By - SmecksSmield
College sounds a lot better. You gotta bear in mind that average performance doesn’t mean that that’s how you will perform. The results you get will be up to you. I wouldn’t be trying to strategically plan around grade boundaries and entry requirements, I’d go for which you like better, which offers the better opportunities, and which align more to the things you like. Also from the picture you attached, the college is only .1 below average, I don’t think that’s anything to worry about.
Yeah true. I'd prefer AQA CompSci so I'll probably go there. My only worry was that 2.2% were getting AAB or higher, and their average 27.75 point score.
I do computer science at OSFC with Eduqas, it’s pure bullshit mate🤣
First year or second year?
Yeah. After researching Eduqas CompSci, it put me off of it greatly. Mainly people complaining about no resources or revision. Good luck with it. I hope you can get a good grade with it
It’s terrible mate. Poor teachers, with no online resources. Textbook is also full of mistakes!
Contextual offers are awarded if your *home postcode* is in an area where the proportion of students going into higher education is low.
I received a contextual offer two grades lower from Bristol due to the college I go to having very low progression to higher education, however it is the only university i qualified for and received a contextual offer from. So it really depends on the university and what they based contextual offers on, can vary from one to another.
Thank you - that's really interesting.
both are considered at oxbridge
But OP wants Manchester not Oxbridge
Not usually as much as you might think (or that the university likes to pretend). Very suspicious how Oxford removed data on statistics by school performance (which were honestly shocking), but then boasts on about meaningless state vs private and much less accurate postcode metrics. Going to a worse school just to attempt playing the contextual game is not worth it.
My home postcode meets that category and is considered at a disadvantage or low progression. And using "[https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/contextual-admissions/admissions/eligibility/](https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/contextual-admissions/admissions/eligibility/)", my postcode meets the contextual offer, but my level 2 school is normal. If I go to the 6th form, it came out to a WP result (no reduction but additional consideration with personal statement and interview). If I go to the college, it came out to a WP Plus result (2 grade reduction).
I'm really impressed that you have looked into this so thoroughly and thank you, also, for opening my eyes to the fact that it isn't just done by postcode.
No worries. Some unis might just be based on postcode but University of Manchester, if I’m not wrong, looks like it takes your postcode and schooling into account. If your level 2 or 3 school is below average, you get grade reductions I think. But if your post code has low progression, you get additional consideration.
Manchester is quite good for CS, I’ve enjoyed it
I would highly recommend checking out the degree page if you haven’t already, and looking at the course details tab, and look at the modules that you’ll take, to get a feel for what you’ll study.
As far as I know, you don’t use any C/C++/C# in first year. It’s python, Java, and some assembly. They also teach you from basics, so while it can be useful to have programming experience, it isn’t required. I went in knowing nothing and I was (mostly) fine.
Can’t comment about the current state of college, it’s been a few years since I’ve been. But from what you have said, I’d sway to college. They don’t really care where you come from, mostly just your grades, especially if you have any personal projects that you’ve worked on.
The other thing that I will say, apprenticeships in computer science are really starting to take off. There are many out there that are with big companies, and you get a degree out of them as well. Same as you would at university.
From my perspective, university is good if you want to do research, or you’re not completely sure about what job you want. You do a range of different courses and so have a lot of flexibility. Apprenticeships usually focus on one aspect, such as SWE or Networks etc.
Really really consider this.
Finally, if you are wanting to get a job at the end of it, the best time to start preparing is during your a levels. Write up a cv, have a couple of side projects, they don’t have to be fancy, could literally be a website or some funky code, and start going to career events. There are lots of events that are aimed at a level students, look for these on places like indeed, bright network, LinkedIn. You want to be looking for things like INSIGHT DAYS. These will be really good for when you come to try and get internships in second year of uni if you go.
Again, don’t dismiss an apprenticeship. Take a look at what is out there as an alternative to uni
How did you write your PS without having any programming knowledge?
I didn't talk about programming. I can link it if you want, but the main points I covered:
Interest in maths and computer science (maths lectures attended with school and an intro to python course, though looking back on what I wrote, its clear that I hadn't learnt anything from it, I think I only covered like 2 chapters)
My academic accomplishments, Maths Challenge and Chemistry Olympiad
Part time job
Why I want to go to uni
Of course all the sections accompanied with the skills that I developed while doing it
Okay interesting, yeah I would really appreciate if you would link it as I am looking to apply to CS / Maths & CS but don't do the A Level or have any other prior experience.
