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For those who need the structure of a formal course, or who want a CS degree for career reasons, the University of London's International program is a great option - it's very flexible, so easy to combine with full-time work, and costs around $2500 per year for 3 years. I'm around 2/3 of the way through, and find it helps force me to learn things I know I need to know, but might not make the time for otherwise


The creative computing has a slightly more art/graphics emphasis, but is still rigorous: http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/g...

Is this a BS that would be recognizable? I gotta ask. I also gotta ask: Is it rigorous? Not just time wise. I want a program that will be stimulating (even if brutal).

For clarity: when I say recognizable, I mean, we aren't talking some for profit online uni like DeVry. I'm not exactly looking for Stanford level, just something that would has a respectable reputation for actually teaching.

edit: I really don't know if I'm asking this question in a way that is non-aggressive, so I apologize in advance. I'm very interested in this (I never heard of it before) and I'm just wondering how much you like it.

There's also: https://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/softeng/

A lot more expensive (£25,000 all-in, part-time over four years), a reasonably well-known university, it's an MSc, flexible curriculum, no undergrad degree needed.

What am I missing £25,000 all in and no undergrad degree needed? How is it possible to be this cheap and no undergrad needed?

You have to pass the coursework to get the degree

Sure, and 4 hours a day is quite a commitment but for 25K this seems like a fair tradeoff to earn a CS degree from a respected institution.

> reasonably welly known university

I know it's partially tongue-in-cheek, but how is comp sci in Oxford? I thought all big names in engineering/compsci were MIT, CalTech, and so on. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

The Software Engineering department, via which the course is offered, has a strong faculty from functional programming and formal methods perspective. There are some interesting names here: https://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/people/faculty.html

However, from a prestige point of view, the parent university is sufficiently lofty that it's hard to go wrong; similarly, Judge is a questionable business school, but telling people you went to Cambridge will open any doors that need opening.

Very interesting names indeed.

Some notable ones:

- Tim Berners-Lee

- C. A. R. Hoare

Tim Berners-Lee? Wow, I am happily corrected.

Idk about Oxford but Cambridge is top notch. In high-assurance security, the CHERI work is one of the best:


A quick Google of verification work (decent test of skill) shows Oxford doing CBMC for C language (significant), a compiler for security protocols, automatic verification of firmware for Intel, work on CSP for concurrency, and contributions to Cadence Jasper for ASIC verification. So, they're not doing the best work but they're not sitting on their hands either.

> a reasonably well-known university

lol! That's sarcasm, right? :P

Its all about scale, people. Harvard would be 'well known'. Everyone knows Harvard the world over with little exceptions.

Harvey Mudd? One of the best schools in the country, probably one of the top 100 hundred in the world. I would wouldn't say its well known. However, its reasonably known within the community of grads it puts out: Engineering, Science, Computer Science. Hence...reasonably well-known.

Like a litmus test of sorts, maybe.

They're not linguistically congruent. I swear!

> Hence...reasonably well-known.

It's nearly 1,000 years old. It's extremely well known, regardless of the field or context.

It has 680 years on your country, young pup :)

It's a British statement free from all sarcasm.

"Reasonably well-known university" XD

I'm aware. I live in London. I just found the idea of calling Oxford, an almost thousand-year-old university "reasonably well know" absolutely hilarious!

I admit two things here.

1) Deep ignorance of British Cultural and Educational institutions. I honestly didn't equate this with "University of London is world class, you idiot" type thinking. I don't know why, I think it comes from the fact that some universities want to seem more legit, at least in the US, will attempt to sort of use a well known universities naming scheme. Like [American University](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_University) which is has a solid reputation as a learning institution and [American Public University](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Public_University_Sys...) which for all I can tell, attempts to ride the back of the name of American University, but is not exactly known for its quality of education.

2) Given that, I felt uncomfortable even given some research poking around I was doing stating anything too affirmatively.

And in the top 500 in World Rankings too!

Are you asking if a degree conferred by the University of London is more recognisable than one from a place like DeVry? Yes - colleges of the University of London are frequently in the top ten of all universities in the world.

The degree you get is the same one you would get offline from the University of London - in fact, you can transfer to the final year of the offline degree if you're willing to pay the (much higher) tuition costs. That suggests that the curriculum and marking standards are the same, in fact I believe that the exams themselves are actually the same as the in-person exams.


I think they're asking more like what's the difference between this degree (which is remote) and an "actual" degree in UoL where you attend normally and physically as a student. That's also my question.

However, LSoE is not the same as Goldsmiths, which is the college mentioned here. London colleges are generally good but there is quite a lot of variance - between "great" and "the very best".

I'll take great. I'm okay with that.

even 3500 USD is a steal for something like that.

