ellie2002
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#1
I'm nearing the end of year 10, and am predicted an 8 (between an A and A*) in computer science. I enjoy coding, and am considering software engineering as a career, but I have a few questions about what would be required at university.

What's the difference between a computer science and software engineering degree, and what kinds of things do you study?

How much maths is involved in both? (I'm predicted a 7 in maths and am in the top set, but don't enjoy it and find it a particularly hard subject, so am hoping there won't be too much)
0
reply
username3079870
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#2
Report 3 years ago
#2
(Original post by ellie2002)
I'm nearing the end of year 10, and am predicted an 8 (between an A and A*) in computer science. I enjoy coding, and am considering software engineering as a career, but I have a few questions about what would be required at university.

What's the difference between a computer science and software engineering degree, and what kinds of things do you study?

How much maths is involved in both? (I'm predicted a 7 in maths and am in the top set, but don't enjoy it and find it a particularly hard subject, so am hoping there won't be too much)
Hello. So CS at uni tends to focus on theory behind elements of CS. It included a broad range of subjects like hardware, software, system architectures, networks, AI, Web science, algorithims, computer security and many more areas.

Software engineering degrees, while having some theory, tend to focus tools, languages and industry frameworks you would use for building software applications. You tend to write more code on a SE degree on a CS degree (generally speaking).

As for how math heavy they are... That depends on the university. Uni's like QuB, Nottingham, Newcastle and Swansea don't require a lot of maths for CS/SE. Uni's like Oxbridge, Edinburgh or Bristol will be pretty heavy on maths.

I would say in my experience some of the best coders I've ever met weren't brilliant at maths. I've also met brilliant mathematicans (mainly cryptographers) who weren't great at coding. There is a crossover between the 2 areas but they're not one in the same either. You can be an excellent coder without being a math wizard.
1
reply
Drostina
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#3
Report 3 years ago
#3
Software engineering focuses on pure coding, by the end of the course you will be a fantastic programmer.

Computer science focuses on all the different branches of computers, e.g. hardware, software, web development, game development, network.

Since you like coding and you chose Software engineering as a career path, I would suggest the Software engineering course
0
reply
Hopson97
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#4
Report 3 years ago
#4
At most universities, the two courses are mostly the same with a difference of a 3 or 4 modules, which is not a lot.

In fact, quite a lot of universities tend to have the 1st year EXACTLY THE SAME for both courses, and then start to change things up a bit years 2 & 3. This means you can freely switch between courses before going into year 2. In other words, if you still have not decided by the time you are uni, it does not matter.

I enjoy coding too and am going to university starting September to do Computer Science.

Both would involve maths, but computer science would involve a lot more.

Heads up, A-Level/ uni maths is hella different to GCSE maths. I sometimes looked at GCSE test papers that were lying around and I'd be surprised I once found GCSE maths hard.
0
reply
BigYoSpeck
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#5
Report 3 years ago
#5
(Original post by ellie2002)
I'm nearing the end of year 10, and am predicted an 8 (between an A and A*) in computer science. I enjoy coding, and am considering software engineering as a career, but I have a few questions about what would be required at university.

What's the difference between a computer science and software engineering degree, and what kinds of things do you study?

How much maths is involved in both? (I'm predicted a 7 in maths and am in the top set, but don't enjoy it and find it a particularly hard subject, so am hoping there won't be too much)
Software engineer: "We're making X piece of software that needs Y functions, and we need you to create Z method for it"

Computer Scientist: "We have X real world problem, can computer Y be used to solve it?"

I'd guess the bulk of computer science students become software engineers. But the scope of the course is scientific method of problem solving using computation, software engineering is just one of the ways to do that.
0
reply
NecroKamios
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#6
Report 3 years ago
#6
As someone has said, software engineering courses and computer science courses offered by the same university tend to be nearly identical give or take a few modules (and you can probably pick up those modules no matter which course you're on anyway as an optional). I did CS at Warwick and that included a software engineering module for example (although WW doesn't provide a Software Engineering course).

What do you tend to study?
- Basics of programming in e.g. Java
- Data structures and algorithms for programming
- Web Development
- Software Engineering (aka make a software as a team based on a given set of requirements)
- Computer Graphics (Mathsey)
- Artificial Intelligence (Mathsey)
- Machine Learning (Mathsey)
- Databases
- Computer Architecture & Network Protocols

BigYoSpeck's answer illustrates the difference between a Software Engineer (Programmer) and Computer Scientist (Research) pretty simply. However the course you pick has little to no weighting on which you become, those are thoughts for after you graduate. Both career paths are available to you at the end of either degree.

The amount of Maths you'll have will be ultimately based on what university you pick rather than the course name. Top universities are more likely to require A-level Maths as a requirement and will require you to learn a fair bit of Further Maths A-level for some of their modules. If a university has a requirement of an A in A-level Maths, then assume they have a fair bit of maths in their modules. These universities are quite likely to have compulsory math modules as well.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Current uni students - are you thinking of dropping out of university?

Yes, I'm seriously considering dropping out (22)
17.89%
I'm not sure (2)
1.63%
No, I'm going to stick it out for now (39)
31.71%
I have already dropped out (3)
2.44%
I'm not a current university student (57)
46.34%

Watched Threads

View All