I still have around 2 years until uni, so there's plenty of time to decide. A Computer Science degree at Manchester sounds quite fun and suitable for my interests. The debt isn't really a huge issue, because it may be worth it to me if I'm going into a well-paid job. I will have a look at apprenticeships though as you probably are correct. Thank you for your advice
The most important and biggest piece of advice I give to anyone considering CS, especially going to Uni for it, is that if you want a well paying job like you mention, having a degree means almost absolutely nothing.
It is a requirement, but it gives you no advantage. 80% of the people applying have the same degree.
If you are serious about getting a good job afterwards, the best time to start preparing is, well now.
At Manchester, 1st year doesn’t count. You have to pass (40%+) and that’s it, doesn’t affect your final grade.
I know a girl who got ~50% in first year. Because she spent most of her time going to career events, did 100 hours volunteering and made herself super employable.
Come end of third year, she did internships at JP Morgan, Microsoft, and is going to work for Morgan Stanley as her grad job. And is graduating with a 1st
Ah okay. Thanks for the advice. I also noticed you so Maths and Comp Sci. What’s that like compared to just Computer Science by its self? Is it quite a lot of advanced maths from A level? Also if you don’t mind me asking, which A levels did you do to be able to study at Manchester?
My parents said top 6th form colleges (cardiff is the one i heard) are really exhausting, tests every week or so and monitoring ur grades regularly
If you’re okay with constantly studying and competing and pressure everyday, maybe 6th form is good for you ?
The pressure would probably be too much for me at 6th form. However, I would say that if I'm not motivated, I might find it harder to work.
If you live in Manchester, PLEASE consider the Manchester Access Course during year twelve, with this I’ve seen those with offer A*BB. The course gives you a two grade reduction and this can be combined with a contextual reduction. I did the access course and they have really helped to get me ready for uni
For your question, I’d recommend college. If you love computer science, then you can soldier through the alevel yourself. It’s not too difficult.
Yeah, I was having a look at the Manchester Access Program. Does it interfere with your studies in Year 12 or 13 though? I was considering doing it but I'm not sure if it is time-intensive or just something you do on the side in your own time. What's that course like, and will it mean I have to miss some days of college?
Oh shit I didn’t see your answer, sorry. No it doesn’t interfere. All you do is write a 1500 word essay and afaik all the days you have to go in are in the holidays. It is not intensive at all and has a good payoff.
Sorry about the late response but I do really recommend this course and you should apply when applications open in September (I think or it might be October?).
Would highly recommend the college in this example for a few of the reasons listed above and do not be swayed by the average results as really they mean very little in the long term. Also no need to be swayed by a college that does more practical-based courses and particularly T-levels as they are often the ones who produce the most well-rounded and practically able students which are all invaluable traits to a CS student.
[Vb.net](https://Vb.net) isn't a particularly useful language vs C-based ones which in the long term will be significantly more helpful as well as the experience you already have.
The one thing I would recommend wholeheartedly is to get all of the online resources you can find for the GCSE CS course exam board which you will be doing the A-level in (hope that makes sense). This in my experience will put you far ahead as despite being in one of the top-performing colleges in the country, many of the students on my CS course who didn't take the GCSE of the exam board we have done for A-level or didn't take CS at all have found it incredibly difficult and have been playing catch up for 2 years.
The other thing I can recommend from personal experience is that university isn't the only and often isn't the best option (particularly for CS) as there are loads of software engineering or CS based degree apprenticeships out there that provide the same level of teaching with 10 X the experience whilst getting paid to do it instead of racking up thousands in student debt.
If I read correctly you are in the Manchester area which is almost perfect with loads of engineering firms and other similar tech firms looking for young, bright students to take onto their apprenticeship schemes however the one caveat is they are highly competitive but with a little research and due diligence you will be fine.
Best of luck with your decision anyway and remember whatever you decide upon and however your choices turn out, it is never the end of the world and there will always be other options.
Yeah, I've already gathered some resources for GCSE and A-level Computer Science, so I'll try to not go into it blindly. I'll go over them after my current GCSE exams are finished, but I want to have a little break. Based on this, I'll probably start halfway through the holidays or more towards the end. I still have tons of time to decide on my future after college, but I'll be sure to have a look at apprenticeships also. Thank you
College for AQA and C# 100%
The most important thing is further maths. If neither of them offer it then it's personal preference.
Both colleges do further maths, but I think personally it would be too hard for me. For maths, I think I can get grades 8 and maybe 9s at GCSE. Further Maths would probably be too stressful for me and in my eyes, 2 of my options being maths would be a struggle. I like the sound of Maths and Computer Science, and Physics seemed more appropriate to me as it links in with these 2 subjects too. Further Maths would be good, but I don't think it would be best for me.
