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Why study Computer Science at Christ's College?

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Christ's is 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, including the course film. You will also find information on the Department of Computer Science and Technology page for prospective applicants. If you have any further questions, please contact undergraduate.admissions@cst.cam.ac.uk. 
 

Teaching

Prof Richard mortier
Prof Richard Mortier, Director of Studies

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.

  • Professor 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
  • Professor Steven Murdoch: Professor of Security Engineering at UCL and bye-fellow at Christ's College.
  • Dr Damon Wischik: University Lecturer in the Human-Centred Computing Group at the Cambridge University Computer Lab.

Christ’s College Director of Studies in Computer Science Prof 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
  • Update: for candidates applying to Christ's in October 2024 who are taking or have taken A-levels, note that A level Further Mathematics is now a required subject (it was previously a strongly recommended subject). 
  • Update: all Oct 2024 applicants for Computer Science at Cambridge must take the TMUA (Test of Mathematics for University Admission). The provider has changed since last year and there are some changes to the logistics for this test. Please see the TMUA section below for details and ensure that you are registered by the deadline.


Subject requirements

We particularly welcome applications from candidates with a strong background in mathematics and/or science.

If you are taking UK-designed A-levels* 

  • A level Mathematics is required
  • A level Further Mathematics is required
  • It is desirable to take Physics and/or Computer Science.

If your school does not offer Further Maths, you may be able to get support from the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme

*UK-designed A levels include International A levels but not Singapore A levels.

For all other qualifications, including the International Baccalaureate and Scottish Advanced Highers: 

  • Mathematics (or an equivalent) is essential. IB students must take Maths Analysis and Approaches and students in the USA system should take AP Calculus BC.
  • You must also take at least one other subject out of Physics, Chemistry or Biology.
  • It is desirable to take Physics and/or Computer Science.

Students in the Scottish system should see the advice here and students taking the International Baccalaureate should see the information here.

A number of our international candidates (from countries where you study a wide range of subjects at school in the final two years) take part in Mathematics competitions as a way to focus on extending mathematical knowledge and ability.
 

TMUA (Test of Mathematics for University Admission) - registration by 16 September required

All students applying to the University of Cambridge for Computer Science sit an admissions assessment called the Test of Mathematics for University Admissions (TMUA). This is the same at all Cambridge Colleges. The test provider has changed since last year so note that the logistics for sitting the TMUA will be different for Oct 2024 applicants to previous arrangements for this test.
Please first of all read the TMUA summary, then look at the ESAT-TMUA website for full information.

DateWhat happens
May 2024Free practice materials and further detail about the TMUA are available on the ESAT-TMUA website (see the prepare page).
From 3 June 2024UK applicants only: if you are in financial need you may be eligible to apply for a bursary code to cover the full test fee. Please check the eligibility criteria and process at Applying for a Bursary on the ESAT-TMUA website.
3 June - 29 August 2024If you have a disability or learning difference and require access arrangements for your test (e.g. extended time for dyslexia, arrangements for impaired mobility, hearing, or vision) you must not book your test until your access arrangements have been approved by UAT-UK. Please see the access arrangements page on the ESAT-TMUA website
1 August - 16 September 2024

Create an account, register and pay the entry fee for the TMUA by the 16 Sept deadline at the latest. See the registration section on the ESAT-TMUA website. Once registration is open, we recommend that you register as soon as possible. The earlier you book, the more chance you have of getting the appointment you want at your local test centre.

Important: 16 Sept is an absolute deadline. You cannot register late and therefore it will not be possible to apply to Cambridge if you miss this deadline.

16 or 17 October 2024Take the TMUA at a Pearson VUE test centre (you must use this sitting). See the test day information.
Approx 6 weeks after
you take the test
You receive your results via the Pearson VUE booking portal
(results are automatically shared with us as well - you do not need to send them to us)


You will need to sit the TMUA at a Pearson VUE test centre. There are tests centres in over 180 countries - you will be able to find your nearest test centre nearer the time on the Pearson VUE website. The entry fee is £75 to sit the TMUA in the UK or Republic of Ireland, or £130 to sit the test in another country. Note that UK students in financial need can apply for a bursary voucher (a unique code which can be used instead of payment when registering).

