Computer Science

Our three-year course is designed to put you at the forefront of modern Computer Science. A pair of alternative routes to a Computer Science degree are available, according to whether or not you wish to study a course from another subject alongside Computer Science.

75% Option: Here 75% of your first year is spent studying computer science and 25% studying mathematics.

50% Option: This option involves studying 50% computer science, 25% mathematics and an option worth 25%. The option is selected from a range of courses: Mathematics, Psychology, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Physiology or Evolution & Behaviour.

The Computer Science Faculty website provides guidance on making this decision.

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.

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. Dr Robert Mullins is the Director of Studies for Peterhouse as well as St John's College. For a student's perspective on studying Computer Science at Peterhouse, have a look at the JCR's alternative prospectus and read their interview with a current student.

Course requirements

All options require Mathematics to A level (or equivalent) and Further Maths AS or A level (or equivalent) is desirable, as is either Physics or Chemistry. Those taking the Natural Sciences option require at least one science subject to A level or equivalent. Computing A level (or equivalent) qualifications are not required, but may be useful once you get here. A final decision between the above options does not need to be confirmed before arrival in Cambridge, but candidates are required to indicate a preference at application.

The application process

Candidates will usually have 2-3 interviews – one on Computer Science and one or two to cover their chosen option (i.e. Mathematics, Natural Sciences or Psychology). Whilst in Cambridge for your interviews, candidates will be asked to sit a written assessment. This will be the same assessment across all Colleges and more information can be found on the University website.

Typical conditional offers

Our typical conditional offer for Computer Science is A*A*A at A level. Those wishing to take the Computer Science with Mathematics option may also be asked for a STEP grade, typically grade 1 in STEP II and III.  IB offers are usually for a minimum of 40-42 points, to include 776 or 777 at Higher level in relevant subjects with grade 7 in Mathematics and (for Computer Science with Natural Sciences) a science essential. 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.