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Advice from a first-year student

Starting university and not sure what to expect? Our first-year student, Ali, studies in the School of Computing and Digital Technology. We spoke to him about his experience so far and what advice he would give to students starting in September.

Advice from a first-year student blog


Ali Noorani

Meet Ali

School of Computing and Digital Technology

What subject are you studying?

I study Computer Games Technology in the School of Computing and Digital Technology.

Did you feel ready for your course and what did you do to prepare?

I did not feel prepared at all! I felt overwhelmed thinking about the amount of content that I may have to learn. To prepare for this, I watched videos based around my subject and began learning about the software I was going to be using. This allowed me to have general knowledge around common computer games technology topics, before I went into class. You don’t have to spend your entire summer with your nose in a book, but getting familiar with some of the content you will be studying helps massively. I used the ‘course in depth’ tab on the Computer Games Technology course page, to see where I could start.

What is your favourite thing about BCU?

Personally, the support I have received from my tutor and lecturers has been great. If I send an email, they always respond promptly and if needed, they are happy to have a 1-2-1 session to discuss assignments or course content in more detail. I would advise for you to book sessions with your lecturers if you have any concerns about your work.

What is the best discovery you have made since starting at BCU?

My potential. When I first started university, I used to doubt my ability to create games from scratch and write essay’s that are thousands of words, but my first-year at university has really allowed me to push myself and see what I can create. And if something doesn’t go the way you planned, you can always learn from it.

What do you love about the city?

There are endless places to visit! I have lived in Birmingham for a long time and still have a long list of places to explore. I love that the campus is so close to the city centre and is really accessible via train, bus or car.

What do you wish you had known before you started that you know now?

How much coming to university would mean to me. Making the decision to come to university and commit to a course can be an overwhelming feeling. But after my first-year at BCU I look forward to the years ahead on the course.

Also, be prepared for a lot of Independent study! It’s a good thing…I promise.

What are you going to do differently going into second year?

Do more independent study out of university hours. So, I can explore and learn more about my industry. But most importantly, have fun!

What advice would you give to first-year students joining in September?

My advice would be to take each day as it comes and grasp the opportunities it comes with. Try not to stress about what you want to achieve in the upcoming years. Instead, enjoy the journey of university.

There will be some assignments that you may not enjoy as much as others, but all are important. If you would like some more information on how the content you are studying is used in industry, the lecturers will be happy to explain.