mb120
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(Original post by RogueAlmond70)
Hi everyone! After having found this Masters, and then this thread, and trawling through most of the comments - I have many many thoughts! It has however enabled me to make the informed decision to enrol for this masters (I consulted with a friend who has worked in the industry for over 10 years - long story short - no of course Computer Science != Software Development/ to be any good in the CS world you need a solid theoretical background which includes Algorithms and Data Structures - this other syllabus looks wishy washy (I wont state which, no time for butthurt)/ what do people studying for a MSc in Comp Sci for graduates of other disciplines know about what should be in a Comp Sci MSc/ and no matter where you go, your success will ultimately depend on you).

I do have a couple of questions for current students of the online York Computer Science MSc:

1) I've enrolled, paid, and the first module I'll be taking is Data Structures and Algorithms. I've already got hold of the Cormen book (damn - but makes more sense once you've studied time complexity and Big-O notation elsewhere), and also Java in Two Semesters, and before this had spent a few weeks actually learning Java so the algorithms side of it made sense. Based on your knowledge so far - is there anything to watch out for in any of the modules, or anything I should definitely pre-read/prepare for? I feel like Algorithms and Data Structures would have kicked my butt had I not been doing this prep. Also has anyone got anything they could share for this module?

2) Is there a York Uni Comp Sci Online Masters community anywhere? The reddit post I found was long dead.

As for my background, I have a 2:i in Psychology (Bsc) and have been an analyst for about 7 years working with big data, using Microsoft SQL Server, AWS Snowflake, SQL, Google BigQuery, R, Python (for some data viz - but I suck), and Tableau. I currently work for a tech consultancy which is my first non FTSE 100 appointment in years. I'm using this Masters as a structured way to self study a solid Comp Sci curriculum - while also understanding the currency of academia on one's CV.

Cheers,
R
I've just put your data in my WEKA backflip classifier and it predicts you gonna do a 540 degrees backflip in a matter of 4 weeks and leave the course
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RogueAlmond70
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#1522
(Original post by Edtao3000)
onlinecompsci.slack.com for the slack channel. You'll need your York email to register.
Thanks! Joined
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RogueAlmond70
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#1523
(Original post by mb120)
I've just put your data in my WEKA backflip classifier and it predicts you gonna do a 540 degrees backflip in a matter of 4 weeks and leave the course
LOL! Oh dear! Which variables do I need to manipulate to have a favourable outcome in the model?

Tbh though, if the whole thing is as heavy going as that Cormen book, it's going to take some grit and determination to pull through.

I do like a challenge though.
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Edtao3000
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#1524
(Original post by RogueAlmond70)
LOL! Oh dear! Which variables do I need to manipulate to have a favourable outcome in the model?

Tbh though, if the whole thing is as heavy going as that Cormen book, it's going to take some grit and determination to pull through.

I do like a challenge though.
There is limited teaching and the feedback is not enough to help you improve for the next summative. You only get the recipe to the secret sauce if you fail and have to resit a module. At that stage your grade is capped to at a merit, so if getting a distinction is important to you, you will be out of the running. You roll the dice and take your chances.
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mb120
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#1525
(Original post by RogueAlmond70)
LOL! Oh dear! Which variables do I need to manipulate to have a favourable outcome in the model?

Tbh though, if the whole thing is as heavy going as that Cormen book, it's going to take some grit and determination to pull through.

I do like a challenge though.
a favourable outcome is you leaving the course as early as possible, not staying on the course
a bad decision against the 99% negative reviews is not an informed decision
based on your previous write up it seems that you simply do not understand any aspect of the complaints

if you already have access to the Cormen book, you already have access to 90+% of the ADS module. You simply paid an extra 650£ to get student discount at McDonald's
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Becstasy
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#1526
(Original post by RogueAlmond70)
Thanks! Joined
I am also writing up reviews of each of my modules of my experience if you're interested to read:
https://www.houseninetytwo.com/3-mod...s-at-york-uni/
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stem_leader
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#1527
(Original post by Becstasy)
I am also writing up reviews of each of my modules of my experience if you're interested to read:
https://www.houseninetytwo.com/3-mod...s-at-york-uni/
This is a good write-up.

