lazySchollar
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Hello, I am an international student (so basically unis will see me as a cash machine), Currently, I've been looking at goldsmiths program, and it's good compared to those in Lebanon, but it seems that the uni has a bad reputation, will it hurt my employability if I get a degree from there? will employers look down upon it or maybe use it as an excuse to pay me less, and let's say that I want to apply for the oxford MSc in computer science after I graduate, will the fact that I studied at goldsmiths hurt my chances of being accepted, in short, will people give me a hard time because of it?

A little about me, I've been coding since I was 9, and have a lot of projects on Github and apps with thousands of users on google play and app store and some experience as a freelance software developer and have been featured many times on national and regional TV stations and newspapers, so demonstrating my coding abilities won't be hard, but I still care about the degree and want to know more about it.

I'll be doing my international A-levels this year, my main reason for choosing "lower-tier" universities is because of money, international tuition fees are very high.
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artful_lounger
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Goldsmith's is best known for a) its creative art/design courses and b) for its humanities/social sciences programmes which focus quite strongly on e.g. postcolonial/feminist/similar approaches to the subjects. I wouldn't say its CS programme is really notable or well established outside of maybe its Creative Computing/Games Programming courses etc, which focus more on the multi-media and creative design applications of computing (e.g. to gaming or sound/web/media design etc). The course is very much more focused on applications than theory, and has relatively little mathematical content.

Oxford's CS department is enormously different both in style and scope, and much more focused on the theoretical and mathematical underpinnings of the subject. I realistically don't think the Goldsmith's CS course would be a good preparation for this since as stated it has relatively little of this kind of content. If you want to aim for Oxford and similar departments for a masters course, I would suggest you focus on the more mathematical/theoretical courses. If you are looking for courses outside of London and Oxbridge due to costs, you may want to consider somewhere like Warwick, Edinburgh, Bristol, or Southampton for example. As a minimal guide, any course which doesn't require A-level Maths as a prerequisite probably won't contain as much of the theory/maths content as you might like to aim for Oxford etc for a masters.

Blue_Cow might be able to offer some suggestions or advice
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lazySchollar
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Goldsmith's is best known for a) its creative art/design courses and b) for its humanities/social sciences programmes which focus quite strongly on e.g. postcolonial/feminist/similar approaches to the subjects. I wouldn't say its CS programme is really notable or well established outside of maybe its Creative Computing/Games Programming courses etc, which focus more on the multi-media and creative design applications of computing (e.g. to gaming or sound/web/media design etc). The course is very much more focused on applications than theory, and has relatively little mathematical content.

Oxford's CS department is enormously different both in style and scope, and much more focused on the theoretical and mathematical underpinnings of the subject. I realistically don't think the Goldsmith's CS course would be a good preparation for this since as stated it has relatively little of this kind of content. If you want to aim for Oxford and similar departments for a masters course, I would suggest you focus on the more mathematical/theoretical courses. If you are looking for courses outside of London and Oxbridge due to costs, you may want to consider somewhere like Warwick, Edinburgh, Bristol, or Southampton for example. As a minimal guide, any course which doesn't require A-level Maths as a prerequisite probably won't contain as much of the theory/maths content as you might like to aim for Oxford etc for a masters.

Blue_Cow might be able to offer some suggestions or advice
And do you think that if i do my first year online via the university of London distance learning programme, will I be able to jump onto the second year in most universities? or will i have to repeat a year?
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lazySchollar
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I just checked those universities, they are expensive still, right now city, University of London is an option for me (only 500 pounds more expensive than Goldsmiths), is this programme good?
Anyhow, let's say that I did go to goldsmiths, if I can provide evidence that i have a strong foundation in mathematics (through practical work, research, and specific math courses certificates), will it be enough to convince Oxford to forget the fact that Goldsmiths doesn't have a strong focus on mathematics.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by lazySchollar)
And do you think that if i do my first year online via the university of London distance learning programme, will I be able to jump onto the second year in most universities? or will i have to repeat a year?
Not necessarily; you should contact any individual universities you may wish to apply to on that basis and enquire directly. Generally speaking in the UK outside of Scotland, it's very unusual to apply for entry into any year other than first year.

