TechFitNerd
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Edited: Since this post I applied to and gained acceptance to "better" unis. Top choices are between U of Glasgow, Cardiff, Newcastle, Bath, Birmingham, QUB, and QMUL. Likely choosing Cardiff as it's the only one that offers a placement year.

. Hi there. I'd love some advice on which university to pursue a Master of Science in Computing Science. I've been admitted to several programs, and am having a hard time deciding. It's especially hard as I'm not able to visit the campuses due to Covid-19. As of now all three locations have said campus will be open for blended learning in September, but I'm waiting to see if things change.* I would probably want to defer until 2021 if universities will only be doing online classes.

I've narrowed it down between Nottingham Trent, Oxford Brookes and University of Kent as they seem to have the highest ratings of the ones I've been accepted to. I've listed more information about myself and other universities I was admitted to below. I think I'm leaning toward Nottingham Trent based off of the program, their placement opportunities and their free language learning program.

About me:
-International Student (American)
-Late 20's Female Minority
-Bachelor's in Communications
-Seeking a computer science conversion course that will lead to employment opportunities
-Very into fitness and Olympic weightlifting/powerlifting. Also big into the outdoors and sightseeing.*
-plan to stay in UK to look for work opportunities after graduating

Universities Accepted to:
Nottingham Trent*
Oxford Brookes*
U of Kent
Sheffield Hallam
Birkbeck, U of London
U of Hertfordshire
And a few other very low ranked unis
Didn't apply to any RGs because I can't afford them...

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
*Also if you have advice on any other computer science conversion programs anywhere in the world that are affordable to international students please let me know. If I defer 2020, I'm pretty much open to anywhere that is a good return on investment.
Last edited by TechFitNerd; 1 month ago
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mike23mike
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(Original post by TechFitNerd)
Hi there. I'd love some advice on which university to pursue a Master of Science. I've been admitted to several programs, and am having a hard time deciding. It's especially hard as I'm not able to visit the campuses due to Covid-19. As of now all three locations have said campus will be open for blended learning in September, but I'm waiting to see if things change.* I would probably want to defer until 2021 if universities will only be doing online classes.

I've narrowed it down between Nottingham Trent, Oxford Brookes and University of Kent as they seem to have the highest ratings of the ones I've been accepted to. I've listed more information about myself and other universities I was admitted to below. I think I'm leaning toward Nottingham Trent based off of the program, their placement opportunities and their free language learning program.

About me:
-International Student (American)
-Late 20's Female Minority
-Bachelor's in Communications
-Seeking a computer science conversion course that will lead to employment opportunities
-Very into fitness and Olympic weightlifting/powerlifting. Also big into the outdoors and sightseeing.*
-plan to stay in UK to look for work opportunities after graduating

Universities Accepted to:
Nottingham Trent*
Oxford Brookes*
U of Kent
Sheffield Hallam
Birkbeck, U of London
U of Hertfordshire
And a few other very low ranked unis
Didn't apply to any RGs because I can't afford them...

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
*Also if you have advice on any other computer science conversion programs anywhere in the world that are affordable to international students please let me know. If I defer 2020, I'm pretty much open to anywhere that is a good return on investment.
It's not clear what Masters you aim to undertake - communications? May be worth looking at the Guardian good university guide to determine which is the best-ranked university for your particular subject. Just as you have Ivy League universities in the US there are different types of universities in the UK - Ancient, Red Brick, Plate Glass & the rest. I recommend you go to a university in one of the three categories and ignore 'the rest'. From your list of universities from which you are holding offers, only U of Kent makes the cut - Plate Glass. The other universities fall in 'the rest' category.

Unlike US universities, which are mainly campus, some universities in the UK are integrated into the city e.g. Nottingham-Trent, Sheffield Hallam, Birbeck. Of course, going to a university in London (Birbeck) will be a totally different social experience from going to say Sheffield for example. So you need to weigh that up too. My cousin is at U of Philidelphia. Loves the uni but hates Philadelphia and never ventures into the city.
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TechFitNerd
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(Original post by mike23mike)
It's not clear what Masters you aim to undertake - communications? May be worth looking at the Guardian good university guide to determine which is the best-ranked university for your particular subject. Just as you have Ivy League universities in the US there are different types of universities in the UK - Ancient, Red Brick, Plate Glass & the rest. I recommend you go to a university in one of the three categories and ignore 'the rest'. From your list of universities from which you are holding offers, only U of Kent makes the cut - Plate Glass. The other universities fall in 'the rest' category.

