Welcome to the Computer Science page at King's! Here you will find an overview of Computer Science, the people who teach and research in Computer Science at King’s, plus information about making an application.
- Computer Science at Cambridge
- Computer Science at King's
- King's fellows in Computer Science
- Applying to study Computer Science
- Resources and events
- Further information
Computer Science at Cambridge
Computer Science in Cambridge has always been practised as an engineering discipline as well as being founded in mathematics. A team led by Maurice Wilkes designed and built one of the earliest digital computers, EDSAC, in the late 1940s. This tradition was continued with the appointment of the first established Professor of Computer Science. Robin Milner (King's, 1954), a world leader in the theory and practice of computing, was in 1991 awarded the prestigious ACM Turing Award for his work on the theory of communicating processes, together with the design of the successful programming language ML. This language is used in a number of universities (including Cambridge) to introduce students to the principles of program and data structure design: the language is functional, and its syntax and semantics lend themselves to proofs of correctness.
The Computer Science undergraduate course lasts three years. Full details of the course and options are available on the faculty admissions website and you may like to see details of how you are taught.
Computer Science at King's
King's has a long tradition in Computer Science, indeed one of the seminal papers of modern computing theory was published by Alan Turing (King's 1931) in 1937. Former students of King's now occupy senior posts in academic Computer Science throughout the world, as well as positions of influence in the computer industry.
The College has a well-equipped 24/7 Computer Room (the Turing Room on E staircase in the Gibbs Building), with a variety of networked computers and workstations. College rooms have high-speed internet connections and there is wi-fi accessible to College members in public areas such as the bar and coffee shop. The college library is available 24/7, is well stocked for Computer Science, and provides many pleasant spaces to work as well as a second small computer room (see the virtual tour). The King's Archive Centre holds a collection of Turing's personal papers.
King's is a central College on the river. Most first year Computer Science lectures take place right by King's, on the New Museums Site (see the red marker on this map). Second and third year Faculty teaching is in the Computer Laboratory on the west side of Cambridge. This is an eight-minute cycle ride away from King's (see map).
King's Fellows in Computer Science
Felix Fischer is a member of the Statistical Laboratory. He is interested in game theory, social choice theory, and mechanism design, including their computational aspects and application to computational systems.
Tim Griffin did fourteen years of industrial research at Bell Laboratories, AT&T Research and Intel Labs before joining the Computer Laborarory in 2005. He is interested in developing mathematical models of Internet routing.
Ken Moody supervises mainly on probability and databases. His research interests include distributed database systems, information retrieval, active applications and access control.
Simone Teufel is interested in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Information Retrieval (IR). Her current work concentrates on generation techniques for robust summarisation, and on task-based experiments of human text processing. She has also worked on multilingual summarisation and medical information extraction.
Applying to study Computer Science at King's
King's welcomes applications for Computer Science. Computer Scientists studying at King's come from all kinds of schools and we accept a range of qualifications from countries around the world. Our most common standard offers are listed on the entrance requirements page. Women are underrepresented in university Computer Science courses. We therefore actively encourage applications from women to study Computer Science at King's.
It is essential for all applicants to be studying for an A level or equivalent in Mathematics: candidates who can take Further Mathematics as well should do so (though we recognise that not all schools /qualifications offer it) and Physics is also preferred though not essential. Chemistry can be useful. Familiarity with computers is a great help, but no real advantage is gained by following an A-level or equivalent Computing course, and we don't require any prior knowledge of programming. Further advice on subject choices is available in our Subject Matters leaflet and on the Computer Lab website.
The application process is explained in detail on our how to apply page, which we advise you to read thoroughly. All candidates apply for Computer Science on the UCAS form. On the SAQ (or the COPA, if you are an overseas student), you will be asked to enter option preferences for your first year (see details). You must choose one out of:
- Computer Science with Natural Sciences
- Computer Science with Psychology
- Computer Science with Mathematics
a) Computer Science with Natural Sciences or with Psychology
Candidates invited to King's for interviews in Computer Science with Natual Sciences or with Psychology normally sit the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) (for which no specific preparation is required) and have two interviews.
b) Computer Science with Mathematics
Candidates invited to King's for interviews in Computer Science with Mathematics sit both the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) and a one hour Mathematics written test in addition to the two interviews. No specific preparation is required for either the Thinking Skills Assessment or the Mathematics test. We believe that the STEP papers in Mathematics and Further Mathematics are extremely useful preparation for Computer Science with Mathematics and so most of our conditional offers for this option will be based on both our standard entrance requirements and the relevant STEP paper(s). Computer Science with Mathematics candidates may find parts of the Mathematics page useful as well as the information on this page.
King's usually makes about 4 offers in Computer Science each year though this number is not fixed. We have no preference for which option candidates have applied for.
Resources and events
- We provide general advice about developing your interests.
- Your school work in Mathematics is essential preparation for the Cambridge Computer Science course. NRICH provides useful curriculum links. If you are studying in a different qualification system and wish to consult an A level textbook, we suggest L. Bostock and S. Chandler. 1990. Core Maths for Advanced Level. 3rd edition. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.
- If your school does not offer Further Maths, you may be able to get support through the Further Mathematics Support Network. See the flowchart.
- There are Maths extension resources on the NRICH website. See particularly the explanation of 'rich' tasks, and PhysNRICH if you study Physics.
- Raspberry Pi and online tutorials (for context, see About Raspberry Pi, and the FAQ's answer a lot of practical questions).
- There is no required reading material for Computer Science, however you may find useful reading suggestions in the Syllabus and Booklist.
- Candidates for Computer Science with Mathematics are advised to make full use of STEP resources in addition to the links above: see Maths Faculty page, Cambridge Assessment, and NRICH STEP Prep.
- Events which may be of interest in the year before you apply include Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences, CU Masterclasses, CU Science Festival, Headstart, and King's Open Days. Students from backgrounds where there is little tradition of entry to Higher Education might like to think about applying for the Sutton Trust Summer Schools or the CUSU Shadowing Scheme.
- Cambridge University Science Festival (10-23 March)
See the programme and the website.
Here are just a few of more than 250 events available in Cambridge:
- 11 March: Combinatorics - the mathematics that counts
- 11 March: Thinking mathematically (age 14-15)
- 12 March: Finding patterns in genes and proteins
- 15 March: GetSET - Find out about studying Computer Science at Cambridge
- 15 March: meet the women who do the science, technology, engineering and maths (all ages)
- 18 March: Cambridge big ideas
- 19 March: Making Machines see
- 20 March: festival piece of Raspberry Pi (age 8+)
- 22 March: Raspberry Pi at the IfM (all ages)
- 22 March: things you need to know about prime numbers
- Course overview and film
- Faculty website
- Applying with limited support or advice
- Extenuating Circumstances form
- International Students
- If you have any further questions please feel free to email the King's Admissions Office