Bsc in Computing with UNISA

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Apr 19, 2016
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#1
I am starting a Bsc in Computing this coming semester with UNISA and was wondering if anybody can offer some advice on choice of modules. I work full time and will be studying part time.
COS1501 - Theoretical Computer Science I
COS1511 - Introduction to Programming I Co-requisite: EUP1501 (or XUP1501)
COS1512 - Introduction to Programming II Pre-requisite: COS1511 (or XOS1511)
COS1521 - Computer Systems: Fundamental Concepts
INF1505 - Introduction to Business Information Systems
MAT1503 - Linear Algebra

choose any two of the following:
INF1511 - Visual Programming I
INF1520 - Human-Computer Interaction I
MAT1512 - Calculus A

I would like to choose 4 modules this semester, or is that too many? Decision should be aimed at doing basics first etc....

Any advice on this would be great.
 

mr_norris

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Jun 12, 2007
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#2
I did a similar degree, but my memory is bad :D

Here are my thoughts on the modules:

COS1501 [Hated this, but you have to do them right up to the last year, might as well get used to it. Found last year easier than first because I applied myself!]
COS1511 [I think this was C++? Good module. This is my foundation right here. I might be wrong cause the module codes have changed]
COS1512 [I think this is C++ again. Don't take this with the above, unless you want to get royally lost]
COS1521 [Just theory and some basic maths]
INF1505 [Lots of parrot learning / theory from what I remember]
MAT1503 [I didn't do this]
INF1511 [When I did this, it was Delphi. Was quite easy]
INF1520 [Parrot learning]
MAT1512 [I didn't do this]

During my last year, I really crammed. I think there was a semester I did 4, but if you're working, prepare to have no life or hair left.

I think first year is about the best year to take as many modules as you can. As you progress it becomes more difficult. Well, perhaps not for others, but it did for me.
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2012
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#3
Did the same degree, finished in 2014. Bear that in mind, I cannot remember all the little details regarding the subjects level of work required. Did the degree in 3 years while working full time, works out 4 - 6 modules per semester.

Doing it this way you will have NO life, especially from 2nd year onwards. Worth it to me as 'n didn't have to study half a decade, highly personal choice of course.

I would suggest that you pick 4 modules that are at least fairly easy for the first semester, you can always upscale/downscale from your second semester if you wish. I started with 6 modules per semester in the first year...if you are going to cram a lot of modules, 1st year is the time to do it.

From the modules above:
COS1501 - basic logic course, not too bad. May contain a lot of new stuff if you haven't dealt with it before. Not all that difficult if you work hard at it.

COS1511 - Basic c++ coding back when I did this, pretty much what you would have learned at school if you took IT. Easy.

COS1512 - Builds on COS1511, a lot more detail but not really difficult.

COS1521 - LOTS of stuff you need to learn for exam purposes, such as binary, hexadecimal and decimal conversions (Fun), some history and basics of how a computer works(Wee bit boring). Not difficult, but a lot of work.

INF1505 - Loads of BIS stuff to learn. Again not difficult, but a lot of work.

MAT1503 - Don't know how good you are at maths, I sucked at school. This is actually quite interesting, found it tough but rewarding. Multiplication of matrices, that kind of thing. Will require a lot of time if your maths is not that strong.

INF1511 - Basically the highschool Delphi course (at least when I did this back in 2010). A pushover.

INF1520 - very easy, light workload. Can build on this in 2nd and 3rd years, but I found it somewhat boring.

MAT1512 - didn't take it (I will never forgive myself for this). Think it will offer a much more interesting if tough 2nd and 3rd year.

Don't be put off because I say its tough. What I mean by that is that it can take a LOT of discipline to keep plugging away at concepts you find hard to master - you are essentially teaching yourself the subject matter, some modules have very little interaction with the lecturers.

If I could do it, anyone can. Mathematics do not come naturally to me and I have to really work at it. Best of luck, will do it all again in a heartbeat.

(mr_norris is spot-on).
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
7
#4
mr_norris and Legionnaire... thanks so much for your insightful feedback - much appreciated.

