Matthew Gould studied Computer Science MSc – a conversion course which prepares graduates from any discipline for a career in computing.
Why did you choose Kent?
The University of Kent has great links with local companies, which I (correctly) believed would assist me in my placement search. Kent was one of the few universities that offered an industrial placement, which would give me practical work experience as part of the degree programme. The campus was a big part of why I chose to study at Kent – it had a strong, vibrant community feel.
How did you find the programme?
It was demanding and stretched me in many areas, which helped me to realise my potential. It was so broad it enabled me to find the area of computing I enjoyed the most and the final project allowed me to hone the skills I wanted, as I could choose a project that interested me.
Did the programme live up to your expectations?
It met my expectations, as there were plenty of coding challenges in multiple languages. Other disciplines, such as software engineering, enabled me to thrive in a technical atmosphere once I left university. I expected my Master’s to prepare me for a technical working environment and I was not disappointed.
Which part of the course most interested you?
I found the coding challenges the most interesting; I really enjoyed the sense of accomplishment once a problem was solved. The one-week project for the Software Engineering module and my final project stood out because they allowed me to work on larger-scale projects for a prolonged period.
What about your lecturers?
The lecturers are clearly knowledgeable and enjoy their areas of research. The amount of material each lecturer had to cover was clearly challenging, given the contact hours and they did well to cover the necessary material in a methodical fashion.
What was the level of support like in your studies?
Although teaching staff were clearly busy, they made time for me outside of the regular contact hours. The placement team was also helpful; they proofread CVs and covering letters, and recommended the most suitable placements to apply for.
How did you enjoy your industrial placement?
The industrial placement was a highlight of the course. Working on real projects allowed me to apply the theory I had learnt during the first year to actual projects that would impact on businesses. The placement also endorsed the fact that I enjoyed working in a technical environment and wanted to continue a career in software engineering.
How did Kent help with your career plans?
The industrial placement gave me practical, real-world experience that I could not have gained through lectures alone. Kent made it possible for me to get my foot on the career ladder with my first job as a software engineer.
How do you see your career progressing?
I would like to continue in software development. I hope to eventually gain sufficient experience to become a senior developer. I enjoy working for a software consultancy, because it gives me exposure to many different projects, which enables me to gain a broad range of experience.
What would you say to someone thinking of studying at Kent?
I would say ‘go for it’. If you’re prepared to put in the work and are aware of what the course involves, then there is no reason not to study at Kent. It has good facilities and teaching, and is a great place to live.