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  1. #1
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    Staffordshire University

    I am 27, a graduate in the engineering field, working for a global blue chip company however my passion has always lied in web design. Design is not a problem, but the things that stope me from developing myself is the programming, so I am thinking to join the part time course at Staffordshire university.

    Do any of you guys know if the course is good and are you achieving an advanced level at he end of the course.

  • #2
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    Hi,

    I have just graduated from staffordshire university after studying computing science & web development.

    I dont mean to put you off but i found the course and the web development department to be very un-organised and not worth the amount you have to pay in tuition fees.

    The staff (I wont name names...yet) didn't seem to be bothered about actually teaching the course. Most of the time you have 2 or 3 hour tutorials which were made up of lessons they had found online. So you would arrive and be given a list of links an told to get on with it.

    Some modules (for example; say there was a module called web development) would have an advanced module you could take the following year (which would be called further web development). These advanced modules were supposed to go further in-depth on what you had learnt the first time round. However, I took quite a few of these and each time the first half of the module was exactly the same and in most cases I was told I could leave the lecture / tutorial if I wanted because I had already covered what was being done.

    The staff are never there to answer questions either. They refuse to reply to emails during xmas and easter holidays and book time of work the week before each deadline.

    This isnt me just having a go at the uni....this opinion was shared by every student on the course!

    I was at the uni for 5 years so if you want to ask anything else then i would be happy to answer.

    Luke

  • #3
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    I just wanted to add my thoughts to this as a current student at Staffs studying Web Development...

    I've always found the staff to be very knowledgeable and approachable! Depending on the module, some tutorials do involve reading online whilst others involve following hand-outs, independent research or group work. I find lecturers choose the most appropriate methods and in any case, staff have always been there to give a helping hand and guidance when needed.

    The web is a really fast-paced environment... something that's valid and current one year might be 'old hat' the next. This is evident in the 'further ...' modules (which are perceived as being 'advanced' versions). Most modules are updated year-on-year and so what you do in your 2nd year might be a 1st year module the next year, so that new technologies and techniques can be taught. As a result you can find these 'progressive modules' might be a shift in technology or methodology, rather than simply an 'advanced version'. I've spoken to the staff about this before and I know they're working to make this clearer to others, and always working to improve and update modules... it really shows if you talk to the staff they do listen!!

    There's a fantastic choice of modules covering all of the most popular areas and a quick chat with the module leader will give you a good idea of the content. I've been told in the past that a module might not be suited to me because it was an introductory one, which was great - I had the opportunity to pick another that I was able to get a lot more out of!

    And so, I definitely disagree that this is something shared by all students on the course!

    est1984 - My opinion is that you gain very strong skills in all of the most important aspects of web development/internet technologies. Through module options you're given the opportunity to specialise... be it on design/multimedia, mobile technologies or programming. My thoughts would be that if you want to leave being an expert at PHP (for example) then this is always going to involve a lot of work outside of university; the university uses a variety of languages to teach you core concepts that can be applied everywhere. A great example is the recent up-take of JavaScript as a server-side language, or the re-direction of SilverLight as a technology - things are constantly changing!

    I hope that this gives you a bit more of an insight... at the end of the day, come and visit an open day to see what we do and decide for yourself! You can also find information about modules that're currently running (beware they do change!) on the staffs site.

    James
    Last edited by jrstanley; 07-07-2011 at 11:17 PM.

  • #4
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    Hi,

    I read these forums from time to time and thought I should reply to this. I'm going to put a different take on this as I'm not a web developer. I graduated top of the computing degree scheme last year from Staffordshire University in 2010, and was awarded with BSc (Hons) Software Engineering.

    The first thing I will say about university there is more too it than just learning to program, because if that was the case we would pick-up and read half a dozen books at a tiny fraction of the price of a degree. There is the interaction with other students and lecturers, and access to the facilities within the university. You also need to consider not just the quality of the course you are considering, but also the location of the university. I'm not sure where you are now, but moving away or travelling to a university can add on significant living expenses. The course content is structured around the students abilities, so whilst it is okay for most some will find it too hard and some find it to easy. It is upto you to judge where you sit on this scale, but compare it to 7 day intensive courses by a training company who will charge you around £3000 which will still leave you with a lot of questions and lacking in experience of trying what you learn within that period.

    On the web side, I always wanted to get into it, but spent alot of my module choices on architectural design, requirements gathering and learning different programming languages. But... I did do a module called Web Services in my 3rd Year. Probably was an uphill struggle for me to tackle alot of new concepts that were probably mundane to the other students who are on dedicated web degrees, but with the assistance of the lecturers I got up to a good standard in a short space of time. But the onus is always on the student to put in the effort to actually learn, lecturers will happily talk to you, but you need to take on board what they are saying, try it out and ask new questions. I did well on the web module, passing with over 70%, although the assignment was in 2 parts a C# app i completed in about 3 hours vs a website that took me about 2 weeks. Although this was the other way round for some of the web students who ace-ed the website but struggled with C#.

    If your wondering what I am upto now, I'm in a KTP with a company that is local to where I live, working with embedded devices, firmware, drivers, mobile devices, general applications and working with a web developer. If I had just read books, I probably wouldn't have the courage to take on these variety of challenges given I am ultimately an application not embedded developer.

  • #5
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    Hi est1984 - I can put you in touch with someone from the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Technology if you would like to find out more information. Our lecturers are more than happy to discuss any questions you have about the course, modules and the university, to help you make your decision. Let me know if this would be useful.

    FrankDev - Sorry you have had a bad experience with us, we would really like to discuss this with you further. I will direct message you the email address of one of Principal Lecturers who would be more than happy to discuss your concerns.


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