Computer Science is a rapidly changing and exciting field where systems can develop from research ideas to global deployments in a matter of months. The course is constantly updated to include cutting-edge topics: in the last few years quantum computing and bioinformatics have been introduced alongside existing coverage of emerging topics in artificial intelligence, electronic security, and very high speed networking.
Cambridge was a pioneer of Computer Science and continues to lead its development. There are over 1,000 specialist computing and advanced technology companies and commercial laboratories in the area (known as ‘Silicon Fen’). Many support teaching at the University and employ its students.
Full course details are provided on the Department’s Prospective Undergraduates webpage and the University’s Undergraduate Study webpage.
Computer Science at Churchill
Churchill is the biggest College for Computer Science in Cambridge, in terms of numbers of current undergraduates. We aim to offer places each year to students who will thrive on a combination of teaching in the Computer Laboratory and within the College. Churchill consistently ranks very highly in the exams and its graduates can be found leading research and industry around the world.
Teaching at Churchill is supported by the broad experience and expertise of Computer Laboratory staff, Fellows of the College, PhD students, and graduates. This would give you the opportunity to discuss topics in Computer Science with the researchers defining the subject and with those practicing it every day in industry at companies (such as Google and Microsoft). You could develop this into summer internships with one of the Cambridge- or London-based companies with which Churchill maintains close contact, especially since such opportunities often lead to gainful employment after graduation.
Churchill’s Fellowship includes individuals whose Computer Science experience in academia and industry has been recognised by the College. Their areas of specialisation cover most of the Tripos and, between them, they provide a substantial proportion of the College’s teaching. As a student here, you would benefit from this regular contact with the College’s Fellowship and the opportunities this provides. You would likely have three to five supervisions per week. Supervisions in Churchill are also given by senior PhD students and graduates now working in local industry.
To find out about admissions, go to Apply | Undergraduates.
Course-specific information, including the University’s typical offers and the attainment level of the University’s typical entrants, is available by selecting your course from the University’s Course List then looking at the Entry Requirements tab. Academic offer conditions can vary by College so if you want to apply to Churchill then check out our entries in the by-College list of entry requirements that’s available on the same tab. The University’s Entrance Requirements and International Entry Requirements webpages may contain guidance relevant to you too.
To learn more about the academic profiles of Churchill entrants and our approach to setting conditional offers, see Entry Requirements | Undergraduates.
All Computer Science applicants are required to take a written assessment before shortlisting for interview. There’s more information on and linked from the University’s Admissions Assessments webpage.
The role of academic interviews in Churchill’s admissions process is explained at Interviews | Undergraduates. In Computer Science, the conversation will be in the nature of mathematical or logic puzzles, and provides us with an opportunity to learn more about you by working through these together. We don’t expect anyone to solve the puzzles entirely unaided so the fact that we work on them with you helps us get a glimpse of how effectively we will be able to teach you advanced Computer Science over the next three or four years. In general, there isn’t a ‘right’ way to solve any of the puzzles, and it doesn’t matter whether or not you get a solution, so don’t feel that you must impress us or tell us what you think we might want to hear! Instead, enjoy logic puzzles and think out loud as you try to solve them. As you progress, we’ll ask you questions to guide your thoughts in useful directions or check that you have considered all possibilities for a situation. Just keep thinking out loud and you’ll give a great interview. And, just to confirm, no Computer Science experience, ability to write programs, or knowledge of any data structures and algorithms is ever required – we design our questions carefully so everyone has an equal chance.