Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    As the title states, I'm wondering how much time I will need to set aside for a computer science degree outside of timetabled hours (So in my spare time).

    I understand that doing work in my own time will help me and I will, so please no responses about how I should be working on coding and courses outside of learning time anyway. All in asking is how much of my non timetabled time I need to be prepared to set aside for scheduled and graded work??

    Any help would be great!!

    Many thanks
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by Liamw1998)
    As the title states, I'm wondering how much time I will need to set aside for a computer science degree outside of timetabled hours (So in my spare time).

    I understand that doing work in my own time will help me and I will, so please no responses about how I should be working on coding and courses outside of learning time anyway. All in asking is how much of my non timetabled time I need to be prepared to set aside for scheduled and graded work??

    Any help would be great!!

    Many thanks
    All university courses are designed to take 1,200 hours of study each year. That includes scheduled classes and independent study.

    Most universities will tell you what they expect from their students.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    When I was at a visit/offer holder day I spoke to a current first year an he showed me hit timetable which had about 14hrs of contact time and he said he does about 4-6 hours self study per week
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Depending on how much you already know about Computer Science, the first year may be much easier and require much less time than the second and third. Also, courses at top universities are always going to be a lot tougher, which will increase the amount of time you need to spend considerably.

    Realistically speaking, the first year of a CS degree covers a large part of the material that you'd already know if you studied it at A-Level, because those courses are often filled with people who have no previous CS knowledge or programming ability (This is even the case with top universities - they expect you to have a solid Mathematical background, but your first program at university will still be "Hello world" ) .

    On the other hand, the first year of a CS degree is really intense if you haven't done any programming before - the pace at which universities introduce it is much faster than the pace at which FE colleges will teach it at A-Level, in which case, you can expect to spend a lot more time self-studying in the first year.

    As far as numbers go, a 'full time' degree needs to be designed (on paper) for students to spend a total of 40 hours per week (including contact time) to satisfy the requirements which allow the university to offer the course as a full-time degree.

    The amount of contact time often decreases each year - the final year is heavily focused on the FYP, so there'll be very little contact time with lecturers; by the time you reach the final semester, 20-30 hours per week working on the project isn't unrealistic if you want a top degree classification.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Liamw1998)
    As the title states, I'm wondering how much time I will need to set aside for a computer science degree outside of timetabled hours (So in my spare time).

    I understand that doing work in my own time will help me and I will, so please no responses about how I should be working on coding and courses outside of learning time anyway. All in asking is how much of my non timetabled time I need to be prepared to set aside for scheduled and graded work??

    Any help would be great!!

    Many thanks
    All of it depends on you and how much you already know and how fast you learn. Obviously you should put in at least a couple hours. But some may only need 5 extra hours a week on average and others might need 30 to get the same grade.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PQ)
    All university courses are designed to take 1,200 hours of study each year. That includes scheduled classes and independent study.

    Most universities will tell you what they expect from their students.
    So roughly how much work does this equate to per week and how much time to work on my own hobbies and projects?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fresher18)
    When I was at a visit/offer holder day I spoke to a current first year an he showed me hit timetable which had about 14hrs of contact time and he said he does about 4-6 hours self study per week
    Thanks for the example :-)
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by winterscoming)
    Depending on how much you already know about Computer Science, the first year may be much easier and require much less time than the second and third. Also, courses at top universities are always going to be a lot tougher, which will increase the amount of time you need to spend considerably.

    Realistically speaking, the first year of a CS degree covers a large part of the material that you'd already know if you studied it at A-Level, because those courses are often filled with people who have no previous CS knowledge or programming ability (This is even the case with top universities - they expect you to have a solid Mathematical background, but your first program at university will still be "Hello world" ) .

    On the other hand, the first year of a CS degree is really intense if you haven't done any programming before - the pace at which universities introduce it is much faster than the pace at which FE colleges will teach it at A-Level, in which case, you can expect to spend a lot more time self-studying in the first year.

    As far as numbers go, a 'full time' degree needs to be designed (on paper) for students to spend a total of 40 hours per week (including contact time) to satisfy the requirements which allow the university to offer the course as a full-time degree.

