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Past Questions

  1. Hi Onolaja, Hope you're doing well! I'm particularly interested in Robotics. Does the computer science department has any robotic labs? If yes, what are the major projects that the students are doing? And do Masters students get the opportunities to do their own project in the lab?

    Hello,

    There is focus on robotics in the school of Computer science. Worth combing through the schools webpahes for details.

  2. Hi, so I’d like to look after the security of a computing system and to be able to work and manage responsibilities of an information security management system upon completion of this course. Is the MSc in Computer Science the correct course to study?

    Hello,

    Yes the degree provides a general view. Have you considered the Cyber Security MSc?

  3. Hey! I'm planning to do my Masters in Cybersecurity. I wanted to know what is it like to find a job after completing the degree? I've been hearing that it's difficult to find a job. It would be really nice if you could help me with this question!

    Hello,

    Getting a job is dependent on several factors e.g. the area of cyber security where you've got expertise, your work experience if any, work permit requirements, visa status etc.

    Thinking of the job market, there is a still skills gap in the cyber security market. Skilled cyber professionals are not able to fill all the vacant roles. However, getting a job is dependent on how those factors are relevant to each individual.

    I hope this helps. Wishing you all the best!

  4. Hey there! I have received a conditional offer for MSc in Data Science. Can you please tell me the part time job opportunities and also I want to know whether the University will help me for the placements after completing my course?

    Hello, Congratulations on your offer for a Masters in Data Science. This is a hot topic these days and people with knowledge of data are needed in the industry generally.

    In terms of part time job opportunities and placements after your study, the university provides a number of resources to support your journey:

    - You can check out Worklink for open vacancies and other useful job search related resources: https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/campus-services/worklink/worklink-students.aspx - The university's career network can provide support with your job application, CVs etc: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/alumni/careers/graduate-careers/applying/index.aspx

    All the best!

  5. Hi Dr Onolaja, I am a Mathematics undergraduate and I intend to further my study in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. I found that there is a gap between my knowledge and the Master syllabus. Currently, I am taking up some online courses and my study goal is to take up a taught programme in the UK and carry out a research that is able to solve the industrial need. My planning is to join some research internship programmes so that I am able to see the industrial operation and ultimately, carry out practical research. Could you advise on this pursuit and is there anything else I could do as a preparation for my study? Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Hello, I think that you are taking the right steps already. You can also buy books, particularly the books on the curriculum and start reading these ahead of the start of your course.

    Wishing you the very best!

  6. Hello, I have received a conditional offer for an MSc in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Can you tell me about AI/ML job prospects in UK for an international (non EU) student? Thank you.

    Hello,

    Thanks for your email.

    Yes there is great job prospects for people with IT skills generally. As an international student, the challenge is usually being able to successfully pass through the interview process. However, there are a lot of resources that the university provides to support you with this. Wishing you the very best.

  7. Dear Dr. Onolaja, Trust this email finds you well. I have a BTech degree in Industrial Chemistry and about 3 years experience as a Technical Support Advocate. I have a keen interest in Data Science and would like to further my studies in this field. I understand Data Science requires me to be conversant with Codes(Programming); which I do not know at the moment but I am currently trying to take some online courses on this. What are my chances in getting admission in this field? Also, considering funding as an International student, what are my chances of landing a good job as a student in order to pay my fees in instalments?

    Hello, thank you very much for your question and apologies in the delay getting back to you. My name is Emma from the Postgraduate Recruitment team, and I am replying on behalf of the mentor as they have not yet answered it.

    I'm afraid I can't answer your course specific questions in detail, but you can use this enquiry form to email the Computer Science department, who should be able to help further: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/enquiries/pgt/register-computer-science.aspx

    Best wishes, PG Recruitment

  8. I am from India and currently working as a network engineer for the last 5 years. Do you think Post graduation will help in my career as I need to leave my current job?

    Hello, thank you very much for your question and apologies in the delay getting back to you. My name is Emma from the Postgraduate Recruitment team, and I am replying on behalf of the mentor as they have not yet answered it.

    Postgraduate courses are great if you want to change career or move jobs. It really depends what you are looking to do, so I would have a look at the kinds of jobs you want to go into and see whether a masters/PhD course is required, and if they are, what areas you need to study.

    Best wishes, PG Recruitment

  9. Hi, just wanted to find out if UoB offers Human-Computer-Interaction as a Masters for Psychology students? UCL and the University of Nottingham do and I wanted to find out if UoB would as well, thank you.

