Don't just take our word for it – here's what students say about what it's like to study at Kingston University.
Name: Richard Mullins
Course: BSc(Hons) Computer Science (4 year sandwich)
Level: 3rd year – on industrial placement with Sun Microsystems UK
Route to university: A-levels
Accommodation: Living with parents
"I decided to study at Kingston University because it has a good record on teaching quality and high-level facilities. It also offered a variety of computer-related degree subjects.
"I chose Computer Science because it covered areas such as networking, digital imaging and databases, which I had a real interest in. I really wanted to do a degree that focused on networking. So I liked the fact that Kingston allowed me to tailor my modules towards subjects I wanted to learn more about.
"So far I've enjoyed increasing my knowledge of computer science. I've liked the use of practical lab work and workshops during the modules. It makes study more varied and allows you to see the subject theory in action. The lecturers are approachable and will help with any problems. They provide you with a clear understanding of what they are teaching. Another good thing about Kingston is the social aspect – you make a whole new group of friends.
"I wanted to do the year's industrial placement for the experience of working at an IT-based company, being in a team environment, carrying out IT-related duties and putting the skills I had learnt on the course into practice.
"I got the job at Sun Microsystems through the University's Industrial Placements Office. It has extensive contacts with IT companies, so there was a big list of jobs to choose from. The support that I received from Kingston during the application process was invaluable. I got help constructing a professional CV, was notified of potential jobs and was able to seek advice on all stages of the recruitment process.
"My position is a WWTS web technologist in Global eServices Support. A lot of subject areas are covered on the Computer Science course, so I had the expertise to carry out a variety of tasks during my placement. My main project has been to re-design the department website, to make it more organised and professional. The environment at Sun is very flexible. Placement students have the opportunity to get as much as they can out of the experience. The work has been really enjoyable. It has developed my skills and I have gained the benefit of working at one of the IT sector's biggest companies.
"When I started at Kingston, my main ambition was to get a job in the networking sector. Doing the placement has given me a new appreciation of web development. This has made me think about a change in career direction. But, whatever I decide, I am really glad that I did the work placement year. It has enhanced my skills and made me much more confident about looking for an IT job."
Name: William Ng
Course: BSc(Hons) Computer Science (sandwich course)
Level: Completed 4 year
Route to University: A-levels
Accommodation: University accommodation first year, then privately rented flats shared with friends
William has finished his final year and accepted a job working for global technology specialist company, Accenture Technology Solutions. His ambition is to climb the career ladder at Accenture and eventually start his own business.
"I chose to come to Kingston because I went to an open day and loved the location – right next to a river and 30 minutes from London. The teaching staff were really friendly, so I thought it would be a great place to be. I've since found out that the nightlife in Kingston is brilliant. There's also lots to do at the University. I played hockey for the first year. This year I joined the Kingston Chinese Association.
"I hadn't actually done a computing course at school, but I found the knowledge I had acquired was adequate to keep up at Level 1. The lecturers are easy to contact and keen to help you. I enjoyed the group course projects where we worked in teams to provide a solution for a client. That really gelled; you saw how people interact with each other.
"In the second year I went to the States on an exchange programme for a semester. It was a bit nerve-racking at the start. But I made some really good friends and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was a great opportunity to see another culture and meet people in a different environment.
"The year's placement was also a major highlight of the course. I wanted to do it because there are so many graduates with good degrees. You need to separate yourself from the competition. The University's Placement Office was very helpful. I had a few rejections, but the staff encouraged me to keep trying and eventually I got a job I really wanted at a company called ReportLab.
"On the placement, I did all-round support work - providing solutions for customers, web interface and networking. It was a small company, so they gave me lots of opportunities. They even sent me on two business trips, one in Philadelphia and one in Amsterdam. I learnt a lot from this. I used to be shy, but after the overseas conferences I was able to just go up to people and explain things.
"The placement team were also instrumental in my search for a graduate job. I first applied to Accenture online but didn't get an interview because my A-level results didn't meet the company's requirements. The Placement Office has worked with Accenture for several years and kindly offered to speak to a member of the recruitment team on my behalf.
"Because of this, Accenture reconsidered my application and decided to see me. Then, at the interview, I was able to bring in all the things that I had done on the course and put into practice at ReportLab. I think that my ability to link these aspects were what clinched it for me!"
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