“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.” - Steve Jobs
When the time comes to go to university, you'll have to think about what kinds of skills you want to learn, the professional career you'd like to work in, and the academic experience you'd like to have. If you're interested in information technology (IT), computers, and coding, in particular, you'll probably be interested in studying computer science, software engineering, or web development.
While Oxford and Cambridge regularly top the league tables for most subjects, they’re not the only universities where you can study programming and software development. There are a few great schools to learn about software engineering and how to program computers. Let’s have a look at the best universities for studying computer science, computing, computing science, and software engineering.
University of Southampton
When it comes to software development or software engineering courses, you need to choose a good course and a university that you'd be happy to study at. The University of Southampton is one of the top 100 universities in the world and their computer science degree is ranked one of the best in the country.
Students looking to apply to the course will require either A*AA, A*A*B, or AAAA with at A Level. One of these must be in mathematics and this must be the higher of the required grade. Of course, students with other equivalent qualifications can also apply but they will probably need to have their grades equated to the A Levels.
The computer science degree courses at Southampton all share the same compulsory modules for the first two years, but students can pick more optional modules in the third year to tailor the degree to their professional ambitions.
The first year focuses mainly on the theory behind computer science and how computer hardware works. They'll also look at data, programming, and software engineering. In the second year, students can learn about AI and communication protocols and gain experience working in teams with group projects. Final year students will conduct in-depth research into an area of computer science.
University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow offers a BSc in Computing Science that's recognised by the British Computer Society (BCS) and the Chartered Institute for IT. The course also meets the academic requirement for becoming a Chartered IT Professional (CITP).
This course requires AABB at S5 including Higher Mathematics and Computing. For those studying A Levels, the entry requirements are AAA-ABB with an A Level in mathematics.
The first year of the course introduces computing science, systems, computational thinking, and the fundamentals of computing.
In the second year, students study Java programming, object-oriented software engineering, networks and operating systems, algorithms and data structure, and web application development.
The third and fourth years include data fundamentals, interactive systems, professional software development, and team and individual projects. Students can also continue their studies further to be awarded a master's degree.
Remember that for Scottish students, tuition fees will be paid in full by the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS). Students from the rest of the UK will be expected to pay £9,250 like in the other home nations.
UCL (University College London)
The Computer Science BSc offered by University College London boasts a focus on real-world problems and problem-based learning. The entry requirements for this course is A*A*A with one of these A*s being in mathematics. However, there are also contextual offers available for students from underrepresented groups with the requirements being lowered to A*AB while still requiring that A* in mathematics.
Like other degrees, this course lasts 3 years and combines compulsory and optional modules. A core module will usually be on a subject or area that every computer scientist will be expected to master regardless of their specialisation. These tend to include topics like computer architecture, programming, design, mathematics, and the theory behind computer science.
While the first and second years mostly include compulsory core modules, the final year includes a project and a much broader choice in terms of optional modules.
Imperial College London
At Imperial College London, you can study their 3-year Computing BEng degree. The entry requirements for this course are A*A*A with an A* in mathematics. The university recommends that students take A Levels in computer science, mathematics, and physics, but also adds that subjects like biology, chemistry, economics, electronics, history, languages, law, philosophy, politics, and psychology can all be useful.
Students on the course can enjoy a variety of different teaching approaches from smaller tutorials to working in computer labs and there'll also be opportunities for students to enjoy project-based learning with the supervision of their university lecturers.
The great thing about this course is that there are summer internships for students to gain work experience while also learning more about computing, application development, and programming in a professional setting rather than a purely academic one. Of course, an interest in programming and computer science will still look good on your application.
University of Cambridge
There are very few articles on any degree in the UK that doesn't include both Cambridge and Oxford. While just edged by Oxford in this particular field, the University of Cambridge still offers an excellent undergraduate programme in Computer Science. The course is taught through lectures and classes with students getting around 20 contact hours a week across nearly a dozen lectures and practical classes.
The entry requirements are A*A*A at A Level and while mathematics is required, no prior knowledge of programming is expected of students when they start the course.
University of Oxford
When it comes to computer science courses, this one is top of most league tables. This course, like many of the others in this list, requires students to get an A* in maths A Level. The requirements are A*AA and they also recommend studying further maths at A Level.
The course aims to teach students about computer systems and networks while also developing skills from the theory. While the course lasts three years, there is an option to continue for the fourth year and complete a master's degree in computer science.
During the first year of the course, students will be required to study core modules on topics such as maths, algorithms, digital systems, programming, algebra, and probability. In the second year, only 50% of their course will be core modules and they'll be able to choose half of their modules from fields of study like computer architecture, computer graphics, computer networks, databases, artificial intelligence, and logic and proof.
The final year of the course includes project work that makes up a third of the year with the other two thirds including a choice of different modules.
If you want to learn more about programming, computer science, web development, or software engineering, consider getting help from one of the many talented and experienced private tutors on the Superprof website. There are tutors all over the country and around the world offering different types of tutoring so think about which will be right for you, your budget, and how you like to learn.
Face-to-face tutors offer the most cost-effective type of tuition, but they also tend to charge the most per hour. This is because they can tailor every minute of every lesson to you, what you want to learn, and how you like to learn. Similarly, many of them may also travel to you and charge extra for the distance they have to cover.
As they don't have to travel and can schedule more lessons each week, online tutors tend to charge less than face-to-face tutors. While online tutoring isn't always ideal for hands-on subjects, academic subjects like computer science, web development, and software engineering, can be taught just as effectively.
Group tutorials are an excellent choice for those on a budget. With every student paying for the tutor's time, it works out cheaper per student per hour. While you won't be able to guarantee that every aspect of the tuition is tailored to you, it can be useful to learn from your peers.
Don't forget that many of the tutors on the Superprof website offer the first lesson for free. Use these free sessions to try out various tutors before deciding on the one that's right for you, your preferred learning approach, and your budget.