    Hello, thank you very much for your question and apologies in the delay getting back to you. My name is Emma from the Postgraduate Recruitment team, and I am replying on behalf of the mentor as they have not yet answered it.

    We offer an MSc Human Computer Interaction course (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/computer-science/human-computer-interaction.aspx) but it is based within Computer Science rather than Psychology I'm afraid!

    We do have Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics MSc which is interdisciplinary and based in both Psychology and Computer Science, if that interests you: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/psych/computation-neuro-cognitive-robotics.aspx

    Best wishes, PG Recruitment

  10. Hey there! My bachelor degree is in a non computer science background and i am currently employed in EY as an IT risk analyst, I have no coding experience, do you think I will be able to fit in?

    Hello, yes you should be ale to fit it particularly because you have some work experience in the field. What I would encourage is that you get the course content and begin to study ahead of your degree. That should help to get you prepared. All the very best!

  11. Hi Dr Onolaja, I have recently finished my studies in Computer Forensics and Security at Leeds Beckett University degree with a predicted grade at a 1st. I want to further my studies with an MSc in Cyber Security. However, I feel like haven't got strong programming skills but I am very passionate about the subject. Would this be a big issue when applying to the MSc? Does the university accept people with low programming skills? And is the MSc in Cyber Security based around programming?

    Hello,

    I was in the same situation when I went for my MSc in Computer Security (now Cyber Security). I had little to no programming skills but I graduated with a Distinction. It took a lot of hardwork and courage.

    I had to pick up the new skill very quickly. You can attend extra tutorial classes or get the support of teaching assistants.

    I hope this helps. All the vest!

  12. Hi Dr Onolaja, I noticed you completed a PhD and attained a scholarship in CS. I am studying an MSc in AI and ML come September. What advice would you give to someone applying to PhD positions in this field and CS in general?

    Hello, thanks for your query. It is good that you are already thinking along this line.

    I think the advice that I will give is to give your best to your studies, put in the hours, study hard, research and seek to learn. Also, it is important to begin to think of research areas that interest you and from the onset of your Masters degree, start to identify and speak to lecturers that are in the area.

    I hope that you find this useful.

    Thank you.

  13. Hello, I am a second year undergraduate student studying Computer Science. I was wondering what the selection process is like for MSc Computer Security in University of Birmingham? Is there any aptitude tests I have to take part in as well as the interview or is it just the interview?

    Hello, thank you very much for your question and apologies in the delay getting back to you. My name is Emma from the Postgraduate Recruitment team, and I am replying on behalf of the mentor as they have not yet answered it.

    I unfortunately do not have detailed knowledge of the selection process for our Cyber Security MSc - so I have two options for you. We have a live Q&A chat on the 2nd July where you can put your questions to members of staff from the department: https://www.pg.bham.ac.uk/events/event/school-of-computer-science-02-07-20

    Or, you can email the department directly by finding the 'Make an enquiry' button on the course page https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/computer-science/cyber-security.aspx

    Best of luck! PG Recruitment

  14. Hi, I am from Hungary and I have a conditional offer from the University of Birmingham for its Cyber Security MSc programme. I would like to ask you to tell me about this course advantages and disadvantages if it's possible? I have seen a lot of videos of the uni, however, it seems impossible for me to compare its course to other universities. Can you tell me your opinion about this course compared to the following universities: Lancaster, Manchester, York and the University of Edinburgh? Thank you very much!

    The degree from Birmingham is one of the leading in the UK. I am biased but when I reflect back, I can say that I earned a great degree from Birmingham. So I highly recommend.

    Have you checked the CD.bham.ac.uk site for videos and more information?

  15. Hello, I hold a bachelor degree in a non-Computer Science subject but I have four years of IT experience in Cyber Security. Will I get unconditional admission? I'm an International student, how can I apply for scholarship and is there any educational loan facility available for International students?

    Hi,

    Relevant work experience is considered so I would recommend submitting an application. We also do offer a range of scholarships that you might be eligible for and these are listed here: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding/index.aspx

    Best wishes, Tom

  16. What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?

    I decided to undertake a postgraduate degree because of my desire to learn and understand better the theoretical part of computer security. This is because I completed a first degree in Computer Science and I wanted to specialise in security. The other reason is that I wanted to improve my marketability for jobs.

  17. Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?

    I had offers from four universities and I was not sure of which to pick. I decided on Birmingham after I did some research on the university rankings. UoB's School of Computer Science had the highest ranking with a very good reputation; this helped me with making my decision.

