Computer Science

  • Intake: 6
  • Typical Offer: A*A*A 
  • Essential Subjects: Mathematics
  • Desirable Subjects: Further Mathematics and Computing (not IT)
  • Assessment: Pre Interview Assessment: The Cambridge Test of Mathematics for University Admission (CTMUA), At Interview Assessment: Computer Science Admissions Test (CSAT)
  • Faculty website: www.cst.cam.ac.uk and www.cst.cam.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate

Tripos:

Cambridge Computer Science blends theoretical knowledge and practical experience to give you the tools to work at the forefront of technology. The Department of Computer Science and Technology is responsible for the course syllabus, the programme of lectures and the exams. The Department website contains lots of information on the benefits of studying Computer Science at Cambridge, the course content and employment prospects.

Computer Science at Queens’

The college supports your study on an individual basis and provides teaching in small groups of two or three students, known as supervisions.  We aim to admit around six Computer Science undergraduates every year.  This number provides a supportive cohort of Computer Science students while being small enough that we can support every student individually. Students typically participate in three or four hours of small-group supervisions a week. These supervisions are delivered by Queens’ teaching staff, complemented by researchers based in the Department. 

Is Computer Science at Queens' right for me?

Choosing a college is a matter of personal preference. We encourage you to come and visit the College to see what it is like in person.  We are always pleased to receive emails from potential applicants, so please contact us. Things to consider:

  • Colleges differ in the size of intake and teaching ethos. We admit around six students a year and actively encourage students to work together and support one another.
  • Queens' is an open and informal college located near the centre of town, which gives easy access to many city amenities and is a short walk to lectures in the first year. For the later years of the degree, University teaching will take place in The Computer Laboratory on the West Cambridge site. This is a 10-minute cycle ride on a low-traffic route.  Alternatively, the Universal bus service runs door to door, stopping outside Queens’ and the Department.
  • We actively pursue wider interests in the subject: in addition to supervisions at Queens’, we run a general meeting once a week for all Computer Scientists. Recent activities have included collaborative programming challenges, summer internship reports, and short project talks from undergraduates as well as researchers from the Department.
  • We provide every first- and second-year student with a copy of the core course text books. Books are returned at the end of the year for use by the next group of students. Queens’ and the Department have a well-stocked library to support students in the third and fourth year.
  • We are passionate about high-quality teaching and education. For example, three of Queens’ teaching staff (see below) have a leading role in the construction and delivery of the new IsaacComputerScience.org teaching platform, which is funded by the UK’s Department for Education to support and improve Computer Science teaching in all English schools.

Assessment process

The University has commissioned a written test as part of the pre-interview assessment of applications for Computer Science. The written test is called the Cambridge Test of Mathematics for University Admission (CTMUA) and uses the same syllabus as the existing TMUA test used by the Universities of Durham, Lancaster, Warwick, Sheffield, Southampton, Nottingham and Cardiff as well as the London School of Economics. Applicants will sit the CTMUA in late October or early November and the results will be considered alongside the rest of the application paperwork in order to determine which candidates to invite for interview. We will not simply select those candidates with the best scores in the CTMUA when determining who to invite for interview; rather, we will use your CTMUA score together with your application paperwork.

Candidates invited for further assessment will take part in two interviews and a written test at Queens’ College in December. One interview will seek to understand your ability in mathematics, logical thinking and problem solving.  The second interview will assess your interest and motivation for study in Computer Science. The written test is the Computer Science Admissions Test (CSAT) and is designed to support your application.

Taking an additional test at interview is to your advantage

We know that interviews are challenging, and many applicants have limited interview experience. The CSAT provides you with an additional opportunity to show us your potential. If you don’t demonstrate your potential at interview, the CSAT provides you with another opportunity to shine (and vice-versa). At Queens’, we have previously admitted students who did well at interview and relatively poorly in the CSAT and the other way around. We highly recommend the CSAT website (csat.io) which contains lots of preparatory material.

Queens’ Computer Science Teaching Staff

Professor Alastair Beresford (Robin Walker Fellow in Computer Science)As the Director of Studies for the second-, third- and fourth-year Computer Science students I am responsible for organising supervisions and helping students to fulfil their academic potential. I supervise first- and second-year courses so I get to know all students well. I’m also Professor of Computer Security in the Department of Computer Science and Technology where I teach undergraduate courses on programming as well as graduate courses on computer security. In 2014, I was awarded the Pilington Teaching Prize by the University for excellence and innovation in University teaching. I lead the development of the tech platform used to deliver the IsaacComputerScience.org online learning system together with Dr Andrew Rice.

Professor Andrew Rice (Hassabis Fellow in Computer Science)As Director of Studies for the first-year Computer Science students where I am responsible for organising supervisions as well as helping students make excellent academic progress. I see all first-year students at least once a week in supervisions. As a Reader in Computer Science, I teach courses on programming languages. In 2014 I was awarded the Pilkington Teaching Prize by the University for excellence and innovation in University teaching. I lead the development of the tech platform used to deliver the IsaacComputerScience.org online learning system together with Prof Alastair Beresford.

Professor Neil Lawrence: I am the inaugural DeepMind Professor of Machine Learning. I have been working on machine learning models for over 20 years. I recently returned to academia after three years as Director of Machine Learning at Amazon. My main interest is the interaction of machine learning with the physical world. This interest was triggered by deploying machine learning in the Afican context, where 'end-to-end' soluntions are normally required. This has inspired new research directions at the interface of machine learning and systems research, this work us funded by a Senior Al Fellowship from the Alan Turing Institute. I am also visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield and the co-host of Talking Machines.

Dr Ramsey Faragher: I teach mathematical theory underlying Computer Science alongside applications such as security, machine learning and artificial intelligence. My own research is in the fields I teach: I work on machine learning and data fusion techniques for navigation and tracking. I have had a varied career, working in the defence industry, academic research and, most, recently, founding and running my start-up company: https://focalpointpositioning.com/.