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    Essentially, I am worried I am not happy with any of my ucas choices which I have left to study computer science:
    Oxford (Rejected)
    Imperial (Rejection most likely)
    Durham (A*AA)
    Warwick (A*AA)
    Bath (AAB)

    I applied to Durham because I though I would like the campus (which I am visiting soon), and Warwick because they are well known for computer science. I was thinking Durham was my best choice, but now I am maybe realising Durham is not so good for Computer Science? I really don't know how to tell, why is it highly ranked?
    Of course I would be happy to simply say apply to Warwick if that is the case, but at the same time, should I consider reapplying to UCL if that's much better for computer science? I'm happy to consider taking a gap year, as it likely opens up my opportunity to get into Imperial if I get high grades, I'm just worried that the places I've applied to aren't the best courses available at this A*AA grade range.

    Essentially should I consider reapplying to go to UCL if it is significantly better for computer science than my available options?

    P.S. How are these universities for their Computer Science and Maths courses? I may have the option to transfer depending on my grades
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    From what I can tell Durham's CS course is good, although it depends somewhat on what you want to do. It has a good deal of "applications/software engineering" type options, but also notably has quite a lot of theoretical CS options which tends to be a bit "rarer". Warwick is very strong in CS overall, and has a very broad range of options including some good theoretical ones (I'm noting these since as above they're less common).

    My impression is that CS is one of the weaker departments at UCL, although improving. Certainly, Warwick is head and shoulders above the CS course there overall, and Durham is probably about on par but with slightly different options as to what you can specialise in (and slightly fewer, I believe - but more if you consider the vast plethora of options available outside the department via NatSci CS). I would put Bath above UCL for CS specifically as well, personally.

    There was a thread in which I made some comments about CS & Maths joint courses in the last week or so - you should be able to find it through my profile. You might find some of them helpful Re: reapplying for CS & Maths. There are also a lot of other comments in that thread generally. However if your plan is to go and work in industry, then any of your choices are more than suitable (either in computing or more general business areas). If you want to go into academia it depends somewhat on what you eventually research - somewhere with more options may be better than less, although generally more mathematical courses with more theoretical options may be preferable, as in academia "programming" isn't something they're likely to care about so much (so doing 5 software engineering options in different languages isn't really that relevant for them - they want to know you can program, at all, they aren't so fussed about all this lean and agile stuff unless it's some industrially sponsored modelling project which is probably hosted in the engineering or business departments rather than CS).
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    From what I can tell Durham's CS course is good, although it depends somewhat on what you want to do. It has a good deal of "applications/software engineering" type options, but also notably has quite a lot of theoretical CS options which tends to be a bit "rarer". Warwick is very strong in CS overall, and has a very broad range of options including some good theoretical ones (I'm noting these since as above they're less common).

    My impression is that CS is one of the weaker departments at UCL, although improving. Certainly, Warwick is head and shoulders above the CS course there overall, and Durham is probably about on par but with slightly different options as to what you can specialise in (and slightly fewer, I believe - but more if you consider the vast plethora of options available outside the department via NatSci CS). I would put Bath above UCL for CS specifically as well, personally.

    There was a thread in which I made some comments about CS & Maths joint courses in the last week or so - you should be able to find it through my profile. You might find some of them helpful Re: reapplying for CS & Maths. There are also a lot of other comments in that thread generally. However if your plan is to go and work in industry, then any of your choices are more than suitable (either in computing or more general business areas). If you want to go into academia it depends somewhat on what you eventually research - somewhere with more options may be better than less, although generally more mathematical courses with more theoretical options may be preferable, as in academia "programming" isn't something they're likely to care about so much (so doing 5 software engineering options in different languages isn't really that relevant for them - they want to know you can program, at all, they aren't so fussed about all this lean and agile stuff unless it's some industrially sponsored modelling project which is probably hosted in the engineering or business departments rather than CS).
    Great help, thanks.
    2 things though
    1 - You mentioned the variety of modules available (eg. theoretical ones) which I would be interesting in getting more detail about, particularly for comparing the two universities in this regard. Would the department websites have such detailed course information? Also sometimes it seems hard to spot the differences, any tips when comparing?
    2 - Could you link me to the CS and Maths thread you mentioned? I can't find it :P
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    (Original post by Rohit Joshi)
    Essentially, I am worried I am not happy with any of my ucas choices which I have left to study computer science:
    Oxford (Rejected)
    Imperial (Rejection most likely)
    Durham (A*AA)
    Warwick (A*AA)
    Bath (AAB)

    I applied to Durham because I though I would like the campus (which I am visiting soon), and Warwick because they are well known for computer science. I was thinking Durham was my best choice, but now I am maybe realising Durham is not so good for Computer Science? I really don't know how to tell, why is it highly ranked?
    Of course I would be happy to simply say apply to Warwick if that is the case, but at the same time, should I consider reapplying to UCL if that's much better for computer science? I'm happy to consider taking a gap year, as it likely opens up my opportunity to get into Imperial if I get high grades, I'm just worried that the places I've applied to aren't the best courses available at this A*AA grade range.