TBF, an in-person MSc also leaves you alone and struggling a lot to keep pace with the modules. The Birkbeck MSc in Advanced Computer Science I did was my first ever academic experience (I do not have GCSEs or A-levels let alone a BSc) and whilst I had experience in the industry I'd say that 80% of the class struggled to keep pace. These courses try to teach a whole industry and are going for both breadth and depth - meaning condensed modules that explore a topic but by the time you've got traction with it you're already onto the next.

A younger me would say that the best thing to do is treat it like a job, and try and find 16 hours dedicated study time per week where you can focus. But the older me that lived through doing my MSc would acknowledge that life gets in the way a lot and mostly remote and part-time is a recipe to fail without some serious effort all the time one can afford to give it.

The Birkbeck experience was in-person but part-time... so this meant mostly from home, and we had a lecture equivalent to the video you had... 1hr per module per week, with virtually no time for discussion or debate. Then a "read this chapter" and some constant stream of practical tests, take-home work, and a small peppering of group work. All of that latter stuff was done from home, roughly 1hr of lecture time would translate to 6-8hrs of time spent working on it from home.

By far the most important thing is also the hardest, you spotted it too... it's "read this chapter". Because damn... compsci books are dull. That's where all the information density is though, that's where you can apply yourself and read a little behind and ahead of the chapter and flesh out a fuller context.

Good write-up 👍
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Karolens
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#1528
After long research what I should do, I am applying to Bath MSc conversion course. Even though it's much more expensive, but in someway seems safer apart few somewhat negative feedbacks. And I hope it's somewhat easier to transition to tech with CS degree, rather than only personal projects..
I hope to start in September, if everything's fine with student loan of course.
Regarding York, actually they called and followed up with me quite a few times, maybe they feel lack of applications, who knows.. If it's so bad as it sound in this thread..
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YorkMScCS
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#1529
(Original post by Karolens)
After long research what I should do, I am applying to Bath MSc conversion course. Even though it's much more expensive, but in someway seems safer apart few somewhat negative feedbacks. And I hope it's somewhat easier to transition to tech with CS degree, rather than only personal projects..
I hope to start in September, if everything's fine with student loan of course.
Regarding York, actually they called and followed up with me quite a few times, maybe they feel lack of applications, who knows.. If it's so bad as it sound in this thread..
That's not York calling you, it's HEP. They call themselves 'student success', but they're really just pushy salesmen. You only hear from them when the payment for the next module is due.
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void*
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#1530
(Original post by Karolens)
After long research what I should do, I am applying to Bath MSc conversion course. Even though it's much more expensive, but in someway seems safer apart few somewhat negative feedbacks. And I hope it's somewhat easier to transition to tech with CS degree, rather than only personal projects..
I hope to start in September, if everything's fine with student loan of course.
Regarding York, actually they called and followed up with me quite a few times, maybe they feel lack of applications, who knows.. If it's so bad as it sound in this thread..
Good choice. I am on the 7th unit of the Bath course and still enjoying it and learning plenty (despite being a professional software engineer). It's worth noting that the Bath course is longer than other online courses and has 12 taught units so I would say you are getting more for your money (it is longer for good reason... trying to cram a subject as deep as CS into a 1-year masters is challenging). And there are other ways to extract the most out of your money... I have a library card that is valid for 5 years of student discounts and have been able to participate in multiple societies and even receive free foreign language lessons thanks to things being held online during the pandemic. A degree should certainly help and it is something relevant that you can immediately add to your CV. I've seen plenty of people gain their first software engineering jobs whilst on the course but companies do also like to see personal projects (I don't look for this myself when reviewing applicants... there is more to life than programming!).

