MSc Computer Science (conversion course) - 2019/2020 Watch

Nerdlinger250
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#21
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Cheers for the updates guys -

Decided to accept Bristol in the end due to reputation and far more convenient for me as I wouldn't need to relocate etc.

Jteve:
I do know someone who took the conversion at Birmingham, they said it was good, that everyone on the course took it seriously and he's now working as a software engineer.

In regards to prep, I've basically been going through the course spec and researching the contents of each module as much as I can.

On top of CS50x would also recommend...

Sams Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours (Book)
Udemy - 30 days of Python (Free online course)
Codewars and Daily Coding Problem

Personally, I have no plans to work during my course as I want to give it my 100%. Also not a solicitor or anything but I'd be surprised if they reject your student via provided you have enough funds to cover the tuition fees and expenses, though I don't think you can work on a student visa.
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JteveSobs
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(Original post by Nerdlinger250)
Cheers for the updates guys -

Decided to accept Bristol in the end due to reputation and far more convenient for me as I wouldn't need to relocate etc.

Jteve:
I do know someone who took the conversion at Birmingham, they said it was good, that everyone on the course took it seriously and he's now working as a software engineer.

In regards to prep, I've basically been going through the course spec and researching the contents of each module as much as I can.

On top of CS50x would also recommend...

Sams Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours (Book)
Udemy - 30 days of Python (Free online course)
Codewars and Daily Coding Problem

Personally, I have no plans to work during my course as I want to give it my 100%. Also not a solicitor or anything but I'd be surprised if they reject your student via provided you have enough funds to cover the tuition fees and expenses, though I don't think you can work on a student visa.
Yes, I've heard nothing but good for Birmingham. I think it's a good programme to attend. Now just waiting on the unconditional offer.

I already know Java, Python, and have done a few coding practice challenges on hackerrank. I think I'm up to speed on those. Birmingham teaches in Java, as far as I can see.

I should have enough to cover the tuition fees + expenses, but I'd like a professional's opinion. Like I said, I don't want to take chances with this one. International students can work up to 20 hours a week, by the way.
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Kits
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(Original post by JteveSobs)
Hi all.

I studied Architecture during my undergraduate and began learning coding during my last year out of interest in computing. I graduated about 5 years ago, and landed a junior developer job at a startup a little over a year ago.

When I look for progression at the company or others, it is clear to me that my fundamental computing science knowledge is lacking in areas other than coding. I do know a bit of data structures and algorithms, but am unable to dedicate much time to learning to put me on equal footing to computer science grads.

I applied to Imperial, UCL, Birmingham and Hertfordshire (the one year placement seems lucrative). I was rejected at Imperial within a couple days, because I didn't meet their minimum entry requirement. I knew this going in, but thought it might be worth a shot. Even though I met the minimum requirements for UCL, I was rejected with no explanation, which was disappointing. They reached out a couple weeks later suggesting I apply for their MSc in Banking and Digital Finance. Insulting, but alright. In retrospect, reading other people's reviews on the programme, I believe it is fortunate I wasn't accepted, because that was my first (realistic) choice. The living costs would also have been significantly higher, so I'm glad I was made to dodge that bullet. I received offers from Birmingham and Hertfordshire, and I am gearing to accept Birmingham's offer to begin this September. I have heard good reviews for the programme, and from what I know of Google's hiring policy, I think the lack of premium connections I would have gotten at UCL or Imperial will not be much of a problem.

I am an international student and so the education will be expensive. I will need to look into loans, but I am treating this as more of an investment, so it helps cushion the blow, just a bit. Hertfordshire is half as pricey, but I'm not so sure about the programme - or the university in general. The only reason it's still semi-on-the-table is because of the placement year (which, as an international student could be beneficial to me), and the half price. Birmingham, however, has a module in ML and that is something that interests me, is a much better programme, has a much better environment to live in, and is worth paying the extra for, in my opinion. I'm heavily leaning towards Birmingham and only an extreme situation will make me take up Hertfordshire's offer.

I was hoping to find work while studying, which I'm on the fence about. On the one hand, it would be preferable to loan out a smaller amount if I can cover part - or all - of my living costs by working. If I can land side-gigs for developing websites or working in software development, that will boost my portfolio as well, I feel, while helping pay my bills. On the other hand, I hear this is a rigorous course and will grind people down to the bone. Which is something I'm definitely looking forward to, but that could mean I won't have time to work and keep my sanity as well, and I'd very much like to retain the latter. Does anyone have any thoughts?

Have we had reviews from previous batches of students? I came over from the last batch's thread but I don't see anyone posting anything once they actually got into the course. I can't find any real feedback on the programmes/universities on the internet either. I'd love to hear their thoughts.

I would also like to throw in my recommendation for CS50x, freely available on edx. It is a superb course and in my opinion will prepare you for a life of computer science. I can not recommend this enough.

In other thoughts, I feel we should discuss other forms of preparation should one make before entry to these courses? I mean not just in terms of prior knowledge of x language or y mathematics modules (which have been discussed already) but things like what to expect of the courses in terms of assignments, projects, submitting workload and tutorials and classes (I would like to know about this in particular as it would be my first time attending a UK university), what sort of equipment we would need (essentially computer requirements, laptop v desktop arguments, OS requirements), how to best network during the course, what sort of online portfolios we should be building while studying, what sort of personal projects we should work on on the side, and essentially how best to utilize our time. University-specific tips would be particularly helpful as well.