    Essentially should I consider reapplying to go to UCL if it is significantly better for computer science than my available options?

    P.S. How are these universities for their Computer Science and Maths courses? I may have the option to transfer depending on my grades
    Whats your goal after your degree? Work or post-grad (PhD)?
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    Here's the thread I made a week ago about CS & Maths degrees.

    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...406&p=76461002
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    (Original post by jestersnow)
    Whats your goal after your degree? Work or post-grad (PhD)?
    I can pretty confidently say I have no idea. I very much expected myself to get a feel when doing a Masters (4th year during the course) and then being able to determine whether I wish to continue. I think work would be most likely though, although I don't know what research in the field really entails.
    Back on topic though, how would my decision influence my choice of institution?
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    (Original post by Rohit Joshi)
    Great help, thanks.
    2 things though
    1 - You mentioned the variety of modules available (eg. theoretical ones) which I would be interesting in getting more detail about, particularly for comparing the two universities in this regard. Would the department websites have such detailed course information? Also sometimes it seems hard to spot the differences, any tips when comparing?
    2 - Could you link me to the CS and Maths thread you mentioned? I can't find it :P
    Usually you can find this somewhere on the website - often on just the "admissions" course pages, but if not you can usually find indicative content and module availability on the individual department(s) webpages. For Durham they have a central set of module and programme specification pages somewhere, and more generally NatSci has a very detailed (if sometimes slightly circular) set of pages with all the available modules in different discplines.

    Regarding differences, it's really about referring to the module details/syllabus/specifications/content and seeing what is actually included. You may want/need to do a bit of research on the topics in question to get at least an overarching view of the relations between topics in the field, but nothing more than basic wikipedia-ing would really be needed for that.

    The thread in question is here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...012&highlight=

    Not mentioned in that, but possibly of interest to you, are Bristol and Bath, who both have good computing and very good Maths programmes. One of them (I forget which) also has an "Engineering Mathematics" course, which may be of interest if you wanted to combine Maths, Computing and physics as relevant to engineering in one course (similar to possible combinations in Durham NatSci). If you are considerably interested in applied maths and (theoretical) physics, Birmingham has their Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics course which has the option to "intercalate" a year in the CS department (I believe following the second year of their CS course).
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    (Original post by Rohit Joshi)
    I can pretty confidently say I have no idea. I very much expected myself to get a feel when doing a Masters (4th year during the course) and then being able to determine whether I wish to continue. I think work would be most likely though, although I don't know what research in the field really entails.
    Back on topic though, how would my decision influence my choice of institution?
    To be frank, Durham seems by many accounts to have a small CompSci department relative to other top universities. They have been shrinking their post-grad CS department for a number of years now.

    Warwick, on the other hand, is particularly strong for post-grad research, especially in the areas of Data Science and Machine Learning. They have a huge Data Science Institute and are one of the leading European universities for Data Science.

    If I was considering postgrad research, Warwick would be a clear winner. There's nothing to say you cannot do undergrad at Durham then a PhD or Warwick, but obviously if you do your undergrad at Warwick you'll have a better chance.

    Regarding waiting a year to go to UCL, frankly I don't see the point. If you can find me a company that will turn you down because you graduated from Durham or Warwick rather than UCL, I'd be astonished. UCL probably does carry a little more name recognition abroad, but as an experienced tech professional, it's more about what you can do and you're demonstrable experience.

    For example, if a tech company needs to hire a good C# engineer, they would hire a person who worked for 10 years as senior C# engineer at Microsoft with no degree over a fresh grad from UCL, Warwick or Durham. Experience is king in tech. Where you acquire that experience in terms of universities will depend on the modules they have and more importantly the placements/ extracurricular projects they offer.

    Let me put this another way: If you go to Warwick/Durham and get a years professional experience post-grad, you'll be in a much better position that graduating from UCL and missing the extra year of professional experience you could've had but missed out on because you waited.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    Usually you can find this somewhere on the website - often on just the "admissions" course pages, but if not you can usually find indicative content and module availability on the individual department(s) webpages. For Durham they have a central set of module and programme specification pages somewhere, and more generally NatSci has a very detailed (if sometimes slightly circular) set of pages with all the available modules in different discplines.

