If you’ve read What It’s Like Studying Computer Science at MQ Uni and now you’re searching for a real student’s real opinion of the course, look no further because you’ve come to the perfect place!
We were lucky to score a conversation with Christy, a second year Computer Science student, who gave us the run-down of the experience, content and culture at Macquarie Uni.
If you’re keen on hearing the pros and cons, the good and the bad and the ins and outs of studying Computer Science at Macquarie, then keep on scrolling!
Why should you study a Computer Science degree at MQ Uni?
“It’s fun! That’s really it. I mean in this day and age, Computer Science and the IT industry are kind of booming so there’s no real downside. It’s actually just a really fun degree to study. There’s not any written essays and stuff like that so it’s very practical — that’s why I enjoy it so much,” Christy shared.
A Bachelor of Science with a Specialisation in Computing is an undergraduate degree offered by Macquarie Uni that gives students the chance to focus on computing and IT within a broad science degree.
As a student in this degree, you’ll develop theoretical and practical skills in science, computing, mathematics and information technology (IT). You’ll gain highly sought after proficiency in designing, analysing, creating and evaluating a range of technologies!
Top 3 Pros of a Computer Science degree
#1: Logic-based content
One aspect of the course that Christy enjoys the most is the logic-based material. There’s no way around a correct answer — you’re either right or wrong, and Christy loves it.
“Because it’s Computer Science, it’s very straightforward — there’s a question and an answer. You’re always trying to figure something out and there’s a bunch of different ways to do it but if it’s wrong, it’s wrong,” Christy said.
Christy added, “I feel like it’s kind of like maths in that way. It’s just logic based. Everything about programming is fun. They give you the option to do a bunch of different things as well.”
If numbers come most naturally to you, or maybe you find arts and humanities-based subjects difficult because there are always multiple answers or standpoints, Computer Science may be for you!
#2: Passionate tutors and engaging content
Christy also noted that most of Macquarie’s teachers are super passionate about the subjects they teach and are always willing to discuss the content and just generally help students out. Typically, when the tutors are dedicated, the lessons are great too!
Christy explained that because the tutors enjoyed the material, it was translated into engaging classes.
While a lot of Macquarie’s staff are passionate about the subjects they teach, not all classes can feel as engaging.
Christy admitted, “I definitely can’t say the same for every class I did but typically in Database classes, they were great! There have been good tutorials but there’ve also been pretty bad ones as well.”
#3: Broad material
“As well as that, the classes are quite general. I don’t think it’s too difficult or too hard or too easy. It’s mostly if you know how to program it’s kind of just getting extra information and meeting new people,” Christy said.
If you’re already keen on the realm of technologies and Computer Science then this course could be perfect for you. You’ll get to develop your knowledge in a broad array of topics and, as Christy mentioned, you get to make friends while you’re at it! What could be better?
#4: Bonus Round — the Metro is really cool
Christy reminded us of the fast, accessible and just kind of cool Metro line that you’ve got if you’re commuting to Macquarie. While this doesn’t say much about the actual uni, we thought it was still an important point to make.
Top 3 Cons of a Computer Science degree
#1: Repetitive lectures
While most of the Computer Science subjects Christy took were engaging and interactive, we were told that often the lectures felt a bit distant and difficult to follow.
“That is a bit of a con as well — the fact that we study online, that’s just kind of difficult sometimes. A lot of the subjects just get repeated. We have lectures that are pre-recorded from last year and are just played back,” Christy said
“It just doesn’t feel as interactive as it could,” Christy added.
While this has been a weird past year, and tutors have had to find ways to adapt as well, Christy wasn’t always extremely pleased with the online content, especially lectures.
#2: Cutting staff
Similar to a lot of Australian universities, Macquarie Uni has had to face some pretty extreme funding cuts to the uni’s budget and their casual hiring budget.
Christy told us that even as a student, the impact to classes, tutors, admin and lecturers has been noticeable. She recalled always having to check to make sure classes weren’t being removed or altered.
Christy explained, “I feel like for the most part, with COVID, they’ve been cutting a lot of staff in general in courses and stuff so you have to keep a lookout on who they’re cutting next.”
These funding cuts have had a lot to do with the lack of international students studying in Australia due to the COVID-19 risks.
#3: Online study
Similar to a lot of us having to adapt to online work and study, Christy said that she struggled to stay engaged as the classes shifted online.
Still, Christy has been able to find some positives in the situation because she was able to continue working.
“I can work a lot more outside of uni and make money as I’m studying because I’ve been studying mostly online,” Christy said.
“Not particularly to be honest,” Christy said.
Christy told us that she’s always been interested in programming and IT so she’s always known that it’s what she wants to do. After studying Game Design in the past, she’s come back to polish up on her studies.
What do you wish you had known before starting MQ Computer Science?
Christy’s advice for students considering studying at Macquarie is to really take the initiative to find out about the different courses on offer before uni starts. Macquarie offers quite a few different IT-based courses so it can often be tricky to find out the difference between them.
Christy explained, “Macquarie’s got Computer Science degrees and also a Bachelor of IT. It’s kind of hard to get answers about the actual courses from the uni itself. But I feel like I kind of made my own way through it so it hasn’t been too bad.”
Other IT-based courses that Macquarie has on offer include:
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
We actually have the perfect candidate to answer this question because before studying at Macquarie, Christy spent some time as a student at UNSW.
While it’s important to note that everyone’s uni experience is different, this is what Christy had to say:
“I went to UNSW before and it felt terrible in comparison. Macquarie is just really easy to get to and everywhere on the campus feels like it’s actually internal — you’re not just on the street or 10,000km away from any public transport. It’s just a nice place to go to.”
The 10,000km is a slight exaggeration. But we do agree that Macquarie has a pretty cool metro line rather close by — have we mentioned that yet?
Christy added, “From my experience at UNSW, Macquarie’s a little bit more accessible. It seems more responsive and interactive than other unis.”
What inspired you to choose MQ Computer Science?
Christy told us that she’s always been interested in Computing and finds a lot of enjoyment from completing different programming tasks.
“My mind just kind of gets a lot of satisfaction out of doing programming because it’s kind of like when you get stuck on something for a while and you finally get it, it’s a really good pay out,” Christy said.
Christy added, “It’s just a logical thing. You get a lot out of learning programming and web design and the general mechanics of design — you get a lot out of actually being able to do that. It’s kind of like carpentry but on a computer. I get to make whatever I want.”
Christy has had a pretty long history with programming and computing.
“I’ve just been interested in and been doing programming for a while. I also did game programming in the past, I went to do computer science in the past as well and then dropped out to do full-time work for a while so this is kind of going back to what I already did and know about. So now I’m finishing it off,” Christy said.
What are the possible career paths?
As a graduate from Macquarie’s Bachelor of Science with a specialisation in Computing course, you’ll be set with the skills to score a position all over the IT world. Maybe you’d be interested in game design, web development or database administration!
Whatever it is, a degree at Macquarie is designed to equip you with the in-demand professional skills!
A defining characteristic of most degrees at Macquarie Uni is their PACE initiative. PACE is an opportunity offered to undergraduate students to undertake relevant work experience in local, regional and international organisations. You’ll get to expand your network, gain real-life experience and it’ll look great on a resume!
Gemma Billington is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and an undergraduate student at the University of Technology Sydney. While studying Journalism and Social and Political Sciences, Gemma enjoys spending her time at the gym or reading about Britain’s medieval monarchy – ideally not at the same time. She currently creates and administers social media posts for Central News and writes for the student publication, The Comma. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to study a Masters of Medieval History and is very excited about the prospect!