Computer Science

As Computer Science continues to evolve at break-neck speed, this degree brings together mathematics, engineering, natural sciences, psychology and linguistics to equip you with the sought-after skills you need for a career in industry or research.

Why study Computer Science at Christ's College?

Christ's is distinctive amongst the Cambridge Colleges. It offers strong tutorial support to its students as they pursue their academic work, and is able to offer accommodation for three years to all of its undergraduates. Christ's College is within a few minutes walk of Mill Lane where first year lectures for Computer Science are held. The College also provides a modern library, a theatre, sporting facilities, playing fields, social activities and clubs and societies open to all.
 

Course structure and content

The Computer Science course (or ‘tripos’) is a four-year degree, and you can choose from a range of options in the first year.

Please visit the University website for full details of the Computer Science course content and structure.
 

Teaching

Christ’s’ Fellows possess a range of expertise that covers the full spectrum of the Computer Science course, so you can expect strong, informed teaching.

  • Dr Richard Mortier: Christ’s Director of Studies in Computer Science and University Lecturer in the Systems Research Group at the Cambridge University Computer Lab
  • Professor Marcelo Fiore: Professor in Computer Science and a member of the Programming, Logic and Semantics Group
  • Professor Ian Leslie: Professor of Computer Science and a member of the Systems Research Group
  • Dr Steven Murdoch: Senior Research Associate in the Security Group of the University Computer Laboratory

Christ’s College Director of Studies in Computer Science Dr Richard Mortier can advise you on choosing options and arrange your twice-weekly ‘supervisions’. These small-group teaching tutorials offer support and tuition tailored to your personal work. As other universities usually tutor in much larger groups, this approach is a real advantage of a Cambridge education.

Our students enjoy the fact that Christ's College is just a few minutes’ walk from Mill Lane, home of first-year Computer Science lectures.
 

What do our students think?

Student Q&A film
  Watch the Christ's student Q&A film

Read about the experiences of some of the Christ's Computer Science students:

If you’d like to hear from other Christ's students, please watch the Christ's student Q&A film, and visit our Student Profiles page.
 

How to Apply

Visit How to Apply for full details and a timeline of the application process. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and school types, all over the world. If you're applying from outside the UK, please read our international students section.

News

27 Aug: The date of the pre-interview Admissions Assessment for Computer Science has changed from 4 Nov to Thursday 5 November as part of the Covid 19 updates. See updates on the Cambridge Admissions website.

July: University-wide statement: In order to minimise Covid-related risks to our applicants, students and staff in the coming undergraduate admissions round, we are making plans to interview applicants this year without requiring them to travel to Cambridge in December. We will release further details about alternative arrangements as soon as we can.

At Christ's we have a page for Coronavirus disruptions and applying this year - we recommend reading and then keeping an eye on it.


Subject requirements

We particularly welcome applications from candidates with a strong background in mathematics and/or science. A-level or IB Higher Level Mathematics (or equivalent) is essential, and candidates offering A- or AS-level Further Mathematics are likely to be more competitive than those without. A-level Physics and/or Computer Science is desirable. 

Pre-interview Admissions Assessment 

All students applying to the University of Cambridge for Computer Science must sit a pre-interview admissions assessment called the Cambridge Test of Mathematics for University Admissions (CTMUA). This will take place in your school, college or local testing centre on 5 November 2020. The same assessment is used regardless of which College you have applied to, and preparation information is provided on the website above. The test forms part of our holistic admissions process: there is no set score that we are looking for. When applying, it is important to be aware of the registration and assessment dates:

  • All Computer Science applicants applying in 2020 must be registered to take the Cambridge Test of Mathematics for University Admissions by 18:00 UK time on 15 October 2020. See how to be registered.
    Please note that open centres may set an earlier deadline for accepting entries, and it is your responsibility to check if this applies at your centre.
     
  • All Computer Science applicants applying in 2020 sit the test on 5 November 2020 (updated date).