    The amount of contact time often decreases each year - the final year is heavily focused on the FYP, so there'll be very little contact time with lecturers; by the time you reach the final semester, 20-30 hours per week working on the project isn't unrealistic if you want a top degree classification.
    Okay thankyou for the information. I haven't studied it before but I am spending the next 6 months doing some online courses. I am starting with Java courses at the moment. 40 hours a week sounds a bit unrealistic compared to how long everyone says
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Devify)
    All of it depends on you and how much you already know and how fast you learn. Obviously you should put in at least a couple hours. But some may only need 5 extra hours a week on average and others might need 30 to get the same grade.
    Okay I see, well thankyou:-)
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by Liamw1998)
    So roughly how much work does this equate to per week and how much time to work on my own hobbies and projects?
    That depends on the specific course you take. Some have short terms so you need to do more in term time. If you have exams then you might end up putting in a lot more time for revision. Some people and courses have coursework to complete over the holidays. And some people are able to do well without putting in the recommended hours.

    Depending on all of that you will normally need to devote 20-40 hours a week to study (including timetabled lectures/labs etc).
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Liamw1998)
    Okay thankyou for the information. I haven't studied it before but I am spending the next 6 months doing some online courses. I am starting with Java courses at the moment. 40 hours a week sounds a bit unrealistic compared to how long everyone says
    Maybe I didn't explain it properly, but 40 hours is the total amount of time that the university needs to account for in order to be allowed to offer it as a full-time course and charge the full tuition fee. (although in reality nearly all but the top the universities tend to fudge those numbers by a long way).

    Also, 40 hours also usually based on their profile of the kindsof students starting with the minimum possible knowledge to meet the entry requirements, but who are also aiming for the maximum possible grade (i.e. first class degree). Naturally, most students will be ahead of that when they start in the first year, and many students will be faster learners than that too.

    40 hours includes the amount of time you'll spend in timetabled lectures/workshops etc. It's also based on complete 100% coverage of all the material that you're provided - i.e. if you study for 40 hours per week including your timetabled hours, then you are pretty much going to be on your way to scoring close to 100% in every one of your exams and on all of your coursework.

    In your first and second years, you'll likely have at least 10-15 hours timetabled per week, so at most you'll have 25 hours worth of self-study to be able to aim for the top grade. That includes the exercises set by the lecturer, but also a long list of books you'd be asked to read, and online resources to research, etc.

    For the most part, unless you're really struggling, you probably won't need to spend much time studying the books that closely because all the essential material will be covered in the timetabled contact hours, and the lecturers should give you some pretty clear direction about what's really important to learn compared with the rest. Most of the essential work will be doing those exercises set by the lecturer, and that's usually enough for the majority of students.

    Realistically, most students are a long way above the minimum bar too; particularly in the first year. If you have already taught yourself some of the most time-consuming skills (particularly programming), then you'll be a long way ahead of the students who actually need the whole 40 hours each week to keep up.

    The final year project is a different matter though - you'll have very little contact time in the final semester, so for an FYP worthy of a 1st, 30+ hours per week (between around January-April) isn't unrealistic
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by winterscoming)
    Maybe I didn't explain it properly, but 40 hours is the total amount of time that the university needs to account for in order to be allowed to offer it as a full-time course and charge the full tuition fee. (although in reality nearly all but the top the universities tend to fudge those numbers by a long way).

    Also, 40 hours also usually based on their profile of the kindsof students starting with the minimum possible knowledge to meet the entry requirements, but who are also aiming for the maximum possible grade (i.e. first class degree). Naturally, most students will be ahead of that when they start in the first year, and many students will be faster learners than that too.

    40 hours includes the amount of time you'll spend in timetabled lectures/workshops etc. It's also based on complete 100% coverage of all the material that you're provided - i.e. if you study for 40 hours per week including your timetabled hours, then you are pretty much going to be on your way to scoring close to 100% in every one of your exams and on all of your coursework.

    In your first and second years, you'll likely have at least 10-15 hours timetabled per week, so at most you'll have 25 hours worth of self-study to be able to aim for the top grade. That includes the exercises set by the lecturer, but also a long list of books you'd be asked to read, and online resources to research, etc.