    Regarding differences, it's really about referring to the module details/syllabus/specifications/content and seeing what is actually included. You may want/need to do a bit of research on the topics in question to get at least an overarching view of the relations between topics in the field, but nothing more than basic wikipedia-ing would really be needed for that.

    The thread in question is here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...012&highlight=

    Not mentioned in that, but possibly of interest to you, are Bristol and Bath, who both have good computing and very good Maths programmes. One of them (I forget which) also has an "Engineering Mathematics" course, which may be of interest if you wanted to combine Maths, Computing and physics as relevant to engineering in one course (similar to possible combinations in Durham NatSci). If you are considerably interested in applied maths and (theoretical) physics, Birmingham has their Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics course which has the option to "intercalate" a year in the CS department (I believe following the second year of their CS course).
    Excellent, that makes a lot of sense. Finally do you have any reasons that you personally would choose out of the two? (Purely based on course/department quality).
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    (Original post by jestersnow)
    To be frank, Durham seems by many accounts to have a small CompSci department relative to other top universities. They have been shrinking their post-grad CS department for a number of years now.

    Warwick, on the other hand, is particularly strong for post-grad research, especially in the areas of Data Science and Machine Learning. They have a huge Data Science Institute and are one of the leading European universities for Data Science.

    If I was considering postgrad research, Warwick would be a clear winner. There's nothing to say you cannot do undergrad at Durham then a PhD or Warwick, but obviously if you do your undergrad at Warwick you'll have a better chance.

    Regarding waiting a year to go to UCL, frankly I don't see the point. If you can find me a company that will turn you down because you graduated from Durham or Warwick rather than UCL, I'd be astonished. UCL probably does carry a little more name recognition abroad, but as an experienced tech professional, it's more about what you can do and you're demonstrable experience.

    For example, if a tech company needs to hire a good C# engineer, they would hire a person who worked for 10 years as senior C# engineer at Microsoft with no degree over a fresh grad from UCL, Warwick or Durham. Experience is king in tech. Where you acquire that experience in terms of universities will depend on the modules they have and more importantly the placements/ extracurricular projects they offer.

    Let me put this another way: If you go to Warwick/Durham and get a years professional experience post-grad, you'll be in a much better position that graduating from UCL and missing the extra year of professional experience you could've had but missed out on because you waited.
    Thanks, very helpful. Would you say there are any reasons you would choose one over the other purely for the course/department? I get the initial idea that warwick is slightly better. Are there any major reasons Durham would be worse?
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    (Original post by Rohit Joshi)
    Thanks, very helpful. Would you say there are any reasons you would choose one over the other purely for the course/department? I get the initial idea that warwick is slightly better. Are there any major reasons Durham would be worse?
    My reasons are as follow:

    1) Lack of research from the CS department: I've done 2 masters degrees and read scores of research papers from UK unis and beyond. There wasn't many contemporary papers from Durham regarding CS. Okay, you're doing an undergrad qualification, but still it wouldn't impress me too much that there isn't a strong research CS capability in the uni.

    2) Student satisfaction: My PhD friends attended a cross disciplinary conference about Latin America last year. They spoke to a few CS undergrads who weren't thrilled by the CS course at Durham. Hard to read much in to it but they claimed no one was that impressed with the course. Also see this students experience:

    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...d.php?t=997350

    3) Shrinking masters degree programs: The master degree offerings in CS subjects has dwindled for the last decade or so at Durham. Again this is probably a sign that CS is not considered a major department within the university.

    IIRC there have been a few people who had offers from Durham on these forums too who went to Open Days at the CS department the uni ran. You see time and again none of the students were particularly bowled offer by the CS department at Durham. Again, I'm sure it's a fine course and Durham seems like a lovely university overall, but I'm not sure it is the best place for CS.
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    (Original post by Rohit Joshi)
    Excellent, that makes a lot of sense. Finally do you have any reasons that you personally would choose out of the two? (Purely based on course/department quality).
    Purely based on departmental matters, it looks as though Warwick has more options that might be interesting to me but your mileage may vary. If you want to go into IBanking Warwick may have a tiny advantage over Durham - but I believe they are both target unis so...

    Ultimately on academic metrics they're really equal. There are plenty of other things to differentiate them with - college life at Durham vs campus life at Warwick, the entertainments (or lack thereof) offered in the respective towns, whether you like the "prison architecture" of Warwick, whether you want to be so far up north (and in the cold!) at Durham...

    You're probably going to mainly be deciding between them on those qualities. Academically/prospects wise I think they're largely equal. I might make a small concession in favour of Warwick if you're interested in pursuing a PhD in CS, as I think they have a bit more research strength in that area, so you may get slightly more interesting project/dissertation titles. This is a pretty minor difference and usually you can propose your own as well anyway so...
 
 
 
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