computer science degree at a lower ranked university

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smemflebemfle
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#1
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#1
I applied to KCL and UCL and they both rejected me, but I did get an offer from Goldsmiths university; and when i went to their open day I really liked the place and it seemed great; the only issue is that their entry requirements are quite low for how i'm currently working (around 3 A's in maths, history and computer science), and they dont rank too highly on the overall rankings for computer science (around the midway point). I assume the reason that KCL and UCL rejected me is because im not doing further maths; or at least that contributed to it.

What im wondering is, how detrimental will it be for me overall to go to a university that isn't ranked very highly for my subject, or should i decline my offer for Goldsmiths and try my hand at applying to KCL or UCL through Clearing? I really like Goldsmiths but if it's not that great then I don't know what decision I should make.

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artful_lounger
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#2
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#2
UCL don't participate in clearing, and there is no guarantee any particular uni will be in clearing, even if they were before.
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smemflebemfle
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#3
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#3
(Original post by artful_lounger)
UCL don't participate in clearing, and there is no guarantee any particular uni will be in clearing, even if they were before.
So the best course of action would be to accept the outcome and accept Goldsmith's offer?
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Muttley79
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#4
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#4
You could see what else is on offer in clearing?
(Original post by smemflebemfle)
So the best course of action would be to accept the outcome and accept Goldsmith's offer?
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BadBComeToTheNiz
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#5
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#5
University of Bath still has a place for CS in clearing i think
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McGinger
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#6
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#6
(Original post by smemflebemfle)
I did get an offer from Goldsmiths university; and when i went to their open day I really liked the place and it seemed great; the only issue is that their entry requirements are quite low
Entry requirements will not tell you anything about the 'quality' of the course or the Uni - or if you will like being at that Uni or enjoy doing the course.

Going to KCL/UCL etc etc does not guarantee anyone a magical career or lifelong happiness.
Life is what you make it - not the brand name on your degree certificate.
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swanseajack1
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#7
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#7
(Original post by smemflebemfle)
I applied to KCL and UCL and they both rejected me, but I did get an offer from Goldsmiths university; and when i went to their open day I really liked the place and it seemed great; the only issue is that their entry requirements are quite low for how i'm currently working (around 3 A's in maths, history and computer science), and they dont rank too highly on the overall rankings for computer science (around the midway point). I assume the reason that KCL and UCL rejected me is because im not doing further maths; or at least that contributed to it.

What im wondering is, how detrimental will it be for me overall to go to a university that isn't ranked very highly for my subject, or should i decline my offer for Goldsmiths and try my hand at applying to KCL or UCL through Clearing? I really like Goldsmiths but if it's not that great then I don't know what decision I should make.

Opinions?
Firstly over the last couple of years CS has become increasingly competitive and most leading universities including the 2 that rejected you have been over subscribed. Kings behaviour has been deplorable recently and like many you have been rejected.

Where you decide to go only you can decide. If your happy wiith Goldsmith go there. If you feel you would be better elsewhere then do that. Ultimately only you can decide.

One of the key issues is how tide to London you are. If you are prepared to move then it is likely you will have good options elsewhere. You dont need to wait for clearing you can apply through Extra now and it is a much better way to do things.

Check what universities are showing availability. Use Ucas course search and fitter using show only courses with vacancies. If you find anywhere that interest you then ring the university to check they still have vacancies.

I suspect numerous universities will accept you with your grades. To enter extra you would need to reject Goldsmiths.

Your other option would be to take a gap year and reapply but consider you could end up being rejected again.

I have just checked for you and Cardiff, Lancaster, Liverpool, Loghborough and Sheffield amongst others other are all showing vacancies if you are interested.
Last edited by swanseajack1; 1 month ago
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Blue_Cow
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#8
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#8
(Original post by smemflebemfle)
I applied to KCL and UCL and they both rejected me, but I did get an offer from Goldsmiths university; and when i went to their open day I really liked the place and it seemed great; the only issue is that their entry requirements are quite low for how i'm currently working (around 3 A's in maths, history and computer science), and they dont rank too highly on the overall rankings for computer science (around the midway point). I assume the reason that KCL and UCL rejected me is because im not doing further maths; or at least that contributed to it.

What im wondering is, how detrimental will it be for me overall to go to a university that isn't ranked very highly for my subject, or should i decline my offer for Goldsmiths and try my hand at applying to KCL or UCL through Clearing? I really like Goldsmiths but if it's not that great then I don't know what decision I should make.

Opinions?
It's fine. I assume your concerns are around employability? In which case where you go doesn't really matter - what matters is your work experience through internships/placement year for CS especially. Universities do not teach you how to pass Leetcode/Hackerrank job assessments or help you create a meaningful portfolio - that kind of thing is done because you treat CS as a hobby.

TL;DR - Doesn't matter where you go. Your existing aptitude and willingness to learn new skills to pass technical interviews does.
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artful_lounger
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#9
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#9
(Original post by smemflebemfle)
So the best course of action would be to accept the outcome and accept Goldsmith's offer?
As above, assuming you want to go into the computing sector, it doesn't matter where you study if you can make yourself employable with relevant work experience from internships etc, develop a portfolio of projects on GitHub, and be able to pass assessment centres and so on.

Where you study only matters for investment banking and management consultancy, where they do care if you go to a target uni - and don't care what you study. If your aim is IBanking you would be just as well off doing Viking and Old Norse Studies as CS, provided it was at a target uni and as above, you get relevant internships and make yourself employable.
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smemflebemfle
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#10
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#10
The thing is, I really liked Goldsmiths when I went there. I'm just afraid of 'underselling' myself so to speak; as they arent as selective with who they accept.

people who are close to me who i've spoken to have been adamant that i just forget about prestige and reputation and just go where I'd be the most happy. But then again i've never made this decision before and I don't have a way of knowing what the right choice is.

