As we all know, York is a beautiful place. What you might not know, though, is that the University of York is even more gorgeous, especially the Computer Science department. As someone who is waiting to come over here and join the fun, there are many things you can look forward to about studying Computer Science at York. In this blog I will share just a few of these with you:
The Computer Science building and its facilities
The Computer Science building is a place dedicated entirely to – you’ve guessed it – Computer Science students. The massive advantage this gives us over other departments is that building can accommodate as many practical learning facilities as possible. Thanks to this the building has two large software and hardware labs inside.
In the hardware lab you can find all kinds of components and circuit boards to support you through your journey learning about systems and devices. The software labs have top-spec computers with all the software you need. What is even better is that the software labs are open 24 hours a day meaning you can work any time you want, no limits. There is also a social space called The Pod where we students can meet up to discuss projects or catch up with friends.
So it’s safe to say that the facilities are quite fantastic. But what else is there? How good is a facility if there is no staff to guide you through it?
Lecturers and your supervisor
Some of the first people you’ll meet after you arrive here are your lecturers who will teach you the course. Every lecturer is a literal expert on the module they’re teaching and will happily discuss anything about the module you want – often starting from first principles. All the lecturers are very helpful and will give you support outside of lessons. Just drop them email telling them what confuses you and they’ll quickly respond! You can also go to their office to get some answers if they are free. They really are keen to make you succeed.
Another person you will meet soon after you get here is your supervisor. Every Computer Science student in your year will be in a group of 4, and each group has a supervisor. You will meet your supervisor once at the start and end of each term to discuss your progress in the course and whether you are having any problems, academic or not. Your supervisor will be someone from the Computer Science department so therefore they, like your lecturers, will be open to any discussion about your Computer Science confusions. As you can see, when you need support you never have to look far!
Of course, meeting academics is cool. But something else you can look forward to is meeting your course-mates and making friendships that will last a lifetime! After all there is an opportunity to meet 200+ people who are all interested in the same subject as you.
Making friends and the Computer Science community
I’m sure you are wondering: How will I meet my course-mates? Will they make me say 3 interesting facts about myself? During lectures, is everyone taking notes on laptops like in the movies?
Well, yes, no, and maybe. During the first week of university there are no lectures. The Computer Science department hosts a number of events such as meet ups and scavenger hunts so that you can start to get familiar with the people on your course. This will definitely help when you have to work with them in group projects later on. So this is the first opportunity you will have to meet other Computer Science people, but it is not the only one.
Another meeting place for Computer Science students to come together is in weekly HackSoc social events. What is HackSoc? I hear you ask. HackSoc is the Computer Science society that hosts weekly events to bring Computer Science students together. Some of the events they host include:
Boardgames & Cake – Held in The Pod every other Friday afternoon. All you have to do is turn up, have some cake, play board games and have fun! You can’t go wrong.
Film Night – Also held in The Pod in the other Friday afternoon. Turn up to watch a movie chosen by members and smoothly end a week of lectures and work.
In conclusion, there are many things you can look forward to about studying here. So when you are weighed down by the stress of A levels, remember that a fantastic journey awaits you here and keep pushing! I wish you all the success…