Department of Computer Science and Technology

Course pages 2017–18

Preparation for Computer Science

Principal lecturers: Dr Alastair Beresford, Dr Andrew Rice
Taken by: Part IA CST 50%, Part IA CST 75%, Part IA NST

Preparation for Computer Science (Online Course)

We have an online pre-arrival course that should be taken by all students intending to take the Computer Science Paper 1 course starting in October 2018. This includes:

  • Any first year Computer Science Tripos (CST) student
  • Any Natural Sciences Tripos (NST) student taking the Computer Science option in the first year
  • Any Psychological and Behavioural Sciences Tripos (PBST) student taking the Computer Science option in the first year

Step 1: Get Your Login Details

To log in you must have your Raven ID and Password. The Raven ID, more commonly called a CRSID, is your username for all computer services in Cambridge. A CRSID is composed of your initials followed by a number (e.g. rkh23). The password is set by you as part of the online student registration process that you must complete before arriving.

The process will therefore go as follows:

  • Wait until you receive your email invitation to register as a student. We expect these to be send at the very end of August/start of September. Unfortunately the course cannot be started until you have received that email. Update will be posted here when the course is live.
  • Complete the registration process to get a Raven ID and password.

Step 2: Log Into Moodle

The course is delivered through the University's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which is called Moodle and is available at

  • Log into using the "Raven" link in the top right and the credentials from the previous section.
  • You will be prompted to change your password and to fill in your profile.

Step 3: Locate the Course

Once the preliminaries are done, you will find yourself looking at a page summarising your profile.

  • Find the Navigation menu on the left of the screen and click "My Home".
  • You should now see a welcome box, possibly above a list of courses that you have already been enrolled on in the Moodle Platform.
  • If there is a course entitled "IA Computer Science Pre-Arrival Course 2018-19" then click on it. Else go to Step 3a.

Step 3a: Get Enrolled on the Course

If you do not see the "IA Computer Science Pre-Arrival Course" option in the previous step, you have not been enrolled for it yet. We believe that all CST students have been auto-enrolled, but NST (and those just wanting to do the course for interest) must self enrol.

To self enrol you need to visit the course page . It asks for an enrolment key. Please choose from one of the following and enter the key:

  • If you are an NST student, please use PreArrival-NST-1819
  • If you just which to do the course for fun/interest and are not an NST/CST student please use PreArrival-Interest-1819

If you have any problems please email [Javascript required] providing your full name and your CRSID/Raven ID. Remember that your Raven ID or CRSID was the one assigned to you in Step 1 above.

Note that enrolling for the Computer Science Precourse as an NST or PBST student does not commit you to taking the Computer Science paper in the first year. If you wish to work through the material to decide whether or not the option is for you, that is fine.

Step 4: Get Going!

The moodle pages should lead you through what you need to do. You can log in and out at any time. You must complete the course by the first thursday of term (i.e. the day lectures start).

If you get stuck, please use the Moodle help forum or contact your Director of Studies in your College.

Getting Help

If you need any assistance in getting access to the online course, please email us in the first instance. Once you have access please use the online forum within the Moodle course to ask for help or guidance.