I think I'd like to stay in London. Moving away is scary and i'm a pussy so I think it's looking more and more likely that I go to Goldsmiths and just forget about what letters and what grades and what numbers mean what. At the end of the day if I get a good score on my degree and get a year of experience under my belt it's all the same right?

Thanks for all the responses everyone who has replied. I really appreciate the points of view and it's really helped me out over this last week.

(Original post by swanseajack1)
Firstly over the last couple of years CS has become increasingly competitive and most leading universities including the 2 that rejected you have been over subscribed. Kings behaviour has been deplorable recently and like many you have been rejected.

Where you decide to go only you can decide. If your happy wiith Goldsmith go there. If you feel you would be better elsewhere then do that. Ultimately only you can decide.

One of the key issues is how tide to London you are. If you are prepared to move then it is likely you will have good options elsewhere. You dont need to wait for clearing you can apply through Extra now and it is a much better way to do things.

Check what universities are showing availability. Use Ucas course search and fitter using show only courses with vacancies. If you find anywhere that interest you then ring the university to check they still have vacancies.

I suspect numerous universities will accept you with your grades. To enter extra you would need to reject Goldsmiths.

Your other option would be to take a gap year and reapply but consider you could end up being rejected again.

I have just checked for you and Cardiff, Lancaster, Liverpool, Loghborough and Sheffield amongst others other are all showing vacancies if you are interested.
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shyneeee
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#11
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#11
(Original post by smemflebemfle)
I applied to KCL and UCL and they both rejected me, but I did get an offer from Goldsmiths university; and when i went to their open day I really liked the place and it seemed great; the only issue is that their entry requirements are quite low for how i'm currently working (around 3 A's in maths, history and computer science), and they dont rank too highly on the overall rankings for computer science (around the midway point). I assume the reason that KCL and UCL rejected me is because im not doing further maths; or at least that contributed to it.

What im wondering is, how detrimental will it be for me overall to go to a university that isn't ranked very highly for my subject, or should i decline my offer for Goldsmiths and try my hand at applying to KCL or UCL through Clearing? I really like Goldsmiths but if it's not that great then I don't know what decision I should make.

Opinions?
I got an offer for KCL's MSci CS course and I dropped further maths so I don't think it's that; although I did get rejected from UCL based solely on my application not being strong enough.

I say if you're happy with Goldsmiths Uni then go there, cause one of the things KCL sold themselves with was that they're located in London, where all the big companies are, meaning easy access and since Goldsmiths is in London as well, it'd be the same advantage (you may just have to put yourself out there a little more). At the end of the day, prestige and rankings don't matter, it's how you perform throughout your course and after that because you could still end up at the same place as someone who went to Oxbridge and still be better than them, y'know?

And going to these high-ranking unis is just a fast-track for jobs but it's up to you. It's your life and you shouldn't put a deadline on when you want to reach your goals. Leading on from that, if you're really passionate about going to KCL or UCL then trying again next year is still an option.
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Baleroc
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#12
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#12
(Original post by smemflebemfle)
What im wondering is, how detrimental will it be for me overall to go to a university that isn't ranked very highly for my subject, or should i decline my offer for Goldsmiths and try my hand at applying to KCL or UCL through Clearing? I really like Goldsmiths but if it's not that great then I don't know what decision I should make.

Opinions?
I'm a bit late to this, but to answer your question:

Lower ranked universities in computer science have one common denominator: little math. If you look at any low-rated CS course, and you will find it will have very little math in. The lower rated it is, the less math is taught. So, in top 20, you have some math involving discrete math, logic, calculus, linear algebra, etc. Outside the top 20, vast majority of those universities will only cover discrete mathematics, and that can be severely detrimental if you miss out on other areas of math. So, if you find a university that is lower ranked, it is better to find a computer science and mathematics degree, instead of a computer science degree.

Don't believe me? Well, let me show you the pattern:

UCL Computer Science covers logic, linear algebra, discrete math, calculus, statistics and probability, numerical methods, etc.
Imperial Computer Science covers linear algebra, discrete math, calculus, logic, probability and statistics, etc.
Oxford Computer Science covers linear algebra, probability and statistics, discrete math, calculus, optimisation, logic, etc.

What you can see from these three examples of top universities is that they all cover mathematics in a lot of depth and detail.

If we compare that to universities outside the top 10:

York Computer Science covers discrete mathematics
Newcastle Computer Science covers discrete mathematics

However, there are some outliers, like Southampton and Nottingham covering calculus and linear algebra, despite being outside the top 10 universities. But generally, the lower ranked a university is, the less likely they'd cover anything like calculus or linear algebra anyway.

So, if you find a low-rated university, you can essentially obtain an equivalent to a top 10 university in terms of syllabus and course content, by studying a computer science and mathematics degree, as those lower ranked universities tend to cover less math, while the higher ranked universities - like Oxford, UCL, Imperial, etc, tend to be more mathematically inclined. Therefore, to have those lower ranked universities make up the difference, you would study a computer science and math degree to even out the syllabus to be closer to a university in the top 10.

Personally, during clearing, if you want a degree as close to UCL or another top university, but you find a lower ranked university, I would check all their computer science and math degrees, and you might find that there is some overlap between content at top universities.

Hope that helps.
Last edited by Baleroc; 4 weeks ago
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