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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Computer Science?

Firstly, Computer Science is nothing like ICT! Computer Science is concerned with the specification, design, construction and use of computer systems.  It includes subject areas such as software engineering, hardware architecture and design, information systems, communications, graphics, simulation and modelling, artificial intelligence and human computer interaction.  Software Engineering and Computer Science share common modules, but Computer Science would be more suited to students who particularly wish to pursue a career in research over the longer term.  It can still lead to jobs in software, however.


How would I know if I would be good at Computer Science?

If you are a logical thinker, good at solving problems and interested to know how things work, then you would probably be good at Computer Science.  It may also be good to have a go at computer programming to see if you like it.  Why not visit Scratch programming to have a go.


What is the difference between BSc Computer Science, BEng Computer Science and MEng Computer Science?

The BSc is a Bachelors of Science and the BEng is a Bachelors of Engineering.  They are the same course but students can choose what they wish to graduate with – so, if you begin on the BSc you can choose to graduate with the BEng for example!  This is a four year degree programme (three years plus a placement year in industry).  The placement is a compulsory part of the course for Home/EU students and optional for overseas students and takes place after 2nd year.

The MEng is an undergraduate Masters programme and the entry grades for this are higher than those for the BSc/BEng degree.  The MEng degree is a four/five year degree programme (four years plus an optional placement year in industry).  There is some flexibility between these degrees in that someone who begins the BSc/BEng degree can change to the MEng provided they perform well on their course.  At the same time, someone who starts an MEng degree can change to the BEng/ BSc degree.


If I apply for the MEng degree, would I also have to apply for the BEng/BSc degree in case I don’t get the grades to get into the MEng?

No, if you apply for the MEng and don’t get the grades to get in to that course, but you get the grades to get into the BEng/BSc degree, then you would automatically be offered a place on one of these courses.


What if I am not sure which course to choose between Computer Science, Software Engineering, Computing and Information Technology, and Computer Games Development?

You have no need to worry!  These courses share a common core of modules in first year, so you may transfer between them at the end of first year, subject to the normal progression criteria.  Students who do not hold an A-Level in Mathematics or Physics (or equivalent qualification) and wish to transfer to the Computer Games Development degree from Computer Science, Computing and Information Technology or Software Engineering need to pass an additional Mathematics exam.   


What is a typical timetable for a first year Computer Science student?

Computer Science first year students study modules which includes topics such as multimedia, programming, computer architecture and the science of computing.  Each semester students will have approximately 14 hours of class including lectures, practicals and tutorials.  Students are encouraged to spend a lot of time on individual study and work on assignments and have meetings with their teams for group based assignments.


Do Computer Science students complete a placement year?

As with all computing degrees at Queen’s all Computer Science students on the BEng/BSc degrees must undertake a placement year – the placement is optional for overseas students and those on the MEng degree .  There is a vast amount of help available for students to gain placement and the university’s Computer Science careers department has links with over 500 companies.  The placement for Computer Science students provides the opportunity for the student to gain experience of the business world, put into practice what they have learnt and develop employability and technical skills.  Students are paid for their placement year – salaries range from £12K-£34K.


What type of job roles do Computer Science graduates do?

Graduates from Computer Science are able to choose from a range of rewarding and challenging careers in industry, commerce, education and research.  The majority of graduates take up software development, computer programming roles or undertake research into Computer Science.


What sort of companies do Computer Science graduates secure employment with?

There are currently over 400 software companies in Northern Ireland, so graduates of this course are in particularly high demand.  Companies employing graduates from this degree include Microsoft, Asidua, Citi, Kainos, Asidua, Liberty IT, Openwave, Cybersource, BT, Deloitte, Fidessa, PwC, Aepona, Intune Networks, First Derivatives  etc.