Are you sure you're not building further maths up to be harder than it is? Because for me it was way easier than physics. If you're not sure take it as a 4th and then you can either drop further or drop one of your other two.
I don't think the college lets students do 4 A-levels. The 6th Form does, but I didn't want to go there because of their odd choice of exam board for CompSci. For 4 A-levels, they also require 3 GCSEs at grade 8 and 3 at grade 7 not counting alternatives. My possible GCSEs are: Combined Science, Maths, English Lit (already done in Y10 - got a 6)/Lang, Geography and Photography. Those count to around 7 awarded I think. English, I'm not the best at so I might get a 6. Geography, probably also a 6. I don't think I'd be eligible to do 4 A-levels.
I see. Well, in any case if you want to apply to very competitive comp sci courses like Manchester you'll regret not having further maths. I can promise you it matters far more than what programming language you did for your comp sci project, hell they'd even prefer further maths over doing comp sci in the first place. While I hesitate to say "it's not that hard lol" because your mileage may vary, if you think you have to be a super genious mathematician to do it you're mistaken. I got an A in it and I'm retarded. If you're willing to work hard, which you are because you're telling me you're aiming for A*s, it'll be just like any other A-level.
I think what separates the people who dropped out of further maths in year 12 and the people who survived until the end of the course was less about mathematical ability and how tenacious people were at banging their heads against the wall until they understood something. Some people didn't understand argand diagrams or matrices and threw in the towel, whereas I didn't understand argand diagrams or matrices, failed relevant exams, kept going until I did understand them in the end got an A. Tenaciously banging your head against the wall is a required skill for programming so you should be fine.
Further Maths is incredibly useful with lots of the top unis not even considering applicants without further maths, that being oxbridge and imperial (they only allow you to not take further maths if your college doesnt offer it), UCL isnt as harsh but 70% of their offer holders had further maths, manchester doesn't mind too much about further maths as they have decided to just offer 3A\*s instead of needing interviews or further maths, but doing further maths gives you a better chance at the other unis. Also even if a uni like UCL considers applicants without further maths, those applicants would be subject to much higher standards due to not taking further maths. Further maths can also make unis more lenient if you miss your offer.
In my experience further maths is much much easier than physics as i found it to be significantly easier to practice maths, I would say the workload of 4 subjects isnt too bad as long as you don't procrastinate too much, you ll still have more free time then you ll know what to do with. And if you thing it is too much id recommend dropping physics as it is less useful and much harder imo.
Might not exactly answer your question but in my experience (much like you, I have a love for computer science), A Level computer science has been an absolute nightmare despite it being something I do as a hobby as well as in school. A lot of universities don't even care whether you took computer science at A Level or not as the courses just aren't great at all. For context, I'm currently sitting my A Levels for Computer Science, maths and physics and computer science has come out as by far my weakest subject purely because the course does not reflect what computer science is really like.
Ah okay. Which exam board are you doing for it? I really like the sound of Computer Science but I don't know if it is going to be too much of a challenge. I'm definitely going to do it but I'm not sure what its going to be like
is no one going to mention the fact that a level fm is a much more useful subject than a level cs? do unis even ask for a level cs anymore? every person i know that’s done a level cs has hated it
I’m not a comp sci student but from what I’ve heard, for most unis a level comp sci isn’t a requirement for the comp sci course. Worth checking the specific entry requirements tho ofc and making sure you have a competitive application in other areas if you don’t take it.
This is correct. I'm involved with CS admissions and I don't think we've ever asked for CS at A-level. The courses are improving, but they're still not good enough or widespread enough for us to rely on, so we have to teach everything from scratch at uni anyway.
If you have the option of taking further maths and you don't take it, questions will be asked.
Manchester actually consider it a science subject and will consider it for computer science entry. For those that would struggle with further maths, I think computer science is a good option
Further Maths seems like it would be too hard for me. At GCSE, I can get around grade 8s and maybe 9s but I think Further Maths would be stressful for my case. CompSci, Maths and Physics is great for me I think. On the Manchester uni course, it says Maths and a minimum of one science is needed. I guess I'd be fine for this specific uni. I'm not planning on going to Oxbridge, but IIRC, their site says Further Maths is recommended, but if you don't do it, its recommended to just go over the AS Level content.
Oldham sixth form bro?
Not Oldham. It's around 5 miles from Manchester. I would give the names but I don't want to DoX myself.
Apply for the Manchester Grammar School 6th form
I live around 5 miles from Manchester, but it's still classed as Manchester. I think I would greatly prefer to stay more local, to be honest. Otherwise, I would go somewhere else
I live 20 miles from Manchester and go there! But I understand wanting to stay more local.
