Technology plays a vital part of our daily lives. This makes it increasingly important that the education of computer scientists is in-line with the rapidly developing field. A degree will combine theoretical principles with practical experience, preparing you for employment. Your computer science skills will be in high demand once you have graduated, meaning that your career prospects will be varied.
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About Computer Science
The accreditation of a computer science degree will depend on your institution, as well as the content of your course. At undergraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc), or an integrated Master of Science (MSci). At postgraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Master of Science (MSc), or a Master of Computing (MComp), with further study awarding degrees such as Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).Some university courses are accredited by the British Computing Society (BCS), which is the chartered institute for information technology. Your institution will be able to provide more information about this.
Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three to four years to complete, depending on where you choose to study. A postgraduate degree will normally take one to two years to complete.
Your institution may offer part-time study options. This usually means that your degree will take four to six years. You may also be able to take a foundation programme, which is useful if you do not meet the entry requirements for your degree.
Annual undergraduate tuition fees for UK students are capped by the UK government. For the 2019/20 academic year, they are £9,250. This is subject to change each year, and will be updated on your institution website.
Postgraduate course annual tuition fees are set by the institution, which means that they can differ. Postgraduate programmes are generally less expensive than undergraduate programmes. You will find detailed fee information on the institution webpage.
The fees displayed below are an example of typical annual tuition fees for undergraduate and postgraduate computer science degrees. Actual tuition fees can be found on the institution webpages.
Typical Annual Tuition Fees
- Undergraduate - £9,250
- Postgraduate - £7,500
At undergraduate level, you will gain a foundation of knowledge in the main areas of computer science. You might study modules on software development, computer security, and database design and development, among others. Most undergraduate courses will be designed to suit students with little experience of computer science, as well as challenging those with a higher level of knowledge. Your degree will be delivered through lectures and tutorials, incorporating computer laboratory sessions. This will ensure that you are developing your theoretical and practical skills. Depending on your course, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. Assessment methods can include written work, software development tasks, and presentations.
A postgraduate degree, such as an MSc, will continue to develop your knowledge and skills gained at undergraduate level. You will study modules on more complex and specialist concepts of computer science, covering both core and contemporary topics. Modules might include artificial intelligence, software engineering, web development, and information visualisation. Assessment methods can include written work, laboratory projects, group work projects, and a major research project.
The entry requirements for a degree in computer science will depend on your institution of choice. They may also be influenced by the level of study you are applying for. An undergraduate degree will require you to have a background in mathematics, with some requiring physics. Although your institution might not require you to have any formal experience of computer science, it is recommended that you familiarise yourself with at least one programming language. For a postgraduate degree, it is likely that you will need to have an undergraduate degree in computer science, or a closely related subject.
Typical Entry Requirements
- A Level Grades - AAB-BBB
- UCAS Points - 136 UCAS points
- Required/Desired Subjects - Mathematics, ICT, Computing
- Degree Requirements - 2:2 or higher
- Required/Desired Subjects - Computer Science, Information Technology, Mathematics
A computer science degree will set you up for employment within a variety of fields. Popular career choices include IT consultant, information systems manager, database administrator, and games development, as well as many others. If you choose not to work directly in computer science, you might find career opportunities in many different industries, such as financial organisations, management consultancy firms, government sectors, and hospitals.
Throughout your degree, you will have gained a wide range of transferable skills, such as time management, problem solving, project management, and independent working. These skills will be useful in most industries.