BSc Computing Honours UNISA

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Jun 14, 2019
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#1
Hi Everyone,

Would like to know if anyone here recently completed / is currently studying the BSc Computing Honours degree through UNISA? What was your experience like with the degree? I am in the process of completing my undergrad CS major at a residential university here in SA, and intend to register for UNISA studies in 2020. I’ve already read through all the info about the degree here: https://www.unisa.ac.za/sites/corpo...helor-of-Science-Honours-in-Computing-(98908)

And noticed that there are no real prerequisites for the six COS modules – just a background in computer science... Is there anyone (ideally who also did CS undergrad at a residential uni in SA) who found any of these modules particularly challenging? Or any advice on which combination to choose or which ones to avoid for any reason? I intend to register for all the six COS modules and complete the degree full-time in a year – so I think overall I just really want to know if it’s passable (me obviously putting in the hours) and if the coursework doesn’t require a ridiculous amount effort or struggle. Because then I think I would rather join the working world instead.

Thanks in advance.
 

Genisys

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#2
Its not that bad. If you have a Computer science and mathematical background it will help you a lot when you do the COS modules. Some of the COS modules is very mathematical.
 
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#3
Its not that bad. If you have a Computer science and mathematical background it will help you a lot when you do the COS modules. Some of the COS modules is very mathematical.
Oh no - will I be able to manage with my first year math? It wasn't required to go all the way with math in my undergrad degree
 

cguy

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#4
Oh no - will I be able to manage with my first year math? It wasn't required to go all the way with math in my undergrad degree
What did you do in 2nd and 3rd year apart from CS?

It has irked me that universities stopped making 2nd maths or stats or applied maths compulsory (e.g., UCT had one of these compulsory for a CS major, and required that something other than CS be taken for at least 25% of 3rd year).

That said, I doubt that anything in maths is going to be a hard prerequisite requirement for these courses, but doing ML without linear algebra and advanced calculus, or some of the formal methods without algebra or real analysis will likely require that you do some extra reading to get the full picture.
 
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#5
What did you do in 2nd and 3rd year apart from CS?

It has irked me that universities stopped making 2nd maths or stats or applied maths compulsory (e.g., UCT had one of these compulsory for a CS major, and required that something other than CS be taken for at least 25% of 3rd year).

That said, I doubt that anything in maths is going to be a hard prerequisite requirement for these courses, but doing ML without linear algebra and advanced calculus, or some of the formal methods without algebra or real analysis will likely require that you do some extra reading to get the full picture.
Thanks so much! Will have to do some reading then if they assume 2nd year maths / stats / applied maths. But I hope they just explain things that it's relatively easy to pick up / follow what's going on
 
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#6
What did you do in 2nd and 3rd year apart from CS?

It has irked me that universities stopped making 2nd maths or stats or applied maths compulsory (e.g., UCT had one of these compulsory for a CS major, and required that something other than CS be taken for at least 25% of 3rd year).

That said, I doubt that anything in maths is going to be a hard prerequisite requirement for these courses, but doing ML without linear algebra and advanced calculus, or some of the formal methods without algebra or real analysis will likely require that you do some extra reading to get the full picture.
Apart from CS I'm doing engineering, and did information systems till second year level
 

^^vampire^^

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#7
I completed this 1.5 years ago. The COS are harder than the INF subjects. That being said the only subject that I can remember needs maths (or more stats) was the machine learning course. If you put in the time and you have completed a CS undergrad you should be fine, you may just have to spend time looking up certain math things and learning to apply them.
 
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#8
I completed this 1.5 years ago. The COS are harder than the INF subjects. That being said the only subject that I can remember needs maths (or more stats) was the machine learning course. If you put in the time and you have completed a CS undergrad you should be fine, you may just have to spend time looking up certain math things and learning to apply them.
That's great to hear. I definitely think certain concepts can just be looked up as needed, like I've done with any other course I've encountered so far. Thanks for the response!
 

^^vampire^^

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#9
That's great to hear. I definitely think certain concepts can just be looked up as needed, like I've done with any other course I've encountered so far. Thanks for the response!
One other thing that may help you if you're a slacker like me is that you may need to provision more time for the assignments in these subjects. When I did my BTech through UNISA I could bang out an assignment from beginning to end in about 3-5 hours easily without ever reading the content prior. I think the combination of some of the material being new to me as well as the sheer volume of work expected to be produced mean't this was bumped up to a min of a day, generally with the work taking most of the weekend to put out. Keep in mind this was also from never reading or knowing about the subject matter to completing the assignment. If you're the kind of person that actively reads the textbook and does research/learning periodically prior to upcoming assignments then this should be a bit easier/less time consuming for you.