Most of the negative feedback on this forum came from a single student in my cohort and whilst I agree with them on some things, they are also very critical (which is fair enough, the course is a lot of money) and have used this forum just to vent sometimes. The majority of students I've spoken to over 6 cohorts seem perfectly happy. We had one assignment early on that was marked about a month late but since then all assignments have either been returned on time or early and we seem to have experienced equivalent - if not better - service than the on-campus MSc CS students in that respect. My biggest criticism would be the lack of feedback on essays, although this seems to vary from one lecturer to the next and I didn't bother pushing for more feedback (the tutors have been really good at answering questions on the Q&A forum and privately so I probably could have got it).
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bebeto1914
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#1531
Good afternoon everyone, it's my first post here. I want to say that Becstasy's write ups are describing properly the experience of taking this course.

I am on my 5th module right now (Big Data Analytics), I started on September 2020 and have been going non-stop together with full-time work. I am on the edge of the burnout - you can say that I can take a break, however a two month break is too long.


After passing the first 3 modules with quite good grades (Algorithms & Data Structures 89%, Advanced Programming 64%, AI and Machine Learning 91%) and waiting results for the fourth module which is Software Engineering (I will be more than happy with literally 50%), I am seriously thinking to step down with a PgCert or a PGDip and not carry on with the full MSc. The main reason is that this course is literally killing me, the context is really interesting (apart from Software Engineering which is de-motivating) but it is NOT a part time course. If you have no Computer Science background you will need 2 years of full time dedication to complete it (at least this is what it seems to me). In every module we start from 0, there is no continuation of the knowledge we get, and we are left trying to figure out what to learn and how to learn it. My motivation is gone, I am frustrated and I am not willing to destroy my personal life and health for a title (MSc) when I can get a lesser award that still counts.

If anyone has dropped out with an exit award (PGCert or PGDip) please let me know how it went and if you think it's worth it.
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Becstasy
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#1532
(Original post by stem_leader)
This is a good write-up.

TBF, an in-person MSc also leaves you alone and struggling a lot to keep pace with the modules. The Birkbeck MSc in Advanced Computer Science I did was my first ever academic experience (I do not have GCSEs or A-levels let alone a BSc) and whilst I had experience in the industry I'd say that 80% of the class struggled to keep pace. These courses try to teach a whole industry and are going for both breadth and depth - meaning condensed modules that explore a topic but by the time you've got traction with it you're already onto the next.

A younger me would say that the best thing to do is treat it like a job, and try and find 16 hours dedicated study time per week where you can focus. But the older me that lived through doing my MSc would acknowledge that life gets in the way a lot and mostly remote and part-time is a recipe to fail without some serious effort all the time one can afford to give it.

The Birkbeck experience was in-person but part-time... so this meant mostly from home, and we had a lecture equivalent to the video you had... 1hr per module per week, with virtually no time for discussion or debate. Then a "read this chapter" and some constant stream of practical tests, take-home work, and a small peppering of group work. All of that latter stuff was done from home, roughly 1hr of lecture time would translate to 6-8hrs of time spent working on it from home.

By far the most important thing is also the hardest, you spotted it too... it's "read this chapter". Because damn... compsci books are dull. That's where all the information density is though, that's where you can apply yourself and read a little behind and ahead of the chapter and flesh out a fuller context.

Good write-up 👍
Aww, thank you so much for reading my blog post =D
And also Kudos to you for jumping into doing your Msc without having previous educational qualifications that's impressive!!! It's reassuring to know that an in-person Msc is not that different to an online one in terms of workload.

Regarding what bebeto1914 is saying it is true about killing your personal life. I only work 1 day a week as a contractor and this leaves me 6 days a week of free time AND YET I am still, embarrassingly, struggling with the workload.

I do not have a STEM background in any way so am finding myself googling every page I am reading from the books which means stopping starting and having to reread at a slow pace then after this reading going on youtube. At the same time, I'm not on any timescale..I will take study breaks which last for 2 months + as I treat this as more of a hobby. I'll potentially graduate with my intended study breaks in about 3-4 years as I'm planning on looking for more days of work at the end of this year.

