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Bristol Data Science BSc

Hi! I just got an offer for Data Science BSc in the University of Bristol, and I was wondering how the course is as it’s a relatively new degree, and there’re close to no forums about it.
How are the lectures?
How many students are in the course?
Is data science in bristol just a combination of subjects in maths, stats, and CS or is it tailored to data science?
How’s the social life within the school?
Thank you!
(edited 10 months ago)
Hello there! I'm a First Year Bsc DS student here at Bristol who is currently procrastinating instead of revising for my Exams. So naturally I'm the most qualified person to answer any questions you may have considering I might be joining you next year lmao.

Data Science is run by the School of Mathematics. We share about two modules with other mathematicians (including Comp Sci + Maths or Phy + Maths etc) and Economics students. For these lectures, you will be at times attending massive theatres/halls with up to 400 people rife with fresh's flue. Don't worry lectures tend to dry up pretty quickly when everyone realises replays exist.

The two shared modules are Stats & Prob and Analysis. Additionally, we have two units that are catered to us "Matrix & Linear Algebra" and "Mathematical Tools for Data Science"(Calculus). University Math and high school math are different. I can't guarantee that even though you enjoyed your A level you will enjoy Data Science. Conversly, you might enjoy the course even though you hated your A levels. I find this particularly true for stats.

There are also two extra programming units. One in C++ and R covering algorithms and concepts like Vectorised code vs Scalar code; and the other unit is a unit provided by the School of Science called Introduction to Scientific Computing where they introduce libraries like Pandas, Matplotlib and Numpy in Python. I personally had the most fun with these. If you've done any kind of programming on your own time or are familiar with basic concepts that you may find in your A level you'll be fine. Most students however did struggle to grasp C/C++.

Lectures vary in quality. Analysis is a notoriously tricky unit for students fresh out of A levels / IB. Your lecturer can make or break how you feel about it. Unfortunately for us, we had a poor lecturer at the start. That being said, the second half of the unit was done by the best lecturer I've had so far Dr Lee Butler(bless his sole the man can read minds). Sometimes lecturers have no concept of how ignorant we are. They tend to go on tangents or give way too much detail. The correlation between a good researcher and a good teacher is very slim. Often I find it may even be inversely correlated. I think they are mostly fine but my prespective is obviously limited. Ultimately it comes down to you how well you perform.

When it comes to socialising, I think joining some societies might be a decent idea to find like-minded people. There are also plenty of events like bar crawls and whatnot you can attend to meet new people. Bristol has a pretty neat night life, as I'm sure you are aware. If you like going clubbing I'm sure it won't disappoint.

Good luck with your A levels and hope to see you in Bristol.
Original post by PyroVulpese
Hello there! I'm a First Year Bsc DS student here at Bristol who is currently procrastinating instead of revising for my Exams. So naturally I'm the most qualified person to answer any questions you may have considering I might be joining you next year lmao.

Data Science is run by the School of Mathematics. We share about two modules with other mathematicians (including Comp Sci + Maths or Phy + Maths etc) and Economics students. For these lectures, you will be at times attending massive theatres/halls with up to 400 people rife with fresh's flue. Don't worry lectures tend to dry up pretty quickly when everyone realises replays exist.

The two shared modules are Stats & Prob and Analysis. Additionally, we have two units that are catered to us "Matrix & Linear Algebra" and "Mathematical Tools for Data Science"(Calculus). University Math and high school math are different. I can't guarantee that even though you enjoyed your A level you will enjoy Data Science. Conversly, you might enjoy the course even though you hated your A levels. I find this particularly true for stats.

There are also two extra programming units. One in C++ and R covering algorithms and concepts like Vectorised code vs Scalar code; and the other unit is a unit provided by the School of Science called Introduction to Scientific Computing where they introduce libraries like Pandas, Matplotlib and Numpy in Python. I personally had the most fun with these. If you've done any kind of programming on your own time or are familiar with basic concepts that you may find in your A level you'll be fine. Most students however did struggle to grasp C/C++.