  18. What advice would you give to current students studying on the course?

    My advice would be to stay focused on the reason you are at university. Make the most of the resources that have been available to you at the uni. Ask questions from your lecturers/tutors if you are unclear. Also, make sure that you enjoy your degree! If you are not, it is best to seek advice and you may consider changing your course.

  19. How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

    I completed a Masters degree in Computer Security and a PhD in Computer Science from the University. My career has really developed since my studies. I have worked as an information security analyst and am currently working as a security consultant with a multi-national technology consulting organisation.

  20. What fueled your desire to go for a doctorate degree? I am a Business major (having studied accountancy) and I have always had a will to create sustainable business options or helping build others entrepreneurial ideas. But with the current situations in employment situations in the Nigeria, My parents have advised that I pursue a doctorate degree after a Masters in International Business. I have never really been an academic, so I had hoped after a Masters in International Business I would be able to work for organisations where my skills will be put to good use rather than pursuing a PhD. What would you advise? Will an MSc from the University of Birmingham do?

    Hello,

    A doctorate is a big undertaken, so before you decide to do it, you need to be sure that it is truly of interest to you and not because of parental influence. Note that most times after a doctorate degree, you are expected to purse a teaching and research career. Is this aligned to your long term goals? if so, it may be a step in the right direction. If you are not really an academic, I would suggest that you really reconsider.

    You may pursue a Masters degree in International Business and then depending on how you get on with it, you may decide to undertake a PhD or not.

    As for what fuelled my desire to go for a PhD: I was interested in a specific area and I thought that I could add some value to the body of knowledge in that area.

    I hope you find this useful.

    All the best!

  21. What other full funded scholarship do you suggest I should apply for in pursuit of my PhD, apart from the AHRC which no longer available for oversea students? I am a Nigerian applying for my PhD in English Literature.

    You can find all available scholarships on the international students website. Also, if you visit the department of English website, you can contact lecturers of similar interests to yours for any information they may have on scholarships.

  22. I would like to undertake a Masters degree at this University. Please tell me about the tuition fee and how the food and accommodation costs at the University of Birmingham compares to Nigeria?

    Hello,

    The tuition costs for studies in the UK is a big undertaken and can run into millions of Naira. I will suggest that you browse the international students website of the university to get the details of these costs.

    I hope you find this useful.

    Thank you.

  23. What are my job prospects, as an international, after completing the conversion Computer Science MSc?

    Hello, your job prospects after your studies as an international student will depend on if your skills are on the shortage occupation list for the UK or if an employer is able to justify employing you versus an EU national.

  24. I was given a conditional offer into Birmingham university which I accepted. I know however, that it doesn't guarantee me placement. What do I do to guarantee placement?

    On your conditional offer letter, they would have listed the conditions that you need to meet in order to get an unconditional offer.

    Once you meet all requirements, then I believe that an unconditional offer will be issued.

  25. Hello, I have recently been offered a place for my postgraduate studies and I would like to know why you may recommend Birmingham as a great place of study? Also what are the chances of me getting a job almost immediately both hone (Nigeria) and abroad? Thank you.

    Hello, yes, there are a lots of opportunities in Birmingham. Birmingham uni is a well recognised university and the graduates are highly rated. Yes, there are job opportunities during and after your studies but they may be subject to conditions of your visa.

    I hope this helps. All the best!

  26. Can you provide me with more information on the PhD in Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering?

    Please visit the university of Birmingham website (http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgt-birmingham.aspx) for the list of all the courses available. All the best with your search.

  27. Good morning, I appreciate your sacrifice to help mentor/advise prospective post graduate students around the globe. I wish to embark on a PhD programme having had a MSc in Biotech. I have tried a choose a research topic but I am finding it very challenging to go ahead. Could you please enlighten me on how to go about this? Thank you.

    Hello,

    I will suggest that you visit the department website that is of interest. Read through the profile of the lecturers in the department or review all the ongoing research in the department, if any topic is of interest to you, then you can begin to think along those lines. You may even contact any lecturer doing any topics that is of interest for more information about what they do

  28. Hello I am from Laos. I have so far received a conditional offer in MSc Computer Science at the University of Birmingham and I have accepted it. My question is, what difficulty would I probably face at first, undertaking this MSc? I feel that I would not fulfil some courses/subjects that I haven't previously got used to in this MSc.

    If you are not familiar with all of the modules on the MSc, then I will suggest that you consider a different degree. Alternatively, you may begin to read up on areas where you think you knowledge is weak.

