Computer Science

  • Intake: 7 - 9
  • Offers: A*A*A (but also a STEP Maths requirement for CS-with-Maths only)
  • Essential Subjects: Mathematics
  • Desirable Subjects: Further Mathematics; a physical science or Computing (not IT)
  • Faculty website:
  • Computer Science at Queens':


Cambridge Computer Science blends theoretical knowledge and practical experience to give you the tools to work at the forefront of technology.  The course syllabus and its delivery is the responsibility of the Computer Laboratory which provides its own information for applicants: see for more information on benefits of studying Computer Science at Cambridge, the course content and options, A-level choices, and employment prospects

Computer Science at Queens’

The college supports your study on an individual basis and provides small group teaching, known as supervisions.  We aim to admit between 7 and 9 Computer Science undergraduates every year.  This number is chosen to be big enough to permit you to benefit from having other Computer Science students around you whilst being small enough that we can pay personal attention to your studies and interests.

You will participate in typically 4 hours a week of small-group supervisions (groups of two or three students). These supervisions will be delivered by Queens’ teaching staff complemented by researchers from the department.  

In the first year, we run a weekly large-group meeting with Dr Rice to discuss issues from any lecture course and consider how the lecture courses relate and support one another with a particular focus is on supporting you in making the transition from school teaching to university learning.  These meetings continue throughout the second year with an increasing emphasis on students setting their own agenda and leading discussion.

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 in person what it’s like. We are always pleased to receive email from potential applicants so don't hesitate to contact us.

Things to consider when making your choice:

  1. Colleges differ in the size of intake and teaching ethos.  Think about whether this is important to you.  We admit 7 – 9 students a year and actively encourage students to work together and support one another.

  2. Queens' is an open and informal college located near the centre of town, which gives you a short walk to lectures in the first year (and to the supermarket!).  For the later years of your degree teaching will take place in the main Computer Laboratory building on the West Cambridge site.  This is a 10 minute cycle ride on a low-traffic route.  Alternatively, the Universal bus service will take you door to door: it stops outside Queens’ and outside the Computer Lab

  3. We actively pursue wider interests in the subject: in addition to your supervisions at Queens’ we run a general discussion meeting once a week for all Computer Scientists at the college.  You can see more about this on our blog at

Interview process

There will be two interviews.  The first interview will seek to understand your ability in mathematics, logical thinking and problem solving.  The second will also assess your motivation for study and potential interest in Computer Science. 

All our candidates also take the CSAT on the same day as the interview.  The CSAT is designed to help you by offering you another chance to shine besides the interview, and to give an indication of your maths and problem solving skills that you have already.  You can find more information as well as practice material at

Queens’ Computer Science Teaching Staff

Dr Andrew Rice: As Director of Studies I am responsible for organising supervisions as well as helping my students to make the best progress academically. I studied undergraduate Computer Science in Cambridge from 1998 and so I have personal experience of what a student sees of the course. I see all first and second year students at least once a week in supervisions. As a Senior Lecturer in the Computer Laboratory I teach mainly courses on programming languages. In 2014 I was awarded a teaching prize by the University for my work experimenting with online videos in place of traditional lectures. My PhD, also in Cambridge, considered the dependability of machine-vision location tracking systems. 

Dr Alastair Beresford

Dr Ramsey Faragher: I teach mathematical aspects of Computer Science along with its 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 spent over 5 years in the Defence industry before my recent return to academia, where I developed an alternative to GPS for the UK government. The system received a flurry of media interest, culminating in Top Gear magazine declaring me to be the real life Q! While this is a severe exaggeration, I do have a James Bond style hobby project nearing completion: a fully autonomous aeroplane controlled by just a smartphone.