MSc Computing vs MSc Computer Science Watch

Rehnskjold
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Hey guys,

Bit of a weird one for you here, but I'm a BA graduate, looking into converting to a career in either Computing or CS.
Without having studied Comp Sci or Computing prior, my options seem pretty limited, but I've noticed that a few universities offer an online MSc in Computer Science. I've also noticed that these are not the same as most university's Advanced Computer Science masters, which are obviously aimed at Comp Sci/Computing BSc graduates. There is a Comp Sci MSc at Birmingham that is a taught programme, but the course overview seems the same as the online degree programme at York, basically just CS but without the AI elements. Both contain Machine Learning modules however.

So my question is this, what are the advantages of MSc Comp Sci over MSc Computing, and by taking an MSc in Comp Sci instead of MSc Advanced Comp Sci am I preemptively blackballing myself from employers? The same would stand for the online MSc offered by York, would I be at a disadvantage in the job market with an online degree, even if that degree is an MSc from the University of York?

Sorry if I kind of prattled on a bit too much, but thanks for any help you can offer.
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Acsel
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(Original post by Rehnskjold)
Hey guys,

Bit of a weird one for you here, but I'm a BA graduate, looking into converting to a career in either Computing or CS.
Without having studied Comp Sci or Computing prior, my options seem pretty limited, but I've noticed that a few universities offer an online MSc in Computer Science. I've also noticed that these are not the same as most university's Advanced Computer Science masters, which are obviously aimed at Comp Sci/Computing BSc graduates. There is a Comp Sci MSc at Birmingham that is a taught programme, but the course overview seems the same as the online degree programme at York, basically just CS but without the AI elements. Both contain Machine Learning modules however.

So my question is this, what are the advantages of MSc Comp Sci over MSc Computing, and by taking an MSc in Comp Sci instead of MSc Advanced Comp Sci am I preemptively blackballing myself from employers? The same would stand for the online MSc offered by York, would I be at a disadvantage in the job market with an online degree, even if that degree is an MSc from the University of York?

Sorry if I kind of prattled on a bit too much, but thanks for any help you can offer.
Just to be sure I've got your question right, are you effectively asking for the difference between Computing and CompSci?
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Rehnskjold
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(Original post by Acsel)
Just to be sure I've got your question right, are you effectively asking for the difference between Computing and CompSci?
I am, but at the same time querying online MSc CS degrees vs taught MSc Comp Sci degrees.
And also Advanced CompSci vs CompSci
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Acsel
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(Original post by Rehnskjold)
I am, but at the same time querying online MSc CS degrees vs taught MSc Comp Sci degrees.
And also Advanced CompSci vs CompSci
Without going into a ton of detail (you'll need to compare specific courses on that front), Computing is typically the "softer" course. CompSci is often the more technical course, focusing more on software development, programming, algorithms, etc. whereas Computing is more likely to have softer units focusing on HCI, business, IT and the like. In an overly simplified manner, Computing is concerned with the use of computers, whereas Computer Science is concerned with what the computer actually does.

In terms of online courses vs taught in person courses, the difference is largely going to depend on your ability to self study. As you may already be familiar with from your BA, contact hours are limited at uni and there will be an element of self study regardless. But a taught course is going to have some element of contact you can rely upon, moreso than a purely online course. Many unis offer distance courses, that don't rely on you being there in person, and the material for those courses is likely to be drawn in part from regular courses rather than simply written from scratch. An employer is unlikely to care whether you've done a purely online course or gotten a regular degree from the uni in person. What will matter is your ability, and whether you can demonstrate it. You can theoretically ignore the degree completely and go down the self taught route in this respect.

Advanced CompSci isn't really something I've heard commonly used. You can do a Bachelors in CompSci, with many unis also offering an Integrated Masters. Similarly you can do a BSc in CompSci, and then do your Masters as a seperate course, which I'm guessing you've found one or a handful called Advanced CompSci. There are alternative, more niche options such as dedicated Masters in Security or AI as well for example. What it really boils down to is whether the Masters element is of use to you. Does it get you any closer to your goal, and if so is it worth the cost? Plenty of people do just a Bachelors in CompSci and get jobs just fine so it's certainly not a necessity to have a Masters element as well.

In terms of advantages in the job market, what tends to matter more is your experience and ability. Whether you did an online course or an in person degree, whether you have a MSc or a BSc and what uni you went to will have an impact, but you're going to be judged based on your ability rather than discriminated against for doing one over the other. My advice here is to determine why it is you want to convert (what you are looking to get out of a career), find out how you'll get there and then start practicing. If for example you're looking at going into software development, then doing a ton of programming in your own time is going to be a much bigger factor in your employability than whether you did an online course or not. Building up your skills should be a number one priority, although part of that is determining what route (MSc vs BSc, online vs in person, which uni, etc.) will best help you out.

Do you have any ideas what sort of career you're actually looking at? And have you explored other options, such as graduate schemes that don't rely on a relevant degree?
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olafgarten
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I think it depends mostly on the actual course, which ones are you considering?
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Rehnskjold
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(Original post by olafgarten)
I think it depends mostly on the actual course, which ones are you considering?
I had seen a CompSci MSc at York, which is purely online
There is a taught MSc in Computing at MMU
But also a taught CompSci at Birmingham

All 3 universities offer "Advanced CompSci" as an MSc which is only available to those with a BSc in Computing/CS
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