I was at the open day earlier this month, and I juts had a question - is the Bath course a lot of coding, compared with other uni's?
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- Thread Starter
- 23-07-2009 20:56
- 25-07-2009 22:53
Hard to compare to other uni's, but from open days elsewhere, it seems about average.
It does feel like its a lot of coding though, as the programming module in the first year is the largest module, and you get lab sheets to complete every week.
- 27-07-2009 18:28
At Bath there is a lot in the first year! But it's quite a bit less in the second as you don't get the weekly labs. Coding is going to be a large part of any comp sci course, there are several reasons for this:
* Educational tool - a lot of things your supposed to learn are easier to understand if you figure out how to code them, it really does give you a better understanding. It's all very well being told how a compiler works but if you have to code one then you know how it works
* Life skills - graduate employers looking for comp sci students want coding skills, it's a bare minimum.
* Group work in subsequent years - The first year is designed so that you can't get into the second year unless you can program, most of the coursework in the second year (and by all accounts this is true of most uni's) is group work. So I'm sure you can appreciate that having someone who can't code would be more than a little annoying.
* research/projects - Anything you do subsequently in the field will need to be coded as proof of concept so you may as well learn to do it early on.
Having said this Bath are very good at teaching you how to code, I came into the course having very little experience (along with a lot of others) and I've had no problems picking it up to the extent where I'm working on placement doing coding (another excellent element of the Bath course) and it's easily up to the standard expected.
I would be very sceptical of any computer science degree that didn't have a heavy emphasis on teaching you how to program correctly.
- 28-07-2009 02:57
I've only completed the first year so far, and haven't studied anywhere else, but take what I say with a pinch of salt I guess.
However, it felt like there was a lot of programming. The programming module was a 24 credit year long module (as opposed to the standard 6 for a single semester module) - it made up 40% of the year's credits. Outside of lectures there was weekly labs and a decent amount of coursework (larger programming problems) to complete. I get the impression that it'll ease up in the second year (no weekly labs - the main programming module is half the number of credits).
I don't think it's a bad thing, I get the impression that the course just tries to cover a lot of programming earlier, when compared to other unis.
We spent about half of the first semester studying Python (we only used it as a functional language, none of the Object Orientated [OO] features really) then the rest of that semester, the whole of the second semester studying Java (an OO language). People that hadn't really done any programming before tended to struggle a lot for the first semester, as someone going in with some experience in PHP/VB6/Pascal (functional languages as opposed to OO) I didn't find the Python stuff too difficult, but struggled massively with the Java that first semester.
You cover a lot of programming in the first year, and I found it rather difficult at times, but you learn a lot.
- 30-07-2009 20:50
Repeating what the other guys said. I think compared to other uni's the weight of programming and the speed we do it is a massive difference. Some of my friends do CS at other uni's couldn't do our lab sheets, but i think that speaks volumes about the calibre here at Bath. I found programming really hard, python was easy to pick up where as the real struggle came with picking up Java. They do give you alot of work, just as long as you're on top of it (i was one of the disorganised ones) and don't leave you're coursework to the last minute then you should be fine. However, it should be pointed out that if you fail programming, you fail the year. I don't know any other uni (but then again, i don't know the structure of other uni's courses) which effectively make programming half of the year's credits. But, a lot of help is available, like I said, I struggled massively this year but the department was extremely helpful and understanding of my mitigating circumstances and by some divine miracle I passed, the majority of tutors are helpful and we also have a mentoring scheme in place. Also, if you do come to Bath, join BCSS plug plug plug.