We live in a world where digital knowledge and skills in computer technology are becoming more important and desirable. If you love all-things tech and new digital technologies, and consider yourself to be a great problem-solver, a career in IT may work for you. A degree in IT or computing is a great way to kickstart your professional development, leading you into jobs in app development and the gaming industry, robotics, web development, software engineering, computer hardware development, IT security and so much more.
The UK is home to some of the world's best computer science universities, and many courses can be combined with other specialisations such as mathematics, biotechnology or business studies. Universities in the UK are world-renowned for their leading research in AI, VR, robotics, data processing, telecommunications and so on. They are known for their prestigious research and leading academics who tackle real-world problems with innovative solutions. If you're interested in learning IT and computing studies at degree level, here are some recommended institutions for both undergraduate and postgraduate study.
1. Study for an accredited undergraduate IT degree at Bournemouth University
Many of Bournemouth University degrees are accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS), which makes them ideal choice for an undergraduate degree in IT and computing and a stepping stone to becoming a chartered IT professional.
IT students have the option to gain industry experience on a 30-week placement, which is a great opportunity to integrate into the IT profession and understand it on a deeper level. You will be able to apply what you learn in practice, in a workplace setting, solving everyday organisational and end-user problems. Placement students have typically worked for organisations such as Microsoft, Kingfisher, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Goldman Sachs and General Electric (GE).
Careers advisors also provide tailored support from job search to job application and interview skills. Bournemouth University students benefit from the Skills Development Programme, which is designed to further develop personal and professional skills alongside the main curriculum, enhancing employability, confidence, and overall ability.
Students can tailor their studies to suit their career goals. This means you can apply for one of the eight courses on offer in computing and IT, and then have the flexibility to switch to another specialism at the end of your first year, once you have a stronger understanding of the area you want to specialise in.
Graduate employment rates have been excellent – 95% of Bournemouth University graduates are in work or further study within six months of finishing their course, and start their career in roles across a diverse range of computing and IT roles.
2. Study for a postgraduate degree at Cranfield University – the UK’s only specialist postgraduate university in technology and management
Cranfield University boasts long-standing relationships with some of the most prestigious global companies. Its collaboration with industry, and passion for the areas its academics teach, helps students like you to kickstart your career. Cranfield University is the UK’s only specialist postgraduate university in technology and management.
If you study for a postgraduate degree in computing at Cranfield University, you will have regular contact with industry through group and individual project work, as well as guest lectures from partner organisations. Courses are regularly reviewed by an advisory panel of leading professionals from industry. This ensures that the content being taught is relevant, and that it meets the expectations of employers. Cranfield's specialist, sector-facing master’s courses are set up and developed in close collaboration with industry partners.
Courses are broken down into a taught programme of 40%, to offer an intensive learning experience and to give you the knowledge you need to excel in your specialist field. 20% is assigned to a group project and teamwork, giving you a head-start for the world of work. 40% of your degree is dedicated to an individual thesis, giving you an opportunity to think and work in an original way. For example, this could be working on a project for a university partner, delving deeper into an area of specific interest, or the presentation of a solution to a real-world challenge in the sector you want to work in.
You will have access to state-of-the-art equipment, tools and research facilities, including the Cranfield High Performance Computing facility, that makes available a CPU cluster of 1,500 CPUs, high-end scientific GPU nodes and accelerated remote visualisation capabilities.
Cranfield's Engineering MSc is accredited by the Institute of Engineering Technology on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for further learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).
3. Study alongside world-class academics for a PhD in computing at Queen Mary University
One of the leading institutions in the UK for studying computing at PhD level is Queen Mary University of London. The Queen Mary School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science is renowned for its internationally-leading research activities, helping to solve real-world problems.
The university offers a range of well-integrated doctoral study programmes in various specialisms. Research groups are undertaking internationally-leading research, funded by UK research councils, the European Union, and other industry from around the world. As a member of one of Queen Mary's research groups (as a PhD student), you will be accommodated in a research laboratory alongside other doctoral students and full-time postdoctoral researchers. In many cases, you will be able to participate in funded research projects undertaken by the group.
As a PhD student, you will join a large and diverse school with a community of more than 384 research students from over 50 countries. You will be part of a supportive and inspiring learning environment, and every aspect of your research will be driven by industry advancements, with entrepreneurship and innovation playing a key part in Queen Mary's research culture. Queen Mary has a thriving community of 1,800 PhD students. You will have access to the graduate centre, numerous sources of funding, and researcher development training too, all supported by a dedicated doctoral college team. Being based in London, Queen Mary is an ideal place to conduct your research, surrounded by some of the world’s best museums, libraries, institutes and archives.
Queen Mary is firmly established as a centre of national and international excellence in research. In the latest research assessment, the university ranked 9th for electronic engineering and 11th for computer science. 91% of research is classed as world-leading. The school's submitted research was also rated 3* or 4* for impact (4* being the highest score possible, and 3* being internationally excellent), showing that the university's output is strongly linked to real-world applications.
During your PhD studies at Queen Mary, you will benefit from a primary and a secondary supervisor who will regularly help you plan and manage your research. Your work will be regularly reviewed with annual checkpoints involving a supervisory panel of 3 members to give feedback and high-level direction to your research.
With computers becoming more important in our everyday lives, digital technology and computing specialists play a very important role in our society. Studying for a degree in IT or computing studies at undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral level at a UK university is a great way to kickstart an exciting and interesting career, where you can be part of state-of-the-art technological developments. You will develop strong links with companies, academics and other advancements in a variety of computing industries, and will be taught by internationally-renowned experts with a passion for their subject. With so many career and learning opportunities, computing and IT study in the UK is sure to be a worthwhile decision.
For more information, you can visit the Bournemouth University, Cranfield University and Queen Mary University websites.
Bournemouth University: https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/
Cranfield University: https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/
Queen Mary University: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/