The Student Room Group

Computer science or data science bsc?

Is it better to do an undergraduate degree in data science from UCL or computer science from Southampton? I've been told data science is too specialised and computer science will give me more options which I agree with, however I know that I want to stay within the data science/machine learning region after researching, as I like the maths aspect, so which one will benefit me more? The UCL one is newer than southamptons.
have you been to both unis for 'open days'?
if not, contact the uni's and ask them if you can get a tour of the ICT department and speak to someone in the field you're most interested in, to elaborate (expand) your interest and possible place of study.

For me, I was interested in ICT (having done well at it at GCSE + A-Level) and wanted to go somewhere where I could leave the ICT building, but be surrounded by other students. Wolverhampton gave me this, whereas others like Coventry, Staffordshire + Worcester were off-campus buildings.
Reply 2
Original post by Adz2042
have you been to both unis for 'open days'?
if not, contact the uni's and ask them if you can get a tour of the ICT department and speak to someone in the field you're most interested in, to elaborate (expand) your interest and possible place of study.

For me, I was interested in ICT (having done well at it at GCSE + A-Level) and wanted to go somewhere where I could leave the ICT building, but be surrounded by other students. Wolverhampton gave me this, whereas others like Coventry, Staffordshire + Worcester were off-campus buildings.

I've only been to UCL and we didn't have the chance to speak to people in the department, didn't go to southamptons open day but have been to the uni/area
I would do this however I think I am really on the last minute side of things, I've only got a few days left to change my mind on UCAS, I picked UCL but just having doubts about the course as it's so new, while southamptons is old and generally well regarded.
I think it's difficult cos I'm not entirely sure what I want to do as a career, and UCL is a target university while southampton isn't, so it would be easier to transition into finance etc, and I love the location much more too, but ultimately I don't want to regret course choice
How did you decide?
Reply 3
Provided you can convince an 1st employer you are good at programming a "data science" degree is as good for most programming jobs as a Comp Sci degree. The programming experience you get working over summers can be more important then the degree.
The question is, what modules would you even select? ML for e.g. which would be suitable for a ML engineer.
Reply 5
Original post by ringi
Provided you can convince an 1st employer you are good at programming a "data science" degree is as good for most programming jobs as a Comp Sci degree. The programming experience you get working over summers can be more important then the degree.


That's what I heard, that internships and work experience is much more valued than the degree itself, so I'm thinking maybe going for UCL gives me the most options at the end? If I choose not to purse the tech industry especially
Reply 6
Original post by SeniorStraw
The question is, what modules would you even select? ML for e.g. which would be suitable for a ML engineer.

Well the compulsory modules on the UCL course are calculus, linear algebra, probability/stats very maths based etc, with some programming in R, SQL and python and apparently those are commonly used in data science/machine learning so I think it is useful for a machine learning engineer however I haven't done the degree yet so I don't know for sure
Original post by xdivs
Well the compulsory modules on the UCL course are calculus, linear algebra, probability/stats very maths based etc, with some programming in R, SQL and python and apparently those are commonly used in data science/machine learning so I think it is useful for a machine learning engineer however I haven't done the degree yet so I don't know for sure

So the degree is more theoretical leaning then rather than practical?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by SeniorStraw
So the degree is more theoretical leaning then rather than practical?


That's the case with most CS degrees at higher ranking universities.
Reply 9
Original post by SeniorStraw
So the degree is more theoretical leaning then rather than practical?


For practical learning do a degree apprenticeship or something like "Manchester Codes" .
Original post by ringi
For practical learning do a degree apprenticeship or something like "Manchester Codes" .

Isn't the Software Engineering BEng, a more practical course?
Reply 11
Original post by SeniorStraw
Isn't the Software Engineering BEng, a more practical course?


Totally depends on the university, however no university is as good as spending a year writing software in a surportive team.
Original post by SeniorStraw
Isn't the Software Engineering BEng, a more practical course?


Look beyond award titles and look at the actual content of a degree to determine what is or isn't practical.
Reply 13
Original post by SeniorStraw
So the degree is more theoretical leaning then rather than practical?


Definitely more theoretical, but from what I've seen the computer science degree is also pretty theoretical too, maybe less emphasis on the maths/stats tho
Original post by xdivs
I've only been to UCL and we didn't have the chance to speak to people in the department, didn't go to southamptons open day but have been to the uni/area
I would do this however I think I am really on the last minute side of things, I've only got a few days left to change my mind on UCAS, I picked UCL but just having doubts about the course as it's so new, while southamptons is old and generally well regarded.
I think it's difficult cos I'm not entirely sure what I want to do as a career, and UCL is a target university while southampton isn't, so it would be easier to transition into finance etc, and I love the location much more too, but ultimately I don't want to regret course choice
How did you decide?


Sorry for the late response. I have been on holiday in Amsterdam.
I decided to go for Wolverhampton, solely because the ICT building is interconnected with the rest of the University, so it would enable me to connect and meet other students in the campus.
Cov, Worcs, Staffs and Bham City, whilst all good uni's, their ICT building was from 10-30 min walk from the main campus or located in a different part of the city, which was a turn-off for me.
Reply 15
Original post by Adz2042
Sorry for the late response. I have been on holiday in Amsterdam.
I decided to go for Wolverhampton, solely because the ICT building is interconnected with the rest of the University, so it would enable me to connect and meet other students in the campus.
Cov, Worcs, Staffs and Bham City, whilst all good uni's, their ICT building was from 10-30 min walk from the main campus or located in a different part of the city, which was a turn-off for me.


That's alright, so was your deciding factor the university/buildings rather than course ? Or was it that you knew for certain that you wanted to do that course and you just chose unis around it? I'm a very indecisive person so I feel like I might end up changing my mind last minute.
Would you say campus unis were better than city ones then?
Original post by xdivs
That's alright, so was your deciding factor the university/buildings rather than course ? Or was it that you knew for certain that you wanted to do that course and you just chose unis around it? I'm a very indecisive person so I feel like I might end up changing my mind last minute.
Would you say campus unis were better than city ones then?


My deciding factor was a mixture of the course and the facility building.
I always knew I wanted to do ICT (we didn't have computer science), and I had performed well in the subject during GCSE/ A-Level, so it just made sense to do a uni degree I was interested in.
So I prefer campus uni's as you're more likely to have stronger friendship groups for socialising and if you get into a relationship, for dates.
City centre ones risk that your other students will commute in and just attend the lectures, but not necessarily be available to socialise afterwards.
Reply 17
Original post by Adz2042
My deciding factor was a mixture of the course and the facility building.
I always knew I wanted to do ICT (we didn't have computer science), and I had performed well in the subject during GCSE/ A-Level, so it just made sense to do a uni degree I was interested in.
So I prefer campus uni's as you're more likely to have stronger friendship groups for socialising and if you get into a relationship, for dates.
City centre ones risk that your other students will commute in and just attend the lectures, but not necessarily be available to socialise afterwards.


Ah I see, I definitely agree it seems that campus unis are better for socialising, and thank u for the rest of the information I will definitely keep it in mind :smile:

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