The University of Buckingham is in the top 15 for student satisfaction in computing (National Student Survey, 2022). Source: University of Buckingham
The University of Buckingham is in the top 15 for student satisfaction in computing (National Student Survey, 2022). Source: University of Buckingham

In a rapidly evolving world driven by technological breakthroughs, computer science has emerged as the pivotal force behind transformative innovations. From ChatGPT to TikTok, they are reshaping life as we know it — elevating the importance of computer science education along the way. This discipline has turned into a high-paying, prestigious field of study, no longer confined to programmers hidden away in company basements.

In today’s digital landscape, computer science is charting the path for our future. It empowers individuals, organisations, and even world leaders with the tools and insights needed to navigate an increasingly complex and interconnected world. Computer scientists not only built the internet and made the moon landing possible, but they are making it easier for doctors to diagnose patients and attempting to reverse the effects of climate change.

The best universities take this one step further. These institutions prioritise real-world exposure and practical learning, seizing every chance to enhance a student’s proficiency in computer science. This distinction sets apart the traditional graduate from the ambitious changemaker who utilises technology to drive the progress of society.

Here are four universities leading the charge: 

The University of Buckingham

The University of Buckingham’s School of Computing prides itself on producing satisfied students and highly employable graduates — two paramount pillars that define its distinguished reputation. Here, students have full support. An academic open-door policy ensures they can easily access their lecturers; small classes guarantee personalised attention; a commitment to the pursuit of truth and freedom of speech encourages students to develop their ideas and passions.

By combining theory and practice, programmes address the global demand for tech-savvy entrepreneurial innovators adept at solving complex challenges. Students can start with Access to Computing at the foundation level before progressing to the BSc (Hons) Computing (two-year degree), BSc (Hons) Computing (Artificial Intelligence and Robotics), or BSc (Hons) Computing (Cyber Security). For postgraduates, the school offers MSc Applied Computing, MSc Applied Data Science, MSc Innovative Computing programmes to develop advanced knowledge and skills for industries of the future. The Graduate Diploma in Computing offers a route to a career in IT for those with a first degree in a non-computing background

BSc Computing students can specialise in their second year with options like Artificial Intelligence, Computer Games Development, Cyber Security, and Software Development. This way, they gain specific skills needed to progress into careers in AI and robotics, cybersecurity or computer games and immersive applications development.

State-of-the-art computing suites boast world-leading technologies such as Spot by Boston Dynamics and Birdly by Somniacs — with more valuable experience available through established partnerships with diverse companies, including data analytics providers like Zizo, manufacturers of respiratory medical devices like Vitalograph, and charitable organisations like Florence Nightingale Hospice. Such features give graduates a competitive edge to secure jobs at the likes of Amazon, BAE Systems, Microsoft, IBM, Abode, BBC, and more. The university’s Careers and Employability service helps with building portfolios and employer networks as well.

Click here to learn more about the School of Computing at the University of Buckingham.

University College Dublin 

University College Dublin (UCD) stands proudly among the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide. Within the university, the School of Computer Science shines as the largest and most prominent computer science department in Ireland. UCD is ranked #1 in Ireland for graduate employability, with the school producing highly sought-after graduates by the industry. This success is backed by popular internship programmes integrated into their BSc and MSc curricula, facilitating valuable industry opportunities for the students.

Just ask Neil Hurley, Head of School, UCD School of Computer Science. “The School has topped the rankings for computer science research in Ireland for many years. We have over 130 postgraduate students working on the latest topics in computer science. We host the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, the UCD Centre for Cybersecurity & Cybercrime Investigation, and the SFI Centre for Research Training in Machine Learning, amongst others,” he says. 

Programmes strike a balance between theory and practice. Students acquire the skills to create algorithms, enabling them to process information and solve complex computational challenges. With hands-on experience, both individually and collaboratively, they design and develop computer programmes using cutting-edge tools and technologies.

Some of the programmes offered here are: Computer Science, Computer Science with Data Science, Computer Science, Mathematics and Education, Introduction To Computer Science (Structured Elective), MSc Computer Science (Conversion), MSc Computer Science (Negotiated Learning), MSc Forensic Computing And Cybercrime Investigation and more.

Cardiff University

Cardiff University inspires students with contemporary tech-focused degrees in computer science and software engineering, nurturing future leaders in these sought-after fields. Situated in the city’s vibrant and bustling heart, the School of Computer Science and Informatics has established itself as a leading researcher in the field with 95% of students in highly skilled employment 15 months after graduating (HESA data).

It’s not surprising as Cardiff works alongside the British Computer Society (BCS) to ensure that their degrees are relevant to the latest demands from the industry. This is a highly regarded endorsement for potential employers.

Here, the students have access to top-notch facilities, including computer and cybersecurity labs, Makerspace, and IT workshops. They graduate with a profound understanding of computer systems, networks, and programmes, recognizing their impact on various aspects of life. 

“I fell in love with the practical approach that the course took. As someone who learns through lab work and examples, it seemed the perfect fit for me. Being able to actively program, build and test different systems is always a joy, especially when you have others around you to give assistance if needed,” says Caitlin Burns, a BSc Computer Science student.

Some of the impactful programmes that the school offers are: Computer Science (BSc), Computer Science with a Year in Industry (BSc), Computer Science with a Year of Study Abroad (BSc), Advanced Computer Science (MSc), Computing (MSc), Computing and IT Management (MSc) and more.

University of Glasgow

Since 1957, University of Glasgow has been a pioneer in Scottish computing, boasting an esteemed reputation for top-notch computing science research and producing exceptional graduates. 

Today, the School of Computing Science stands as one of the UK’s premier institutions, setting the bar high for research and research-led learning and teaching. Notably, it achieved impressive rankings of fifth and sixth in the UK for Computer Science in the Times Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 and The Complete University Guide 2022, respectively.

Programmes are designed to ensure that students are well-equipped for their future careers, and are taught by researchers who are leaders in their fields. Among the programmes offered are: Computing Science, Computing Science (in partnership with SIT), Electronic & Software Engineering, Information Technology [MSc], Data Science [MSc], Software Development [MSc] and more.

Careers Service provides assistance with career options, CVs, applications, interviews, job searches, work experience, and further study. That’s not all. The school also provides additional services like talks by local employers and interview clinics to help students plan for their careers. 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International