So this is my tentative split of modules for first and second semester:
First:
COS 1501
COS1511
MAT1503
COS1521

Second:
COS1512
INF1505
INF1511
INF1202

So Mr Norris you didn't do any Maths modules?
Legionnaire do you regret not doing the calculus A module, or are you happy you didn't choose it?

Also, if any of you guys have textbooks you wanna let go of please let me know.

Again, thanks a bunch for your feedback!!
 

Syzygy78

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2004
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588
#6
I would suggest that you pick 4 modules that are at least fairly easy for the first semester, you can always upscale/downscale from your second semester if you wish. I started with 6 modules per semester in the first year...if you are going to cram a lot of modules, 1st year is the time to do it.
You can do max 5 modules per semester unless it is your final semester and you have special permission
 

GhostSixFour

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#7
Could you guys also possibly share your experiences once you've qualified in terms of finding employment/ salary etc?
This will vary as wide as the earth. Depending on what you do additionally while studying, your portfolio, other languages you're able write in etc. Wil also be impacted by your choice in career - I.E. BA, PM, SA, dev....

However, rest assured, there is no shortage of employment for BSc Comp Sci students.
 

Syzygy78

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2004
Messages
588
#8
I completed my degree last year at UNISA

Are you committed to your studies? If so, I honestly suggest taking 5 modules per semester for the first three semesters. Thereafter take 3 subjects per semester until you are finished. If you do this and don't fail, it will take you 4 years to complete.

Taking 5 modules per semester sounds hugely intimidating, but if you choose properly and you keep to +-3 hours of study per day you will be just fine. Quite a few of the first year modules can literally be completed in one week-end. They are actually very easy in comparison to some final year subjects.

I work full time and completed COS3711, COS3712, COS3721 and COS2626 (yes, they let me write it alongside COS3721) in my final semester. I would not recommend doing this as not only does some of the work get more difficult, but the modules are also very time consuming. This is why I recommend doing 3 per semester once you get to the second and third level modules. As a quick example, I probably did 20x more work/studying for COS3711 than I did for say a COS1511

Good luck :)
 
Last edited:

Sinbad

Honorary Master
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#9
Word of advice for module choice

Check the exam timetable.

Nothing sucks quite like writing 3 exams on consecutive days.
 

Pixelbender

Senior Member
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Jul 5, 2009
Messages
720
#10
I'd have a hard time just remembering the codes for the modules.

I completed my degree last year at UNISA

Are you committed to your studies? If so, I honestly suggest taking 5 modules per semester for the first three semesters. Thereafter take 3 subjects per semester until you are finished. If you do this and don't fail, it will take you 4 years to complete.

Taking 5 modules per semester sounds hugely intimidating, but if you choose properly and you keep to +-3 hours of study per day you will be just fine. Quite a few of the first year modules can literally be completed in one week-end. They are actually very easy in comparison to some final year subjects.

I work full time and completed COS3711, COS3712, COS3721 and COS2626 (yes, they let me write it alongside COS3721) in my final semester. I would not recommend doing this as not only does some of the work get more difficult, but the modules are also very time consuming. This is why I recommend doing 3 per semester once you get to the second and third level modules. As a quick example, I probably did 20x more work/studying for COS3711 than I did for say a COS1511

Good luck :)
 

cguy

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Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
4,343
#11
mr_norris and Legionnaire... thanks so much for your insightful feedback - much appreciated.

So this is my tentative split of modules for first and second semester:
First:
COS 1501
COS1511
MAT1503
COS1521

Second:
COS1512
INF1505
INF1511
INF1202

So Mr Norris you didn't do any Maths modules?
Legionnaire do you regret not doing the calculus A module, or are you happy you didn't choose it?

Also, if any of you guys have textbooks you wanna let go of please let me know.

Again, thanks a bunch for your feedback!!
Personally, I suggest doing as much maths as possible - it's one of the few things that can open entirely new doors to you. Unless you hate it of course.
 

mr_norris

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Joined
Jun 12, 2007
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1,943
#12
So this is my tentative split of modules for first and second semester:
First:
COS 1501
COS1511
MAT1503
COS1521

Second:
COS1512
INF1505
INF1511
INF1202

So Mr Norris you didn't do any Maths modules?