On another note, I would like to apply for my Visa with the help of a solicitor. The reason for this is I have been refused a study visa for the US in the past, and would not like to take chances with this one. I hope this isn't against the rules or anything, but contacts for good, affordable immigration solicitors would be ideal.
Firstly congrats on your offers.

I would say 100% certainty you should pick Birmingham over Hertfordshire. The latter has the placement year however you should note that all this means is that there's an opportunity to have that year contribute to your grade, however its entirely on students to get hired - much like a normal job. I'm sure only a small percentage of the year would actually do a placement year and a tiny percentage would do one at worthwhile companies. Additionally Birmingham is much better reputed than Herts and lastly the fact that you already have some experience in a CS role means that a placement year pretty much useless.

I'm going to start the UCL course in September and I don't have any tips except CS50 as you say. I've also enjoyed learning and using ReactJS for my personal projects, which if you're interested in front end/full stack development would definitely be good to have projects/experience in before applying to grad roles as it will probably be the 'cutting edge' or 'in' thing for the next 5-10 years
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feibenny
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I am going to study data intensive analysis in St. Andrews for 19/20. Is there anyone know about this course? I have a few questions about it.
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JteveSobs
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(Original post by Kits)
Firstly congrats on your offers.

I would say 100% certainty you should pick Birmingham over Hertfordshire. The latter has the placement year however you should note that all this means is that there's an opportunity to have that year contribute to your grade, however its entirely on students to get hired - much like a normal job. I'm sure only a small percentage of the year would actually do a placement year and a tiny percentage would do one at worthwhile companies. Additionally Birmingham is much better reputed than Herts and lastly the fact that you already have some experience in a CS role means that a placement year pretty much useless.

I'm going to start the UCL course in September and I don't have any tips except CS50 as you say. I've also enjoyed learning and using ReactJS for my personal projects, which if you're interested in front end/full stack development would definitely be good to have projects/experience in before applying to grad roles as it will probably be the 'cutting edge' or 'in' thing for the next 5-10 years
Congratulations on UCL! That was my first choice.

Thanks for your insight. They make it clear from the onset that the placement is dependent on the students themselves. I think it doesn't make sense to give up Birmingham for that.

Would you know what the employment chances are for an international graduate from Birmingham in this course?

I'm not particularly interested in web development or front-end work. So far, I've been dabbling mostly in back-end and mobile development. I hope to use my time in the MSc to get more into AI and ML.
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Kits
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(Original post by JteveSobs)
Congratulations on UCL! That was my first choice.

Thanks for your insight. They make it clear from the onset that the placement is dependent on the students themselves. I think it doesn't make sense to give up Birmingham for that.

Would you know what the employment chances are for an international graduate from Birmingham in this course?

I'm not particularly interested in web development or front-end work. So far, I've been dabbling mostly in back-end and mobile development. I hope to use my time in the MSc to get more into AI and ML.
To be honest I don't know, but your chances will certainly be better at Birmingham than at Herts. In the UK, Birmingham is regarded fairly well, I don't know internationally
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maria:)
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(Original post by Kits)
Firstly congrats on your offers.

I would say 100% certainty you should pick Birmingham over Hertfordshire. The latter has the placement year however you should note that all this means is that there's an opportunity to have that year contribute to your grade, however its entirely on students to get hired - much like a normal job. I'm sure only a small percentage of the year would actually do a placement year and a tiny percentage would do one at worthwhile companies. Additionally Birmingham is much better reputed than Herts and lastly the fact that you already have some experience in a CS role means that a placement year pretty much useless.

I'm going to start the UCL course in September and I don't have any tips except CS50 as you say. I've also enjoyed learning and using ReactJS for my personal projects, which if you're interested in front end/full stack development would definitely be good to have projects/experience in before applying to grad roles as it will probably be the 'cutting edge' or 'in' thing for the next 5-10 years
Hi Kits, how long did it take for you to hear back from UCL? I'm still waiting on both UCL and imperial
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Kits
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(Original post by maria:))
Hi Kits, how long did it take for you to hear back from UCL? I'm still waiting on both UCL and imperial
I applied in October and heard back in March, I wouldn't worry
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kkboyk
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I'm applying for Uni of Nottingham MSc Comp Sci, since it's only £7k, Cardiff and Cranfield.
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pseudoname
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Got rejected by imperial just before 5pm yesterday, second ref approved Feb 11. said this was the reason for rejection “Unfortunately, although your application meets our requirements, competition for places on your chosen programme is extremely high so we have been unable to offer you a place this year.”

Still not sure if that means I would’ve got in if I’d known about the course earlier and applied to it in November cause presumably some people did get the last remaining places yesterday. Congrats to whoever got the offers though
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feibenny
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(Original post by pseudoname)
Got rejected by imperial just before 5pm yesterday, second ref approved Feb 11. said this was the reason for rejection “Unfortunately, although your application meets our requirements, competition for places on your chosen programme is extremely high so we have been unable to offer you a place this year.”

Still not sure if that means I would’ve got in if I’d known about the course earlier and applied to it in November cause presumably some people did get the last remaining places yesterday. Congrats to whoever got the offers though
I’ve been rejected by the same reason lol
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