Advancing a Healthy Computing Career at UWS

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Making a career change can be a daunting prospect but alumna Constance Farrell found the transition from being a nurse to studying the University’s popular MSc Advanced Computing an easy one.

Constance said: “After completing a Bachelor of Science in Adult Nursing at UWS, I gained employment as a registered nurse in the NHS where I worked in a clinical role for several years. I began to develop an interest in the role of technology in advancing healthcare and discovered a passion for computing science by learning aspects of programming in my spare time. I then decided to purse that passion academically through postgraduate study, with the goal of furthering my skill set and changing to a new career in technological research.

“The University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences has an excellent research network and connections with industrial partners which I found appealing. I completed my undergraduate degree at UWS which was such an enjoyable experience that I decided to return for postgraduate study.”

Constance, who graduated the postgraduate Advanced Computing programme in 2019, added: “Deciding to change your career is definitely daunting and studying advanced computing at postgraduate level when your first degree is in a completely different field was academically challenging. I was initially worried that this would be a disadvantage and that my knowledge of the subject may be inadequate or not as good as that of my peers. After my first few weeks at UWS it became apparent that this was not the case as staff and fellow students were all very supportive and non-judgemental of my atypical background. Lectures were very informative, and coursework was manageable but challenging at times. However, staff were always willing to help and provide more in-depth explanations and examples when needed. Group projects were a particularly enjoyable aspect of the course which enabled the opportunity for students to work together, growing from each other’s strengths and improving weaknesses through teamwork.

Constance Farrell, MSc Advanced Computing 2019

“Whether you are just leaving school and beginning your career or left school twenty years ago and want to move your career in a new direction UWS is a great place to start. It is a very friendly environment and has students of all ages and nationalities which allows you to develop socially as well as academically. The staff really care about you and are supportive with career advice and opportunities as well as academic work. I feel that it is a really inclusive environment – everyone matters.

“Professor Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir supervised my MSc thesis research and was always very supportive which has enabled my work to be published as a chapter in a book. I knew that I wanted to progress on to doctoral research but did not realise how rigorous, lengthy, and competitive the application process would be. UWS staff continued to support me after I graduated by providing advice, references and assisting with the application process. I have now been offered a full scholarship for PhD research in Genomics Data Science at a prestigious programme in Ireland and feel that I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the continued support of UWS staff, particularly Professor Shakir.”

The University’s MSc Advanced Computing enables students to develop a comprehensive understanding of advanced computing technologies within industry and academia as well as acquire hands-on experience. Advanced computing technologies provide a roadmap of technological innovation across science and engineering domains. MSc Advanced Computing is a specialist postgraduate degree focused on teaching advance topics of internet-of-things, big data and digital health.

Find out more about the University’s MSc Advanced Computing.

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