How we teach
In the Department of Computer Science you will have access to state of the art facilities and software, have the opportunity to get involved with research projects, and be taught by award-winning staff.
You'll be taught by lecturers with expertise across a broad range of areas, with extensive experience in both academic and industrial applications, showing you how to develop and apply your skills.
Our Department of Computer Science is based within the School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences alongside the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of Meteorology. Our students benefit from the many complementary strengths across the departments, including specific expertise relating to big data, data visualisation and analytics, as well as applications of high-performance computing to weather prediction and climate simulation.
We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures and lab practicals, as well as group-based seminars, and tutorials.
The Department of Computer Science has its own dedicated computing laboratories, with workstations running both Windows and Linux operating systems, with links to Mathematics and Statistics, and Meteorology departmental computing systems and applications within the School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences.
A wide range of software packages are used to support the Computer Science curriculum, including tools for software/apps development, systems modelling, mathematical manipulation and more. There is free access to commercial software and servers, and many facilities are available in the evenings and at weekends.
In the first year we support all of our teaching with regular personal tutorials – these are hour-long sessions in which each personal tutor meets with all of their personal tutees. Building a relationship with your personal tutor is really important, so they can provide you with effective support throughout your time with us, and write more personable references for placements and job applications towards the end of your degree.
Peer-assisted learning and drop-in sessions
We facilitate Peer-Assisted Learning, in which our final year students provide optional additional support sessions during your first year. Evidence from universities around the world that actively encourage Peer-Assisted Learning shows huge benefits for the students involved.
Our staff also have weekly drop-in sessions, and open-door policies, so help is never far away.
As you move through your years at university the class sizes reduce as students choose optional modules in their specific areas of interest. This increase in the ratio of staff to students is beneficial when tackling more complex material in your degree during your crucial final year.
GET INVOLVED with teaching and RESEARCH
As part of the Department of Computer Science you'll have the chance to have a direct input into the way that we teach through our Staff Student Forums and the Student Teaching and Learning Group.
Every module we teach also gives you the opportunity to provide feedback in the form of our Module Evaluation Questionnaires; these are an invaluable tool in helping staff develop their teaching materials and skills.
We also offer opportunities to get involved with research. Successful candidates receive a vacation bursary to complete a research project, usually over the summer vacation, under the supervision of an academic member of staff, to gain first-hand experience of research. Such placements make a significant contribution to your transferable skills, employability and understanding of the research environment.
Our Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) provides opportunities for you to work with staff on research projects across the University, contributing directly to the creation of knowledge, building new skills and strengthening the link between teaching and research. UROP placements last six weeks over the summer break, or can be part-time over a longer period. The scheme is only open to University of Reading students in their middle years of study (i.e. not first or final year students).