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dwfait

BSc Computer Science, or Software Engineering?

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Hi. I'm currently in my second year of college, and i need to apply for uni soon - i'm wondering which would degree would be the best to take for a career game development?

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You could get an industry job with either degree, but then you could get an industry job with no degree.

For a better answer you need to be more specific about the courses. The content of Computer Science and Software Engineering degrees differ between universities. So I suggest looking at the prospectus or better yet a syllabus and determining what the differences are.

Generally a computer science course is going to include more theoretical stuff while software engineering is more about building actual software. So with CS you'll cover a huge range of stuff like discrete maths, compilers, OSes, digital electronics, networking, computer graphics etc while with software engineering some of the theoretical stuff you'd get in CS course (e.g. discrete maths) will be replaced by a more practical module.

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This is all going to boil down to personal opinions so mine is CS (at a good, high-ranking university, check here).

Mainly because I believe the majority of SE is aload of b*****s, mostly about useless physiological discussions and personal opinions not based on any formalism (except for fomal methods of-course) but based mostly on empirical knowledge (which isn't too bad). Anyways I believe it's easier to pick up SE concepts in your own time or at work than doing it the other way round with CS.

Don't forget you now have a third option, degrees in Computer Games Technology, universities in Scotland are pretty much the pioneers in this relatively new discipline so you might consider relocating there.

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Well my local university is Portsmouth, which i've heard is pretty good for computing subjects, but it doesn't rank very high on the Uni leagues table? Does anyone know anything about Portsmouth uni that would encourage / discourage me from Portsmouth uni?

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Quote:
Original post by snk_kid
Don't forget you now have a third option, degrees in Computer Games Technology, universities in Scotland are pretty much the pioneers in this relatively new discipline so you might consider relocating there.


This is a very bad idea for most people and I really wouldn't reccomend it if you are interested in learning from the course. I can only speak from a position of experience for The Abertay Dundee course (Im assuming the one the person Im quoting ment) but I am yet to speak with anyone from any of the other games tech courses in the UK who have anything better to say. Though in the spirit of fairness I have heard good things about Hulls degree but I've not been there or spoken to anyone who has.

If how ever you are already half competent at game programming (lets say you can knock up a spinning rotating cube without copying of Nehe :D) then you might have four very enjoyable years doing your own work while giving lip service to the courseworks as the are due. However if you are after some sort of teaching for your tuition fees then just go the good old CS route.

Going CS will also help keep your options open, afterall while you do a CS degree you have more than enough free time to write a decent game demo to get into the Games Industry, but lets be honest, how many people write buisness apps and databases in their recreational time? :D

Lastly dont stress too much, in the end just find a place you like the look of and go for it. Most Games Companies will end up judging you on the demo you send them anyway.

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The 2 degrees are rarely that different in the UK anyway. Try to get a list of individual modules and judge on that, plus the quality of the universities themselves. The course titles mean almost nothing.

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Well I'm currently doing a BTEC Nat Cert (I know, I should have done A levels...) in IT Practitioner, which gets me 240 UCAS points for double distinction (which im on course to get). That will get me into my local university, which is ranked at 76/109 on the league table. However, another university that's close to me is Southampton, which is ranked 22. the UCAS points to get in there are 300 though.

Would it be worth doing another year at college to get into a better university? Do Unis make exceptions with required UCAS points?

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Do you want to stay local? Being free to relocate opens up a whole host of other options, and besides which, university is about a lot more than just the certificate you get at the end.

Again, although the uni itself is important, check the individual classes or modules. Some universities don't teach you any C++ - a big handicap when it comes to working in games. Mine taught mostly in C++. More common these days is for them to teach mostly in Java with a 'C++ for Java Programmers' course of some sort. Look around.

Personally I wouldn't bother doing a whole extra year just to get extra UCAS points. There's a chance that you might convince the admissions tutors to accept you, despite not reaching their target, if you can show them some other evidence of your suitability. Speak to individual departments about that.

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I would prefer local, but I wouldn't mind residential.

It seems that Southampton teaches you mainly Java, with some C++ to demonstrate pointers and memory allocation:

http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/admissions/ug/G400.php


Portsmouth don't have much to say on their website, however I'll hopefully soon have an oppertunity to talk to someone from that department in person:

http://www.port.ac.uk/courses/coursetypes/undergraduate/BScHonsComputerScience/whatwillistudy/

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