Modules and lectures
As a Computer Science student, my typical week starts off with lectures. First year Computer Science students have about 16 hours of lectures & practicals sessions per week which is above the average and means we have less learning to do on our own. Our modules (uni word for ‘subject’) include ICAR (Introduction to Computer Architectures), HACS (Human Aspects of Computer Science), TPOP (Theory and Practice of Programming) and MFCS (Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science).
Aside from reading around your subjects, the work you are expected to do outside of lessons is different for each module. HACS had me working in a group of 6 people for a project so during the week, I had a couple of meetings with my group. MFCS mostly has you meeting up with the people from your practical group and go over the questions you did in the practical.
(If you are currently studying a Further Maths A-Level, do NOT drop it! You will thank me later…)
ICAR work is mostly done during practical sessions and completed with your lab partner. Most of the time you will not be able to finish all of the tasks during the practical. So you, like me, will walk into the software lab with your partner at 10pm and build a CPU while blasting Avril Lavigne tunes around an empty lab.
Each module teaches you individual things but the main thing that I gained was that I saw how all the different aspects of Computer Science came together and how they supported each other.
There are countless places for studying around the university: your room, the 24/7 open library and the buildings around the CS Department (Piazza/Ron Cooke), just to name a few. Because of this, I never struggle to find a room where I can meet up with friends for some private study.
Aside from the study rooms available, the university bars and cafés are also popular among students for casual studying.
Even though I was often told about how many societies there were at the university, when I arrived, I was still surprised. There is virtually something for EVERYONE! And if that’s not good enough, the university encourages students to start their own societies so that’s always something one can look into.
Since I am a Computer Science student, it is only natural that I am a member of the Computer Science society, HackSoc. This lovely society holds a special place in my week as every Friday they hold a board games night and Computer Science students come along to play, well, board games. I can guarantee you that there will be a board game that you didn’t know about and one that you now can’t stop playing.
Aside from HackSoc, I am also a member of YSTV (York Student Television). Production meetings are held every Tuesday and we discuss how our productions are doing. Another group I spend a lot of time with is the University of York Motorsports Club. They hold socials whenever there’s a Formula 1 race around and also take everyone to race go-karts around three times a term.
During the first few months of starting at university, one of the things I did during the week was to attend Careers Fairs. The university has connections with many employers so careers fairs are a fantastic opportunity to meet employers in person and find out about internship and placement year opportunities that they offer.
Once you have decided on what you want to apply for, the careers team offer mock interviews and CV advice to support you and help make your application the best it can be. This service was very helpful for me while I was applying for an internship. The advice I was given by the careers team gave me a better understanding of what a CV is and how it should be used as a tool to introduce yourself to employers.
As part of university life, I get up to many social events in my typical week. One of the main social events I attend is the HackSoc meetings where we play board games. This is quite an exciting event. Since you don’t really get the chance to meet people from your course during lectures, this was where I met most of my friends from Computer Science.
Another social event I get up to is meeting my Computer Science friends at one of the university bars for a chat about the week and maybe a bit about the course. And sometimes, social events can be as simple and spontaneous as hanging out in the kitchen in your flat and spending the night with your flatmates playing card games. Sometimes taking it to your common room to watch a movie of your choice.
So, there we are. A typical week in my life as a Computer Science student. I hope that has helped you imagine what life is like here in York. The last few months have been quite eventful for me but I can say with confidence that every single moment of it has been an absolute blast!