FAQ for GY306
This information leaflet gives basic information with an emphasis on answering
the Frequently Asked Questions, (FAQs), on the degree programme
Computing Studies, (degree in Computing and Mathematics), CAO code GY306.
This document is also available as a pdf download.
A separate brochure with more detailed technical information on the degree is
If you have further enquiries please do not hesitate to contact us.
The degree programme
has been running since 1990.
A leaflet on
Graduate Achievements of the first years' entries
also available in which may be seen the many and varied career prospects.
In summary, graduates find positions
not only in the computer industry but also in the financial services sector,
the public sector and other areas which require highly numerate graduates
computer experience. On account of the nature, diversity and
quality of the programme and the varied
employment prospects it is clear that a downturn in any
will not greatly affect overall employment prospects.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Some ability in mathematics is
required but it is not necessary to be ``brilliant'' by any means.
Certain mathematical background is necessary for any deep study in the
area of Computing/IT.
An A2 or better in Leaving Cert ordinary level Mathematics or a C3 or better
in LC higher level Mathematics is required. These are sufficient.
People with ordinary level mathematics have
graduated with high class honours. What is required is an ability to
get stuck in, to solve problems and be able to work things out -
these skills are extremely important in the workplace and graduates need the
ability to think logically and be versatile with changing
trends and job prospects.
Generally in the Computer Science/IT area there are basically 3 areas: (a) Software; (b)
Hardware; (c) Applications. This programme concentrates mainly on the
Software end, although the programme will also
deal with basic hardware and networking.
There are other
programmes at NUI,Galway which concentrate on other areas: hardware (as in
Electronic Engineering degrees) and applications (as in the IT degree).
As you may know, the development of computers came about from the
Engineers, who developed the hardware, and Mathematicians, who developed the
software. Alan Turing
and John von Neumann, the two founders of modern computing, Augusta Ada
(the daughter of Lord Byron the poet), who thought up the idea of
programming a computer,
and George Boole, a Professor of Mathematics at UCC, who designed the
logic behind computers, were all Mathematicians.
Modern computing methods such as Cryptography (used for
secretly transmitting messages, on the internet, between financial
institutions or any
area where secrecy is required), Coding and Compression of data (used
example in CDs (as in Encarta) or on DVDs), and Formal
methods of Software
Engineering, to name a few, all rely heavily on mathematical techniques and
No deep study of the Computing area can take place without some sort
of rigorous mathematical training.
The first year gives the basic scientific background. The second year
consists of 4 units of Computer Science, 4 units of Mathematical Science and
4 units of options which can be taken in either area; third year has 4 units of Computer
Science, 4 units of Mathematical Science and 2 units of options; in
students take 4 units of Computer Science, 4 units of Mathematical Science,
one unit of Options and also undertake a major project.
About 70% receive honours degrees, first or second class. There is
not always a good
correlation between entry points and class of degree.
See the separate leaflet on
Graduate Achievements of the first years' entries. A degree in
this area means
that graduates are in a unique position to obtain employment, directly
upon graduation, in many diverse area and are not dependent on any
particular area or industry.
The main programming language is C/C++. The main operating systems used
(or Linux on the PCs)
and Windows NT or Windows XP. The laboratory designed for
this programme will have dual boot -- Linux and Windows NT or Windows XP
These can vary from year from year depending on the demand, and applications, so no definite answer can be given.
Previous years' points are some indication. It should be noted that
anyone who gets into the programme no matter at what points' level has the
ability to do very well but, as with any programme,
the student must apply herself/himself to the given
tasks as is necessary.
In a denominated degree, such as this one, the student enters
directly into a programme of study on the topic of the degree; some options or choices are allowed and some basic related material must be
studied but essentially the core of the course is predetermined.
In the undenominated degree, the student enters a programme of study in which at the outset it is not decided in which degree subject(s) the student would
graduate; the choice of such subject(s) is decided essentially
at the end of second and third years.
It is possible under certain specific circumstances to transfer between
programmes provided all the prerequisites have been studied for the
programme to which the student wishes to transfer.