  29. I've received a conditional offer to study a PhD course in Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham, however I just can't fund my tuition fees or even my living cost. I had applied for many funding resources but till now there is no response. What is your advice for me? am I having to accept the offer to join the university with my very limited budget? or is that risky and I should decline the offer? Regards.

    You can defer you admission until you have your funding complete. You do not want to come over to the UK with inadequate funding because it may be difficult for you to focus on your studies and put you into trouble with the Uni or UKBA.

    I deferred my admission a couple of times as well. So it is understandable.

    I hope this helps.

  30. What should students prepare before studying the MSc in Computer Security? I guess that writing essay is a problem for new students. Is there any tutor to help us? Thanks.

    What do you mean by writing an essay? Please can you clarify?

    In order to prepare for the MSc, I would recommend that you have a good knowledge of programming and an interest in topics like cryptography, networks security etc.

  31. Hi, I have been given a conditional offer to study MSc Computer Science. I am very eager to join although I am having a big challenge with the funds as there are a few scholarships available and I cannot raise all the fees from myself or family. Any ideas how I can go about that? Secondly, I am really optimistic that studying this course in Bham would be the best decision as I am eager to move to programming and software development. Roughly, how do you rate the courses in the department as far as prospects of getting a job or even (which is my desired course) one starting his own establishment are concerned? Thanks a lot.

    My responses in between your texts below.

    Hi, I have been given a conditional offer to study MSc Computer Science.

    Congratulations on the offer.

    I am very eager to join although I am having a big challenge with the funds as there are a few scholarships available and I cannot raise all the fees from myself or family. Any ideas how I can go about that?

    It is advisable to raise all the funds that you require for tuition, accommodation and upkeep before coming over to the UK. There are loads of scholarship opportunities, if you have the right credentials. You can visit this link for more information:

    http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/International/students/country/nigeria/schols-nigeria.aspx Secondly, I am really optimistic that studying this course in Bham would be the best decision as I am eager to move to programming and software development. Roughly, how do you rate the courses in the department as far as prospects of getting a job or even (which is my desired course) one starting his own establishment are concerned? You can look through my previous responses as I have answered this before. There are good opportunities in software engineering in the UK and other countries with the right results and preparations. The careers team at the University can help guide you during your study in terms of interview preparations, CV workshops etc. Also, if you want to start your own business, there are UK government regulations guiding this and you may need to find out through another forum.

    I hope you find this useful. All the best!

  32. Hi, I have been given a conditional offer to follow MSc Computer Security next September at the University of Birmingham. How did you find the course? And why should one choose Birmingham over other universities offering the same course? Thanks!

    Hello,

    I enjoyed the course, it was very challenging but it was a very good experience as it prepared me for my career.

    I would recommend the course because: Computer Security at Birmingham is ranked very highly within the UK . The course has been ranked 1st in the UK.

    All the best.

  33. Hi, hope you are well. Please help me with this: Considering convenience, comfort-ability, quietness and security factors: Which one is better accommodation - university or private? Also which one is less expensive between the two? Thanks a lot in advance.

    Hello,

    My responses below:

    Hi, hope you are well. Please help me with this: Considering convenience, comfort-ability, quietness and security factors: Which one is better accommodation - university or private? Also which one is less expensive between the two? Thanks a lot in advance.

    I think your choice between university or private accommodation is dependent on a number of factors. One is the financial implications. Private rentals are usually cheaper than university accommodation. Note that in private accommodation, you will most likely have to share with other people sourced by the landlord or you may have to find other students to share with you. In terms of convenience, comfort, quietness and security factors: those will depend on the location of the accommodation. From what I recollect, Selly Oak area is relatively OK but it is majorly a student area and there may be some noise at certain times of the day. The university has a list of registered  private landlords, you may check this out to give you some comfort assuming you want to go private. You can visit this site for more information - http://www.birminghamstudentpad.co.uk/Accommodation

  34. Hi, I am a MSc in Computer Security (recently renamed as MSc in Cyber Security) 2015/16 prospective student, how tight is the course? What preparations do I have to make so that I will quickly keep up with the course and ensure that I return with a GPA above 4.0, as that is the requirement for me to retain my job as a Tutorial Assistant back at home in Tanzania? Any additional advice will be highly appreciated Dr., thanks a lot in advance.

    Hello,

    My responses are below:

    Hi, I am a MSc in Computer Security (recently renamed as MSc in Cyber Security) 2015/16 prospective student, how tight is the course?

