Review of Birkbeck College

Reviewed by A. Dcruz Studied: Specialised Masters in Msc Computer Science
Graduation Year: 2004 Employment Status: Other (At time of review) Date of Review 01 Apr 2012 Type of Student: Country of Origin:
Read Profile of Birkbeck College

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LOCATION:
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Housing
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Bookstore
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Parking
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TEACHING QUALITY    
DIVERSITY
REPUTATION
CLASS SIZES
CAREER SERVICES

Course Information

Please describe your course covering all or some of the following areas: course/application requirements, the enrolment process, course duration, course content, subjects covered.

The application process was a straightforward process. This was followed by an initial short written test on basic programming concepts on campus followed by a one to one interview with a member of the admissions team. Subject to successful performance on the written test and the interview process an offer is made. The course lasted for 2 years and had two semesters per year. The classes were held thrice a week in the evenings at the campus in Central London from six a clock to nine of clock. This was broken into two sessions of approximately an hour and twenty minutes each with a twenty minutes break in between. There were a total of 9 subjects over two years with a dissertation at the end. The subjects covered were Programming in C++, Fundamentals of Computing, Information Systems, Computer Systems, Data and Knowledge Management and Object-oriented Design and Programming. A majority of the first year is spent mastering the C++ language which forms the basis for gaining an excellent grounding in object oriented programming. Similarly a large proportion of the second year is spent learning object oriented programming languages like C sharp and databases.

Why did you choose this course?

Course Content
Course Reputation
Course Duration

With regards to learning, what did you gain from your course? Subjects/lectures you most enjoyed and why

This type of course is most suitable if you are interested in a pursuing a career within information technology or maybe just want to use programming as part of your job which was the case for myself. The course is really very intense for a part time course but at the same time covers a large number of areas namely software engineering, mathematical principles, databases and programming languages. The best professors were Roger Mitton who taught us the C++ programming language and in my opinion is one of the best teachers I have ever had in my life. His style of teaching, his grasp of the C++ language and his easy approachability are some of his outstanding qualities as a lecturer. The other outstanding lecturer was Nigel Martin who taught us databases and really was able to go deep down and take us through the in and outs of structuring databases.

Please tell us how you felt about class sizes, teaching quality, diversity, student support

I did the part time course and there were about 60 students in our class. In my opinion the class size was a good size and the students were from very diverse backgrounds. The teaching quality on the whole was above average. The quality of the content was excellent and the lecturers were able to bring in current technologies wrapped up within real world examples. I didn’t personally have to use the student support as I was already in a full time job.

Campus and facilities

Why did you choose this institution?

Location
Reputation

Please tell us how you researched the institution

I started by looking for an part time course based in London with specific content. Birkbeck was the only institution that ticked all the boxes and hence that is why I selected it.

The types of facilities available and how they helped with your experience

There were two computer rooms which were accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week and in which we were allowed to go and practice.

Socially what was available on campus and off campus? Were there any student groups available such as the student union? Were there any networking opportunities to help you after your course

There was a student union which had a bar, a games rooms and general areas to hang out. In addition there was a gymnasium which had an olympic size swimming pool, a gym and several classes which one could attend. Given that most of the students were in intense full time jobs this left a minimum amount of time to network. However, I do believe that there were good networking opportunities.

If you were living on campus or in rented accomodation please tell us about your experience, cost of living, the area, housing support, safety and security, study facilities

not applicable.

Career & Advice

How did your course help with your past or present career? Do you feel your course opened more opportunities for you?

Yes the course definitely help me improve my programming ability and this was the area I was trying to improve in and helped open up more opportunities for me in my career.

What advice do you have for students who wish to study your course?

I would say this is an excellent course to pursue if you are willing to put in the effort and time to master the complex concepts that this course offers.

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