Computer Science

Computer Science has quickly become indispensable, supporting and extending the abilities of individuals across many diverse disciplines and industries. It is a particularly exciting time to be studying computer science and computer scientists continue to be in very high demand. It provides the tools to help us tackle some of the world's toughest problems and continues to develop quickly, e.g. with recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and machine learning, rapidly improving hardware capabilities, and the ability to represent an ever greater fraction of our world digitally.  A computer science degree provides a lasting, broad and solid foundation to help you contribute and innovate to help solve important problems.

First-year papers include foundations of computer science (taught in OCaml), Java and object-oriented programming, operating systems, and digital electronics, graphics, interaction design and Mathematics. The second and third years of the Computer Science course cover a full range of hardware, software and application areas; include Group and Individual projects and advanced topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computation, Security, e-Commerce and Complexity Theory.

The Computer Science Faculty website provides more guidance and information. 

Computer Science at Peterhouse

Peterhouse does not operate a fixed quota of places in Computer Science, but tends to admit 1 or 2 students each year. Professor Robert Mullins is the Director of Studies for Peterhouse as well as St John's College.

Course Requirements

Mathematics to A level (or equivalent) is required, as well as Further Mathematics AS or A level (or equivalent) if offered at your school. Physics or Chemistry would be desirable third subjects. Computing A level (or equivalent) qualifications are not required but may be useful once you get here.

If you’re studying IB, we ask for Analysis and Approaches for this course.

If your school does not offer Analysis or Approaches at IB, or Further Mathematics at A-Level, please contact for further guidance. 

The application process

All applicants for Computer Science across the University will be asked to sit a pre-interview written assessment (the TMUA) at their local testing centre. The Test of Mathematics for University Admissions (TMUA) lasts 2 hours 30 minutes in total and comprises of multiple-choice questions. This assessment will form part of our holistic assessment of candidates' achievements, abilities and potential and is no more, and no less important than any of the other pieces of information considered during the admissions process. Further information can be found on the University websiteRegistration for this assessment is required in advance. Registration closes mid-September.

Peterhouse also requires applicants who have been invited to interview to sit the CSAT (Computer Sciences Aptitude Test).

Candidates will usually have 2 interviews of 30 minutes each, focusing on mathematics and candidates' aptitude for the course.

Typical conditional offers

Our typical conditional offer for Computer Science is A*A*A at A level. IB offers are usually for a minimum of 41-42 points, to include 776 or 777 at Higher level in relevant subjects with grade 7 in Mathematics. Offers are designed to be realistic, taking into account individual circumstances, and to reflect potential and likely levels of achievement. Most of those who receive offers will attain the grades required.


Fellows & Lecturers

Professor Robert Mullins
Director of Studies