Computer Science is one of the most popular degree subjects, and there’s a good reason many people choose to study computer science. Importantly, the degree opens up a wide range of careers in software, IT, business and innovative technology. In fact, the course is one of the best degrees for job opportunities.
You might be set on studying Computer Science at university, but before you begin your course, you might be wondering what to expect. So, what is it actually like to study Computer Science at university?
In this article, we’ll hear from students across Europe who have reviewed their Computer Science degrees for EDUopinions. By the end, you’ll have an idea of what a Computer Science course is actually like and discover some of the best courses in Europe.
What’s It Like to Study Computer Science in Europe?
With a Computer Science degree, you’ll explore elements of coding, programming and mathematics. However, there are also opportunities to specialise, so you might also pursue a specialism in machine learning, AI, data science, or virtual reality. Most importantly, a Computer Science course is likely to be hands-on, giving you opportunities to practice your programming and coding skills in labs and on internships.
When it comes to assessment, as you study Computer Science in Europe you’ll likely see a range of methods used. This might include written exams, computer tests and lab reports, as well as larger projects.
Now let’s find out what it’s like to study Computer Science at some of the top-ranked universities in Europe.
Imperial College London
Imperial College London (4.3 rating, 217 reviews) is one of the top universities in the UK, so it makes sense that its Computer Science Masters programme is an intensive experience. Studying Computer Science at Imperial entails one year of intensive introduction to the subject, while optional modules cover operating systems, computer architecture, and software engineering.
Imperial College is not for the faint of heart. I am a Computing student and goddamn you will be worked to the bone. There will be times when you want to give up. When you want to quit. But you will learn so so much just by being there that it’s all worth it in the end! The societies are fun and great and the community within a society is pretty tight-knit, so you’ll never have a problem finding friends! London is also a great city to live in, with fantastic nightlife, numerous food options and brilliant public transport, and studying at Imperial means you get to live with all of that as well!
Politecnico di Milano
At Politecnico di Milano (4.0 rating, 22 reviews), the Computer Science and Engineering Masters programme has a broad curriculum, introducing students to the fundamentals as well as recent developments in computer science technology. But there are also plenty of specialist pathways to choose from, including big data, cybersecurity, and robotics.
In the current time, new breakthrough in technology seems endless, and new types of applications are rolled out almost instantaneously. I became interested in computer science when I realized I could start developing applications that attracts my attention like games and mobile applications, and it was an interest that continued to grow as I studied Software Engineering subject during my bachelor’s degree. I hope to become a programmer and software designer that can integrate the latest in the development of protocols in order to advance the field. Through the master’s program in computer science and Engineering from Politecnico Di Milano which is one of the best universities in the world, I will be able to acquire the skills that I will need to pursue my dream career in technology field. Apart from the impressive infrastructure and research facilities offered at the University of Politecnico Di Milano the courses like database system, Software Engineering, and Foundation of operation research really interested me. Its overall QS ranking is 137th in the world whereas in the Engineering field Politecnico Di Milano is at 20th number in the world. I will strongly recommend new students to undergo this program as the advancements in technology are growing instantaneously and expertise in computing enables you to solve complex, challenging problems. The computing field also offers many types of lucrative careers.
The BSc Honours Computer Science at Newcastle University (4.4 rating, 81 reviews) is an accredited programme that introduces students to the fundamentals of computer science while offering room for specialisation. While coursework makes up the majority of your final grades, you’ll be taught through a combination of lectures, practical work, projects, and tutorials.
During my almost 3 full years of stay here in Newcastle upon Tyne I have had one of the best moments of my life. Newcastle University and the Computer Science programme have allowed me to meet a lot of amazing people with whom I have shared many amazing moments.
Overall, the programme has given me a stable foundation, allowed me to learn several coding languages to an intermediate level. The lecturers are professionals and have taught and demonstrated me a lot along the way.
Moreover, the student life in the city is simply amazing, international friendly and gives you the chance to meet a lot of amazing people. Finally, one of the best perks of studying in Newcastle is that the accommodations are affordable and there is a good balance between cost and quality.
University of Nottingham
The Masters in Computer Science at the University of Nottingham (4.4 rating, 83 reviews) is a highly specialised programme, with a separate Artificial Intelligence pathway for those who want to delve deeper into the complex subject. Despite being in-depth, the programme is also suitable for those without a Computer Science background. Furthermore, out of a total of 180 credits on the course, 60 credits are ascribed to a final research project, so you’ll get lots of practical experience.
The computer science at UoN is different from all other UK universities as the modules lay emphasis on mathematics alongside programming. It also offers some interdisciplinary courses which I found interesting, especially because I want to apply for a doctoral program after my masters.
Eindhoven University of Technology
When you study computer science at Eindhoven University of Technology (4.4 rating, 44 reviews), you’ll get to choose between a variety of pathways, each affecting your modules and eventual career options. These pathways include information systems, web technology, and software development, so you can specialise your learning from the beginning. Additionally, the university also focuses on Challenge Based Learning (CBL), a specific form of learning where you’ll work on computer science and engineering projects in small groups.