Interviews

University-wide statement: In order to minimise Covid-related risks to our applicants, students and staff in the coming undergraduate admissions round, we are making plans to interview applicants this year without requiring them to travel to Cambridge in December. We will release further details about alternative arrangements as soon as we can. This does mean that there may be changes to the details of interviews below (which sets out what normally happens).

If you are invited for interview in Cambridge, this will take place in December. Each candidate normally has two interviews.

Further, more general information about interviews (including two useful films) is available in the Cambridge interviews section.

We also hold interviews in a number of locations overseas. If this may be relevant for you, please see the international students section. Please be aware that the format of overseas interviews may vary from the pattern described above. Those applying for interviews overseas will be given full information by the International Interviews Administrator.

Offers

Christ's College does not have fixed quotas of places for different subjects and the exact numbers admitted in any one year will depend upon the strengths of the fields of applicants in various subjects.

Our typical conditional offer is A*A*A at A-level, 42 points overall in the IB with 7,7,6 in Higher Level subjects, or the equivalent in other qualifications although the precise terms of each offer are assessed individually.

Occasionally, applicants who have expressed an interest in STEP may be asked to complete STEP 1 alongside their A-levels or in lieu of a non-relevant A-level subject. This gives them an additional opportunity to demonstrate the mathematical aptitude necessary to thrive on our course.

If you are an international applicant taking qualifications other than A-Level / IB, do look at the international students section for further information. If you will have already finished school when you apply, please see the page for post-qualification applications.
 

Helpful resources

Isaac Computer Science A FREE online learning platform. The content is tailored to A level exam boards. You study and revise at your own pace, track your progress as you answer questions and work towards achieving better exam results. You can feel confident that you are accessing high-quality and relevant materials written by experienced teachers.
Additional in Coronavirus times MEI (Maths Education) resources for students studying at home
Additional in Coronavirus times NRICH Maths at home
Advanced Mathematics Support Programme This website has resources to support students taking A level Mathematics and A level Further Mathematics. If your school does not offer A level Further Mathematics, see how to take Further Mathematics
Preparation for the CTUMA How to prepare for the Cambridge Test of Mathematics for University Admissions (CTUMA). This is the pre-interview Admissions Assessment for Computer Science, taken by all applicants..
STEP Support Programme Free online resources developed by Cambridge University Mathematics Department and NRICH to support students in the last two years of school who are preparing for STEP examinations.
Project Euler Mathematical/computer programming problems - the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems.
NRICH Mathematics Free online resources to help you develop mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills. See in particular curriculum content, advanced problem-solving materials, prepare for university, and live problems
Plus Magazine A variety of maths articles and podcasts written for sixth form students, exploring the dynamic importance of maths and its applications.
Raspberry Pi If you can get hold of a Raspberry Pi, it would be good to follow one of the many hardware and software tutorials available online for it. This will give you familiarity with the UNIX command line, which you'll find very useful on the course at Cambridge.
Reading suggestions

- A Kee Dewdney, The New Turing Omnibus (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
- Jeannette Wing, Computational Thinking
- Kevin Houston, How to think like a mathematician (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

Publications such as New Scientist and Scientific American often have articles on Computer Science too.

Oxford Computer Science talks Research talks
Nuffield Research Placements Year 12 opportunity to work on a summer research project. Strict eligibility criteria apply.
CamGuides Introducing the academic and information skills that you will need during your studies, as well as how and where you would be working

 

Come to an Open Day or Online event

Online events: Our open days and events page advertises online opportunities as well as events you can attend in Cambridge.

If you can, come along to a Christ's College Open Day. These offer a good opportunity to find out more about the College and talk to current students and staff about studying Computer Science here.
 

Want to know more?

For a full picture of what the course involves, please take a look at Undergraduate admissions in Computer Science on the University website and visit the Computer Science department page. If you have any queries, please send them to admissions@christs.cam.ac.uk and we’ll help however we can.
 

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