Edinburgh v King's College London for Computer Science

(10 Posts)
user1492728677 Fri 21-Apr-17 19:26:16

My son has an unconditional from both universities (Sept 2017 start) and is really struggling to choose. Edinburgh seems to have the better reputation for Computer Science but he'd love to have the experience of life in London (we are Scottish). Can anyone add their tuppence-worth - it's 50:50 right now 😖 Would really appreciate some advice if anyone has an insight into both unis and/or their CS courses.

OP’s posts: |
evenstrangerthings Fri 21-Apr-17 21:49:53

DD has (conditional) offers from both for the same course.

The differences from my perspective:

1) 4 year BSc vs 3 year
2) KCL has a slightly better reputation as a University
3) However for their CS course KCL has a lower rep and from threads on The Student Room takes students with no A Level Maths and with grades below their stated requirements.

4) Kings also has a higher drop out rate for CS.

5) However it also seems easier to stand out if you're a strong student at KCL

6) London student life is awesome! I myself grew up in Wales and went to Imperial and loved London life.

Have you visited both Unis?

user1492728677 Sat 22-Apr-17 15:11:11

Thanks for your response. I didn't know about the dropout rate at King's which is interesting - I wonder why.

My other son - his twin brother (twin 1) is studying in London and hasn't really enjoyed his time there - infact he's hoping for a transfer north. However, that hasn't put twin 2 off as he loves going down to visit his brother, he loves London!

The King's CS course looks like a standard CS course which many universities offer, whereas Edinburgh has a strong reputation for AI, the biggest department in Europe and the course content looks dynamic, forward-thinking and exciting. Edinburgh definitely wins hands-down for the course - but then there's the draw of London and the experience of being there, perhaps better job/internship opportunities from being in London.

Yes, he's visited and was impressed with both.

Basically, his head says Edinburgh and his heart says King's!! Aaaargh!!! - we are all over the place at the moment but we'll get there! Thanks again.

OP’s posts: |
impostersyndrome Sat 22-Apr-17 17:56:07

FWIW last year my DS preferred the quality of the Edinburgh course, research and options by far above Kings (where he spent a taster day and came away very unimpressed). He got offers for both - AAA vs ABB which is telling in itself, but opted in the end for another university, but only because of the cost of an English student attending in Scotland (he could have joined in year two, but felt he'd miss out).

millifiori Sat 22-Apr-17 17:59:28

OP, if you're Scottish and live in Scotland surely it's a no-brainer. You don't have to pay for Edinburgh. You do have to pay for Kings! I'd go for edinburgh for BSc and then Kings for Masters or PhD if he takes it further. The money he saves by getting a free education could give him a great head start of he moved to London to look for a job.
I'm not envious of my sister's Scottish kids free uni education, not a bit

PeterHouseMD Sat 22-Apr-17 20:15:54

It's no contest. I would choose Edinburgh without hesitation for Computer Science. I wouldn't rate KCL in this subject area. Why spend a fortune to receive an inferior education?

As the previous poster outlined, he could even use the money he saves to do a postgrad in KCL.

Becca19962014 Mon 24-Apr-17 23:35:32

The Kings drop out rate is known in certain circles to do with them accepting lack of maths a-level and lacking of foundation year for those who need it (they were supposed to do something about both of those but I don't think they have). For pure computer science a-level maths is a must - even then the maths is tough. It is really really difficult to do the course without it and those who don't actually know what computer science involves at degree level foundation level can really make the difference in staying.

I did software engineering and would (now) choose Edinburgh - it wasn't where I studied, where I studied is now far down league tables in the things that matter. Head is what he should be following not heart. It's true where you live makes a difference but he really, really, needs to look at the reps for the courses, choices of modules, how it's taught, hardware and software that's used, research in the department, and, what other students on the course have gone on to do.

Computer science (and software engineering) is very competitive and there's plenty of study keeping up with new technologies after graduating. I'd also look at if either offer industry experience or placements. Employers will look at the reputation for the course as well as where he studied. He could go on to do specialist masters in London if he wants but it depends on what he wants to do after graduation.

I did my degree decades ago when women were viewed with utmost suspicion and it was rare for a woman to complete, but yeah if I was choosing again, now, I'd go for Edinburgh.


user1492728677 Wed 31-May-17 12:59:11

Hi - I just wanted to thank you all for your advice. To date, it was the most useful and direct advice given and based on it, he decided to go for Edinburgh.

However, the saga continues as another potential opportunity has arisen at UCL, but it's for Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Computer Science, rather than just Computer Science, which was his original preference.

Could you advise ..... Edinburgh Computer Science or UCL Electronic Engineering with Computer Science (followed by a Masters in Computer Science if all goes well).

My own opinion is that the electronic engineering would give him a wider skills base making him more desirable for employers. He'd have a background in the hardware and software elements.

On the other hand, you could argue that with purely CS, he'd be a specialist in the area rather than being a jack-of-all-trades.

We've been googling like mad. The problem is time - he has his unconditional for Edinburgh, but UCL has said that it's "highly likely" (based on his grades - AAA) they'll make him an offer, but to do so, he needs to reject Edinburgh first! His deadline is 8 June for the Edinburgh offer 😩

Any advice you can give would be wonderful. Mostly in the area of career opportunities - which is likely to make him more desirable and in most demand, EE with Computer Science or pure CS?

We have also obviously considered that Edinburgh has free tuition and is a fab uni. But his twin brother is in London and he'd love to join him there.

Thanks again for any time you give to this 😀 as I value your opinions greatly.

OP’s posts: |
PeterhouseMS Wed 31-May-17 21:02:15

My own opinion is that the electronic engineering would give him a wider skills base making him more desirable for employers. He'd have a background in the hardware and software elements.

"Software will eat the world" or "every company needs to become a software company" is now almost a cliché.

A Computer Science degree is highly desirable as nearly every employer needs more CS graduates. A combination of Elec Eng and Computer Science, while still very desirable, would be more limited than pure Computer Science. The perfect combination is now Maths and Computer Science.

ShinyGirl Wed 31-May-17 21:39:35

Edingburgh for free is the best choice surely?

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