I recommend this Computer Science course for someone who not completely new at the subject and has done a previous short course like cs50x (on edx) and has basic programming skills. They really should higher the entrance requirements or provide realistic study hours because it's misleading to say this is a conversion course for complete beginners. It is for beginners if you have all the time in the world to spend learning.
Last edited by Becstasy; 2 weeks ago
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mariallouis
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(Original post by elideli)
I have applied to the course and was admitted. It's true that the course is running for the first time although York is not a no-name university. Being part of the Russel Group is a good stamp of quality. The CS department seems to be well regarded and has a well-qualified teaching staff. I have researched almost every conversion MSc in CS around the world and couldn't find anything cheaper from a similarly ranked university (I'm Canadian). I know there's going to be downs as a first time running course, but I'm not looking to be handheld, I just want a programme that I'll use as a base to break-in computer science, be aware that in such a programme, you'll have to be independent and learn things on your own to succeed. The good thing is you have tons of resources available online to supplement your learning. What I really also like about the programme as opposed to others is that it's not a watered down version of an MSc CS, you study the real thing like Architecture, Algorithms & Data Structures, Advanced Programming, Machine Learning etc. York is actually delivering the course in partnership with a US company which has a long history of delivering online programmes for other institutions in the US. The online learning platform is Canvas LMS which is one of the best, not your *****y typical Blackboard or Moodle, to me, this makes a difference. The Bath programme looks very good as well but I don't think it's worth 5K more and Bath is not as well regarded as York. Some other online programmes I have looked at are Northumbria, Huddersfield, Liverpool, Staffordshire, and Aberdeen. I have done a ton of research before pulling the trigger on York, if you have any question let me know otherwise I hope to see you in the online induction

** I was looking at Research Excellence Framework results and York is on par with Manchester and Edinburgh for the quality of its research in CS.

https://results.ref.ac.uk/(S(fyjw2at...sults/ByUoa/11
Hi there, could you please let us know how you did? were you able to pass the modules?
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CookieChick
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#1534
(Original post by Becstasy)
I am also writing up reviews of each of my modules of my experience if you're interested to read:
https://www.houseninetytwo.com/3-mod...s-at-york-uni/
Thanks for the review - I have just started a thread asking about this but didnt read the latest replies.

Ironically all the reviews here make me actually want to apply for York. Because for the more theoretical(i.e. maths heavy) comp sci modules I would rather do another MSc in Advanced CompSci if I needed it. I am already a developer . So I need enough theory to understand things like networks and computer architecture (in fact I have done MOOC's on these).

I don't need things like Foundation of Computation, HCI or Entrepreneurship .. sure I like to learn about it but I don't want to sit exams on it as it won't be relevant. I'd rather focus on getting the professional qualifications alongside my degree.
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void*
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(Original post by CookieChick)
Thanks for the review - I have just started a thread asking about this but didnt read the latest replies.

Ironically all the reviews here make me actually want to apply for York. Because for the more theoretical(i.e. maths heavy) comp sci modules I would rather do another MSc in Advanced CompSci if I needed it. I am already a developer . So I need enough theory to understand things like networks and computer architecture (in fact I have done MOOC's on these).

I don't need things like Foundation of Computation, HCI or Entrepreneurship .. sure I like to learn about it but I don't want to sit exams on it as it won't be relevant. I'd rather focus on getting the professional qualifications alongside my degree.
Really? I believe there are people here who just wanted a certificate but were still disappointed by York. If you're referring to the online MSc CS at Bath in the last part then note that you don't have to sit any exams on it.
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CookieChick
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(Original post by void*)
Really? I believe there are people here who just wanted a certificate but were still disappointed by York. If you're referring to the online MSc CS at Bath in the last part then note that you don't have to sit any exams on it.
Yes - that’s why I asked what specifically they were disappointed with.
There’s unfortunately not a lot of choice. Most other online MSc’s are too practical /have exams and group work.
I considered GaTech’s OMSCS but you need to have either a letter of recommendation from academics/ college credit computer science courses. Of course another consideration is I could do a few York modules and then use it to apply to GaTech but at that point I might as well finish what I started...
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CookieChick
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#1537
(Original post by stem_leader)
This is a good write-up.

