Why did you choose Loughborough University?
I had already been a student at Loughborough University for a year, but was not too happy with the course I had chosen as I’d picked it purely based on its relevance to my A Levels. I then looked for something I knew I would enjoy, whilst still being practical in landing me a job at the end of it. Computer Science was the perfect middle ground, as it combined my hobbies of programming and design with a real focus on getting into industry afterwards.
What attracted you to the University in the first place?
For the Department, it was the friendly nature of the lecturers and the facilities that we would use on the course. Everyone was very approachable on Open Days, and seeing the labs that we would use on a daily basis was exciting. Looking at projects undertaken by finalists was really inspiring, too.
What do you enjoy about your course?
I love the practicality of it. Especially in the first year, you will be making a lot of stuff – websites, programs, etc. This is great as you can apply your knowledge interactively and it feels great when, after hours of debugging, your code compiles and your project suddenly ‘works’.
What do you think of the teaching quality and facilities?
The teaching quality is very high, with all material being available on the University portal for subsequent use and revision. The labs are brilliant – top of the range iMacs that triple-boot into Windows, OSX and Linux, all of which you will be using at various points. Lectures are very involving, and there is a lot of participation from the class to answer questions throughout.
Do you have a particularly favourite project/module on your course? Why did you enjoy it?
My favourite module in first year was ‘Programming for the WWW’. I liked learning a solid basis of code and putting it to the test by making an interactive website. That ‘Frankenstein’ feeling when you realise what is wrong with your code, fix it and run it so that everything springs to life is incredible.
What kind of support have you had in the department and from the University?
You are assigned a personal tutor, who you can go to about any issues regarding the course e.g. tutorial questions, CV references, changing course etc. In addition, you are assigned a peer mentor – a student in 2nd or 3rd year who acts as a ‘big brother’ and can help you with the course or university life in general. University life is about both academic and social aspects, the latter of which your peer mentor supports you with. They can tell you about food shopping, good nights out, societies and more. Back on the academic side, lecturers will always have times where you can drop in to meet them and resolve any queries, providing you have emailed them beforehand to schedule an appointment.
What are some of the exciting/different things you can do on your course?
The early modules are focused on developing a basic knowledge of programming and logic. Once you have learnt the basics, though, you get to use robots, virtual reality headsets and various other things at the forefront of technology.
Have you completed a placement whilst at University?
I plan to complete a placement and am currently in the process of applying. I look forward to seeing the things I’ve learned put to use in the real world, and also to gaining experience in a professional environment in order to make connections for future prospects. Getting to grips with the process of applying for jobs is also incredibly important, so that in the future it will not seem as daunting a task to send out multiple CVs to different companies.
What do you hope to do when you graduate, and how will your Loughborough degree support this?
I hope to go into web development or database security. These are constantly growing industries so the demand for jobs in these areas is always high, and I am very interested in both of them. Web design and interactivity are things that I enjoy as they allow me to express myself creatively, whereas security is an exciting and new prospect that I am eager to learn more about.
What would you say to someone considering your course?
If the idea of learning to programme languages is an exciting one to you, do it! Technology is ever-expanding, and a Computer Science degree will give you the tools needed to put yourself at the forefront of the field. The course gives you a lot of transferrable skills too and gives a taste of real-life work situations for a wide range of fields.
How do you find the social atmosphere on campus?
There are hundreds of societies ranging from sports, gaming, dancing, music and more. The University holds a Societies Fair at the beginning of each year where you’re sure to find at least one society to your liking. It is a great way of meeting new people all with similar interests. I am part of LSUCS, the gaming society and biggest society in the union, and through it have made many friends as there is a mutual interest from the start.
What do you enjoy the most about being a Loughborough University student?
I like the focus on getting a job at the end of your education and encouragement to apply for placements and graduate schemes. University is a bubble, with all the fun of being an adult without as much of the responsibility. The drive to apply for jobs shows you how to go about life after university, so that when that time comes it won’t seem as daunting at it may have previously.
Has Loughborough inspired you?
One of the first year modules requires you to make a website, so all the styling and design was left up to me. I was able to express myself creatively and have since started making websites for other people. It was inspiring to see what could be done – I was given a thirst to go out and find new things I could use to make my websites look and feel even better.