Honestly mate, stretford grammar sixth form is probably the best shout, the comp sci teacher is without a doing the best I’ve ever seen
I think I want to stay local, to be honest. Those are the only 2 places in my area. They are around a 5 minute's walk away from each other though.
I chose these exact A-Levels also (doing my maths exam today) and like you I care most about computer science. To be strictly honest, it doesn’t matter that much what you do in lessons in computer science at a-level. We do Python but I self taught C++ and I know that much better than Python, you’ll still need the official language of the course for the exams but you can pretty easily learn both. I honestly feel like my computer science lessons aren’t doing much more than I get from self-teaching in regards to programming. So I wouldn’t be too hung up on the choice of language. A*A*A* seems ridiculously high, I don’t think any unis require that. Cambridge and Oxford only need A*A*A and most top end unis require A*AA which is pretty achievable.
Yeah. Because of my postcode, and if I go to the college, I think I just need A\*AA for a Computer Science degree. If I do the Manchester Access Program, it might even be reduced further.
So my comment bugged out because I didn’t format it right. The A in italics like this A*A* was meant to be A\*A\*
University of Hertfordshire served my son well. I preferred Bristol because of their robotics options. Ironically he now lives in Bristol.
If you do educas computer science, Manchester won't even look at your application. Only aqa and ocr computer science is want most most unis want.
What you learn at a level computer science really doesn't matter and as such I would be tempted to recommend the 6th form.
Programming languages don't matter, you should be learning other ones yourself anyway. That being said [VB.net](https://VB.net) is really bad and reflects on other parts of the teaching. For your NEA, if you do go to the 6thForm I urge you to use something more appropriate.
So you will either go to the 6thform knowing the CS teacher and course will be bad or you can go to the College.
OP either pick FM as a fourth subject or replace phys/comsci with FM... it'll give you more options.
I don't think the college has the option for 4 A-levels, but the 6th Form does. However, to do 4, they require at least 3 grade 8s and 3 grade 7s at GCSE (no alternatives accepted). I do Combined Science, English Lit+Lang, Maths, Geography, Photography and some other OCR level 1/2 course (probably not accepted). The ones I think will be counted add to 7, but Lit I already did and got a 6 in Y10, Photography I think I'll get a 6 (kinda took it as a chill lesson), English I'm not the best at so probably another 6. Basically I don't think I would entirely meet the requirements. Manchester Uni doesn't say they require FM and I really want to do CompSci. Phys seems okay because I don't want to do too much maths
Why not drop either physics or comp-sci for FM? Manc is quite competitive for comp-sci, not having FM might disadvantage you, 3 A-levels with one being FM won't, it's a perfectly acceptable combo for most physical science courses, so you'll be good with 3 A-levels and one being FM, it's just not good for med or humanities courses, perfectly fine for comp sci. Maths is an important part of comp sci, especially at top unis, so if you don't like maths, you might want to reconsider comp sci.
Honestly, I do really like Maths. I picked Physics because it is my best science. In my mocks, I got a 99, so I'm decent at science too. I do really want to do Computer Science at A-Level as well. At GCSE, I'm expecting to get a grade 8 or if I do well enough, a grade 9 for Maths. Should I just drop Physics for Further Maths? To be honest, I still don't even know if I'm going to university. I wanted to keep my options as open as I can, whilst also being able to go to university if I decide to. If I do change, I will be doing Computer Science, Maths and Further Maths.
Comp sci at Manc might need FM tbh.. why not drop comp sci a-level instead of physics then? physics is not really useful for comp sci tbh and you can study it on the side too. FM would really be useful and you can even apply to unis like Imperial. I mean a-levels are pretty much only needed for unis iirc, I don't think they'd check which ones you did for apprenticeships but dont take my word for it, but if you wanna do comp sci at Manc, it would be best to take FM.
I was looking at some Computer Science A level past papers and they don’t seem that bad to me, to be honest. With revision, I think I would do great doing Computer Science. Physics is okay at GCSE for me too but I would prefer to do CompSci personally
Have you considered University of Leeds? Not too far away from Manchester, great uni.
Imo the college sounds betterd, the worse average grades may not be cause of the college but just cause they take in worse students, also AQA is a decent exam board for cs, i do it and i like it. Also a college would allow you to interact with more people your age which is a plus cause fuck yr7s.
Also not doing GCSE cs isnt to much of an issue as the first year basically recaps the entire course so if you did do it u d just end up a bit bored, tho i recommend looking at the content a bit so it isnt completely alien to u. I don't u d struggle with catching up tho as CS is decently easy content wise, the hard part is the high grade boudaries that require very good exam technique, its less intensive than something like physics or further maths, but its harder to cram as cramming exam technique is quite hard