Written by Marilyn
BSc (Hons) Computing
So…you’re interested in computing? Me too! I started my Computing course back in 2019, so I’m well into my second year now. I’ll try to give you some background about what it is actually like so far.
I am doing the BSc (Hons) Computing course. There are a lot of computing courses to choose from, but I chose to stick with the generalised one. That’s because I don’t really have a specialism as such – I have never done any formal computer training of any kind, so I wanted to make sure I got a bit of everything.
It’s a three-year sandwich course. Nope, not the packed lunch kind! You can choose to do a placement in your third year and do your final year in the fourth year. It was very important to me that this was optional because I wasn’t sure if I could get a placement close to home (I have responsibilities here). It is really recommended that you do a placement – it’s a fantastic experience – but you don’t have to. So that was a big plus for me.
The first year of the course is a common year to all computing courses. It doesn’t matter which one of the many courses you pick, everyone does the same first year. That really helps get everyone on the same page by the end of the first year, and I really appreciated it because I haven’t done any computing related courses before.
Each year is split into two semesters (terms). In each semester, you do three units (subjects). During each unit you do an assignment, an exam or both. In my first year everyone did: Computer Fundamentals, Networks and Cyber Security, Data and Databases, Principles of Programming, Application of Programming and Business and System Design.
In the second year, you get to choose options. There are six units over the whole year (three per semester), but depending on the course you have chosen, you can choose units. Some units are mandatory. For example, I chose to do the Networks unit, but I’m not doing the Networks degree. The courses head off into their specialism in year two.
There’s a computer room set aside for students that’s open 24/7. Anyone can drop in for help and advice, or to just use the equipment. During the day, there are demonstrators on hand to help out, but other students are great at giving a hand too.
The Computing Department has specialised equipment and labs where you can practice all your new found skills without doing too much damage – for example, there are Cyber Security labs where you have a sandboxed area to try out things that you really wouldn’t want to do on your computer at home, and a Networks lab full of professional networking equipment that you just wouldn’t get to experiment with at home.
If you want to try computing – go for it! And good luck!