively if I don't have a full understanding of what those options are, and that's where this thread comes in!

    Just as a quick background--
    I have completed 10 GCSEs, with A*s in two, As in five and Bs in the remaining three.
    My A Levels are Physics, Maths, Further Maths (this is the one I am considering dropping, because of its difficulty) and English Language.
    I also am taking the EPQ and Astronomy GCSE as an extracurricular.
    I have some background coding experience, having done GCSE CS (so I have basic knowledge of HTML and a bit of CSS that I'm hoping to improve before September, as well as Visual Basic, which isn't very widely used, but the point still stands) and I am doing another extracurricular where I use a watered down version of C++ to code on a board for electronics.

    Anything that you want to contribute to this board- your experiences, tricks and tips, dos or do-nots or anything that you think could help either myself or someone else looking through this board, I'd be very happy!
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    I'm currently in my second year doing CS at university so I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    Comp Sci graduate here, fire away...
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by UWS)
    Comp Sci graduate here, fire away...
    So where you working at now?
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by Praetorian Guard)
    So where you working at now?
    Not saying where but I've got a graduate role in DevOps.
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    first year CS, fire away.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by UWS)
    Not saying where but I've got a graduate role in DevOps.
    How easy/difficult was finding a job? Are you happy at your current workplace, do you find your role interesting?
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by ezzk294)
    How easy/difficult was finding a job? Are you happy at your current workplace, do you find your role interesting?
    Finding a job wasn't too difficult as I had a year's experience in industry. It was much harder when I was applying for a placement because I never had experience before, I think that's something employer's look really closely at so consider doing a placement if you have the option to.

    I'm happyish I guess, I'm still in training so things are going a little slow but the company is great and the role has a lot of bases covered in terms of exposure to different technologies.
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by UWS)
    Finding a job wasn't too difficult as I had a year's experience in industry. It was much harder when I was applying for a placement because I never had experience before, I think that's something employer's look really closely at so consider doing a placement if you have the option to.

    I'm happyish I guess, I'm still in training so things are going a little slow but the company is great and the role has a lot of bases covered in terms of exposure to different technologies.
    Interesting point about placement, I actually haven't thought about it before.

    If you don't mind me asking, which technology niche does this company belong to?

    Thanks for the answers, hope everything goes smoothly for you.
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by ezzk294)
    Interesting point about placement, I actually haven't thought about it before.

    If you don't mind me asking, which technology niche does this company belong to?

    Thanks for the answers, hope everything goes smoothly for you.
    Telecoms

    Thanks! If you have any more questions let me know.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by donutellme)
    I'm currently in my second year doing CS at university so I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.
    (Original post by UWS)
    Comp Sci graduate here, fire away...
    (Original post by Princepieman)
    first year CS, fire away.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Thanks! I appreciate it

    Okay, where did you go/are you going to uni? Was it just CS, or a specific branch (for example software engineering or AI) of course? What is involved (that's quite general, but whatever stands out is useful)? Did/do you enjoy it? What specific parts do you enjoy? What were the entry requirements? What advice would you have for people looking to do CS at university?

    Wow, that was a bombardment of questions, sorry about that
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by computernerd1001)
    Thanks! I appreciate it

    Okay, where did you go/are you going to uni? Was it just CS, or a specific branch (for example software engineering or AI) of course? What is involved (that's quite general, but whatever stands out is useful)? Did/do you enjoy it? What specific parts do you enjoy? What were the entry requirements? What advice would you have for people looking to do CS at university?