One thing I found that did throw a spanner in the works was that there was very little clarity in what was expected in some modules. Machine learning had a massive jump from everything making sense to not making sense at all and was heavily stats based; I never did any proper math focused studies after matric which didn't help. It's also a very theoretical subject and when I approached a colleague at the time who was applying to do his masters in ML in Canada at the time he couldn't answer many of the questions in the first assignment. Another one of interest was Enterprise Architecture. It's a very subjective module with no real sense of direction (the same sense being shared by EVERY student in the course). I was convinced I was doing it completely wrong and would fail but it turned out that I aced it - makes no sense to me.

Either way the course was interesting and glad I did it. Wish I could find a coursework based masters to continue with as I absolutely loathe dissertations, although the way my life is going I might be better off doing an MBA or similar.
 
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#10
One other thing that may help you if you're a slacker like me is that you may need to provision more time for the assignments in these subjects. When I did my BTech through UNISA I could bang out an assignment from beginning to end in about 3-5 hours easily without ever reading the content prior. I think the combination of some of the material being new to me as well as the sheer volume of work expected to be produced mean't this was bumped up to a min of a day, generally with the work taking most of the weekend to put out. Keep in mind this was also from never reading or knowing about the subject matter to completing the assignment. If you're the kind of person that actively reads the textbook and does research/learning periodically prior to upcoming assignments then this should be a bit easier/less time consuming for you.

One thing I found that did throw a spanner in the works was that there was very little clarity in what was expected in some modules. Machine learning had a massive jump from everything making sense to not making sense at all and was heavily stats based; I never did any proper math focused studies after matric which didn't help. It's also a very theoretical subject and when I approached a colleague at the time who was applying to do his masters in ML in Canada at the time he couldn't answer many of the questions in the first assignment. Another one of interest was Enterprise Architecture. It's a very subjective module with no real sense of direction (the same sense being shared by EVERY student in the course). I was convinced I was doing it completely wrong and would fail but it turned out that I aced it - makes no sense to me.

Either way the course was interesting and glad I did it. Wish I could find a coursework based masters to continue with as I absolutely loathe dissertations, although the way my life is going I might be better off doing an MBA or similar.
Oh wow - thanks for the all the advice! How did the research component go though? Were you in constant contact with a supervisor and are they able to give fast feedback? Also how do exams and tests work, and are they difficult in your opinion? I'm not familiar with how these things work since I'm currently at a residential uni and have never done open distance learning before...
 

^^vampire^^

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#11
I've never been keen on research subjects so I put in minimal effort but I've done similar research modules before so I know what was expected. I guess you could reach out to the supervisor for feedback and comments if you want (they supply you with contact details) while doing it but I didn't - I just used their feedback that was marked on the actual assignment submissions.

Through UNISA you register for the modules you want to do for the year. Around the beginning of March they generally send a list of your modules and all the assignment dates for the year. You can have anywhere from 2-5+ assignments for a module if they a year long modules (BSc Hon they will be). You can then log on to the My Unisa portal and access the individual modules details, assignments etc. Some lecturers load up all assignments etc in one go, some choose to roll them out one after the other - it just depends on the individual module. Once your assignment is complete you upload it onto the My Unisa portal - really easy to figure out. Exam dates are released towards the end of the year, or they will be given at the beginning of the year but you will later receive confirmation of those dates as they could change. You either have to go to a campus/venue to write exams or in the case of some subjects like research and enterprise architecture, your final assignment or paper is your exam. Generally the assignments count 10%-50% of the year mark and the exam the balance, this is also dependent on the module and coursework type.

Like I said the assignments are more time consuming more than anything else. If you're the type of person that generally studies last minute and does well then you should be fine, just give enough times to finish the assignments in case they take longer than expected. If you are genuinely interested in the subjects or are the type that needs to/does study over the whole year then carry on doing it this way or you may come short. Also, if you plan on doing machine learning get on that early as some bits can be complicated or hard to understand.
 

Archie1

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#12
One other thing that may help you if you're a slacker like me is that you may need to provision more time for the assignments in these subjects. When I did my BTech through UNISA I could bang out an assignment from beginning to end in about 3-5 hours easily without ever reading the content prior. I think the combination of some of the material being new to me as well as the sheer volume of work expected to be produced mean't this was bumped up to a min of a day, generally with the work taking most of the weekend to put out. Keep in mind this was also from never reading or knowing about the subject matter to completing the assignment. If you're the kind of person that actively reads the textbook and does research/learning periodically prior to upcoming assignments then this should be a bit easier/less time consuming for you.

