Ellen Woodward – BSc (Hons) in Computing

Name: Ellen Woodward

School: Ursuline College, Sligo

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to choose your course  

My name is Ellen. I have always had an interest in computing and coding and something that I wanted to study, so I was lucky when one of the best degrees in the country was on my doorstep.

Did the common first year in computing help?

Coming in to first year, I was unsure of which area of computing I enjoyed the most. I got to experience both networking and software modules before I made my decision on what I wanted to focus on. I chose software, but stayed on the general route so I would have the option to do some networking modules in the future. I think it is very important to have a foundational understanding of all aspects of computing, no matter what area you choose to focus on. I feel that the common first year prepares you well for this with its wide range of modules. You study networking and hardware fundamentals, programming basics, web design, and maths. You also study personal development, which prepares you with the soft skills needed for the world of work.

Only two of our six modules were theory based, and still these contained in-class discussions and projects. The rest of the modules were a blend of lectures and practicals in computer labs. The class sizes were very small, so I got more one-to-one time with lecturers.

Why did you choose ATU Sligo?  

I live in Sligo, and I have always wanted to study here. I love how modern the university is, and the small class sizes are a huge bonus.  

What would you say to a student thinking about studying your degree?  

Go for it, especially if you’re not sure what you specifically want to focus on. It a great for trying everything out and working out what you enjoy. Also, you don’t need as much maths as you would think! 

Tell us about your sporting success so far?  

I have been practicing Wado-Ryu karate for over 11 years and received my first Dan black belt three years ago. I have competed in many competitions, both at a national and international level, and in kata and kumite. My greatest success was being chosen to represent Ireland at the European Wado-Kai Championships in Portugal in 2018. There, I won a silver medal in the Female Team Kata. 

What is the best thing about sports and sports facilities at ATU Sligo?  

The gym is very well fitted out, and the running track and pitches are amazing. There is a wide variety of sports on offer, something to suit everyone. There is also great support for clubs from the Students’ Union. 

How has the sports scholarship benefited you? What are the advantages of it?  

The sports scholarship is a great source of motivation to keep striving to do my best and reach my full potential. Access to the gym and competition support are also huge benefits. 

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