    Wow, that was a bombardment of questions, sorry about that

    Where I went: City University London
    Course: Computer Science
    What's involved: Programming (C++, Java, Python are the main ones), databases, theory, UX/UI/HC, software engineering, algorithms, maths (pumping lemma, predicate logic, etc...)...
    Did I enjoy it? no.. it was boring except for when I got to design my own app.
    What parts I enjoyed: Probably Android development and the UX/HCI stuff.
    Entry requirements: BBB (I got BBC but they accepted me)
    Advice: Do a little learning over the summer, start with Java and create a few basic programs. Nothing too advanced unless you want to, gives you a little advantage going into your first year.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by UWS)
    Where I went: City University London
    Course: Computer Science
    What's involved: Programming (C++, Java, Python are the main ones), databases, theory, UX/UI/HC, software engineering, algorithms, maths (pumping lemma, predicate logic, etc...)...
    Did I enjoy it? no.. it was boring except for when I got to design my own app.
    What parts I enjoyed: Probably Android development and the UX/HCI stuff.
    Entry requirements: BBB (I got BBC but they accepted me)
    Advice: Do a little learning over the summer, start with Java and create a few basic programs. Nothing too advanced unless you want to, gives you a little advantage going into your first year.
    Thank you! It really helps (I actually didn't think of Java, despite it seeming obvious in hindsight, so thanks)
    ((Also I don't know what UX/UI/HC stands for, whoops))
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by computernerd1001)
    Thanks! I appreciate it

    Okay, where did you go/are you going to uni? Was it just CS, or a specific branch (for example software engineering or AI) of course? What is involved (that's quite general, but whatever stands out is useful)? Did/do you enjoy it? What specific parts do you enjoy? What were the entry requirements? What advice would you have for people looking to do CS at university?

    Wow, that was a bombardment of questions, sorry about that
    Questions are good!

    I'm studying at University of Bristol, doing straight CS (MEng so 4 years). One useful thing is that we get a lot of choice in some units. There are core units then some options, allowing you to pick topics that interest you.

    In first year there were 5 main unite. Programming and Algorithms 1 and 2, mathematical methods, computer architecture, theory of computation and then some options. This year I have Language engineering, Data structures and algorithms, concurrent computing, signal processing, and software engineering. First year, the maths covers basic techniques and goes over integration, matrices and statistics in more detail, as well as linear algebra etc. The languages we focused on were C, Haskell, Java and JavaScript. Then this year there's less focus on learning languages and more on creating things, e.g. making an OS and a project with a client for SE. There's lots going on so if you want details just ask

    Yeah I enjoy but I feel that the things I've learnt aren't worth £9000 a year. But it is interesting.

    Entry requirements are normally A*AA.

    Advice: just enjoy CS and programming, practice your maths, and don't stress too much! Also do your work on time, it will save you from sleepless nights before deadlines.
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by computernerd1001)
    Thank you! It really helps (I actually didn't think of Java, despite it seeming obvious in hindsight, so thanks)
    ((Also I don't know what UX/UI/HC stands for, whoops))
    UX = User Experience
    UI = User Interface
    HCI = Human Computer Interaction
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by donutellme)
    Questions are good!

    I'm studying at University of Bristol, doing straight CS (MEng so 4 years). One useful thing is that we get a lot of choice in some units. There are core units then some options, allowing you to pick topics that interest you.

    In first year there were 5 main unite. Programming and Algorithms 1 and 2, mathematical methods, computer architecture, theory of computation and then some options. This year I have Language engineering, Data structures and algorithms, concurrent computing, signal processing, and software engineering. First year, the maths covers basic techniques and goes over integration, matrices and statistics in more detail, as well as linear algebra etc. The languages we focused on were C, Haskell, Java and JavaScript. Then this year there's less focus on learning languages and more on creating things, e.g. making an OS and a project with a client for SE. There's lots going on so if you want details just ask

    Yeah I enjoy but I feel that the things I've learnt aren't worth £9000 a year. But it is interesting.

    Entry requirements are normally A*AA.

    Advice: just enjoy CS and programming, practice your maths, and don't stress too much! Also do your work on time, it will save you from sleepless nights before deadlines.
    Thank you! I guess the problem with things such as CS, which is probably mostly on the internet anyway given its nature, that it doesn't really seem worth that much money. And I get to look forward to it possibly being £9,250 depending on where I go, so

    It sounds like for the most part that there was a lot about learning the languages in your first year, and then moving on to projects when you're all up to speed? That's cool! How are they going for you?