     The Masters is usually one year course and this means that there will be a lot for you to study in a short while. So, Masters courses are usually intensive and may be demanding.

    What preparations do I have to make of so that I can quickly keep up with the course and ensure that I return with a GPA above 4.0, as that is the requirement for me to retain my job as a Tutorial Assistant back at home in Tanzania?

    The preparations you need to make are dependent on how familiar you are with the modules that you will taking. You can visit the course website (http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/admissions/postgraduate-taught/degree_info/msc-csec/) to review the list of compulsory and optional modules. Also review the contents of these modules. This will guide you in your preparation.

    Any additional advice will be highly appreciated Dr., thanks a lot in advance

    Just stay positive and put in your best. Make sure that you enjoy your course and make the most of your time. You can review my previous comments to others on the forum. All the best!

  35. I am interested in applying for postgraduate course but I am not sure which course to apply for because I had my first degree in Sociology. Also I have not sat for any Proficiency Test, I don't know if my country Nigeria is waived of this test, Can I still be consider for admission?

    My responses are inline:

    I am interested in applying for postgraduate course but I am not sure which course to apply for because I had my first degree in Sociology.  

    Hello, whatever course that you should apply for will depend on what you want to do and what career plans you have.

    Also I have not sat for any Proficiency Test, I don't know if my country Nigeria is waived of this test, Can I still be consider for admission?

    I believe that you do not need to sit for the English test if you have your first degree from Nigeria in English language. However, you may have to take a short course in English on your arrival for your studies. You need to confirm this information a bit further. The best source of information will be from the international students office.

  36. Dear Doctor, Are the mentors the same as the supervisors? If not how do I get in contact with the Supervisors to check and discuss my topic; thus assisting me in streamlining my project proposal? Do you have links for PhD topics/projects and how did you get yours for your PhD degree?

    My responses are embedded:

    Dear Doctor, Are the mentors the same as the suppervisors?.

    No, mentors are different from supervisors.

    If not how do I get in contact with the Suppervisors to check & discuss my topic; thus assit me in streamlinning my project proposal.

    You can go the school's website to see the list of supervisors. On each of thier pages you can find out who is workingon your areas of interest. Once you have narrowed down your search, you can reach out to them explaining your interest.

    Do qyou have links for PhD topics/projects

    Please refer to my last comment. The schools website is the best place to know about ongoing projects.

    and how did you get yours for your PhD degree

    My supervisor was working on an area of interest so it was easy finding a topic.

  37. Dear Doctor Funmi, can one take a preparatory class (like a programming and networking class) at Birmingham before embarking on an MSc in Cybersecurity? If yes, how can one go about it? Thank you.

    Thanks for reaching out. You may need to check with the school of computer science for information on any preparatory classes that they may offer.

    Thanks.

  38. Hi. I would like to know if I need to pass some tests, like numerical aptitude tests in order to be accepted for the Computer Science Master degree?

    Hello,

    I do not believe that there are any aptitude tests that you need to take.

    There are English language requirements that you may need to meet and having an undergraduate degree in a relevany subject is very important.

    I hope this helps!

  39. Hello, I have a PTDF scholarship for a PhD at UoB. Presently, the supervisors have agreed to my proposal and they had interviewed me through skype. But the issue of accommodation is still bothering me. Please could you kindly advise me how to go about it? Is it good to have an hostel or get an accommodation outside the university and what is the benefit and the difference in the two? Moreover, how can someone go about the process? Thanks.

    Hello,

    Thanks for reaching out. I lived in private rental accommodation because i found them cheaper than uni provided accomodation. I need to stress that this was my own personal experience.

    There are portals on the university's website with private landlord's properties here:https://www.birminghamstudentpad.co.uk/Accommodation

    I believe you already know how to find university owned/managed properties.

    All the best.

  40. Hello, I am waiting for a PhD interview call from my supervisor before submitting my final decision to administration. My question to you is can you give me an idea which subjects and area of studies are usually targeted in interview by the panel? What are their expectations from the interviewee so that i can prepare myself accordingly? Thanks.

    You’ll need to show an awareness of what’s involved in a PhD project and prove that you have the right aspirations and approach to work on one for three (or more) years.

    You’ll also need to make it clear that UoB is the right university, department or research group for you.

    You can also ask from the interviewers what type of interview it is going to be. Your justification for asking is that you need this to know how to prepare for the interview.

    I hope this helps!