Niall Beard

Manchester has a top-rate computer science department with excellent business links, and the course is structured in a way that gives you a good fundamental base in the first year and more in-depth knowledge as you progress.

I didn't really have a life plan when I was applying to university, but after reading several prospectuses I decided to enrol in Computer Science. It is a discipline with many job opportunities; from working for large corporations and banks to freelance web design. Manchester has a top-rate computer science department with excellent business links and the course is structured in a way that gives you a good fundamental basis in the first year and more in-depth knowledge as you progress.

The labs here on campus are often very interesting. You solve problems that are challenging and useful to know. In the first year there is a module for a group project. This is where you conceive and create a website of your choosing. You do this in a group of other students with varying degrees of programming skill; though it's completely foreign to most people. You get to make a lot of mistakes but learn a lot in the process.

You can make many decisions relating to your pathway later; for example if you decide to take a year in industry or switch to a master course. I decided in my 3rd year I wanted to stay on for another year to learn more about some of the subjects that interested me. The School also has excellent business links, and as a result I organised many summer work experience placements.

Manchester is one of the best Universities in the world for computer science. It has a rich history of computers - being home to the first programmable computer - and active staff members who make significant contributions to the advancement of technology.

Manchester is also one of the liveliest cities. It's far cheaper than London but still more exciting than other cities in the UK. There’s the academy for live bands, lots of bars, music festivals and markets.

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