    I don't actually know what I'm anticipating on getting at the end of the two years yet, but personally, I'm hoping to get As in Maths and Eng Lang, as well as (possibly, if I work my socks off) an A* in Physics, but my main conundrum is Further Maths, because I'm not getting very good grades in it. FP1 is hard, and if FP2 is harder, then I'm not sure that the benefit of doing 4 through to A2 will outweigh the fact that the grade I will get from FM will probably be worse.

    I also guess I should try and figure out how to not procrastinate in the couple of years then

    I think I'm just going to keep this thread going, really, so I can collate what I do in terms of extra stuff, making decisions on uni choices and the like, and keep getting advice from lovely people like you It's very helpful!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by UWS)
    UX = User Experience
    UI = User Interface
    HCI = Human Computer Interaction
    Oh okay. Those make a lot of sense, actually.

    See, I'm already learning!
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by computernerd1001)
    Oh okay. Those make a lot of sense, actually.

    See, I'm already learning!
    A lot of it involves aspects of Psychology. User testing is a lot of fun too! Did it a lot in my final year.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by UWS)
    A lot of it involves aspects of Psychology. User testing is a lot of fun too! Did it a lot in my final year.
    Yeah, it makes sense, with trying to solve problems for users and figuring out user needs and such. It's pretty cool

    I was thinking about taking Psychology, but I thought it'd be too much essay writing, and then I took Eng Lang instead. Never let it be said that I make irrational decisions
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by computernerd1001)
    Thank you! I guess the problem with things such as CS, which is probably mostly on the internet anyway given its nature, that it doesn't really seem worth that much money. And I get to look forward to it possibly being £9,250 depending on where I go, so

    It sounds like for the most part that there was a lot about learning the languages in your first year, and then moving on to projects when you're all up to speed? That's cool! How are they going for you?

    I don't actually know what I'm anticipating on getting at the end of the two years yet, but personally, I'm hoping to get As in Maths and Eng Lang, as well as (possibly, if I work my socks off) an A* in Physics, but my main conundrum is Further Maths, because I'm not getting very good grades in it. FP1 is hard, and if FP2 is harder, then I'm not sure that the benefit of doing 4 through to A2 will outweigh the fact that the grade I will get from FM will probably be worse.

    I also guess I should try and figure out how to not procrastinate in the couple of years then

    I think I'm just going to keep this thread going, really, so I can collate what I do in terms of extra stuff, making decisions on uni choices and the like, and keep getting advice from lovely people like you It's very helpful!
    Yeah exactly! There's like 3 books that you really need, the rest can all be learnt online. Unfortunately, you can't download a degree....

    Yeah basically. Like i said, there was lots of stuff, but essentially: first year was learning background knowledge such as basic mathematical techniques, proofs, logic, analysis, statistics etc, as well as complexity theory, basic algorithms, programming techniques and languages and paradigms, as well as CS theory, then little projects every now and then to practice on + lots of lab work.

    Second year was more advanced projects and in depth coursework. If something requires learning a new language or something they expect you to do it yourself, they care more about what you can produce. E.g. write a short paper on something in language engineering, implement a concurrent game of life on this computer, write an OS, cluster and classify this data, blah blah. Then for software product engineering get a real world client and project that you work on as a team. Then there's exams on all of this as well.

    Do note that this is all just the Bristol course. I only know about a few other university courses from friends and visiting them, and some are really similar and some quite different.

    I would say that further maths is super useful because it makes the hard content easier and the really hard content hard. However it's better to get good grades than spend too much time on something that's not working for you. Maths, physics and English is an odd combo though

    The earlier you learn how to stop procrastinating the better you'll feel xD it's seriously such a pain when you leave it to the last minute.

    You're welcome! I've probably gone into too much detail, but feel free to ask anything else as well haha.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: April 8, 2017

University open days

  1. University of Bradford
    University-wide Postgraduate
    Wed, 25 Jul '18
  2. University of Buckingham
    Psychology Taster Tutorial Undergraduate
    Wed, 25 Jul '18
  3. Bournemouth University
    Clearing Campus Visit Undergraduate
    Wed, 1 Aug '18
Poll
How are you feeling in the run-up to Results Day 2018?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.