    For the most part, unless you're really struggling, you probably won't need to spend much time studying the books that closely because all the essential material will be covered in the timetabled contact hours, and the lecturers should give you some pretty clear direction about what's really important to learn compared with the rest. Most of the essential work will be doing those exercises set by the lecturer, and that's usually enough for the majority of students.

    Realistically, most students are a long way above the minimum bar too; particularly in the first year. If you have already taught yourself some of the most time-consuming skills (particularly programming), then you'll be a long way ahead of the students who actually need the whole 40 hours each week to keep up.

    The final year project is a different matter though - you'll have very little contact time in the final semester, so for an FYP worthy of a 1st, 30+ hours per week (between around January-April) isn't unrealistic
    40 hours assumes a 30 week term time with no study during holidays.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    All universities say you should spend 40 hours a week working towards your course. But really it depends on your intelligence, work ethic and how much exposure you've had to the subject. If you're reasonably intelligent, good at math but never studied programming before I'd say spend around 20 hours a week of self-study.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PQ)
    40 hours assumes a 30 week term time with no study during holidays.
    Sure, but my point is, whether you count it as 30 weeks x 40 hours or just 1200 hours, it's more a requirement for the tuition fee, rather than a requirement for the students
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    How long is a piece of string?

    As others have said, a full time course expects 1200 hours or roughly 40 hour weeks (i.e. the equivalent of full time work hours). You can slice that up however you like. The amount of time you actually need to spend is a completely different matter that depends on a ton of factors. How fast do you pick up the content? What grade are you aiming for? How difficult is your course? How much knowledge do you have? How many contact hours do you have?

    It's outright impossible to answer "How many hours are required for a CS degree" because it varies for every person. And I would expect anyone who were at university to understand that the amount of hours you put in does not directly equate to the grade you get out of it. As a general rule, I might say aim to put in 5 hours per 20 credit module per week. But that's useless information. In my first year (where the content was basic introductory stuff and I knew a lot of it already) I didn't put close to that in. In my second year, those 5 hours per module have varied wildly from 12 hours per week for my placement module to as little as 1 to 2 hours for easy core stuff and assignments. I've spent more time on basic household chores like going shopping and cleaning than I have on some modules but other students might have needed the maximum recommended time.

    As a general rule, you should be able to get a good degree classification if you set aside the suggested 40 hours per week (where that includes contact hours). Whether you need all that is up to you but it's impossible to say how much you specifically will need to set aside. Assuming you had 9am-9pm free, 7 days a week you'll have 84 hours. Around half of that could be spent on your degree (contact hours and your own time). Or more. Or less. It's impossible to say.
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by winterscoming)
    Sure, but my point is, whether you count it as 30 weeks x 40 hours or just 1200 hours, it's more a requirement for the tuition fee, rather than a requirement for the students

    It’s nothing to do with charging fees. The credit hours calculation is part of a QAA (including subject benchmarks) and course validation process as well as aligning with ECTS and CATS standards for degree compatibility within the UK and across Europe.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PQ)
    It’s nothing to do with charging fees. The credit hours calculation is part of a QAA (including subject benchmarks) and course validation process as well as aligning with ECTS and CATS standards for degree compatibility within the UK and across Europe.
    Indeed, so they can't offer it as a full-time degree without being able to meet the number of hours, so I'm not quite sure how that's different from what I'd said before, but never mind
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by winterscoming)
    Indeed, so they can't offer it as a full-time degree without being able to meet the number of hours, so I'm not quite sure how that's different from what I'd said before, but never mind
    Full time status only requires an average of 24 hours study a week. 1,200 comes from the quality assurance process (which isn’t related to fee levels).
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    Correction: full time for fees purposes is study of 21 hours/week for 24 weeks of the year - which would only equate to around 50 credits not the credits required for a full time degree course (120 credits). This allows universities to class postgraduate certificate awards as full time, academic year length, courses.

    http://www.hefce.ac.uk/media/HEFCE,2...CE2017_17h.pdf
 
 
 
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: February 25, 2018
Poll
Do you agree with the proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds?

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.