Computer Science

Director of Studies: Dr Richard Mortier

Number of students admitted each year: 2-3

College Fellows in Computer Science

  • Professor Marcelo Fiore: Professor in Computer Science and a member of the Programming, Logic, and Semantics Group. His research interests are in the investigation and development of mathematical models for theories of computation, with applications to the study and formalisation of computational languages.
  • Professor Ian Leslie: Professor of Computer Science and a member of the Systems Research Group. His research interests are in operating systems, distributed systems, networks, and computer communications.
  • Dr Richard Mortier: University Lecturer in the Systems Research Group at the Cambridge University Computer Lab. working at the intersection of systems and networking with human-computer interaction, and is currently focused on how to build user-centric systems infrastructure that enables people to better support themselves in a ubiquitous computing world through Human-Data Interaction.
  • Dr Steven Murdoch: Senior Research Associate in the Security Group of the University Computer Laboratory: works on the Tor project developing censorship resistance and anonymous communications software. His research interests also include banking security, covert channels, as well as other areas of computer security and systems engineering.

The range of expertise of the fellows covers the whole spectrum of the Computer Science Tripos which plays an important role in our provision of College teaching.
 

College Facilities

Computer Science supervisionChrist'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.
 

Student Profiles

Becca, Simeon, Henry, Matt, and Dylan study Computer Science here at Christ's College. They have written about their experiences of studying Computer Science in their student profiles:

If you would like to read more accounts from Christ's students, please see the student profiles page. 
 

How to Apply

Details of the application process including the dates and deadlines are given on our how to apply page. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and school types, all over the world. If you will be applying from outside the UK, we recommend that you also read our dedicated section for international students.

Subject advice

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 30 October 2019. 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 2019 must be registered to take the Cambridge Test of Mathematics for University Admissions by 18:00 UK time on 15 October 2019. 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 2019 sit the test on 30 October 2019.

Interviews

If you are invited for interview in Cambridge, this will take place in December. Each candidate normally has two interviews. Before one of the interviews, you will be given some time to work on a preparatory exercise and a discussion of your solutions to the questions will form part of the interview. Questions in the preparatory exercise will be similar in style to the CSAT, and we recommend the use of the CSAT Practice [+] Platform for preparation. However, you will not sit a full CSAT Test.

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.
 

Resources

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..
CSAT Practice [+] Platform If you will come for interview at Christ's, we recommend that you use this website to practice for the preparatory exercise before one of your interviews.
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.

 

Further Information

If you are able to come to a College Open Day, we will be glad to tell you more about Christ's and studying Computer Science here in person. If you are not able to come, please feel free to email any queries you have to the Christ's admissions team: admissions@christs.cam.ac.uk.
 

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