(Original post by lazySchollar)
I just checked those universities, they are expensive still, right now city, University of London is an option for me (only 500 pounds more expensive than Goldsmiths), is this programme good?
Anyhow, let's say that I did go to goldsmiths, if I can provide evidence that i have a strong foundation in mathematics (through practical work, research, and specific math courses certificates), will it be enough to convince Oxford to forget the fact that Goldsmiths doesn't have a strong focus on mathematics.
City is really most well known for its business school. I didn't even know it offered a CS degree, to be honest.

As for trying to ameliorate a weaker CS course by doing more mathematical and theoretical content in other ways, I doubt there are many "certificate" courses which will be relevant or appropriate to this level, and the costs of those are probably such that you would be better off just doing a CS degree in a rigorous environment to begin with, even if it costs more.

If there aren't any courses that you can afford in the UK that are appropriate, you may well be better off doing a degree in your home country which covers a similar range of content to one of those CS degrees I mentioned, and then applying to Oxford for a masters after that.
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lazySchollar
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Not necessarily; you should contact any individual universities you may wish to apply to on that basis and enquire directly. Generally speaking in the UK outside of Scotland, it's very unusual to apply for entry into any year other than first year.



City is really most well known for its business school. I didn't even know it offered a CS degree, to be honest.

As for trying to ameliorate a weaker CS course by doing more mathematical and theoretical content in other ways, I doubt there are many "certificate" courses which will be relevant or appropriate to this level, and the costs of those are probably such that you would be better off just doing a CS degree in a rigorous environment to begin with, even if it costs more.

If there aren't any courses that you can afford in the UK that are appropriate, you may well be better off doing a degree in your home country which covers a similar range of content to one of those CS degrees I mentioned, and then applying to Oxford for a masters after that.
Well applying in my home country is a bit complicated, long story, anyway thanks for your advice.
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lazySchollar
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And what about online certificates offered by other universities (through coursera, these are free but a verified certificate is paid but it is very cheap)

(Original post by artful_lounger)
Not necessarily; you should contact any individual universities you may wish to apply to on that basis and enquire directly. Generally speaking in the UK outside of Scotland, it's very unusual to apply for entry into any year other than first year.



City is really most well known for its business school. I didn't even know it offered a CS degree, to be honest.

As for trying to ameliorate a weaker CS course by doing more mathematical and theoretical content in other ways, I doubt there are many "certificate" courses which will be relevant or appropriate to this level, and the costs of those are probably such that you would be better off just doing a CS degree in a rigorous environment to begin with, even if it costs more.

If there aren't any courses that you can afford in the UK that are appropriate, you may well be better off doing a degree in your home country which covers a similar range of content to one of those CS degrees I mentioned, and then applying to Oxford for a masters after that.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by lazySchollar)
And what about online certificates offered by other universities (through coursera, these are free but a verified certificate is paid but it is very cheap)
I don't really think universities value those much if at all...as above, you're best off asking the universities in question now, directly, whether that would be acceptable. At least then you'll know and can make suitable plans otherwise.

Based on a cursory scan through it looks like most CS programmes which might be suitable will probably be at least £20k a year for international students. You may also want to look around European universities, which often have much lower international fees than the UK (however may require you to know a language other than English). I believe KTH and Chalmers in Sweden have UG programmes in English though.

That said, why are you looking specifically at Oxford for an MSc? What is it you're planning to do after your degree? If you aren't planning to go into research then it may be less important to do a course such as I described, and the MSc from Oxford might not be as useful or relevant either since it's likely to be mainly oriented towards preparing students for PhD research.
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lazySchollar
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I don't really think universities value those much if at all...as above, you're best off asking the universities in question now, directly, whether that would be acceptable. At least then you'll know and can make suitable plans otherwise.

Based on a cursory scan through it looks like most CS programmes which might be suitable will probably be at least £20k a year for international students. You may also want to look around European universities, which often have much lower international fees than the UK (however may require you to know a language other than English). I believe KTH and Chalmers in Sweden have UG programmes in English though.

