- Computer Science Tripos
- MPhil in Advanced Computer Science
- The PhD degree
- Applications for Admission
There are two taught courses in Computer Science at Cambridge:
- the Computer Science Tripos: a three- or four-year course for undergraduates;
- the MPhil in Advanced Computer Science: a one-year course for graduates; there are two formats, one a taught course, and the other a project course consisting of taught modules and a research project.
The PhD is the only purely research degree that can be taken in the Computer Laboratory.
This is a three- or four-year course for undergraduates. There is also a computer science option in the first year of the Natural Science Tripos and in the first year of the Politics, Psychology and Sociology Tripos.
The first year (Part IA) of the Computer Science Tripos consists of courses in Computer Fundamentals, Foundations of Computer Science (using the polymorphically-typed functional language ML), Object-Oriented Programming and Java, Discrete Mathematics, Software Design, Floating-Point Computation, Algorithms, Digital Electronics, Operating Systems, Probability. Most students also study Mathematics and an experimental subject from Part IA of the Natural Sciences Tripos, although students may choose, instead of the experimental subject, social psychology (from Part I of the Politics, Psychology, and Sociology Tripos). Some students study Mathematics from Part IA of the Mathematical Tripos in place of Natural Science Mathematics and the experimental subject.
The Computer Science option in Part IA of the Natural Sciences Tripos and Part I of the Politics, Psychology, and Sociology Tripos consists of Computer Fundamentals, Foundations of Computer Science, Object-Oriented Programming and Java, Discrete Mathematics, Floating-Point Computation, and Algorithms. Students taking this option are not normally expecting to continue with Computer Science but may, with the permission of their College, switch to Computer Science at the end of the first year. They would need to do some catching up over the summer.
In the second year (Part IB) core Computer Science topics are covered as part of four streams: Theory, Systems, Programming, and Applications and Professionalism. There is assessed work in programming (Further Java and C++ or Prolog), hardware design, and a group project.
In the third year (Part II) a number of advanced areas are covered giving options that span systems, engineering, theory and such application areas as artificial intelligence. Each student also works on a substantial project which includes a dissertation of about 10,000 words.
The three-year course leads to the BA degree and is accredited by The British Computer Society (BCS) and The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) counting as full or partial accreditation for professional membership of those organisations (MBCS, MIET) and towards chartered status (CEng, CSci, CITP). It is necessary for students to graduate with honours and to pass the project in order to meet these standards.
The four-year course leads to the BA and MEng degrees: the fourth year has a significant overlap of content with the 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 covers advanced material in both theoretical and practical areas as well as instilling the elements of research practice. It combines lectures, seminars and project work in various combinations tailored to the individual student; more details are given on the course web page.
Web page: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/admissions/acs/
The Cambridge PhD is a three-year programme of individual research on a topic agreed by the student and the Laboratory, under the guidance of a staff member as the student’s Supervisor. There is no compulsory course work, and students are expected to complete the substance of their research by the end of their third year, submitting their thesis then or within a few months.
Details concerning applications and admission can be found at http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/admissions/phd/
The procedure for admission to Cambridge as an undergraduate student
is explained in the University of Cambridge Undergraduate
from the Cambridge Admissions Office. Enquiries can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org at the Computer Laboratory in the first instance.
Formal application for admission for PhD study and for the MPhil in Advanced Computer Science must be made through the University’s Board of Graduate Studies, from whom application forms and copies of the Graduate Studies Prospectus may be obtained. However, intending PhD applicants are advised to read the information on http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/admissions/phd/ or to make enquiry at the Computer Laboratory to email@example.com before making a formal application. Intending applicants for the MPhil in Advanced Computer Science are asked to read the information on http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/admissions/acs/ and the linked pages.
The Computer Laboratory does not admit students for the MSc degree.
A list of contact addresses is given at the end of this document.