| What do our students say
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Adrian McMenamin

MSc Computer Science

'Birkbeck has a very good reputation; it’s part of the University of London, has an international reputation, and is very well known. I had friends and colleagues who had attended Birkbeck and told me that the student experience was a good one.

'My first degree was a BSc Astrophysics from about 25 years ago, but I felt that I could do more academically and so I enrolled on the MSc Computer Science at Birkbeck.

'I already had skills and knowledge in my area of study, but I wanted a formal qualification to show to employers. I felt as though I was getting on in life and that I wanted to learn new things and I wanted the personal challenge of studying for a formal qualification.

'It was absolutely essential for me that I was able to study for the degree part-time; I needed to work to be able to pay the mortgage and support my family. Although the degree was a big part of my life, I didn’t want to give up work and my career. To be able to study at a College of the University of London which was fully geared up to working with part-time students was very important. I never had a sense at Birkbeck that I was an ‘add-on’ as a part-time student.

'One of the things I came to enjoy most about the degree was the fact that it required hard study, it provided structure and goals that you had to reach, and you had to set yourself targets.  It was a bigger challenge than I thought it would be but that made it more interesting. I was exploring open questions in research that had been unanswered for 20-30 years. 

'At work, other people had done part-time degrees, some had even been students at Birkbeck, so my colleagues and managers were supportive, and there were people working there who were studying at Birkbeck whilst I was there. My partner was very supportive as she knew from her own experience of going back to university that going back to studying is something very positive.

'I gained more from my time at Birkbeck than I initially thought I would. I knew I would get a formal qualification which would look good on my CV and impress employers, but I actually gained an understanding that I can do more, that there are things I can learn, new challenges I can face in life, and gained confidence from tackling important scientific questions and making a  contribution. I got a lot more out of it than just a formal qualification.

'Doing the Master’s degree at Birkbeck has really made a fundamental difference to my life as it’s given me a lot more confidence in the way that I approach all sorts of problems and a sense of what I can go on to achieve.  Before I came to Birkbeck I was in a rut, I didn’t feel particularly challenged in my life. Now, I feel younger, there are new challenges and a lot I want to go on to do.

'I am in the process of applying to do a part-time PhD, which is a huge challenge and I wouldn’t be doing that without having done the Master’s Degree at Birkbeck. I would wholeheartedly recommend Birkbeck to anybody who is serious about facing up to the challenges of an educational qualification.'

Find out more about our Computer Science courses.

'Before I came to Birkbeck I was in a rut. Now, I feel younger, there are new challenges and a lot I want to go on to do.'