That said, why are you looking specifically at Oxford for an MSc? What is it you're planning to do after your degree? If you aren't planning to go into research then it may be less important to do a course such as I described, and the MSc from Oxford might not be as useful or relevant either since it's likely to be mainly oriented towards preparing students for PhD research.
I am indeed planning to work in academia, if I could.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by lazySchollar)
I am indeed planning to work in academia, if I could.
In that case you probably need to keep an eye on the long rather than short term, to achieve that. Realistically a course like Goldsmith's isn't going to be ideal preparation for CS research, unless perhaps you go into some area of UX design. The only course I could find that might be suitable and in your budgetary constraints is Strathclyde, which is £18k a year - and even that course skewing a little more to industry applications. The City course does nominally look to cover the core areas, but that assessment is really just based on the module names, which may be misleading since I can't find a link to the module content and they may not go into a great deal of depth for the more mathematical/theoretical aspects.

Given your budgetary considerations I think you're going to struggle to find an appropriate course in the UK, in all honesty, and might be best off looking at e.g. Europe or elsewhere. Better to get a degree which provides you with a good foundation in your subject outside of the UK so you are a competitive applicant for graduate studies in the UK, than get a degree in the UK that means you won't be a competitive applicant for grad study in the UK.

The only other possibility is looking into potential scholarship/bursary funding offered to international students for some of those universities. Such awards are likely to be quite competitive and may be limited to only being offered at a few of them (e.g. Oxbridge), but might help bridge the gap. Unfortunately there is no centralised way to look at this information so it would be case of just checking each individual universities webpages to see what they can offer.
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lazySchollar
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I don't really think universities value those much if at all...as above, you're best off asking the universities in question now, directly, whether that would be acceptable. At least then you'll know and can make suitable plans otherwise.

Based on a cursory scan through it looks like most CS programmes which might be suitable will probably be at least £20k a year for international students. You may also want to look around European universities, which often have much lower international fees than the UK (however may require you to know a language other than English). I believe KTH and Chalmers in Sweden have UG programmes in English though.

That said, why are you looking specifically at Oxford for an MSc? What is it you're planning to do after your degree? If you aren't planning to go into research then it may be less important to do a course such as I described, and the MSc from Oxford might not be as useful or relevant either since it's likely to be mainly oriented towards preparing students for PhD research.
Just one more question (I promise) if i could prove that I can code, can i still get a job in industry even if i graduated from a college with a bad rep like goldsmiths?
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lazySchollar
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
In that case you probably need to keep an eye on the long rather than short term, to achieve that. Realistically a course like Goldsmith's isn't going to be ideal preparation for CS research, unless perhaps you go into some area of UX design. The only course I could find that might be suitable and in your budgetary constraints is Strathclyde, which is £18k a year - and even that course skewing a little more to industry applications. The City course does nominally look to cover the core areas, but that assessment is really just based on the module names, which may be misleading since I can't find a link to the module content and they may not go into a great deal of depth for the more mathematical/theoretical aspects.

Given your budgetary considerations I think you're going to struggle to find an appropriate course in the UK, in all honesty, and might be best off looking at e.g. Europe or elsewhere. Better to get a degree which provides you with a good foundation in your subject outside of the UK so you are a competitive applicant for graduate studies in the UK, than get a degree in the UK that means you won't be a competitive applicant for grad study in the UK.

The only other possibility is looking into potential scholarship/bursary funding offered to international students for some of those universities. Such awards are likely to be quite competitive and may be limited to only being offered at a few of them (e.g. Oxbridge), but might help bridge the gap. Unfortunately there is no centralised way to look at this information so it would be case of just checking each individual universities webpages to see what they can offer.
I am actually planning on applying for a scholarship at UCL, i hope it works
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by lazySchollar)
Just one more question (I promise) if i could prove that I can code, can i still get a job in industry even if i graduated from a college with a bad rep like goldsmiths?
I would just say that Goldsmith's doesn't necessarily have a "bad rep" - it's just focused on things that aren't really relevant to a strongly research focused department like at Oxford, generally (although might be relevant to some of the graduate programmes from its Internet Institute, which tends to focus more on the intersection of the social and technical aspects of computing, which Goldsmiths may cater much better to). The Goldsmiths course could be very well suited to some areas of industry, particularly those that interface with various media elements e.g. the gaming and web dev industries, sound industry, etc.

