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LIBF blog | Study guide Computer Science Degree

31 January 2024

8 minute read

Unlocking the world of computing

Student studying computer science degree after following the study guide.

Are you fascinated by the digital world and the boundless potential it holds? Do you want to be at the forefront of technological advancements?

In this comprehensive study guide, discover the world of computing studies, explore different specialisations, typical entry requirements, and the exciting career opportunities that await you.

What is computer science?

Computer science involves designing, developing, and analysing software and hardware systems. Its role is crucial in advancing technology, creating innovative products, analysing data, and ensuring the security and efficiency of computer systems.

From artificial intelligence to cybersecurity, computer science has many applications and is integral to various industries – including tech, finance, healthcare, telecommunications, research, government, and defence. Creative industries like entertainment, gaming, media, and advertising also rely on computer scientists to design virtual worlds, develop interactive experiences, improve graphics algorithms, and enhance content distribution.

What kind of computer science degrees are there?

Here are the two common types of higher education computing courses:


An undergraduate course provides a solid foundation in key principles, programming languages, and software development.

Online BSc Computer Science: full details


A postgraduate course often lets you specialise in specific areas of interest, such as machine learning, or software engineering.

MSc Computer Science: full details

Computer science course subjects

The role of a computer scientist involves studying and analysing computational systems, developing innovative solutions, designing new technologies, and solving complex problems across various industries. With such wide-ranging responsibilities, your course could cover a wide range of subjects, for example:

What can you do with a computer science degree?

With technology being an integral part of nearly every industry, there is a high demand for skilled computing experts. Here are some potential career paths:

Female software engineer studying a computer science degree online at home.

Software engineer/developer

You will be responsible for designing, developing, and testing applications and systems as a software engineer or developer. You will work with Java, C++, Python, or JavaScript to create efficient, user-friendly solutions.

Whether you're developing mobile apps, web applications, or complex systems, your problem-solving skills and attention to detail will be crucial to ensure your software's smooth functioning and usability.

Cyber security analyst

The growing threat of cyber-attacks and data breaches has made computer security a critical concern for organisations worldwide.

As a cybersecurity analyst, you will identify vulnerabilities, implement security measures, and defend against cyber threats. Your role may involve monitoring network traffic, implementing firewalls and intrusion prevention systems, conducting risk assessments, and educating employees about best security practices.

Artificial intelligence engineer studying a computer science degree online at home.

Artificial intelligence engineer

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionising industries, and AI engineers are at the forefront of this innovation, designing and implementing machine learning algorithms, natural language processing systems, or computer vision technologies.

You could even contribute to the creation of autonomous vehicles, smart assistants, medical diagnosis systems, and various other AI-powered applications.

Web developer

In the digital age, web development is a sought-after skill. You will design, build, and maintain websites and web applications as a web developer.

To create visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces, you will use front-end technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Additionally, you may use back-end technologies like PHP, Ruby, or Python to handle server-side logic and database integration, often working with designers and other stakeholders to bring concepts to life and create seamless online experiences.

IT project manager studying a computer science degree.

IT project manager

IT project managers plan and execute technology projects within organisations. They coordinate resources, manage budgets, and ensure that projects are delivered on time and within scope.

You'll be able to bridge the gap between technical teams and stakeholders through effective communication, leadership, and problem-solving.

Data scientist

In the era of big data, data scientists play a vital role in various industries. They analyse and interpret complex data sets to extract valuable insights and support data-driven decision-making.

With machine learning, statistics, and programming expertise, you'll use techniques and algorithms to uncover patterns, trends, and correlations in the data, ultimately helping companies make strategic decisions and drive business growth.

Computer science salary expectations

Average salaries depend on factors such as employers, experience, location, and industry.

According to Glassdoor, computer science graduates in the UK earn an average salary* of £35,864. However, as you gain more experience and move into specialist roles, this is likely to increase: uk.indeed.com records the average annual salary for a software engineer role in the UK as £50,214, while the average salary for a computer scientist is £54,924.

*Salary information correct as of January 2024.

Is a computer science degree worth it?

In today's tech-driven world, computer science is at the core of innovation and advancement across numerous industries and opens up exciting opportunities. You could work with cutting-edge technologies, contribute to ground breaking research, develop innovative applications, or even become an entrepreneur and create your own tech start up.

Studying computer science also fosters your creativity, encouraging you to solve complex problems with imaginative and out-of-the-box solutions. It provides a platform to shape the future, bring ideas to life, and positively impact society.

Typical entry requirements

Specific course entry requirements will vary according to course level and degree provider. At LIBF, our entry requirements cater to home and international students from diverse educational backgrounds, ensuring that nothing is out of your reach.

Here are the general qualifications that are typically required for a degree course in the UK. International students may also have to show proof of English language proficiency.

Previous study

Most degrees require applicants to have A-levels or International Baccalaureate (IB) qualifications when applying for an undergraduate course. Postgraduate students should hold a previous undergraduate degree in a related subject.

Maths skills

Computer science relies on mathematical concepts and logical reasoning. You may be asked to show a minimum level of achievement in mathematics or a computer-related subject, such as A Level mathematics.

Relevant experience

Work experience or involvement in relevant projects can enhance your application as it demonstrates the practical application of your technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and a proactive learning approach.

How to prepare for a computer science degree

Preparing for your studies can help set you up for success in your academic journey. Here are some steps to take to ensure you're ready for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead:

Develop a strong mathematical foundation

Familiarise yourself with concepts like algebra, calculus, and discrete mathematics. Strengthening your mathematical foundation will help you understand complex algorithms and problem-solving.

Learn programming basics

Familiarise yourself with programming languages like Python or Java Learning programming concepts like variables, loops, and functions will give you a head start once you become a student.

Coding projects and hackathons

Put your programming into practice by participating in coding projects and hackathons. You'll collaborate with others, solve real-world problems, and apply your coding knowledge to practical scenarios.

Stay up-to-date with trends

Follow relevant blogs, attend webinars, and join online communities to connect with fellow students and professionals. Regularly engaging with the tech community will help you stay ahead of the curve.

Why study with LIBF

Cyber security analyst studying a computer science degree online at home.

At LIBF, we believe in personal progress and preparation for the modern world of work. When you study online with us, you can fit learning around your lifestyle, ensuring you can progress at your own pace while developing the skills and expertise to confidently take the next step in the dynamic field of computer science. Join us and unlock your potential today.

At LIBF, we offer flexible and accessible computer science degrees designed to empower our students. Whether you're a new computing student or an experienced professional, we have the right course for you.

Online BSc Computer Science
MSc Computer Science
LIBF has been great. Tutor support is amazing and don’t even get me started on the study materials. 11/10, couldn’t have asked for a better experience. You can tell the tutors and student support, etc, really want you to succeed. Really couldn’t have wished for a better experience, I’ve had my expectations blown out of the water. LIBF is the way to go!
Headshot of Rachel Davey, LIBF online degree student.

Rachel D

BSc (Hons) Computer Science

FAQs about studying for a computer science degree

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