“Sometimes it pays to stay in bed on Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debugging Monday’s code.” -Dan Salomon

Computer programmers are not just people who process code, they are artists and digital creators. While that may seem like a bit of an over-exaggeration, computer programming is not as easy as one might think and programming systems requires an intelligent and methodical mind.

And, because the majority of coding is done behind the scenes and in-private, computer programmers do not often get the recognition they deserve for maintaining some of our favourite websites, apps, and software. But now is the time for a shoutout: computer programmers, we salute you for your tireless efforts to make the virtual world a more engaging and interactive place!

Also, it is worthy to state that since the field of software development and computer science continues to grow more and more, there is an increasing need for computer programmers in the UK and internationally. So, are you up for the challenge? Do you want to study computer programming to embark on a career that is prosperous and well-paid? Sign me up!

In today's article, we shall highlight the best further education centres across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales where technologically inclined students can realise their potential and study computer programming with qualified professionals. Are you ready to get coding?

Understanding University Level Computer Programming Courses in the UK

writing code all day
Computer science focuses a lot on programming language and information technology. (Source: Unsplash)

You've taken the fantastic decision to study computer programming and now all that is left is to choose a programme to grasp the basics of coding before starting your career. However, there are some details about further education in computing that many aspiring programmers may not be aware of. Such as?

For instance, if a person wants to study computer programming at a university-level in the United Kingdom, there are not solely "computer programming" courses, but rather computer science degrees that encompass the various aspects of software maintenance.

However, potential students should not view taking an entire computer science degree as a step back or a waste of time. Instead, a positive attitude should persist recognising the fact that future programmers will be very well equipped with all aspects of computer science that include the following:

  • Computability,
  • Computer Algorithms,
  • Computational Complexity,
  • Computer Design,
  • Programming Languages and their Differences,
  • Programming Methodology,
  • Data Structures,
  • Information Retrieval on Software Systems,
  • The Basics of Computer Networks,
  • Cyber Security,
  • Artificial Intelligence.

The previously mentioned sub-topics of computer science are some of the most common; nevertheless, depending on your desired field of expertise, the basics required could be different.

How long does a computer science course at a qualified UK university? If you have all of the necessary GCSEs and A-Levels to be accepted to a computer science or development programme, approximately 3 years are required for a Bachelor's Degree for undergraduate students. Many Masters degrees are also available for graduates who want to continue to refine their computer science skills.

Also, it's important to mention that basic computer programming courses can be taken at other further education centres for less than three years with qualified tutors or instructors. However, we recommend taking a look at all the options out there before making a choice. And, a university degree in computer science is always more impressive to companies in the tech industry than a few random courses.

But, where can I study computer science in the UK? Have no fear the following subheading highlights the best Unis in the UK for computer whizzes.

Best Universities in the UK to Study Computer Science and Programming

digital nomads
Computer programming graduates have the luxury of working anywhere around the world; as long as there's an internet connection! (Source: Unsplash)

The United Kingdom is blessed with various higher education hubs that boast some of the best academic courses and instructors in the world. For example, according to recent statistics from Times Higher Education, the UK has three of the top ten universities in the world. The only other country that has more entries in the top ten in the US.

Therefore, students in the UK can rest assured that the will get a fantastic education when attending Uni. 

Without further delay, we shall examine some of the best schools across England, Whales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland for computer programming under the umbrella subject of computer science.

University of Oxford

When foreigners think of UK universities, the first one that comes to mind is usually Oxford. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the computer science programmes at Oxford are ranked the best in England, and even the world.

The University of Oxford offers a total of four undergraduate computer degree programmes such as the following:

  • Computer Science MComp, 
  • Computer Science and Philosophy MComp, 
  • Mathematics and Computer Science MMath, 
  • Information Engineering MEng (Hons). 

All four of the abovementioned courses are Bachelors degree programmes and take between 3-4 years to complete. Also, all of Oxford's courses in computer science include a lot of information and guidance in computer science.