There is no set score that we are looking for and we don't expect you to get every question right. The TMUA forms part of our holistic admissions process, which means that we will look at your scores in the context of your whole application.

Interviews

If we invite you for interviews, these usually take place in early December. At Christ's we do all of our interviews online. You can have your interviews either at home (most applicants do this) or at school (if easier). Those selected for interview are interviewed for 35-50 minutes in total. At Christ’s, we usually split the time into two interviews with academics in Computer Science.

Further, more general information about interviews (including two useful films) is available in the Cambridge interviews section, and it's worth also having a look at supervisions (short film here), as interviews are similar to what you do every week as a Cambridge student.

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.

We define the terms of each offer individually, but a typical offer for Computer Science is

You need to be academically ambitious: the majority of Christ's students arrive with higher grades than are required.

If you're taking another qualification, we expect you to be working at or close to the top of the mark range, for example

You can look up other qualifications in the offer levels for other exam systems and international entry requirements, and if you are applying from outside the UK please read the Christ's international students section for further information and check the country pages.

If you will have finished school when you apply, please also read about post-qualification applications, taking a gap year, and, if relevant, applying from a university.
 

Helpful resources

TMUA preparation materialsIncluding specification and sample tests with explained answers. There is also an archive of old TMUA papers to help prepare.
Ada Computer ScienceA FREE online learning platform developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation and the University of Cambridge. 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.
Advanced Mathematics Support ProgrammeA programme that offers advice about choosing A level Further Mathematics, revision events, enrichment materials and activities, and tuition, when it is not available through your school or college. See in particular A level Mathematics and A level Further Mathematics, as well as Resources for self-study, the Further Maths Fact Sheet and the free Further Maths videos. There is also help with the step up from secondary school maths to A level maths.
Imperial College London A level Further Maths skills courseThis is to support students taking Further Maths A level (so you can use the free version) - it does not replace the A level Further Maths qualification.
Maths home study resourcesNRICH Maths at home. If in sixth form, see in particular the 16-18 section.
NRICH MathematicsFree 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
Maths transition helpTransition from from GCSE (secondary school) to A level (sixth form) maths;
Transition from A level (sixth form) to university maths
Plus MagazineA variety of maths articles and podcasts written for sixth form students, exploring the dynamic importance of maths and its applications. You can search for articles with the Computer Science tag.
Project EulerMathematical/computer programming problems - the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems.
Raspberry PiIf 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 talksResearch talks
Nuffield Research PlacementsYear 12 opportunity to work on a summer research project. Strict eligibility criteria apply.
Isaac Physics If you're studying Physics in sixth form, this website will help you develop problem-solving skills in Physics. See A-level resources and student support. There is also a mentoring scheme, events and opportunity to earn a summer school place. There's also a video lesson archive which covers the core syllabus for A level Physics.
HE+ Computer ScienceA website for students who want to explore Computer Science beyond the school curriculum.
CamGuidesIntroducing 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 / Webinar

Our open days and events page advertises regular online opportunities as well as events you can attend in Cambridge. If you can, sign up for a College Open Day (our October, February and September events normally include a meeting with a subject specialist). Between February and August we run regular webinars:

  • Subject Matters: The importance of post-16 subject choices (this one is also run Sept - Nov)
  • Cambridge for Beginners
  • Christ's College: A look at the Grounds and Facilities
  • Personal Statements and preparing for an application

Further subject-specific opportunities you might wish to consider include Subject Masterclasses organised by Cambridge Admissions Office, and subject-specific talks in the July Cambridge Open Days. If you are a UK student from a background where there is little tradition of entry to Higher Education, you can apply to attend a Sutton Trust Summer School in Computer Science or to shadow a current undergraduate studying Computer Science via the Cambridge SU Shadowing Scheme (do be aware that there's a high proportion of applicants to places for both of these last two opportunities so please don't be discouraged if you don't get a place).

 

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.

Undergraduate Admissions main page / Back to the subject list / How to apply / Why choose Christ's?