One thing I found that did throw a spanner in the works was that there was very little clarity in what was expected in some modules. Machine learning had a massive jump from everything making sense to not making sense at all and was heavily stats based; I never did any proper math focused studies after matric which didn't help. It's also a very theoretical subject and when I approached a colleague at the time who was applying to do his masters in ML in Canada at the time he couldn't answer many of the questions in the first assignment. Another one of interest was Enterprise Architecture. It's a very subjective module with no real sense of direction (the same sense being shared by EVERY student in the course). I was convinced I was doing it completely wrong and would fail but it turned out that I aced it - makes no sense to me.

Either way the course was interesting and glad I did it. Wish I could find a coursework based masters to continue with as I absolutely loathe dissertations, although the way my life is going I might be better off doing an MBA or similar.
Did you do a BSc Honours with just holding a BTech or did you have to get an undergrad BSc first?
 
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#13
I've never been keen on research subjects so I put in minimal effort but I've done similar research modules before so I know what was expected. I guess you could reach out to the supervisor for feedback and comments if you want (they supply you with contact details) while doing it but I didn't - I just used their feedback that was marked on the actual assignment submissions.

Through UNISA you register for the modules you want to do for the year. Around the beginning of March they generally send a list of your modules and all the assignment dates for the year. You can have anywhere from 2-5+ assignments for a module if they a year long modules (BSc Hon they will be). You can then log on to the My Unisa portal and access the individual modules details, assignments etc. Some lecturers load up all assignments etc in one go, some choose to roll them out one after the other - it just depends on the individual module. Once your assignment is complete you upload it onto the My Unisa portal - really easy to figure out. Exam dates are released towards the end of the year, or they will be given at the beginning of the year but you will later receive confirmation of those dates as they could change. You either have to go to a campus/venue to write exams or in the case of some subjects like research and enterprise architecture, your final assignment or paper is your exam. Generally the assignments count 10%-50% of the year mark and the exam the balance, this is also dependent on the module and coursework type.

Like I said the assignments are more time consuming more than anything else. If you're the type of person that generally studies last minute and does well then you should be fine, just give enough times to finish the assignments in case they take longer than expected. If you are genuinely interested in the subjects or are the type that needs to/does study over the whole year then carry on doing it this way or you may come short. Also, if you plan on doing machine learning get on that early as some bits can be complicated or hard to understand.
Thanks so much for all the advice - really appreciate it. Are all the modules year-modules and only get examined at the end of the year? Also are there any written tests during the year, and do they have to be written on a campus as well? Or is it just the online assignments and the final written exam?
 

^^vampire^^

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#14
Did you do a BSc Honours with just holding a BTech or did you have to get an undergrad BSc first?
Yeah did an NDip IT and then BTech and they accepted that for honours.

Thanks so much for all the advice - really appreciate it. Are all the modules year-modules and only get examined at the end of the year? Also are there any written tests during the year, and do they have to be written on a campus as well? Or is it just the online assignments and the final written exam?
All the BSc Honours modules are year long modules and the exams are generally written the following Jan/Feb except for those modules like ent architecture where the last assignment is basically your final exam. Your assignments are generally your tests so to speak so the only time you will have to go on campus is when writing the exam for the module.
 
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#15
Yeah did an NDip IT and then BTech and they accepted that for honours.



All the BSc Honours modules are year long modules and the exams are generally written the following Jan/Feb except for those modules like ent architecture where the last assignment is basically your final exam. Your assignments are generally your tests so to speak so the only time you will have to go on campus is when writing the exam for the module.
Thanks so much! Hope all goes well
 
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#16
Yeah did an NDip IT and then BTech and they accepted that for honours.



All the BSc Honours modules are year long modules and the exams are generally written the following Jan/Feb except for those modules like ent architecture where the last assignment is basically your final exam. Your assignments are generally your tests so to speak so the only time you will have to go on campus is when writing the exam for the module.
If I may ask what work do you do currently / job title? And where?
 

^^vampire^^

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#17
If I may ask what work do you do currently / job title? And where?
I'm the head of technology (kind of like CTO equivalent) for a video marketing company and an off-shoot startup that we're building. I do software dev, tech strategy etc. I'm based in Melbourne.
 
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