Unlike US universities, which are mainly campus, some universities in the UK are integrated into the city e.g. Nottingham-Trent, Sheffield Hallam, Birbeck. Of course, going to a university in London (Birbeck) will be a totally different social experience from going to say Sheffield for example. So you need to weigh that up too. My cousin is at U of Philidelphia. Loves the uni but hates Philadelphia and never ventures into the city.
Thank you for this lengthy answer. I wrote further down in my question that it is for a computer science conversion master of science. I will edit to put it at the top of the question.

The tables I looked at placed Nottingham Trent fairly high. There are so many different sites unfortunately. These three looked to all rank about the same across the tables. It's U of Kent much better than Trent and Oxford Brookes? Like worth £5000 better?

If I'm looking to be employed which looks better on a CV? Thank you again for your answers.
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TechFitNerd
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(Original post by mike23mike)
It's not clear what Masters you aim to undertake - communications? May be worth looking at the Guardian good university guide to determine which is the best-ranked university for your particular subject. Just as you have Ivy League universities in the US there are different types of universities in the UK - Ancient, Red Brick, Plate Glass & the rest. I recommend you go to a university in one of the three categories and ignore 'the rest'. From your list of universities from which you are holding offers, only U of Kent makes the cut - Plate Glass. The other universities fall in 'the rest' category.

Unlike US universities, which are mainly campus, some universities in the UK are integrated into the city e.g. Nottingham-Trent, Sheffield Hallam, Birbeck. Of course, going to a university in London (Birbeck) will be a totally different social experience from going to say Sheffield for example. So you need to weigh that up too. My cousin is at U of Philidelphia. Loves the uni but hates Philadelphia and never ventures into the City
Also according to the link you provided Nottingham Trent is ranked much higher than Kent. It's ranked 12th.
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mike23mike
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(Original post by TechFitNerd)
Also according to the link you provided Nottingham Trent is ranked much higher than Kent. It's ranked 12th.
Hi sorry I missed the bit where you stated you were doing a masters in Computer Science. If you have a look at the Guardian good university guide there is column that shows the % of people who secure a job 6 months after graduating (second to last column on RHS):

Nottingham Trent - 86%
Oxford Brookes - 85%
U of Kent - 92%
Sheffield Hallam - 75%
Birkbeck, U of London - n/a
U of Hertfordshire - 78%
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TechFitNerd
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(Original post by mike23mike)
Hi sorry I missed the bit where you stated you were doing a masters in Computer Science. If you have a look at the Guardian good university guide there is column that shows the % of people who secure a job 6 months after graduating (second to last column on RHS):

Nottingham Trent - 86%
Oxford Brookes - 85%
U of Kent - 92%
Sheffield Hallam - 75%
Birkbeck, U of London - n/a
U of Hertfordshire - 78%
Aw thanks so much. That's really helpful. I'll look a little more at that site.
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V1ct0r
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Kent and Brookes are the best in your list for computer science. I studied electronic engineering at Brookes and we have a strong formula student AI team (which I'm also part of) where you can be part of building a driverless race car (btw our success has attracted several sponsoring companies). At Kent, I believe they have a well-known digital arts department.

Computer science has always been a profession where only your skills and experience matter so I won't worry about university reputation. And the only university in the UK particularly well-known for CS is Edinburgh (apart from Oxbridge, Imperial, UCL) so the rest is more or less the same.
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chaotic1328
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Everything else being equal, the choice should be Birkbeck (part of UoL), followed by Kent. Of course, things are rarely equal, so it depends on your criteria, how much you like the cities/campus/course structure/lecturing staff/cost etc.

I am by no means suggesting that the academic quality of post-92 institutions are somehow inferior, because there are no reliable ways to measure this, and anecdotal evidence would suggest that this is not the case. What I am suggesting is the perceived quality of the institutions based on their history, and based on that, Birkbeck with its longer history as an established constituent college of the UoL, would be better than Kent, who in turn would be than the Post-92s on your list.
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TechFitNerd
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(Original post by V1ct0r)
Kent and Brookes are the best in your list for computer science. I studied electronic engineering at Brookes and we have a strong formula student AI team (which I'm also part of) where you can be part of building a driverless race car (btw our success has attracted several sponsoring companies). At Kent, I believe they have a well-known digital arts department.