Computer Science Engineering at TU/e has so far exceeded my expectations! Most courses are structured in a practical way combining lectures, instructions and tutor hours. Alongside the tutors that students are able to ask questions about specifics, there are student mentors from the years above who can provide further help. The program does not require any previous knowledge in programming, but I would strongly advise it (speaking from experience)!
Overall, in order to be on top of your deadlines, projects, homework and workload in general, start working on your assignments on time. Catching up later will be hard and stressful so avoid it if possible. There will always be someone who you can contact if struggling.
One of the greatest advantages of studying Computer Science and Engineering at TU/e is that Eindhoven itself has become known as ‘Brainport’, the very centre of high-tech industries in the Netherlands. This is an ideal opportunity for those who want to start working while still studying!
Liverpool John Moores University
The Computer Science course at Liverpool John Moores University (4.1 rating, 11 reviews) has a high proportion of independent learning, at about 70% of total taught learning. This means you should be ready to dive into course material on your own while attending weekly lectures and tutorials. As well as featuring online lessons, students have access to a state-of-the-art computer lab for practical lessons.
The program was good in terms of allowing us to apply the learnt material practically. Only one of my lectures really made any effort with trying to convey the lecture material in a way that was interesting and straight forward, the rest just basically dictated what was on the lecture slides.
The actual program had a good range of material and did a great job of giving us a chance to experience different fields under the computer science umbrella.
University of Aberdeen
By studying Computer Science at the University of Aberdeen (4.7 rating, 18 reviews), you’ll be joining a top-five programme in the UK. In addition to this, the four-year course is also BCS accredited, opening up doors to future careers. Overall, the course has a broad curriculum introducing students to the basics of computer programming, including algorithms, databases, operating systems, and computer languages.
The programme is very well-structured. In the first year, you start with the basics and slowly progress with more and more complicated subjects, programming languages and topics. If you get stuck at some point, or did not understand something, there are plenty of ways you can get help. You can ask your peers, or your lecturers, who will either help you in person or arrange an online meeting on a platform and time suitable for you. Or you can visit the library and book a studying space for yourself where you will have access to tons of books, information and computers. Also, the university offers study support services like student learning services where you can get maths support, study skills advice, etc. If you dream of becoming a programmer one day, or anything else related to Computing Sciences, the University of Aberdeen is your place! Here you will meet lots of different people from different nationalities and will have the amazing opportunity to work and learn with them!
Edinburgh Napier University
If you study a Bachelor of Computer Science at Edinburgh Napier University (4.1 rating, 14 reviews) you’ll also get the option to follow a placement year – so you can get practical work experience before graduating. You’ll study a wide variety of computer science topics, but there’s a focus on artificial intelligence and other innovative topics. Students are taught with a combination of lectures and tutorials.
The highlight of this program is quite simply, the lecturers and professors you meet along the way, every lecturer we had was incredibly helpful, insightful and, passionate. The classes were a great experience, alongside the opportunities for placements and internships before graduating.
The facilities available to students on campus consist of a 24hour computer center which is quite accommodating. The lecturers were always keen on helping and answering extra questions one might have.
The other thing I really liked about the program was the choices given in terms of subjects after 1st year, which gave students an opportunity to diversify their learning experience.
Overall, I would recommend the Computing Science Bachelor’s program for anyone interested in such matters.
The University of Edinburgh
The four-year Computer Science course at the University of Edinburgh (4.5 rating, 65 reviews) is unique in that it’s a BEng degree. A Bachelor of Engineering is usually more practical than other degrees, and this is certainly the case for the Edinburgh programme. While the first couple of years of the degree includes traditional tutorials and lectures, later on, students will take part in practical projects. These might include experimental work and developing systems from scratch.
After graduating from Edinburgh, I have struggled to find people from other universities, who were given an education as deep as the one I received. I am completely satisfied with the quality of teaching, as well as the content of the lectures.
University of Science and Technology
The University of Science and Technology (4.3 rating, 43 reviews) in Krákow offers a very broad Computer Science programme. As well as covering all the fundamental aspects of computer science, the programme also delves into systems administration, commercial applications, and microprocessors. More importantly, after the sixth semester of studying computer science, students can put their skills to the test with a student internship.
I really enjoy studying here. There’s a plethora of student organizations (EESTEC, BEST, ESN), a lot of research groups for every faculty and a lot to do besides studying. The campus is 3-15 minutes away from department building depending on the dorm and faculty you study. Computer science is good. A lot of math in the first year. Some subjects could be delivered better but there’s a ton of practice on the second year and many of my friends didn’t have any problems finding internship after 4th semester. The thing I like the most is the campus and the fact that everything is really close. The main square is 15 min walk from campus, there’s a lot of restaurants to eat in vicinity and if you want to go for some shopping, the closest shopping centre is 15 min by bus. Overall I think it’s a great experience studying here.