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Computer Science

Computer Science at Cambridge is designed to equip you for a broad and exciting industry moving at a fast pace. The course emphasises the core principles of Computer Science, taught through specific examples, that will enable you to grasp any new programming language or innovation. Students come to Cambridge with a wide range of backgrounds and experience, but whether you are a beginner or experienced in some aspect of Computer Science, you will work on material that is both accessible and challenging in the best way.

Course Structure

In first year, all students are taught the fundamentals of Computer Science for half their time and also take a maths course. You also take one further option which you choose from more maths, more computer science, or a range of sciences or psychology.

Second year is devoted to the core principles of Computer Science, and to the syllabus specified by industry bodies who set the standards. You will have covered the specified industry core syllabus by the end of the year, helping you with your future employment options as well as furthering your knowledge. There's also a popular group project this year, in which students work in small teams on products for an industry 'customer'.

In third year there is a wide range of courses and you are free to choose what interests you most to work on in more depth. You also have a personal project this year, which lasts for two thirds of the year: you can choose or propose a project and you then receive one-to-one support from a supervisor. This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your skills to future employers.

Computer Science at Cambridge

Undergraduate students and staff talk about studying Computer Science at the University of Cambridge. To find out more about this course, see www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this video is accurate at the time it was uploaded, changes are likely to occur. It is therefore very important that you check the University and College websites for any updates before you apply for the course by visiting…

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.

College rooms have high-speed internet connections and there is WiFi 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. The King's Archive Centre holds a collection of Turing's personal papers.

Fellows at King's in Computer Science:

griffin-tim-professorial-fellow
ProfessorTimGriffin
Director of Research

Development of mathematical models of Internet routing; network protocol design and analysis; big data.

ken-moody
DrKenMoody
Life Fellow

Probability and databases; distributed database systems; information retrieval; active applications and access control.

api-portrait
DrApinanHasthanasombat
Ordinary Fellow
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DrAliceHutchings
Ordinary Fellow

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.

Subject Requirements

Minimum offer level

A Level: A*A*A

IB: 41-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

Subject requirements

You will need A levels/IB Higher Levels (or the equivalent) in:

  • Maths
  • Further Mathematics (A level only, see below if you do not have this A level)

If you’re studying IB, we ask for Analysis and Approaches for this course. If this isn’t an option at your school, please contact the College you wish to apply to for advice.

We may require A*/7 in Mathematics or Further Mathematics, and may occasionally specify an A* in other subjects.

Further Mathematics A level

If you’re taking A levels and have the opportunity to study Further Mathematics, you must choose this as one of your qualifications. If you have the opportunity to study Further Mathematics at AS level but not A level, then you should take the AS level.

If you’re unable to take either qualification, you’ll need to demonstrate equivalent knowledge and ability through independent study of the subject matter; this will be assessed through your performance in the relevant pre-admissions assessment. We’d advise contacting a College admissions office for further advice and guidance.

Admissions Assessments

Applicants for Computer Science will need to take a pre-registration required written assessment at an authorised test centre local to them. This assessment will be the Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA). You must be registered in advance to take the assessment. You must register yourself, your school cannot do this for you. 

Your performance in the written assessment will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.

All applicants for courses with pre-registered assessment must be registered in advance. Late registration will not be possible and may result in the application being invalid. Students self-register for the test – their school cannot do this for them. Please make contact with your nearest test centre as soon as possible. 

Applicants applying in the 2024 application round for entry in 2025/26 will have to take the TMUA (Test of Mathematics for University Admission) for Computer Science. 

Written Work

You will not be asked to submit any written work as part of your application.

Interviews

If you are invited for interviews at King's, these will take place in early December. Selected candidates will have two interviews, each with one or two members of the teaching staff associated with Computer Science.

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The subject choices that you make at school can have a significant impact on the course options available to you at University - find out more.
assessments
Find out about how to register for your written assessment and see specimen papers from previous years.
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Thinking of applying to King's? See here for a breakdown of the process, from submitting your UCAS application to receiving your offer.
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It's completely normal to be nervous about coming to interview, but here's some practical advice about how to prepare for the process.

Student Perspectives

Profir has written a detailed account about his experiences of studying Computer Science at King's, including Freshers' Week, the teaching and timetable, living in the College community, and the application process. This account is well worth reading to get a sense of what studying Computer Science at King's is really like.

Reading, Resources and Events

There is no required reading material for Computer Science, however you may find useful suggestions in the Syllabus and Booklist. Raspberry Pi and online tutorials (for context, see About Raspberry Pi, interactive image of a Raspberry Pi, and the FAQ's answer a lot of practical questions). The Computer Science Faculty FAQs also include advice for developing 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 (2013) 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 Maths Support Network. See the flowchart linked below.

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.

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