Computer science has always been a profession where only your skills and experience matter so I won't worry about university reputation. And the only university in the UK particularly well-known for CS is Edinburgh (apart from Oxbridge, Imperial, UCL) so the rest is more or less the same.
Thank you for replying. I actually was accepted to some higher ranked unis, so I'm leaning towards Cardiff. It offers a placement year, and I feel that will be helpful in increasing my employability.

Other unis are U of Glasgow, Newcastle, Bath, Birmingham, Kent, QUB, and QMUL. Likely choosing Cardiff as it's the only one besides Kent that offers a placement year.
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TechFitNerd
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(Original post by chaotic1328)
Everything else being equal, the choice should be Birkbeck (part of UoL), followed by Kent. Of course, things are rarely equal, so it depends on your criteria, how much you like the cities/campus/course structure/lecturing staff/cost etc.

I am by no means suggesting that the academic quality of post-92 institutions are somehow inferior, because there are no reliable ways to measure this, and anecdotal evidence would suggest that this is not the case. What I am suggesting is the perceived quality of the institutions based on their history, and based on that, Birkbeck with its longer history as an established constituent college of the UoL, would be better than Kent, who in turn would be than the Post-92s on your list.
Thank you for your reply. I looked at that course but it's structured more for people who are working. The classes are in the evening.

I updated my post as I was accepted to some other unis. Other unis are U of Glasgow, Newcastle, Bath, Birmingham, Kent, QUB, and QMUL. Likely choosing Cardiff as it's the only one besides Kent that offers a placement year.
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V1ct0r
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(Original post by TechFitNerd)
Thank you for replying. I actually was accepted to some higher ranked unis, so I'm leaning towards Cardiff. It offers a placement year, and I feel that will be helpful in increasing my employability.

Other unis are U of Glasgow, Newcastle, Bath, Birmingham, Kent, QUB, and QMUL. Likely choosing Cardiff as it's the only one besides Kent that offers a placement year.
Bath is the obvious best of all of them. Did you apply to Edinburgh?
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TechFitNerd
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(Original post by V1ct0r)
Bath is the obvious best of all of them. Did you apply to Edinburgh?
I didn't apply to Edinburgh because they don't offer a conversion degree. My previous degree is in Communications. I have no formal experience in the tech field. That's why I was leaning towards Cardiff. The higher ranked unis don't offer a placement.

Just curious, what order would you rank these unis? Is there really a big difference between them?
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University of Bath Postgraduate
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(Original post by TechFitNerd)
Edited: Since this post I applied to and gained acceptance to "better" unis. Top choices are between U of Glasgow, Cardiff, Newcastle, Bath, Birmingham, QUB, and QMUL. Likely choosing Cardiff as it's the only one that offers a placement year.

. Hi there. I'd love some advice on which university to pursue a Master of Science in Computing Science. I've been admitted to several programs, and am having a hard time deciding. It's especially hard as I'm not able to visit the campuses due to Covid-19. As of now all three locations have said campus will be open for blended learning in September, but I'm waiting to see if things change.* I would probably want to defer until 2021 if universities will only be doing online classes.

I've narrowed it down between Nottingham Trent, Oxford Brookes and University of Kent as they seem to have the highest ratings of the ones I've been accepted to. I've listed more information about myself and other universities I was admitted to below. I think I'm leaning toward Nottingham Trent based off of the program, their placement opportunities and their free language learning program.

About me:
-International Student (American)
-Late 20's Female Minority
-Bachelor's in Communications
-Seeking a computer science conversion course that will lead to employment opportunities
-Very into fitness and Olympic weightlifting/powerlifting. Also big into the outdoors and sightseeing.*
-plan to stay in UK to look for work opportunities after graduating

Universities Accepted to:
Nottingham Trent*
Oxford Brookes*
U of Kent
Sheffield Hallam
Birkbeck, U of London
U of Hertfordshire
And a few other very low ranked unis
Didn't apply to any RGs because I can't afford them...

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
*Also if you have advice on any other computer science conversion programs anywhere in the world that are affordable to international students please let me know. If I defer 2020, I'm pretty much open to anywhere that is a good return on investment.
Hi TechFitNerd

I see from the replies to this thread that you're leaning more towards a course that offers a placement year (which sounds sensible), but I'm glad to see you're at least considering Bath for your postgraduate studies!

