Computer Laboratory

MPhil in Advanced Computer Science

The MPhil in Advanced Computer Science (the ACS) is designed to prepare students for doctoral research, whether at Cambridge or elsewhere. Typical applicants will have undertaken a first degree in computer science or an equivalent subject, and will be expected to be familiar with basic concepts and practices. The ACS is a nine–month course which starts in early October and finishes on 30 June. It covers advanced material in both theoretical and practical areas as well as instilling the elements of research practice. The course combines lectures, seminars and project work in various combinations tailored to the individual student; more details are given below. Prospective applicants should note that the MPhil in Advanced Computer Science is not a conversion course.

Course structure

The course consists of:

  • 5 taught modules;
  • a research project report of no more than 15,000 words (excluding appendices and bibliography) on a subject approved by the Degree Committee;
  • 12 units from the mandatory Research Skills Programme including compulsory units in written English and presentation skills.

The project can be research or application oriented and industrial collaboration is possible. Project selection and planning occurs in the first term and the project is undertaken in the following two terms. The final report is submitted at the end of the project in the second week of June.

The taught modules are delivered in a range of styles. For example, there are traditional lecture courses, lecture courses with associated practical classes, reading clubs, and seminar style modules.

Course registration is on the first Monday following 1 October and the course finishes on 30 June the following year.


Applicants for the MPhil in ACS are expected to have met the following prerequisites


Note: The Computer Laboratory is no longer accepting MPhil applications for admission in October 2016.

Applications for admission in October 2017 will open in early September 2016 and close on 31 March 2017.

Applicants should refer to the Graduate Admissions page for links to the application portal, deadlines, guidance and information.

Please note the following:

  • Applications for funding support from the University and Cambridge Trust must be submitted earlier than the deadline above: see University funding deadlines.
  • The Course code is CSM3.
  • All applicants will be asked to complete an in-house questionnaire once the Faculty's Graduate Education Office receives notification of submission of the application.
    • The questionnaire will ask for one or two brief project proposals of no more than 500 words each.
    • The project proposal will help the MPhil Admissions Panel to identify potential supervisors and is indicative only.
    • The questionnaire will ask applicants to select five modules from the current year's syllabus.
      Successful applicants will be invited to select from the list of modules we expect to be offered in the next academic year.
      Module names and brief descriptions will be published shortly.
  • Applicants will also need to indicate in which broad areas of research they are interested on the application. Please do this within the section of the form which asks for a research topic.
  • Please note that there is an application fee.
  • Applications are considered as they are received.

Please note that your application can only be considered by the department once it is complete.
You will have seven days after starting the application to upload all your supporting material. It is therefore very important to have all your supporting material, including agreement from your referees to provide you with references, your transcripts and degree certificates, ready to submit before you apply.

Funding competitions

Applicants wishing to be considered for funding competitions should check their eligibility on the University-wide Sources of Funding web page.

A limited number of Advanced Computer Science MPhil scholarships may be available to exceptional UK and eligible EU applicants (with residency conditions). No further application form is required.

Self-funding students may apply for admission in October up until 31 March.

Postgraduate Loans for postgraduate degrees for UK residents will be available for the academic year commencing October 2016 onwards. Applications open in summer 2016. Please see the UK Government's web page for further details at

Further information

Please contact the Faculty's Graduate Education Office with any questions not answered above.

Email: Graduate Education Office

Tel.: +44 1223 334652 or +44 1223 334656
Fax: +44 1223 334678

Applicants should apply using the online application form.

We strongly recommend obtaining a tracking number and include your application number if posting documents to the University's Graduate Admissions Office.

Graduate Admissions Office
Academic Division
4 Mill Lane
Cambridge CB2 1RX

Email: [Javascript required]