Lectures vary in quality. Analysis is a notoriously tricky unit for students fresh out of A levels / IB. Your lecturer can make or break how you feel about it. Unfortunately for us, we had a poor lecturer at the start. That being said, the second half of the unit was done by the best lecturer I've had so far Dr Lee Butler(bless his sole the man can read minds). Sometimes lecturers have no concept of how ignorant we are. They tend to go on tangents or give way too much detail. The correlation between a good researcher and a good teacher is very slim. Often I find it may even be inversely correlated. I think they are mostly fine but my prespective is obviously limited. Ultimately it comes down to you how well you perform.

When it comes to socialising, I think joining some societies might be a decent idea to find like-minded people. There are also plenty of events like bar crawls and whatnot you can attend to meet new people. Bristol has a pretty neat night life, as I'm sure you are aware. If you like going clubbing I'm sure it won't disappoint.

Good luck with your A levels and hope to see you in Bristol.

Hi there i've also got an offer for Data Science from Bristol, so as you are a student I have a few questions.

This one might sound a bit silly, but do the lecture halls have plug sockets bc the battery life on the computer I currently have is soo bad, so i need to know if i'll need to buy a new laptop or not?

Do you think buying an ipad will be any good, like am i acc gonna need it?

How long are the lectures and how many a week do you have?

And how is the male to female ratio because im a girl so im kinda nervous there wont be any other girls?

Thank youuu
(edited 9 months ago)
1) PLUG SOCKETS & LAPTOP: Most lecture halls and libraries come with main sockets everywhere. Almost every building I've been to provides a socket for every seat. I still recommend eventually getting a laptop with a fairly decent battery. I personally daily drive an M2 air which has an amazing battery and it's super light(you will be going uphill quite a bit so this is a plus). Ultrabooks tend to be lighter and have higher build quality. Gaming laptops are the norm however as most students are international and understandably still want to game. You don't need a high spec pc for first-year material and in my case, I just lugged my gaming tower over from London to my accommodation to quench my crippling Valorant addiction.

NOTE: You should opt for Windows over mac os. A lot of students on Mac had trouble 'trouble shooting' their computers for lab packs and such. Macs aren't a deal breaker they can code just as well if not better it's just less convenient if you don't know what you're doing. If you are unfamiliar with UNIX/Linux machines best go with a Windows laptop.

2) IPAD: I think an iPad is a fantastic idea. I switched to an iPad after a few months of pen and paper. It's much more effective and convenient. You can have access to all your notes in one place. You could also annotate all your lecture notes and not have to bother printing them out. A large number of students have tablets for note-taking.

3) WORKLOAD: The workload is quite high. We have one of the highest contact hours. We have 6 units/modules as previously mentioned which leads to a timetable jam-packed with tutorials, lectures and labs. Worst of all I have 3 lectures at 9 a.m. which after a certain point I stopped attending as most first-years do. lectures are no longer than one hour. Labs go for around two hours but they are more relaxed as most students leave early after finishing their assignments. In terms of the length of the course, I believe it's about 6 months of actual learning and two months of holiday spread between easter and winter totalling about 39 weeks or 8/9 months at the Uni.

4)GENDER RATIO: About 30 - 25% of the cohort are girls. It is worth noting that a significant portion of students will form their cliques depending on where they are from. The course is dominated by Chinese various South East Asian (Malaysian mostly) and Saudi students. Local students are the minority. If you're a local student odds are there will be one or two other girls you could talk to.


P.S: I'm from St Doms too! I used to have Manrik for Further Stats who was very chill and Howard Benett for Comp Sci who was quite the character. Oh and Craig for Physics. I don't know what Doms is like now but when I used to go there it was super chill I spent hours having some of the best conversations I've ever had with people at the Shack lmao. Feel free to dm me any other questions you like!
(edited 9 months ago)

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