While I am not on the computer science course, I am happy to tell you about my experience in the School of Management.
My experience this year has been fantastic. Many of my lecturers have had successful careers in industry and are able to utilise their experiences to aid their teachings, which I've personally found very useful and interesting. This also means they have a fantastic network of contacts and we regularly have noteable guest speakers take some lectures. On top of this, they seem a lot more engaged than the lecturers I had for my undergraduate degree and are more than happy to give you some of their time to offer support with the course or give insightful career advice. It is also very clear that a lot of time has been spent on the structure of the course in order to ensure we not only learn the required content but also develop the necessary soft skills that appeal to employers.


On top of this, the University itself offers fantastic careers support. You are able to book 1 to 1 sessions with the careers team to discuss anything job related, proof read CVs and cover letters, give relevant advice and insight into specific company's application processes (students are encouraged to feeedback to the careers service whenever they are successful in securing a graduate job in order to help future students). As well as this, they regularly run mock interviews and assessment centres and other more general support workshops.

More information about the Careers Service can be found here: Careers Service


As you've also mentioned that you are very into fitness and Olympic weightlifting/powerlifting I think it is definitely worth checking out Bath's Sport Training Village (STV), which offers fantastic facilities for a variety of sports and the powerlifting society (it is also not uncommon for GB athletes to use the facilities)

More information can be found here: Team Bath info

The City of Bath itself is a beautiful place to live (perfect for someone who enjoys the outdoors and sightseeing!), one of the safest cities in the country and is rich with history, although it is relatively small and slow-paced. Some students find there isn't a great deal to do in their downtime and the nightlife doesn't meet expectations, so if you're someone who would feel more comfortable in a big city with lots going on, maybe one of your other choices would be a better fit. Many students do however, take advantage of the fact that Bristol is less than 15 miles away (about a 15 minute train ride), a much bigger and more happening city with a much better nightlife, and I've even known a few students to live there and commute. It all depends on your preference, it is important to remember that you'll be living there for the best part of a year!

I hope this has helped, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch!

Ollie
MSc Engineering Business Management
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V1ct0r
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(Original post by TechFitNerd)
I didn't apply to Edinburgh because they don't offer a conversion degree. My previous degree is in Communications. I have no formal experience in the tech field. That's why I was leaning towards Cardiff. The higher ranked unis don't offer a placement.

Just curious, what order would you rank these unis? Is there really a big difference between them?
Generally, its Bath > Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham, QUB, QMUL > Kent, Brookes, Trent, Birkbeck > Hallam, Hertfordshire

I don't believe there's a big difference. The big difference is between Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial, LSE, UCL and the rest and the notoriously bad unis. No one was impressed when I said I had an offer from Sheffield but most people were like 'wow' when I said I was gonna apply to Imperial.

But CS is very skill-based so no one would care where you got your degree from. Hell, they won't even care if you have one or not! All they care about is what you know and how well you can code.
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btw i use arch
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Hey, I'm in the decision process as well, you're welcome to check my chart and join the discussion as well.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...0#post89990130
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TechFitNerd
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(Original post by btw i use arch)
Hey, I'm in the decision process as well, you're welcome to check my chart and join the discussion as well.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...0#post89990130
Will do. Thank you
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Karolali
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(Original post by TechFitNerd)
Will do. Thank you
Hello,

I have applied go Sheffield as well. Still waiting for a decision. I have not applied for pure computer science but to Data Analytics MSc. I'll be 30 when uni starts if admitted. Have you decided yet?
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TechFitNerd
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(Original post by Karolali)
Hello,

I have applied go Sheffield as well. Still waiting for a decision. I have not applied for pure computer science but to Data Analytics MSc. I'll be 30 when uni starts if admitted. Have you decided yet?
Yes I'm going with Cardiff. With the current state of the economy I think the placement year will be helpful. Have you applied to any other universities besides Sheffield?
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Karolali
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(Original post by TechFitNerd)
Yes I'm going with Cardiff. With the current state of the economy I think the placement year will be helpful. Have you applied to any other universities besides Sheffield?
Ah, too bad. I have also applied for the "standard" London based ones pluss Warwick. I got a friend in Cardiff. She is a postgraduate student in allied health. How come you decided on Cardiff?
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