I wonder if the cost is so low because they don't get any grants/subsidies from anything other than the UK government, so this is pretty much pure profit from a administrative perspective?

I think the cost is so low because they are providing the absolute minimum in terms of a degree - curriculum, and marking of assessments and exams. In fact, you even pay for them separately, so you can pay some amount ($800?) In September to register for the year on 4 courses (which is full time, equivalent to 30 semester units in the US), and get access to the whole curriculum. Then you can decide by Feb the following year which exams you want to do, and only pay for the ones you want to do that year, which is around $300 per exam. You are mostly self taught, though there are some online forums with teaching staff available to answer questions.

I'm kind of skeptical about the total cost, I've been looking at the fees section of the course's website (http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/g...) and it looks it's upwards to $7000 per annum for the BSc, or I'm missing something.

I believe thats total cost of degree, if I'm reading this right, when converted, is 6921 USD (or 7K). Which works out to less than 2500 a year (which is what I was working on). I figure, if you start count some additional unexpected expenses somewhere, 2500 is reasonable. Still a steal. From what it sounds like and upon doing more research, is a all around solid uni. I wonder too if its too good to be true myself. Haven't found evidence to the contrary yet. I WOULD LOVE some input from anyone who actually studied this, hopefully from the USA? though any input is good.

No, it really is around $7000 for the whole thing! It used to be more like $7500, but the british pound dropped after Brexit :) I live in the SF Bay area, and I am doing the BS in Computing and Information Systems. My daughter is doing the Creative Computing BS, while working full-time as a software engineer in SF - she actually got a transfer place at UCLA to study math a few years ago, but decided she'd rather learn while working, and this lets her do that. Happy to answer any questions, here or by PM.

Wow then it is actually extremely interesting.

My main question is about time, if you don't mind answering. The website estimates about 250 hours per course, looks like about 4 courses per year for the first two years, that would amount to about 4 hours of study per day (weekends included) per season (about 9 months), how accurate is this? In short, how much time do you devote on the program?

Also, how are exams conducted? Does one have to be physically present?

I would say that if you're doing the University of London BS full-time (4 courese), it's completely equivalent in terms of time required to full-time study in the US. So I think that's about the right order of magnitude. There are exam centers all over the place, even Wyoming has two! You only have to go there for the exams in May. There is a link below with this year's exam schedule for the CS exams, just to get an idea of the timings.



You can study from 3 to 8 years depending on how much free time you have. There are only three deadlines each year - two for coursework assignments and one for exams. It takes me at most 5 days of study per course before each coursework and before an exam, so 15 days of study per course. You can take up to 4 full or up to 6 half courses per year.

The university of london international programme (used to be called the external programme) has been around for more than 100 years, these are some of the alumni (not in CS though!) http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/our-global-reputation/o...

Extremely interesting. How much time do you need to devote for a successful completion in 3 years per your experience? Is there any way to advance faster?

Edit: The website estimates about 250 hours for each course, at four courses per year, that's 1000 hours per nine months, it looks like the estimate is at least 4 hours of study per day (weekends included) for the duration of the course (about 9 months). How accurate is this?

Also, do you have to be physically present for the exams?

You can study from 3 to 8 years depending on how much free time you have. There are only three deadlines each year - two for coursework assignments and one for exams. It takes me at most 5 days of study per course before each coursework and before an exam, so 15 days of study per course. You can take up to 4 full or up to 6 half courses per year.

And yes, you have to be physically present at an exam, but not necessary in London - there are examination centres all over the world.

I think that's probably correct. 4 courses per year is equivalent to 30 semester units in the US (2 semesters of 15 units each). You can't do it in less than 3 years, due to the university rules which won't let you take more than 4 courses per year.

Current BSc Computing and Information Systems student here. Program structure, flexibility and exam structure are really great. But there were some truly horrific quality control and student support issues, so cannot advise this program to others. I would switch to another program in a moment, but I am already in the last year.

There is also a similar offering from Georgia Tech: https://www.omscs.gatech.edu/home

Just curious -- where do you live? UK? US? Other?

btw, this is the link to the various course guides (has the table of contents and the first one or two chapters for each). Some of the material is a little outdated (e.g Computer organization and architecture doesn't cover flash memory), but I feel like it's pretty easy self-study the little bit of more recent technology that they might not have included yet.

Final year includes "artificial intelligence", "natural language processing" and "neural networks". Haven't got there yet, so can't comment on the material covered. Also, it's worth noting that UK degrees follow a different pattern from the US, each year the mnaterial gets increasingly hard, and also gets weighted higher in terms of the final grade. So an A in a final year course is worth much more than an A in a first year course, which sort of makes sense to me.


Yeah, I did my exams last year at Daly City library, and this year I'll be going to San Jose State university to do them.


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