For more general software development roles, the key thing is really just getting relevant work experience, doing placements and/or internships, etc. There are a lot of CS grads every year in the UK, and their average prospects are somewhat lower than you might expect (to the extent the government ordered an inquiry into the matter). While there are many reasons this is the case, one thing that seems to crop up a lot on TSR (which to be fair may be skewed due to self selection of the kinds of people who use this website) is that they expect to do the degree, do well in it, but not do anything beyond the core curriculum.

My understanding is, for working in the CS industry it is vital to pursue any possible industry placement, internship, or work experience you can, and to try and take the stuff you are learning in the course and apply it to self-directed projects - and document those on e.g. gitHub, so you have something of a portfolio of work to refer to when you are looking for work.
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lazySchollar
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I would just say that Goldsmith's doesn't necessarily have a "bad rep" - it's just focused on things that aren't really relevant to a strongly research focused department like at Oxford, generally (although might be relevant to some of the graduate programmes from its Internet Institute, which tends to focus more on the intersection of the social and technical aspects of computing, which Goldsmiths may cater much better to). The Goldsmiths course could be very well suited to some areas of industry, particularly those that interface with various media elements e.g. the gaming and web dev industries, sound industry, etc.

For more general software development roles, the key thing is really just getting relevant work experience, doing placements and/or internships, etc. There are a lot of CS grads every year in the UK, and their average prospects are somewhat lower than you might expect (to the extent the government ordered an inquiry into the matter). While there are many reasons this is the case, one thing that seems to crop up a lot on TSR (which to be fair may be skewed due to self selection of the kinds of people who use this website) is that they expect to do the degree, do well in it, but not do anything beyond the core curriculum.

My understanding is, for working in the CS industry it is vital to pursue any possible industry placement, internship, or work experience you can, and to try and take the stuff you are learning in the course and apply it to self-directed projects - and document those on e.g. gitHub, so you have something of a portfolio of work to refer to when you are looking for work.
I do have a great portfolioz however, i think if I don't get the scholarship at UCL i might be considering Germany for uni, tuition there is free even for international students and I speak German fluently (I studied at a German school since kindergarten)
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by lazySchollar)
I do have a great portfolioz however, i think if I don't get the scholarship at UCL i might be considering Germany for uni, tuition there is free even for international students and I speak German fluently (I studied at a German school since kindergarten)
That sounds like a good idea; Oxford etc should be perfectly happy to accept grads from German unis, and if you already speak the language you have the full range of possible options there. You may also find some German language degrees in a couple other countries (I think ETHZ has some?) in Europe too. But the free tuition will definitely be appealing, and you might be more able to find a course with the appropriate level of mathematical and theoretical rigour to provide a sound basis for graduate studies!
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lazySchollar
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
That sounds like a good idea; Oxford etc should be perfectly happy to accept grads from German unis, and if you already speak the language you have the full range of possible options there. You may also find some German language degrees in a couple other countries (I think ETHZ has some?) in Europe too. But the free tuition will definitely be appealing, and you might be more able to find a course with the appropriate level of mathematical and theoretical rigour to provide a sound basis for graduate studies!
Indeed, but I noticed that the distance learning program from the University of London is actually better than the on-campus one at goldsmiths, I have a conditional offer for it: https://london.ac.uk/computer-scienc...d-ai-structure

And the tuition is very cheap, according to the U of L, the program is accredited, what do you think about it?
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by lazySchollar)
Indeed, but I noticed that the distance learning program from the University of London is actually better than the on-campus one at goldsmiths, I have a conditional offer for it: https://london.ac.uk/computer-scienc...d-ai-structure

And the tuition is very cheap, according to the U of L, the program is accredited, what do you think about it?
Doesn't seem to have too much more mathematical content than the Goldsmith's course, although it's hard to gauge since like City they just have the names of the modules and no indicative module content listed

I'm not sure what to think of of the UoL international programmes/"school". My gut instinct is that it's mainly a vehicle to get money from international students who want some association with the UoL federated institutions (e.g. UCL, LSE, etc) but doesn't actually have much connection to them otherwise.

I might be making too many assumptions about it though. I'd probably suggest you stick with something a bit more established to be on the safe side though...
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