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Study Computer Science and Information Technology in the United Kingdom

Computer Science will teach you everything about applications, software, and programs while information technology teaches how to use and control those things

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What is Computer Science and Information Technology about?

A career in Computer Science and Information Technology are always confused and simplified as a career in Information Technology (IT) but there is a slightly difference between these two and both require different skill sets.

Computer Science is a study about knowing in details how computers and computer systems work and is focused entirely on efficiently programming computers using mathematical algorithms so that computer systems are programmed in a way that it can carry out tasks as commanded by the programmer.

In Computer Science, we will also learn about the way computers store and process information and how humans and computers interact with each other.

Information Technology is the use of computers to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data or information and involves installing, organizing and maintaining computer systems as well as designing operating networks and databases. To explain the role of an IT specialist in short, an IT specialist keeps the systems and data of a company secure to keep the networks up and running.

What are the major fields in Computer Science and Information Technology?

The knowledge in Computer Science and Information Technology is very wide and comprises of several major fields of study. Some major fields in Computer Science and Information Technology are software, networking, artificial intelligence, data science, cybersecurity and human computer interaction.

Software

The design, development and maintenance, testing and evaluation of a computer software is called software engineering and requires high level programming skills.

Software engineering often focus on designing and working on large scale projects with teams of people, thus strong skills in teamwork, project management and communication is essential in this field besides technical programming skills.

Networking

Networking deals with anything that deals with device interconnection and is closely related to systems and covers a variety of practical topics such as resource sharing and creating protocols for data transmit.

Computers in a same network are call nodes and they are able to access, create, delete and alter data that is on this network with the use of networking devices such as switches, modems, routers, gateways, etc.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machine that imitates the work and reactions of humans. There are several major subjects in artificial intelligence like machine learning, computer vision, speech recognition, autonomous driving and so on.

Artificial Intelligence is highly technical and the computers are trained for certain traits like knowledge, reasoning and problem solving.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks and data from malicious attacks and can be divided into a few common categories like network security, application security, information security and operational security.

A strong cyber security measure is able to protect users and systems from cyber crimes that may scam victims out of various amounts of money and prevent confidential data leakage.

Human Computer Interaction (HCI)

Human Computer Interaction (HCI) is a field of study focusing on the interaction between humans and computers. It is a broad field which overlaps with areas such as user-centered design, user interface design and user experience design.

The goal of HCI is to produce a functional system which is user friendly and is able to achieve an efficient, effective and safe interaction with humans.

What are the important skills I need in this field?

To be competitive and become a top performer in the field of Computer Science and Information Technology, one requires sets of skill including technical skills like Java, SQL, Python, Linux, etc.

Beyond technical skills, employers also look for some important skills in a Computer Science and Information Technology expert like communication skills, problem solving skills, critical thinking and time management.

Communication skills

Working well in a team is essential in this field as many projects are carried out in a team in this field and a good communication skill is important to ensure clarity in information exchange. Communication skills are vital as the most of the projects are built upon communication of ideas and instructions that requires face-to-face communication skills.

Problem solving skills

A career in Computer Science and Information Technology field requires strong problem solving skills to come up with a IT solution to suit a company’s need and solve its problem. One must be able to solve complex problems in a systematic and logical way and think about the best way to execute project with maximum efficiency.

Critical thinking

In the process of solving problems, critical thinking skill is especially important so that we will be able to access the solutions that we came up and evaluate them. It involves making reasoned judgements that are logical and well thought in the process of solving the problems that requires knowledge in Computer Science and Information Technology.

Time management

Time management is a crucial skill for any field including Computer Science and Information Technology. As there are may jobs in this field that require the specialist in this field to meet the client’s requirement and needs, it is important that one must be able to manage his/her time well so that the projects can be delivered on time before the deadline.

What are the entry requirements and qualifications?

The entry requirements for different qualifications and different universities varies but there are some common entry requirements for a Computer Science and Information Technology course in UK.

Some of the common entry requirements for a course in Computer Science and Information Technology are listed in the table below:

Qualification Requirements
Foundation/Diploma
  • Completed high school or equivalent
  • GCSE Maths and Science at grade C or above
  • IELTS: 5.5 and above
Bachelor's Degree
  • GCSE Maths and Science at grade C or above
  • IELTS: 6.0 and above
  • A-levels: BBB
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma: 29 points
  • TOEFL: 550
  • Pearson PTE Academic: 54
  • Pass in Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
  • Pass in Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)

How long will I be studying this programme?

The duration of study varies depending on the study levels and types of institution as different university has different syllabus for its programmes.

Study Levels Duration
Foundation 1-2 years
Diploma 1-2 years
Bachelor's Degree 3-4 years
Master's Degree, PhD 1-2 years

How much does it cost to study Computer Science and Information Technology?

Depending on the types of programme and institution, the estimated cost of studying a Computer Science and Information Technology programme in UK ranges from RM 40,000 to RM 110,000. In the table below, we have listed the estimated cost to study a Computer Science and Information Technology programme in UK according to the study levels.

Programme Estimated Fees
Foundations RM44,000 - RM91,190
Diploma RM44,000 - RM91,190
Bachelor's Degree RM88,000 - RM499,125
Master's Degree RM102,575 - RM111,540


What are the job opportunities?

As Industrial Revolution 4.0 is the trend of the future and it requires a lot of knowledge and workforce in the Computer Science and Information Technology, graduates in this field have a promising career prospect. There are many jobs that require talents in this field including:

  • Software engineer
  • UX designer
  • Data analyst
  • Machine learning engineer
  • System developer
  • Database engineer
  • Computer programmer
  • Computer system analyst
  • Software developer
  • Web developer
  • Mobile developer
  • Software tester
  • Cloud engineer
  • Malware analyst

Which recognised universities offer Computer Science and Information Technology programmes in UK?

There are many prestigious universities in UK which offer a Computer Science and Information Technology including the world renowned University of Cambridge and University of Oxford.

Beside these two universities, there are other universities in the UK  that are worth to have a look too. These are 5 university suggestions to study Computer Science and Information Technology in UK:

1. University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge is one of the oldest Computer Science institutions in the world and has a global reputation for outstanding academic achievement and world-class original research and it offers Computer Science courses in all academic levels. The courses offered are broad and deep, giving skills to create future technology.

2. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford tops the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019 and its Department of Computer Science is a world-leading centre of learning, teaching and research. Their course concentrates on creating links between theory and practice and covers a wide variety of software and hardware technologies and their applications.

3. Imperial College London

Imperial College London is a one-of-a-kind institution in the UK which focus solely on science, engineering, medicine and business and ranked 8th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2019. It offers computing courses in several areas of Computer Science study like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Visual Computing and Robotics, Software Engineering, etc.

4. University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews has established a reputation as one of the world’s leading research and teaching centres over the last 600 years. It offers a flexible degree structure as the students can take a bachelor degree in Computer Science with another subject as part of a joint degree. The university also partnered with PwC to provide their students with apprenticeship opportunity.


5. University of Birmingham

As a member of the Russell Group of Universities, University of Birmingham has world-leading academicians including Nobel prize winners and provides specialist teaching and are committed in supporting their graduates in establishing their careers. The syllabus of the course offered includes programming languages, software engineering, artificial intelligence, operating systems, database, etc.

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