University of Cambridge

After Oxford, another UK-based university that is synonymous with greatness and prestige is that of Cambridge. And, lucky for computer programmers, there are two highly recommended computer science courses. The two options are as follows:

  • Computer Science MEng (Hons), 
  • Computer Science BA (Hons).

According to WhatUni, both of the aforementioned programs boast a 95% employment rating!

Some subjects and sub-topics taught in the computer science courses at Cambridge include operating systems, Java programming, and advanced algorithms of coding, to name a few.

University of Edinburgh

coders life
A programmer or coder spends a lot of time finding solutions to complex problems. (Source: Unsplash)

Since we never want to forget our dear Scots, it is important to state that the most highly reviewed and revered Uni in Scotland for computer programming is that of the University of Edinburgh.

Ranked one of the best further education centres in the world to learn more about computer programming and system development, the University of Edinburgh has a total of 14 computer science-based courses like the following:

  • Computer Science BEng (Hons), 
  • Computer Science BSc (Hons),
  • Artificial Intelligence & Computer Science BSc (Hons), 
  • Computer Science and Physics BSc (Hons), 
  • Electronics and Computer Science MEng (Hons), 
  • Computer Science and Management Science BSc (Hons), 
  • Computer Science and Mathematics BSc (Hons), 
  • Electronics and Computer Science BEng (Hons), 
  • Software Engineering BEng (Hons), 
  • Artificial Intelligence BSc (Hons), 
  • Informatics MInf, 
  • Cognitive Science BSc (Hons), 
  • Animation BA (Hons), 
  • Business with Decision Analytics MA (Hons). 

In all honesty, students interested in the field of computer science and technology in Scotland are spoiled for choice when considering the sheer amount of options available at the University of Edinburgh. If the previously mentioned options aren't enough to pique your curiosity in computer programming, we don't know what will!

All of the computer science-based degrees at the University of Edinburgh feature programming and coding. If you want to learn more, why not take a gander at The University of Edinburgh's website to learn about classes possibilities for 2021?

Cardiff University

After mentioning Scotland, we could not in a good conscious go without highlighting a reputable university in the region of Whales. Which brings us to recognise Cardiff University as the best further education centre to study computer science and programming in the land of the Welsh.

According to WhatUni, Cardiff University has ten undergraduate computer science degrees that are worthy of careful consideration. Such as? Take a look at the following:

  • Computer Science BSc (Hons), 
  • Computer Science (Year in Industry) BSc (Hons), 
  • Computer Science with a Year of Study Abroad BSc (Hons), 
  • Computer Science with a Year in Industry MSci (Hons), 
  • Computer Science with a Year of Study Abroad MSci (Hons), 
  • Computer Science MSci (Hons), 
  • Computer Science with Security and Forensics BSc (Hons), 
  • Computer Science with Security and Forensics (Year in Industry) BSc (Hons), 
  • Applied Software Engineering BSc (Hons), 
  • Computer Science with Security and Forensics with a Year of Study Abroad BSc (Hons). 

All of the previously mentioned programs are between three and five years depending on the expertise level and all have a lot of computer programming and coding classes. Many of the past computer science alumni from Cardiff University have accepted jobs in reputable companies and are completing exciting tasks in the tech world.

Queen's University Belfast

Since our articles are aimed to reach all parts of the United Kingdom, our citizens of Northern Ireland need to be aware of the further education hubs in their territory for potential computer science students. Therefore, without any further ado, we recommend the Queen's University in Belfast as the best Uni for computer programming enthusiasts.

As a major education centre in Belfast, the Queen's University in Belfast has 14 computer science degrees that last anywhere between 3-5 years depending on the level of expertise and skill required for each one. For instance, there are computer science programmes that are very general and teach subjects such as computer programming and data analytics. However, on the other hand, there are computer science degrees that are designed for those who wish to analyse software engineering and gain on-the-job training.

To learn more visit the Queen's University Belfast website to be aware of all the possibilities available to you; we promise that you won't be disappointed!

All in all, we hope that our findings in today's article have helped you to understand how computer programming courses at a university-level are structured and where are the best computer science degrees in the UK. We are certain that a career in programming and coding will be a prosperous one.

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