Subject Spotlight: Computer Science


What is Computer Science? 

Welcome to the fascinating field of Computer Science, a discipline that forms the backbone of the digital age. From creating software applications and developing new technologies to solving complex problems and enhancing online security, studying Computer Science can lead to a career at the forefront of innovation and technology. 

Computer Science is the study of computers and computing technologies. It’s a field that combines theoretical study about algorithms and data structures with practical challenges of implementing them in hardware and software systems. The subject covers a broad range of topics such as programming, software development, computer architecture, artificial intelligence, and network design. 

Why Study Computer Science? 

Choosing to study Computer Science offers several benefits: 

  • High Demand: As our world becomes increasingly digital, the demand for skilled computer scientists continues to grow. 
  • Versatile Skills: The skills you learn in a Computer Science course can be applied in various industries, from technology and finance to healthcare and entertainment. 
  • Innovation: This field offers the opportunity to create new technologies and innovative solutions to global challenges. 

What’s it like to study Computer Science? 

Studying Computer Science involves learning about various areas of the subject such as programming languages, algorithms, computational theory, and software engineering. You’ll engage with both theory and practice, applying what you’ve learned in lab sessions and individual projects. 


What Can You Do with a Computer Science Degree? 

A degree in Computer Science can open the door to a variety of rewarding careers. Here are some potential career paths: 

  • Software Developer: Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. They develop applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device, as well as the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks.
  • Systems Analyst: Systems analysts examine an organisation’s current computer systems and procedures, and design solutions to help the organisation operate more efficiently and effectively. 
  • Network Engineer: Network engineers are responsible for implementing, maintaining, supporting, developing and designing communication networks within an organisation or between organisations.
  • Data Scientist: Data scientists use their analytical, statistical, and programming skills to collect, analyse, and interpret large datasets. They then use this information to develop data-driven solutions to difficult business challenges.
  • Cybersecurity Analyst: Cybersecurity analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organisation’s computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increases.
  • Database Administrator: Database administrators use specialised software to store and organise data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They ensure that data are available to users and are secure from unauthorised access. 

Each of these roles requires a strong foundation in computer science principles, along with problem-solving skills, analytical thinking, and attention to detail. As you progress in your career, you may also consider further professional qualifications to specialize in your chosen field. 

Professional Bodies for Computer Science 

Organisations like the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) offer resources, certifications, and networking opportunities for professionals in this field. 

Careers for Computer Science Graduates 

Graduates can work in various sectors, such as software development, IT consulting, data analysis, and cybersecurity. They may design and build software, solve complex IT problems, analyse data to gain insights, or protect systems from cyber threats. 

Skills that Computer Science Students Need 

Students in this field need strong analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, creativity, and a good understanding of mathematical and scientific principles. 

student laptop

Typical Degree Titles that are Computer Science Focused 

Degree titles in this field include Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Computer Science, and PhD in Computer Science. Some courses offer specialisations in areas like software engineering, artificial intelligence, or cybersecurity. 

By completing an NCUK qualification, you have access to a wide range of Computer Science courses with our University Partners. Find more information about the wide range of courses, the universities offering them and the entry requirements using our course finder