It is fascinating to think how the world was about thirty years ago when the personal or a portable computer was still something expensive and not available for day-to-day use. Today the computer and the internet are taken for granted; from banks to hospitals and automobile factories to school assignments the computer is used everywhere. In fact it is almost impossible for the new generation of children to imagine a life without computers and mobile phones. As computer and internet technologies evolve the demand for better computing devices and computing languages takes precedence. A number of institutions in the UK offer postgraduate courses in Computer Science. This article will examine the top three colleges in the UK offering courses in Computer Science and also provide information on admissions, entry requirements and living costs.
The Big Three:
• University of Oxford (ranked third in the world)
• University of Cambridge (ranked fifth in the world)
• University of Edinburgh (ranked fifteenth in the world)
University of Oxford:
The Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford
is ranked third in the world and the best in Europe for its innovative courses. The MSc in Computer Science is one of the most popular postgraduate courses offered by the Department. Studentships are also available for the doctoral research programmes.
University of Cambridge:
University of Edinburgh:
The School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh
offers postgraduate programmes in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Informatics and other related subjects. With seven dedicated research centres the School is involved in research projects on artificial intelligence, computing and robotics and many other interesting topics.
Mastering Computers for a Better Future:
Traditionally institutions based out of the USA have been leading the race in terms of courses and research options in computer science. The past decade has seen the rise of a few institutions in the UK which offer innovative computing courses. Computers can never go out of fashion; even if a more advanced device were to be invented it would still share its genesis in the hardware and software of the existing crop of computing devices. Currently even with a plethora of programming languages and devices of various sizes available to service various needs; there is a huge demand for low cost high power devices and more intuitive programming languages. With artificial intelligence a reality now and more advanced robots being designed for various tasks - a master’s course in computing is a sure-shot way to ensure job-security and is also useful for those who wish to enter a career in teaching or work on research projects. Taught postgraduate courses range from twelve months to eighteen months and some courses are for two years.
Admissions and Entry Requirements:
To apply for a postgraduate course; students are instructed to visit the institutions’ website and apply online or send the completed application form by post with all necessary documents. Some institutions have their own department-specific admissions test to screen applicants as well.
Applicants should have completed a full-time undergraduate course in Computer Science or a relevant subject. English Language Requirements are as listed below:
- IELTS - Overall band score of 7.0, with not less than 7.0 in speaking, listening and writing, and 6.5 in reading
- TOEFL: paper-based test - 600 with 5.0 in the Test of Written English (TWE)
- TOEFL: internet-based test - 100 with a minimum score of 25 in each element
Fees and Living Costs:
Fees will depend on the institution and the course selected by the student. A two-year taught postgraduate course in Computer Science should cost an international student (non-EU country) between GBP 18000 and GBP 20000. Food, accommodation and entertainment will cost about GBP 15000 to GBP 16000 a year. A lot depends on accommodation costs and how much the student spends on eating outside. Living in a shared accommodation and opting to cook one’s own food can reduce living costs considerably. Most institutions offer limited scholarships for international postgraduate students and applicants are advised to contact the institution for more details.
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