Lectures and practicals
In my first year I had two hours of lectures per week for each of the three modules of Computer Science that I studied. The highlight of my week was most certainly the Computational Thinking lecture; this involved a full hour of questions and answers with professionals in industry alongside Professor Sue Black (a true computer science hero because of her Saving Bletchley Park campaign, through which she saved Bletchley Park the site of World War II codebreaking). The industry professionals she brought along for us to chat with were from all sorts of cool companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.
Each module also has one practical a week, these enable you to work together in small groups of 3-6 people to solve problems relating back to the lectures of the week before, the collaborative style is perfect for building teamwork and communication skills as well as great for finding friends with similar interests to you. Through these practicals you will learn python from scratch, so no prior coding knowledge is necessary!
Helping us plan for the future
The Computer Science department at Durham University is second to none when it comes to supporting their students and their future careers. Duncan McDonald, the Computer Science Internships and Industry Manager, sends out a weekly email of available summer internships and graduate jobs. The partnerships Durham University have with technology companies mean students get many unique opportunities for networking as well as finding industry mentors to provide guidance and advice.
More than modules
There is so much more to do at Durham outside of your study to help you gain computer science skills and have fun along the way! Joining the computer society is always a good place to start, they hold weekly events on all sorts of things, I have particularly enjoyed the Amazon Alexa workshops and the zoom calls with technology companies to hear about their impact on the real world through computer science.
Way back in November I took part in Durhack, my first ever hackathon (read more about it here, this was organised by the society and was in partnership with AWS. I attended many skill-building workshops from which I learnt so much and then I worked with a lovely team of three other students on a project called Eduflix. Our project was highly commended, and we won a Tamagotchi for our zoom YMCA!
Exciting things to come
There are so many exciting things to come as I continue into my second year of study. In particular, I’m looking forward to the Artificial Intelligence module as well as the possibilities of a year in industry or a year abroad during third year.
Download our latest prospectus and college guide here.
Learn more about the Computer Science department here.