Are you interested in studying WSU Computer Science?
Well, we’re about to talk a little bit on what you can expect from this particular degree!
Keep reading to find out what sorts of majors you can take, the course culture and skills you’ll gain from studying Computer Science at WSU.
What is a Bachelor of Computer Science at WSU?
Computer Science at WSU involves the study of a range of different areas, including cyber security, systems programming and networking. You develop knowledge in areas of programming language and algorithms.
If you choose to take on this three year undergraduate course, you may find yourself studying at the Penrith campus, but you also have the opportunity to study at the Parramatta campus.
“The Penrith campus has one of the nicest libraries compared to all the other WSU campuses, it has good laboratories and equipment.” — Megh Parmar
While WSU no longer offers an Honours pathway for this degree, if you’d like to challenge yourself further, you may enrol in a Bachelor of Computer Science (Advanced)! To have your application considered for this version of the degree, you will need to achieve an ATAR of 95.
There are perks to undertaking this challenging program, such as being enrolled into The Academy which fosters the development of students’ leadership skills through various programs and internship opportunities. You’ll also have access to a mentoring program which allows you to participate in research activities — though keep in mind that you’ll need to maintain a GPA of 5 or above to stay in the course.
The career paths available to a student who completes a Bachelor of Computer Science varies depending on what major you undertake. However, in a more general sense, Computer Science opens doors to occupations such as:
- Cyber security system operator
- Software developer
- System programmer
- Software engineer
- Network developer
- Gaming programer
- Web system developer
You can find out more about the majors available in Computer Science at WSU in the following section below!
Core Units and Majors
What are the Core Units?
In your first year of Computer Science at WSU you can expect to take a lot of foundational subjects that give you a feel for the many areas of Computer Science.
Some of the subjects you take in first year, such as Discrete Mathematics (200025), Programming Fundamentals (300580) and Computer Organisation (300096), provide you with a general introduction to certain concepts, theories and programs.
Your first year will consist of 8 core subjects, whereas the second year gives you the space for one elective per semester. The final year of the degree includes 4 electives, so the flexibility increases as the course progresses.
“I feel that Computer Science is a great degree because it gives you a taste of everything, with computer development, networking, theoretics and project-based work.” — Megh Parmar
Which Majors can you choose from?
There are 4 majors available in a Bachelor of Computer Science at WSU:
|Systems Programming||A major in software and application development, and opens the gates for a job in project management, database management and administration.|
|Cyber Security||With our world becoming increasingly online, cyber security is growing in demand and significance. Cyber security focuses on protection for different computer programs and companies.|
|Networked Systems||Deals with softwares, cabling and commands that are needed to connect the router with providers.|
|Artificial Intelligence||Purely based on algorithms and data structures, and has a booming relevance in the industry today.|
There are no formal internships that are conducted by WSU for Computer Science.
“After finishing the degree you have to approach the companies by yourself which is a bit of a drawback, but at the same time it enables you to figure things out yourself.” — Megh Parmar
However, you can take a Professional Experience unit towards the end of the degree which involves project development under the guidance of a mentor. Professional Experience is designed to provide students with a more practical and applicational focus of study, however it does not equate to an internship or work placement experience.
How to Get into a Bachelor of Computer Science at WSU
The guaranteed entry for a Bachelor of Computer Science at WSU is an ATAR of 85. Though if you are unable to secure this ATAR, don’t worry — there are other ways to be admitted into the degree.
WSU provides a range of application pathways other than the ATAR, including bonus points, the HSC True Reward scheme and opportunities through the College.
You can find out more about these application pathways here!
There are no prerequisite subjects for Computer Science at WSU, however Mathematics Advanced is considered assumed knowledge for this course. If you haven’t studied this subject for your HSC, keep in mind that content will be taught at a level where it is assumed that you have an understanding of the concepts taught in Mathematics Advanced.
As for scholarships, there are a range of scholarships within the WSU School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics.
The AutoCraze Future Leaders Scholarship is a $1000 fund towards your studies alongside a 3 month internship! You can read more about the AutoCraze Future Leaders Scholarship here.
The Australian Sugar Industry Scholarship provides a position for a 12 week work placement, giving you great experience in the industry through paid work. Find out more about The Australian Sugar Industry Scholarship here!
What’s the Teaching Format?
WSU operates on a semester format with most students on a full-time load taking 4 subjects a semester, totalling to 8 subjects a year. Each semester will consist of lectures, tutorials and sometimes practicals for the different subjects you’ll take.
Within lectures, you’ll be taught different theoretical concepts and skills by a lecturer aided by a powerpoint presentation. They often go for 2 hours and since Computer Science has a much smaller cohort, there are usually only 40 to 50 students attending.
Now, within tutes, activities are based on content from the lectures and you may have the opportunity to work on assessments — could be exam prep or assignments that need to be handed in. Usually there’ll be 20 to 25 students in attendance and these classes can also run for 2 hours.
Pracs are mainly held for networking subjects, where you’ll learn router cabling skills alongside working with switches and connections — there aren’t any practical classes for programming units. These classes will typically have 20 students attending and can also go for 2 hours.
How much time do you spend on campus?
With Computer Science at WSU you can expect to have about 16 contact hours a week. The total workload is calculated at 40 hours a week, the remaining 24 hours being the time spent on assessments and study.
What are the assessments like?
Speaking of assessments, you can expect a rage of formats in Computer Science at WSU. Depending on the subject you may have smaller quizzes, individual assignments, group projects and exams.
The networking and cyber security side of the course is considered to involve a lot of memorisation or rules, ethics and regulations in the field.
Contrastingly, the software development aspect of Computer Science at WSU is more about knowing concepts and how to apply them. Once you’re familiar with a concept, you’ll be able to apply it to a range of situations rather than having to memorise content.
Skills That You Develop
Being a particularly diverse degree, you gain a wide range of skills in Computer Science at WSU.
|Time management||Being a considerably demanding degree, studying computer science requires you to develop the adequate time management skills to juggle between classes, studying for assessments and completing assignments.|
|Coding||You gain skills in various coding languages from HTML to C, and many more!|
|Software programming||You develop skills in hardware development and systems programming where you’ll be able to write with high level programming languages.|
|Cabling and routing||You’ll learn skills in computer networking, network management, security, ethernet fundamentals and routing.|
|Collaboration||As there are a few group projects in this course, you improve your skills in collaborating with group members, which reflects the nature of the workforce and computer science industry.|
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?
Computer Science at WSU has a considerably smaller cohort compared to other degrees, however the course culture is described as a really helpful, friendly and collaborative environment.
“My course was really diverse — we had students from so many different countries, and we all mixed well together. There were no issues communicating with others. Even though some projects were individual we’d still share contacts and help each other out.” — Megh Parmar
Mentoring Program and Support
WSU holds a MATES mentoring program which provides peer to peer support from more senior students at the university.
The Western Sydney Mentoring Program is also available to WSU students which connects you to mentors from other disciplines, providing you with networking and first-hand experience opportunities.
There is also the Western Sydney University – Computer, Data and Mathematical Sciences Facebook page which provides a number of helpful updates and resources for students.
So there you have it! Hopefully now you’ve got the general gist of what it’s like to study Computer Science at WSU, and have a better understanding of what you can expect!
Nandini Dhir is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Marketing) and a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications), as a Dalyell Scholar, at Sydney University. She enjoys covering local issues in her area and writing about current events in the media. Nandini has had one of her pieces published in an article with the Sydney Morning Herald. In her free time, Nandini loves doing calligraphy, ballet, and sewing, or is otherwise found coddling her cats.