The Computer Science degrees offered at both Oxford and Cambridge are both extremely high calibre. They are some of the most employable degrees offered across both universities. How, then are you meant to choose? To make it a bit easier, this post compares for you the Oxbridge Computer Science courses.
If you’d like more information on studying Computer Science, see our guide to what Computer Science at university is really like, and whether a Computer Science degree is worth it.
|Entry Requirements|| Generally, the offer is A*AA (with the A* in Maths, Further Maths or Computing/Computer Science). ||Generally, the offer is A*A*A (with no specification of where the A*s must be, although Maths A-Level is essential). Alternatively, they offer 42 with 777 at Higher Level in the IB.|
|Admissions Tests||Oxford applicants must sit the MAT before their interviews. They sit slightly different questions to those applying to Maths/Maths and Philosophy/Maths and Statistics. There are a couple of computer science style questions.||Cambridge applicants must sit the CTMUA, their Computer Science Admissions Test. This is the same as the TMUA, just under a different name. Until 2019 Cambridge applicants had to sit the CSAT at the time of interview.|
|Applicants per Place||At Oxford, their 3 year average (2016-2018) is interviewing 23% of their applicants, with 7% successful, giving them an average intake of 33 students to the course per year. So there are just over 10 applicants per place.||The Cambridge Computer Science Course is bigger, with an average intake of 133. However, it is also very competitive, with 9 applications per place.|
|First year content||In first year at Oxford you will study continuous mathematics, design and analysis of algorithms, digital systems, discrete mathematics, functional programming, imperative programming, introduction to formal proof, linear algebra and probability. You will sit four preliminary exams at the end of your first year.||In first year at Cambridge you will also work for four preliminary exams. There will be one mathematics paper, and three computer science papers, covering Java and object-oriented programming, operating systems, and digital electronics, graphics, and interaction design.|
|Final Honour |
|In second year at Oxford you will take four exams, and you will have a variety of options, as well as core options that are compulsory, such as algorithms. You also have a compulsory group design practical. In your third year you also have to do project work, which accounts for 33% of the grade, based on a project report, with the other 67% coming from 5 papers you will sit. For the integrated masters programme, the structure of the fourth year echoes the third year.||Practical work is compulsory. In your second year you undertake a group project which reflects current industrial practice, and in your third year you work on a substantial project to demonstrate your skills, for which you write a 12,000 word dissertation. You also have four compulsory papers in second year spanning theory, systems, programming and applications, and in your final year (unless choosing the integrated masters programme) you get a wide range of cutting-edge computer science options to take – you can even specialise in robots!|