Looking back, when I was doing my A Levels at school, I had no idea what I wanted to study at University or where for that matter! My first idea was Pharmacy as I was working in my local Lloyds Pharmacy at the time and found the job interesting and also full of prospects. However after visiting a university in Kent for Pharmacy, I found that it wasn't the degree for me and had to re-think my plans for after A Levels.
I really enjoyed my Business Studies GCSE and A Level so I found that following this path was my best choice, especially as I had a previous knowledge in that area. However I didn't want to continue with straight Business Studies, so I looked into joint honours degrees with Business being the major subject. I really liked Kingston on paper having received their prospectus and looking at their website, I found that their Business with Law degree seemed perfect for me and was exactly what I was looking for. I could continue studying a subject I already enjoyed, as well as learning a new subject which was Law. Having decided to apply, I attended the applicants Open Day at Kingston Hill campus where the Business degrees are based. I instantly felt comfortable at Kingston; the campus was quiet and a nice place to study, as well as everyone being so helpful and friendly. I gave Kingston my firm choice straight away as I knew I would be happiest here compared to the other universities that I visited. Also the location was perfect as it meant I could travel home easily, and at short-notice, as I only live about 30 minutes on the train north of London.
In the last year Kingston has helped me grow as a person and develop the skills and knowledge I need for when I graduate in 2014. I would highly recommend the Kingston Business School as all the staff are really helpful and I have found that I can approach them without feeling silly! They always make sure we get the best results as they try to make the subjects as interesting as possible. The use of group coursework used in the majority of the modules has greatly increased my confidence when talking to people, as well as my organisation and group working skills which are all necessary for after university.
In general Kingston is a great university town with a large variety of shops, from the big high-street chains like John Lewis to the more independent shops; there is something for everyone. Also there is a wealth for nightclubs, pubs and bars throughout Kingston town, so again there is something to suit everyone's tastes. Whether you're looking for a good night out partying the night away in Oceana or a quiet pub for a nice drink after getting a great mark on some group coursework; there is always somewhere to go!
I would definitely recommend Kingston to anyone, as it is a brilliant university for a range of subjects, as well as a great place to grow as a person in the 3 or 4 (possibly more) years that you could be here.
Posted 15 Feb 2013 by Ava
The Student Ambassador scheme is something I am really proud to be part of. Not only does it help out financially but it provides us with so many different work experiences, which is useful for populating our CVs. However, in recent months I have been conscious that I have not been able to participate in as many job opportunities as I would have liked. Of course there are several valid reasons for this including assignments, ill health etc. In an ideal world I would apply for most job opportunities, but it's been a bit of a difficult year voice-wise for me. Although I am much recovered my vocal chords are still not back with a vengeance, so to speak, and the very thought of losing my voice again, before it is fully returned, quite frankly fills me with dread (although the chaps at home would no doubt be pleased!).
I still nevertheless feel a sense of guilt at not having participated in more opportunities with the Ambassador scheme - although the blog has continued and in fact that has kept me sane! In addition, like most students, I am trying to find more permanent work where I can make use of all the invaluable skills I have learnt, and continue to learn, from my studies and from being a SA. But this is no mean feat; applications take hours to complete, eating into valuable time (that could be spent working as a SA), yet despite this do not guarantee an interview.
It's becoming a bit of a vicious circle here. Without regular paid work my studies will probably have to end, and the months pass quicker and quicker, or so it seems. It is not much fun having the constant thought of being half way through a part-time Masters course with the distinct possibility of not being able to finish. You don't always think at the time of embarking on such a course of any change in financial circumstances particularly when you are part-time but personal circumstances can suddenly change. One minute your studies are going well, then suddenly everything goes pear-shaped; to top it off you have a daughter at university who needs more support financially than you had calculated. The realisation that you may have to give up something you truly love becomes quite a sobering thought. So for those contemplating postgraduate studies ensure you have the financial support you need because as I am now finding it's a nasty shock when you don't!
So how did I end up with the course Information Systems out of over a potential 50,000 course combinations and permutations? What exactly is Information Systems? What does it consist of? All these questions I will try to address in this blog.
My initial course that I choose was Statistics and Strategic Innovation. However at the start of this year I decided that I would change courses; I had a long hard thought about it and came to the conclusion that as much as I loved my previous course Statistics and Strategic Innovation, there were parts of it that I absolutely hated and really struggled with. I choose to major in Statistics as I love data, probability and that side of maths, but in the second year I encountered a couple of pure mathematics modules that were the hardest classes I have ever taken (I didn't do A level Maths only A level Statistics). I have never ever failed a class or even a test in my life and in one of these maths classes I got 2% when you need 40% to pass a module. I always get well above the pass 40% rate but the 2% I scored was so low and it was such a disappointment to me as I tried more in that one module than all my other 3 that semester combined, which I all passed.
Anyway so why did I choose Information Systems?
Well I could only switch on to an IT based course as I had already studied some of the same/similar modules as those degree paths. I almost choose Computer Science however I wanted to do Information Systems as it focusses more on actual systems out there in the business world whereas Computer Science has a greater emphasis on programming of which I can not do. It's really important if you are thinking about a Computing degree to compare and have a look at the various modules you will be studying and what the course consists of and where it can take you once completed. Here is a link for a list of all the Computing courses that we do here at Kingston University from Games Technology to Web Development. http://www.kingston.ac.uk/courses/find-a-course/undergraduate-2013/subject-areas/341-computing/
I would advise you to have a look at the various different degrees and compare them and most importantly see what is right for you.
What does Information Systems consist of?
I did a different programmes for my first year but from what I am aware about there are some programming modules, some business modules and some foundation IT modules to give you a foundation. Just to point out generally you can usually switch to another computing degree within the first year as the first year is similar across most of the computing degree fields. The second year modules I've done are: databases, networking, information project management, a few business modules, programming, and a team project design module. I like the fact that we have option modules and can choose modules that we find interesting, although a few of the modules are core. In the final year I will again choose some modules and choose a dissertation for my final year project.
What's it like here?
Information Systems is great at Kingston University because the lecturers are really helpful and always are willing to help and give feedback when ever you need it. The biggest difference from my previous course Statistics to Information Systems is that classes are more personalised and your lecturers will generally know you face to face as there is a lot of practical work. I find that the modules are taught really well with a mixture of lectures, tutorials and practical lab sessions. Some of our classes are even recorded and shown on the live stream site which you can watch live at home in bed or at a later time! Sometimes we can even tweet questions from home and get responses from the lecturer, it certainly is a unique style of learning! Here is a link to some of the deleted modules that you can have a look at that have been recorded: http://www.livestream.com/kingstonlectures/folder
My top tip for you is to make sure when you pick your course that you read about the modules you will be doing in each of the years, ask us students questions, and the relevant course directors, as it's so important that you will like most parts of your course and not find something too difficult, especially if you don't have the necessary foundations. I hope this blog has sparked an interest in Information Systems and if you have any questions about it or any other computing degree please ask me a question! I've also left a link below which will provide more information on Information Systems. http://www.kingston.ac.uk/undergraduate-course/information-systems-internet-business-2013/