Having just completed my first year of Computer Science at Warwick, I can now share some tips with any students who are going to be starting the course soon, which will hopefully make it less daunting.
You may be concerned that you don’t know enough before starting (I was) but don’t worry! You do not necessarily need to learn anything in preparation for starting the course, although I can suggest some things that may be helpful. If you have never programmed before I would recommend giving it a go prior to arriving. If you do decide you want to learn some in advance, I would suggest Java as it is the main language used on the course. However, Java was new to me when I started and it was fine as you are taught from basics, it is just a nice head start if you know a little before turning up.
If you have never programmed before I would recommend giving it a go prior to arriving
Something you will learn at the beginning of the course is some basic UNIX/Linux for using the computers in the department, so you may find it worthwhile to have a go at this beforehand, although again it is not essential. Make sure not to forget all the maths that you have learnt because you will be building upon it in the maths modules – and these were more difficult than I had expected!
In terms of what to do once you arrive, my main piece of advice would be to start your coursework as soon as it is set rather than waiting until a week before it is due to start working on it. Make sure that you are not playing Temple Run at 2am when the coursework is unfinished and due in six hours.
Make sure not to forget all the maths that you have learnt because you will be building upon it in the maths modules
Also, make sure that you choose the optional modules that you will find interesting and ones that you will be motivated to do the work for. Remember you are able to take options outside of the department if you would prefer to do modules that are not Computer Science. Given all that, have a great first year!