Also, if any of you guys have textbooks you wanna let go of please let me know.
Looks like a good split to me. I think you'll be fine with those. I avoided the maths modules like the plague. While I did well in school, afterwards things went pear (I started with Engineering at UKZN, flunked because of maths, and left). I was burnt :p However I am sure if I applied myself now, I'd be fine. I was lazy (lazier!) back then.

Could you guys also possibly share your experiences once you've qualified in terms of finding employment/ salary etc?
Like someone else mentioned, it's difficult to say. I am also an odd case - I started at this company on front line support and moved into a development position slowly, over the years. They knew I was studying back then, and promised the move to me when I was hired. My salary though, is rather far from market related. I'm sure one would do a lot better starting off with CompSci, rather than getting one while in development like I did.

Word of advice for module choice

Check the exam timetable.

Nothing sucks quite like writing 3 exams on consecutive days.
You mention this, but all these years I've just chosen what I have wanted without looking at the time tables :p I have been lucky, and most if not all of my exams were around a week apart. I would not recommend doing it my way - checking the time table is good advice.

Personally, I suggest doing as much maths as possible - it's one of the few things that can open entirely new doors to you. Unless you hate it of course.
I hated it with a passion :D
 

Sinbad

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 5, 2006
Messages
64,304
#13
You mention this, but all these years I've just chosen what I have wanted without looking at the time tables :p I have been lucky, and most if not all of my exams were around a week apart. I would not recommend doing it my way - checking the time table is good advice.
06-11-2012 STA1501 DESC STATS AND PROBABILITIES 65 Passed
07-11-2012 ECS1601 ECONOMICS IB 52 Passed
08-11-2012 MNB1601 BUSINESS MANAGEMENT IB 75 Passed with Distinction
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
7
#14
This will vary as wide as the earth. Depending on what you do additionally while studying, your portfolio, other languages you're able write in etc. Wil also be impacted by your choice in career - I.E. BA, PM, SA, dev....

However, rest assured, there is no shortage of employment for BSc Comp Sci students.
That's great to hear, thanks
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
7
#15
I completed my degree last year at UNISA

Are you committed to your studies? If so, I honestly suggest taking 5 modules per semester for the first three semesters. Thereafter take 3 subjects per semester until you are finished. If you do this and don't fail, it will take you 4 years to complete.

Taking 5 modules per semester sounds hugely intimidating, but if you choose properly and you keep to +-3 hours of study per day you will be just fine. Quite a few of the first year modules can literally be completed in one week-end. They are actually very easy in comparison to some final year subjects.

I work full time and completed COS3711, COS3712, COS3721 and COS2626 (yes, they let me write it alongside COS3721) in my final semester. I would not recommend doing this as not only does some of the work get more difficult, but the modules are also very time consuming. This is why I recommend doing 3 per semester once you get to the second and third level modules. As a quick example, I probably did 20x more work/studying for COS3711 than I did for say a COS1511

Good luck :)
Eye-opening! Thanks
 

cbrunsdonza

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
13,293
#16
When I started out all it took to pass a 1st level module was to do the required first assignment and open up your books the night before.

Fast forward to 3rd level modules and you struggle even with two modules a semester if you have a job, wife & kids. You need to do all your assignments and some more, study, study, study and the be prepared to rewrite.
 

mr_norris

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Jun 12, 2007
Messages
1,943
#17
What got me through the last few modules was trying to do well in the assignments (I think people underestimate how helpful that extra 10%ish can be, when you're scraping the barrel for marks) and going through many many past papers.

I had an unfortunate incident where the format of the exam and some of the content for the module changed, and the "do many exam papers" method let me down. I think I had to rewrite that module. Everything else though, similar questions and structure to previous exams. I may not have known why I was doing stuff in some cases, but at least I knew how to do it \:D/
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
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#18
Its official! I've been accepted to study this degree at unisa!

Would be great to know of any established online communities of past/present students of this degree?
 
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