Need help (Computer Science)

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mannyman6
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My plans and outlook on my future have changed. Initially I wanted to specialise in Cyber Security but now I feel like I should keep my options open and pursue a degree in Computer Science since I like programming and problem solving. Computer Science degree also makes me more employable and open to more careers rather than a Computer security degree or any other specialised degree.

I looked at computer science degrees in several universities and the requirements vary but all of them require A Level mathematics/Further Maths or have done sufficient amount of maths modules in the Access to HE course. I am looking into doing a 1 year Access to HE computing diploma in September. But the problem is I don't feel the amount of maths covered will be enough. I have enquired many of the local colleges and most I have seen is like a few modules which have elements of mathematics including algorithms and statistics related to Computing. I doubt this is enough.. Would have been good if there was an Access course that is entirely based on Maths, but unfortunately doesn't exist and they only offer GCSE maths which I have got a C in already.

So I need help on what to do. I am very eager and a fast learner. Main reason I got a C in GCSE maths because I was immature and messed about back then. If I revised and put the effort I would have easily got an A*. But now I am older (21) and mature, and want to get graduated. So does anyone have any ideas on what someone in my position should do? I have one idea, I don't know if its a good one. I looked at Oxford Distance learning fast track a levels which can be done in 1 year. So I was thinking of taking A level maths along with the Access to HE. Would that be possible? Or will the workload just be too much? I have forgotten most stuff from GCSE maths though, I remember few topics like trigonometry and algebra. What if I just did my Access to HE and retook my GCSE maths and aim for A* along with the Access course, not sure if this will be enough for university though. Quite stuck here as you can see...
Last edited by mannyman6; 1 year ago
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Molseh
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There are definately courses available for Computer Science that do not require Maths, however they might not be the more prestigious of institutions. I have applied to a few of these and had offers with my grade C A-level maths from 11 years ago. Disclaimer: Working in the IT industry may have helped them look past this.

The best way to find out about whether a HE course is suitable is to email the university itself and get feedback before you take the plunge on the course to prevent disappointment after application.
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mannyman6
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(Original post by Molseh)
There are definately courses available for Computer Science that do not require Maths, however they might not be the more prestigious of institutions. I have applied to a few of these and had offers with my grade C A-level maths from 11 years ago. Disclaimer: Working in the IT industry may have helped them look past this.

The best way to find out about whether a HE course is suitable is to email the university itself and get feedback before you take the plunge on the course to prevent disappointment after application.
Thank you for the reply. I do want to aim high and get into a good prestigious university that provides a solid computer science degree. I know the ones with atleast some math modules are the ones that employers like and provide you a stronger foundation in the field.

I have done some programming in my spare time and there is definitely mathematics involved, and a good knowledge in maths is useful. I dont want to be lacking in mathematics, plus I enjoy the subject and don't mind working hard for it. My dad had a scholarship and completed his Masters in Computer Science. If he can do it, so can I easily. I just need someone to point me towards the right direction. I will definitely email a few universities and see what is the best way in getting in. Thanks
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Molseh
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I didn't say maths wasn't involved in the degree but that a specific Mathematics grade wasn't required for entry.
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mannyman6
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(Original post by Molseh)
I didn't say maths wasn't involved in the degree but that a specific Mathematics grade wasn't required for entry.
I did look at several non russell group universities, and even they ask for GCSE maths or A level maths minimum. I am not sure which universities you are talking about. I will look for more and see what I can find. And if I find a university that doesn't require mathematics but covers maths, wouldn't I feel stuck and be put at a disadvantage? Because I don't have that A level maths knowledge and have forgotton most of GCSE maths. I would be at a disadvantage compared to the other students. Right?? Or would I be fine?
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Molseh
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I think you need to weigh up all your options and make some choices. I realise it is slightly early if you are looking at a HE course in September for the following year entry. Speaking to specific Universities you are interested in regarding what access courses/modules they require would a good start. The higher ranking institutions you look at will place more value on Mathematics itself.
You have 18 months until you potentially start a course, which is plenty of time to do a HE course and A-Level Maths if you put in the hours. If not, there are options out there for sure.

I am currently weighing up a CompSci offer from a 40ish ranked and an Computer Systems offer from Heriot-Watt which allows me to take an optional module in year 1 and then transfer onto CompSci from year 2. These are both ideal for me as I didn't want to spend a year on an access course and would rather get stuck into a degree and fill in any knowledge gaps with extra studying as I go along.
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mannyman6
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(Original post by Molseh)
I think you need to weigh up all your options and make some choices. I realise it is slightly early if you are looking at a HE course in September for the following year entry. Speaking to specific Universities you are interested in regarding what access courses/modules they require would a good start. The higher ranking institutions you look at will place more value on Mathematics itself.
You have 18 months until you potentially start a course, which is plenty of time to do a HE course and A-Level Maths if you put in the hours. If not, there are options out there for sure.

I am currently weighing up a CompSci offer from a 40ish ranked and an Computer Systems offer from Heriot-Watt which allows me to take an optional module in year 1 and then transfer onto CompSci from year 2. These are both ideal for me as I didn't want to spend a year on an access course and would rather get stuck into a degree and fill in any knowledge gaps with extra studying as I go along.
Thank you brother. Good advice there and you are right, it is early and I can start preparing for A level maths now. And I can start the Access course in September.

Also would it be worth it, if I retook GCSE maths so I can get A* instead of C? And that sounds good, what optional module did you pick? Is that a foundation year you mean?
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Molseh
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(Original post by mannyman6)
Thank you brother. Good advice there and you are right, it is early and I can start preparing for A level maths now. And I can start the Access course in September.

Also would it be worth it, if I retook GCSE maths so I can get A* instead of C? And that sounds good, what optional module did you pick? Is that a foundation year you mean?
I'm not sure with regards to the GCSE's if I am honest with you. In my mind a good A-Level grade would render that moot, but not sure and it is again better to check - especially if you have very top tier universities in mind.

Heriot-Watt being in Scotland do 4 year degrees. Two of them are essentially the same in Year 1 (Computer Science and Computer Systems) with the only difference being a Maths module in the Computer Science degree. You can elect to do that module whilst on the Systems course and if you get a good enough grade transfer onto Computer Science from the following year. Computer Systems was what I was offered due to lacking the Maths required for Science.
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