Study Computer Science in The United Kingdom
Why study computer science?
To be in the business of computers is to be into every business: almost every business – not just the e-commerce companies – is powered by computers. On top of that, individual identity itself is shaped by networked computers in this age of smartphones and omnipresent internet; that creates jobs for software developers who don’t serve any corporation. In short, if you can acquire marketable expertise in the field of computer science, and almost all kinds of expertise in this field are highly marketable, you are not going to lack employment opportunities and you can work on a job no matter where you are. You can work from the whole year round: an advantage that everyone noticed during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Last but not the least, the business of computers is yet to get saturated. The people yet to attain computer literacy – or smart phone literacy – still number in billions. As the developing countries move their businesses online even further and underdeveloped countries begin to digitalize, the need for computer/smart devices will grow further. Both the manufacture of hardware and production of software will multiply in volume, creating even more opportunities for experts in the field.
Why study computer science in the UK?
The United States of America is the place where the modern computer – originally with valves in lieu of microchips – was born. The first organization (outside the academia) to actually use a general purpose computers was the US army which developed the ENIAC in 1945. Since the world was sharply divided in opposing politico-military camps during as well as in the aftermath of WWII, computing technology developed in America got shared with the USA’s closest ally, the UK, very early. Another reason why the study of computing took off in UK varsities was that the earliest software languages and interfaces – thanks to the American influence – were aligned with English. Today, many UK universities are at the forefront of CS, many of the CS departments conducting research for the world's top companies – in addition to doing research on their own.
Another factor that attracts international students to undergo CS programs in the UK is that it allows many of them to obtain a work visa once the course is done. The UK is notoriously hard to immigrate to for people in almost every profession other than nursing and computer science. The burgeoning software as well as hardware industry in the country offers the CS graduates good jobs, with starting salary upward of 25,000 pounds, and that job offer qualifies the candidate for a work permit, which – in turn – might lead to permanent residency.
Typical International Baccalaureate requirements: 34 points. Typical A-levels requirements: ABB, with good grades in maths and computing. Typical IELTS requirements: 6.5 overall in IELTS Academic, with no lower than 6.0 in any of the 4 sections. If you haven’t studied in an IB or A levels school, you have to convert your scores to those scales in order to prove that you match the level.
Cost of doing the course
Tuition fees range from 12000 pounds per annum to 37000 pounds per annum. Cost of living will exceed 5000 pounds per annum.
Top universities to study Computer Science in the UK
University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, UCL (University College London), University of Edinburgh, King's College London (KCL), University of Manchester, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), University of Warwick and University of Bristol are currently considered the top colleges where to study CS in the UK. However, there are plenty of other choices.
Top Computer Science courses in the UK
BA in Computer Science, BSc in Biology and Computer Science, BSc in Computer Science and Economics, BSc in Computer Science and Management, BSc or BEng in Computer Science and Mathematics, BSc in Computer Science and Statistics, BSc in Computer Science and Psychology, BEng in Computing, BSc in AI, BSc in Human Computer Interaction, BEng in Computer Systems, BEng in Robotics and BSc in Robotics are some of the popular courses in Computer Science in UK universities.
Work while you study
As it is in most other western countries, foreign students are allowed to work part-time in the UK. An international student can work up to 20 hours per week during term-time and full-time during holiday breaks. But there are many restrictions and conditions one must fulfill in order to be allowed to work. Some of these conditions are set by the government and the rest are by the university where you will study. There are many universities which allow you to work only on campus and neither the university nor the government allows any student to work on any job if the student is less than 16 years of age. This puts the child prodigies who reach college very early at a slight disadvantage.
Most of the restrictions imposed by the government will be stated in the visa stamped on your Tier 4 passport (student visa for people above 16). So there is little chance that you will experience doubt while considering whether you should take up a certain opportunity or not.
Healthcare benefits for international students
International students are neither required nor actually need private medical insurance when studying in the UK. If you are applying for student visa, it costs just an extra £470 per year to gain access to the NHS, which is arguably the best nationwide healthcare system in the world. You pay this fee during your visa application and it covers free medical treatment (including emergency or hospital care, should you need it) and dental care at a reduced price at any NHS dentistry.
It is always a good idea to register with a GP (general practitioner) as soon as you have settled down. A GP is a doctor who deals with most general health problems. Most GP surgeries offer patients a choice of whether they see a male or female doctor. So female students need not see a male doctor.
Internships and placement opportunity
You will not be short of opportunities to intern in the UK itself while you study. Most of the internship opportunities are in the private sector though the government offers internship as well. Among the different sectors of industry that offer many internship opportunities to international students are media and communication, banking and finance, online marketing, market research and information technology.
In areas like information technology and online marketing, it is possible to get a remote assignment in another country, especially in another English speaking one. However, some lucky students might secure an internship to be undergone in person in the US or Canada.
Postgraduate study opportunity
Postgraduate opportunities galore, especially for science students who want to build a career in research.
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