In all activities we plan for Computer Science students, we focus on engagement and community building. From the moment students meet Department’s staff for the first time all the way to their graduation, we organise events with that in mind - most importantly we empower and support students to develop this sense of community.
Some of these are:
Welcome week activities
- Apart from giving information to new students, we make sure to include activities to facilitate them making new friends
- We also include some higher year students, so they can hear from them about all the opportunities available to students
- We organise lunch with staff where they meet their personal tutors (these lunches happen again twice during the year)
- Students from second year volunteer to mentor a group of 5 year 1 students during the whole year
- Lead peer mentors organise all activities: from a pizza dinner during welcome week to games or informational sessions (such as how to prepare for exams) - the Director of Studies take part on the training of peer mentors, and work very closely with the lead peer mentors to support all events they plan
- Student representatives for each year attend 4 SSLCs (student staff liaison committee) per year. Four years ago, the Department introduced agile "mini-SSLC" (staff-student liaison committee) meetings, supplementing the formal meetings. These allow students to raise issues in an informal, unthreatening, and timely way, and allow the department to respond rapidly to urgent or easily remedied items. These meetings achieve many goals: students can see their issues are taken seriously - with time, this builds trust - representatives feel empowered to raise issues with their cohort as they know they are being heard. More details about mini-SSLCs
PAL - peer assisted learning
- Students from 2nd year volunteer to run sessions on programming for year 1 students
BCSS (Bath Computer Science Society)
- In partnership with the student led Bath Computer Science Society, we support and promote many of their extra-curricular activities such as visits to Bletchley park, hackathons, cyber-security challenges
- Since 2017, BCSS also organises an annual Comp Sci Ball - this is an incredibly successful event where even students on placement come to Bath to take part. Students always invite staff and campaign heavily for staff join in. They also give awards to students and to staff.
WIT (Women in Technology) and Lovelace Colloquium
- WIT was created by female students in 2016. The department give a lot of support for their very successful events. They also run Code First: Girls where they deliver coding courses to female students from other Departments at the University. This year alone, they ran 4 8-week programmes.
- Female students in the departments are also encouraged and supported to attend the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium - in the last edition (2018) they were awarded seven prizes.
End of year celebration
- Since 2017, the Department organise an end-of-year celebration with the presence of all students. This is a way for the Department to recognise and thank the many students. We show pictures highlighting some of the special moments of the year. This is an incredibly successful event with the presence of staff and students.
- The Department is accessible to students 24/7. There is a dedicated lab for UG students that is their hub - a place they go to work, individually or in groups. It is also a place that foster across year peer-learning. This is a focal point for our students whenever they are not attending lectures, labs or tutorials.
All these community-building activities have a positive domino effect - new students benefit enormously for all that higher year students do for them; they then want to reciprocate the following year. It creates the conditions for a learning environment where students are engaged through a partnership with staff.