TBF, an in-person MSc also leaves you alone and struggling a lot to keep pace with the modules. The Birkbeck MSc in Advanced Computer Science I did was my first ever academic experience (I do not have GCSEs or A-levels let alone a BSc) and whilst I had experience in the industry I'd say that 80% of the class struggled to keep pace. These courses try to teach a whole industry and are going for both breadth and depth - meaning condensed modules that explore a topic but by the time you've got traction with it you're already onto the next.

A younger me would say that the best thing to do is treat it like a job, and try and find 16 hours dedicated study time per week where you can focus. But the older me that lived through doing my MSc would acknowledge that life gets in the way a lot and mostly remote and part-time is a recipe to fail without some serious effort all the time one can afford to give it.

The Birkbeck experience was in-person but part-time... so this meant mostly from home, and we had a lecture equivalent to the video you had... 1hr per module per week, with virtually no time for discussion or debate. Then a "read this chapter" and some constant stream of practical tests, take-home work, and a small peppering of group work. All of that latter stuff was done from home, roughly 1hr of lecture time would translate to 6-8hrs of time spent working on it from home.

By far the most important thing is also the hardest, you spotted it too... it's "read this chapter". Because damn... compsci books are dull. That's where all the information density is though, that's where you can apply yourself and read a little behind and ahead of the chapter and flesh out a fuller context.

Good write-up 👍
CompSci textbooks are boring ?!?
Maybe I am the weirdo but I really loved it when they said we had to read textbook chapters.
In fact the main reason I want a course is because I cannot prove anything . If I put a list of the textbooks I read on my CV I will look like an idiot. I tried watching the MOOC as well so I could put it on there but the text books they took the content from was better... I cannot pay attention to audio for more than 5 seconds
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elideli
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(Original post by CookieChick)
Thanks for the review - I have just started a thread asking about this but didnt read the latest replies.

Ironically all the reviews here make me actually want to apply for York. Because for the more theoretical(i.e. maths heavy) comp sci modules I would rather do another MSc in Advanced CompSci if I needed it. I am already a developer . So I need enough theory to understand things like networks and computer architecture (in fact I have done MOOC's on these).

I don't need things like Foundation of Computation, HCI or Entrepreneurship .. sure I like to learn about it but I don't want to sit exams on it as it won't be relevant. I'd rather focus on getting the professional qualifications alongside my degree.
No one said they needed Foundation of Computation, HCI or Entrepreneurship. The bad reviews on this thread depict the whole student experience from assignments, modules, structure, teaching etc. The course at Bath is a good point of comparison. It's never black or white, any respectable course will have a balance between theory and practice.
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CookieChick
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elideli not sure what your point is?
I’ve seen bad reviews for every aspect of York course. Also I have read the detailed complaint and one of the things mentioned was students without any background felt it was too hard.
For Bath - I’ve seen good reviews for the module content and teaching but not much better regarding assignment feedback etc. Here’s a thread for anyone interested

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...868698&page=24

Teaching aside the York and Bath courses are not exactly equivalent. York has a lot more ‘practical theory’ (pardon the oxymoron), for things like security engineering. Bath has a lot more academic modules on computer science. Someone without a decent grasp of mathematics or a mathematical background would need to work a bit harder for these as based on what I’ve read for a couple of courses problem sheets constitute a decent proportion of the grade. I’m not terrible at maths but not as quick as a lot of people. My time and money could be put to better use.

Again to reiterate I don’t think there is any ideal MSc conversion course. I would have gaps in my knowledge with every single one except for York. So it would be ideal if not for the terrible reviews, but I don’t have a lot of choice as it has the best output to result ratio for my use case.

Who knows maybe after a few months it will actually be so terrible that even I can’t stand it and will come back here to complain?
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